Trip two to Thailand came and went as quick as the first.
Just this one was with a touch less culture and a
little lot more luxury.
Best of both worlds, some might say!
We found two true gems for our trip to Thailand. Sri Panwa in Phuket and then onto the Four Seasons hotel in Koh Samui … but I’ll save that one for an upcoming blog. For now, let’s dive into the oasis of the family-owned, 6* luxury beach resort, otherwise known as Sri Panwa.
About the Resort
An easy one hour drive from Phuket airport, Sri Panwa is perched high atop Cape Panwa, taking into the stunning panoramic views of the Southeastern tip of Phuket. Nestled within the tropical rainforest backdrop, you’ll find the resort’s 52 villas, each equipped with their own private pool and most looking out onto the un-interrupted Andaman Sea. If your villa’s view isn’t quite the unscathed ocean landscape, then you’ll be sure to find many a spot around the resort to take in the sea breeze from up high.
This hilltop hideaway is a romantic haven, and whilst if you’re anything like me you’ll likely spend the first few nights relishing in the switch-off and relax attitude that the resort lends itself so well to, there are also lots of activities to keep you busy. From a well-equipped gym with its own Muay Thai boxing ring to tennis courts, complimentary snorkeling, and floating deck yoga classes – time flies like quicksand.
It’s a hedonist’s dream, a resort that ticks all the luxury boxes but with a laid-back approach. A place you know will provide the livelier after-dinner crowd and positions ‘genuine fun’ higher up on the list than most of its competitors. It attracts the younger adult generation; the people who have found their footing quite well early in life and want to enjoy the finer things whilst still being amongst similar aged-peers.
The Rooms and Suites
We stayed in one of the Penthouse suites which are part of the latest addition to the Sri Panwa resort – the “Habita Suite”. A chic and calming oasis comprising of 20 pool suites and 10 penthouses, it’s own landscape-inspired waterfall pool, open deck cocktail lounge, and two new restaurants.
The rooms themselves are beautiful. Modern yet authentic, spacious, with all the thoughtful touches that make staying here so special. The fridge is replenished daily with complimentary ice lollies, fruit platters, chocolates and snacks, and the in-room iPod is pre-loaded with different music playlists to suit various moods. The lighting follows suit with unique ambiance options (I personally enjoyed seeing the “Sexy Mode” have its own category, very to-the-point) and the circular master bed will promise a sleep of the Gods! Also, for sleep-sticklers like me, some genuinely effective blackout blinds … why more resorts don’t do this well I have no idea. Blissful lie ins … check!
The infinity pool on the private decking is fit with jacuzzi nozzles and would give many a hotel pool a run for their money when it comes to size. As it happens, we didn’t end up using it much because the main pool was such a beautiful sanctuary in itself but it’s there for people who want guaranteed privacy.
The Habita Pool and Beach
The Habita pool is an adults playhouse; full of private coves, waterfalls, discrete sunbathing decks, jacuzzi divisions and a friendly team around to help with cocktail and snack requests. The low-key, atmospheric music played from the live DJ upstairs is compiled of all the feel-good songs your parents used to sing with a lively beat thrown in. It’s certainly nothing overpowering for those worried I’m describing your local Nikki Beach, but rather that perfect balance so few get right.
It’s pure bliss, to put it simply!
Whilst the beach at Sri Panwa resort isn’t extensive, it has everything you need as a sea lover. No more than 8 beds set up on the beach create a serene backdrop for a peaceful day in the sunshine.
Baba Nest – The Award-Winning rooftop Bar
It would only be right to give Baba Nest its own section.
This incredible rooftop terrace was the highlight of our stay at Sri Panwa and it’s not hard to guess why! Located at one of the highest points in the resort, it’s an open-air, 360° panoramic bar that sees in some of the most stunning sunsets. Jack and I arrived a little earlier than sunset was due in time to be sipping my lychee martini as the sun set over the mountains.
All the shades of the rainbow come out to play to make the prettiest of pictures. It’s one of the most magical places I’ve visited; the kind of evening where you reflect on your life whilst feeling overwhelmingly grateful to live in the world we do.
You have to book, (and do so in advance) and there’s a minimum spend that comes with it – THB 1,000 for in-house guests and THB 2,000 for outside guests.
To say you’re spoilt for choice at Sri Panwa would be an understatement. As a huge foodie, I really appreciated the fact that we were able to eat in a different restaurant for lunch and dinner almost every day. An impressive total of 6 restaurants at the resort and an even more impressive diversity of cuisine between them. There is a Japanese, local Thai, a BBQ hotbox grill, newly opened Chinese restaurant, pool bar and of course BabaNest (above). My personal favorite was the local Thai, ‘Baba Soul Food’, which did a stunning crab curry and duck salad, along with a few other authentic delights.
Breakfast has always been a highlight for me in any hotel. I rarely practice self-control with buffet breakfasts so we tend to end up fulfilling the age-old saying “Your eyes are bigger than your stomach”. Never bothered me, never will! The main restaurant (and where breakfast is held) looks out over this stunning view, and if you don’t mind the morning sunshine then I suggest taking a pew right here complete with bubbles served to anyone who wants them.
And a side of waffles. Always.
And therein lies my experience with Sri Panwa resort in Phuket. And fun fact, do you know how I first heard about it? On my last trip to the North-East part of Thailand, I asked our well-versed tour guide if he had to name one hotel in Phuket that he would dub ‘The Ultimate Luxury Retreat”, which one would it be?
Given this post, it doesn’ take much to guess what he answered!
I hope you enjoyed this hotel review, I certainly enjoyed writing it! Have you been to Phuket before, or maybe even Sri Panwa itself? If so, please do comment below and share your experience! As always, any questions please feel free to fire them over in the comment box below.
Until next time,