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“Superb resort with great style and hospitality”

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JW Marriott Khao Lak Resort & Spa
Ranked #5 of 69 Hotels in Khao Lak
Certificate of Excellence
London, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
146 reviews
58 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 94 helpful votes
“Superb resort with great style and hospitality”
Reviewed April 2, 2013

I stayed here for 3 nights and was overall very pleased with the experience. This is a large resort with a lovely meandering pool situated on a long quiet palm fringed beach. Service was generally excellent and I felt the staff to be generally hospitable and eager to please. The resort is exceptionally well maintained thanks to a veritable army of gardeners and pool cleaners. I stayed in both a pool view and pool access room- I found the pool access to be surprisingly handy and enjoyed being able to go straight from the balcony into the pool (probably worth paying extra for upgrade). The interior of the room was essentially the same and these were pretty stylish with nice Thai touches and very comfortable beds.

I ate in the Thai restaurant and ordered room service one night. Food in the restaurant was pretty average but my green prawn curry from room service was great- not sure if they come from the same kitchen. The restaurant was pretty expensive by Thai standards but still reasonable value. I enjoyed the breakfast but would recommend going early to avoid the rush.

I think it would be hard not to enjoy the resort but I think this would be particularly good for young families due to the kid's club, watersports and the pool. Personally, I would prefer it if there were a few areas reserved for adults (such as the bars, which strangely always seemed to have children around).

There were a few glitches along the way (check-in, check-out, baggage etc.) but what impressed me was the professionalism with which it was dealt with by Irina- thank you very much for this. There is a lesson to be learned here by the JW Marriott, London which has serious shortcomings in this regard.

Overall, it's a lovely property with good service from helpful and friendly staff in a nice location. A little more focus on check-in/out experience and some more adult areas and this would be near perfect!

Room Tip: If you plan to use the pool, it is worth considering the pool access rooms.
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled solo
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Helpful?
4 Thank andrew_2587
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
Sydney, Australia
Level 5 Contributor
58 reviews
44 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
Reviewed April 2, 2013

I have been to Khao Lak before and this is the best hotel in town without any doubt. The hotel was full to capacity it being the Easter holidays but at not point (possibly with the exception of Breakfast) did the hotel feel full or crowded. The whole layout of the hotel gives the feeling of space and tranquility. The location and the beach are superb and at no point over the 4 days that we stayed did we feel the need to leave the resort - other than to go to the local beach bars/restaurants to eat. The first beach restaurant (Phen Restaurant) was some of the best Thai restaurant any of the 6 in our group have ever had and so cheap with great service.
Moreover at no point did we feel ripped off or gouged by the Marriott the prices in the hotel were very reasonable and fair which also encouraged us to stay in the hotel. We all had pool access rooms which were nice to have - however you do need to be aware of your privacy with people swimming by.
The only negatives were that the hotel did not enforce it's child free area on the beach (it clearly states the area is 12+ however there were parents and children permanently sat there. When we pointed this out to the staff they just shrugged. Also the hotel states that guests cannot pre-reserve beds for more than an hour on the beach on the cards in English and German (and the beds are limited) however this does happen en masse. These are only two minor points but the hotel should seek to address these.
We will definitely be back to this hotel.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank Nick_Pat71
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed March 31, 2013 via mobile

We're just about to check out and can easily say this has been one of the loveliest trips I've ever been on. It was our honeymoon and all the staff really just went out if their way to make it beautiful. We had the deluxe pool access room and it was lovely sitting on our balcony knowing we could walk straight into the water. The only things I could possibly say was the temperature of the pool was very very warm and not exactly refreshing for us. Oh and watching how some of the other tourists (mainly Asian) treated the hotel staff was pretty hard at times. The entire experience was beautiful!

  • Stayed March 2013
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank Claired86
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Australia
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed March 30, 2013

My wife and I have just returned from Thailand from a 10 day Holiday. We spent six of those days at the Marriott Resort in Khao Lak. We paid a little extra and upgraded to a Pool Access Room and so glad we did as it was an absolute treat to walk out of the room and jump straight into the pool, I actually stepped in as I am 70 years young.
Initially we were dissapointed in our room, this was due to a couple of reasons, (a) the first room we were placed in was at the reception end of the resort far and away from the restaurants and the beach. secondly the pool access was down a rocky path and entailed sitting down on your haunches to lower your self into the pool and believe me the slate tops of the pool were hot enough to fry and egg on, after a call and complaint to the Reception we were moved to a much more suitable room. Believe me neither one of the above are really acceptable if you have too many years on your side. So for all the senior travellers intending to visit the Marriott Resort in Khao Lak, and you intend to stay in a pool access room, I thenstrongly suggest you insist on one of the rooms closer to the Beach, shorter to the Restaurants and a lot easier to access the pool.
As far as the resort in general is concerned I found it to be beginning to get on the tired side, a lot of work to be done to spruce it up.
One or two other tips, if you intend to go to Khao Lak for shopping then forget it, my wife is a shopaholic but and we only lasted thirty minutes before getting a taxi back to the Marriott with nil in hand. Another point is the transit back to the Airport in Phuket, the Marriott charge 2.500 Baht (with tip that comes to roughly to 2,700 Baht, A khao Lak taxi willdo the same trip for 1300 Baht plus the tip if you wish to give one.
Overall, nice place to relax but nothing else going for it. We do not intend to revisit which is a shame as we usually do return visits to our holiday places.
NJ.

Room Tip: Closer the Beach and Restaurants the better.
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
4 Thank NJ4Australia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Glasgow, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed March 30, 2013

This is a wonderful, peaceful resort, yet is a short taxi trip to Khao Lak (300BHT - 7.50GBPs). A swimmer's paradise - wonderful pool which meanders around the resort, but also with different areas for poolside drinks and for doing laps in peace (there's also a great sports centre with tennis and squash courts). The beach location is also beautiful - and perfect for swimming and for children. The managers of JW Marriott are to be congratulated as we had a truly wonderful stay...........and this was largely due to the best resource in the resort.....the staff. We found staff to be courteous and without exception, they were keen to make our stay the best. Thanks to all and especially Yoh, our room was always beautifully maintained and always with a smile :) The beds / pillows are really comfortable - I averaged 10 hours every night!! We found the hotel restaurants to be expensive, but the beach hut restaurants were really good and inexpensive, so the holiday costs were reasonably well balanced. The resort is great for couples and also for families. We left before the easter rush which suited us as the resort was quiet. We will break our golden rule about never returning to a place as this resort ticks all our boxes and more!

Room Tip: If returning, I would be happy to be allocated any room - they all have different advantages.
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank Meg4728
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne, Australia
Level 5 Contributor
60 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
Reviewed March 29, 2013 via mobile

This was the third and final leg of our recent trip to Thailand. Stayed at The Marriott for four nights with a great deal through TravelZoo which gave us the chance to check out the Khao Lak area.

On checking in, you are seated and given a cold drink and wet towels while you wait for someone to check you in. You are given a map of the resort with your room marked on it which you need at first as it really is a large resort.

We had upgraded our package to a pool access room which was great. The room opened out onto your own private balcony with direct pool access to a 3 km long pool that meanders around the resort. We found the direct pool access meant we jumped in for a dip more often than we probably would have as it was so convenient. Just found getting out a little hard when tired (see later tip). The room was very spacious, clean, well appointed and had a great bathroom. The beds are firm but have a great choice of pillows. The air-conditioning worked well and was definitely needed as it was 38C plus during our stay. Ceiling fans were also provided. Our room was serviced twice daily, towels replaced each time if used and a large selection of good quality toiletries provided and continually added to. Great blockout drapes for the windows to allow a great nights sleep, completely soundproof from your neighbours and the added bonus of having the option to leave your power on in your room when you are not in unlike many other resorts. Very happy with everything Including no mosquitoes if you kept your door closed.

The unlimited buffet breakfast is very extensive and definitely five star with a few extras. Service is excellent and there are various seating options either indoors or outside. The hot and cold food selections are continually refilled with plenty of fresh fruit, juices, including pre-mixed or made to order fresh variations. Breakfast runs from 6:30 to 11:00, many people have a large breakfast and don't bother with lunch. Be warned, if you book room only, there are very limited alternatives and very expensive to pay as you go.

We only ate breakfast at the Marriott. They have three great restaurants, Japanese, mediterranean and Thai, a themed buffet with entertainment each night but the food and drinks are expensive. The most annoying part is that all prices at the Marriott are item price++. Everywhere else the prices shown are inclusive of taxes and service charges.

There are great little beach restaurants right next door to the Marriott. Two of them I would highly recommend, Andaman and Blue Mist. (See restaurant reviews) Great food, drinks and service at a fraction of the price compared with the Marriott. There is also an endless choice of restaurants in town, some with very good reviews. If our stay had been longer we may have ventured in to town to try but by the end of a long hot but enjoyable day we were more than happy to go to one of the little beach restaurants next door.

I had read a criticism from another reviewer that staff only spoke limited English. All front of house staff spoke good English, and found all staff regardless of position to be very warm and friendly. They would always greet you in Thai first which after all is the native language and if possible in English. Yes, there sometimes is a language barrier with a few staff but with a majority of guests speaking languages other than Thai or English, it cannot and should not be expected. If and/or when staff didn't understand what you were saying, they would get someone who could.

The resort provides changing daily activities for both adults and children although not many are free. For local sightseeing and available tour options, I found the staff at the beachfront restaurant next door to the resort (Blue Mist) to be much more helpful and knowledgable as well as being considerably cheaper.

I was surprised at the large amount of young children staying at the resort considering it was outside school holiday times. Most were very well behaved but unfortunately there also seemed to be a few unruly children at the Infinity pool bar on the two occasions we were there during happy hour which started at 5:30 in time to watch the sunset. This spoiled what could have been a relaxing cocktail or two. This was not the staff's fault, rather the parents, but after two unsuccessful attempts, we never bothered again. There is another pool bar located next to a large children's pool area. It would be great if the Marriott made the Infinity bar an over 12 area even if only for the happy hour and later. There is a designated area on the beach with lounges for over 12 Which works well. It is also a smoking area but being a non-smoker, this was never a problem. Many people go there just for the peace and quiet.

When booking, I was concerned the Marriott may have been a little too isolated as we normally like to be able to walk to the local shops but this was not a problem. There is a taxi rank with taxis always available just outside the resort and it only takes 5 mins to get into town. A visit in the afternoon to the Bang Niang market has a bit of everything, a great range of Thai souvenirs are also available in a number of local shops.

We hired a motorbike (scooter) and travelled up and down the coast to check out the other beaches and position of other resorts. Would have to say that the stretch of beach where the Marriott is situated is by far the nicest and cleanest. There are other nice beaches but most good areas are shared with many other resorts and do not have such a long stretch of beach to be able to go for long walks.

Overall, a very enjoyable and relaxing stay. We would definitely return but not at full price. Will just have to keep an eye out for specials. There are so many resorts, hopefully competition will make sure specials continue to be available.

Room Tip:
Be careful with your room allocation especially if you have children or aren't able to pull yourself back up out of the water without steps as there are three different styles of buildings in different blocks.
Some pool access rooms have wooden rail fences with gates and gardens that provide privacy for your balcony, but no steps to climb back out. Therevare others that have clear glass fences with no balcony privacy but do have access steps. The third type of pool access room has no fence, just an open balcony and only some have access ramps.

Diving tip:
My husband was keen to go diving at the Similan Islands but many are liveaboard and there are only daily dive trips two days a week. in our case, it didn't fit in with our stay. He has dived at dive sites in many countries and had been told it was some of the best. He booked through the Marriott's dive shop which is a verynreputable company and therefore wasn't cheap by Thai standards. B9000 ~ AUD300 for three dives which included Koh Bon and Koh Tachai. He was extremely disappointed with two of the dives and considered the third only tomrate as good. The reefs are still extensively damaged as a result of the tsunami in 2004, with large amounts of dead coral and only now are there some signs of coral regeneration. The quantity and variety of other sea life was also very limited. If this is some of the best diving in Thailand, forget it.

Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank Rhonda J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
West Malling, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
9 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed March 29, 2013

This resort is as good as it was on our last visit and the one previous to that. The beautiful setting and the magnificient beach are just the same but the restaurants have improved. Fabulous themed meals,some in an al fresco setting. Every single staff member is pleasant and desperate to please. The breakfast is the best and most varied that I have experienced anywhere. The gym is well equiped and excellently maintained. There is even an elephant that visits the resort twice a week. The small touches such as cold towels and water presented personally on the beach just oozes luxury. Impossible to find anything to fault.

Room Tip: Rooms that open on to the pool are sort after but personally I think the upstairs rooms are just as...
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  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank 678913Helen2012
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

Property: JW Marriott Khao Lak Resort & Spa
Address: 41/12 Moo 3 | Khuk Khak Beach, Khao Lak 82190, Thailand
Phone Number:
Location: Thailand > Phang Nga Province > Khao Lak
Amenities:
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 Business Hotel in Khao Lak
#4 Family Hotel in Khao Lak
#4 Spa Hotel in Khao Lak
#5 On the Beach Hotel in Khao Lak
#5 Luxury Hotel in Khao Lak
#6 Romantic 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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