The Panviman is one of four high-end resorts on gorgeous Thong Nai Pan Noi Beach, perhaps Koh Phangan's finest strip of sand, and it outshines the competition when it comes to location. The resort sits atop a hill at the west end of the beach and offers superb views of both Thong Nai Pan Noi and Thong Nai Pan Yai Bays and their beautiful beaches. A lookout point above the property not only gives the best panoramas around but also provides some possibilities for rock scrambling and hiking. Rooms here are large, and some have expansive terraces that overlook the sea, while others include outdoor whirlpools. Wood-paneled interiors are low-lit and dim, and the effect is subdued.
Romantic spot in a gorgeous bay, on a large piece of land with romantic restaurants and a swimming pool
Arriving at Panviman Resort is like stepping into an episode of "Fantasy Island." Coconut palms, a crescent-shaped white sand beach, and jungle clad mountains are the backdrop. The resort extends over dozens of acres on a hillside, and oozes charm. The romantically inclined make a beeline for this spot, not only for the setting but for the candle-lit restaurants -- one overlooks the sea and the other sits right next to the beach. Many of the rooms have spacious sea-view terraces. The outdoor pool, with its several cascading pools and sun lounges, is a popular place to hang out. It's a prelude to the larger main pool, which also overlooks the bay. There's enough here for families -- there's a kids' club, and young ones should also get a kick out of climbing up to the lookout point and playing on the scrambling rocks and ropes the resort has set up there.
Beautiful hillside location overlooking Koh Phangan's best white-sand beach
The resort is located on a hillside above the fabulous white-sand beach of Thong Nai Pan Noi, one of Koh Phangan's best. The hotel has the largest acreage of any property on Koh Phangan and offers superb vistas of the surrounding beaches and island. Getting here, though, is by no means easy, but is now far more convenient than it used to be. The hotel provides a 40-minute speedboat transfer from Koh Samui (with airport transfers included in the room rate), or guests can take a public ferry to Koh Phangan and then a 30-minute taxi ride over the mountains across the island.
Spacious rooms, many of which have terraces overlooking the sea
Rooms here are spacious, and many of them have large terraces that overlook the sea. The Spa Villas include outdoor whirlpools and burnt-orange and turquoise tiles in the bathrooms, stand-in showers, and toiletries. All rooms come with flat-screen TVs with satellite channels, mini-fridges, free Wi-Fi, and flashlights for walking along the beach at night. Paneled in dark wood, the rooms can seem dark (and low lighting doesn't help much), but with the dark-wood floors the effect is subdued and calming -- and most guests aren't here to spend their days in their rooms anyway.
Cascading pool overlooking the bay, the area's best outlook point, and a romantic seafood barbecue restaurant right on the beach
The swimming pool at the Panviman overlooks the bay and, other than the beach, is the top hangout spot on the property. In addition to the main pool, there are several smaller, more private pools big enough for two or three people, whose waters cascade down from the larger pool -- all are great places to relax. The resort also has a small private beach, but it gets crowded -- it's no match to the beautiful public beach just adjacent. The private beach is far nicer in the evening, when the Stone Beach Restaurant serves candlelit seafood barbecues. The Panviman also has an excellent spa, with treatment rooms overlooking the sea, and there is also a fitness center but it is small and a bit dingy. A better bet for exercise is to hike up to the resort's outlook point, which overlooks several bays and offers the best vantage point for miles around, along with some scrambling rocks and ropes.
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