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“"Ever felt fleeced..."”
Review of Cape Panwa Hotel

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Cape Panwa Hotel
Ranked #4 of 13 Hotels in Cape Panwa
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed November 18, 2012

I have waited over 6 weeks for the refund due me from Kuoni... whilst they liased with the hotel over our Boarding arrangements. The cheque finally arrived for £528.

It took four days and threats of management penalties to reverse our decision to upgrade to Half Board. Dietary needs meant that we could not eat many of the "either/or" options on the set menu.

Perhaps the Management can explain the shortfall in the funds we paid to Kuoni. Let it be a warning to the unsuspecting traveller!

(We were presented with vouchers to the daily value of 720 Baht for a fixed menu. This in turn was subject to a 10% Service charge and a further 7% Government tax.)

Perhaps this is the norm in hotels in Thailand? When we ate else where off site, we were not charged this. We had superb food in the local Indian restaurant, for example, and our bill was willingly met with a generous tip.

Perhaps this is why the staff are surly? I have to agree with the points raised by CraigL78. Who in their right mind is going to tip on top of an automatic levy? Perhaps that is why the majority found entertainment in the bars down the hill... apart from the Friday barbeque (which was great!), the hotel bars were deserted.

We had planned to return to the hotel over the Christmas period, but our holiday was overshadowed by a feeling of "rip off" which we did not enjoy.

Agreed, despite the fact that the Jacuzzi taking an age to fill, we found the facilities of the Cape Suite we had, more than acceptable for the 4* + that Kuoni advertises. However the food standards are barely 3*! Two meals were completely ruined... we could not be bothered to fuss.

We enjoyed the sweetness of the local peoples and the beauty of the off shore islands..

In hindsight I can concur with many of the negative observations about this hotel.

TIP FOR MANAGEMENT: Change your food and beverage policy and maybe your general staff will cheer up, just a tweek and you could return to the 5 stars you aspire to.

We kept quiet and bore our angst in silence. It left a bitter taste and we were glad to leave.
A great shame.

Our greatest feeling of warmth came from the House Maids, whose smiles were what I was looking forward to in Thailand! They sure deserved the little extra we gave on departure.

I hazard to guess that frequent visitors to this hotel, accept the mediocre breakfast as norm and eat infrequently in the hotel and enjoy of the independant restaurants in the village.

Room Tip: Any suite above ground floor and facing towards the private beach will offer stunning views. Please...
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  • Stayed: September 2012, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank podobear
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kasemkij_Group, General Manager at Cape Panwa Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded December 2, 2012

Thank you for your expressed concerns, along with the pros and cons of your stay with us. We appreciate your frank assessment of your perceived shortcomings of our operations and services at the Cape Panwa Hotel, Phuket. Such frank feedback serves to help us improve our service for all of our guests. Regarding dietary restrictions, we have a strict policy in place stating that half and full board packages are not suitable for guests with dietary restrictions. Our team has contacted relevant third parties reminding them to inform guests of this policy. Regarding the meal vouchers, these offer exceptional value allowing guests to join either a Buffet Night or the 3 course Set Menu. However, guests seeking a ‘lighter’ meal are recommended to order a la carte. Thank you again for your feedback.

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Reviewed November 17, 2012

I was going to rate this 3 star, as 2 stars seems like it may be a little harsh. The reason I stuck to the "Poor" rating is mainly as it claims to be 5 star, and I believe with that comes a certain level of expectation. We traveled around Vietnam and Thailand for 3 weeks before coming here to relax on the private beach before heading home and whilst it isn't awful, it's probably the most disappointing 5 star resort I've ever stayed in. Here's my list of pros and cons -

Pros
- Decent pool area. Whilst it lacks a WOW factor, it's reasonably large and clean. It is however starting to date a little e.g. old decking
- Gardens close to beach are nice if you're not looking to lie on the beach.
- Bus shuttle runs between hotel and town regularly
- Junior suite is a spacious and well laid out room

Cons
- Staff were by far the unhappiest looking out of the 6 places we stayed
- As the main attraction for us was the private beach, we went staright down to the beach on arrival and it was filthy. Covered in plastic bottles, papers, etc. I've seen substantially cleaner and better public beaches in Thailand and other counties.
- Can seldom swin in the ocean due to rocks and tides.
- Walking from the suite to the beach is a longish walk with multiple staircases. Not too serious, but doesn't make you feel as though you're on a beach resort
- The hut by the main pool that claims to seel ice creams and hand out pool towels was never manned during the day. We spent lots of time at the pool, and only saw someone in the hut for 5 minutes around 8pm to remove the towels. If you want a drink or ice cream, you have to walk through the restaurant area in your wet costume to order an ice cream. Again, not a biggie, but also not 5 star service. Un-manned towels and ice creams
- Worst dinner of my holiday in the resort restaurant. We had 2 of the fish dishes and they were dry and disappointing. I also ordered a mango MILKSHAKE (Listed under milkshakes) and got a mango juice with ice. When I queried this, I was told they could take it back and add milk, but they don't serve it like that because most people don't like milk in their milkshakes. Go figure!! I declined the offer as simply adding milk to a juice with ice, still isn't really a milkshake.
- Some days we never received our complimentary drinking water. One day I in particular I asked the nearby house keeping TWICE for it, then called reception TWICE and finally ended up getting 2 bottles about 2 hours later. Again, disapointing for 5 star.
- Air conditioning seemed to be off at the main switch almost every afternoon, so the room was unpleasant
- Bath plug broken (BUt this seem common in most hotels nowadays)
- Constant building noise out front of room and looked out onto a building site.
- Not easy to walk into town due to the Hill
- Breakfast wasn't bad, but the fruit area was covered in flies every morning

With regards to Cape Panwa as an area. Honestly, I was not impressed. It's far away from everything. Which is ok if your resort is a true 5 star haven with a great beach and vibe. I didn't however feel this particular hotel made Cape Panwa a destination worth going to.

  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled as a couple
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6  Thank CraigL78
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kasemkij_Group, General Manager at Cape Panwa Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded November 22, 2012

Thank you for your review, after your stay with us, of the pros and cons you have regarding the Cape Panwa Hotel, and the Cape Panwa peninsula, Phuket. Your frank feedback, which we have discussed with our management team, is helpful in our continuing effort to improve the provision of pleasant and enjoyable stays for all of our guests. Although we try to exceed the numerous expectations of all our guests we were sorry to hear we did not meet all of your expectations on this occasion. If we can be of any further assistance please do not hesitate to contact me directly.

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Reviewed November 17, 2012

Had an enjoyable 16 nights stay at the Cape Panwa Hotel in October 2012. The Cape Panwa is an older style resort set on its own beachfront. The rooms are larger than usual, staff are friendly and the breakfast is what you expect in Thailand. There are plenty of places to eat around the resort with transport provided to the Cape Panwa Village. The pool area is a little dated but could always get a lounger here and at the beach. Previously stayed at the Radisson in Cape Panwa and both hotels had little problems but both are value for money and I would stay at either again depending on the deal as I really like the area.

  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled with family
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1  Thank KatSale
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kasemkij_Group, General Manager at Cape Panwa Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded November 22, 2012

Your endorsement of “another great holiday,” after your 16 night stay with us at the Cape Panwa Hotel, Phuket, in October is appreciated. Thank you for your review and we look forward to your soonest return.

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Reviewed November 16, 2012

After a minor set back allowing a room change we settled into our holiday perfectly. Beach access from the hotel is fabulous. Our 2 year old daughter loved the kids pool and jacussie spa. Great hotel and great value. Will come back..

  • Stayed: November 2012
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Thank Shredder69
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kasemkij_Group, General Manager at Cape Panwa Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded November 26, 2012

Your positive endorsement, after your stay with us, of the Cape Panwa Hotel, Phuket, as a “Great hotel and great value” is welcomed. Thank you for your review.

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Reviewed November 13, 2012

Situated at the far South-East of Phuket, beyond the place where the road ends, the Cape Panwa Hotel is blessed with its own, private beach of palm-fringed fine, white sand, free of hawkers and supplemented by a lively, but not noisy, cafe and bar and a little, cool swimming and spa pool, connected to the hotel campus by a delightful electric tram which shuttles up and down the from early morning until late night. Some Trip Advisor reviewers have commented unfavourably on the presence of flotsam on the beach but this was kept under constant attention by a team of gatherers; what came ashore certainly did not originate from the hotel. If I have one observation it is that the shore line would have been even more pleasant if all bathers had taken responsibility for collecting unwanted bits and pieces.

At the heart of every great hotel there must be an elegance of vision, a culture of service and a passion for detail, all of which are evident at the Cape Panwa such that any criticisms are simply quibbles.

The campus offers three restaurants (reviewed separately): The Top of the Reef offers classic French cuisine; Panwa House, a venerable Sino-Portuguese house set back from the beach, offers traditional Thai cooking; and the nerve centre of the Hotel, the Cafe Andaman hosts the ample and varied pool-side breakfast buffet, lunch and snacks and dinner. During our stay there was a superb Thai food and music evening outside Panwa House on Mondays, a sumptuous seafood buffet on Wednesdays and a steak night on Fridays at the Cafe Andaman. The Lighthouse Pub offers a Happy Hour from 20:30 to 21:30 and the Otter Bar, joined to the Top of the Reef, has a Happy Hour from 18:30 to 19:30, sophisticated live music and chocolate-coated cashew nuts!

The Hotel is twinned with the Cantari Bay Hotel, the two being connected by a free regular shuttle bus, which has a sea front seafood restaurant (the Laem Panwa) which offers fare at market prices and an Italian restaurant which we did not visit (although we did attend Happy Hour in its adjoining bar) but whose menu looked somewhat impervious to local produce.

Rates for hotels such as this vary enormously depending on your package but we thought that our luxury room with spa bath on a big balcony facing the sea, and breakfast, was good value at $200 per night and the two of us lived comfortably on an average of £130 per day, including all meals, drinks, a couple of massages and airport transfers. Compared with many other Phuket destinations the cost was quite high but the benefit of the private beach was almost incalculable.

  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank Kevin C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kasemkij_Group, General Manager at Cape Panwa Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded November 22, 2012

Thanks for sharing your positive and pleasant stay at the Cape Panwa Hotel, Phuket, with other readers planning to visit Phuket. As you stated a “vision of elegance, a culture of service, and a passion for detail” are to be found here. Your time and effort to review your stay with us are appreciated. We look forward to your soonest return.

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Reviewed November 11, 2012

My husband & I very much enjoyed a 2 week holiday at this hotel. The room was large with a very comfortable, very large bed, the bathroom was woderful and the room maid was a lovely person who looked after us extremely well. The Staff at the hotel were very friendly but professional and helpful. We ate once at most of the hotel restaurants and the food was excellent, the steak evening is excellent value. the breakfast was ok but with no variation was a little boring for 2 weeks especially the selection of cereals - we enjoyed the bakery cafe down the hill for coffee and cakes which did nothing for our expanding waistlines. The location was quiet but lovely which is what we like but with easy access to places with lots of life and local restaurants where we enjoyed some lovely meals and the truck provided by the hotel was a necessity. The private beach is a wonderful asset with no problem getting a sun bed and the tram down to the beach was so good, also the gardens are well tended. This hotel was very clean but it could do with a little bit of TLC in respect of decorating in certain areas. We went to the Ladyboy show and Thai show outdoors in Phuket, think it was called Nadir, both excellent evening entertainment and we thoroughly enjoyed both. We also went on the trip around the Islands to James Bond Island with canoes, we went on the slow boat not the speed boat and we had a fabulous day but you do have to be pretty agile. We thoroughly enjoyed our holiday which provided us with a good amount of relaxation which was much needed but with the option to enjoy a bit of a brighter life away from the hotel.

Room Tip: We had a Junior suite corner room at the end on level 3 which had two aspects of the sea as it had t...
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  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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5  Thank diane69_10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kasemkij_Group, General Manager at Cape Panwa Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded November 22, 2012

The Cape Panwa Hotel, Phuket, is pleased to learn of your pleasant and enjoyable 2 week stay with us as “A very happy holiday and nice experience.” Your positive comments will be helpful to other readers planning a visit to Phuket. Thank you for your feedback.

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Reviewed November 11, 2012

We stayed for 7 days at Cape Panwa Hotel. We were grateful we got upgraded at Cape suite. Defitnetly worth paying extra, we had the best ocean view, best location & very spacious. Excellent service, people were great.

Food were great too but we rather eat out. U save money & also help local restaurant.

We had dinner at Sabai Sabai restaurant. Great view, great food, great service but we wish we discovered it sooner.

Beach were very nice. It's great it's not crowded.

Room Tip: Ask to get upgraded C view. Cape suite. Best ocean view.
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  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled with friends
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2  Thank Josgeo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kasemkij_Group, General Manager at Cape Panwa Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded November 19, 2012

“Coming back,” is a wonderful endorsement of the Cape Panwa Hotel, Phuket, after your 7 days with us. We look forward to your soonest return. Many thanks again.

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Additional Information about Cape Panwa Hotel

Address: 27, 27/7 Moo 8, Sakdidej Road, Cape Panwa, Phuket 83000, Thailand
Phone Number:
Location: Thailand > Phuket > Cape Panwa
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#3 Family Hotel in Cape Panwa
#3 Spa Hotel in Cape Panwa
#4 Business Hotel in Cape Panwa
#4 Luxury Hotel in Cape Panwa
#4 Romantic Hotel in Cape Panwa
Price Range: $110 - $573 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Cape Panwa Hotel 5*
Number of rooms: 205
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Cape Panwa Hotel embodies tropical luxury in one of the world's most desirable destinations. Tucked away in a quiet corner of southeast Phuket, the villa is renowned for its excellent service, stylish rooms and exclusive swimming pool. Blending superbly with the natural beauty of the area, the hotel is comprised of a selection tastefully decorated suites and pool villas. Thailand's premier luxury chain of Villa and Serviced Apartments. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Cape Panwa Phuket
Cape Panwa Hotel Phuket

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