JW Marriott Khao Lak Resort & Spa
20 Traveller reviews from Holiday Watchdog
"What a beautiful hotel, they have thought of everything on this one! Amazing sea front property with the biggest swimming pool I have ever seen..Seen all room types and all were amazing. Had lunch in the waterfront restaurant that overlooks the beach and the food was excellent and resonably priced for a 5 star hotel. Khao Lak itself is quiet low key and you would need to travel about 10 mins in a taxi into the centre but there is enough varity of bars and restaurants and lots of shops selling the normal thai wares. If you are looking to have a relaxing stay in a beautiful beachfront location then this is the one."
- Travel date: Thu 3rd of December 2009
Fabulous resort . . . .
"We (my husband and I along with another couple) stayed for eight nights this November and had a lovely time. We have stayed in resorts throughout Thailand/Malaysia and this certainly rates at the top of the bill!
The resort is new and still in 'soft opening' and I therefore feel that the only couple of niggles we had will probably be sorted when the resort is fully open.
Staff - excellent. Courteous, attentive and genuinely cannot do enough to help. English can be 'iffy' but the majority of front of house/restaurant/bar staff are fairly fluent. Indeed many of the bar staff seemed to like chatting to us in the afternoon at the infinity poolside bar or in the evening in the restaurant or Czar bar. Trips were arranged with little notice (Similian Islands and local markets etc) and transport etc organised very efficiently.
Rooms - Amazing. We had a pool access room with lovely comfortable queen size bed, excellent TV / DVD etc. Huge spacious living area and patio with direct access to pool. Bathroom the best at any hotel I have stayed in. HUGE bath, two showers in the large shower room and double sinks. Immaculately kept and tidied twice daily. Very nice touches flowers, fruit , little cakes - all in all excellent. My one 'gripe' with the room would be the 'pool access'. Although the patio leads straight down four stepping stones to the pool . . the actual 'access' is difficult. Anyone agile may be ok but there are no steps into the pool which was approx 3' deep outside the room. This made it not deep enough to jump or dive in but equally you burnt your bottom on the patio slabs at the side if you tried to sit on the edge to slide in! Getting out was also a bit of a problem to me for the same reason springing out on your hands on to your bottom is not easy and when you manage it you again get burnt! I did notice a couple of rooms that had access to a slope inthe water and some of the rooms on the other side of the buildings actually had steps - I would recommend that to make the rooms really 'pool access rooms' perhaps a couple of metal swimming pool steps could be put in between rooms to actually make the access easier.
Swimming Pools: The pools are impressive and beautiful . Massive areas to keep clean which I am sure will improve as hotel is more occupied. . just somewhat spoilt by running giant pool cleaners in the main area during the day (could this not be done at night?) and certainly spoils your photos! Beautiful pools for swimmers and sunbathers alike with areas to sit out while in the water to keep cool and lovely swim up bar at 'Infinity' where we spent many a 'happy hour!' Conscientious smiling pool/beach staff who even straighten your bed for you while you take a dip.
Restaurants. Very Good. We tried the Thai restaurant one evening and then went back a further three times! We also had a lovely meal on the beach from the set evening menu and could not fault either. Not that expensive if you add on the cost of the transport to go outside the resort (700/800 baht) and we in fact preferred our meals in the Thai restaurant on site (also open to non residents) to our meal in the top rated Candle Restaurant in the town which was a similar price. Yes you can eat cheaper - in fact we had a lovely meal at one of the beach bars nearby . . (the last one on the right from the hotel down the beach) and excellent sandwiches at another one further down the beach by the washed up Tsunami boat . . but to be honest we would have been happy eating in the hotel full time! Breakfast - good selection lovely rolls and fresh cooked eggs oriental and european selections as well as cold cuts, smoked salmon and dim sum. Shame that the food kept ready cooked eg bacon sausage potato etc was never hot enough - in fact really quite cold. A few overhead infra red 'warmers' would be useful in the servery area rather than relying on the tepid bain marie type of underneath heating. Also rather painful breakfast music - not even sure how to describe it although when we explained it to other staff members as the 'bing bing bing' music at breakfast they all fell about laughing and appeared to know exactly which music we meant (but would probably be too polite to tell the management!!) Lovely looking deli cafe serving cakes and sandwiches. Did not venture in for fear of needing to then spend the whole week in the gym - but those cakes looked soooo good!
Gym excellent - actually made it down there a few times. Good equipment and towels and cold water on hand. Would imagine it would be a little more comfortable if the air con could be a bit cooler in the gym area. Spa/Health Centre - had a good Thai massage in the temporary 'spa' as the new one has not yet been completed. Excellent staff and massage - would imagine looking at the new build it will be impressive!
Beach - Excellent. Plenty of sun beds clean white beach palm trees and parasols for shade. Quiet stretch of beach that can have you feeling quite 'Robinson Crusoe' at times! Walked each way up / down the beach - long way to Takua Pa but did it twice (have to negotiate a couple of inlets which is quite possible at low tide) and the other way as far as the inlet which is impassable. Nice exercise and a good way to tan!
Well quite a long review - I hope that those reading it find it helpful. I would certainly recommend the JW Marriot Cher Fah as an exotic quiet and luxurious holiday and we will I am sure return."
- Travel date: Tue 1st of December 2009
Wonderful Hotel/Traumhaftes Hotel
"We have been at the JW Marriott for three weeks and we had a perfect vacation. This luxurious hotel leaves nothing to be desired. The beautiful and spacious resort is the perfect place to relax.
The service is very friendly and helpful and they speak English and German. Our expectations have been exceeded by far.
The rooms are spacious and very comfortable, especially the bath room, and cleaned up twice a day.
The beach is sensational.
During our stay a Thai and a Japanese restaurant were opened and both of them are recommendable. We ordered dishes not on the menu and everything was absolutely delicious.
Finally, we had a wonderful vacation at the JW Marriott Khao Lak and are planning to return."
- Travel date: Sun 29th of November 2009
The Best of the Best
"Yes, we are picky, and yes, we don't want to see our neighbors (or anyone too close) during holidays. Yes, we rather pay a bit more to have that "dream island" feeling, and yes, we appreciate the "home away from home" concept, incl. linen, towels and appliances, that unfortunately didn't fit into the suitcase - this time (WARNING!) :-)
Cher Fah is one of the best resorts we have stayed. Being a travel publisher for the high-end hotspots on this planet, we certainly know to judge...
Perfect... Beautifully decorated rooms, spacious yet homey, with a substantial balcony and seating opportunities. If you are up to look down on things and want to have a bit of a view, save money and book a room on the first floor. The Pool Access rooms have a water channel in front (great for families with kids), but we found the view and balcony better. Everything is provided, from DvD Player, spacious fridge/Mini bar etc.
Perfect. 220 staff during off season...you can't sneak out of the door without someone wanting to help you. Amazing: they are indeed able to help! Highly trained staff, a competent managing team, best waiters. Nothing they wouldn't do to make us happy.
And if your English is not that good - don't worry and join the club with them :-)
Perfect (for us!). Very remote, right at the beach, very romantic. Yes, it does take a 30min walk to the next shop (or 5min by taxi), but the advantage: no other hotels, no public, nothing in your sight when you do your daily "Straw hat and Havanna" beach walk towards nowhere. Buy some drinks and essentials at local stores before checking in and you are fine.
Perfect. A huge Spa and entertainment development is taking place, 4 and more restaurants, a fully (and very rare: well) equipped Gym, the biggest pool in Asia (swimmers: you can exercise for 3km through the various pools and water channels) etc.
Because the resort was still in its soft opening phase we couldn't use much of it - but no doubt it will be good. Free Internet via cable in all rooms, and of course the nicely formed towels (we loved Mummy and Baby Elephant) and night cake.
FOOD & BEVERAGE
Ok. During our stay only 15 of the about 240 rooms were occupied. The kitchen did run on a small flame therefore we cannot judge on the food so much (dammit!), but it was fresh, nicely presented, but nothing special. Comparing the breakfast with other hotels: guys you could still improve a bit there. Good: Room service without extra charge, extended breakfast hours. Prices as to be expected, high for Thailand and OK for Europe.
A place to dream of during the soft opening - hopefully they keep it that way also during peak season. Thanks to Jan and all the others - we will return.
(The International TravelGuide South Africa)"
- Travel date: Tue 27th of October 2009
"My wife and I stayed 4 days in October, weather was mixed with occasional showers which we enjoyed
Found accom good with pool access room top class.
Dining area very pleasant with great location breakfast good selections except cooked food is cold seems to be a constant in Thailand were food is cooked put in bain marie with no heat.
Had evening meal and was very happy albiet a little expensive for Thailand.
Only gripe was trip to Khao Lak cost 400 baht one way by hotel arranged ride a courtesy bus at set times would be helpful.
Staff very good."
- Travel date: Sun 25th of October 2009
Amazing resort. No disappointments.
"I've stayed in many Marriott Resorts, mostly in the US and Thailand and am familiar with the brand. The JW Marriott Khao Lak is a special place. If you are looking to stay in the Phuket / Khao Lak area, I would give my highest recommendation to stay here. They have spared no expense in every area of the infrastructure and within the rooms. The service and attitude of the employees is top notch. The employees are happy and so the resort is a happy place to stay.
Concerning the property, the pool is a gem. Long winding lagoons that lead into larger areas (beach, Jacuzzi, family areas, etc). The greenery has been carefully selected and is maintained meticulously. The overall design, size and materials used is right out of an art gallery. Like nothing I've seen in a resort of this caliber.
We were greeted with special frozen fruit drinks, smiles, flowers and friendly conversation. The lobby was gorgeous overlooking 2/3 of the property and many of its pools, fountains and landscape.
The rooms are power packed with comfort features and useful technology. The furniture was plush and the bed was heavenly. We loved sitting on the deck and being able to take a few steps to enter the pool. Very private and relaxing. The housekeepers have a detailed checklist and do an outstanding job of cleaning the room. All of the details were thought of. Huge towels, Cisco phones, halogen reading lamps on the bed, 40 inch flat screen, lots of closet space, great coffee, rain effect shower, giant bathtub, temperature controls that work extremely well, large ceiling fan, lots of stylish lighting, big comfortable deck chairs, etc, etc.
We enjoyed the food here and the breakfast was incredible. Great service and selection. We especially liked the quality of the food. The eggs, juices, waffles, pastries and coffee were perfect.
There is much more to say, but I'll stop here. I think Marriott has hit a home run with this resort."
- Travel date: Fri 23rd of October 2009
A great place to relax
"We came to Cher Fah to relax and unwind. While the resort was not fully completed, it had everything we needed. The pool area was great, the children enjoyed the Kids Club and were made to feel part of the family. The staff were very attentive and were always smiling. We will be back."
- Travel date: Fri 16th of October 2009
Perfect Service + Splendid Room" = Excellent holiday
"We spend one week at the Cher Fah in Khao Lak during our trip through Asia. Both of us were overwhelmed from the Resort and especialy the brand new rooms. We had one with "Pool Access" and it was equpped with everything of he best we could think of<. 3 x Cisco VoIP-Telephones, Samsung 37" LCD and DVD with connectors for Laptop, HDMI etc. Te bathroom is marvellous and there is a large window to the bedroom. We really loved this room and could access the 16000 square-meter pool directly from our4 veranda!
I would like to mention espeically the staff which is more then happy to "read every wish form your eyes" :-) Although still in the soft opening phase. Everything was nice, 100 % clean and the approx. 290 staffmembers showed their friendly behavious in every way they could.
The beach was nice and the ppol is really huge. We enjoyes drinks at the pool bar whilst sitting in the water.
We also visited another 5-Star Hotel nearby for Diner but we were very happy that we did choose the Cher Fah for staying and not the other one.
I can 120 % recommend that hotel."
- Travel date: Wed 9th of September 2009
"Well, about Cher Fah there is only one thing to say, it is perfect. The Hotel at overall, the rooms, the pool, the bars, the food, location, and they have best, most welcoming staff I have ever met."
- Travel date: Mon 31st of August 2009
"My husband and I chose to stay here for a total of 6 nights after we were offered a great deal against other hotels in the area.
The staff at this hotel are wonderful. In fact, there are loads of them and they are extremely attentive and very friendly. We were there in low season, so it probably explains the number of staff per resident ratio.
We arrived to be told some major parts of the hotel (the pool in particular) were contaminated and would most likely be fixed after a couple of days. Part of the pool was fixed, but the main pool closest to the beach (the best part of the 3km pool) was not completed during our stay. We were offered a complimentary one hour massage each (one of the best massages I've ever had) to compensate. We were informed before we arrived that there were certain parts of the hotel that were unfinished (understandable for such a new resort).
We opted to stay in a pool view room. The rooms are very clean, nicely decorated and extremely comfortable. We did however have to change rooms due to the air conditioner blowing an unpleasant smell for a couple of nights. The staff were very good at resolving this issue.
Whilst the buffet breakfast was great (mix of thai and western options), the standard of the food at Cher Fah was overall disappointing. We had several meals at the hotel during our stay due to the fact we couldn't be bothered leaving the hotel. All of them were disappointing and overpriced. We opted for local food most days and have to say we had some of the best food experiences in Khao Lak that we have ever had.
Overall, Khao Lak is beautiful-it has a lot to offer. It would be great if Cher Fah made it easier to experience the local offerings. Having the hotel arrange a taxi ride to the local market (10 minute ride) or head out for a meal will set you back a total of 400 bhart (one way!). Any local taxi would charge around 200 bhart for the same ride, so basicically, the hotel charges you double for simply making the call to a driver. Because the hotel was unfinished and experiencing problems in areas, we did receive complimentary rides to where ever we wanted to go.
If you are looking for a lovely resort to simply relax in a great part of Thailand, away from the tourists, and are not fussed about overpaying for services at the hotel, then I would recommend Cher Fah.
We look forward to returning once the hotel has been running a while longer.
P.S The gym here was great too."
- Travel date: Tue 15th of September 2009
Find paradise in Khao Lak
"We choose the Cheh Fah Resort in Khao Lak after research on the internet, and were highly satisfied with our decision. We were looking for a quiet and relaxing place, and Cher Fah lived up to our expectations.
Service and attention to detail as impeccable. Every little detail was cared for. Staff was very friendly and highly attentive to our requests and needs. A little thing like providing free drinking water throughout the day, both by the pool, seaside and at the restaurant made a very good impression with us (at present, during soft opening, only one restaurant is open, but three more will open by the time the resort is in full gear). It may not seem like much, but to provide drinking water all the time, even though we didn't always buy other drinks at poolside, showed that focus was on making sure we had a good time, and not just try to make more in beverage sales. A very, very nice touch.
At the restaurant, where we ate most evenings, the staff was very helpful in accommodating to our special requests, like arranging a lobster dinner for one when we wanted it. Food was excellent, and service very good. One evening we asked to have a table moved to the beach, and the staff did this without any hesitation. This kind of service, where the guest is requesting something out of the ordinary, can be hard to find at other resorts. Requests for special drinks, such as alcohol free wine, was met as fast as staff could find it - which isn't easy in Thailand. When I found non-alcoholic beer myself, I was allowed to bring my drinks to dinner myself, even though I didn't buy the beer at the resort. Again, focus was on the guests' needs, not bottom line of sales in the restaurant. Likewise, staff freely provided details on other places to eat and drink outside the resort, which impressed me, as it can sometimes be hard to get information on outside options at resorts like Cher Fah - but here it was no problem.
It is impossible to list all the little and big things at Cher Fah which made our vacation so enjoyable, there are simply too many that made a good impression. An example was our last evening there, when restaurant staff came out with paper lanterns and helped us send them up from the beach. It was a very special and thoughtful finish to our time there.
I have stayed in hundreds, even thousands of hotels all over Asia, but have rarely met service such as we had at Cher Fah. The staff, both local and foreign, work hard to make your holiday a perfect one, and we clearly felt this.
There are some (not many!) startup hiccups, but they are vastly overshadowed by the impeccable service and attentiveness."
- Travel date: Sat 22nd of August 2009
Splendid place to unwind
"While most other Thai attractions might get a little empty and desperate for the average European traveller in these times of political and economical turmoil, the Cher Fah in Khao Lak is to be commended for all sorts of reasons.
Despite the fact the resort hasnÂ´t been fully finished yet, it is welcoming guests with open arms and friendly traditional Thai `wais`. One canÂ´t possible complain, as the rates are only a fraction of what they once were. Bargain huntersÂ´ paradise.
Just off the main road, North of the peacefull beach retreat Khao Lak, a secluded hideaway opens its gates to travellers.
Once standing in the main lobby, overlooking the gigantic dimensions of the pool, youÂ´ll soon forget the 90 minutes drive from Phuket.
This resort is setting a new standard for Thai resorts.
Try it out if you have the chance!"
- Travel date: Fri 7th of August 2009