Normally we’re the type of travelers who choose a destination based on a town’s atmosphere or its one-of-a-kind activities. But we had our eyes on a luxury stay near Phuket thus had us whistling a different tune – the resort ended up being what our entire vacation was centered around.
There is a time and a place for a tropical vacation. Cliché as it is, we think it’s safe to say that most people would enjoy a vacation at an all-inclusive resort for the sole purpose of eating, drinking, and relaxing. The JW Marriott Khao Lak Resort & Spa made it incredibly easy to decompress and not worry about our typical travel ordeals like, “Did you book the ticket for tomorrow’s paddle board excursion?”, “Where the heck do we fill up our motorbike rental?” or even, “Where are we going to find dinner and are restaurants even open past 8pm?”
We’d never been to Khao Lak (and have only been to Phuket while passing through the area), so when we got an invitation to stay at a resort there we said yes. We’ve actually stayed at JW Marriott San Francisco Union Square for the 2011 NFC Championship between the SF 49ers and New York Giants, so we were excited to experience an entirely different ball game (pun intended) being on a private beach in the Thai province of Phang Nga.
After taking a flight from Chiang Mai, we were picked up by the hotel’s airport shuttle at the Phuket International Airport and less than an hour and a half later pulled up to a huge property promising us a “dream oasis, where nature and luxury combine.”
Deluxe Lagoon Pool Access
We were given a refreshing hand cloth and chilled roselle drinks. Of the many places we’ve been to, whether homely guesthouses or fancier resorts, we love this little touch of Thai hospitality.
Shortly after checking in we were introduced to our Deluxe Lagoon Pool Access room, which, as the name implies, opens right up to their lagoon-style pool. What the name doesn’t suggest is that the pool is two kilometers long. Can you believe it? The saltwater pool snakes all over the property, covers 16,000 square feet, and even juts off into lovely little coves and shallow swim-up bars.
Our room was the perfect size for us. It had a king size bed featuring the classic fluffy white comforter. There was a work desk, a small coffee table, a huge lounge chair, and a day bed, too.
The bathroom was pretty spectacular. There was a huge tub with exotic scented bath salts and at least a dozen assorted bathroom accessories. the kits included soaps, combs, toothbrushes, razors, and needle and thread – you name it, they had it. We really were digging the double sink, the extra lighted magnifying mirror, and the electrical outlet (which is not all that common inside of Thai bathrooms!)
Tropical Beachside Property
Once we explored every nook and cranny of our Deluxe Lagoon Pool Access room it was time to move on to the property. The Khao Lak Resort & Spa is situated on its own private beach and provides comfortable rattan-like cushioned chairs, tables, and umbrellas for their guests. Just along the edge of the beach is a swanky open aired bar serving food and drinks. Would you be surprised if we told you we were regulars there?
The resort is dotted with towering palm trees beautiful frangipani trees. Well-cared for paths and sidewalks made it easy to explore the property. there were also plenty of small bridges cutting this way and that over the huge pool.
At one point during the trip, we caught their daily coconut boat making its rounds. The vendor sells fresh cold coconuts to guests who are in the pool or lounging on their waterfront decks. Just listen for the ringing bell. There is nothing like a refreshing, slightly sweet coconut on a hot Thai day!
Glorious Dining Options
One thing that we were really blown away by with was the number of dining options available within the resort. We’ve never been to a place that had such a variety while simultaneously serving really good food everywhere we sat down.
The Ta-Krai restaurant serves Thai food in an elegant setting decorated in a traditional Thai style. It was fun sitting on the iconic triangle Thai pillows at a sunken table. Our favorite meal was the pumpkin ravioli and slow cooked lamb and polenta served at Olive, the Mediterranean restaurant. There was also a teppanyaki style Japanese restaurant, Sakura, where chefs prepared the food right in front of us. We also had their happy hour cocktails and light lunches at several of their bars, two of which are swim-up (Infinity Pool Bar and Aquamarine Bar).
— Tieland to Thailand (@TielandThailand) April 26, 2016
Something we had never done before was dinner on the beach. We enjoyed sunset views and warm breezes from the ocean as we were served perfectly grilled filet served with a selection of dipping sauces and grilled vegetables.
By now we have figured out that all of our favorite hotels have one thing in common: an incredible breakfast. Every day features a huge breakfast spread of both Western and Asian classics alongside rotating specials at the Waterfront restaurant. Jams, baked muffins and quiches, Indian curries, omelets and eggs of many kinds, a coffee station, yogurts and fresh muesli and honeycomb, preserved meats, sliced tropical fruit and cereals were there, too. There were also freshly made sourdough pretzels, which we haven’t had in ages.
Amenities and Activities
We’re confident in saying that you won’t be bored here. This hotel has enough amenities and activities to keep one occupied. That is if you had plans other than lounging on the beach or grabbing a drink in the huge pool.
Full-Service Quan Spa
We’re usually content with our hole-in-the-wall spas back in Chiang Mai. However, there’s something to be said when you enter a professional spa and are asked (in English!) what areas of our body we want focused on and what type of pressure we’d prefer. The masseuses knew what they were doing. We felt fantastic and limber and relaxed afterward!
Thai Cooking Class
We’ve participated in two or three all day cooking classes so it was a nice change to experience a one-hour Thai cooking class. Most items were already cut or needed minimal preparation and the dishes the chefs chose to prepare we also quick to make.
Basically, it’s the perfect way to spend about an hour and a half of the afternoon. We had plenty to eat and then we spent the rest of the day lounging on the beach.
- Excellent WiFi throughout the entire property and multiple devices can connect per room
- Junior’s Club for kids that have ball pit and slide, computers, pool table, and more
- Clinic for minor bumps and bruises
- Fitness room featuring free weights and cardio machines
- Join in group activities such as yoga in the morning
- Private airport shuttle for guests to and from the property
The JW Marriott Khao Lak Resort & Spa caters to those who are looking for peace and relaxation all in one spot, excellent service, and the beautiful beaches along the Andaman Sea just a few steps away.
Contact Information for JW Marriott Khao Lak Resort & Spa
Phone: (076) 584-888
Address: 41/12 Moo 3, Khuk Khak Takuapa, Phang Nga 82190 Thailand
Although we are no longer doing YouTube videos, we have made the switch filming our adventures using Periscope and Facebook Live. Be sure to check out this video below. It’s one of several that we took during our stay. It shows just how just how huge the pool is, some fancy cocktails, and a peek into our poolside room.
However, it is a gorgeous place for honeymooners, couples, or families who want to unwind and have everything conveniently at their fingertips. From spotless, comfy rooms and a gigantic pool with several swim-up bars to a variety of hotel-sponsored activities and a beautiful stretch of private beach practically all to yourself, this place is truly lovely.
DISCLOSURE: Our stay at the JW Marriott Khao Lak Resort & Spa was sponsored, but all of our opinions and thoughts you’ve read here are our own. The service, ambiance, and activities went beyond our expectations and we are happy to share our experience so that you can choose whether to include them as part of your upcoming trip to Thailand.