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“The biggest pool in south east Asia” 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
Cincinnati, Ohio
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“The biggest pool in south east Asia”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 3, 2011

Well, that's their claim to fame. The pool is pretty great - especially if you have a bottom floor room because many 1st floor rooms have direct access to the pool. The hotel is very quiet - great for a leisurely stay. The service was excellent. The rooms were beautiful. Not a lot of on-site restaurant options, though the hotel offered transporation to town for a small fee and the town was great!

Stayed November 2010, traveled with friends
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1,612 reviews from our community

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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
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Bells, TX
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 30, 2010

By far this is one of my favorite places to visit. Rooms are beautiful and when on the first floor, you can leave your patio for a swim all the way to the beach or just nearby. The pool is quite nice, perfect temperature with a swim up bar, lounge chairs in the shallows as well as on deck and jacuzzi jets you can lay on, in the shallows...

On Christmas Eve we enjoyed an amazing buffet with a variety of goodies that would tempt anybody; then, we attended Christmas Eve mass at a Our Lady of Grace Catholic Church near the resort. Didn't understand a word spoken except "the body of Christ" but enjoyed every second. Orphans from a nearby orphanage acted out the nativity and danced to Christmas carols. Beautiful church, beautiful people, beautiful mass.

Christmas day we experienced the most romantic couples massage ever followed by a hot, spiced, milk jacuzzi bath, under the stars with a champagne flutes of orange juice, some kind of chips and slices of fresh pineapple... Totally romantic. The whole spa area was peaceful and GORGEOUS. We were told Santa Claus would be on the resort Christmas Day but we did not see him. Perhaps he was in the children's area. They presented a lovely lunch grilled and served on the grassy area near the beach.

We took the Elephant trek package; it was nice but did not take us to a waterfall as advertised. The bamboo rafting trip was quite nice. When we return would like to visit the temples and a waterfall. We ended our off-site adventure with a side trip to the Tsunami memorial; it was particularly sobering as they commemorated the 6th year anniversary of that disaster. Many seem to still suffer from painful memories... The village nearby has many nice shops and restaurants.

The Marriott resort staff were all very friendly and helpful. It truly appreciate their efforts on our behalf... and love their nicknames: "Beer", "Giggle"... Loved being able to use the internet while on the beach! Facebook : )

There were many families staying there, all seemed to enjoy the beach and local activities. We plan to bring our family for a visit there.

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 3 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
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Wassenaar, The Netherlands
Senior Contributor
39 reviews 39 reviews
28 hotel reviews
Reviews in 28 cities Reviews in 28 cities
54 helpful votes 54 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 29, 2010

We started our holiday with 5 nights in the JW Marriott in Phuket and after being spoiled for 5 nights settling in the JW Marriott in Khao Lak took a bit of time as it is very different. Initially we felt the place lacked a bit of soul with many parts of the hotel not having a realy "warm atmosphere". The resort however really grew on us and we enourmously enjoyed the wonderful beach, the free kayaks, bodyboards and the genereal beach feel of the beach side of the hotel. The beach was also wonderful for an early evening walk. The breakfast was wonderful and we enjoyed the thai buffet in the Thai restaurant. The Olive restaurant struggled to get everyone served on time but serving staff were trying hard to manage the large volume of people. Food was fine.
Rooms were very pleasant (but we did not like the strong lemon smell when we arrived. May have been the oil burner which we left outside and the smell disappeared.). We loved the large balcony and spend a lot of time relaxing there. We made 2 trips (one to elephants & waterfall and one to similan islands). Booked them both through the hotel and very much enjoyed both trips. One word of caution though - if you travel by speedboat to the islands you may want to take the motionsickness tablets offered at check in as we were all sick when travelling out to the islands which was a real shame. The staff on the speedboat (Seastar company with Way as our tourguide) were however absolutely wonderful looking after us to ensure we were fine depsite not feeling well and made the trip as comfortable as possible. THANKS VERY MUCH WAY - YOU ARE A STAR!!!

There is a new manager in the hotel and he is working very hard with the staff to provide outstanding service and I believe this hotel will go from strength to strength for people to enjoy the beautiful beach of Khao Lak. Thanks to all wonderful staff who made our stay very enjoyable!!
PS internet was free which was a great bonus and we enjoyed the little Xmas gifts left at our room at night time.
PSPS small beach restaurant when you leave the hotel at the beach on your left where wonderful and we enjoyed a very nice lunch there!

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 26, 2010

I say this, as after reading reviews I believed it was. Unfortunately it did not live up to my expectations.
Yes it looks lovely, no doubt about that with a huge pool, which to be honest does not really get used and the bedrooms are spacious well decorated, cosy. But that's as much as I can say about it.
Location is terrible, absolutely nothing there. You can not go anywhere without being charged a ridiculous amount. The Marriott wont even give you a Free shuttle bus they charge you 200 baht one way which is steep, especially for a family of 5. I moved to Bangkok 5 years ago and I can tell you that is expensive. Also be warned with the Marriott pick up as they charge 2800 baht for a car/bus - WAY TOO MUCH . We managed to haggle down to 1400 with the taxis outside Phuket terminal, originally priced 2000 but move around and ask other drivers as they will come down in price. This was for a family of 5. It takes about 1hr and 20 minutes to reach your resort.
The service could be improved around the pool area as they only have one place to pick up your towels which may seem ok but when you have a family of 5 and you have to walk, and walk you do as the resort is large it can be a pain. Basically never really saw any staff around the pool area, while other resorts I've been to are always on hand to offer FREE fruit and ask if you require drinks. This may be minor but as I said, be prepared to walk and then wait for along time for dining as they are not fast.
You have a choice of four restaurants, and that's if they decide to open, as one rainy night only one restaurant was open and it was not the best one. The Italian restaurant has serious issues that they need to correct. The chef and his staff are way tooooooo slow, we had to wait for over 1hr for our dinner and when my husband cut into his chicken it was raw! The staff are slow in coming to your table to order, they looked half asleep most of the time.

TGFBreakfast as this was really good, with plenty of selection from pastries, fruit, bread, smoothies which you could have made fresh to your liking and the manager was very good at making sure his staff was on hand to help on requests. Yay for breakfast.

Beach is pleasant, long though don't expect to see the bottom of the sea bed as it was very sandy so not good for snorkeling, suggest you go on the beach to book your trip to the Similan Islands,. We booked with a company called Fantastic they are based on the left of the beach from the resort, a very nice man called Chan, got the price down to 8000 for family of 5.

Do haggle and don't go with the Marriott as they realllllly charge way toooo much, its a joke, about 3,400 for adult.

The deli is lovely, great service and staff very attentive. You can hire bikes for Free yes I say for FREE and kayaks which are placed on the beach which is one good feature of the resort.

Ideally this is a place for honeymooners or those who have never travelled so far to Asia. It is relaxing, very quiet.

Personally I suggest Surin Beach JW Marriott courtyard as there are far more things to do its a smaller resort not as grand but the beach is great plus there are far more other places to dine out and you can get to Phuket easily by taxi 35 miins. If you want total peace then this is for you but remember you will only have the hotel and it's restaurants and if you are thinking of staying for more than 1 week I think you'll get bored.

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 26, 2010

Most of the advice given about this resort we agree with and so not alot to add apart from the detail, particularly on pricing in and around the resort. Also, our son is 6 years old, and although the resort is probably more suited to couples still has a good kids club geared mainly for kids around his age.

Pricing: (AUD and US) - room service is very cheap, around $25 for our family at dinner, and $20 for lunch, we did not eat at the restaurants however they are about $40-$50 for dinner, and the local restaurants on the beach are at least half this. Spa is a bit pricey but you expect that from this type of resort, we had a 2 hour special for about $120 each (1 hour massage is about $80 - massage outside the resort are about $15 for 1 hour), drinks at the resort are Australian prices, however half price at happy hour. (Spirits are very expensive). Internet is free with several computers. All day island tour is approx $300 including lunch and transport, and snorkling for 2 adults and 1 child.

Resort is very relaxing still good for families, and generally very good service.
Bi Level suite is good size, with our son sleeping on a day bed (single) downstairs and our room and ensuite upstairs.

  • Stayed December 2010, 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
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3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 18, 2010

This was our second stay at the JWM in Khao Lak, the first being not long after it opened. Some things have definitely improved e.g. on our first stay there was no one to welcome us or help with our bags and we had to carry them into the hotel ourselves. This time a friendly porter greeted our car the moment we arrived. Check in was smooth and we were offered a drink while we waited. There are definitely more staff round now, but training still leaves something to be desired in some areas.

According to the guest directory in each room a turndown service is provided each evening. It didn't happen for us on our first stay with any consistency, and the same happened on our 2nd stay. On the 3rd day we mentioned it to Reception and they seemed not to understand what we were talking about, however the next evening a very pleasant member of the housekeeping arrived and turned down the bed and tidied our room.

I agree with the many comments about the hotel and facilities - it is a lovely location with excellent beach front and swimming pools. However I think the sunloungers are the most uncomfortable I have ever experienced - they are simply a very poor design, and we noticed many guests needing extra towels to try to make them comfortable and also several people, ourselves invcluded, making "design modifications" to try to overcome the hard lump that hurts your back.

Breakfast buffet - sorry, but I think it's pretty poor, and has deteriorated since our first stay. Rather unimaginative fruit selection, the fruit juices are not fresh, and twice the food from the cooked area was cold - cold bacon etc. It seemed to be going downhill at quite a rate - serving carrots instead of baked beans with the bacon and sausage I think is a strange one.

Mostly we ate at the beach restaurants - great Thai food, freshly cooked and beatifully served. We especially recommend Mama's Greeting - the last restaurant to the right of the hotel. But on our last evening we decided to eat in Olive, the hotel Mediterranean restaurant. It was a disaster - probably the worst evening we've ever had in a 5 star hotel. We ordered a bottle of wine and our food at 7.30pm. At 9pm we started to enquire about the meal, and when it was eventually served at 9.40 pm it was stone cold. We asked to see the manager, who was very apologetic and handled the situation beautifully. The plates were removed, 2 complimentary glasses of wine were provided (we'd long since finished the bottle we ordered) and a plate of garlic prawns was brought while we awaited the return of our meals. The reheated food returned and we ate it - but it was really unappetising. When the bill arrived the cost of the 2 main courses had been removed and further apologies were offered. We felt great sympathy for the staff - they were doing their absolute best, but clearly being let down badly by the kitchen. And this was at a time when the hotel was very quiet - how will they cope when they are busy? Also, next day we both felt somewhat unwell - possibly caused by eating reheated food, we can't know for certain.

As many reviewers point out, the rooms are very nice, but we were disappointed by the standard of cleanliness and had to ask to have mould cleaned from the bathroom sink and shower. This is really not 5 star standard. I hope they can get the training right as it has potential to be a great holiday destination.

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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London, United Kingdom
15 reviews 15 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
33 helpful votes 33 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 14, 2010

An excellent hotel, with superb rooms, pools and Breakfast - certainly the best choice in the area in my opinion if Khao Lak is your chosen base. It is pretty isolated though and a long way from Khao Lak and civilisation, so bare that in mind. It was ideal for us after a hectic week sightseeing in Northern Thailand! I would recommend they add a shop though for things like magazine's, papers, sun screen etc as we otherwise had to head 15 mins into Khao Lak to find a Seven Eleven. Whilst good, the food and drinks and Spa are stupidly overpriced on site, but the wonderful beach has it's own local options which are far more sensibly priced and a good option. Also - local taxi company's can be charted for 1100 Baht each way to Phuket Airport - I wouldn't pay the hotel 2500 Baht for them to call one for you!

  • Stayed December 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
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
Location: Thailand > Phang Nga Province > Khao Lak
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:
#3 Family Hotel in Khao Lak
#4 Spa Hotel in Khao Lak
#5 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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