Last Updated on March 6, 2023
Though I’d first visited Thailand 30 years ago on a fun vacation with girlfriends, my recent trip was very different. This time I returned for a two-week stay in Phuket with family. What made it unforgettable was my husband and I staying in an incredibly gorgeous, fully-furnished Thailand Phuket Resort.
The largest island in Thailand, Phuket is located in the Andaman Sea in southern Thailand. Phuket is among the world’s finest beach destinations with fine, pearly-white sand, nodding palm trees, glittering seas, and vibrant towns.
The island has its own airport that is impressively larger than what I expected. It was super easy to get through customs and immigration and hop into a taxi to our Thailand Phuket resort vacation home a mere 15 minutes away.
It isn’t necessary to rent a car in Phuket and you probably won’t want to. For starters, the steering wheel is on the right (opposite for we Americans). Plus, you will need an international driving license. Finally, drivers can be quite unpredictable and road accidents are common since not everyone follows rules of the road (or even stay in their own lanes for that matter)!
Taxis are not expensive and fares are prorated and posted.
Arriving to Mai Khao Beach Phuket, Thailand
Exiting our vehicle, we immediately felt like we’d entered nirvana, especially after spending 20-some hours on planes from the US mainland.
It didn’t take long to get drawn into the Zen of the moment during check in at Mai Khao Beach Phuket Marriott in the magnificent open-air lobby. We were offered a special house-made beverage, a cool cloth, a fan and a greeting of “sawasdee kha,” a closed hand bow and warm welcoming smiles from everyone.
You won’t find a kinder more attentive staff or a warmer people than those at the Marriott in Thailand Phuket. There wasn’t one person we interacted with who wasn’t anything less than authentic, gracious, and eager to please. It’s their culture, and it’s in their hearts.
Mai Khao Beach Phuket Marriott
Mai Khao Beach Phuket Marriott shares its magnificent property with the JW Marriott. The vacation club bookends the JW with two sets of two-bedroom villas referred to here as ‘apartments.’
The 1,054-square foot two-bedroom villas include two full baths, a fully-furnished kitchen, living room with a sofa bed, dining area and laundry room. The master suite with a king bed also sports a large soaking tub with marble flooring. The second bedroom has two queen beds.
We loved our spacious double outdoor patio overlooking a tropical river with a table-for-four seating area. Even on a balmy day, the powerful patio ceiling fan provided plenty of comforting breezes.
The joy of waking up each morning to sounds of local bird calls was always a treat.
Each villa at the Thailand Phuket resort is tastefully decorated with touches of Thailand. Robes and slippers are also at your fingertips. Unlike other vacation clubs we’ve stayed in, daily housekeeping here is included.
How to describe the grounds of this incredibly picturesque resort?
There are several walking paths meandering throughout the resort passing by a massive lily pond, palm and deciduous lined streams, bridges, and small waterfalls. In addition, small Buddhist temples situated throughout the property are lovingly decorated with food and drink set out several times a day for the birds and other local fauna.
It’s such a soothing and peaceful ambience.
Marriott in Thailand Phuket
For those who don’t want or need all the roominess of a vacation villa, an option is booking the JW Marriott. Guest accommodations vary from single rooms, family rooms and suites.
The expansive property includes a wide beachfront and three pools with lots of waterfalls and other water features overlooking the glistening turquoise Andaman Sea. The main pool also sports a children’s area and whirlpool, and the north pool is adults-only.
The fitness center is impressive, sporting separate saunas for men and women along with a cool plunge pool and jacuzzi with amazingly-strong jets. If you’re stiff after a long flight to Phuket or sore after a good workout or outdoor adventure, this is the place to work out all those kinks. The spa also offers an extensive menu of body treatments.
Of note: you will also find plenty of local beach massage facilities nearby offering incredibly reasonable massages. We paid only $30 USD for a one-hour Thai massage.
A game room at the JW Marriott in Thailand Phuket for the kids includes daily movies along with active table games like ping pong, air hockey and foosball.
Free Wi-Fi is also included along with free parking and there is no resort fee. Each day housekeeping replaces towels, water in recyclable, refillable glass bottles, coffee, tea and snacks.
Two times weekly, Mai Khao Beach Phuket, Thailand offers Thai water shows with traditional costumes, masks and performers accompanied with music. On the beach at M Club, a feet-in-the-sand show enthralls guests with feats of fun and fire. Live music can be found at many of its venues.
Mai Khao Marine Turtle Foundation
Mai Khao is one of the few Phuket beaches that continue to support nesting turtles. The foundation, located right at the resort was founded to safeguard the nesting turtles in the area and to promote safe, clean waters and beaches on the island.
Visitors have the opportunity to learn about the foundation’s history and Phuket turtle population and the ongoing efforts to preserve the vulnerable turtle habitats and promote their preservation. We also got to see five rescued injured turtles along with some new babies recently hatched.
The turtle foundation is free to hotel guests and the public although donations are highly appreciated. This is one experience that shouldn’t be missed.
Restaurants of the Resort
Once again, because of the combination of two properties on the same site, Mai Khao Beach Phuket Marriott offers an impressive array of dining experiences. Even if you’re staying in a villa, sometimes it’s nice to change it up and enjoy dinner with a view, a cooling ocean breeze, or attend a cooking class.
Restaurants at Phuket Beach range from traditional Thai, seafood, steak, Italian, Japanese, and more. Our favorite was Ginja Taste, authentic gourmet Thai cuisine with a contemporary twist. We rarely frequent a single restaurant more than once on vacation, but could not resist a return visit to this magnificent dinner venue because of the quality of its food, presentation, stunning views, and incredible service.
Thanks to Mai Khao Beach Phuket Marriott’s ideal location, guests can walk to local restaurants in town or further down the beach to really get the feel for local cuisine and of course, save some money.
An Unforgettable Escape
Despite staying in Thailand for two weeks and doing a lot of touring and adventuring, we were sad to pack our bags and leave for home. We all fell in love with Thailand, its warm and wonderful people and the staff at Mai Khao Beach Phuket, Thailand who became friends, not to mention the magnificent food and surroundings, the stunning sunsets, and a place we call our Pandora.
And how special was it? We’re already planning our next trip back to this magnificent Thailand Phuket resort!