We really enjoyed this hotel. We booked through a late deal because we were in Phuket already and looking for a place for 6 nights, and got a great flash deal online.
We didn't use Azur (fine dining) but did try Aqua (cafe, bit cheaper)....despite the previous reviews.
The A La Carte food was actually very very good, and didn't take too long to arrive.....but they did forget the cutlery on every course, we didn't get a napkin til midway through the main course, and the table runner was still a bit dirty from the previous diners....it was a bit frantic but we were in good spirits so let it pass. Definitely not a 5* dining experience, but the food actually made up for it, and the staff were trying their best. They seem to be pushing these themed buffet nights where you just serve yourselves from pre-cooked food....so maybe they've decided that's the best model to follow !
The deluxe sea view room was great, no problems whatsoever, and we loved both swimming pools...especially the landside pool which seems a bit colder and refreshing because it's not in full sun all day long.....a good tip for when the main pool is as warm as a bath in the afternoon!
The beach is not like on the west side of Phuket....it's very narrow, the sea is calm and flat and you can walk out 100 metres and still only be thigh deep in warm water.....great for kids and extremely safe. Many people take the free kayaks and go for a paddle round the bay...it's nice.
The hotel prices are obviously much more expensive than the shop over the road, and we couldn't justify the horrendously expensive spa.....you're talking 10 times as much as the places over the road. I'm sure it's a better overall experience, but not 10 times better.
Incidentally, there are four Thai massage places over the road within about 50 meters......three were pretty naff but the one furthest to the left (Phuket massage, set back up a few steps) was amazingly good for me. Older ladies, totally respectable and incredibly good, strong Thai massage that makes you wince but leaves you feeling far better. I found the other places were just moonlighting at it, untrained, didn't really hit the spot and didn't seem to actually ask you anything etc. There are loads of these places now in Phuket so if you find a good place it's worth hanging onto and giving them the business.
Oh, the Russians are up at 6.30am to reserve the sunbeds so worth noting if you're coming in high season...I watch them from the balcony sneaking in at daybreak, then sneaking away....then they disappear til lunchtime. Perhaps it's just a cultural "equality" thing that needs to be learned, like the Germans used to do in Spain.
We saw some people having to lie on the hot wood deck next to the pool when there were unused sunbeds sitting there with clean towels on them and a Thai pool guy just doing nothing. The Radisson needs to be a bit more pro-active in enforcing some sort of time limit for unused sunbeds and just take the towels away...the whole point is they should be used and not reserved for selfish guests who cannot be bothered to even be there. That's another "service" thing that doesn't match up to the 5* infrastructure.
Overall, we had a great stay and enjoyed it more than we thought. Panwa is very quiet and i think any more than 7 days is too long here....but it's a good place to visit and take a break.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The resort features 211 guest accommodations in contemporary Thai decor including spacious pool villas, three free-form swimming pools, a children’s pool with waterslide, a well-being spa, fitness center, complimentary non-motorized water sports, and free wireless access throughout the resort. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Radisson Blu Plaza Resort Phuket Panwa Beach Hotel Cape Panwa
- Pullman Phuket Panwa Beach Resort Cape Panwa