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JW Marriott Phuket Resort & Spa
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Reviews (4,532)
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2,735 - 2,740 of 4,532 reviews
Reviewed April 1, 2013

VERY BUSY RESORT! I agree with last 2 reviews. We stayed March 24-27th. Travelling with grandma and Mr 5 checkin smooth and found the initial hospitality excellant that soon faded although staff were consistantly friendly throughout our stay I think they were getting tired and it showed from having a "full house". We have experienced 5 star hotels before and this was NOT IT. Another family with small kids recommended kids club here thats WHY we booked and we were not disappointed it was FANTASTIC staff were happy caring and considerate facilities were clean and suitable for age groups as specified and we felt for the first time ever in a different country if we left mr 5 here alone he would be safe and cared for. NEGATIVES/POSITIVES IN NO PARTICULAR ORDER:This resort is full of ambience however at the time we stayed it was a full house conventions AND holiday makers families and older couples making this experience for us not as relaxing as it should of been due to poor hotel managment. First day we went down to the pools which in my opinion are SMALL and not well designed throw in a lack of maintenance and well you have average amenties. There is a lack of space SHADE and staff.You could see the the sunscreen floating on the top due to over use, the kids pool complete with supervised waterslide whilst a great concept needed some maintenance as rock areas were taped off due to safety???All the pool areas are lacking. There is nowhere near enough space/seating to accomodate the sheer amount of guests that were present at the start of our trip and it ended the same way! This meant you either had to get to the pool by 7am (!) or do laps of the pool areas to find a seat as a busy mum this was unacceptable to me being I was supposed to be on holiday.Food average - food service by the pool was well under par sadly! We learnt quickly if you wanted "pool service" you had to go upto the bar to order and then a simple salad and thai noodle salad can of beer and choccy milkshake took 1 hour and 40 mins to be delivered poolside! By then it was 3pm and were disappointed! It was quicker to go to the deli and get it yourself but not cheaper?! This was on our first day! We did make another attempt and ordered pool side on our last day it was the same and they forgot part of our order the main item our pizza (after waiting 2 hours) dont order by the pool it will leave you hungry and for the prices they charge it will make you very cranky! What a huge disapointment. Not a great hotel for romance or solo travellers due to noise and crowds. On the other hand we found our room as pictured in the reviews clean well maintained just gorgeous and minibar well stocked - with a divan set up for mr 5 which he thought was fantastic and it was comfortable although perhaps not applicable for any other kids over say 7 due to size length of divan I would ask for a fold out bed. No power on the last day ( Phuket Powers fault not resort)meant the hotel pool area was like an inner city railway station full of people EVERYWHERE and not at all pleasant.The resort managment remained non fussed what can they do? Perhaps throw in a free coffee/lunch to settle the cranky guests mmm the mind boggles who IS running this hotel? THE SPA was TRANQUIL ($200AUS for a 1 hour body scrub and 1 hour massage with take home product) it was WORTH IT!!! ABSOLUTELY DIVINE as a well travelled member of the beauty industry I can say the staff are well trained and their product line was high quality. Thailand does have some fabulous spas (and for those SPAS you do pay for)and this property houses one of them.10 POINTS for the SPA its soothing tranquil environment was a relaxing retreat from this busy resort! So was the ladies/ men only jacuzzi sauna and splash pool facilities in the change rooms at the resorts free fitness also club 10 POINTS fantastic facilities and great staff! We found that everything was overcrowded restaurants pool area and the kids clubs but the kids seemed to cope well and were all well behaved.The adult guests well... thats another story! Kids club was a great place to escape the heat between 2 - 4 each day as you cant do much else the resort is segregated and away from town. Hubby and I took turns to stay with mr 5 in KIDS CLUB and so we observed the daily activities and felt assured by the last day to leave him there for a few hours on his own.Lots of families utilised this facility it was overcrowded just like the rest of the resort but the kids club staff coped very well with the children and seemed to genuinely enjoy their job.Food was good but not 5 stars. Id say you could get more bang for your buck elsewhere. If you want a great kids club/spa/fitness centre then this is the place for you! We did circus school fishing candle making and much more activities you do have to pay extra and it worked out to be $10AUS for each "special class" but our son loved it and it kept him occupied and mixing with other kids. The kids club have Wii playstation and arts and crafts section a movie theatre room and lots of games toys etc they even had a disco night which was great fun even for us! KIDS CLUB was definately a highlight for us.A baby elephant did its daily walk through the beach trail poolside each day which although I dont agree with wild animals being trained it was a unique experience for me to be "up close and pesonal with nature"and to touch a real elephant who was extremely dosile definately a highlight. Look what can I say? If youve got kids love to work out and enjoy a massage AND you have deep pockets you will appreciate that this hotel caters for families with a genuine intention relaxation.. you can leave the kids and have some couple time/quiet time by the pool (if you can get a seat)or in the SPA/FITNESS centre. I genuinely believe this hotel trys hard but for me it was NOT GOOD BUSINESS to cram that many people into that little space and this property is large! What were they thinking? Id stay again but off season and pray that no one else is doing the same! Average experience however this hotel has the potential with the right management (dont over book yourselves and burn out your staff (!) hey this is The Land Of Smiles we are talking about whats going on guys??JW team = underpar!) As a family the SPA/fitness/kids club facilities CAN AND DO make your holiday here regardless! This JW can do alot better than what it is currently giving its guests.Buy on sale dont pay full price as currently not worth $420AUS per night ion current value being given!

Room Tip: If travelling with small kids ask for a room right near an elevator for pram access otherwise it will be a drama you can do without.Do take your runners and workout - great facilities and Parents if the family is making you crazy escape to the jacuzzi in the separate sex change rooms at the fitness club for some quiet time sauna jacuzzi plunge pool - all free of charge its a little secret escape!!
  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled with family
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2  Thank McGorgey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 31, 2013

Ok, to be fair this is a review written at the halfway point of our stay....but it is our second stay so we've got three weeks of experience here...I think that's enough to justify an objective review, don't you? I may be slightly strong in my wording though because I haven't had a good nights sleep since I got here. I'm pretty sure the mattress is made out of concrete.

The limo didn't show up as expected to pick us up from the other hotel we were staying at, but we had already checked out so we sat around with our luggage in the hotel lobby waiting. That was fun. For half the price we could have taken a nice Mercedes from the hotel we were moving from but chose to use JW's service because of the reliability factor. That backfired. The driver didn't say a single word to us either...not even hello, never mind an apology for leaving us high and dry.

We don't know at this point what we will be charged for that pickup, but given the rest of our experience here I'm sure it will be overpriced with an automatic tip built in, like it has been for everything here. I will provide an update on this after we check out. I will probably have time to update the review while I'm waiting for the driver to not show up again to take me to the airport.

Speaking of tipping, I would rather spend more and tip what I believe people have earned than be automatically charged a tip on every single transaction and in return get medium quality service in a premium priced hotel. I'm really doubting the value here.

Just one example of this is during the buffet breakfast I have to flag down a busboy just to get coffee, (or go and get it myself)...that is not what busboys are for, it's a waiter/waitress role to ensure you have everything you need. With them though its hit and miss...some are on the ball and awesome, some just don't seem to understand what their job is. Bring coffee and juice, then point out the buffet, and bring more coffee and juice if necessary, then drop a bill for $25.00 ++ per person on the table. It certainly seems simple but apparently it must be a lot more complicated than I'm thinking it is.

Tonight at dinner, our red wine was so warm when served we had to ask for an ice bucket, which they placed out of reach. Of course they weren't on the ball enough to refill our glasses so we had to stand up to pour more ourselves. After seeing us do that they rushed over and added about a half an inch into one of our glasses. I feel bad that our needs may have interrupted their break.

Speaking of wine, expect to pay $50 minimum for the worst bottle they have...it's an Asia thing though, not just this hotel. But still, expect to pay an arm and a leg for wine.

I had a beautiful veal dish tonight at Cucinos the Italian restaurant in the hotel. Based on the menu I expected it to come with gnocchi, because it said it was served with gnocchi. I swear it was a piece of bread in the bottom of the plate. It looked like bread. It tasted like bread. Because it had no resemblance to any gnocchi I've ever seen I asked my wife to try it and she agreed...seemed like it was probably bread. We asked the waitress about it and she showed us the menu like we were idiots....seriously, I would have bet the entire cost of the meal that this was nothing more than a random piece of bread that accidentally fell into my plate. Perhaps it would have been more convincing that it actually was gnocchi had my wife not ordered gnocchi herself and we could clearly see that what she had was definitely a plate full of gnocchi and not a plate full of bread, and what i had was....well, what looked and tasted like a completely different food product. So clearly that was our misunderstanding. Apparently you can have gnocchi that looks and tastes like gnocchi, and quite good gnocchi by the way, and you can also have gnocchi that looks and tastes exactly like the bread that is served in a basket on the table. Even the same size and shape. I should thank the JW for teaching me something new about gnocchi that I've never run across in the past fifty years. Like I said though, the veal part of the dish was delicious....assuming it was in fact veal and not a bowl of oatmeal.

We also ate at Andamans the steak house. One of the less expensive dishes was an 8oz tenderloin. At home in Canada or the US in a really nice steakhouse for a truly premium cut of beef, this might be $45, tops. That's like Morton's or Ruth's Chris prices. This meat was average...what I would expect to pay $20-$25 for. It was nearly $70 and sides were extra. Unbelievable.

I could go on but you get the idea. My rating reflects the poor value for money. The JW is charging top of the line prices for medium quality services and products. Very disappointing. I certainly don't mind paying for five star which is why we came here in the first place, but I expect to get a five star level for the five star price I'm paying. In this case, I'm certainly not.

I will say there are pool boys bringing ice water around the pool every 30 minutes, but with all those bikinis everywhere I wouldn't be surprised if they were rich kids paying the hotel to have that job. The front desk staff are awesome. They were apologetic about the car that was sent to pick us up not showing up on time, they accommodated a room request to be closer to our next room (we're upgrading to a top-line ocean front suite for the last five days) To make our move easier, and they noted from my passport that our checkin date happened to be my birthday and they sent a little cake to the room. Thoughtful. That is great customer service! The maid service has been amazing, and the grounds are beautiful. So definitely some good points to mention.

But there are telltale signs everywhere that this is not a five star resort and should not be charging five star prices. Tonight at dinner I took a picture of a lamp that was over our table because it was SO disgusting nobody would believe it if I just explained it. I will try to add the photo here later but i cant seem to do it while i create this review. You know how bugs and such collect on the bottom of a lampshade when it's not cleaned for a while....well, you could almost not see through the bottom of this one there was so much "debris" in it. Directly over our dinner table. How this could have gone unnoticed is beyond comprehension. More likely many have noticed but nobody accountable took action. The infestation must have been months if not years in the making.

Reservations are a royal pain here....on our first day here I tried to book for the next four nights in a row and I didn't get a single one of my preferred choices for dinner at the time that I wanted in the restaurant of my choice. Tonight was 95 degrees and muggy and we had an outside table reserved so we asked if we could switch our table and sit inside and we were told no, everything is booked up. We were there underneath the bug infested lamp for an hour and a half and the restaurant had a dozen empty tables the whole time. There is a lengthy lineup and wait for breakfast but the restaurants are half empty at night when reservations are required? It doesn't make any sense to me how that works. Clearly it doesn't.

So we're less than halfway through our stay here and already I feel huge disappointment because of all the issues and the costs. It really disappoints me to pay for and expect premium level services and accommodations and find mediocrity at virtually every encounter. And by the way, my wife who booked all of this is a platinum member at Marriott. I can only imagine the experience someone without "privileges" gets.

Around the pool there are signs posted saying you can't reserve a lounge chair and if you leave it unattended for more than 45 minutes the staff can remove your belongings and make it available for somebody else. I love this rule except nobody pays attention to it. We've learned that if we get to the pool before 7:00 am, we can have our choice of any second tier seat we want, but all of the first tier seats have a towel and magazine on them, and nobody shows up for hours. I am starting to think they go down the night before and put their stuff on it.

We flew halfway around the world for this. Frankly for 50% of the cost we could have gone just about anywhere else and gotten as much value. Interestingly I was equally disappointed with the JW in Cancun and we've stayed there multiple times too. Mr. Marriott, I urge you to travel incognito to some of your hotels and see what it's like to be a regular guest paying premium amounts and I guarantee you wouldn't be satisfied. I guess your business is making a lot of money so in the end it really doesn't matter, right? I think this experience convinced me that the top of the line JW Marriott brand just isn't up to the task anymore.

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled as a couple
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7  Thank JimLMarkham_On
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 26, 2013

I'm used to stellar service at JW. This stay unfortunately didn't come close to stellar. I stayed here during the Easter/spring break week and it was packed. There weren't any lounge chairs available if you didn't get to the pool by 7:30 am. The breakfast was a large spread but the food was mediocre. I stayed at Marriott in BKK and the food there was absolutely delicious. This spread was very run of the mill and was probably set up to cater to the American/Australian/British families. The beach is on a marine preserve so you cannot lounge on a chair on the sand. However you can take towels and set up a spot by the beach - there's no shady areas or drink service at the beach. Beach is clean and quiet which is great. There are several eating joints at the resort - Italian, Thai etc. the ambiance is great but again the food wasn't good and I might add - 3x the cost compared to anywhere in Thailand including BKK (coconut water is 30-40Bath in a tourist area and its 120Bahth at this resort).
They have 4 concierges working from 6am -7pm. They are pretty useless. If you need a standard tour, they have all the info and brochures. Anything beyond that -you will be wasting your time. (And I have platinum status) Every other JW I've stayed at the concierge is your best source for info and will make your stay amazing.
If you are looking for a place to chill and have your kids enjoy the pool, the beach and have access to fries/pizza/soda - this is the place for you.
If you want to experience Phuket, enjoy the sea life while having some quiet zen time at your hotel - this is not the place.

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled solo
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9  Thank QTPie314
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 26, 2013

What a huge disappointment. We went for a family package as the hotel is promoting themselves as a new family resort. First, there are no family style rooms, so basically we paid extra for this package for the same garden room with a duvet thrown on the floor for the kids. The package also included family activity and entrance into kids club, well on the first day we discover the entrance is free without the package anyway, plus most of the activities are not included. What a ripe off. I hate feeling like I'm up charged for every little thing which is why I decided to try a package but it was pointless, and very misleading. The only benefit would have been that kids ate free, but only off kids menu with adults, and not breakfast ( already included with adults per booking breakfast) however, noone knew about it so I had to constantly go back to the front desk so they could call down to the restaurant to explain that my kids were suppose to get to order a free meal. I don't particularly care to spend 20min at the front dek in the middle of eating with my family. Plus, it would not even be close to the extra charge.
The staff here has been poorly trained, no one knows what is going on and they keep pointing us in a different direction. We booked a family activity (extra fee, not included) only to show up and not be signed in, so we rebooked for the next day&, noting that "booking" was your name written on a small piece of scrap paper that was stuck on a messy desk in the kids club.
This hotel simply is not laid out well for a young family. All walkways have stairs, including the main pool which is surrounded by stairs, so that one side is not even accessible to sit next to, which makes for moving about the hotel difficult with a stroller. The small area next to the kids pool doesn't have enough chairs to be able to sit and watch your kids.
In regards to the grounds, there are several large stagnant pools of water, so it is no surprise the resort is FULL of mosquitoes. The first night we killed 20+ mosquitoes in the bathroom and my baby woke up with bites all over her head and face. There is also a trail of ants in our room that we have asked them to spray for several times. We are keeping all our snacks and baby food in the bathtub!
I understand that the hotel is fully booked, but if you fill a hotel you should have an acceptable amount of trained staff and amenities to support that size of crowd. There is simply not enough chairs at the pool, service waiters, tables at the restaurants (many of which are booked for private events through the week.) also, this hotel could be anywhere, there's not much Thai style, or even beach access. I really expected beach chairs at the very least. I know they cannot put chairs out near the water but the lawn area where you could at least here the waves would be nice.

I know it is out of their control, but the power to the hotel was out from about 530am til 130pm today, it was pretty miserable to wake up in a hot room, eat breakfast in a hot restaurant and fight over poolside chairs with hundreds of other hot people.

We never complain about service or hotels, I am a big believer in you get what you pay for but that is definitely far from our experience here. I expect much more from a Marriott much less a JW for over $350/ night. That is one of the reasons we usually chose Marriott because everywhere you go in the world you know what to expect. I'm just very disappointed, on my anniversary no less!

Room Tip: Go for a Terrace rm
  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled with family
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4  Thank 5ontheg0
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 25, 2013 via mobile

1st time to Thailand and stayed at this large hotel right next to the beach. Although large it's spread over a wide area making it feel relaxed & luxurious. 3 different pools make it easy to chill and enjoy the glorious sunshine. it was our first time in Thailiand and it lived up to its nickname of the "Land of Smiles". The service was excellent and the staff could not have been more welcoming. We had a fabulous holiday and loved it. Thank you

  • Stayed: March 2013
    • Value
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3  Thank BruceHM
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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