This review has been posted a little late I am afraid – however, better late than never as they say!
In December 2006, my partner and I travelled over to Thailand to get married – staying in Bangkok and Phuket. We had a couple of issues in terms of now knowing in what order things would occur in Thailand and I thought it would be useful for those wishing to get married in Thailand to know what we didn’t prior to going!
Prior to leaving the UK, you need to ensure you have some paperwork set up. This will include an Affirmation of Freedom to Marry – this is something you sign to state that you are free to marry, ie single, divorced etc. You also have to send copies of passports, birth certificates etc. All details can be found on the British Embassy website in Thailand – it looks a little daunting at first, but read it a couple of times and it sinks in.
The paperwork is okayed prior to departure by the British Embassy – this should be done via your tour operator if you have one. We booked our package with Thomson Worldwide and they didn’t really have a clue what to do, so I did most of it myself and told them!
In Bangkok you will be taken to the British Embassy for all paperwork (including translations in Thai) to be okayed and legally certified. Then you go to one of the District Offices. There is more paperwork and signatures and then you will be handed a marriage certificate.
In Thailand, the ceremony and legalities are dealt with separately. You don’t even have to have the ceremony if you don’t want to. We opted for a Thai style ceremony as part of our marriage package – definitely the best thing to do in my opinion. It is a really authentic ceremony and very emotional. 9 Bhuddist Monks, beautiful flowers, amazing colours and very different to a UK civil ceremony – quite something.
Cape Panwa, Phuket
Other reviews have said you breathe a breath of fresh air and instantly relax when you arrive – and boy do you!!! We had two rooms, the first being in the older part of the hotel on the front of the beach. Nice room, but could have done with a lick of paint, beautiful sea views. After the wedding we were upgraded to a suite which was in a newer part of the hotel (bit further back), I think we were in the J wing – up at the top. A lovely room, with huge backroom, double sinks, huge bed, lounge area and a bar area. Every day flowers were on the bed and on the wedding ceremony day we had it all decorated. We were also served dinner on our balcony – a wonderful touch!
The hotel is set in a lovely bay. The pool area gets very hot, the beach has a nice breeze and there is a pool down there too. Great food at the beach front and Sandie is great, lunch for both of us with drinks was around 500 – 700 bahts. Varoon at the pool side really takes care of you too – he insisted on being at our wedding ceremony and proceeded to tell other guests about it too – he loves Liverpool Football Club! Try the Massaman Curry – amazing flavours and not too spicy! The hot dogs are great too.
Mr Mor – we booked a day with him, fantastic. Great value, I think it was £26.00 for the full day and he took us where we wanted which was around the bottom of the coast to a couple of view points and waterfalls. He took us for lunch in Phuket Town. 3 main meals and four drinks came to £2.80 – our cheapest!
Some friends and family clubbed together and organised a private speed boat Trip for the day too with Coral Seekers – they have a website. Again, great staff and a wonderful trip. They took us snorkelling around a small island – away from all the crowds, we saw some amazing fish and a coral shark. They then set up lunch for us on our own private beach on a tiny island (well that’s what it felt like). There was no-one around and we were made to feel very special. We had around 3 – 4 hours of snorkelling and had a full choice in what we wanted to do for the day.
Similarly, after the wedding we took a trip with John Gray Sea Canoe. Not cheap compared to others, but well worth it. We did a sunset cruise around Phang. Absolutely, truly amazing (apart from the horrendous thunderstorm on the way back!) We went into various caves and lagoons that are only accessible according to the tides. They knew it was our wedding day and made sure we knew it! Again, our tour guide took great care of us and seemed to take us away from everyone else so we really felt like we were on our own in a beautiful part of the world. At nightfall, we went into a bat cave – not my idea of fun, but I had to appear brave to my husband! All food and drink was provided and we paid a little extra to have a private transfer to and from the harbour (a bit essential as I was wearing my wedding dress and got changed on the boat – we have some fun pictures of that and you try getting changed in a small loo on a boat!)
Food at the hotel was a little more expensive, around £7 for 2 main meals and a drink each. If you ventured outside the hotel there were more bargains to be had. The Sawasdee (next to the Bay Hotel) is really cheap and lovely as to was the Hill Top restaurant.
Overall, a fantastic place and we really would go back – but like many others say, there are too many other places in the world to see – although for a wedding anniversary I would make an exception!
The hill outside the hotel is rather steep, but helps you burn off those extra calories! It’s pretty safe to walk up and down too, there is a little shuttle bus that goes between the two hotels.
Grab a taxi outside the Bay Hotel to take you into town – you can negotiate a rate. We took one to the big shopping centre on the outskirts of Phuket Town to exchange money.
Sincere apologies for the length of this review – but I hope it is useful to you!
- 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