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Review / JW Marriott Phuket Resort & Spa

Pool // Photo by: JW Marriott
Pool // Photo by: JW Marriott

Pool // Photo by: JW Marriott

JW Marriott Phuket offers an excellent venue for medium sized meeting and conferences and larger scale weddings.  There have been several successful Indian Weddings, and this property does lend itself to this, with the only proviso being on ensuring there are adequate rain contingencies for the group size.

Certainly this property is highly recommended for meetings, the banqueting staff are very helpful and accommodating.

The JW Marriott Phuket remains a DDK top pick.

Location

North of Phuket Airport on the west coast at Mai Khao Beach, it is in a quieter part of Phuket.  Mai Khao Beach is part of Sirinat National Park therefore there are restrictions regarding it.  The beach, which is the longest in Phuket at 11kms is not as pristine as the more southerly areas, there is also a sharp drop off into the Andaman Sea, making it unsuitable for on beach set-ups, however, the expansive grounds along the beach create some interesting sites for marquees and al fresco events.

Adjacent Properties

Within the same area there are several properties that are good for both overflow rooming, and offer some different venue options for groups.  The adjacent Marriott Mai Khao Beach Vacation Club offers additional apartment style accommodation, although this is not always ideal for a corporate group, but may suit weddings guests.  There are also some additional F&B outlets and Turtle Village which is a small shopping mall.

Also adjacent is the Anantara Phuket Villas, a stunning boutique property: and the newly opened Anantara Vacation Club is across the road with self-catering type villa accommodation.

The Renaissance Phuket Resort & Spa, a sister property, is a couple of kms further down the road.  The beach here is less steep and could be used as an additional beach set-up location and because of the affiliation between the properties there is good co-ordination.

Between the Airport and the property is Blue Canyon Golf and Country Club, the premier Golf Courses in Phuket, just 10 minutes from the property.

Given the traffic tends to be towards the southern part of Phuket, this property is not only close to the Airport but traffic isn’t an issue, making it very accessible which is a great benefit.  Conversely, during peak times, an advertised 30 minute drive by some southerly properties can take over an hour and be quite an unpleasant start to an event.

Accessibility is very good and also close to Phang Ngai and many interesting excursions and activities, including some idyllic beach properties that can be booked for additional offsite events.

Arrival

An attractive entrance and open lobby area that lends itself to some arrival entertainment and hospitality staff away from the check-in area.  Ample check-in counters and excellent personalized guest greeting.  The large reflection pool gives a sense of space and the exotic; every evening there is a fire show in the pool.  The lobby lounge is located at the side of the reflection pool, it is quite small given the size of the property, but there is additional lounge seating adjacent to the check-in counters.

Rooms

The standard of rooms is good and commensurate with a five star property, there are some suites for VIP guests, but generally the rooms are very similar which is a plus for groups.   Some rooms are a long walk from the lobby.

Meeting Rooms

This property has one of the best meeting facilities in Phuket, it is a separate suite close to the lobby, but is not a throughfare for other guests, which makes this a well thought through facility.

Ballroom

This is of good size and proportion at around 66’ x 100’ and leads off an ample foyer that is light and bright.  Height is around 14’ and the chandeliers are high in the ceiling which works well for conferences, meetings and exhibitions.

The downside is the lack of hanging points, therefore floor standing trusses have to be used for lighting.  HD front projection is potentially clumsy and distracts from a clean stage set and it does seem that back projection is a better option.

Banqueting items have been challenging at this venue, choices of table cloths, chair covers etc. are limited although they are taking notes of comments and increasing their inventory.

Foyer and Meeting Rooms Suite
This is excellent, well proportioned and large enough for most groups.  The glass wall that runs the entire length of the meeting room suite makes it airy and looks out onto greenery and the main hotel lobby.  Automatic sliding doors keeps the area air conditioned, this is a plus as many properties have an open foyer which in the heat can be unpleasant.

There are 4 additional small meeting rooms and a board room.  This can be challenging for larger group break outs, but have a good aspect, and again the foyer has a glass wall looking into a courtyard garden.  Comfortable capacity in the additional rooms is around 30 or 3 round tables, with theatre seating, given there is lectern and projection, around 40 max but they do open up into 2 larger rooms.

Venues for Events

Apart from the Ballroom, there are good options at this property for groups up to around 250.  Rain contingency venues are challenging and something to be taken into consideration.

Beach Parties

As noted earlier, there is minimal opportunity to have a group set-up actually on the beach due to a sharp drop-off and a narrow beach that reduces with the tide.  The grounds are attractive to the beach front having wooden paths that meander along the front with lanterns at night.  Care should be with the creeping ground cover at night, it tends to get caught in open toes shoes with potentially an unfortunate outcome.

Although there is ample beach side land, there are constraints for marquee erection due to the position of trees, although this is possible in one location.  There are also lawns that lend themselves to marquees but not directly on the beachside.

The Andaman Grill is a good venue for cocktail parties or small group dinners, a lovely location with a colonial type architecture; the contemporary Out of the Blue Bar is further down the waterfront, but capacity is limited as is a delightful Thai venue Ginja restaurant and cooking school which is at the most northerly part of the property.

Event Venues

On the lower area of the property there are some interesting options; the lotus pond is a reflection pond with large torches lit at night, it is possible to put a platform in this pond for events and entertainment, however, rain could be an issue, as it is very exposed.  Adjacent to the Lotus Pond is the Lotus Pavilion, a fairly low ceilinged open structure with posts; this is certainly a rain contingency area, however does lack personality so décor design is an important element.   The Siam Deli overlooks the Lotus Pond and is a casual eatery with bakery and sandwiches, it has a relatively small capacity, although the outside walkway is large enough for cocktails.

The swimming pool is located in front of the beach and behind the Lotus Pool and does offer a limited venue but if used together with the surrounding spaces does have promise.

F&B Outlets

The main coffee shop, Marriott Café, is located close to the lobby and meeting suite, is of a reasonable size with an excellent buffet style set-up.  Another smaller outlet, Cucina, is an Italian Restaurant, again capacity is low for a group.  In all there are 6 F&B outlets on site, plus bars.


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