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Cape Panwa Hotel
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Reviews (2,812)
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Reviewed December 11, 2009

The hotel is in a fantastic seting in a small sheltered bay with a wonderful white sandy beach reached by a tram or downhill walk through lush planting. There is a wide range of food available starting with a superb breakfast selection through to basic Thai on to top of the range "Brits abroad " food. Be aware though that everything is "plus 10% and plus 7%" There is a massive swimming pool with loads of sunloungers, a reading room and a games room. Oh and don't forget the hotel monkey. Try the Spa at the hotel as it is fantastic and you can get special offers.Ask.

The room we had, C321, was a nice room but the view from our balcony was terrible, looking out on to 2 telegraph poles and across corrugated roofs. We asked to be moved but our rep told us the hotel was full. Shame!

The boat trip to Coral Island was £10 well spent although beware that the wind can make the trip very, very bumpy even by speedboat. If you sit at the front of the boat be prepared for a soaking and I would suggest you refrain from the full English for breakfast. Great day out though.

The night market in Phuket town is worth a visit on Sat. or Sun. from 7 till 10 but it gets very busy so watch your money. The shops and stalls at Central arcade are also good and there is a good food selection there too. Pay no more than 200 Baht from the market by taxi.

The truck/bus service between The Panwa and The Kantaray from 7 till 12 is great taking you over the hill [it's a mountain as I found out trying to walk it]. Just a bit up the hill is a nice Thai restaurant run by a Thai family called Hilltop serving great food at a great price.There is also a couple of privatly run restaurants near The Kantaray and there is the 1 bar Sunset.

If you have to vacate your room way before you are due to leave fret not!.Now over the years we have had some dreadful "complimentary rooms" but the Panwa Lounge is superb. There are complimentary towels, toiletries, tea and coffe, cake, biscuits and fruit. There is also a T.V. and 30 minutes free internet access.Fantastic.

The Cape Panwa Hotel is a great place to relax and unwind where you can do lots of things or you can do nothing.Wonderful.We will be back but not in room C321.

  • Stayed: December 2009, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank BLUEBOY87
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 10, 2009

We stayed at CP end of November. Booked through Destinology and flew with Singapore airlines, both brilliant. Had a quick changeover at Singapore (a massive airport which was like a shopping centre!) and then straight to Phuket. On arrival, we were picked up by a private car with a driver and guide who took us to our hotel, about a 45min drive which was certainly an eye opener. Check in was quick, only negative was our room wasnt ready despite it being lunch time, this is because checkout for guest is midday. Hotel let us use the guest room where there were free refreshments, tv, internet to pass the time. Not ideal but better than nothing after a long journey.
We stayed in a superior room, was small but adequate and exactly what you would expect from a 3* resort, anyone who is expecting luxury is disillusioned. TV/DVD player in room with movie/news channels, mini bar with complimentary 2 bottles of water everyday, fruit basket on arrival and complimentary toiletries which were replaced when used.

The beach is accessed by a tram which was a lovely novelty at first but felt painstakingly slow by the 3rd day. The beach is lovely and never felt over crowded, no matter what time we went down, there were plenty of beds available. Staff on the beach were so helpful, very quick to get umbrellas/tables if needed. The sea itself was very choppy and not good to snorkel in, even on days where it was calmer, the water was quite murky and having swam in the Indian Ocean on previous holidays, the sea life was disappointing. The pool area looked nice but always seemed to be so humid.

We went on a B&B basis which worked out fine for us. Breakfast was good with a massive variety. Egg station for made to order omelettes, cereals, fruit, pastries, curry (!!) and some pale looking sausages (which tasted ok once you get over the look of them!) Most lunches were spent at the Bamboo bar down by the beach, good service with reasonable priced food, even with the 10% service charge and if you cant tear yourself away from your sunbed, they will bring food/drinks to you! Twice a week, there were themed nights, a seafood and BBQ night for 750 Bhts, we didnt try these but there were coaches of tourists coming from other resorts for these!
We ate all of our evening meals outside of the complex, taking the small bus down to the bottom of the hill. As other TA reviews, we visited the popular Sawasdees, food was cheap and nice but service would vary from visit to visit and seemed to deteriorate the more we went. This was definately the busiest restaurant and some nights saw people queueing outside for tables. We did on one occasion try the Laem Panwa, seafood restaurant but found this disappointing and were very amused when my husband tried to order the red mullet, they said he couldnt have it because it was too big! We tried Nan's Italian restaurant a few times over at the Kantary Bay hotel, this was a nice change after days of eating thai food and also reasonably priced. Nice big, a/c restaurant. The best restaurant we found by far was James seafood at the top of the hill, a bit of a trek but worth it. Great view in the open air roof restaurant, cheap prices which included complimentary prawn crackers and banana/pineapple fritters & fruit for dessert. Staff here were so friendly especially the little old lady boy who works there :)
There is a mini mart next door to Sawasdee with ATM, ideal for picking up cheap drinks and snacks, also for picking up a local thai mosquito cream called Kam Bak.

The hotel provide daily shuttles to Patong for 200BHT each, leaving hotel at 7.30pm. We found this a little late so we used the taxi company at the top of the hill and managed to negotiate a decent fare. There was also a shuttle to Central Festival shopping centre for 200BHT, we were not impressed with this, shops were mainly westernised brands and were no cheaper than UK. There is a good Japanese restaurant here...very cheap! For a better shopping centre, I would suggest Jungceylon in patong, much bigger and better range of shops and stalls, you can even stop off and have a facial.
Whilst in Patong, we went to watch a Thai boxing match. We found a ticket booth round the corner from Jungceylon but this turned out to be the wrong one for the night we wanted but the man at the booth...being typically Thai, couldnt be more helpful, he told us the stadium for that night was half an hour walk away but told us to get on the back of his motorbike and he would take us to go look around arena, choose our seats and buy tickets, now thats what I call service, and he didnt even have anything to do with this particular arena! The Thai boxing itself was a good experience, a bit warm but fun, we paid 1300 BHT each for ringside seats, seats in stand were 1000BHT and VIP for 1500BHT. For transport after, there are plenty of tuk tuks waiting after the fights but make sure you negotiate or they will rip you off.

We did shop around a bit for tours but found the prices varied so much. The hotel were charging 3200 BHT for the James Bond Island tour whilst the tour booth near Sawasdees were asking for 2200 BHT, after some research on TA, we decided to contact JC Tours by email to book the trip for 1700 BHT each (there is free wifi in the hotel lobby and down by the beach). A rep came down the day before the trip to collect money, we were picked up by a private car and driven to the port about 45 mins away. The whole day with JC tours was fantastic and a huge value for money, the staff on board the boat were unbelievable and couldnt look after you enough. The trip included a walk around the james Bond island, then canoeing around caves and swimming on Hong Island. For the money, you also got lunch on the boat and free soft drinks/water and fruit.

3 times a week, a local dive team, Sea Bees, come to give a free dive trials in the pool. We had already booked to do our scuba course before we arrived but they were a very good company with brilliant instructors a nice boat.

We didnt use the spa at the hotel but it did look nice and they did thai massages by the beach for just over 400 BHT. Instead we went to Chaba Home Massage at the top of the hill which was run by a lovely Thai lady and some of her relatives. I had a wonderful 60min Royal Thai massage for 240 BHT and she would tailor the whole massage so if you wanted longer on your back etc she would alter program.

All in all we had a great holiday, plenty of things to do and still time to relax, so definately a good all rounder.

  • Stayed: November 2009, traveled as a couple
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6  Thank Kittyf75
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 6, 2009

Cape Panwa was our final destination after a 3 week trip, the hotels in Krabi and Phi Phi Phi were absolutley amazing and could not be faulted. Cape Panwa was the worst hotel we stayed at during our Thailand holiday, not sure if we were just totally spoilt at the other hotels but when we arrived at Cape Panwa we knew that this was a totally different type of hotel class.
Average room.....really dated furnishings.......lots of mozzies around.
Generally the whole hotel could do with a refurb.....looks really tired.
The cleanliness was not up to standards of the other hotels we stayed at in Thailand
The sunlounger covers had bird poo all over them and noone seemed to clean them.
If you are expecting 5 star luxury ~(like we were and had been used to) then do not book this hotel....very average and certainly not one to be recommending.

  • Stayed: November 2009, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank HelzoP
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 2, 2009

The last two weeks spent at the Cape Panwa Hotel have been brilliant. Whether thinking about the food, service, accomodation, location or cost, I cannot think of an area needing improvement. We stayed in one of the newly created Cape Suites - very spacious and luxurious, with a whirlpool bath on the veranda and a bed so comfortable that I would have loved to bring it home. A fine beach, accessible only from the hotel, with good swimming and snorkelling.
The staff are great people, and the choice of places to eat and drink give you variety without having to leave the hotel.
If you want night-life and bustling markets, then Phuket Town and Patong Beach are a taxi ride away. But it was always great to get back to the peace and quiet of the Cape Panwa Hotel.
...and for a bonus, our stay coincided with the visit of the 20 Miss Belgium finalists. Faultless !

  • Stayed: November 2009, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank SussexGandalf
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 1, 2009

We stayed at the Cape Panwa Hotel for 10 nights in mid November having spent 3 nights in Bangkok. I can only reiterate all of the positive reviews on previous trip adviser posts.
We stayed in block F303 which has superb view down over the gardens and towards the beach. The Superior hotel rooms (which are the basic rooms) are excellent (a carpet felt luxurious!!) and cleanliness spot on. The staff are absolutely brilliant from the receptionists to the waiters through to the bar staff at the lighthouse pub. They couldn't do more for you and always polite and smiling.
The spa was great value - a complementary massage (through Kuoni) and then 50% off future sessions.I won't dwell too much on the hotel details - just believe all of the positive reviews and ignore some of those who just like to moan for the sake of it.
Some of the reviews recommend Swasadee (spelling?) restuarant which is adjacent to the sister hotel just next to where the shuttle bus drops you. Yes it is excellent but don't bypass the Hilltop Restuarant or James Seafood Restaurant which are just up the hill from the hotel (less than 5 minutes walk) Both of these restaurants have views which are much better than Swasadee - James Seafood has a 180 degree view of the bay and with sunsets to die for. Both restaurants are so cheap (but food is delicious).
Tailor - couldn't fault Family Tree tailors - right on the corner down at the beach (next to Sunset Bar). Got 2 suits, 3 shirts 2 trousers for my wife and a dress for my wife - just over £200!!!
Trips - did Phi Phi island trip - bought from one of the hotel staff on the Hotel beach for half the price advertised. Great day out but it is no longer the isolated beaches and cove that made it so famous - so commercialised now with row upon row off motor cruisers moored on the beach.
Oh and I shouldn't forget - Cape Panwa was already like paradise when 5 days after we arrived 20 Miss Belgium contestants turned up for a week's stay . They were doing photographic and video shoots for the Miss Belgium contest which takes place in January and happily mixed with all of the hotel guests on the beach etc. I thought I'd died and gone to heaven!!
This was my first holiday in Thailand and I would happily go back to this hotel however there are so many other places I would like to try in this beautiful country.
Final mention to Kuoni - brilliant service - brilliant website.

  • Stayed: November 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank BillMackem
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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