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“Wonderful Hotel” 5 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 61 Hotels in Khao Lak
Certificate of Excellence
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
8 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Wonderful Hotel”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 13, 2014

I have just spent 8 days at the JW Marriott, Khao Lak Beach. I can honestly say it was the best holiday I have ever had. The ambience, the staff, the meals are all wonderful. Very peaceful and relaxing. Most, if not all rooms overlook the pool which is beautiful. The weather was tropical with afternoon thunder and lightning but nothing to stop you doing what you wanted. We had rain a couple of days in the afternoon with sunny mornings. The breakfast staff really looked after us, particularly Tin, Tarn, Boy 1 and Boy 2. We told the coffee boys how we liked our coffee and had one waiting for us each morning when we arrived at breakfast. Definitely hope to return again soon. The massages were amazing - all staff wonderful.

Room Tip: First floor have better view but some on ground floor have direct access into the pool of their bal...
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  • Stayed May 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 4
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, May 15, 2014
Dear Seamus1904,

Thank you for taking your valuable time writing us with your feedback, we are very happy to learn you enjoyed a wonderful stay with us.

It's a great pleasure reading your review, thank you for your great comments about the ambience, associates, restaurants, pool and Quan Spa.

We will certainly ensure to recognize Khun Tin, Khun Tarn, Khun Boy 1 and Khun Boy 2 from our Waterfront Breakfast team for their outstanding service.

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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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
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (688)
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United States
Level Contributor
49 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 12, 2014

I booked a five-day/four-night vacation here for my family to celebrate my wife's birthday. We enjoyed our time there, although there were a few disappointments across the high notes -- see below. Note to management in case you read these....get some windsurfers for rent!!!!!!

One quick note...the hotel is in the middle of what I would expect from the JW Marriott brand. Remember that JW is not the summit of the Marriott brand -- that is reserved for the Ritz-Carlton brand (Marriott own the largest stake of that brand's stock). So you should go to this resort expecting a four-star experience, but not a five-star experience.

That being said, let's get to the review:

Rooms: the rooms we got were more than adequate. One of our rooms was upgraded to a duplex suite (I'm a Marriott Platinum member) that was stunning and a greatly appreciated upgrade. Everything was clean and in good working order. The extensive use of shaped Corian in the bathrooms worked really well for a resort that is on the beach (sand doesn't end up in grout lines, etc.) Occasional spots with cracks and some rust stains not that big a deal. The only flaw is the water flow-rate for the bath tub is insufficient. If you try to fill the tub to take a bath, make the water really hot or it will have become too cold by the time the tub is full.

Staff Attitude: uniformly great. Everybody has a smile on their face, greets guests, and they will do whatever asked (I suppose within reason....)

Grounds: The pool is ginormous and a lot of fun. The water is really warm too. I took my SCUBA computer into it to measure the temperature since I could not believe how hot it felt. It registered between 30ºC-33ºC depending on where I took the temperature. This was about the same temperature in the air around and I think it gets this hot because of the black tiles in the pool itself. The rest of the grounds are well groomed and pleasant. The black walkways get REALLY hot in the sun. Make sure you bring flip-flops or other types of sandals or your feet will broil.

Food & Drink: The restaurants use good quality ingredients, but the preparation is inconsistent. We had dinner in the Thai restaurant one evening and Thai food should be a lot of things -- bland is not one of them. We ordered the fish in the chili and lime, which had two chili pictograms in on the menu -- we expected it to be spicy! It arrived with 2 (two) miniature slivers of chili in it and no discernible chili spice to the flavor. We requested additional chili and dumped it all in, and that made the dish a little spicy but it's not the same as having the chili cooked into the food. Disappointing. We also booked the romantic dinner for one of the evenings. The food was all very good (we had the seafood spread). The seafood was fresh and well prepared. They forgot to serve the fried rice we'd ordered. and the salad was pedestrian - but they nailed it on ambiance and it was great experience (it was my wife's birthday). The Thai lantern was a nice touch and a lot of fun. The bars are nice, the drinks inconsistent as well. I had a great martini once (when I told them exactly how to make it) but other times things were hit/and/miss; not professional bartenders but happy to follow instructions and that's what I'd recommend. The breakfast buffet is good but not extraordinary; it is comparable to what you find, for instance, in the business lounge at the Hong Kong JW. I was disappointed that smoked salmon was not available in the spread. I was also disappointed that the restaurant does not have an a-la-carte menu offering. The coffee is very good.

Beach: The beach is gorgeous and I could not get enough of sitting on a beach chair and looking at it. Beware the jellyfish in the water though. My kids went for a swim and were both stung. They ended up with welts on their legs. The hotel staff provided first aid and I directed them to take a hot bath (AHA recommendation for Indo-Pacific jellyfish stings) and by the next day they were fine. Check out the sign in front of the pool for jellyfish warning before swimming.

Beach toys: I rented the Hobie Cat and it was well maintained and a lot of fun. Also, at 750 Baht an hour, a bargain. Big disappointment for me was the lack of windsurfers for rent. This would have been the ideal setting for windsurfing (at least for an old guy like me): tranquil, warm waters, a reliable seabreeze, and nice sun. I would really like the management to consider adding some to their beach toy rental shack.

Concierge: Great. They arranged trips for us, arranged for going to church on Sunday, arranged transportation to/from Phuket airport, all without a hitch. We really loved the elephant ride and bath experience, the waterfall was nice but nothing special, but the service great. I am sure we could have booked all these trips outside of the hotel for less money, but it was not that expensive on the whole, very convenient, and first class quality.

SPA: Massages were very good and the ambiance is really nice. The challenge is availability and I would recommend you book BEFORE even getting to the resort. We arrived on a Friday and Saturday was booked. One disappointment is that the beautician's day off is Saturday (unconscionable in a resort) so no beauty treatments on Saturday (my wife wanted to have some at the beginning of the trip -- no luck).

Outside food: Yeah, I read the reviews, and went to Phen a few times to find "cheaper, better food." It was definitely cheaper, and the seafood was fresh. But it was not well prepared. The Pad Thai seemed to have been based on some Heinz sauce; the Satay peanut sauce was runny. In the end, we avoided anything that required elaborate preparation and did fine. For instance, simple prawns with garlic were delicious.

So, on the whole, a really, really nice vacation. It's a (relatively) short hop from our base in Singapore and we'll probably return.

I REALLY hope management reads this review and buys some windsurfers!

  • Stayed May 2014, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
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, May 15, 2014
Dear Laltro,

Greetings from the JW Marriott Khao Lak Resort & Spa!

Thank you for choosing our resort as your preferred holiday destination; it's a great pleasure reading your review! We are very happy you enjoyed a great stay, thank you for providing such detailed feedback about your experience.

We are delighted to learn you and your family enjoyed our resort so much, thank you for your great comments about the Duplex Suite, associates, resort grounds, beach, watersport facilities, concierge, romantic dinner and Quan Spa.

We have noted your feedback about our Ta Krai restaurant and cocktails; we have evaluated this with the team for immediate improvement.

We will certainly review options for adding wind surfing equipment to our watersports selection.

Thank you for your continuous loyalty to Marriott, we all look forward to welcome you back to our beautiful resort soon!

Yours sincerely,

Jan-Hein Breitschaft
Director of Rooms
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Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Level Contributor
23 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 12, 2014

Contrary to most reviews I read before going to Khao Lak, this property is beautiful and still very well maintained. We had a very peaceful and relaxing time here, and recommend it to everyone who wants time away from their busy schedules.

Our room was a suite - pool facing on the first floor. The best part about the hotel is their pool, which snakes around the entire hotel. From our room we could also see the beach - the water was clear blue and the sand pristine white. This is one of the prettiest and quietest beaches I have been to.

We really enjoyed the pool and pool bar - happy hours every evening so we made the most of that! The food options at the hotel are plenty - japanese, thai, italian, coffee shop, and more. We tried different restaurants every day and enjoyed all our meals here. Breakfast also was great - there was a huge spread and you were spoilt for choice!

They have lots of activities on the beach - elephant ride, snorkelling and other water sports. There are also a few massage places 2 mins away from the hotel on the beach itself. We tried these and also the spa at the Marriott - great experience. You must try the spa here -it is really nice!

All in all, its a great resort only 1 hour away from Phuket. Still untouched and not very commercial. A must visit!

Room Tip: Try and get the pool access rooms - they looked like a lot more fun!
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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.
Jan_HeinB, Manager at JW Marriott Khao Lak Resort & Spa, responded to this review, May 15, 2014
Dear HappilyTraveled,

Greetings from Khao Lak!

Thank you for your review - we are very happy you had a great stay and enjoyed our pool, pool bar and Quan Spa!

We sincerely appreciate you 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.
Bangkok, Thailand
1 review
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 12, 2014

We stayed at JW hotel Khao Lak for less than a week to get away from the city for a little bit and in general we were happy with our stay. The hotel location is away from all the noise, the rooms are spacious, the beach and the water in the sea is clean (which is a big Big thing for us) and the facilities are taken care of well. However, restaurant staff service needs some improvement and the breakfast buffet needs some more variety of choices as it's quite limited compared to the ones at other 5 star hotel brands.

Would like to say a special thank you for Khun Jazzy, the duty manager who made sure everything goes well during our vacation as it was our first stay at Khao Lak branch of Marriott hotel. If there are any even minor issues, she is a go-to person.

  • Stayed May 2014, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
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, May 16, 2014
Dear Kami I,

Thank you for choosing our resort as your preferred holiday destination!

We are delighted to learn you enjoyed a great stay, thank you for your great comments about our rooms and beach area.

We will certainly recognize Khun Jazzy for her outstanding service and efforts, thank you for your feedback.

We have well noted your comments about service in the restaurants and breakfast buffet variety; we have reviewed this with the team for further improvement.

We sincerely appreciate you taking your valuable time writing us about your experience, we all look forward 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.
McLean, Virginia
Level Contributor
34 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 12, 2014

one of the top hotels my wife and i have stayed at. the hotel is amazing. the free standing wings of the hotel are traversed by the swimming pool, in reality a network of canals more than 3 kms long ranging in depth from 1 to 1.5 meters. the best rooms are right on the "canals," and the "banks" of the canals are lushly planted. the plants provide both privacy and a feeling a pool in a tropical jungle it takes more than an hour to swim and walk through all the canals.

the beach is also secluded and very private. unlike other resort beaches in thailand, there are no vendors offering services, both naughty and nice. stately palms sway in the breeze and provide both shade and majesty to the setting.

the food is also splendid, from the breakfast buffet to the wonderful restaurants, including thai, japanese, italian, a deli as well as a buffet/coffee shop.

the staff are genuinely friendly and helpful. the general manager is refreshingly so, and displays none of the haughty airs affected by `so many of the northern european hotel school graduates who manage competing hotels.

Room Tip: try to get one of the poolside rooms. you can roll out of bed for a swim in the "canals."
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  • Stayed May 2014, 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 4
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, May 16, 2014
Dear CMKeur,

Thank you for writing us about your experience in our resort, we are very happy to learn you enjoyed a great stay.

It's a great pleasure reading your review, thank you for your great comments about our lagoon pool, beach, restaurants and associates.

We all look forward 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.
Oslo, Norway
Level Contributor
229 reviews
81 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 130 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed May 11, 2014

This property was maybe half-decent 10 years ago. Now its badly run, food is the worst I have had at a five star hotel in Thailand. If I owned the JW brand, I would sell this hotel or refurbish it. The room I had was smelly due to sewage and water issues, we had to leave two of the restaurants due to bad food and terrible service, and even the towels are used more than its should. The breakfast rooms is a convention-standard size and its just interesting how little the management did with my complaints. The list of complaints is so long I do not waist your time listing it.. Choose another hotel!

  • Stayed March 2014, traveled on business
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 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, May 14, 2014
Dear Mr. Gudleiv,

Thank you for taking the time to share your experience here at the resort. We are deeply saddened that we were unable to meet your expectations. We would appreciate if you could share more specific details at mhrs.hktkl.duty.mgr@marriott.com, so that we may have the chance to follow-up and rectify your concerns.

We appreciate your feedback and look forward to more details.

Respectfully,

Ty Collins
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bath, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 10, 2014

We stayed at JW Khaolak for only one week and I missed the place already. It's such a beautiful property with great breakfast. The Staff are awesome and super friendly. They can answer to all your requests. The place is romantic and perfect for couple. would definitely recommend :)

  • Stayed April 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 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 1
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, May 16, 2014
Dear Piyal M,

Thank you for writing a great review about your recent experience in our resort!

It's wonderful to learn you enjoyed such a wonderful stay with us - thank you for your great comments about our breakfast and associates.

We look forward having the opportunity to welcome you back to our 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
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 Spa Hotel in Khao Lak
#3 Business Hotel in Khao Lak
#4 Family Hotel in Khao Lak
#6 Romantic Hotel in Khao Lak
#6 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*
Number of rooms: 297
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 Resort And Spa
Jw Marriott Khao Lak Hotel Khao Lak
Cher Fah Hotel
Cher Fah Resort

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