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JW Marriott Khao Lak Resort & Spa
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Reviewed November 14, 2012

Not being a fan of the 'big brand' resorts after disappointments in Phuket at Hilton, Westin and JW Marriot, this was a stay approached with some trepidation.

But from the start the property has the air of sound management and high maintenance.
As with any not-brand-new resort, a fastidious reviewer could find chipped woodwork and cracks in marble floors but here it's a surprise rather than an annoyance when it's noticed.

The grounds and general upkeep is of a high standard. They're very proud of their lagoon-style pool in which one can apparently manage an unbroken 3km swim in.

Beach is expansive as the breakfast buffet.

If you don't want to stump up for hotel restaurant prices there are local places right on the beach and right outside the main entrance.

There are great deals to be had and even if one can't be found, it's still worth a visit if you're looking for a one-stop location (bearing in mind it's just outside Phuket and there's not much in taxi distance if you're counting on any alternative nightlife options).

Unlike the sister property in Phuket, there's nothing bad to mention.
One day a dead dog washed up on the beach - that's the best I can do...

Never thought I'd be saying this of a big-name/corporate resort, but I'd be happy to be back..

Room Tip: Rooms are either pool access or not - we chose not so as not to worry about prying eyes (or unwitting exposure) but there's really no concern. Those who choose with can select with or without a glass barrier to stop younger ones' inadvertent pool access.
  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank DomPerignon02
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 14, 2012

Firstly let me say to find fault here is really a first world problem! The pluses. The pools just keep going. If you like swimming laps how about 200 m stretches and you have a choice! The gym and associated activities almost professionally stand alone. You couldn't want for anymore. The breakfast is great and the view uplifting, you feel almost on the beach but you are in air conditioned comfort. The service all round exemplary from every position and staff member. Our room was beautifully presented, Thai style and yes we had direct pool access. Absolutely worth it. Restaurants were top rate. The grounds and gardens beautifully kept. Departure lounge great for waiting in when you have a late night flight. WIFI in room good. The Spa brilliant and a class above everything else. The location is perfect for us as we hire a scooter for the week and love the beach on this side best. We are approaching 60 and feel perfectly safe on one (and feel energised by it!). Part of our philosophy of travelling like the locals do.

The minuses - again pedantic, but here goes. Pillows were musty, probably weren't aired out enough. We tolerated and ok after 2 days. Glass door on toilet just doesn't make sense. Water in shower not very hot. Good luck if you can work out how to dial Reception. Restaurant prices excessive. Pillows mushy. One cockroach sharing shower. TV reception ordinary. Had to log in on WIFI each time you used it. They included a charity donation on your bill which we would have done anyway but it would have been nice to have been asked. They let a rude European work out in speedos only in the gym until I complained. Not really the fault of the staff as they were bullied but really poor form from the superior old geezer!
Overall however it was a great experience and we will stay there again. Not just for the pool but for the friendly staff especially.

Room Tip: Make sure the room has been aired out. Get the pool access rooms. Look for packages - ours had brekky every day upgrade, transfer, one meal for 6 days. We had 3023 which was ideally located.
  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank VFrequentTravellers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 13, 2012

Great service and nice pool. Very relaxing ambience with good rrestaurants. The beach is clean but seawater is murky. Definitely not for snorkeling activities and waters ports. However Similan is about an hour away
by boat for diving and snorkeling enthusiasts. Overall a good resort.

  • Stayed: November 2012
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1  Thank bt63
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 12, 2012

My husband and I stayed for 4 nights from the 5th of November and wish it was longer.
Resort has the most amazing pools, connected by river type channels so you could swim the 3km if you wish. The resort is large but very private also. During the day we felt the resort was quiet, the breakfast was the busy time, when we noticed the other guests, but not too busy. Plenty of selection on the buffet, everything you could want for breakfast. Smoothies (made fresh), egg station, bakery items, cereals, cheeses, meats, salads, yum-cha selections, asian noodles, rice dishes, sushi, fresh fruits, tea and coffee served fresh to your table. Beautiful!
We ate dinner the first night room service as it was quite late, about 1030pm. Food came quickly and very fresh, green chicken curry and pad-thai.
We then ate in town the other nights (100BHT shuttle in per person via hotel, or 300BHT for 6-8 people in tuktuk).
Also ate lunches at the little beach shack restaurants (Blue Mist etc) and the food was excellent and cheap. For lunch with a curry and beer about AUST$5-6 per person.
Massages on beach great with ocean in background!
Beautiful private beach at JW where the staff bring you ice cold water and fruit. They also bring an elephant in twice a week and you can feed him bananas.
We loved it so much we will be back, this time with our kids and our parents...in 4 months time yay

  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Jetmel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 10, 2012

Staff brilliant, room lovely, bed lovely, beach lovely, service faultless, but it was just missing some ambience...maybe it was because we were there out of the main season (literally the main season was starting the weekend we were leaving), but there was just something lacking - things I'd like to comment on are the pool rooms... we had a pool view room on the second floor with an outside seating area (which would probably be lovely if the seats were cleaned and not damp)..obviously they had rain then lovely sunshine but the seats were stained with what I assume was paint and smelled musty..so we didn't actually use this area at all... the pool rooms had access to the pool..sound lovely but as we could swim around the entire pool I wouldn't want to be in those rooms for two reasons, one - no real privacy at all in their outside seating area, it was like being in a terrace house right on the footpath where people can look in, and two half of the rooms didn't have steps out - so if I had been in those rooms I would have really struggled to get out of the pool... the rooms themselves (I think) were the same and I couldn't fault the room or bed or chairs in the room...one of them was the most comfortable chair I've ever 'lounged' in... The pool was lovely and had lots of nucks and crannies for couples to sit away from view...which I liked. The food for breakfast was lovely, couldn't fault it - but if it wasn't included in your 'deal' then it would cost approx. £34 for two... that's a lot of money for breakfast. The restaurants were fine again lovely but nothing spectacular. Now I have to say something that's not for the faint hearted.. on our first day, we checked in and then checked out the resort etc. etc. We had heard about the restaurants on the beach that we fantastic value and great food etc. so we went to investigate... on the beach, with the hotel behind us we turned right and went and sat at the first one we came to...FOR US BIG MISTAKE we both order a dish and had a beer - prices very cheap - but at the end of our meal we were sitting watching the sun set and people watching when movement caught my eye...and I saw a small rat two tables from us on the floor...I'm not a screamish person so I told my husband, kept my eye on it but didn't let it spoil our evening - then it's very large dad turned up....huge rat - sorry but that totally put me off. needless to say it put us off eating on the beach again so we spent a fortune in the hotel restaurants... until the day before we departed and we eat in the one called Farmai... lovely food, looked clean, I would recommend that one..

Room Tip: I've mentioned the rooms already, didn't mention the spa tho... it's expensive but really really good.
  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank kavanagh23
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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