Fancy pants on the headland
Until Thong Nai Pan Noi went all fancy pants, Panviman Resort Koh Phangan, set on the rocky headland that separates the two bays which together form Thong Nai Pan, was easily the flashiest digs in town and while that's no longer the case, it still offers luxurious lodgings across a sprawling property.
Sprawling over the boulder scattered, jungly headland, the 20+ year old resort is ideally-located to deliver a wide variety of views and outlooks over both the bays and they offer a maddening variety of accommodation options, from hotel style rooms with garden or pool outlooks through to spacious private pool villas with expansive ocean vistas.
Panviman's architecture lends the property an almost stone-age-like feel, with uneven, curved polished concrete giving off a stony, cave-like feel, as it forms the path down the the beach, as well as the rooms and villas themselves. The property is large and confusingly signposted – we got lost a couple of times walking in from the main road and were a sweaty mess by the time we arrived at reception – only to have the welcoming and professional staff sit us down with an iced water and tell us to to take it easy!
Some rooms are a bit dated, but still very much luxurious, with hardwood furniture and oversized bathrooms with luxe porcelain sink, bathtub, and toilet fixtures. The patios are huge, with super-comfortable loungers, and some rooms have incredible views over one or the other of the beaches. Some of the most luxurious feature spectacular touches like an indoor and outdoor waterfall and private splash pools. Shared public pools are well placed and take full advantage of the setting.
Rates are high, and while Panviman sometimes offers discounts for walk-ins, we'd suggest shopping around online for competitive rates before contacting the resort directly as they have a wide variety of rates and deals on offer. Anantara Rasananda over on Thong Nai Pan Noi also offers high end lodgings, but in that case you're right on the sand. Panviman will appeal more to those willing to trade a walk to the beach for a more outlandish outlook. Both are solid properties for the rates on offer.
By Stuart McDonald
Last updated on 24th October, 2016.