So, here we go.
Baan Panburi classes itself as an boutique budget hotel. Got that? It's aimed at budget travellers who want to spend just a little bit more for a pristine beach and better than usual facilities. As long as you understand this then you can decide which reviews to ignore and which to pay attention to.
Located on one of the top 10 beach destinatons in the world (as voted by the Sunday Times), this resort enjoys a prime location right in the middle of the beach. As I understand things Panburi was the original hotel on this beach taking up more or less the entire beach before the owners decided that they could accomodate both budget and luxury travellers. Therefore, they relocated many of the huts to sit sideways to the beach and built a grand luxury resort (Ras An A Da) on the extra space. Star huts, on the other side of Panburi are owned by Panburi but leased to another company - pratically the same. Note, the Ras An A Da is stunning, but pricey.
The Panburi huts are no more that 40 meters from the beach. You can simply role out of bed and hit the beach. Sun loungers are limited so its more likely you'll find yourself lying on a towel which is just fine. The beach itself is simply fantastic. What a location! The trip to the resort took us no more than 30 mins. We arrived at 7pm at night when the jeep taxi fares are a little more expensive, nevertheless we paid 1000 bhat to be the only two people on the jeep - for the time this is more than acceptable. Usual cost during the day is around 250 bhat iper person n a shared taxi to the south of the island. Handsome Sandwiches run taxis fairly frequently.
The village is just that. There is not a heck of a lot in terms of nightlife but there are a few bars, mini marts and ATMS, aswell as a small pharmacy, dive shops, book shops and barber. The Jungle bar was the pick of the bars if it got busy. It's usual an even mix of tourists and locals who are happy to join in with your fun. Nui the owner is a nice guy. He also owns the Lovely Jubbly speedboat in the harbour which is used for water skiing, bananna boat rides etc. Just go to the bar if nobody is on the beach and someone will appear to get all the equipment out. There are also a couple of jet skis run by some french bloke. We never used these but they looked great.
Tanaporn is the best massage place in the village, and very reasonable. Book ahead in peak season.
The rooms themselves are exactly what it says on the tin. The beds are hard (ish) and I have to admit I would have prefered if our room didn't have additional guests at night - not uncommon to wake and find a few lizards running around. Some of the bathroom is open air - the shower. We had aircon and a hot shower which costs a little more. However, we haggled on the price on check in and got a substantial reduction.
The staff are amazing, especially at the Beach Club restaurant who always greet you with a smile and warm welcome. Don the assistant manager is worth chatting to. He'll arrange beach front tables for you on the night of the weekly parties if you ask. The parties have Thai dancing, cooking classes and fire dancers from the full moon party. One of the guys is fantastic (you'l know which one) and you even get the chance to join in if you are brave enough! Its no wonder that the guests of the 5 star hotels at either end of the beach also choose to dine at the beach club.
We went to the half moon party which was in the jungle near to Bai Tann. The locals say this is the best party and what a night we had. Its a fantastic setting and the atmosphere is fab. I'd recommend it for any age under 50 - not kids obviously! Again, Handsomes organise taxis there and back.
Handsomes seem to have cleaned up in the village and the only area they are lacking in is when doing laundry. Upon return it feels soapy to touch. We felt we need to give everything an extra rinse before letting it dry out again.
So, I'd recommend this resort to those travelling on a limited budget who have knowledge of what to expect and realise that SE Asia is jut not like back home. Great beach, staff and good accomodation.
PS I should also mention Luna, a restaurant at the far end of town - very god.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Natural Thai huts located on famed Thong Nai Pan Noi Beach. Traditional Southern Accommodation with great prices and unbeatable atmosphere. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Baan Panburi Village At Yai Beach Hotel Koh Phangan
- Baan Panburi Hotel