John Gregory-Smith discovered paradise at Sri Panwa in Phuket
From the moment we arrived we knew this place was special. After a very long flight from London, via Bangkok, we arrived at Sri Panwa late on a Tuesday night. There was no long check-in and we were driven in a very civilised Tuk Tuk to our villa. A personal butler was outside and he opened the teak door into our very own paradise.
An open-air atrium divided two slick villas – one a day room and the other the master bedroom – with a gleaming infinity pool stylishly wrapped around the front of the main villa. A small terrace with sun loungers and a shady day bed sat in one corner and on the other side of the pool there was an open air shower and access to the master bedroom. Sunken seats that were built into the pool that were primed for what would be one of the best views in the world.
I always love arriving somewhere at night because waking up is like discovering it all over again. I opened the sliding doors and let the warm air flood into the room. We gazed in awe at the stunning views of the Andaman Sea, azure blue and littered with tropical islands.
Everything at Sri Panwa had been thought of to give you full access to the stunning views. Our luxurious bedroom villa floated on the sleek grey infinity pool that overlooked the bay. The bedroom was raised so you could see everything and a sunken sitting room was the perfect spot for a coffee in the morning. Large sliding doors, lined with Arabesque turquoise glass tiles, slid open into the master bathroom, complete with Jacuzzi bath, steam room shower and a walk in closet.
Breakfast was fabulous. We sat by the main pool, high in the hills overlooking the bay and feasted Thai-style on fruit, steamed dumplings and noodles. Then spent the next few hours lounging in the sun on our private sun deck at our villa, listening to music, reading and swimming.
Already feeling utterly at home, we made our way to the hotel’s spa that was perched high on the hilltop with incredible 360 degree views of the entire island. A heavenly body scrub and facial later, we left feeling buffed and polished and ready to get back to our pool.
We feasted on a fabulous lunch of spicy Thai chicken wings, pad Thai and a zingy green papaya salad. The fresh flavours and abundance of ice cold Phuket beer complimented the exotic views and set the tone for a splendid afternoon.
Two days at this heavenly hideaway felt like a blissful eternity. It was a world away from London and the most relaxed I have ever been in such a short space of time.
One bedroom Pool Villas at Sri Panwa start from $800 per night. Price includes access to all areas of the resort and complimentary mini bar sripanwa.com
Eat Travel Live flew with Eva Air from London Heathrow to Taipei, via Bangkok, Elite Class (Premium Economy) – return airfares in Elite Class start from £928 inclusive of taxes. Book online at evaair.com