I’m a little mixed when it comes to our stay at the JW Marriott Phuket. It definitely fell short in terms of service, but completely shined everywhere else. We had a pretty awesome suite. It had an amazing water view, a private whirlpool on the balcony, and was just HUGE. Also, the grounds and pools are STUNNING. There’s a lot of good, but poor customer service is something you can’t forget.
Anyway, I like to focus on the good, so that’s where I’ll start.
The grounds are SO BEAUTIFUL. From water and fire features, to gardens, and more, the hotel’s setting is out of this world.
The activities at this resort are endless, and the pools are something to write home about. There are many pools to choose from, and each offers something unique. From deep ends, to water features, quiet pools, and even a swim up bar. You name it, they have it – there’s really something for everyone. I don’t want to spoil any surprises for anyone, but there’s even a baby elephant that roams the grounds and is SO friendly!
I mean, I think every pool should have water spouting elephants, don’t you?
The beach at the JW Marriott Phuket is clean and beautiful. We visited the Phi Phi islands during our time in Phuket, and actually thought the hotel’s massive beach was really on par with the beaches the Phi Phi islands had to offer. The waves are huge, and while there are no chairs because it’s a turtle sanctuary, it’s still a great place to relax.
The food here was good. Breakfast at the Marriott Cafe each morning was amazing! I am so missing that delicious breakfast! The Siam Deli offers great casual fare, and the steakhouse offers something for those looking to drop a lot on dinner (but also sink their teeth into some really amazing meat selections). There’s also an Italian restaurant, and you can even dine privately in your room, complete with personal chef. Something for everyone. Overall, room service was pretty good too.
The best part of our stay, hands down, was our fabulous suite. The bathroom was luxurious, and the private whirlpool on our HUGE balcony, complete with amazing ocean views, was SO perfect.
So there were a couple of not so great points, which made this JW fall slightly short, which I’ll detail below.
Upon arrival in Phuket we were greeted at the airport by an immediate sales presentation for Marriott timeshare before the hotel’s transportation actually picked us up. This was annoying at best.
Then, check in was surprisingly unsettling for a Marriott. The staff tried the whole towel/drink upon arrival, but it didn’t work. At all. We felt like part of a number. We weren’t lead to the front desk. Instead we stood for about 5 minutes looking for it. I guess there was some renovation or party/convention happening which made things crazy. Of course, we were also immediately comparing it to the amazing service we just received at the Four Seasons in Bangkok, so maybe our views were a little flawed. There’s no comparison in terms of level of service.
Anyway, so after walking around trying to find where to check in, we stumbled upon a bunch of desks with wires sticking out and papers scattered. It legit looked like an office.
This was the concierge area.
And also apparently where we check in.
So they tried the whole sit down while you check in thing, which again, didn’t work. There were wires practically in my lap. Next, there was actual check in. It was a confusing disaster. I’m not saying if you book one of their premiere suites you should be treated differently, because every guest, no matter which room is booked, should be treated amazingly. However, we were escorted to our room and quickly dropped off. It would have been nice to have been given a quick tour. Like, for example there were controls for the balcony’s whirlpool, which we soon discovered was overflowing. Clueless on what to do, we ended up having to call someone, who came to restart it. Had this person given us a tour of the suite, she would’ve seen it was overflowing and could have taken care of fixing it.
There were other little things that could have been better… or done differently. For example, we had been talking with the concierge prior to our arrival, and we ended up booking some excursions through them a few weeks ahead of time. A confirmation, or itinerary when we arrived would have been nice. No one even mentioned anything about it. We had to seek it all out ourselves – Where do we meet? What time? Do we need tickets? Is our tour actually even booked? Bottom line, I expected to receive a welcome from the concierge with our tour information, or something. So we ended up calling from our room to speak with the concierge and confirming the details. Then we were told we had to pick up our tickets at the concierge desk. The desk we were JUST AT when we checked in. It’s small little details that make for extra special touches, and this was plain annoying.
Marriott’s offer complimentary internet to Marriott reward members. It’s standard. We asked for the code, and the lady had to “check on this.” Couldn’t we just have been presented with the code because we are reward members? They obviously saw my card during check in. It was just another small detail that was lacking.
Truthfully, most of the staff in general was irritating. We didn’t experience any problems in Bangkok. There was no language barrier. Yet most people had no idea what we were talking about half the time, and the other half seemed endlessly confused. I wanted to book a spa appointed, but they made it so difficult that I never did. It wasn’t worth the hassle. I like how people ask me how my stay was. They didn’t.
At the end of the day, we paid a lot of money for our stay here and overall expected more. Staff at this resort gets a big thumbs down, but the resort itself (oh my gosh, the stunning grounds, pools, etc!), not to mention our time in Phuket, gets a huge thumbs up!
More from Phuket coming up!