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“Great location, lovely staff but dated now” 4 of 5 stars
Review of JW Marriott Khao Lak Resort & Spa

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JW Marriott Khao Lak Resort & Spa
5.0 of 5 Hotel   |   41/12 Moo 3, Khuk Khak Beach, Khao Lak 82190, Thailand   |  
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Ranked #6 of 60 hotels in Khao Lak
London UK
Senior Contributor
41 reviews 41 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
“Great location, lovely staff but dated now”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 17, 2014

I have just returned from a wonderful week at the JW Marriott Khao Lak. After a week here we then went to the JW Marriott in Phuket for a couple of days before flying home.

This really isn't a 5 star hotel like the JW Marriott Phuket which was grander in every way. It doesn't feel like a Marriott either. Although the hotel was refurbished some of the builds and the pool dates back to its Sofitel Magic Lagoon days. As other reviewers have noted in the pool whole tiles are missing in places and although the easily accessible areas have been repainted other areas look very tired as shown in the pictures.

The room itself was very nice. The furniture a little dated and I always found it very dark in the room even with all of the lights on. We booked a pool access room which although novel we didn't use much as it got very little sun. This seems the same for most of the rooms, very few get the sun on the lower level balcony’s so we went to the beach most days. I never had any problems getting a sunbed there.

The service from the hotel staff was impeccable and everyone was always welcoming. The location is near perfect if you want a quiet holiday. You can walk for miles in either direction along the beach. The downside is it is very quiet in the evenings. We tried a couple of the restaurants but much preferred eating in the places along the beach to the right. Andaman’s I found best followed Phen's then Blue Mist. The atmosphere of sitting with your feet in the sand watching the waves was amazing and the food (and price) great too.

I hadn't intended to use the Spa in the hotel but as they had a 50% off offer I did. That was a great experience. I also went on one of the bike tours from the hotel. Good quality bikes although they do need a good service.

Do check your bill carefully. There were errors on my bill as I hadn't received the Marriott Silver members discount on all of the food and drink. It took some convincing to show the receptionist it was wrong. Spoilt the holiday in a way.

Room Tip: Pool access rooms don't get the sun.
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  • Stayed March 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jan_HeinB, Manager at JW Marriott Khao Lak Resort & Spa, responded to this review, March 28, 2014
Dear Valued Guest,

Greetings from Khao Lak!

Thank you for choosing our resort as your preferred holiday destination during your recent visit to Thailand.

Thank you for taking your valuable time writing us with your feedback about your experience. We are delighted to learn you enjoyed your stay, thank you for your great comments about our service and Quan Spa.

Thank you for your feedback about the resort maintenance, we regret to learn we were not able to meet your expectations and our standards in regards to the upkeep of some areas in our resort. Our maintenance team is continuously working on our rooms and facilities to ensure we maintain all areas in perfect condition.

We have addressed your points immediately with our team who followed up urgently resolving them.

Once again thank you for taking your valuable time writing us with your feedback.

We look forward to welcome you back to our beautiful resort in the near future.

Yours sincerely,

Jan-Hein Breitschaft
Director of Rooms
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
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karachi
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 14, 2014

The resort is located a good hours drive from Phuket airport, however the transfer by hotel mini van was seamless. The hotel upholds the standards one would expect from a JW Marriott property. The resort itself is sprawling, the beach beautiful and the lagoon pool massive and despite almost full occupancy, it never felt over crowded. The kids club while perhaps not as good as it's sister property's in Phuket still had enough going on to keep our kids busy when we wanted to keep them out of the sun. We stayed in a duplex room which was double storied and perfect for our family of two young ones and two adults. The kids had their beds set up on the lower floor,which also had a tv, a dining and seating area in addition to a half bath which came in very handy! The master bedroom was located upstairs which gave us complete privacy and came with an ensuite lavish bathroom. Food was reasonably good throughout and there were also several restaurants up and down the beach that served excellent seafood and local cuisine. Bear in mind that the resort grounds are split level with multiple stairs which may be challenging for those who have mobility issues. Furthermore, if you are opting for the pool access rooms, some are easier to navigate back into from the water than the others due to the way the stairs/stepping stones are placed.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jan_HeinB, Manager at JW Marriott Khao Lak Resort & Spa, responded to this review, March 28, 2014
Dear Valued Guest,

Thank you for selecting our resort as your preferred holiday destination during your recent visit to Thailand!

It's a great pleasure to learn you and your family have enjoyed your stay so much, thank you for your great feedback about the airport arrival transfer, beach/ pool area and Duplex Suite.

Thank you for taking your valuable time writing us with your feedback, we all look forward to welcome you back to our beautiful resort in the near future!

Yours sincerely,

Jan-Hein Breitschaft
Director of Rooms
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 14, 2014

It's a Marriott, it's upscale, and it's been described many times before. The pool, breakfast buffet and restaurant, and the beach are wonderful. You may also want to know:

It is a bit far from "town": Khao Lak is an 8-km drive and local taxis have decided not to accept less than THB 300 each way. The hotel shuttle is a bit less expensive (THB 100 per person per trip) but it runs only every two hours from 11am to 10pm.

The good news is that the restaurants and massage stands on the beach are quite all right, if you are fed up with the resort but don't want to spend a meal just going into town.

The hotel is mid-way between Tap Lamu and Baan Nam Khem piers (not in kilometers but in road time). These are the South and North piers that dive operators use. As always in Thailand there are many more dive shops than dive operators in Khao Lak (the former buying and selling spots on the latter's boats). It matters because Khao Lak is such a big diving destination. Below is a brief outline, I'll review those I have dived with separately.

- Sea Bees have a shop and representative at the Marriott. Unfortunately they have had trouble with the contractor that built their new catamaran and it has been highly unreliable. Check on site but it doesn't matter as they still have to drive you to one of the piers.

- Khao Lak explorer have tried the usual "buy a cheap shipping boat" thing but the sea here can be more choppy than in the gulf of Thailand AND the distance to the Similans is too far for a day trip at 6 - 10 knots

- Similan Seven Sea Club have a very well oiled routine, pick you up on time, get a speed boat at Tap Lamu and transfer you to their liveaboard on site. It makes for a very nice day out diving (and you can also stay one, two or more nights on their liveaboard, the Camic, though the cabins are getting a bit old). SSSC depart from Tap Lamu, which is on the other side of Khao Lak, meaning a lot of stops on the way as you are picked up first. If only for that reason you may consider the next one.

- Big Blue Diving is a local branch of the huge Kho Tao dive center. They have the fastest local speedboat, which leaves from Baan Nam Kem up North where you can also see the 2004 tsunami memorial. The pier is further than Tap Lamu but the drive is about the same time, plus you are getting a bit closer to Koh Bon and Richelieu Rock. A good choice especially from the Marriott.

Room Tip: all pool room are not the same: some have plants, some have a glass wall, some have nothing in front...
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  • Stayed March 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jan_HeinB, Manager at JW Marriott Khao Lak Resort & Spa, responded to this review, March 28, 2014
Dear Valued Guest,

Greetings from the JW Marriott Khao Lak Resort & Spa!

We sincerely appreciate you taking your valuable time writing us about your experience, we are delighted to learn you experienced a great, enjoyable stay.

Thank you for your great comments about our pool, breakfast, restaurants and beach area.

We all look forward having the opportunity to welcome you back to our beautiful resort in the near future!

Yours sincerely,

Jan-Hein Breitschaft
Director of Rooms
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chennai
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 13, 2014

Firstly this is a JW marriott hotel, so not much can go wrong here. From Phuket airport, Kaho Lak is roughly 1 hour away.The hotel is huge, well maintained, has an amazing pool and great views. We stayed in the 1st floor room that overlooks the pool. The ground floor pool access rooms looked awesome (wish we had taken those). The pool runs throughout the hotel and is huge, with 2 pool bars. Food is awesome, though expensive.
The 4 days we were there, 3 days it was continuously drizzling. However that didnt stop us from exploring the hotel or Khao Lak for that matter. Drinking by the pool bar, in water with water falling on you is somewhat cool I would say (Even though I was shivering :)) The staff lady at the bar was kind enough to make me cocktails without ice!
We hired scooters for rent, which are available just outside the hotel and rode through Khao Lak. We also booked a local tour package offered by the hotel (Sightseeing, boat trip to James Bond Island etc). The tour was worth it.
There is a very cute and cheap restaurant just on the side of the resort with some extremely friendly guys. Do try it if you want a change from the hotel food.

Room Tip: The pool access rooms are worth the extra money!
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  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TyCollins, General Manager at JW Marriott Khao Lak Resort & Spa, responded to this review, March 14, 2014
Dear valued guest,

Thank you for taking the time to write about the resort. As you indicated, the resort has the longest pool in Southeast Asia, which is a lot of fun for our guests. Thank you for highlighting the service of the bar team and I suggest a trip to the Similan Islands next time if you can. They are fantastic.

We hope to have the chance to serve you you again in the future.

Very warm regards,

Ty Collins
General Manager
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mumbai
Senior Contributor
21 reviews 21 reviews
20 hotel reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 12, 2014

What an excellent resort!! J W Marriott Khao lak is a resort one always dreams of. Big spacious rooms with an amazing balcony overlooking its long and serpentine pool. This pool is 3 kms long and one of the biggest ones you would ever get to experience.. 2 swim up bars where we we had soothing mock tails and cocktails all the three days that we were there.
The beach is one of the most beautiful ones with beach chairs and ice lollies available for u thruout the afternoon. There are some really good restaurants to the right of the hotel on the beach about 2 mins walk from the resort.. Yummy tasty thai food canbe enjoyed here.. And yes nice massages available in shacks next to these restaurants..
This resort is definitely reccommended and we can' t wait to get there again for a wonderful beach vacation ....

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TyCollins, General Manager at JW Marriott Khao Lak Resort & Spa, responded to this review, March 14, 2014
Dear valued guest,

Thank you for taking the time to share your comments and experiences around the resort. We appreciate your kind words and will do our best to make the resort even better before your next visit.

Best wishes to you and your family.

Ty Collins
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bangkok, Thailand
Senior Contributor
36 reviews 36 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 30 cities Reviews in 30 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 12, 2014

I stayed at JW Marriott in Khao Lak the first time this February and I am very impressed with the friendliness of all staffs and the beauty of this hotel. A lovely Spa, A Unique Long Pool, A Beautiful Beach And Great Choices of Restaurants Thai, Japanese and Mediterranean.

The hotel occupancy during my stay was definitely 100% but I didn't feel like it at all. I could imagine that all staffs must be busy with all the guests but they are all smiling and providing a great service to us all.

Every afternoon, We were hanging around the pool with friends and their small children and we have our privacy, the pool was not packed at all. Overall we all were very happy that we chose to stay at this hotel. Children enjoyed their time and adult like us enjoy ourselves. The breakfast choices were fantastic and variety.

If you've never been to Khao Lak before and want to enjoy the beautiful beach, stay at a very nice hotel, I would recommend you to choose this place. It will worth every dollar you paid for.

  • Stayed February 2014, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TyCollins, General Manager at JW Marriott Khao Lak Resort & Spa, responded to this review, March 14, 2014
Dear Madam,

Thank you for taking the time to share your impressions of the resort. We appreciate your kind words and will do our best to make your next stay even better.

Very warm regards,

Ty Collins
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Phoenix, Arizona
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 11, 2014

This beautiful resort has a beautiful pool and the ground floor units allow you to walk right out your door to your own little pool "canal". 2 swim-up bars with decent happy hours. The beach is one of the most beautiful we've ever been to--crystal clear, calm water & nice, flat beach you can wade way into. Loved the restaurants & massage huts that flank either side of the resort, on the beach. The girls at Chiya Massage are the best! The staff is incredibly friendly & helpful. Breakfast was amazing & we always were seated immediately, outside, with that gorgeous view. This is a very special resort, one of the best we've ever stayed at. It is a bit isolated from bigger towns (phuket, etc) so renting a car was very helpful for us to have the freedom to explore without relying on tours or taxis. We can't wait to return. Watch for the elephant to cruise through the resort on Fridays or Sundays!

Room Tip: If you can get one of the upstairs, 2-story suites, they're pretty awesome.
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  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jan_HeinB, Manager at JW Marriott Khao Lak Resort & Spa, responded to this review, March 14, 2014
Dear Valued Guest,

Greetings from the JW Marriott Khao Lak Resort & Spa!

We sincerely appreciate you taking your valuable time writing us about your experience, we are delighted to learn you experienced a great, enjoyable stay.

Thank you for your great comments about our pool, pool bars, beach area, associates and breakfast.

We all look forward having the opportunity to welcome you back to our beautiful resort in the near future!

Yours sincerely,

Jan-Hein Breitschaft
Director of Rooms
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about JW Marriott Khao Lak Resort & Spa

Address: 41/12 Moo 3, Khuk Khak Beach, Khao Lak 82190, Thailand
Phone Number:
Location: Thailand > Phang Nga Province > Khao Lak
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Beverage Selection Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities ( Kid / Family Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#2 Family Hotel in Khao Lak
#4 Romantic Hotel in Khao Lak
#4 Spa Hotel in Khao Lak
#5 Luxury Hotel in Khao Lak
#6 On the Beach Hotel in Khao Lak
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:5 star — JW Marriott Khao Lak Resort & Spa 5*
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Discover the treasures of Khao Lak at JW Marriott Khao Lak Resort and Spa. The pristine white sand beach stretches for miles, melting into the exquisite azure waters of the Andaman Sea. This is Khao Lak, Thailand - a hidden paradise of sun, sea and sand, as well as lush tropical greenery, granite mountains and stunning waterfalls. The vast landscaped area within the resort grounds makes the resort an ideal outdoor venue for incentives or themed events, weddings or product launches. At Marriott Hotels and Resorts®, it's our mission to make every business trip a pleasure and every vacation a trip of a lifetime. Enjoy amenity-filled guest rooms, superb dining, and exemplary meeting facilities. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Jw Marriott Khao Lak Hotel Khao Lak
Jw Marriott Khao Lak Resort And Spa
Cher Fah Hotel
Cher Fah Resort

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