Panviman Resort - Koh Pha Ngan
Travel Blogs from Ko Phangan
... beach! Panic, panic! The cute puppy in the tattoo shop that Tash and Paige were playing with, with people behind saying 'rabies!' And Danielle standing waaaay back. We're glad we visited Koh Phangan but it wasn't really a place we would come back to. So commercialised and the beach was filthy after the full moon party. We did get nice tans and met some interesting people, but we can't wait to move into Koh Tao for relaxation and to try some scuba driving/ ...
... as we were meeting everyone at 6pm so that we could see the sunset. It actually turned out that it was too cloudy to see it in the end. We walked to the restaurant and had dinner - I shamefully had chicken nuggets and chips. After dinner we went to a bar, which was more like a nightclub than other bars we've been to, and watched yet another fireshow and had drinks. It was fun to spend the last proper evening with everyone in the bar, and the drinks were so cheap! ...
... the hotel we walked out onto the main street and found an English bar with a pool competition so we sat in there and had a drink and watched.
Around 11.30pm we took a taxi to the half moon party. It cost us 100 baht, £2, each to get there.
It was £12 each to get in which got you a drink also. Inside was good. They had a centre stage set up with bars around it and ...
... Avenue - the guesthouse we'd loved when previously in Tao. Unfortunately they had no beds available so we settled for somewhere cheaper just down the road. After a toastie or two and a coconut shake for old time's sake, we sought information for how to reach Chiang Mai from Koh Tao. Chiang Mai is right up in the north of Thailand so we knew we were in for a long, and probably uncomfortable journey. The best value ticket we found was the ...
... back way as his bike was illegal and this way they wouldn't be stopped by the police.... (Thai style!). Unfortunately, Ben returned to our resort having not seen the doctor as conveniently, he was on holiday! (Bearing in mind that this is the only doctor to sign people off with medical conditions such as ashtma to dive, thus was pretty annoying!) Nevertheless we grabbed a bite to eat at the beach and then met back at the pool to sort out our diving equipment. Jessie taught us how ...
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TravelPod Member ReviewsPanviman Resort - Koh Pha Ngan Ko Phangan
Historical Traveler Reviews Panviman Resort - Koh Pha Ngan Ko Phangan
Nice and mellow
We have just returned from a two week holiday in thailand, a week of which we spent at Panviman on Koh Phangan. We really enjoyed it. Thailand has changd such a lot since we were last there (over 10 years ago). Back then it was all basic huts and Full moon party shenanigans for us. Nowadays it's less of the raving and more of the chilling. We spent a few days on Samui acclimatising. What a mess they have made of the island. It was stuffed with fat lobsters, mostly on the sunbeds and of the British and German variety. Fortunately as Koh Phangan is an extra half an hour away by boat they can't seem to get off their fat backsides and make it over. Good news all round. Panviman has a beautiful multiple / infinity pool area and great location in the jungle on the hill between two beautiful bays (noi is much prettier). We had a deluxe room as yes they are great. The only problem was that as they are built right in the jungle, you have to be prepared for some 'natural neighbours' who would like to share it too. We had to move rooms as the cockroaches had got to ours first. The other thing is that the resort lacks the atmosphere of the hut complexes on the beach. The bar shuts very early for Thailand (10.45) and as there is no real centre to the resort, it can seem pretty dead a lot of the time. You can get to the beach bars easily enough though (Jungle bar is good) so it's a small gripe really. The decor was great, the food good, the staff lovely (if a little scatterbrained at times) and we had a nice chilled time. If you still want the relative tranquility of Koh Phangan, can't face a hut or gurning backpackers and have a bit of cash to burn then Panviman is a good choice.
A bit of a drive but beautiful
My Fiance and I stayed at this hotel for 3 nights in February. It was very beautiful but if you are subject to motion sickness be prepared. The drive to the resort takes about an hour and the road is very rough. However, once you actually make it to the resort it is beautiful. We had a Deluxe Villa and it was great. The beach was about a 5 minute walk from our Villa. You have to walk down a bunch of stairs and then you're at the private beach with lounge chairs and a restaurant. This part of the Island gets quite a bit of waves so snorkeling is out of the question but we had a great time swimming in the waves. The food was fine but there weren't a lot of choices on the menu. The breakfast was great! The pool is beautiful and the entire resort lay out is pretty nice with the Deluxe Bunglaows nestled in the trees. I would highly recommend the getting a Deluxe Bungalow if you stay here, it's worth it. The view from ours was fabulous!
My wife and I stayed in Panviman in mid February in a deluxe cottage. I can hardly find anything wrong to write about this resort, other than that it's really isolated, far away from everything. The room was amazing, just at the edge of the cliff with magnificent views over the bay. The pool, the beach, the food and the service all above any expectation. If you don't mind a little bit of walking and you can afford a deluxe cottage this resort is THE place for you.
Beautiful resort...but with problems
Panviman Resort, which we stayed at in mid January 2006, has to be one of the best designed and located resorts in Thailand. We stayed in the Deluxe Bungalow, and were afforded magnificent views of two beaches as a result, plus complete privacy provided by the trees overhanging the bungalow. It's just a five minute walk to the beach - and do you really want to be on the beach in any case, with the associated loud music from the bars? The swimming pool was magnificent and the staff eager to please....but now onto the problems:
(i) the huge bathtub and the bathroom views over the bays are great - but do you really want to use the tub when the "hot" water trickles and only runs hot 50% of the time, and the water colour is BROWN!?
(ii) our bungalow would have been perfectly silent...had it not been for the construction noise! Much of the resort resembled a building site when we were there. To undertake construction in high season, and without prior warning, to me indicated contempt for paying guests.
(iii) another example of contempt for guests was displayed by the pick-up service from the ferry. I was just about to step into a taxi (which was going to charge us 200 Baht to get to the resort), when I caught sight of a guy holding up a placard with my name on it. Great, I thought, free pick up service! So we got into his taxi. Then, rather than going to the resort, he drove us to another pier, where we were forced to wait for THREE other boats to arrive. I was seething at this point. Then, when I got my bill at the end of our stay, there was 200 Baht tacked onto the bill - "taxi services". That rendered me speechless.
I complained on all of these three points, and was assured that the manager would come to see me. He/she did not, and I have not heard a word for the resort since. It is such a shame that this magnificently designed resort on such a beautiful island is blighted by such poor and contemptuous management.
A bit faded but still lovely!
I stayed with 3 friends at Panviman from Jan 10th til Jan 16th and we had an amazing time! After having read some of the reviews posted on this and other websites our initial excitement from having seen just the brochure had waned a little. Major concerns being that the resort was a real trek from the beach and totally inacessible. We opted for the resort taxi pick up service from the ferry port as they hadn't advised us of any alternative. Whilst some of the road has been tarmaced the majority is still dirt track and to be honest, unless funds are tight I wouldn't recommend it. Instead opt for the speadboat transfer (cost 6000 baht / £85) - we did this on our way back to Samui and it was far easier - not to mention adding a spice of glamour!
The resort itself is I understand the best currently on the island but it is now 10 years old and to be fair it shows some signs of this. We stayed in the standard bungalows at 3800 a night as it was peak season. Priceyish for Thailand but not for western standards. The standard bungalows are probably the best positioned for the beach, pool and restaurants as they are set further down the hill. The deluxe bungalows are set much further up so I cant comment about how easy it is to get around the resort from them.
The standard bungalows were fine, although the bathrooms are definitely in need of an update, however as we had spent the majority of our trip in bungalows costing between 800BHT - 1200BHT we were all thoroughly happy with them - just don't expect them to be as swanky as the deluxe ones look like.
Agree with all comments about the pools - stunning and the view from the bottom looking out of the infinity pool across the south bay is breathtaking.
We all loved the breakfast each morning which is buffet style and is a mix of lots of different foods from western to thai. We got hooked on the freshly cooked scramble eggs with onions and tomato mixed in and the crispy bacon was delicious. We didn't use the other restaurants to eat in so can't comment about the standard.
The staff were all extremely friendly and I can give no negative comments at all.
Panviman have their own little private beach area at the bottom of the steps from the resort which has lots of sun loungers, towels, kayaks and snorkelling equipment available. To get to the 'main' beach you have to cross a little inlet the longtail boats use - at high tide this can be waist deep and at low tide ankle deep. The performance some people made crossing this amused us no end - just go in your swimming outfit and forget it - it's onll about 2 metres wide!
Popular place for lunch, drinks and snacks is Star Huts which we sat at every day in the afternoon for a few cheeky Singha beers. There's a good BBQ every other day at the far end of the beach and the restaurants along the beach are all pretty good. Up the side from Star Huts into the tiny little 'town' is money exchange (although not ATM), a great jewellery store and some bars. Check out Handsome Sandwiches for GREAT burgers if you fancy some 'farang' food.
Nightlife doesn't really get going til about midnight and we were too chilled and relaxed to bother but people we chatted to there said it's good fun. The bars usually take it in turns to host a nightly party.
All in all, we loved it here, and the beach was fantastic. If you want more luxury, keep in mind a 2nd Panviman resort is being built at the other end of the bay, again into the cliff top. Not sure when it will be completed but I would guess in about a year.
Hope you found this review helpful.
"Panviman = Paradise Alike"
Panviman is not a 5 star resort, but it is delightful. Our experience was quite different to the previous review. We also visited during the low season. Firstly, it is not easy to get to, so we took the easy way out and booked the private speedboat transfer, which at £85 for the two of us (each way), is not cheap, but makes quick work of the trip from Koh Samui airport. On arrival we were greeted with courtesy and unending smiles. The deluxe room we had (6108) had a magnificent roof terrace. (Not all are 100% private as the screening has yet to grow fully). Our room was beautiful huge glass walls and thai furniture. On the downside, the bed was not the most comfortable that we have slept in and i'd prefer feather pillows not foam. Hell at £34 per night that we paid - who can complain? The one thing that you should note is that the resort is built on a hill-side and is very hilly. They do have golf carts, but unless you want to call for one, it is quite a good workout to get to and from your room to the pool, reception and restaurants. The pools are MAGNIFICENT with the view from the infinty pool breathtaking. The breakfast is good and the evening food was great, especially the seafood buffet. There is a little construction going on, but with the fountains at the pool we did not notice it at all. The beaches near the hotel are great too. Very undeveloped and full of young back-packers, who made us feel old. The spa was good, but the best massages were from the ladies at the massage place just as you go into the mangrove. Anyone going here should bear in mind that this is not a Four Seasons or Ritz Carlton, it is a charming and well run Thai resort. BH
Did not quite live up to the expectations
While Panviman cannot be blamed for the poor rainy weather we encountered during our recent stay, it can indeed make up for the minor imperfections that occured.
We arrived to our deluxe bungalow late in the afternoon after having been greeted nicely by front staff. The bungalow was quite impressive with nice amenities and a distinct Thai atmosphere (wood carvings etc.). It smelled terribly mouldy, however. The terrace was very nice - too bad that there were so many trees blocking the view of the bay. Our terrace had an outdoor tub but clearly no effort had been put into cleaning it. Hence, it was full of rain water, dirt, and leaves and was not very pleasant to jump into.
It rained a lot during our stay and the water actually poured into the room on several occasions but this didn't bother us too much. What did bother us, though, was that none of the doors (main door and terrace door) shut completely - it was definitely possible for bugs (and other animals of similar size) to fly or crawl into the room. And they did. In order to solve this problem, we called front desk who organised coils and spray to be delivered to our room. We were also provided with an air freshener which did not work and the room continued to smell of mould during our entire stay.
Breakfast was acceptable but nothing fancy while our barbeque at Stone Beach resturant was truly outstanding. All of the above would under usual circumstances result in an above average experience. However, we still felt that Panviman needed some 'finish' in order to be deemed that attractive. A lot of construction was going on during our stay and the noise was unbearable around the (impressive) pool area but hopefully this will not continue.
On an end note, when checking out, staff demanded we pay for umbrellas which had been taken by other guests while we were having breakfast. They also wanted us to pay for a cd that was apparently missing - all the while they insisted that we had forgotten a cd of our own in the room. This, of course, was completely unacceptable - not least since we finally, after a lengthy and very unpleasant debate, discovered that the cd in the room was Panviman's; they could just not tell it was theirs because it was a copy! Also, the umbrellas should of course not be paid by us. I had to argue that I wanted to discuss this matter with management until the receptionist finally gave in and we didn't have to pay.
We were during the stay under the impression that Panviman was so much in the low season that they didn't care quite enough about the guests and the unpleasant experiences we encountered would never have occured in a hotel of the star rating that Panviman wishes to adorn itself with. Hence, while Panviman is certainly attractive, it would have to come up with something a bit more polished than what it showed us during our stay.
Loved the Panviman
My husband and I stayed at the Panviman for a week and loved it so much that we are going again this December.
We had one of the deluxe cottages, which is beautifully decorated in Thai style, with lots of carved wood and floor to ceiling windows all around, with great views of the two stunning white sand bays. They have an outside bath tub, as well as an indoor shower in the large bathroom.
The cost is very reasonable for the standard of the rooms and it is well away from Hat Rin Beach, where the full moon parties are. However, if you fancy going to the FMP, the speedboat transfer is easily arranged through the hotel.
On arrival, the hotel arranges a pick up from the ferry, and it is an hours drive through the jungle to the resort.
The hotel has a fabulous tiered pool, with plenty of space around it. The beach restaurant is good and cheap. I only had breakfast in the main restaurant, which was only average, but included in the room rate.
There are many other little restaurants along the beach if you fancy a change. Average cost around 60-70 baht per dish. Also massage available on the beach for around 250 baht an hour.
The hotel was building a new spa on my last visit, which I believe has now opened.
All in all, a lovely place to chill for a few days.
Having stayed at a beautiful resort in Koh Samui, Thailand, I was leary of heading to the less developed, more secluded island of Phangan and still being able to find luxury. I was wrong.
The Panviman Resort is really spectacular. It lies on a cliff overlooking the northernmost beaches on the island. Despite its stunning views of the beaches below, there is no reverse view up to the resort, maintaining its quiet and privacy.
There are several rooms to choose from. As we were only there for 3 days we opted for a regular hotel room. The balcony views were some of the best I have seen anywhere in the world. The room was comfortable and well appointed. However, the bathrooms needed to be updated and westernized. The bungalows, which are newer have fully modern bathrooms, beautiful wood carved beds and many many windows with beautiful views. The bungalows are well hidden in the dense garden of the resort and are easily missed nestled in the trees a la Robinson Caruseau. For only around $100 US, the deluxe bungalows are the way to go.
The resort has 3 restaurants, although one is strictly for breakfast, and the other two serve a very similar menu. The food is excellent and reasonable. If nothing suits your tastes, a short five minute walk down to the beach offers many other options. The resort also has a breathtaking network of waterfall pools that all cascade into one giant infinity pool that sits on the edge of the cliff. It is a spectacular sight and provides amazing picture opportunities. Finally, the resort has a full service spa that also offers beautiful views off the cliff.
I definitely plan to return to the Panviman. Although the island of Phangan itself has less to offer than Samui, the Panviman resort alone made it worth the trip.