WHAT'S IT LIKE? A resort that’s very much of its time, and commendably so. Thoughtfully designed and accessorised, the JW pays due heed to environmental considerations as well as taking excellent care of its guests.
WHERE IS IT? On Mai Khao Beach, north of the airport, just short of the Sarasin Bridge connecting Phuket to the mainland.
HOW MANY ROOMS? A total of 265, including 12 suites and the Royal Suite or Baan Mai Khao, which is set apart from the resort with two bedrooms and its own pool.
ROOM FACILITIES: To the polished wooden floors, Jim Thompson fabrics, separate bath tub and shower and high-speed internet access, add a very amenable indoor sala – window-side twin massage mats and triangular cushions that are ideal for romantic interludes or simply lolling. All rooms on the upper floors sport a balcony, while many on the ground floor have a private terrace.
RESTAURANTS: Most guests start the day making repeated passes of the splendorous buffet at Marriott Café, which includes DIY Bucks Fizz and Bloody Mary. Cucina has been cited as serving the best Italian cuisine in Asia. Siam Deli tempts with homemade goodies.
BARS: Out of the Blue is split into “Splash” and “Drink”, the former embedded in the southernmost pool beneath a waterfall, the latter by the beach, with blue drinks being poured from blue bottles into blue glasses amid ditto décor. A great place to chill, and the DJ may just play some blues from time to time.
BUSINESS FACILITIES: Unlike some such hotel facilities whose factotums seem bewildered by the intricacies of logging on, the staff here are informed, informative and a real pleasure to do business with. Well above five-star.
LEISURE FACILITIES: The bases are all well and truly covered, with a shiny gym, mountain bikes, tennis, watersports, an outdoor trapeze, three pools, and a very smart Mandara Spa. A teak sala for yoga and meditation is offered.
VERDICT: Actively supporting the local marine turtle foundation, and running highly popular cooking classes, the JW wraps up the Alpha and Omega of Thailand in an exceptionally user-friendly package.
PRICE: From US$144 for a Deluxe Garden View Room in late April, with 21-day booking.
CONTACT: 231 Moo 3, Mai Khao, Talang, Phuket 83110, Thailand, tel 66 76 338 000, www.jwmarriottphuket.com