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“A wonderful stay at a great resort with a promising future!” 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 60 hotels in Khao Lak
Suzhou
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
17 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
37 helpful votes 37 helpful votes
“A wonderful stay at a great resort with a promising future!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 9, 2010

Yes, this is a new hotel and yes there were some simple issues to be worked out but I would rather start with the positive. It was stunningly gorgeous, amazing pool, beautiful room, huge tv, nice bathroom, great gym/workout area. For the price, you simply can't go wrong. How many JW Marriotts are in this price range around the world? We traveled with a 3 month old and spent 90% of our time at the resort as a result. The location was a bit isolated as others will mention.

We were upgraded to a family suite. Truthfully, there was not much difference in a family suite and a regular room, it was just a little longer and had two Thail day beds. One I used for laying out clothes, the other I used to change diapers. Unless you need the daybeds for kids, don't waste your money paying for an upgrade.

I used the babysitting services and wanted to bill it to the room since I had a limited amount of cash however was requested on several occasions to pay them cash. I can only assume it was off the books. Considering these people were going to watch my infant that made me a little nervous. I probably should have given them better instructions since they tried to give my 3 month old baby juice! It all worked out in the end.

I had a pool access room and it was really difficult to get in and out. I found I would get in from my room and then get out at an official ramp. This way I could grab one of the fantastic soft towels. The only negative with that was the super duper hot ground walking back to the room. It would be nice if they improved this.

If you go with a stroller be prepared for tons of steps. One step up, two steps down, two steps up, four steps down, 5 steps up, one step down and on and on. The staff will help you when needed, but just be prepared. Probably close to impossible with a wheelchair.

The staff couldn't have been any more friendly, however there were some bouts of cluelessness. The concierge was borderline useless. I booked a scuba trip with the office, when to the shop the night before I was scheduled to go to find out there was no reservation?? It's a learning process, but certainly not what I would have expected from a 5 star hotel. I am sure they will get better. The food outlets had the best servers that would help watch my fussy baby and let us get a meal in peace. There were some other comments about poor English, catering to Germans/Russians, I didn't find this to be true. English was the common language and although it was not perfect it was fine.

The food was just OK. I am sure some will rave about it. Personally, I would have liked some more chicken dishes. I liked the grill the best. I tried everywhere at least once and kept returning back to the grill. Great sandwiches and great waitstaff. Breakfast was good, not fantastic, but with the low occupancy I can understand why it was thin.

The gym equipment was top of the line, however it was quite small. I was the only person in the gym each time I went so it wasn't a big deal. If you ever need to get some extra bottles of water you can go to the gym and swipe some there.

I used the car service to pick us it. It was a brand new van and cost around $80US each way. It was worth it since we had a TON of stuff including my husband bicycle. I requested a car seat (which I was told they had) and they showed up with a booster seat more suited for a 3-5 year old. Needless to say, that didn't work and I had to hold the baby. On the return trip they provided me with a better, more suitable car seat. Be careful to be specific if you need a car seat.

If you are Marriott Gold then this is the place for you. You will receive a ton of discounts and freebies. We were there for 10 days and probably received more than $500 in drinks, discounted food, and the spa (which was amazing). We could have probably upped it to $1000 if my baby was on formula! That being said, the alcoholic drinks are expensive!!!

I just checked marriott.com and saw the rate is $100 a night. So, I reserved it again for May. Obviously I must have liked it a lot if I am willing to go back.

  • Stayed January 2010, traveled with family
    • 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
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    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 (466)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Danish first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Korean first
  • Polish first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Thai first
  • Turkish first
  • Any
English first
Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
13 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 7, 2010

Located abt one hour drive from phuket airport, the hotel is a paradise away from the crowded beaches of Phuket. The hotel is tastefully designed in Thaistyle architecture but with Italian interior decor. We got a room with poolside access. Despite the poolside access each veranda facing access to the pool is secluded with lush greeneries to afford privacy. And the pool is huge with waterways. Our room comes with large 42 inch screen, big king size bed, huge bath tub and separate shower and toilet area. The veranda is big with 2 comfortable loungers. Spent a lot of time there reading a book while listening to the sound from the water fountain. Hotel has its own exclusive beach area with its own high class chairs and umbrellas. The towel boy will even serve you ice cold water and cold watermelon free. It also have a canoe and some surf boards for guests use. You can play volleyball too. The hotel also has a kids club where you can leave yr kids for 4 hours. The hotel has a Japanese, italian, thai restaurant in addition to the coffee house. Food price is reasonable considering it is 5 star hotel. Breakfast is good with plenty of fruits, pastries, cheeses and hot food. It is truly a luxurious hotel with great beach and facilities.

  • Stayed February 2010, traveled with family
    • 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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London
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 6, 2010 via mobile

No need to look anywhere else, you've found paradise!

This is a simply stunning resort...beautiful Thai Villas all
based around a never ending lagoon pool and right on the beach.

If you can, opt for a pool access room so you can step from your balcony into the pool and swim away your woes!

Excellent 5 star service, 4 restaurants to choose from and be prepared to be pampered throughout the day on the private beach. The resort is very isolated as it's about 15 minutes from town but this makes for some real serenity as there's not really anyone else around to bother you on the beach. If you do want to head into town for a bit more life and soul, it's 300 THB for a taxi and it's a nice place with lots of restaurants and bars to choose from.

I can't wait to return to this hotel, I work in the industry and it's simply one of the most stunning resorts I've seen...not to be missed!

  • Stayed February 2010
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Here and there
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 3, 2010

Fantastic newly finished hotel. Rooms well appointed and comfortable. The fusion of newly planted gardens and the largest interconnected pool system I have seen is fantastic. Food great and reasonably priced. Drinks unfortunately as usual, over priced. Usual selfish stupidity of reserving sun loungers with towels before breakfast. If vacant I just assume possession now ! Much of the time however we used the little sunlounger corners dispersed around the pool areas. Beach is long and unspoiled. We ate quite often at the various little beach restaurants adjacent to the hotel. They serve excellent fresh local food pretty cheaply but adjusted of course for us farangs ! A nice selection of day trip actvities can be organised in Bang Niang, Khao Lak or through Mr Cha on in the Fha Mai next door to the hotel.

  • Stayed February 2010, 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
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
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London
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 22, 2010

Stayed for a week at the JW Marriott Khao Lak. Having stayed in Khao Lak pre Tsunami a couple of times in the 90's it was nice to be back, but of course it's much more developed now then it was in the 90's.

The JW Marriott is lovely, but it's only really just opened, the staff have a lot to learn about handling such a premium resort, and the hotel has a lot of teething issues to be ironed out. The room had a terrible problem with a noisy air conditioner that took two days to sort out. Only after finding the hotel manager and threatening to leave did things get fixed immediately. It's always a sign that things aren't going smoothly when it's a constant battle with the staff to get things fixed for ages and then suddenly the manager intervenes and it's fixed straight away.

Unfortunately if you've got a English speaking child, Khao Lak is not really the place to stay because it's pretty much 80% German and Russians. The resorts there do need to do more to attract English speaking tourists, or it will always been seen as a Euro resort, and that makes it hard to get a wider audience in.

But aside from several technical issues - like the most mind boggling complicated room lighting system that is kind of fun to figure out, but incredibly unnecessary - the resort has a lot of potential. Given another year, a wider clientele from UK, US etc, and a few sharp changes with the front desk staff, this resort has got a good future. Would definitely consider staying again in a year or so.

  • Stayed January 2010, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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singapore
Senior Contributor
41 reviews 41 reviews
31 hotel reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 16, 2010

My wife and I stayed in the JW Marriott Khao Lak over the Chinese New year just to get away from the Phuket crowds and we were not disappointed. The resort was new, well equipped and very very comfortable. The bed is one of the most comfy ever and we have stayed in top hotels the world over. The breakfast was excellent too. The most outstanding part of this resort were the service staff...they were unfailingly polite and helpful...esp Eje a Turkish lady who took great pride in the hotel! I was stung by some jellyfish in the sea but the hotel staff were attentive and knowledgeable in dealing promptly with it.
Eating in the seaside seafood shacks on the beachfront outside the hotel was wonderful...picture this...good food, a coconut, cold beer, and a sunset to die for....all at reasonable prices...
The only downside would be the lack of a hotel shuttle to Khao Lak town centre and we had to call for cabs each time...maybe they will attend to this in due course.
So overall, a highly positive experience that we would recommend highly.

  • Stayed February 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 4 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 2
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Orem, Utah
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
38 helpful votes 38 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 9, 2010

We thoroughly enjoyed our stay at the J.W. Marriott in Khao Lak. The service was exceptional, the amenities were first rate, and the rooms were comfortable and tastefully decorated. I especially appreciated the ample storage space in our hotel room, which made for a clutter-free stay, despite the presence of 3 sets of full scuba gear, all of our luggage, and an extra rollaway bed.

This hotel is brand new. Staff reported to me that it only opened last November (2009), and there is still light construction ongoing in many areas of the hotel. Note that we NEVER HEARD ANY CONSTRUCTION NOISE, and the only noteworthy difference it made was that a few paths and bridges were blocked off while they laid tile, painted trim, etc. I kept commenting to my friends, "Man, this place is going to be beautiful when it's finished!", to which they would reply, "What are you talking about?! It's beautiful now!"

As of our stay (February 2010), there were still wings of the hotel that were not opened yet, as evidenced by the still-plastic-wrapped mattresses that could be seen in many of the rooms. I could be wrong, but I think we were the first people to ever stay in our particular room. Our requested room type was not available, so they bumped us up to a higher class poolside room. Evidently, they had to rush to get it ready for us, as when we initially arrived in our room, there was still evidence of recent construction activity, and the room was missing its garbage cans. The vegetation and landscaping are obviously rather young and new, but certainly will fill out in the coming months and years. I was impressed by the sheer number of orchids incorporated into the landscaping. An orchid nursery was incorporated into the landscaping just outside our hotel room door.

Our room had a balcony that led directly to one of the many pools at the hotel. The pools at the hotel are extensive, lacing through the property in seemingly endless rivers and pools of water. A wide range of water features in the pool area spice things up, including a sand pool, water slide for children, jetted lounge chairs built into the pool, swim-up bars, etc. I estimate that we could have started at our room and swam for more than a mile without encountering the same section of pool twice, and without having to leave the water to get to the next pool.

For activities, the hotel has thought of everything. Outside, you'll find artificial grass tennis courts, bocci, beach volleyball, umbrella-covered lounge chairs, and one of the nicest, most serene beaches you'll ever see. A huge staff ensured that the beach met the varied needs of the guests. Some were running the games (making sure people had a good time, had someone to play with, etc.), while other attentive staff stocked the giant, soft pool towels, delivered ice water, repositioned beach chairs, swept the walkways (an unending job!), etc.

Inside the hotel, you'll discover mah jongg tables, squash courts, more than one play area for children (including a ball pit, slides, etc.), dominos, board games, chess sets, etc. The exercise room was state-of-the-art, with personal lcd-tv's on the treadmills and all the trimmings. We didn't use the spa (the ones in town are 1/5th the cost), but the spa area was beautiful as well. I'm sure I've only mentioned a small fraction of the activities, as we personally didn't spend much time at the hotel. (We were too busy capturing once-in-a-lifetime memories diving with manta rays in the Similan Islands.)

I have just two complaints about the hotel. The first was the gravel road leading up to the hotel. As I said, this is a brand new hotel, so they are still working out some of the kinks. One major kink is that the government has not paved one section of the road leading to the hotel. Word on the street is that they have approval and funding, and that it will be completed sometime this year. In the mean time, however, it means that you'll pay more for cabs into and back from town (they don't like tearing up their cars on the dirt road), and if you take one of the song thaew's (popular cabs - pickup trucks converted into people movers - used by many of the dive operators and for getting back from town), you'll end up breathing a bit of dust on the way in to and out of the resort. We found that tipping the cabbies a bit more than the expected fare went a long way in getting reluctant car-cab drivers to take us back to the hotel night after night, thereby avoiding the less expensive, but more willing, song thaew cabs.

My only other nitpicky complaint is that, while the designer dual-sink in the bathroom is beautiful, it isn't terribly functional when a drain plug is needed. Due to the sink design, it is virtually impossible to plug the drain, and the bathtub is just too enormous to be very practical. This is great if you're bathing, bad if you need a small sinkful of water to wash that last pair of underwear for the trip home (hey, it's happened to you, too, hasn't it???).

All in all, we couldn't have had a more enjoyable stay. Over the years, I've stayed in some of the top hotels in the world. While this one won't quite make the "best of the best" list this year, I won't be surprised to see it listed as a top hotel next year and for many years to come. In the mean time, you can still stay at this beautifully luxurious hotel while the prices are still reasonable and the beach chairs are empty. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did!

  • Stayed February 2010, 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 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member 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 Spa Hotel in Khao Lak
#4 Romantic 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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