If you’re looking for a tropical getaway in Thailand, check out Sri Panwa, Phuket’s hip celebrity resort on Cape Panwa Peninsula at the southeastern tip of the island.
I now know where Chanel Boy Bags go on vacation, although I also saw a Prada walk by. (PS: I want a Chanel Boy Bag.)
I’m at Sri Panwa, a luxury resort in Phuket, Thailand, and I may never leave my penthouse suite. Unless it’s for the Truffle Eggs Benedict. Or to take selfies at Baba Nest Rooftop bar. And to use the pool. And okay, to hang out with the beautiful people that fly in for the weekend.
But other than that, I am never leaving my suite!
Habita penthouse suites
Let me brag about my penthouse suite for a little minute, because soon I’ll be gone and it will be back to drudgery. Located in the Habita section of Sri Panwa, the suite has an infinity pool and a living room that’s a combination of tropical materials and mid-century modern chic. My bed is round, I’ve got a vintage stainless steel fridge full of complimentary snacks, and a bathroom so large I got lost in it last night in the dark.
About the resort
Sri Panwa has elite roots. Run by 30-something real estate magnate Vorasit ‘Wan’ Issara, the family-owned Sri Panwa attracts an A-list crowd (rumour has it Snoop Dogg has stayed here).
It’s popularity is due, no doubt, to the resort’s youthful flair, Wan’s lofty circle of friends (I’m guessing at that) and an impeccable design sense that combines a Miami Beach sleekness with some rainforest I-want-to-be-alone serenity.
The closest I get to meeting Wan Issara is by sitting on his roof. Seriously. Baba Nest Rooftop, Sri Panwa’s vibe-y rooftop bar, is located on top of his penthouse villa, which sits on the highest point of Cape Panwa.
Baba Nest Rooftop is like a floating platform in the clouds. Sinking into a striped beanbag pillow at a low table, I immediately start making up stories about the people around me. The couple beside me are honeymooners from Shanghai and I’m seethingly jealous of the woman’s Pucci jumpsuit.
There is also a pack of glamazon Russian girls. Silhouetted against the rapidly-turning-orange sky, they’re taking selfies, taking photos of each other taking selfies, and taking photos of each other that are not selfies. When one of them comes beside my table to recharge her cell phone (too many selfies), I strike up a conversation.
“Where are you from?”
“Vladivostok.” She smiles politely and returns to her table.
“Okay, byeeee!” I give her a friendly wave. Clearly she didn’t get the memo about me being almost (if we’d ever met) best friends with Wan Issara and doesn’t know what an excellent addition I’d make to her girl pack. No matter. I’m busy taking sunset shots, which are amazing. Who needs company when you have this view?
The real Sri Panwa
Finally I stroll back to my room. Darkness crouches over the forest. Ferns, palms and mango trees form a shaggy wall on either side of me. A breeze rustles the leaves, and from the shadows comes an unidentifiable chirp.
Remember this moment, I tell myself. I’m in the jungle and the air is as soft as butterfly breath. No matter how much glitz sparkles over Sri Panwa, it’s the rainforest, the earthy stillness and oceanside setting that’s the real heart of the resort.
(And besides, with my very own plunge pool and Truffle Eggs Benedict for breakfast, I feel like an A-lister myself.)