The hotel connects via endless walkways and lanes to cool and sensuous suites and villas, perfect for families as well as couples. Be on your guard: glass-walled bedrooms floating above infinity pools, walled gardens, sundecks and luxurious outdoor bathrooms will seduce you into a lotus-eater mentality. Yet there are times when Sri panwa rocks: international DJs host the occasional celebration, and bright young things (including a Thai princess or 2) flutter from spa to bar. Take as much or as little as you like from what’s on offer. Both the tranquility and the hipness are far too well-mannered to intrude.
- The secluded suites and villas are so well-designed and kitted out, it might slip your mind that you're only a temporary resident here (Gordon Ramsay christened it his ‘second home’)
- This is a perfect location for twice-a-day sun salutes - pink sunrises, golden sunsets
- You can enjoy the glorious feeling of throwing open your doors and leaping straight into your infinity pool. Bliss
- The food in the restaurants and poolclub is imaginative, delicious and diverse, plus the views from the hotel's bar will leave you stunned!
- It's seriously expensive, though prices include a load of extras
- We have had mixed feedback on the service as of late, so we're hoping to drop by soon to see for ourselves
- The private coral beach is petite and rocky. When you get that irresistible Crusoe urge, head off to the deserted white sand beach at Maiton Island, 10 minutes away by longtail
- As Sri panwa’s built on a steep hillside, getting around on foot uses up a lot of energy. Fortunately, there’s a fleet of tuk-tuks to chauffeur you about
- The property continues to grow so we're yet to inspect some of the latest additions
Best time to go
Our top tips
- Boutique Resort
- 59 suites & villas (for 2-10)
- Restaurants and bars (open daily)
- All ages welcome
- Open all year
- Outdoor Pool
- Spa Treatments
- Beach Nearby
- Pet Friendly
- Disabled Access
- Car not necessary
- Restaurants Nearby
- Air Conditioning
- Guest Lounge
- Daily Maid Service
- Towels & Bedlinen
- Concierge Service
- Tennis Court
- Bicycles Available
Among a landscape of mature trees (none of which were harmed in the making of this hotel), a wide range of suites and villas, built in phases over recent years, sit contentedly in their own ‘mini-estates’. Gated entrances, outdoor salas that can be used as a private dining pavilion, blue-glass tiled infinity pools with jet bubbles, gardens, terraces and sun decks create a feeling of sumptuous luxury. Many have jaw-dropping ocean views that you’ll be desperate to write home about.
Indoor living areas have big doors, big windows, big cushions and sofas you can semaphore on without disturbing your partner. Furnishings make use of texture and pattern and come in earthy colours - nothing detracts from that blue bay out there. And if you want gadgetry, it’s all here: TVs, DVD players, CD stereos, WiFi and cool music on the pre-loaded iPod.
Everything you’d expect to find in a good hotel is taken to extremes: bathrooms (twin sinks, indoor and outdoor rain showers, centre-stage soaking tubs) have a range of luxurious unguents and balms. In the dressing room, there are woven sandals that actually fit!
The pantry has a well-stocked fridge, and its complimentary contents (including the - joy - Belgian chocolates) are replenished daily (Family Suites have kitchens, too). There’s also an espresso machine, a hob and a microwave. But don’t worry about mastering how they work, as your on-call villa assistant will organise snacks and drinks for you. And plump your pillows. And make reservations. You won’t have to move a muscle.
Villas have 1-5 bedrooms and are either ocean-facing or garden-facing; most come with private pools too. For couples who don't mind more compact accommodation (or those seeking lower prices), there are Pool Suites. These lack the salas, pantries and lounge areas of the villas, but retain the floor-to-ceiling windows and ocean views. Inside, each has a bedroom, a bathroom and a walk-in wardrobe; outside is a sitting area and a small infinity pool perched on the private balcony.
The Yaya Suites are the latest to be added, located in a new building a short walk from the main resort. Similar to the Pool Suites, they are smaller than the villas but still boast full or partial ocean views, swish interiors and a plunge pool on a private balcony. Up on the roof you'll find TU bar and a stunning infinity pool; the perfect spot for a sunset cocktail.
- In room treatments available
- Safe box
You never need to leave your villa if you don’t want to. Catering, bartenders, chefs and barbecues can be arranged at your room, whether you’re planning a romantic dinner by the light of floating candles or hosting a small party.
It’d be a shame, though, to miss out on the hotel’s main restaurant, Baba Soul Food, focused on home-style Thai food, which comes recommended by Gordon Ramsay, who should know what he’s talking about. Menus are eclectic, with ingredients sourced from local organic farms; dishes are designed for sharing and sampling in the traditional Thai way. Perhaps Phuket style braised pork belly, or scallops with local herbs in a coconut soup and spicy green mango salad with a local ‘yam’ citrus dressing. A tempting dessert menu includes pannacotta with green tea and a jasmine crème brulee that was so good we had it twice.
Breakfast is à la carte and served at Baba Pool Club. It’s either Western and dainty, made beautiful by the jewel colours of exotic fruits and the primaries of perfectly cooked eggs and ham, or wildly strange and Asian, bursting with flavours and textures you never thought you’d end up craving first thing in the morning.
Baba Pool Club also serves an international mix food throughout the day and into the evening in their venues called Baba Hot Box and Baba IKI, as well as on the sun deck. There’s a huge mix of food on offer, including an a la carte sushi menu, Chinese hotpot, burgers, salads and lots of fresh seafood - it would be incredibly difficult to bore of the food.
One of the highlights of stay at Sri panwa is undoubtedly enjoying a sundowner on Baba Nest (located on the roof of Baba Soul Food), a floating deck with an incredible 360 degree view over the sea and surrounding islands. It’s unsurprising, then, that you must book in advance! If staying in the Yaya building, the rooftop bar TU is well worth a visit in time to catch the sunset colours light the sky and still sea.
Outside the hotel and within walking distance, you’ll find a couple of terrific local Thai and fish restaurants on Cape Panwa. Within 20 minutes’ drive is Phuket’s standard-setter: Mom Tri’s Boathouse, and its new, even more scenic sister, Mom Tri’s Kitchen. It goes without saying that your on-call assistant can organise taxis to and from both.
- Kids' meals
- Restaurants nearby
- Room service
- Swim at bird-height in Cool Spa’s cliff-top pool before indulging in a fragrant, sensual massage for 2 in one of the 2 therapy rooms. For long-lasting benefits, you and your partner can learn how to do it yourselves
- Party in Baba88, located at Baba Poolclub; it often sees big name DJs. In the day though, you could play pool in its game room, or learn how to cook with Baba Hotpot cookery school
- Go night-time squid- or big-game fishing with an experienced team who’ll take you to the best hunting grounds
- Or, for less competitive sailing, cruise with a champagne glass in hand and a picnic box at the ready, through the Phuket archipelago. Sri panwa has 2 crewed boats, a longtail and the 21ft speedboat. Both are loaded with towels, soft drinks, snacks and equipment for snorkelling, wakeboarding and waterskiing
- Diving is recommended nearby at the Racha Yai or Racha Noi Islands, Shark Point at Phi Phi Island and Dokmai Island around Phi Phi Island, where private or group diving lessons are both available
- Feed the fish or snorkel in the sheltered waters beside the hotel’s floating pier - equipment is provided free of charge. Sri panwa also has kayaks and canoes available
- There are 2 tennis courts and an air-conditioned gym on site; private instructors and tennis buddies are on standby
- Special classes are occasionally held in batik, tie-die, pool aerobics and Srivananda yoga
- Take part in a full moon yoga session, a tranquil alternative to all-night partying, on the floating deck overlooking the Andaman Ocean. Some believe the full moon heightens the mind... See Rates for class dates
- Eco-tours can be arranged to local work places or rubber plantations
- Take a cultural tour of antiques shops and the old town during the day, then go to an evening performance of Simon Cabaret, a gloriously kitsch (and slightly overpriced) lip-synching show put on by Phuket’s celebrated ladyboys
- You can play golf at one of 7 courses on Phuket (Sri panwa recommends Red Mountain, the newest and most challenging), or go riding at Rawai, both 30 minutes away by car
Activities on site or nearby include:
- Boat trips
- Cooking classes
- Private guided tours
- Scuba diving
- Shopping / markets
- Tennis coaching
- Well being
Welcome back to the level of carefree holidays that you used to have before you had kids. Children are welcome here and there's a personal assistant on hand to make sure that you don't experience any element of stress during your stay. Even grumpy teens will like the pre-loaded iPods and raft of films in the DVD library.
Family friendly accommodation:
There are plush villas of various sizes - anywhere from 1-5 bedrooms. All villas and residences have a single sofabed and can fit a baby cot, too.
Cots Available, Extra Beds Available, Family Rooms
Babysitting is available by arrangement. The babysitters are all trained by Bangkok International Hospital and are excellent.
- High chairs
Remember baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking
Whatever you want, it's yours: private dining, BBQs cooked in your villa by a chef, simple self catering using items from your complimentary pantry, dinners in the excellent restaurant or by the beach a short walk away. Baby food can be reheated with the microwave or stove in your kitchenette. Arrange dining timings to suit you. Again, nothing is too much trouble for the staff.
Kids Activities on site:
- Swimming pools
- Games room with Foosball, table tennis, pool
- Batik art and porcelain painting classes
- Swimming lessons
- CD and DVD library
- Board games
- Tennis courts and lessons
Kids Activities nearby:
- Boat trips
- Snorkelling and diving
Families Should Know:
Private infinity pools aren't fenced.
- Airport: 40 minutes
- Hospital: 1 hour
- Doctor: Can be called to the hotel
Sri panwa is located on a headland on the southeast coast of Phuket, in southern Thailand.
Fly to Phuket (40km away). Flight connections from Europe are made easily through Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi International Airport (the flying time from Bangkok to Phuket is 1 hour 20 minutes). Alternatively you can fly to Krabi (176km away). Phuket can also be reached from most of the Asian hubs, including Singapore and Hong Kong. Click on the links below for a list of airlines serving these airports.
It's a 40-minute drive from Phuket Airport and the hotel can arrange private transfers - see Rates.
Your on-call villa assistant can arrange taxis. Sea captains are also on permanent standby to take you island hopping or to the tropical beach of your choice on one of Sri panwa's boats.
Detailed directions will be sent to you when you book through i-escape.com.
More on getting to Thailand and getting around
- Phuket 40.0 km HKT
- Krabi 176.0 km KBV
- Beach 0.1 km
- Shops 0.1 km
- Restaurant 0.1 km