My family and i escaped the beginnings of winter in Hong Kong to our beautiful neighbouring island Thailand. I had been to Thailand countless times as a child, and have always loved the tropical climate of sun, sand and sea. As a child, i never cared about frolicking in the ocean without any sun protection. As a 23 year old Asian female living in Hong Kong, however, the Asian standard of ‘pale is beautiful’ has gotten under my skin, so this time round i was careful to make sure i had all the works to protect myself from premature aging and freckles. Had i grew up in the West, my standards of beauty may have been slightly different. In fact, every time i head back to British Columbia during my summers, i carelessly join in my cousins in our summer beach/backyard tanning sessions, when i forget about the endless list of cons for frequent sun exposure, let alone the contradiction of beauty ideals once i land back in my home town in China.
Instead of heading towards our regular getaway in the island of Phuket, dad decided to try something different. So we headed towards the area North of Phuket’s International Airport (HKT), Khao Lak. Landing at the airport at 7:30 pm, dad figured it would take us approx. an hour and a half to drive there. Little did we know how dark and confusing the roads would be (it’s hard to forget that not everywhere in the world do the lights stay on 24 hrs of the day aka Hong Kong/New York City) We ended up taking many detours, getting lost in the middle of the dark for 4 hrs before finally seeing a glimpse of civilization once reaching the tourist district of Khao Lak.
Greeted by the doorman, we were shocked at the lack of staff at the JW Marriott. A famous American franchise, we expected quality service. Imagine our reactions when we overheard a flustered woman complaining to the staff that she and her husband had just walked into a bedroom with guests sleeping inside as their assigned room! After much waiting, we were finally ushered into our rooms.
It is worth mentioning here that the JW Marriott Khao Lak was built in place of the Sofitel hotel that was hit by the 2004 tsunami. Rumour has it that it is still slightly difficult to hire staff due to the sad event.
Despite the small blip in service and organization at the beginning of our stay, the JW Marriott Khao Lak did not disappoint. Complete with gorgeous interiors and stunning views outside individual verandas, it really lived up to its name and reputation. The buffet breakfast served at the Waterfront was a literal intercontinental feast. Think Thai, Chinese, Indian, Japanese, North American and European fare. Also personalized omelettes, pancakes, crepes, waffles, smoothies etc. The fitness centre overlooked the breathtaking inter-connected winding pool that wormed throughout the whole resort. One of the best features of the hotel was the infinity pool with an accompanying bar in the middle of it.