Marriot’s Phuket Beach Club review
This is my review of the Marriot’s Phuket Beach Club (MPBC) in Mai Khao, Phuket, Thailand. We stayed here for one week at the end of November / start of December 2017.
The MPBC is an impressive resort. It is co-located with the JW Marriot with the JW suites in the middle of the resort and the MPBC on the north and south edges of the complex. Upon arrival at the resort, we were escorted to the reception desk and offered a much appreciated cold face cloth and tropical juice, while the staff checked us in. We were then chauffeured in a golf buggy to our home for the next week.
The first impression of apartment #1421 was “wow”. We had a 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom villa, which was very spacious and everything we could possibly need. For a video tour, check out the following:
The bathrooms were stocked with bath gel, shampoo, conditioner, body lotion, soaps and a shaving kit. These supplies were replenished daily as needed. Plenty of towels were supplied and the ones dropped on the floor were replaced daily. The master bathroom was huge! Although it wasn’t really bath weather, we had to use the giant tub.
The kitchen was well stocked with plates, bowls, cups, glasses, cutlery, toaster, drip coffee maker, paper towels, dish drying rack, teapot, water jug, colander, corkscrew, knife set, ladles, flippers, strainer, whisk, tongs, mixing bowls, reusable plastic storage containers, rice cooker, pots/pans, tea towels, oven mitts, placemats, microwave, cooktop and a full-size fridge. Water, coffee, coffee filter paper, teabags and sugar (real and artificial) were replenished daily. The coffee provided was on the weak side, so if you’re fussy, bring your own ground coffee.
The master bedroom was very large and contained a very high king-size bed with a firm mattress. The second bedroom had two double beds. Both bedrooms had televisions and plenty of storage space. There was safe in the master bedroom closet which was big enough to hold our small laptop computer.
The air-conditioning worked well, but we normally turned the bedroom air-con off at night because it made a rattling noise.
The television reception was good and there were plenty of channels to watch (Asian and Western). The wifi also worked well.
We didn’t cook much except for breakfast. Even though the Marriot breakfast buffet was reputed to be fantastic, there was no way I could justify paying 750 Baht per person (plus tax plus service charge, so closer to 880 Baht per person (28 USD or 36 AUD)). Instead, before we left home, I placed an order with Tesco online for breakfast items, drinks, snacks and fruit. Our order was delivered during our chosen time slot by a couple of very nice young men. We didn’t know our room number at the time of ordering, so stated for them to check with reception. We bought freshly baked bread at the Siam Deli within the resort complex; they offered a wide variety of bread and also baked croissants four times per day. The bread was sold at Western prices. There’s also an option to order room service breakfast, but we didn’t make use of this service.
All of our lunches aand dinners were eaten outside of the resort, but within walking distance. Fortunately, we were staying in the northern villas, which are closer to the locals shops. We had quite a few meals at the Thai Express. It’s not the cheapest place to eat, but definitely cheaper than eating at the resort. The food was always very good to excellent and the service ranged from very good to slow-ish.
Our favourite place to eat was JJ’s. It was a longer walk to get to JJ’s as we had to go past the mall, past Marriot’s Mai Khao Beach Resort, shortcut through the staff parking/service buildings and out the back entrance. The food was excellent, the prices were great and JJ is such a delightful character. The best dish we had there was on his specials’ board — a steamed sea bass; it doesn’t sound that great, but the lemongrass and other aromatics added to the fish made it divine.
We ate once at the Coffee Club. They offer more than just coffee. The food was good and the service was fine.
We ate once at the Bill Bentley pub. The food was just ok to not too bad, but a good option if you need a break from Thai food. The service was good, but we were the only ones in the pub at the time (we were having an extremely late lunch).
One place we visited a few times was the Sawasdee Seafood “Restaurant” It comprised a few shacks on the beach at the southern end of the resort complex. It was attached to one of the three beachside massage venues. After our one hour massages (500 Baht per person), we would go for some lunch. Cheap, simple, but delicious meals. The menu was limited, but still there was enough variety to keep us happy. They served alcohol as well.
The time of year we were there, end of November to start of December, the weather was a bit iffy. It was predominantly overcast with some sprinkles and a couple of downpours. The sun and blue sky really only made it out once (on the day before we left).
Here is our video from around the resort:
The best thing about this resort is the staff. The Thai people are great and the staff are the cream of the crop. The housekeeping staff are wonderful. The apartments were lightly serviced daily with a more major service/clean mid-week.
The only negative of our stay was the other guests. One night we had a couple having a major row in the apartment below us and a bunch of British drunks on their balcony right above us, yelling to their friends walking past outside and yelling to each other about how drunk they were at 1 am. I had to complain to the front desk and they managed to deal with it. Unfortunately, some people choose to get married at this resort and their guests get out of hand. Later in the week, a nice man from Guest Relations came by to make sure everything was ok with our stay.
Would we stay here again? It’s a great resort, but perhaps not our style. This was my 7th time to Thailand and my 3rd time to the Phuket area. I generally prefer a more immersive, grassroots experience. Mai Khao is quite a distance from the more touristed part of Phuket. We weren’t planning on doing any touring, so the isolated location didn’t affect us. The prices are generally higher than the rest of Thailand. If you prefer the five star resort experience with a kids club, plenty of poolside loungers and a light impression of the country you’re visiting, then this is the place for you. You will be well looked after. This would also be a good place for an overseas wedding.