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Swim like a pro with Olympics champion Stephanie Rice on her special master swimming class

Grand family festivity at Mai Khao Beach in Phuket

Travelling alone does not require much; it is easy to meander through undiscovered paths and endure long stretches of drive without losing enthusiasm, keeping to personal amusements along the way.

Family friendly programs by JW Marriott

Travelling alone does not require much; it is easy to meander through undiscovered paths and endure long stretches of drive without losing enthusiasm, keeping to personal amusements along the way. Family holidays, however, is the other side of the coin. There’s a great disparity between age and preference: adults are constantly looking to repose, children, to soar wild and free into an adventure of a lifetime. But there are places that offer amusement that fit all sizes while surrounding them with nature’s prolific gifts.

Lodged along Mai Khao Beach, the Marriott resort stuns with its extensive patch of deserted beach, endless views of the Andaman Sea, and pleasing images of frothy white waters. Beautifully fringed with palm trees shooting up in delicate curves, JW Marriott Phuket Resort & Spa lures travellers with its offbeat location and a grand menu of activities that satisfies every age in the spectrum. Multi-generational families can now delight in travelling together; with a mix of activities to bond, learn and relax in the resort’s many authentic opportunities.

JW Marriott Phuket Resort & Spa
JW Marriott Phuket Resort & Spa

JW Marriott Phuket Resort & Spa - Turtle Shelter
JW Marriott Phuket Resort & Spa – Turtle Shelter

For the madame and monsieur

It’s the perfect escape plan: let the children revel at the terra cotta embellished pools and secretly head straight away to Mandara Spa. Endowed with private indoor suits and outdoor massage spaces, the resort’s very own pampering venue offers a plethora of rejuvenating treatments for the couples and solos, along with the flowery medley of their personalised essential oil.

One has their own fragrance personality, and the spa offers a chance to showcase one’s conjuring talent with their essential oil programme. Take liberty in mixing different notes, from the citrus top notes of mandarin and grapefruit, the stimulating middle notes of rosemary, geranium or cinnamon, and the haunting base notes of either vanilla or sandalwood.

With the body renewed, it’s time to refresh the spirits.Enrol in the resort’s guided meditations and submit into moments of clarity while being surrounded by the beach’s tropical curtain. After a few stretches, be inspired by mind and body wealth coach Hayden Rhodes and journey into a silent self-discovery while taking meditative strolls. Embrace the serenity. Find joy in healing. When done, head back to the hotel and re-join with the family for a wholesome afternoon.

Kayaking in mangroves in Phuket
Kayaking in mangroves in Phuket

For the little masters

Following the footsteps of its founders J. Willard and Alice Marriott, JW Marriott Hotels have launched Family by JW, a global program that focuses on kids 5-12 years old, furnishing each of their international destinations with creative amusements in their kiddie arsenal. There’s an exclusive Kids’ Club, where indoor games—a pool table, a stash of video games, and opportunities to create batik prints—can be enjoyed by the picky young audience while being guided by the hotel’s congenial staff.

For the future chefs, let them put on the apron as they preside behind actual kitchens in cooking classes for kids. Watch tiny hands create sumptuous nibbles which can be eaten—or shared—afterwards. It’s a great way to give the young cooks a good headway in gastronomical adventures, plus a chance to discover Thailand’s own cuisine. Imbibe in the alluring taste of Asian herbs and spices—only avoid dipping into the bowls when the meals are not yet done.

Nature lovers will be inspired by a visit to the turtles’ rehabilitation centre, where these magnificent shelled creatures are treated before they are released into the blue sea. Take this chance to emphasise the important lessons of taking care of the planet and wildlife, so that these exciting moments can be enjoyed by generations to come.

Quiet swing by the beach at JW Marriott Phuket Resort & Spa
Quiet swing by the beach at JW Marriott Phuket Resort & Spa

For the entire family

Swim like a pro with Olympics champion Stephanie Rice on her special master swimming class, made available on selected slots. Then, showcase this skill on one of the resort’s three pools. For a more challenging adventure, trudge into the forest-wrapped waterfall in Bang Pae; the short hike is rewarded by a refreshing dip in the mineral-rich water.

Gibbons Rehabilitation Farm is just nearby, a conservation site that protects the hunted species from danger. With big, adorable eyes and long arms that let them swing from branch to branch, gibbons are the jungle’s helpers—they graze on fruits and thrive on trees, dropping seeds as they navigate through the forest and subsequently, plant seeds that will blossom into future sprouts.

Glide into the deeper parts of the island by kayaking in the mangroves, where thick-rooted trees spring just above the water, creating a natural habitat for many birds and fish thriving in the local biosphere. It’s a great way to showcase unity—paddling across the river requires listening and harmony and movements. Celebrate success after the trip with a joyous feast in the hotel’s restaurants.

With the resort’s grand variety of dining venues, families can go all out in a gastronomic excursion. Andaman Grill is a fine showcase of seafood and steak, serving dinners with romantic ocean views. Ginja Taste impresses with its casual Thai dinner spread. Kabuki has a completely Japanese air, delighting guests with a traditional show during feasts. Out of the Blue treats wine enthusiasts with an extensive spread of curated wines, while Sala Sawasdee offers tapas and cocktails from the lobby.

Deluxe Family Terrace Room - terrace area at JW Marriott Phuket Resort & Spa
Deluxe Family Terrace Room – terrace area at JW Marriott Phuket Resort & Spa

Postcard-perfect pictures during dinner for 2
Postcard-perfect pictures during dinner for 2

A day’s grand finale

When the day is done, come home to the suites, where everyone can gather together brimming with stories of fun, laughter and self-discovery. Take postcard-perfect pictures of the family on the balcony, where birds lovingly chirp during sunrise. At sunset, bring everyone by the beach and watch the colours of the horizon switch into a splattering of vibrant colours before disappearing into the night. ◼

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© This article was first published online in August 2019 – World Travel Magazine.

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