Phuket, the tropical paradise of Thailand. Whether it’s partying all night or chilling, there are many, many options for your stay.
Sri Panwa is the O.G. of resort relaxation, seeing the best of the best pass through it’s doors (including the likes of Snoop Dogg, Rita Ora and most recently Peggy Gou). It’s easy to see why – the resort is an all-encompassing option, slightly isolated from the masses but catering to all your needs. Entering through the long, winding driveway (which is subtly placed right next to a navy base on the peninsula) we got the true sense of being in the jungle.
Staggered villas surround on either side, following a steep hill climb towards the resort’s central location of the Baba Poolclub. Further facilities are spread between these villas, with a private beach, spa, bars and restaurants. This scattered layout helps to ensure the privacy of the accommodation and also makes venturing between the facilities an adventure, usually requiring the assistance of a tuk-tuk.
We had the pleasure of enjoying one of the luxury pool villas, situated on the north-eastern side of Cape Panwa. High above the water, the one-bedroom spot (which was easily converted into a two bedder with everyone getting their own bathroom) presents a mind-blowing view over the ocean. This encapsulates the most unique aspect of Sri Panwa, the elevated climb up the side of a hill providing some of the best views in Thailand.
Each villa is built around this special journey up, all having their own orientation and aspect to enjoy. The private infinity pool in front of our spot lead into this gangbuster view, allowing us to peek all the way to Phuket City. All the rooms in the space were geared towards the view with wall to ceiling sliding doors. A quick door open from the bathroom, bedroom or lounge area leads straight into the water, making sure we were never too far away from the action. Jacuzzi-esque jets on either side of the pool paired with underwater lounges meant an easy lie down with a beer.
Speaking of the bathroom, the luxury villa goes above and beyond. A sauna, alongside a spa bath and shower with seating (the essentials) mean curating your own spa session in house can be done with finesse, even if the tub does cough up some rogue gas in its old age.
On that note, you seriously can’t fault the layout and features of the space, the interior, however, is a tad dated. The trim and fixtures are all reflective of the early 2000s, with the throwback of a Bose Wave Radio helping to really set the scene. An update to the main bedroom is definitely required but doesn’t take away from the overall charm and lustre of the location.
After settling into the villas, there’s a good set of unique facilities to keep you occupied. Early afternoon requires an easy dip down at the private beach, accompanied by a long floating jetty to make that dip a straight sprint into the depths. Treading water and looking back up at the resort behind you makes you feel like Bond, Golden Gun vibes all round.
Hit some further R&R next with Sri Panwa’s main pool on the other side of the resort. Featuring a unique infinity waterfall edge, there’s plenty of space to explore and dip in under the glare of the Thai sun.
Closer to the evening Baba Nest Bar is a must-do and honestly has some of the best sunset views in the world, so get the sundowners going here for some drinks. The space often gets booked out separately to hotel guests attending, so it’s recommended you get on top of it before you check-in.
Wrap up the evening with an indulgent meal at Baba Soul Food, the perfect selection of Thai classics to truly get the mouth watering. The theming of the restaurant focuses on home comforts alongside panoramic ocean views, with amazing ingredients from North Thailand’s King Royal Project which also helps to support local communities.
Altogether, whilst Sri Panwa may be on the older end of the luxury resort scale the original formula certainly still holds strong. Bolstered by the stunning location and unique jungle hill layout, you can’t fault the minor outdated aesthetics too much when it comes to one of the most unique views in Thailand. If you want to truly feel locked away from the rest of the world, this is the resort for you.