Escape to beachfront bliss at Crowne Plaza Phuket Panwa Beach, an IHG Hotel, which offers all the comforts and luxuries for a restful vacation.
Rainforests shade the long, smooth road to Crowne Plaza Phuket Panwa Beach, so when I walked through the unassuming entrance to this pristine property, my breath was taken away. Wide steps led me down to a view of Makham Bay that is open and wide, sun-filled and sparkling. Islands beautifully dot the turquoise bay, while long-tail boats carve slow furrows in the perfect blue sea, many metres below. I was on the quest for an antidote to my fast-paced Bangkok life, and I couldn’t have chosen a better paradise, one that was only 10 minutes away from charming Phuket Town.
I was greeted on arrival at the high-ceilinged, open-air lobby with fruity drinks and cool towels, while friendly porters whisked my bags away with experienced efficiency. The vibrant resort seemed to appeal to all types of visitors, as I saw families large and small, honeymooners, westerners and Asians, all of whom are spoilt for choice with a wonderful selection of 10 varied rooms and suites, inspired by the Sino-Portuguese heritage prevalent in Phuket. And whichever they opt for, they’ll find sleek interiors — clean lines, natural tones, tactile fabrics — surrounding a plush Posturepedic bed with a spacious bathroom and private balcony. I, for one, couldn’t wait to check into the 100 square-metre Panwa Duplex Lagoon Suite.
Upon entering the two-storey loft, I noticed that there was no compromise on style in this Instagram fabulous home-away-from-home. The interiors exude traditional design with custom-made Sino-Portuguese furnishings, a private dining nook and living room on the first floor. The most breathtaking feature are floor-to-ceiling glass doors that lead to a secluded terrace with an infinity pool overlooking the majestic Makham Bay. A few steps over and I will find myself strolling along the hotel’s private 200-metre sandy beach.
Meanwhile, upstairs paints the perfect picture for a restful night in. The immaculate bed has a Good Night Pillow Menu, where guests can choose from ergonomic varieties, including cotton, contour massage, and even an ultra soft microfibre pillow. The walk-in closet is replete with comfortable robes and slippers for a soothing slumber, and the spacious bathroom is fitted with a two-person spa bath, providing the perfect setting for couples.
Although the rooms are serene and luxurious, it is the little touches that truly impress. A bowl of fresh fruits that arrive daily; an anniversary cake to welcome romantic campers; warm towels ready for your afternoon dip; smiling staff members always ready to assist — these are just a few that make a wonderful difference.
Hungry? Pick from the resort’s culinary delights!
A popular establishment that welcomes all for chic and trendy afternoon lounging, sunset drinks and scrumptious meals, is the all-day Mosaic Restaurant, which boasts stunning views of the beachfront swimming pool and Andaman Sea. If a chilled afternoon of live lounge music, followed by a lively set from an in-house DJ appeals to your inner leisure mode, then the exclusive Sunday Brunch Buffet is your go-to feast.
This premium-quality buffet, available from 12pm to 4pm, features various live stations, including a breakfast corner, freshly grilled seafood, as well as an assortment of Asian specialties, all prepared by their recently-appointed Executive Chef Chanon Yuyen. Indulging in delicious food isn’t the only main event during brunch, as patrons can also enjoy splashing in the pool and beach with volleyballs, paddle boards and kayaks from the resort’s tropical-themed activity shed.
Mosaic Restaurant’s à la carte menu, serving Thai and Pan-Asian dishes, will also delight all taste buds. The highlight includes their signature southern-style Massaman curry with succulent beef shank and sweet potato, as well as crispy fried soft shell crab with a slightly spicy green mango salad. Another delightful addition is deep fried sea bass topped with fiery fish sauce and accompanied by a piquant mango salad. The seafood is perfectly crusted on the outside and deliciously tender on the inside, while the refreshing salad gives the dish an extra zing. These main courses are best enjoyed with Khao phad panwa, fried rice with prawns, crispy fish and chilli paste oil.
This meal is just the tip of the gastronomic iceberg. Executive Chef Chanon’s culinary talents truly shine at Patio Alfresco Restaurant, where Italian flavours are enhanced by subtle hints of fresh seafood delicacies and succulent meats. Recommended items include juicy Rock lobster risotto topped with wild rocket salad, Braised lamb shank with polenta and sugar pea, and Grilled Andaman tiger prawns, elegantly presented with garden pea and grilled spring onions. Cleanse your palate with Warm dark chocolate volcano cake; its thick creamy vanilla ice cream leaves a pleasant aftertaste that cuts through the chocolatey sweetness quite vigorously.
Let There Be Cake…or Cocktails!
For lighter afternoon fare, visit Biscuit Café, a bakery that offers gourmet sandwiches, burgers and mouth-watering desserts. Sweet tooths will relish the moist and fluffy Chiffon pandan coconut cake.
You can escape to the Lobby Lounge as well, to bask in breathtaking views with a cocktail or coffee in hand. This sophisticated open-air lounge is filled with comfy sun beds, ideal for romantic tête-à-têtes.
Soup for the Soul
I immediately entered a state of spiritual bliss at Pawan Panwa Spa, when I was greeted by tranquil ponds filled with water lilies. Walking through the tall wooden doors led me to a serene sanctuary where my exotic treatments awaited.
I was served hot tea, while a friendly receptionist guided me through the massage menu, suggesting a few that suited my preference. I settled for a 30-minute Aromatic milk bath, followed by a 30-minute soothing back massage in a softly-lit couple’s treatment room with a private Jacuzzi and outdoor shower. Its brown-hued ambiance and soft music transported me to the clouds, while the expert masseuse kneaded and stroked my tired muscles with natural oils, leaving my skin feeling soft and smooth for the rest of my splendid stay.
Meetings & Events
Crowne Plaza Phuket Panwa Beach offers a variety of facilities to cater to all MICE events, as well as wedding occasions. There are three meeting rooms and a pillar-less Lunar Terrace Ballroom, with sweeping views of the beautiful Andaman Sea. This grand space is perfect for a party of up to 220 guests, while Boardroom I and II are ideal for more intimate meetings of up to 30 businessmen. Lastly, there is also a large outdoor terrace for coffee-break sessions and post-event cocktails.
“Apart from our unique event space, our property is also well-known for our extremely hospitable staff and creative F&B outlets,” says Chris Adams, General Manager. “We have just launched the Sunday Brunch Buffet, as well as new menus at our two dining establishments. Plus, we have the biggest kitchen I’ve ever seen. It is the perfect set up for any large catering event.”
Crowne Plaza Phuket Panwa Beach
8/88 Moo 7, Sakdidech Road, Vichit Sub-District, Muang,
Tel: 07 630 2900