Marriott’s Vacation Club (also known as Marriott’s Mai Khao Beach – Phuket) at Mai Khao beach in Phuket turned out to be a delight. When we first booked a villa with no real itinerary for the trip, I thought I’ll just do some yoga, perhaps meditate a little, and chill at the pool. I assumed I might be a little bored during this 3-night trip, but I was wrong! Time flew too quickly. I didn’t even have time to cycle or do much yoga!
The ‘villa’ is not a standalone villa per se, but an apartment suite with 2 bedrooms, a living room, cooking area, a private pool and a patio.
The master bedroom comes with a super-sized King bed, a TV, a huge bathroom with a big bathtub, a shower and toilet.
The other bedroom with two queen-sized beds, and four pillows each. I took one bed. It was awesome to have 4 pillows to myself!
The patio is an open concept such that the gate is not locked and technically, anyone within the resort can walk in, therefore, you should lock the apartment doors before you sleep or head out.
This private plunge pool dips to a depth of 1.8m for half the pool, so if you have kids, be careful to watch them!
If you’re not keen to stay on the ground floor, you can choose the other kind of ‘villas’ without the private plunge pool, but with a balcony instead.
A Vacation Club for Everyone
I love the public pool (for resort guests) so much! It’s big enough, though it can get very deep (1.3m – 2m). There are whirlpools inside, bubbling jets of water. The pool was so big that a family actually brought a really huge float boat and three kids sat inside the float boat to row from end to end, it was hilarious to watch! We spent hours at the pool, just soaking and enjoying. It was also fortunate that the resort wasn’t crowded when we were there, the pool was hardly congested and there were always sunbeds available. Staff will also offer you glasses of iced water to rehydrate.
Time to time, there are free activities like pool gym! An instructor will be leading the session next to the pool while you work out inside the water. So cool!
Facilities for kids
There’s a Kids’ Club (which is a room) where they have TV programs, or activities such as smoothie-tasting, etc. Nearby the pool, there’s also a wet playground and water slide for children.
Gym, Fun Court, Yoga/Zumba, and more
There’s an indoor gym, a fun court where children can play soccer, and also an indoor pavilion where yoga classes and zumba classes are held.
You can borrow these bicycles to cycle around outside of the resort. I didn’t have time for this!
Reading or sunbathing
There are also deck chairs facing the pool or little ponds like these for suntanning, reading a book or meditation. Around the resort, there are also hammocks lying around.
Movies by the Pool
Depending on the weather and schedule, they have fireplace movies by the pool, or some other performances.
Marriott’s Vacation Club has at least 2 restaurants within the resort. One is Zest, where we had breakfast. The breakfast was assorted, with phad thai, dimsum, or the usual toast, pancakes, doughnuts, or bacon and eggs, soup noodles, cereals, lots of juices, and fruits. The food was alright in my opinion.
For dinner, we had ours one evening at Delight, a restaurant right beside Zest. The food was good, service impeccable. I would have enjoyed it better if my stomach had completely recovered (read below). Each main course costs on average 350baht, before taxes. Our meal for 5 pax cost less than S$120 in total, including fruit juices, smoothies, beer and ice-cream.
My Stomach Flu / Food Poisoning episode
I went as a fully paying customer, but regardless, this blogpost is a full-disclosure post, therefore I’ll include the negative as well.
On the second morning after we had breakfast, I didn’t feel very well afterwards, and went on to have a stomach-ache and diarrhoea. In the afternoon, I went for 2 hourly massage sessions at the beach. Soon afterwards, I felt nauseated. Then, I had constant stomach-aches and diarrhoea and even threw up a total of four times on that day, from afternoon till midnight. I was the only one among my family to suffer these symptoms though. I did skipped lunch, so I can only think of the cereal breakfast with fresh milk I had that everyone didn’t, or else it could be the watermelon slices.
Commendation: A specially-prepared breakfast
On our last morning, as we needed to go to the airport early in the morning, the hotel specially helped us arrange for breakfast to be delivered to our room, at 630am! The food was thoughtfully packed into portable boxes so that we can either eat at the airport or in our room. There were croissants, sandwiches, hard-boiled eggs, milk and orange juice in each box. We were so appreciative! Thank you to the wonderful staff of Marriott’s Mai Khao Beach!
Nearby the Resort
Turtle Village is a small square with a few shops such as Jim Thompson, swimwear and souvenir shops, and restaurants including ThaiExpress, The Coffee Club, Swensen’s (only serves desserts). There is also a supermarket which you can buy groceries and necessities from. Turtle Village is right outside the entrance of Marriott’s Vacation Club.
Mai Khao beach
You may walk to the beach or the resort’s staff can send you there via buggy at no charges at all. There is also a phone where you can dial back to the resort to get a buggy to come back and send you back. We felt so spoilt!
Mai Khao beach is beautiful but there were red flags on the days we were there. The sea was not safe for swimming that day, because the waves were huge and currents were very strong. There were also no lifeguards nearby.
These ladies work there from 9am to 7pm daily. It costs 400baht for an hour of Thai massage. Our hotel passed us a towel each that we can spread it over the mattress for hygiene purposes, and we relaxed to the sounds of insects and the waves nearby. I was so glad my resort staff recommended us to come here!