Returned, mid June, from good 10 night stay at the Cape Panwa hotel. It was very quiet, possibly because of renovation work on the main swimming pool ,(finished now) - it looks a really nice area.
The rooms are large and clean, but uncomfortably hot during the 3 or 4 power cuts which occurred whist we were there and affected the air conditioning - no complaints otherwise.
The beach area is really good, lots of sunbeds amongst coconut grove, plenty of shade if needed. The beach itself is fine sand, the water warm, but I was disappointed by the lack of visibility while snorkelling. N.B. The snorkelling at Coral Island, a trip provided by the hotel, is excellent, easy for less confident swimmers with lots of different fish easily seen.
The Bamboo Bar on the beach is pleasant, but not cheap. 330ml can of beer 118baht,£2, lemon juice 100baht almost £2. Lovely milkshakes
The gardens are lovely, I've never seen so many butterflies!
Both hotel restaurants are good, if a bit more expensive than surrounding restaurants.
Andaman restaurant about 1100bahts, £22 Panwa House 1320bts £26 for 2 starters, 2 mains and 2 drinks each
Remember that the hotel adds on a 10% service charge plus other taxes, maybe 7%, so when your bill comes it can be more than you expected.
Compare with the nearest local restaurant, the Sabai Sabai 1, at the top of the hill leading into the hotel, 3-4 mins walk,840bts £16 for 2.
If you take the shuttle bus 4-5 mins to the sister hotel, Kantary Bay, you will pass the Seabreeze and Live India near the bottom of the hill, also very good, 850 and 840bts respectively.
There are another 5 independent restaurants within 10-12 min walk of Kantary Bay drop off point, plus the Kantarys restaurants.(Kantary café serves ice creams and lovely cakes, 105-165bts £2-3, in air conditioned heaven.
The aquarium, 200m from drop off point, is well worth it,100bht £2 each, and around the back is free access to their fish breeding tanks and a turtle "sanctuary".
Coral Island excellent for swimming and snorkelling; suitable even for children.
Phi Phi Island expensive. I'm not sure it's worth it. Through our rep it cost 3300bht each,£65. 25min snorkelling stop very good, Maya Island attractive but very busy, good short walk through
forest and canyons to a view point on the other side of the Island. Free meal poor, and the stop off at, I think, Kai Noi Island was awful. A small island, hugely busy, I think they expected you to look at the fish, but the visibility was zero and access to sea blocked by sheer number of boats.
Note- On our speedboat of 26 people, 6 were sick as dogs. If you are offered sea sickness tablets, take them.
Big Buddha good, but I wouldn't drive a scooter up there; the road is very steep , winding and busy. Was told they have an accident every day, more if it's wet.
Botanical Gardens good, set out as about 15 small themed gardens, - Palm, Cactus, Orchid etc.500bht £10 each. Expensive?
Overall this was the cheapest long haul holiday we have had, so good value for the money.
I would rate this hotel as 'good' if that was an option on the circle rating, certainly better than average which 3 circles above indicate.
Problems with the hotel, if I was being picky -
Air conditioning shut downs.
Staff at reception seemed surprised when you ask a simple 'touristy' question.(but reception area had just been re-organised)
Loads of mosquito bites, even though we had DEET. Maybe from early morning walks, or from staying on the beach after 5pm as it got more shady.
If you want a lively nightlife, this is not the resort for you.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Cape Panwa Hotel embodies tropical luxury in one of the world's most desirable destinations. Tucked away in a quiet corner of southeast Phuket, the villa is renowned for its excellent service, stylish rooms and exclusive swimming pool. Blending superbly with the natural beauty of the area, the hotel is comprised of a selection tastefully decorated suites and pool villas. Thailand's premier luxury chain of Villa and Serviced Apartments. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Cape Panwa Phuket
- Cape Panwa Hotel Phuket