Phuket Family Favourite: Review of the JW Marriott

Who:  Donna & John with their kids, Emily (7) and Noah (3)
Where:  JW Marriott, Mai Khao Phuket, Thailand – this was our second visit to the hotel
When: Dec 2012

Hotel Booking
Online at JW Marriott’s website – paid in advance to benefit from the early booking discount

Were transfers included?
No, we arranged transfers through the hotel at an extra cost – we were collected by a private car at the airport and received a very warm welcome on arrival at the hotel (drinks, cold towels, garlands etc)

The room
We had interconnecting rooms which were big, clean and well-equipped.  King bed for us and twin beds for the kids.  There was a DVD player in both rooms, we took all the kids’ favourite DVDs with us which kept them amused while we were in the room.  Rooms are very well serviced – twice a day, replenishing towels, toiletries etc.

JW Marriott Main PoolThe main hotel swimming pool is enormous with a separate, shallow section for smaller children, including a shallow bubble pool and a water slide.JW Marriott Water Slide

I must also mention ‘Lucky’ the baby elephant who visits the beach/pool area twice a day – my kids loved him!  Kids can ride the elephant and also feed him bananas.

Kids Facilities
Excellent!  The Kids Club had been completely redesigned since our last visit in December 2011.  There is now a big playroom with a toddler area, computer area, arts/crafts and also a movie room.  Kids aged 4+ can be signed in to the Kids Club and left there free of charge, with option to have lunch/dinner there.  There is a great daily activity program – our daughter of 7 couldn’t wait to get there every day!  For younger kids you need a babysitter to watch them if you want to leave them there or you can accompany them while they play.  In-room babysitting can also be arranged (day or evening).  There is also a circus school (which you need to pay for) which takes place every morning and is very popular, definitely advise signing up in advance.

The restaurants
We LOVE the food at this resort!  There are so many different places to eat.  Breakfast takes place in the Marriott Cafe and is great, with a huge variety of different foods – Asian, cooked breakfasts, waffles, pancakes, omelette station to name but a few.  The breakfast room is very busy, this is when you realise how big this hotel is, but hte service was excellent.  By the second day the staff already knew our names and remembered our coffee order – all in all a very good experience!

There are several restaurants within the resort – my personal favourite is Ginja Taste – a delicious Thai food, great kids menu and great decor, overlooking the sea.  The restaurant also holds regular Thai cooking demonstrations and workshops.  There is also Kabuki, a Japanese teppanyaki and sushi restaurant (GREAT sushi).  Siam Deli (good deli selection but service not quite as professional as the other restaurants), Andaman Grill and Cucina Italian… We have eaten in all of these (have you noticed yet we are a family of foodies??!) and we like all of them.  All have great kids menus and colouring sets/crayons waiting at the table when you arrive.  There are also regular themed buffets and beach barbecues.  I advise reserving tables in advance if you are staying during peak periods as the restaurants do get booked up – there is a restaurant booking desk outside the breakfast restaurant with all the menus on display.

A very short walk or shuttle ride from the hotel is a small shopping complex called Turtle Village – here you will find a supermarket, various touristy shops, the Coffee Club restaurant (good menu of light snacks, all day breakfasts, Thai specialities, plus good kids menu – and v.inexpensive, half the price of the hotel restaurants).  Bill Bentley Pub (never been so can’t comment) and Swenson’s ice creams (which I highly recommend).

Top Tips
I would recommend booking the ‘fast track’ service at the airport on arrival if you want to avoid the huge queue for passport control – we found that there was no need for this on departure though.  This was organised via the Coral Executive Lounge at Phuket airport.

In Conclusion..
The staff are very friendly and great with the kids.  We loved this hotel so much we would definitely return – in fact we have booked already for Easter break!


  1. 21st Century Mummy

    Great review. Last time we stayed at lndigo Pearl which is surprisingly kid-friendly.

    1. Nicola

      Thanks Janine, just posted on your site. Would love a review if you’ve got time! Or some Singapore insider tips would also be fab

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