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“When it's full, don't go - not the JW experience”

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JW Marriott Phuket Resort & Spa
Ranked #3 of 12 Hotels in Mai Khao
Certificate of Excellence
Shanghai, China
Level Contributor
15 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
“When it's full, don't go - not the JW experience”
Reviewed April 14, 2013

Room - Nice sized room with two double sized beds with plenty of room for our family of 2 adults and 3 small children. We had a garden room that looked out over the garden where they do the circus training. Room 302. Excellent location, as it was close to the lobby, the breakfast room, the Kid's club, and the main pool.

The grounds were nicely maintained, and the whole property seems very spacious. It is on the beach, tho as I understand it, the beach is part of a marine preserve, so the hotel is not allowed to put out beach chairs or serve the beach. So you are pretty much on your own at the beach, but that also meant it wasn't very crowded. The waves are a bit much for the wee ones, but the sand was decent, and the water was warm.

There is a local restaurant just past the Out of the Blue bar, with much better prices on food and beer. The cheapest beer on property, strangely, was the room minibar (100 baht for the small sized beer, compared to 150 at the pool bar). 100 baht buys the super large sized beer (almost twice the smaller beers) at the local restaurant.

The hotel offers a complimentary 2 hrs of bike rental, with kids and adult bikes. They give you a map of the local area, and tell you how to get to the lake that you can ride around. The little kid bikes (with training wheels) were poorly maintained with bald tires and training wheels that weren't attached well - we tried half an hour to get it just right, but in the end, gave up. The adult bikes were well maintained, and they had older kid sized bikes with no training wheels that seemed well maintained as well. I highly recommend the bike ride around the local lake.

The gym was nice as well, tho, with the heat, the AC didn't seem like enough in there. They provide complimentary bottled water at the gym, so no need to bring your own!

The Kids Zone was FANTASTIC! The variety of activities on offer was outstanding, and our kids just loved it there. We had the occasion to book a couple different babysitters for our youngest, as kids younger than 4 require parental supervision while in the Kids club. You also can't leave the premises if you are leaving your children there, unless you get a babysitter. Not all the activities were free, but they weren't outrageously expensive either (about $10-$15 for most, except for the circus/trapeze training, which was more). Still, the kids were never bored, they popped popcorn for the movie time, the art activities were stellar, and the staff was A+. Special thanks to Chayatip, who also served as our babysitter for a full day - our kids LOVED her!

Now on to the bad part - the Pools. First day there, we go out around 10am, and realize we can't get a seat ANYWHERE around the main pool - there are simply not enough chairs to accommodate all the hotel guests when the hotel is full. People start reserving seats around 7am. After we realized this, we started doing the same, and no staff ever did anything about it.

We even tried the North and South pools, and the same thing. I do have to say, the swim up bar at the south pool was a real treat for the kiddos. They loved to go there just to get a smoothie, and the service was good at the bar there. The depth at the North and South pools were a bit deeper, minimum of 1.2 m. So if you have wee ones, unless you are holding onto them, this is not the place for you. The main pool was fantastic for the little ones, as it had varying depths, including very shallow for the youngest. Fountains, slide, etc were interesting enough to entertain the kids for several hours each day.

Just think there should be a lifeguard on duty at each of the pools. But maybe without lifeguards, parents don't get complacent and watch their kids more carefully.

The restaurants were ok food wise, but very expensive for Thailand. The Thai restaurant was really disappointing to me - I love Thai food, but this had nothing exceptional to offer. The Andaman Grill was very very good, but also very very expensive. Our meal for 2 adults was about 8000 baht. Yikes! My steak was very good, but that kind of money will get me an even more stellar meal at Ruths Chris or Mortons in the States.

The breakfast was really disappointing. Pretty much the same thing each day. We were there for 7 days, and by the 3rd day, you just want something else. They may have varied one of the bread baskets, but that was the only change. Variety was pretty sad.

I guess i'm getting more and more perturbed by the exporting of US and European prices at all of these destinations. I'm in Thailand, for goodness sakes! The fleecing of tourists is out of hand, and very much alive here at the JW. I don't mind paying these prices, but the service and quality and overall experience should match. They did not here. I expected more from the JW (given the name), and felt like I paid for a JW but got just a Marriott. This is my second Marriott experience in the space of 2 months, and I have the feeling the brand is declining. I remember my terrific JW experience in Hawaii and was expecting that. This experience was far below expectation.

BTW, there are some local restaurants (we didn't try them) by the entrance of the lake. I'd try those if you don't have real young kiddos with you (hard to get them there).

Also, the Bentleys restaurant at Turtle Village as very good value for money. Very western, good portion sizes, and prices were not as expensive as the JW. Service was a bit sketchy sometimes, but overall good. And free Wifi too. Turtle Village is a short walk, or you can take the shuttle there for free. We walked a few times with our young kids, and it was easily done. Nice ice cream shop there too.

Maiko beach doesn't have alot around it besides resorts, so if you are looking for night life outside of the resorts, this is not the place for you.

Last thing to mention, they pushed our two double beds together, but didn't give us a blanket that covered the whole bed. SO with the aircon on, someone on the bed was cold. They only provided a sheet to cover the whole bed, but not two duvets. We made do and didn't ask, but this is something housekeeping here should have taken care of without needing to be prompted. A blanket to cover the entire bed should be standard protocol.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
7 Thank Sere74
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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London
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed April 13, 2013

This was our our 3rd stay at this hotel and we had booked for 7 days. Our room, the 1 bedroom suite overlooking the sea was fabulous and it comfortably accommodated the four us including our 12 and 9 year old. The room was spacious and the returning balcony and a lovely covered whirlpool from which you can gaze at the sea ahead. Internally it had traditional thai decoration with a large surround sound TV and comfortable beds. The bathroom as expected was large and well fitted out.
The hotel is large with a resort type functionality, ideal for those that would seek for a get way and laze around the beach or pool. The kids club has been renovated since our last stay and the our kids really enjoyed being there.
But if you want to see the rest of the island or venture out to eat then be warned its in middle of nowhere and it will cost a big taxi fare to get to Patong beach for example.
The hotel has 4 restaurants, catering Japanese, Italian and international cusines. The staff at these respective restaurants are very polite and nothing ever seems too much for them. We have managed to get to know a fair few of them and all are most respectiful and happy to see us returning to the hotel. The food is great and the breakfast is fabulous with the variety and quality on offer. But then there is but....the prices...............!!! Everything item was so ridiculously over priced that a simple dinner for 4 not including any alcohol and limted starters would set you back in excess of USD100.00. So when you add 2 meals a day over the cost of the of room, its a painful exercise one you have to pay the bill on your exit. And the fact you are so far from any local restaurants leaves you with no alternatives. Furthermore, with the occupancy running over 90%, with a lot group bookings, i suggest early bookings at the resturants or you're left with room service.
All in all, a great hotel, but very overly priced!! So for the faint hearted be warned!

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
3 Thank Neerave S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
United States
Level Contributor
95 reviews
50 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 59 helpful votes
Reviewed April 13, 2013

We just stayed at JW for Spring break. I read all reviews before we went and a couple of people had written about bad service. We stayed for seven nights and the service was excellent. It is a great place to stay if you want to chill and relax and do not plan on much sight seeing.

Restaurants

The Thai restaurant (Ginja taste) was the best, somewhat well priced and in a great stand along building. The Italian (Cucina) was so so and a little pricy for the food fare. The Marriott Cafe had an excellent buffet breakfast (get room deal w/buffet included). The japanese restaurant Kabuki was very expensive Tappanyaki that was not even as good as Benihana in the USA and the sushi was fine. We live in Japan, so we can be critical of it and I would definitely pass on it. Last the Siam Deli was a great and reasonably priced place for snacks and meals when you want a more casual atmosphere. It has enough variety to go a couple of times.
Out of the blue splash (swim up bar at south pool) had good drinks and the food service at the pool was good for lunch or a light snack between the breakfast buffet and dinner.

Pool situation.
The funny thing about the trip was the what lengths people would go to reserve pool seats at the South Pool (Blue with swim up bar). The pool is for older children and adults and during our stay you had to claim your seats by 7am or you had to go to one of the other pools.

Rooms
We had two rooms for a family of five and they were clean and spacious. Bathrooms were nice and it was priced appropriately.

Kids activities
The kids lounge (club) was great. Clean, updated games and activities and pleasant staff. Good for the kids to unwind. My children also did the trapeze and circus activities (extra cost) and thoroughly enjoyed them.

Definitely get the hotel to pick you up at the airport. Makes arrival less stressful.

Room Tip: If your children are middle school or older you want to be in south part of property near the Blue p...
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
3 Thank workingjapan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hong Kong
Level Contributor
22 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed April 10, 2013

Came here with my sibling's family, although I stayed by myself so I see the hotel both as a solo traveller and as a family trip member.

Location: Quite close to the airport, far from the Phuket town and most decent restaurants.
Service: Excellent, very helpful with tours and restaurant recommendations (took their advice and tried out Lotus Phuket on Bang Tao Beach which was great.)
Food: Passable. Thai foods are just ok, Italian restaurant was ok.
Rooms: No complaints except it's quite a bit of walk from the lobby but it's alright.
Cleanliness: No complaints whatsoever.
Pool: Nice, but always packed. 3 big pools, 1 for kids and the other 2 aren't supervised.
Beach: Great beach that looks clean with soft sands, decent waves, not crowded at all.
Day care: Seemed good.
Kid-friendliness: Great. The staff seemed to love kids and there's crayons and drawing paper at every single restaurant.

The major fault with the hotel is the restaurants' sizes.
Almost all of them, save for a deli-style cafe, need reservations, which is quite frustrating as I couldn't get a table at the Grill even 2 days in advance.
Even during breakfast many people had to wait in line.

All in all this is a great hotel for family trips, not so for solo / couple travellers.

Room Tip: Some rooms require a bit of walking
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
2 Thank CheesyMe
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
9 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed April 10, 2013 via mobile


My boyfriend and I had booked to stay here for 5 nights, having spent some time in Khao Lak's Marriott. The staff were very helpful, and we were quickly shown our room. We immediately went down to the beach/pool area to have a look around, and quickly realised that this hotel was too big, busy, and full of kids to be the relaxing holiday we had hoped for! We immediately looked at trip advisor reviews, and quickly moved to the hotel next door, the Renaissance which is far more suited to couples.

Don't get me wrong, I'm sure this hotel would be great for families with kids (during our 30 min stay we saw the kids club activities, and a circus skills lesson going on, plus the pool was packed full of kids enjoying the fountains etc) but this is definitely not a place for couples looking for a relaxing holiday!! The staff were v helpful in helping us transfer to the other hotel, being very understanding too!

  • Stayed April 2013
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank AliCaunt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
17 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
Reviewed April 9, 2013

This was our second stay at this resort, our first stay being around 2 years ago.

Pick up at the airport had been booked through the hotel directly and was relatively smooth, even though we missed the driver walking through the airport the first time. The drive up to Mai Khao was not overly long and fairly relaxing. Many other resorts have since appeared around this area which even has a mini shopping area (Turtle Shops) - although admittedly we never went to vist this.

Check-in was smooth however no welcome back or upgrade was offered. A simple thank you for staying with us again would have been nice, but did not occur. The walk to the room was reasonably long as this is a large resort, but it was fairly close to the pool which suited us. Breakfast was a hike in the morning however and the selection and standard was not on par with other places in Phuket we have stayed. The Holiday Inn (Patong) provided a better breakfast selection than here.

The room itself was lovely, with nice views of the beach and close to the pools. However we did not spend that much time in the room. The bed was excellent and shower was pretty good but the amenities (shampoo, soap etc) was pretty poor for a hotel of this level. .

The pools and beach are really what make this an excellent spot for families. We would spend hours swimming in the ocean as this was clean and often more refreshing than the pools (although it could be rough at times). The baby elephant was always a hit with the kids and parents alike and the kids club activities were great (kids fishing and circus are highly recomended).

As others have said this resort is far from main areas. It cost us 1000 baht (one-way) to visit Patong and took about an hour, so if you want to visit here regularly be advised it will add up. The trip back can also cost you more depending on whether you can bargain.

However for us the real change we noticed was in the staff, who have always been wonderful and accomodating in the past but this time seemed indifferent or uninterested. When trying to book for restaurants or activities there did not seem to be much help in providing information or alternatives if things were fully booked.

Comparing this resort to similar resorts in Thailand and even Bali, the level of service and finishes that mae this hotel no 1 are no longer apparent. For the price I expected better service and sadly I would not stay here again for the price we paid.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Aussie1000
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bangkok, Thailand
Level Contributor
23 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed April 9, 2013

A lovely, stylish hotel. Staff quietly efficient with great attention to detail, with 2 young boys we often have to duck out the door leaving the room looking like a bomb has hit it and come back to a beautifully tidy room where everything has been thoughtfully put away neatly.

Although the beach isn't that great for kids, the kids swimming area more than makes up for that and our kids didn't want to go anywhere else.

I would say the one let down is the food, breakfast was good and the normal standard and offerings you would expect from this class of hotel but the other times we happened to eat there we were less than impressed. For us though that wasn't an issue as we're Thai and so it was no big deal for us to go out and find some real tasty food, just a bit of a shame for international travellers who might not venture out to only have it as an option.

Apart from that though would recommend it highly for families and a lovely get away.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank JakraS
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about JW Marriott Phuket Resort & Spa

Property: JW Marriott Phuket Resort & Spa
Address: 231 Moo 3 | Talang, Phuket, Mai Khao, Phuket 83110, Thailand
Phone Number:
Location: Thailand > Phuket > Thalang District > Mai Khao
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#1 Business Hotel in Mai Khao
#2 Top resorts Hotel in Mai Khao
#3 Spa Hotel in Mai Khao
#3 Luxury Hotel in Mai Khao
#3 On the Beach Hotel in Mai Khao
#4 Family Hotel in Mai Khao
#5 Romantic Hotel in Mai Khao
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:5 star — JW Marriott Phuket Resort & Spa 5*
Number of rooms: 265
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
JW Marriott Phuket Resort & Spa is set in lush tropical gardens, with 17 kms of natural beachfront. Fifteen minutes north of the airport, our Phuket resort's grounds comprise 265 spacious rooms including 13 suites, all facing towards the Andaman Sea. Facilities include eleven restaurants and bars, Thai cooking school, three magnificent pools, full-service Mandara Spa, on-site turtle shelter, shopping arcade, activities-packed kids club including on-site turtle shelter. The fitness center includes two tennis courts, yoga sala. Golf available nearby. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Jw Marriott Phuket Hotel Mai Khao
Jw Marriott Phuket Resort And Spa
Jw Marriott Mai Khao
Marriott Phuket
Phuket Marriott
JW Marriott Phuket Resort & Spa Mai Khao

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