You’ve probably seen the pictures: hotel rooms with direct pool access, steps leading to the turquoise blue water at the centre of the hotel resort with palm trees and lush greenery shrouding everything in tropical tranquillity.
Not to mention the almost outrageously affordable nightly rate starting from £56…
The Panwaburi Beachfront Resort has certainly become one of the most Instagram-famous hotels in Phuket and perhaps one of the most well-known hotels in Thailand.
But while the hotel and the price tag seem idyllic, is the Panwaburi Beachfront Resort in Phuket worth it?
The short answer is yes… with caveats.
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These caveats mostly come down to location although we had some other thoughts on our stay which are also worth mentioning if you’re considering booking a stay at the Panwaburi Beachfront Hotel.
Here’s everything you need to know, and before you ask, yes I paid for this hotel myself and no this article is not sponsored or a collaboration. All thoughts are my own.
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Finding the best price for Panwaburi Beachfront Resort
This is really important because prices vary wildly in Southeast Asia depending on the platform you book oI’m usually a Booking .com fan through and through but this hotel had ZERO availability during our visit which I thought was odd considering we wee isiting in the low season.
However the booking platform called Agoda is Asia’s version of Booking .com (in fact Booking owns Agoda!) and EVERYONE in Asia uses Agoda for hotel bookings.
So I checked Agoda and low-and-behold, Panwaburi Beachfront Resort had plenty of availability. I also saw some prices as low as £49 per night with the additional deals that Agoda offers.
So make sure you check both of these options for the best chance of booking the hotel:
Staying at the Panwaburi Beachfront Resort
Panwaburi Beachfront Hotel Location
I would say that the location is both the biggest upside and the biggest downside of staying at Panwaburi Hotel in Phuket.
Despite being on Phuket island, the hotel is located in Panwa Beach which is the very southeast corner of the island, making it a 2+ hour drive from the airport (or more depending on the time of day and traffic!)
Being in the far south also means you’re far from major hubs like Phuket Town and Patong where a lot of day trips, boat tours and organised activities happen from.
The area is also very quiet, the hotel provides a small shuttle bus to walk up the hill to the town, or you can walk it in about 15 minutes.
In the town itself, there are a handful of restaurants with great authentic Thai food options, cafes and bars with sea views, a 7-Eleven convenience store and everything you’d need for a relaxing vacation.
But there isn’t the same volume of bars and restaurant choices as you’d get in other parts of the island and if you’re looking for a party destination or a lively nightlife scene this definitely isn’t it.
But we aren’t party people and the peace and quiet at the resort with the small, cute town nearby was absolutely what we were looking for in our relaxing beach vacation.
After all, the hotel is literally on the beach, so you can enjoy the pool, the beach and the charming town restaurants and cafes just a short stroll away.
In contrast to the noise and hectic nature of staying in Patong, I can say we 100% preferred the Panwaburi Hotel location.
And although it’s out of the way, we were still able to get tour pick ups from there. We booked tickets to the Phuket Elephant Sanctuary and hotel pick up anywhere on Phuket island is complimentary with your ticket, it just meant our pick up was a little bit earlier - but we didn’t have to pay anymore which was great.
Overall if you’re looking for a relaxing beachside holiday in Phuket, this is a great option.
If you’re looking to party and enjoy the nightlife, I’d look elsewhere.
Panwaburi Beachfront Resort staff and services
This was probably the most hit-or-miss part of our stay at Panwaburi Resort.
When we arrived our room wasn’t ready and we were just told to sit and wait in the restaurant with no refreshments available. Our room was not ready until almost half an hour after check in time which was frustrating.
The next day we saw other people checking in and they were given refreshment drinks on arrival - not sure what happened to ours!
However we didn’t have any other problems and honestly we hardly saw staff during our stay.
Each day we had a plastic bag hung on our door with a replenishment of snacks and drinks for our room which was a nice touch - not just something they offered on day one.
It’s definitely not 5-star service but for the price you’re paying, I wouldn’t expect that either. The service and staff were helpful and polite when needed.
We also loved the unique elements of the amenities like the glass bottom canoes in the pool which are free to use.
The rooftop pool is also beautiful with a nice seating area and sea views.
Panwaburi Beachfront hotel rooms
The rooms are the standout feature of staying here and I honestly don’t think you need to book the direct pool access rooms either to enjoy it.
The view of the pool from the balcony rooms is stunning and the pool access rooms are truly gorgeous with a lovely deck in front of your room.
I will say that anyone can be in the pool at any time so make sure you close the curtains if you’re in a pool access room and you’re changing or showering etc!
We paid slightly more (around £70) for a pool access room as it was my birthday trip. But standard rooms with a balcony start at just £56 per night which is honestly incredible value.
The rooms were as the pictures show, new and modern with a beachy style - we had become accustomed to a lot of affordable hotels in Southeast Asia where the photos were obviously older and the rooms themselves were more tired than photos showed. But that thankully was not the case at the Panwaburi Phuket Hotel.
Panwaburi Beachfront Resort hotel price
As I mentioned the Panwaburi Beachfront Hotel price starts at £56 per night for a standard room with a balcony and pool view.
For pool access rooms on the ground floor, expect to pay £70-80 per night.
This is the base rate so it does not include breakast or any other meals. Alhtough there is a restuant on site with a full menu and drinks availale thorughout the day and Bed & Breakfast rates are available at an additional cost.
Is staying at the Panwaburi Beachfront Hotel in Phuket worth it?
Definitely lives up to expectations from the pictures
The hotel, pool and surroundings are beautiful
Right opposite the beach
Amazing quality and value for the price
Great location for a quiet holiday away from the noise and crowds of Patong or Phuket Town
Very far from everything else on Phuket island
Limited food and drink options around the resort area
Meals are an additional cost
Not adults-only so can be noisy with kids
Service standard was sometimes lacking
How to get to Panwaburi Beachfront Hotel and Resort?
The easiest way to get there is from Phuket International Airport by taxi or limousine.
We found public buses on Phuket island unreliable and traffic was awful. It was much easier to ask the hotel to arrange a taxi transfer to the hotel or to use Grab. This cost us around 900 Thai baht.
Summary: Is it worth it to stay at the Panwaburi Beachfront Resort
For me, yes.
I am not a party person and we spent a few nights in Patong and Phuket Town, aside from being great locations for boat trips, we didn’t really enjoy our stays at either and probably wouldn’t go back to them.
Panwaburi Beachfront Hotel in Phuket is a great option if you’re looking for a quiet escape, it’s a beautiful hotel and has everything you need nearby just a short walk away.
Although the location is further away from things on Phuket island, we had no problem booking activities which were able to pick us up from Panwaburi.