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Marriott's Mai Khao Beach Resort Review - Bumble Bee Mum

Previously we shared our how we spent one week in Phuket with kids.  During the week, we spent 3 nights at Marriott’s Phuket Beach Club and 3 nights in Marriott’s Mai Khao Beach.  In this post, we will share more about Marriott’s Mai Khao Beach – everything from the apartment we stayed in, to the activities, the facilities and dining options in and around the resort.  Let’s start off with a short video introduction!

Our Apartment

When you book your stay at Marriott’s Mai Khao Beach from Marriott.com, there are two types of apartments (with / without plunge pool) you can choose from.  Both apartment types have two bedrooms and each apartment can accommodate up to 6 guests.

The master bedroom had a king bed and the other bedroom had two double beds.

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Both rooms had an attached bathroom.  The common bedroom also had a second door which opened up to the living area.  And unlike many two-bedroom apartments I have stayed in where only the master bedroom toilet had a bathtub, the common bathroom here also had a bathtub.

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The master bedroom’s toilet was HUGE with a large bathtub in the middle and a separate shower.  And there were two sinks inside – well-catered for a group or family of 6!

The apartment came with a fully-equipped kitchenette for guests to prepare their own meals.  Bottled water was provided for us when we checked in, and replenished daily.

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There was even a coffee machine with coffee powder provided.

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The dining room and living room were very spacious and comfortable.  There was a TV in the living room and a TV in each of the rooms.  So technically we could be watching three different channels at any one time!

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And if you follow my blog, you know I give brownie points whenever laundry is available at a hotel.  Double brownie points if detergent was provided as well.  Remember how I went crazy over the free laundry (complete with detergent) at Renaissance Okinawa Resort (Japan), Legend Hotel Khaosiung (Taiwan) and Somerset Puteri Harbour (Malaysia)? In our apartment, there was washer, dryer AND laundry detergent.

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The availability of washer, dryer and detergent was particularly important for this trip because we were travelling by a low cost carrier and did not have to pay for check-in luggage.  We just packed like two sets of clothing and swimming costumes and off we went to Phuket! It was like a trip to the zoo.  (Yes, I pack extra clothes and swimmings costumes to Singapore Zoo and Jurong Bird Park – you’ll know why if you have been there.)

Apartments with Plunge Pool

The ground floor apartments at Marriott’s Mai Khao Beach had their a personal plunge pool.  What I liked about the plunge pool was that it was sheltered – so we could take a dip even when it was raining (which happened a lot when we were there).  Also, while I was staying there, I noticed someone came to clean the pool every morning – so the pool was pretty clean.  I thought the pool was pretty big for a personal plunge pool, much bigger than the one we had at Lexis Hibiscus Port Dickson (Malaysia).

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What I didn’t like was that the plunge pool was 1.8m deep – which was definitely too deep for my boys.  However, we found life jackets in the common room wardrobe so the boys could put them on if they wanted to swim here.  Or maybe you would want to bring your own swimming floats if you are staying in an apartment with plunge pool.

There were two poolside benches next to the plunge pool, so we could lounge by our personal pool and sip a cocktail – the ultimate relaxation!

From the patio, there was a gate that immediately opened out to the public area.  What puzzled me was that although this was supposed to provide us convenience to access the public area, someone had to be inside the apartment to lock up whenever we wanted to leave the apartment.  It wasn’t like we could lock up from outside and go out from the back gate.  One of us still had to lock up from inside, go out through the main door and walk one big round to rejoin the rest of us at the back gate.  Oh well…

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Note that the units with the plunge pool are on the ground floor, and the common bedroom was located right along the corridor where people were walking past throughout the day. Also, the back gate had a latch, but anyone could just reach over and open it. So if you are someone who values privacy, these might make you uncomfortable.

The Little Touches

What I was most impressed with at the end of the day were the little things that housekeeping did.

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Like seriously.. who folds the bed scarf into a bow??

When we first checked in, everything was folded so beautifully and decorated with orchids.

Even the tissue paper was not spared.

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Neither was the kitchen paper towel.

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And I couldn’t help laughing to myself by the thought that on the housekeeping check-list, there was probably an item called “Fold the toilet paper into a fan”.

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Everyday, we could look forward to towel elephants, towel birds or towel rabbits greeting us when we returned to the room after housekeeping was done.

Kids Club

The Kids Club was opened from 8am to 10pm daily and free for all guests to use.  Children aged four and above could be dropped off at the Kids Club with no charge.  Just remember to fill in a form to register your child and the staff would give your child a sticker with his / her name and room number.   After you have done that, the adults can go off to enjoy their own activities while the Kids Club staff would supervise the children in the Kids Club.

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Anytime during the opening hours, kids could go to the Kids Club to help themselves to the array of toys and video games available.

They could also grab some colouring sheets or activity sheets to do.

At the back of the Kids Club, there was a pool table and bicycles – both free for guests to use.  We could help ourselves to the pool table whenever nobody was using it.  As for the bicycles, we had to sign a rental form at the Kids Club desk before taking them for a ride.

From time to time, there would be staff-guided activities at the Kids Club.  Below is a sample schedule of the Kids Club activities.  The schedule changes every month, you should find a copy of the schedule in your room when you arrive.

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There were plenty of activities for to keep the children occupied.  Most of the activities were free, but some (those indicated with a baht symbol) required a material fee.  Our boys tried some of the activities, namely Animal Towel Art, Water Colour Creations and Windmill Designing – all of which were free.

While most of the activities did not require the presence of parents for children age 4 and above to participate in, some activities such as Kids Fun Dance and Cookie Making did. So do check the schedule to see which activities require parents to be around and be back at the Kids Club to join your kids, otherwise they would miss out on those activities.

On the whole, I loved the range of activties offered at the Kids Club and was pleasantly surprised that activities like cookie making were free.  However, I found the current Kids Club itself was rather old and musty.  Good news is, they are already in the process of building a brand new Kids Club!

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The boys didn’t care that the Kids Club was old.  They were fully occupied and happily playing whenever they were there.  During our stay, I think they spent more time in the Kids Club than in the apartment.

Swimming Pools

There was a main pool with water jets and jacuzzis.  The water in the main pool was very deep (even I couldn’t put my feet at the bottom of the pool), so please supervise your children.

On one end of main pool was a wading pool – which MY had fun just running around while I was enjoying the jacuzzi in the main pool where I could still keep an eye on him.

On the other side of the main pool was the pool volleyball.

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It was about 1.4m deep iirc – too deep for both my boys to stand inside.  But we could borrow life jackets for the kids from the towel station and with it on, MF was able to enjoy the pool volleyball.

There was a separate kids pool – which wasn’t very big but had a slide.  The slide wasn’t very high nor fast, so young children could enjoy it.

And next to the kids pool, there was a splash playground.

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I thought the pool facilities here were great as they catered to guests of all ages.  The youngest guests could enjoy the splash playground and kids pool. older children and teens could play pool volleyball and adults had the main pool.

Other Facilities & Activities

Some other facilities we saw at Marriott’s Mai Khao Beach included:

  • Health Club (Gymnasium)
  • Shuffle Board

  • Table Tennis Tables

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  • Boxing Ring

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  • Fun Court

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There was quite a bit of renovation going on at Marriott’s Mai Khao Beach when I was there, so in a few months time, there would probably be some new / renovated facilities coming up. :)

Activities for Teens & Adults

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There were plenty of activities for teens and adults as well.  Unfortunately I did not get to try most of them as 3 year old MY was still too young to be dropped off at the Kids Club so I was hanging out at the Kids Club most of the time.  But below was the schedule when we were there as an example of some types of activities you may find at Marriott’s Mai Khao Beach.  The schedule changes every month, so do check the schedule available in your room when you arrive.

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Note that when it rains, a different wet weather schedule kicks in.

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Dining

There were three dining venues within Marriott’s Mai Khao Beach: Zest, Delights and Aqua Bar.  On top of these, you could also hop over to Turtle Village – a small shopping mall right beside Marriott’s Mai Khao Beach where you can find more dining options.  During the day, when the weather is good, roadside stalls selling street food can be found along the main road outside the resort.  You can also call for delivery or cook your own meals.  If all these are not enough for you, you can even catch the shuttle bus over to Marriott’s Phuket Beach Club and dine at the restaurants there.  So yeah, you don’t need to worry about food while staying at Marriott’s Mai Khao Beach.

Zest

Zest faced the pool and served a mix of Asian and Western dishes in a casual setting.

In the morning, they served breakfast buffet with a decent selection of Asian dishes, danish pastries, fruits and juices.  There was an egg station where you can get your omelettes, fried eggs, sunny side-ups and even eggs benedict.

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For lunch and dinner, you can order from their ala-carte menu.   Appetizers were generally around THB200++ and mains around THB300++.

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Kids Menu was available with mains at THB180++ each.

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I do recommend ordering the Kids Meals which were quite value-for-money.  The serving was pretty generous and more than my boys could eat.  So for our family of 2 adults and 2 children, we could order 1 appetizer, 1 main and 2 kids meal and we would be full without burning a big hole in our pocket.

Delights

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Delights was a casual deli for all-day dining.  The seats were sofa seats and there was even a television inside.

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You could pop in to grab a tea or coffee and a pastry if you are not too hungry.  The croissant cost THB55++, muffins THB50++, donuts THB 99++.

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For a full meal, you can order from their menu which comprised of both Asian and Western food and they had the same kids menu as Zest. Below were the food we ordered for one of our meals:

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Chicken satay (THB240++)

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Green chicken curry (THB320++)

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Kids salami pizza (THB180++)

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Kids Creative Sandwich (THB180++)

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Thai Iced Tea (THB95++)

 

Aqua Pool Bar

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This is where you can get beer, cocktail, mocktail and juices to sip by the pool.  A cocktail was about THB330++.   Do take advantage of happy hours where drinks are one-for-one!

In-Room Dining

if you prefer not to dine out, you could also call room service for in-room dining.  The food would be delivered right to your room.  They even had something called BBQ Butler where you could have a BBQ in your apartment!

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You can also call a local restaurant, Kin Dee Restaurant to do a delivery to the resort. You can see their menu on their website. Kin Dee would deliver the food to the lobby and you would have to go to the lobby to collect the food from them when they arrive.

Of course, there is also the option of preparing your own meal since the apartment comes with a fully-equipped kitchenette.

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The nearest supermarket was just outside the resort at Turtle Village.

In Summary…

When I was there, there was quite a bit of renovation going on at Marriott’s Mai Khao Beach, so I don’t think I got the complete picture of all the resort had the offer.  Even then, there were plenty of activities going on. I loved how family-friendly the resort was – with kids pool and kids club to keep the children fully occupied.  If you would like to drop your children off at the kids club to enjoy all the activities for adults, you would need to wait until your children are 4 years old.

The apartments are great value for money – especially for large families because the apartments can stay up to 6 guests.  The room rate was the same whether 2 guests were staying or 6 guests were staying.  Yet all the guests get full access to the resort facilities when there.  So when you stay in a group of 6, you really stretch your dollar.

Rates depend largely on season – when I tried searching a random date in November, a two-bedroom without plunge pool was about USD190 per night.  But when I searched in December, it went up to about USD240 per night.  And during Christmas week, it was as high as USD475 per night.  So if you are able to go during off-peak, a price below USD200 for 6 guests in such a huge apartment with so many activities and facilities included is a steal imo!

The difference in price between a room with or without plunge pool also largely depends on season. For the November date I searched, room with plunge pool was about USD227, which was just USD37 more than a room without plunge pool.  So it was not that expensive an upgrade.  At the start of the post I have already highlight the pros and cons of having the plunge pool.  Personally I would pay that USD37 more for the plunge pool – it was so nice to be able to have our cocktail in our personal patio and dip in our personal pool.  And it rained a lot when we were there – so the shelter above the plunge pool allowed us to play in the pool even when it was raining.  However, these apartments are located on the ground floor with a bedroom along the corridor – something not everyone would be comfortable with.

Information:

Address: 234 Mai Khao, Talang, Thepsasatri Road Phuket Island 83110 Thailand

Map: Click here for Google map location

Tel: +66-76-338000

Reservation Links:

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Marriott's Mai Khao Beach Resort Review - Bumble Bee Mum

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Supposed to be a stay-home mom, but hates staying home. Definition of parenting is bringing the boys out for 'experiential learning' in Singapore, Japan and wherever else in the world her husband can afford to pay for.

13Comments

  1. Off-peak is indeed quite cheap. The private pool looks awesome!

  2. Sara says:

    WOW!! Now this is a resort property!! I love that the apartments have plunge pools. I’ve never stayed anywhere like that but I feel like I would like having it!! It looks like your boys enjoyed everything so much!!

    • bumblebeemum says:

      This was the first time I stayed at a resort where I could drop the boys off at a Kids Club and I felt so pampered! I could definitely do with vacations like this more often.

  3. OMG, thise pools! So lovely! I definitely wouldn’t mind staying there!

  4. Lauren says:

    These apartments look lovely! So fancy and well equipped! I’m always a huge fan of towel animals too! That elephant is so cute and I’m sure your kids appreciated it 😀

  5. Katy Clarke says:

    ‘Must have plunge pool’ should be my personal catch phrase. Looks like an amazing place to relax. Thanks for sharing on #FarawayFiles Bumble Bee Mum!

  6. Those folded towels are so adorable – and hilarious! How great that your kids can learn animal towel art so they can recreate them at home. I love the look of the breakfast buffet too. This is such a through review of the hotel and will be so useful to anyone planning a trip. Thanks for linking up to #FarawayFiles

    • bumblebeemum says:

      Yes, I was very tickled that they had towel art class for the kids. Though the ones that the kids made were much simpler than the ones housekeeping made for our rooms. But the end products were super cute, I had fun learning how to make them myself!

  7. I love the idea that one room can accommodate my family of 5 – so rare to find a hotel room that can do that. And the idea of a personal plunge pool sounds amazing. What a beautiful resort and such a thorough post. Thanks for sharing with #FarawayFiles! Cheers from Croatia this week! Erin

    • bumblebeemum says:

      Yeah, most families with 3 or more children have a hard time when it comes to finding hotel rooms! I think resorts like these are best for big families. Not just are the apartments able to fit everyone comfortably, there are activities to keep the children occupied.

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