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.
- 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