In late 2010, my wife and I had a great vacation to Phuket Thailand. I’ll likely draw a fair amount of material for the blog from this trip. This was a Star Alliance First award, and we had some great hotel stays and experiences along the way.
Here, I will review the first hotel stay of our trip, at the JW Marriott Phuket at Mai Khao beach. I haven’t really been actively collecting Marriott Rewards for a while, but still have a fair number of points remaining from having the MR visa for a while a few years ago.
After redeye flights for the 2 nights prior, albeit in Lufthansa First, then Turkish First, we wanted to stay somewhere relatively close to the airport, so we could just relax and sleep. Mai Khao is about 20 minutes from the Phuket airport. We took a taxi from the stand at the airport, which at 400 THB was much less than the 1200 THB for a car offered by the hotel. It was getting dark by the time we arrived at the hotel to check in. We had a Deluxe Garden view room, which is apparently their lowest level room, but still was quite nice. There were multiple free bottles of drinking water available in the room.
JW Marriott Phuket at Mai Khao Beach
Day and night views of our room. Notice the elephant made of towels on the bed. They did this nightly with turndown service
I’m fortunate/cursed to sleep pretty easily, so jet lag doesn’t usually affect me too much. After leaving cold November at home, and a few hours in chilly Munich during a stopover, it was great to have breakfast outside in shorts. The breakfast buffet is quite extensive, although regrettably I don’t have a photo of it.
Here is a view from the restaurant, looking over the pool and towards the Andaman Sea.
There is a very nice fitness center on site with an attached spa. For those interested in a massage a much more economical option is a tent and a hut near the beach offering 1 hour Thai massage for 400 THB. At the time, that was approximately US$13. The massage ladies speak very limited English, but it’s not really needed. A relaxing massage near the beach overlooking the sea was very refreshing, and a great value.
The JW Marriott also has some very nice pools on site and various activities that are available. Like many resorts, their goal is to keep guests on property as much as possible, and if so desired, it would be easy to be very busy for a long time.
South pool, nearer our room. Notice the swim up bar, where we enjoyed lunch one day.
The hotel has a nice variety of restaurants, including a deli, a Japanese restaurant, and an Italian restaurant among a few others. The restaurants have a lot of variety in styles as well as prices so anyone should find something to suit their tastes.
Exploring around Phuket
After some relaxation time, we decided to explore Phuket. Based on recommendations from friends and the hotel concierge, we decided on a day trip kayaking Phang Nga Bay Marine National Park. It was a guided kayak tour, with the guide doing all the work paddling the kayak. It really was a great way to explore the natural beauty of this preserved area. The kayak allowed us to access caverns and hidden lagoons that are not otherwise accessible by larger vessel.
Here is one view from the trip.
I would highly recommend the JW Marriott Phuket to anyone looking a quiet property away from some of the chaos of Patong, with easy access to HKT airport, and the northern part of Phuket Island.