Pullman Phuket Panwa Beach Resort Hotel
Resting comfortably on the shores of Panwa Beach, the Pullman Phuket Panwa Beach Resort Hotel has these waters all to itself. Located on a peninsula on Phuket’s south east shore, you are tucked away from the commotion of the airport and bridge in the north.
When you arrive in the traffic circle, you don’t know all that awaits you. As you step into the lobby, you get your first glimpses of the sea through the open air space. You’ll be greeted with welcome drinks and your mind already starts to envision more drinks by the beach – the fact that the Octo Bar and Lounge is right here serving up bevies and scenery certainly helps. Be sure to come back at dusk to enjoy the calm or play some pool.
As part of the Accor Group of hotels, you may want to check out the MyKids and MyGlass packages before you arrive. If you realize you forgot anything, there is a Family Mart directly across the street so between the resort and shops, everything is available. With 182 rooms and 29 pool villas, there’s a variety of room options here. The hotel is tiered and so most, of the rooms enjoy sea views.
Paved pathways wind through the resort with the main hotel building more reliant on stairs. You can push your stroller most places though sometimes it involves going the long way around. The resort has a small footprint given all that it includes and so nothing is too far of a walk.
With our 4 kids, we stayed in 2 side-by-side (non-adjoining) Deluxe Family Rooms. By booking directly with the hotel, we received a “Family Offer” where the second room was 50% off.
With a parent in each room, we divided the kids. The hotel kindly included a playpen for our baby. With easy access on ground level, these rooms lack an ocean view, but they have massive outdoor tubs on the balcony. Even more unique than these private tubs, were the open concept bathrooms. The toilet and shower had their own enclosures, but the rest of the bathroom was part of the room. At night, we drew the thick, heavy curtains around the washroom allowing us to get ready for bed even while the kiddos slept.
With tea and coffee options, a mini fridge, and daily drinking water, these rooms had everything we needed.
In addition to the waters of the Andaman Sea, the Pullman Phuket Panwa Beach Resort Hotel has 3 outdoor swimming pools. The family pool was a tier higher than our rooms. We could walk up the stairs or take the path around to the parking lot and pass through the hotel to the pool. This same building houses the Kids Club and fitness centre.
With a sloping entrance, this curved pool is lined with deck loungers and palm trees. The far end is slightly enclosed and has jets to help you relax (probably put into the family pool by a designer with children). A few meters from the pool is small waterside with it’s own splash pool. It’s partially shaded and there is room for wee ones to get wet here. Between the slide and the Kids Club is a play structure appropriate for little kids.
Spanning the pathway below, a bridge connects this pool area to cabanas which sit on top of our hotel rooms and offered views of the bay (as you cannot see the beach from this pool).
In those glorious pre-COVID days, the Kids Club was fully staffed and bustled with activities. When we visited, this space was unstaffed but still open for guest use. Our youngest ones thoroughly enjoyed this bright and squishy place while escaping the heat of midday.
Bring your sweat rag because there are a number of activities to make you sweat. The fitness centre has everything you’ll need to burn calories. If you’re not sweaty enough from that, then take a seat in the sauna. You may also want to play a game of giant outdoor chess.
The main pool area is 2 tiered beachside pools. The upper pool is freeform and has great spots to grab a seat and stare at the scenery. It wraps around Edge Pool Bar until it’s only ankle deep – making cabanas into islands. Splashing over the infinity edge, this upper pool flows down into the larger lower pool. Here you can swim further, play around more, or enjoy the bubble jets. With massive floating bags, our kids had hours of laughs in this pool. The last tier of pooldeck faces the ocean and with pools behind you, and ocean to the front – these chairs are a great place to be stuck in the middle with you.
Beyond the pool deck your toes will find a narrow lawn before they touch sand. Panwa Beach has soft sand and the hotel maintains it well. The tide really goes out here and when the waters recede you can stroll way out into the bay. Be on the lookout for starfish (look, don’t touch) as there are so many who call Panwa home.
Other than working on your tan, you can play beach volleyball, go for a swim (being mindful of the ropes denoting the deisgnated swimming area), or take to the waters. There are kayaks and SUP’s which are free to use. For an additional charge, you could wind surf, sail, or scuba dive. Talk to the hotel. Our package included sailing and it was a true thrill for all of us. The staff were competent and kind.
The only element of the beach we did not enjoy is a factory which makes mobile phone parts. If anyone knows the British owner, could you ask them to install a sound muffler on those machines?
Due to low numbers of tourists (thanks a lot COVID) Tamarind Restaurant was not open while we were here. Aqua Restaurant, with indoor and outdoor dinning spaces, was home to the buffet breakfast and meal service later in the day. Some menu items were missing for dinners (again, that pesky pandemic), but the staff were helpful and the portions filling. The buffet breakfast had everything you could want to start your day. We especially enjoyed the fresh juice options and smoothie station. It’s a fact that smoothies taste better when someone else makes it for you.
The Edge Pool and Bar is unmissable on it’s poolside perch. After checking-in, the very first thing we did was dip our toes in the pool from a cabana while sipping drinks from the bar. It was the ultimate declaration of, “we’re now officially on holiday”. Like a battle cry against stress! We enjoyed casual lunches and relaxed evenings dining here. The staff have done a great job of building atmosphere with music and lights that change to match the ambiance of the time (afternoon to evening).
If you’re looking for a resort that is family-friendly but still very grown-up, then the Pullman Phuket Panwa Beach Resort Hotel should be on your short list.