The Marriott is everything a luxe beach resort should be. Casually laid back with superb facilities.
I could feel the stress just melt away through the waft of lemongrass as I entered my room. Thais love using the expression “hi-so”, short for “high society”, and boy, am I ever living it up hi-so this week, with only "happy" problems to weigh me down.
When your happy dilemma is whether to (1) sit on the miles of beach with a cabana boy serving up ice water while staring at the pleasing blue-green ocean or (2) lounge by one of the four huge pools all interconnected creating 3.3 kms of a swim experience (the region’s largest swimming pool), you are definitely hi-so. I mean, who could possibly need 2 miles of swimming pool?
Happy dilemma number two is what to have for breakfast from the huge buffet, complete with Eggs Benedict and Smoothie Bar. Really, Marriott? Having a made-to-order smoothie bar is just asking for trouble. (Go for the Khao Lak Booster, a mix of mango and pineapple juices with ginger and mint leaves. Trust me on this.)
The hotel is situated 2 km from the main road, making the sprawling complex its own community. It’s so far from everything that wifi doesn’t even need a password (but being able to access your email on the beach? Priceless…) So if you tire of the Japanese buffet (I loves me some spicy tuna sushi!), there’s always the cheap beachfront restaurants nearby with killer massaman curry. There’s almost no reason to leave the complex and go into town, really. In the evening, a massage at the blissful spa can while away your hours. (Just watch out for the see-through black mesh underwear. I don't know WHO they're kidding!)
The resort has several restaurants. I only tried the Japanese one on a buffet night (B999) but with Australian steak, tuna sushi and lobster soup, it was worth the splurge. Reserve early for a table inside. Otherwise, there are 5-6 beach restaurants just outside the property. All had similar menus and meals ranged from B60 (for fried rice, noodles or pad thai) to B350 for a whole fish dish. An average meal with a shake might set you back B220 or so. My favorite was Ma-Ma's Greeting, at the very end on the right. They had delicious massaman curry for B80-100. I found that after a massive breakfast at 9 or 10 am, I wasn’t hungry again until almost 7pm. There are also 5-6 beachfront massage places to try. A lot of the restaurants also had tour desks offering competitive pricing.
There are a group of shops just outside the hotel entrance, including two restaurants: one Thai, one Italian. Mains started at around B300. There's also a massage place with foot or Thai massage only B250 before 6pm. Also a small convenience store which stocks drinks, alcohol and snacks at prices just slightly more than you'd pay in Bangkok.
Lots of reviews here are polarizing. Most people love it and a small minority hate it. Yes, with so much wood furniture, there's the inevitable scratch. (Some of the dressers are quite low and it looks like some thoughtless guest may have used them as a luggage rack.) But if you're on your hands and knees looking for flaws and can't find happiness at this gorgeous property, a scratch or two is probably the least of your worries...
If you're reading this and contemplating a vacay at the Marriott Khao Lak, you'll be in for a real treat. Miles of nice beach and golden sand, miles of sparkling pool and a jumping off point for the amazing Similan Islands... What's not to love?
For more tips and photos, feel free to check out my blog:
- 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
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Marriott, Booking.com, Hotels.com, Sawasdee, Asiatravel.com Holdings, Agoda and Odigeo so you can book your JW Marriott Khao Lak Resort & Spa reservations with confidence. We help millions of travellers each month to find the perfect hotel for both holiday and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
- Also Known As:
- Jw Marriott Khao Lak Hotel Khao Lak
- Jw Marriott Khao Lak Resort And Spa
- Cher Fah Hotel
- Cher Fah Resort