Sponsored by Cape Panwa Hotel.
If you want to get off the grid in Phuket, there’s no better place than Cape Panwa. While the western side of the island is a tourist mecca with resorts, bars and clubs lining popular stretches of sand like Patong Beach, Cape Panwa is pretty much unchartered. Located on the southeastern tip of the island, the peninsula is home to some of the most exclusive resorts in town. So when Cape Panwa Hotel invited us to stay for Phuket Race Week, we jumped at the chance.
The best thing about Cape Panwa Hotel is that it’s not just another luxurious resort. It’s got history, but more importantly it’s got its own private beach, floating pontoon and jetty. These ocean delights haven’t just caught the attention of travellers, but the local wildlife too. Back in the day, the resort became famous for a friendly otter that made Cape Panwa’s warm tropical waters his home. Word of this super cool otter spread across the island and at one point he was kidnapped and held for ransom. He was eventually returned, but his legend remains and the hotel have named one of their bars in his honour.
For five relaxing days, we stayed in a Cape Suite – an incredible room set amongst coconut palms that had a tropical sun-deck complete with an outdoor spa and day bed. We were going island hopping around Thailand at the end of it, so we took the chance to unwind and catch up on some relaxation. When we weren’t shooting bikinis, we were getting massaged in the day spa, drinking the resort’s fresh coconut supply dry, soaking up the sun on a yacht, learning to cook and getting spoilt with private yoga classes.
If you want to explore what’s nearby, head to the historical Old Phuket Town and take in Sino-Portuguese architecture and one of the best restaurants on the island. Track down Raya Restaurant and you won’t be disappointed. It’s so good, Bangkok residents get their meals flown over – it sounded pretty crazy, then I tried their caramalised pork belly.
But if you want to stay put and take advantage of the resorts private beach and in-house activities, scroll down for our top five things to do at Cape Panwa Hotel.
Rates vary depending on the season, but rooms starts at around AU$115 and go all the way up to AU$1,200 a night for the Absolute Suite.
Photography by Jamil Hassan.
1. Get involved in Phuket Race Week
Every year in July, the resort hosts Phuket Race Week and we were lucky to arrive just in time to catch the end of it and the all important closing party. Over four days, 37 yachts took part in Asia’s premier yacht race for the events 10th Anniversary. Read more.
2. Treat yourself at Cape Spa
For four of the five days we were at Cape Panwa it rained, so we made the most of the luxurious day spa facilities getting pampered. If you only have time for one treatment, go for the Full Moon Anti-Stress – a 70-minute head, shoulder and back massage with a foot soak and herbal compress.
3. Take a Thai cooking class
In an alfresco kitchen, we tried our hand at some authentic Thai cooking. Under the guidance of chef Kan, we whipped up a range of delicious Thai dishes that included tom yum goong (spicy prawn soup), yam nuea (spicy beef salad) and pad thai (fried noodles with yellow bean curd). Read more.
4. Get active with a private yoga class
One of the great things about Cape Panwa Hotel is their private yoga classes held in picturesque tropical surrounds. We had ours in the incredible Absolute Suite followed by a delicious breakfast cooked by chef Kan. Read more.
5. Dine at Panwa House
There are a bunch of fantastic bars and restaurants at Cape Panwa Hotel but nothing compares to Panwa House. Set on the beach, the Sino-Portuguese style mansion serves up epic Thai feasts in an incredible location. Read more.