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Marriott Bonvoy hotels in Phuket, Thailand

Marriott Bonvoy hotels in Phuket, Thailand

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Old Oct 31, 01, 7:06 pm
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Smile Marriott Bonvoy hotels in Phuket, Thailand

Thank the almighty for Marriott. Am travelling to Thailand last week in Dec and first week in Jan. (for those that know, that means an extra 20% tacked on for "High season").

I have been trying for months to get a deluxe room on the water in Phuket. My wonderful travel agent (who is a great friend) could not find ANYTHING, EVER!.

I then tried directly from hotel websites.
Maybe I missed it in my earlier searches, but Marriott is opening a property in Phuket. It will not open unitl beginning of December 2001, but is taking reservations for January 2002 AND has rooms available using points!! All rooms in this property face the ocean so there is no need for an additional 5,000 point upgrade for oceanview.

I have my backup reservation at another non-waterfront hotel just in case the property is not open in time.

Anyone have plans to stay at this property when it opens?
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Old Nov 1, 01, 10:25 am
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What part of the island is it on?
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Old Nov 1, 01, 11:12 am
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<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by ac/elite:
What part of the island is it on?</font>
From the hotel's website:

"Phuket's unspoiled Mai Khao beach, Just 15 minutes north of Phuket International Airport"

I believe that would be the far North West side of the island.
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Old Nov 2, 01, 12:43 am
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I've been watching the progress on this property as we'll be in Phuket in March and I haven't reserved anything either. The property sounds great, though it's pretty far from the nightlife scene in Phuket. It's a hotel and a timeshare, so you might be able to get a villa too.

Please check it out and give us a report.

-David
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Old Nov 3, 01, 2:57 am
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Sweet Willie the property in Phuket opens on the 15th of December and is exceptional. You should have no problems booking the hotel. I currently live in Thailand and you will have a great time during your stay, if you need any information please e-mail me.
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Old Nov 21, 01, 3:03 am
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I noticed tonight that you can now also book the Marriott Phuket Vacation Club, which I believe, is the timeshare portion of this property.

For the dates I checked in March 2002, you could book a 2BR villa for $250.

-David
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Old Feb 4, 02, 8:17 pm
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Review of new property JW Marriott in Phuket, Thailand

Stayed at this property from January 1-4, 2002.

The J.W. Marriott Resort Phuket is located on the island of Phuket which is about one hour 15 min flight south of Bangkok, Thailand. It was about a 20 minute cab ride to the resort which is about 15 kilometers north of Phuket International Airport (HKT). The resort is not completely open as of yet, it opened the second week of December 2001, the official opening is set of March 2002. There are 265 rooms and 13 suites on this 40+ acre resort. While all rooms are ocean facing, not all have views of the ocean. The rooms have a minimum of over 500 square feet. All have a "sala" which is a raised floor area by the picture windows that have small padded mats and the triangle pillows on them. For those of you who know the Jim Thompson story, there are silk fabrics from Jim Thompson in the room. There are three floors to the resort. For those of you who plan corporate meetings, there is a large ballroom as well as breakout rooms to meet in (very impressive).

This had to be one of the most secluded resorts we've ever stayed in. The resort is the ONLY building on a west facing beach called Mai Khao, that is 17 Kilometers (10.5 miles) long and is adjacent to the Sirinath Marine Park and sea turtle nesting area. It is a beautiful golden beach with nice sand, a surreal blue colored ocean and palm and wispy pine trees lining the edge. The resort is in the middle of this beach. The beach is one of the only remaining areas that sea turtles still lay their eggs on. In agreement for being able to build, Marriott had to agree to a number of items, some being: No beach activities such as beach chairs, jet skiing (good IMO), sailboats, you know the usual beach stuff one may see at a beach resort. And the resort had to be set back from the beach. IMO these are good things as when walking on the beach you feel as though it is just you.

Checked into the resort at 9am. I used a reward for our stay, but cheapest room listed at $390 per night on the Marriott website. I paid ($60 per night) for a double upgrade from a garden view to Deluxe Terrace Room. The lobby is spectacular, with large (8') basket lights hanging from the ceiling of the open air lobby, there is also a huge reflecting pool which you overlook as you view out to the blue sea. Check in was very smooth and they had my reservation ready for us. Bellman was prompt and courteous.

Room types: As mentioned before the resort is set back from the beach and has much beautiful vegetation/trees. As a result, the "ocean view" rooms are indeed ocean view, but not to the extent one would think. From our deluxe ocean view room, all we could see was a small patch of blue sea through the trees. Most rooms will be like this. We had a terrace room which is on the first floor and has its own private walled patio area w/chairs and a foot wash. For those that need to get out of the sun you will enjoy it, for us we never "take a break" and therefore paying for a double upgrade for the terrace was not worth it IMO. I would suggest paying for the upgrade from a garden view to an ocean view, as even though you really are not viewing the ocean, at least you won't be looking at the back of the seafood restaurant. The South Wing rooms beginning w/ 151, 251, 351 through the 164, 264, 364 are rooms to stay away from for two reasons. One, they are the rooms that overlook the back of the seafood restaurant and Two, there is an extremely loud mechanical noise (engine I think) that was on every time we passed this area as it was on the way to the spa. While I was told it was temporary, it seemed pretty permanent to me. Any room in the North Wing had nice views (start 101, 201, 301). We stayed in the Terrace room # 115 and found it very centered to the resort and the pool to the right of the resort. I always like to see complimentary water (unlike the freakin' ridiculous $6 bottles of Evian I've seen in the US), your room is provided w/two ½ liter bottles of water per day. We asked for more from the housekeeping staff who seemed happy to oblige. There is also a tea/coffee maker in each room w/tea/coffee provided.

There are two pools, one very long one running parallel to the beach/resort and one to the right (as you are looking at the ocean). The long one has a kid's play area w/slide, bubbling water area. For those of us who don't appreciate the screams of kiddies while on vacation, the pool is so long that if you seat yourself away from the slide area, you won't be bothered by the kids. For a more intimate pool area, try the one to the right, I would guess that there are a ¼ of the chairs at this pool area than there are at the main pool. ALL of the pool areas are very well staffed and the poolside service is VERY prompt. All of the chairs at the pool are huge wooden chaise lounges w/a very thick pad, we liked these. They are so sturdy/heavy that the pool staff will move it to face the sun if you wish.

Spa:

The spa is a wonderful large complex. It has five private double treatment suites, which open onto your own private garden w/an outdoor shower. The suites also have their own plunge pools. One great thing about the spa is its hours. Open from 10am to 10pm (there is also a beauty salon at the spa open from 10am to 8pm). My wife and I had dueling 90 minute Thai massages (we definitely recommend at least the 90 minute massage). I also scheduled a foot massage (reflexology) and Manicure/pedicure 1000B for my wife. She said she received an above average experience.
Thai massages were 60, 90 or 120 minutes and cost 1600B($35), 2100B($48) and 2400B($53). If the spa is booked up (as it was one day) in-room massages can possibly be arranged. We had reflexology in our room. Thai massage is available poolside if requested, but we did not see anyone getting a massage. For a cheap alternative, there were two groups of ladies on the beach, not associated with the hotel, that give a good backrub or footrub, not quite the effect of the Thai massages in the spa, but for only 300B ($7) for an hour, it could not be beat. They are usually found under one of the large pine trees in the shade.

ACTIVITIES:

There are no water activities at the resort or nearby. This is due to the beach being a sanctuary for sea turtles that lay their eggs here. The walks we had were beautiful though.
The beach is a great beach to swim off of.

The activities at the resort include Thai language lessons, cooking lessons and many other cultural activities. The language course was not ready yet (as they had just opened) but Sean (the activities director) arranged for me to have a lesson, just for asking, it was much appreciated. Kob Khun Krap Sean and Sam!!!

There is a very good fitness center on premise. While maybe not a good as your health club, for a resort this was a really good one. Lots of machines and fitness classes such as aerobics and yoga.

Scuba - there are no scuba facilities at the resort. They have a relationship w/some of the dive shops in Phuket Town and Patong, but these towns are a 50 minute drive from the resort, not exactly convenient for the ½ day scuba trips I was looking for. I thought I had figured out a possibility w/Paradise divers who have a scuba shop in the Pearl Village Resort which is only 20 minutes away, but my phone calls (and the Marriott's resorts concierge's) went unanswered, despite me being in email contact w/this shop for a few months before we arrived. In Patong we found out that Paradise divers may have been bought out. Of interest for Scuba divers, we were also told that most shops do not do ½ day trips anymore. Almost all are full day trips to the Similans or other Islands in the Adaman Sea or Gulf of Thailand.

Sea Kayaking - Well worth a day trip to the bay that features James Bond Island from the movie "The Man with the Golden Gun". Very neat limestone Islands stand out of the ocean as you kayak around. It is a FULL day trip.

Golf - For those interested, The Blue Canyon Country Club is a 10 minute drive from the resort. It has two 18 hole courses (Lakes course and Canyon course) designed by Yoshikazu Kato which have received favorable comments from Tiger Woods. The Lakes course has a rating of 74.0 and a length/par of 7,129 yards/72. The Canyon course has a rating of 74.8 and a length/par of 7,179 yards/72. I did not play, but I did drive up into the complex and the greens and fairways looked incredible.

The island of Phuket has many large hills; there are some good hiking trails. Elephant trekking is available, but we went trekking in the North of Thailand and would recommend this over the Phuket trekking, but if you have never ridden on an elephant, it is a neat experience.

Shopping - there is a small shopping arcade at the resort w/such shops as Jim Thompson, Siam Leather goods, a gem store, Thai handicraft store.

There is a computer/toy room for children very close to the children's area of the main pool. Many children were there as there are extensive children's programs.

Food:

There are 5 restaurants at the resort. An Italian, A seafood restaurant (was not open yet), the Marriott café (where breakfast was served), a sushi bar, and a deli.

Ok, now for the disappointment. The food at the Marriott cafe was VERY MEDIOCRE!!!!!
IMO Marriotts usually have higher quality food than the other hotel chains, and I would expect the JW to be a step above the general run of the mill Marriott, such was not the case sadly. I believe that while a resort needs the typical western style meals to keep most guests happy, I would expect there to be a good variety of local or regional cuisine, (ESPECIALLY IN THAILAND!!). There was not and the Thai food there was not very authentic or used old ingredients (such as my shrimp in curry, the shrimp were quite mushy and not fresh). Some of the a la carte items were tasty such as the crab cake sandwich on brioche.
We don't think Italian food is anything special (plus I'm not eating Italian while I'm in Thailand!) as a result we did not dine at the Cucina Italian restaurant.
The seafood restaurant seemed like it will be a good restaurant. It is the closet building to the beach of the resort and opens up towards the beach. WILL BE VERY NEAT TO WATCH the sunsets from!!!! Every sunset, we sat on the chaise lounges by the pool and had a coconut or what they call it in Puerto Rico, a coco frios.
We found the sushi at the sushi bar to be fresh and well prepared. The deli was a nice option, we had sandwiches made, then took our towels and walked a few miles away from the resort to have our own private picnic on the beach (VERY NICE). The deli also has a very nice selection of wine, beer and champagne.

I found the best (and cheapest) way to have lunch/dinner. While walking the length of the resort, at the very NORTH end, I discovered a small open shack w/10 tables. The owner used to cook for one of the resorts in the Patong area. She does not speak much English but most of the waitresses do OK. The name of this restaurant is "LINDA Seafood & Thai" which is painted on a wooden board. Linda's is not associated w/ the resort. We had some of the best meals (tiger prawns in black pepper sauce or pork w/ginger) while in Thailand here. The total bill (for two) w/beer would total no more than 800B ($19), sometimes it would be 400B($9)!!! Linda's is open at 10am till 10pm.
It was just the type of place we were looking for after being disappointed by the Marriott café.

Another restaurant off the premise is Talay Thai Seafood Restaurant. The concierge recommends this one to us. You need to take a cab there, the cab costs 500B for the roundtrip and he waits while you dine so you don't have to wait for the taxi to return when you are finished dining. Talay Thai is built on an open wooden platform right on the water. VERY NEAT and very good. The Lobster w/ginger was tremendous. Lots of locals.

The concierge were very helpful when it came to arranging reservations for taxis, restaurants or activities and I give them high marks in this area. I do not give good marks on two fronts. One, I did have a large problem the concierge staff when I wanted to have our flights changed to a different day. It was a very straight forward request, yet I needed to explain it to five different concierge before I gave up and tried myself. The other issue was they were not knowledgeable at all (IMO) about scuba diving and the various options available in the area (which is a major activity in Phuket).

Nightlife:

There is none. The resort has a jazz band playing at the open air lobby bar. But there is none around the resort. The closest towns with nightlife are Phuket Town and Patong which are 45 and 50 minutes away respectively. We made the trip into Patong one afternoon to shop and then dine at the "famous" Boathouse restaurant. We then had drinks in some of the various clubs and danced some. There is also Thai boxing in Patong (every night I think). It will cost you 1000B($23) via hotel Mercedes or 700B via regular taxi to get to Patong or Phuket Town.
Although at least a 50 minute drive, Patong was very much fun and should be experienced for an afternoon/night.

My conclusion for this property as is that if you are a nightlife hound or water activity person, you will not appreciate the Marriott property. On the other hand, we loved not being in the middle of it all (actually you are away from it all) and felt the resort was close enough to do the obligatory trip into Patong. I am hoping that the food situation will improve here. The spa is quite an indulgence. The serenity of this property we have never experienced before, WE WILL RETURN!! Felt it was an excellent value for my Rewards points.

[This message has been edited by Sweet Willie (edited 02-07-2002).]
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Old Feb 7, 02, 10:11 am
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Forgot to mention, The Boathouse restaurant is about a 5-10 minute drive south of Patong on the island of Phuket. The Boathouse has a nice patio area overlooking the beach it is on, so the outdoor dining was a pleasure as the sun set.

I have read in many guides and reviews that the food is legendary. IMO that is too strong a word. Very good would be more like it. While Asian influences abound, I felt there was more of a strong Western influence on the dishes. As I've stated, very good, not legendary.

The Boathouse, 114 Patak Road. phone: 076/330.557

would absolutely recommend reservations as we went early (6:30pm) and had to promise to leave by a certain time to get an oceanfront table that was reserved for a later time. When we left the restaurant was packed full.
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Old Feb 8, 02, 4:22 am
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Excellent review. I will be sure to give them a try next time in Phuket. Have you try
the Sheraton or Banyaan tree in phuket? They are very good as well.
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Old Feb 12, 02, 1:22 pm
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<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by 007:
Have you try the Sheraton or Banyaan tree in phuket?</font>
The Banyaan Tree was IMO outrageously priced, the Sheraton looked very nice from the outside. By the time we had decided to go to Phuket any property was already full or sky high price. Thats why I was pleased to stumble onto the Marriott property for an award stay.
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Old Feb 13, 02, 2:39 pm
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We stayed at the Sheraton Phuket Nov. 2000. It was by far the nicest vacation my husband and I have had. The room we had was HUGE (the furnishings were nothing special, though). The food was fantastic & the pool...the pool...I can't say enough about it - it meanders through the whole complex. There are some rooms that you can jump right from your patio into the pool.

We also stayed at the Marriott Riverside in Bangkok for 3 days before going to Phuket (since then I think the name has changed). Although I'm not a fan of Bangkok, the resort was amazing - I have never had so many choices at the breakfast buffet each day - the juice selection alone was neat - one of the choices was watermelon juice! Trader Vic's was great & although we had appetizers, drinks, entrees & desserts, we never spent more than $60 for dinner for the two of us. I had a Thai massage there (it was difficult to get an appointment - very booked up) that was only $23 for an hour. The ambiance was also great - all hardwood rooms, etc.

The employees both resorts were fantastic - esp. at the Marriott. My mouth hurt from smiling so much at the end of the trip.

We can't wait to go back to Phuket someday...
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Old Feb 13, 02, 9:57 pm
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<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by travlr:
We also stayed at the Marriott Riverside in Bangkok for 3 days before going to Phuket (since then I think the name has changed).</font>
It is still the same name.

<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">I have never had so many choices at the breakfast buffet each day - the juice selection alone was neat - one of the choices was watermelon juice!</font>
Yes the watermelon juice was WAY tasty
At some of the massage places in Bangkok (the legit kind!) they serve ice tea w/watermelon juice added, it was one of the most refreshing drinks I've ever had. Will be making quite a few of those this summer!
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Old Feb 14, 02, 3:12 am
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I opted to shorten the BKK Riverside Marriott stay by a week and help the soft opening at the Phuket resort. Watched them finish the landscaping and installation of the Spirit House on the Island!

Would say the Buffet and food is somewhat better at the BKK property. Hopefully, Phuket will get up and running with the same Seafood Buffet on the terrace. OH, that Phuket Lobster grilled fresh for you.

Marvelous pools.

Don't overlook Linda's Seafood and Thai restaurant just North of the Phuket property wall. It is on the other side of the wall near the King's Royal Suite. Wonder if the royal family will try Linda's?
 
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Old May 6, 02, 1:20 pm
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Stayed here a couple of weeks ago for 3 nights with some friends on an award trip. We thought the hotel, it's setting, the pools, the beach, and the spa were fabulous. This was the beginning of our trip in Thailand and during the rest of the trip to Chiang Mai and surrounding area all we could say was "I wish we were back at the JW Marriott in Phuket!"

The only draw back was that if you wanted nightlife or to get away from the hotel (even to go snorkling) it was a long drive to the more populated areas. Although, we thought the seclusion was part of the charm.

I highly recommend this property!
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Old May 6, 02, 5:04 pm
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Yesterday, I booked my annual December trip to Thailand in First Class On Cathy Pacific. But the thought of the ambiance and the rooms at the Phuket Marriott property kept coming to mind. It was a nice week this past December.
No doubt, all the restaurants are up and running along with the spa. Just wish it was not so isolated from the city.
 
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