Sri Panwa, Phuket

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 03 August, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 03 August, 2008, 12:00am

Where is it? Sri Panwa is on Cape Panwa, on the southeastern tip of Phuket and about a 45-minute drive from the airport. Set amid a tropical rainforest overlooking the clear blue ocean, the area is reminiscent of Phuket proper 15 years ago, before the hordes descended. No wonder it's a favourite of Thai royalty and celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay.

What's so special about it? Sri Panwa is all about luxury for the high-flying investment banker or hedge-fund manager looking for a sexy, unspoilt paradise stocked with everything they may need for work or play. Each of the resort's 11 pool villas and 11 family suites (one or two bedrooms) comes equipped with a home theatre, a Bose surround-sound system, a preloaded iPod, free Wi-fi access and laptops on request. There is also a top-of-the-line kitchen complete with an espresso machine, fridge and complimentary mini bar.

What are the rooms like? The interiors are modern and sleek with high ceilings, separate lounges and dining areas, walk-in closets and marble bathrooms. The piece de resistance are the bedrooms, which are fronted by top to bottom glass, allowing you to enjoy unobstructed views of the Andaman Ocean or the private infinity saltwater pools.

What if you want to leave your villa? Try the Thai massage at the Sai Spa to get rid of all your aches and pains or visit the fitness centre. Baba, the hotel's restaurant, serves authentic Andaman Thai and continental European cuisine, such as spicy laab (minced meat) and tangy papaya salads and traditional noodle dishes. It also hosts Sri Panwa's hip and happening parties.

Could it get any better? Actually yes; the resort plans to add a restaurant, BabaQ, fitness and yoga rooms with sea views, a bigger and better spa, a cooking school, a 37-metre infinity-edge swimming pool and new pool villas. There will also be a host of residential villas for sale.

What's the bottom line? Rates start at 30,000 baht (HK$7,000) for a one-bedroom pool villa during low season. An ocean-view one-bedroom villa will set you back 32,500 baht during low season and 55,250 baht during high season.

Sri Panwa is at 88 Moo 8, Sakdidej Road, Tambon Vichit, Phuket, Thailand, tel: 66 76 371 000;