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Phuket - Marriott Phuket Beach Club

Updated: Feb 4, 2023


Marriott Phuket Beach Club, A Marriott Vacation Club Resort


Location: Mai Khao

Driving time from airport: 10 minutes

Accommodation: we stayed in a 2 bedroom serviced apartment

Visited: January 2023

Duration: 5 nights, 6 days

Who came along: Husband and 2 kids (5 and 3 years old)

Personal rating: 4/5

Would I come back: Yep!



 

Intro


For this holiday, since we'd been doing a lot of active, city or cultural holidays over the last year, and work (and just life) had been super busy - we were really keen on having a super chilled holiday. Not having to rush around, not having to make any major decisions, not having any schedules to meet, and (importantly) not to exhaust ourselves. Rest and relaxation was the name of the game. We literally booked one activity during our 5 nights stay (the horse riding, which was only for an hour and a 5-10 minutes drive from the hotel).


We also didn't travel with our helper, so in the evenings we're usually just in our room whilst the kid's are sleeping - with one of us maybe popping out for a massage or walk around. So we missed out on the evening activities going on around the resort. But they do have live music at night, and on Thursday's they have a fire show and dance in front of the reception area at the reflection pool, which I've heard is awesome. Unfortunately we weren't there on a Thursday, so missed it!


I've set out what I hope to be some useful information and details regarding the Marriott and our stay there.


 

Getting There


We flew out from Singapore on Jet Star (was delayed by one hour, but could've been worse), and landed in the late afternoon. Headphones and iPad are a must for the kids guys!


I completely forgot to confirm airport pick up with the Marriott, so we ended up having to get a taxi. No big deal - we went to the taxi kiosk (one is inside at Arrivals after you come out of baggage claim, and another one is outside near the exit). We told them where we were going and were quoted THB 600 - thought this seemed fine (was in line with what Marriott's website said regarding the cost). Paid the people at the kiosk, got a receipt and waited for our taxi driver to come. So don't forget to bring a little cash if you plan on taking taxis.


After getting in the car and loading it up with kids and luggage, we had a short 10 minute drive before arriving at the Marriott. So the Marriott Beach Club shares the same facilities as JW Marriott (so same reception, swimming pool, restaurants, etc). Only difference is, the Marriott Beach Club are serviced apartments, whilst the JW Marriott are the usual hotel rooms and suites.


When we left to fly back, we arranged a taxi with the hotel and it was only THB 500. Had to pay the driver in cash.


 

The Room


The hotel was beautiful, and after being checked in, we got a buggy to our block. We stayed in block 15, third floor. The kids obviously loved the buggy! It's about a 3 minute drive from the lobby to block 15 (which is the last block of the Marriott Beach Club that's closest to the beach and the adult's only swimming pool). The other blocks are closer to the small car park and a big scenic pond that you can walk around to get to the main part of the resort.





It was a really nice serviced apartment! 2 bedrooms, one with 2 double beds and one with a king sized bed, and an adjoining bathroom for both rooms. Big balconies too. Both bathrooms have bathtubs. We ended up using the en-suite bathroom in the master bedroom the whole time, because of the large bath tub for the kids, and the separate shower stall.


One thing I was surprised about - there's no complimentary toiletries readily available in the bathrooms, as you'd normally expect from a hotel. Maybe because it was a serviced apartment? So no toothbrushes, razors or combs - but there was lotion, soap, shampoo and conditioner. I'm sure if you called reception they'd probably provide you with some complimentary items that you needed.


 

Shopping and Eating


Turtle Village (small shopping plaza) is only a 5-10 minute easy walk, and there's a supermarket in the basement where you can get snacks, amenities, drinks, and even things to cook, etc. if you feel like doing a meal in or cooking something for your little ones. There's not too much at Turtle Village. There are a few restaurants, if you want to try something outside of the hotel, and a few shops. If your airlines lost your luggage or you just feel like buying some new swim wear for the kids or yourselves, there are 2 stores there that sell rip curl, quicksilver, etc.


Restaurants at dinner time in the resort get booked up! So you do need to book in advance.


They have a Benihana Teppanyaki restaurant in the hotel. Was difficult to book a table for dinner with seats at the teppanyaki table. So we ended up going for lunch - less crowded, and got to sit at the teppanyaki table. Kids loved it - got a real show. It's definitely not like the usual teppanyaki I'm used to, where the chefs just cook and present the food to you - they put on a bit of a show (fire, catching things in their hat, etc). There was food for both meat eaters and vegetarians (e.g. vegetarian miso soup udon, avocado sushi and vegetable tempura). And they also have kids teppanyaki set meals (e.g. fried rice with salmon).


We got our serviced apartment with breakfast included. But surprisingly this did not include the buffet breakfast, which is what I'd come to expect from resorts in Asia. They did have a separate restaurant on 2/F that served the main buffet breakfast (JW Cafe). For us, we had to have breakfast at the Siam Deli on the 1/F (or ground floor, as some might call it). The food was pretty good. I'd recommend the Mozzarella and Tomato Tartine and Avocado Tartine. For vegetarians, the restaurant was quite flexible! We were able to order the full breakfast (eggs anyway we wanted, hash brown, grilled tomato, baked beans, sausages and bacon), and just asked them for no bacon or sausages, and instead to give us an extra tomato. We did the same for the Eggs Benedict - just asked for no ham or salmon, and to instead get an extra hash brown. Coffee wasn't great, but what you gonna do. I'd recommend sitting outside the Siam Deli, and on the tables nearest to the Game Zone (opposite side from where Benihanna is). This was great for us, as our kids ran off to play giant Jenga and connect 4, whilst we sat and drank our coffee - and we could keep a good eye on them. Only thing is they have a morning yoga class in the game zone area (until about 8:45 a.m.) - so either the kids have to play quietly, or they may be asked to come back later.


For lunch we generally ate by the pool, because why not? So much less hassle then trying to convince the kids to leave the pool and then get them showered and dressed to eat in a restaurant. I was definitely looking for a hassle free holiday! We usually ate chips, nachos and salad. But there's of course other options, like burgers (including a beyond burger), fried rice, etc. And I definitely indulged in some poolside cocktails by the kiddie pool. Would highly recommend the Mango Margarita or Pina Colada ("I love Pina Colada's, and making love in the rain...").


For dinner, we ended up just ordering room service and eating at 5 p.m. and then tucking the kids in around 6-7 p.m. Our kids sleep early, and were seriously knackered after all the fun in the sun. In-room dining can take about 45 minutes to arrive - so plan a bit early to order, rather than waiting last min (we learnt the hard way - some tantrums and tears). To get the in-room dining menu you need to scan a QR code (drove my hubby insane). The food is pretty good. The kids usually ate margarita pizza, chips, and vegetarian fried rice with a fried egg, and we tried a couple of local dishes too.


 

Facilities in the Resort


Pools


There were 3 pools - an adult's only pool, a kids pool and main pool, and then a pool with a pool bar (where you sit in the pool and have a drink) and a water fountain pouring over it. The one closest to the serviced apartments where we were staying was the adult's only pool. Then in the middle of the resort (near the building where the reception is) is the main pool with kids pool on the side. It has a really cool slide! Water was shallow enough that my 3 year old could stand in it. And there's even a shallow section on the side (separated by a short wall of turtle statues) which is great for babies.


We spent a lot of time in the kiddies pool. I'd recommend getting the lounge chairs right in front of the slide - easy to keep an eye on the kids, and next to the towel kiosk. And Kids Club and toilets is nearby, behind the deck chairs.



Beach


The resort is right on the beach front, so we spent a few amazing hours playing in the sand and splashing in the water. There's lots of little crabs running around, as well as hermit crabs. We had fun building sandcastles and moats for the crabs, scooping them up in our buckets and spades and putting them in their new home (note, no crabs were harmed in the process).


If you come onto the beach just behind where the kids pool is, there's some nice shade provided by a few giant trees. It's also near where you can rent kayaks, sailing boats and stand up paddle boards. The kids loved the kayaks and paddle board. All 4 of us fit into one kayak, and the kids insisted on paddling us - I wasn't going to argue. They water sports centre also has kids life jackets, which were small enough to fit toddlers.


For the stand up paddle board, my hubby took the kids one at a time. No one fell off (except voluntarily).


There's one section in the sea that's marked off by yellow plastic ball floating barriers (I'm sure there's a real name for those things) - the kayaks, paddle boards, etc, are meant to leave and come back in that area. So no swimmers are allowed in that section for safety reasons. Easy to spot!


We always seemed to end up on the beach between 11a.m. to 1 p.m. - which anyone in their right mind would say "what the hell are you thinking?!". But we just weren't in the mood to force the kids to the beach, when they wanted to go on the slide first. It was very much a "yes" do what the kids ask holiday. But it actually wasn't too bad (bearing in mind we were there in January). It was hot - but hats, suncream, rash guards and water helped. Whenever it got too warm, just dipping into the sea was enough to cool us down.


If you're facing the sea, and turn left on the beach, you'll also see a big tree up on the grass with a wooden swing. And further down the grass area are some restaurants that are part of the resort.


There are no lounge chairs on the beach or umbrellas, and you can't get food or drinks to you served on the beach. This is because it's a public beach. But it was so close to the pool and pool bar, we didn't find it an issue.





Kids Club


The Kids Club was conveniently located near the kid's pool. So usually after the beach and swimming (around 2 p.m.) we'd rinse off the kids under the shower by the pool, and then put on their dry clothes and leave their swimsuits out to dry. We'd then take the kids to the Kid's Club. They had various activities throughout the day, but don't expect them to keep the kids occupied for the full hour. E.g. we took the kids to the mask making, which I think was from something like 2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. - but kids were of course done within 10 mins.


The ladies working at the Kids Club seemed really friendly and nice. They also offer full day kids camp - I think from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., with activities to keep the kids going throughout. We didn't sign the kids up for it, so I can't comment on it.


You can only leave your kids at the Kids Club unattended if they are 4 years old or above. There's also a teenage section, that has video games and a pool table. Just outside the Kid's Club there's also an air hockey table and table tennis table, which me and my husband enjoyed whilst the kids were in the Kids Club. Even though our son was only 3, the ladies were fine with us not being inside the Kids Club the whole time since we were literally just outside the glass doors playing table tennis.


To be honest, I wasn't that impressed with the Kids Club. Was a bit disappointed there weren't more toys to play with (like puzzles, train sets, lego, pretend play, etc.) or any soft play elements (no ball pit, or small slide, or little cars or rocking horses). I know, I know - very first world problems! They seemed to rely a lot on video games and TV. So unfortunately a lot of the time the kids got distracted and sat in front of a screen - but we much prefer it if they're actually playing. Anyway - just one small issue I had. As we still fully utilised it to give the kids an in-door air conditioned area to play.


Kid's full day camp they we're offering as at January 2023



Kids enjoyed the mask making at the kid's club


Not the best photo! But you get the idea of the kid's and family activities around the resort (as at January 2023).


Game Zone


There is also an outdoor (but shaded) Game Zone area with giant chess, giant Jenga, giant connect 4, badminton, and much more. Kids enjoyed running around the area whilst we had breakfast nearby. They also do movie nights there in the evening, and hold a dinner buffet sometimes too.



Turtle Sanctuary


Lastly, don't forget the Turtle Sanctuary behind the Kid's Club. You can see a few large turtle swimming around a small pool, and can even feed them turtle food. Was quite cool to see the turtles, as I'm a big animal lover. But I did expect it to have a bit more interactive and educational things to do. The pool for the turtles was also really small. We spent about 15 mins there. It's open from Tuesdays to Saturday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.


Mai Khao Beach is actually an area that leatherback turtles use to nest and lay eggs. The Turtle Sanctuary cares for any injured or disabled turtles.


Getting around the resort


So we mainly walked around the resort - but it's big! And if you're facing the sea, then the serviced apartments are on the far right of the resort's property (next to the adult only pool). The kids didn't mind the walk, and it's quite easy to get to the kid's pool and breakfast from the serviced apartment. There are 2 ways - either along the beach front, or around a pond towards the road / front entrance of the resort. They felt about the same distance, but we generally enjoyed walking along the beach front. Of course the beach is super close, and stretches across the resort, so can take 5 minutes from the serviced apartment. Walking to the kid's pool with the little ones could take anywhere between 15 to 20 minutes - but this depends on how often they stop and get distracted ("ooo a hammock, look at those ants, I want to jump on the rocks, I found a leaf..."). Without the kids, it takes me 8 minutes.



 

Spa


One of my favourite things about staying at a 5 star resort - the spa! I indulged and got 2 x 90 minute Thai massages whilst there. As someone who loves hard massages (need to hammer out those kinks from carrying the kids and sitting at a desk), I found the massages fantastic. It's on the other side of the resort from the serviced apartments. So one time I decided to walk there (walked passed the adult's only swimming pool, next to the beach, around the kids pool, towards the reception, and then passed the Siam Deli (turn left, then right, then left again), passed the fitness centre, and then there you are. A bit of a route - so you need to look for the signs and probably ask someone along the way. I enjoyed the evening walk though. Took me about 10 mins.


The other option is of course to call a buggy to pick you up and drive you to the reception, and then it cuts out half the walking.


The Spa closes at 8 p.m. I usually got my massages at about 6 or 6:30 p.m. after the kids went down, or my hubby was putting them to sleep.


Along the beach and next to the resort, there were also little shelters where people offered massages. Not affiliated with the hotel, and of course much cheaper then the spa. So I saw people either lying on soft mats by the beach getting massaged with their clothes on, or under the wooden shelter on towels. I didn't try it - bit too tricky during the day with the kids, and I found it too hot. I've also done outdoor massages before in other beach holidays - for me, it's nicer in theory then it is in reality. I always get eaten by mosquitos!




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