Story and photos by Dr. Michael Lim The Travelling Gourmet TM
All rights reserved copyright
All food photos are of real food with NO photoshop
The indefatigable and irrepressible Travelling Gourmet goes to a remote island in the Andaman Sea to stay in…
MAGNIFICENT Sri Panwa Resort perched high on a cliff overlooking Cape Panwa. The island is Phuket and this resort compared to the madding crowd on Patong Beach with its raucous hawkers, pimps, hustlers, con men, Australian Hawkers, seedy bars and filles de joie galore…is like fast food compared to Michelin Star cuisine! I always give Patong Beach a wide berth because this is THE place to stay, relax, luxuriate and unwind when you are on this pleasure island. Sri Panwa means in the Thai language: one thousand yards.
A speedy Tuk Tuk brought me in a jiffy to my ueber luxurious Pool Villa. Oh my God! To stay here is like staying in a tropical paradise surrounded by lush foliage and landscaped gardens. The villa with every mod con you could ever need and your own personal Nespresso machine is SURROUNDED by hedonistic infinity pools complete with jacuzzi! Once I woke up…I dived into the pool straight from the bedroom every morning at dawn before breakfast! ABSOLUTELY FABULOUS! The architect, Pisit Sayampol and the owner Wan Issawarra are real geniuses when it comes to creating a high end resort right out of lifestyles of the rich and famous!
A hedonist’s dream come true…la dolce vita indeed! 🙂
I loved to shower in the outdoor rain shower, and I thought as I showered in cool water: what the hell! The sailors on the ships far away on the sea were too far away to ever see me in my birthday suit..even with high power binoculars! Ha! Ha! There is a also a humongous outdoor bathtub jacuzzi, perfect for soaking in! Plus a Steam Room in your Villa…
You also have your own kitchen with oven, microwave and all the items in your refridgerator are complimentary except for the alcoholic beverages.The huge living room has a big divan for lounging on with a coffee or cocktail. You can also borrow the latest movies on DVD to watch on your DVD player from their Library. I saw “X men: First Class” one relaxing evening. Outside are two gazebos where you have have an al fresco breakfast and see the sun rise or have evening drinks and see the sun set…I love this resort and if I ever meet the Architectural genius who designed this resort, I shall give him or her a very big hug! I have been to many. many top class resorts like the Grand Hyatt Bali and Le Touessrok in Mauritius just to name two…and Sri Panwa is among the creme de la creme of beach resorts.
Food, glorious Food!
You are spoilt for choice when it comes to dining options. The cheery and very laid back Baba Pool Club has authentic Thai Food and also serves a most excellent Breakfast in the morning. It also offers Italian options like Pizzas and Pastas. There are infinity pools for swimming here too.
Your Cappuccino and Latte comes with a warm and genuine smile from the heart from wunderschoenen Ying! Her lovely smile made my day! 🙂
Baba Pool Club and Baba Iki Japanese Restaurant on level 2
On top of the Baba Pool Club is a top class Japanese restaurant. I must mention the energetic Thai Teppanyaki Chef Haru here in the Baba IKI restaurant. He is simply the most entertaining Teppanyaki Chef I have ever met and his humourous antics and cooking skills are second to none. He juggles pepper mills and other kitchen utensils with gusto and panache and showmanship! Chef Haru can throw raw fragile eggs up in the air and catch them with his Chef’s toque hat!!!!! SEEING is believing as my best friend in Hong Kong, Dr. Ken Hui always says! OMG! 🙂 🙂 🙂
When he flambeed his beef I almost went to get the fire extinguisher! The flames were so big!! I was MOST entertained and also enjoyed my Japanese cuisine tremendously!
For “haute cuisine” in the classic Thai style you simply must dine at Baba Soul Food with its open show kitchen, rustic decor and authentic Thai cuisine served and presented beautifully.
For a really fantastic way to start your evening go to the Baba Nest and have pre dinner cocktails which are really exotic and unique and watch the sun set ever so slowly…in mother nature’s daily spectacular light show. The 360 degree view is simply superb!
You must see it to really appreciate it. You do not sit on chairs but lounge on a gigantic comfy divan with fluffy cushions. When twilight comes just stroll to the ground floor, and your Tuk Tuk awaits to bring you to your dining venue of choice.
Apart from Yoga which I really enjoyed doing, I also went for a Cooking Class to learn Thai Cuisine hands on which was very FUN-TASTIC! I am no stranger to Thai cuisine having trained at the famous School of Thai Cooking of the Oriental Hotel Bangkok and Chiengmai.
Yummilicious Thai Green Curry! I love Thai food!
Having been interested in the Martial Arts for a long, long time, I went for a Muay Thai session in the Gymnasium, which was located a good walk away from the Baba Pool Club. After strenuous and numerous round house kicks, punches, elbows, upper cuts and knee strikes, I was knackered (tired out) but exhilarated. Exercise always makes your brain generate endo-cannabinols and endorphins which gives you a natural “HIGH” for many hours.
Above the private beach is a secluded Cliff Side Pool with a bar for coool drinks. The Cliff Side pool is enscounced in the tropical jungle…Sri Panwa’s secluded and super exclusive private beach is delightful for a plunge into the Andaman Sea or sunbathing, plus you can also go kayaking…It came to my mind when I was there that this is the perfect film location for a James Bond movie where 007 sneaks in on a Zodiac to raid the bad guy’s island headquarter…played by Sri Panwa Resort…
When I was here, I also took time out to go on a shopping at huge Pornthip’s Sea Store for Thai Food treats like Bananas dipped in chocolate, Cashew Nuts, Durian Kueh, Spices, Green Curry Paste, Rice crackers, dried Cuttlefish, Squid and more goodies.
Be good to yourself and come here for your next vacation…you may never leave…
Sri Panwa Resort Phuket
88 moo 8, Sakdidej Road,
Tel: +66 7637 1000
Some enchanted evening from James Michener’s South Pacific…