Sri panwa Phuket @ A Tropical Escape In South Phuket

While there’s an abundance of luxury resorts to choose from in Phuket, Thailand especially many of them appeal to the weekend hoppers for a staycation with sun, sand, sea which all comes together, mylifestylenews explores Sri panwa Phuket over a weekend filled with some unexpected discoveries.

Our pick up was right on time and made a good impression to begin our stay with Sri panwa. Passing through the main gate entrance at the base, we were driven to the reception going uphill along those narrow slopes while the sea view gradually emerged by looking through forestry trees which surrounded the entire resort. Perched high atop Cape Panwa, the Southeastern tip of Phuket and definitely away from the touristy tracks, the resort occupies the Cape Panwa peninsula in its entirety and commanding one of the best uninterrupted sunset views from its reknown Baba Nest infinity rooftop bar. Sri panwa offers what you need while taking a break escaping to a tropical paradise to unwind, relax and do absolutely nothing and to have a slow paced agenda of a not so typical hill side resort stay.

Once we stepped out from the vehicle, we were ushered one floor below for our check-in. The small claustrophobic reception immediately became a turn off especially when there are few other guests’ arrival and departure simultaneously. In such a proclaimed luxury resort, you will be expecting a majestic view with a spacious lobby and eye-catching interior fit out to impress. You need to stretch your neck to spot those little islands dotted along the Andaman Sea’s horizon. It was to our disappointment that there is zero wow factor, with tree branches blocking part of the not so much of a infinity sea view but polluted roof top tanks and jetty demolished your  paradise imagination especially during low tide with muddy sands and rocks scattered along the beach front.

Our two-bedroom family suite ocean view pool villa was reserved weeks before the arrival yet the check-in still takes more than 20 minutes to complete. An in-room check in would be more personal and save time and to avoid unnecessary documentation. With other guests checking out and poor communication between the front desk staff, the buggy service was another further delay to ferry us higher up the hillside to settle us in our villa.

The villa looks smaller than we thought despite the 350 sqm in size featuring two bedrooms on one level separated by an open air living area with a kitchenette (without cooking pot or pan), outdoor dining space, sofa bed, sun lounges and an infinity pool with partly blocked panoramic sea views. The Mini bar is stocked up with daily replenishment of local beers and sodas as well as small bite snacks on a complimentary basis.

Our room with partially sea view.

Designed to offer both a chilled out and party ambience, the villa’s surrounding common areas provides surround sound entertainment systems and iPod preloaded vibe music to add moods. The system in our villa was in poor quality with broken speakers transmitting irritating music when it is played. The outdoor shower area could be another alternative exotic add-on facility in the villa but due to the unclean standing shower area loaded with falling branches and leaves, we thought it was best to stay with the indoor shower and bath instead. With that thought in mind, quality assurance check is definitely lacking here.

The room’s interior embraces the essence of tropical contemporary design and is rather comfy and spacious, integrating its natural jungle and ocean surroundings with modern comfort and living. High wooden ceiling, extra King size bed, his and hers dressing area, roomy indoor shower, sino-Portuguese tiles motif and cozy lighting that calms the mood in harmony.

After unpacking we headed to the resort main swimming pool for further relaxation. This 25-meter infinity-edge lap pool has plentiful modern, chic sun lounges as well as cabanas for more intimate and further chill, with a separation of the top pool that provide a water fall effect to the lower deck pool which is ideal for the family. Live DJ spinning latest top hits as well as lounge chill music from time to time while you are soaking the sun from the isle of Phuket.

You may make a grand entrance to the main swimming pool

The main swimming pool provides plentiful sun lounges to relax

The top level of the pool creates a waterfall effect to the lower deck pool which is ideal for family

Sun lounges aligned by the poolside

Another intimate corner by the main swimming pool for your own privacy

Another Beach Pool located at the other side of the hill is more tranquil and intimate. The infinity pool is smaller in size yet cozy, surrounded by lush tropical forest with a different sea view to gaze upon. There is also a stairway access to the small secluded beach when the tide is low.

The Spa retreat is another alternative on the to-do-list for further indulgence and well being and we managed to book ourselves at The Cool Spa for a relaxing escapade.

Baba Nest would definitely be the first choice for sunset cocktail, unfortunately it was closed for refurbishment during our stay. The Sunset Bar - one floor below Baba Nest was the alternative during the upgrading work in progress, the view was not as good as it should be in comparing Baba Nest that offers a 360 degree panoramic view. The open concept washroom with lily water pond features attracts little frogs jumping to the floor, and while it is nice to be close to nature, having them in the toilets can be quite a frightening experience to some.

View from the Sunset Bar

The food & beverage concepts here are rather confusing, with the choice of different selections carrying the name Baba to lead, which has three locations, thanks to the settlements by the Indians, Hokkien Chinese & Portuguese in the early 1800’s. With the old & new sharing common goal over time, the relationship within the settlements was imminent. “Baba” was the name given to male offspring & “Nyonya” to the female. These children were the result of different people, cultures, ideas, philosophies & tastes coming together & creating something truly unique. Hence, the food & beverage outlets come with the name Baba Poolclub, Baba Hot Pot, Baba Fun, Baba88, Baba Nest, Soul Food @ Baba Dining Lounge and so forth.

We missed our wake up call on our first morning in Sri panwa which was set at 9.15am and the following morning call came 15 minutes earlier. Not only with poor greetings but with no second call offer to follow, seemingly, the telephone manners do really need more supervision with listening and communication skills.

Breakfast is served at Baba, the only outlet that caters for the breakfast. With limited seats during the peak hours, be prepared to be seated at the nearby bar area that is away from the main restaurant. The buffet is well spread with a good combination of local Thai delicacies and international supplies of pastry. If you fancy some bubbly in the morning, Italian prosecco is ready for unlimited pouring. Service was attentive yet a little slow in response, so be patient for the delivery after you have placed any order.

Staff uniforms are peculiarly numbered 8 on sport polo T-shirts with shorts, which is simply too casual and nothing resembles any Thai culture or heritage for image branding. Front desk service standards & consistency needs improvement not only to understand guests requests, but to react accordingly.  With their latest opening Baba Beach Club hotel at the northern tip of Phuket on Natai beach Phang Nga area featuring a new chinoiseries design element concept,  the resort needs upgrading not only from the wear and tear in Sri panwa that begins to show sign of age, the front line staff is more on its priority to get rid of the mind-only-my-own-business service attitude.

Tried & Tested:
Location: 4/5
Design & Decor: 3/5
Room Amenities: 3/5
Food & Beverages: 3/5
Housekeeping: 2.5/5
Service: 2/5
Value For Money: 2.5/5
Experience: 3/5

 88, Moo 8, Sakdidej Road, 
Vichit, Muang, Phuket Thailand
Tel: +66 7637 1000

Reviews are based on actual day of visit and experience. mylifestylenews reserves the right of final decision in case of any disputes. All images are photographed by mylifestylenews team without any photoshop enhancement and are the property owned by mylifestylenews unless otherwise stated.

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