This is part eight of a thirteen part trip report from my third and most recent trip back to Thailand and includes our stay at the JW Marriott Phuket.
- British Airways Terraces Lounge JFK
- Cathay Pacific Business Class JFK – Hong Kong (HKG) B777-300ER
- The Bridge, Cathay Pacific’s Newest Lounge at Hong Kong (HKG)
- Cathay Pacific Business Class HKG – BKK (Bangkok) A340
- W Bangkok
- JW Marriott Bangkok
- Sand Sea Resort – Railay Beach
- JW Marriott Phuket
- Thai Royal Orchid Lounge Bangkok (BKK) Concourse E
- Thai Royal Silk Lounge Bangkok (BKK) Concourse E
- Asiana Airlines Business Class BKK-ICN (Seoul) A330-300
- Asiana Lounge Business Class ICN (Seoul)
- Asiana Airlines Smartium Business Class ICN-JFK B777-300
When we decided on the JW Marriott Phuket (for a few days before heading off to Ko Phi Phi) the booking options were to either use 35,000 Marriott Rewards Points per night or to spend $119.01 per night. With the points/value ratio so small, we saved the points and went with the $119 rate for the two nights.
Overall, I thought the service at the JW Marriott Phuket was amazing as were the pools, the size of the beach, and the on-site entertainment and activities. However, the rooms actually left a lot to be desired (for a JW) and they reminded me more of a regular Marriott…a regular Marriott in a need of a refresh. Comparing to other recent resort properties visited, I liked the rooms at the W Retreat Koh Samui and the St. Regis Bali quite a bit more.
Check In – We received welcome drinks and leis as we exited the car (it’s a short 9 mile drive from the airport) and warm greetings from all the staff members in the lobby. My Marriott Platinum status was acknowledged, but we were only given a very minimal one class upgrade, deluxe garden room -> deluxe garden terrace. The hotel seemed only 50% occupied at the time, but I could not convince anyone to give us a seaview, pool terrace, or ocean suite room. There is no concierge lounge, instead we were presented with a notice inviting us to have complimentary breakfast in the Marriott Cafe each day as well as two drink certificates (I believe the drinks were due to a special holiday party occurring at the time of check-in though and not a standard Platinum amenity).
The nightly sundown fire dance was beginning as we checked in:
The rooms – There were three of us and we each had slightly different garden rooms, all a bit dated as mentioned above. The bathrooms actually seemed to have been updated more recently. Note that if you are sharing room, there is only a shutter separating the bathroom from the bedroom. A welcome fruit platter was placed in the room and there were numerous water bottles (complimentary and replaced each day) as well.
The highlight of the property besides the service is clearly the three pools and the beach, all beautiful and pristine. The beach is long and wide and you can walk quite a bit in both directions past other properties and houses. PS, did I mention that baby elephants roam the property??? AWESOME!
The complimentary breakfast was buffet style, but it was impressive as most Asian hotel buffets are. You can sit inside or out and there’s an omelet station, a full bakery with all different types of pastries, a soup station, assorted fruits and veggies, yogurts, cereals, pancakes, cheese, etc. When we were there breakfast started at 6:30AM and ended at 11AM. It was $20 per person if you were not staying in the room of a Platinum member (only for the first 2 guests).
A word of advice, the most reasonable meals for lunch can be had at the Siam Deli on property – reasonable priced sandwiches, salads, wraps, burgers, etc. You can of course order at the pool, but expect the premium pricing (though certainly not that horrible when compared to Caribbean and European beach resorts). You’ll also want to note that the hotel is quite far (about 1 hour each way) from touristy / seedy Patong. That’s usually a good thing for most, though if you want to venture there it’s a long costly journey from the hotel.
Regionally Related –