Walking down the steps and into the shadowed courtyard of our private pool villa at Sri Panwa gave us not hint of what to expect as we opened the door into the house – it’s certainly big enough to qualify as one.
As you walk through the villa, and fling open the full-height wooden doors into the bedroom
you realise that your bed appears to be floating in the pool.
In my years as an editor at Conde Nast Traveller, and as a sometime hotel reviewer for The Sunday Times travel section, as well as for LLG, I have stayed at a lot of hotel rooms; more than I can count, or even remember on every continent on the globe. Some were dreadful, some were spectacular, some were…interesting.
But there are few that can compete with the private pool villa at Sri Panwa on Phuket. (I should point out that every room is a pool villa there – all 52 of them.) It wasn’t just its beautiful fit-for-purpose design, or its complete seclusion, or the meticulous attentions of our room butler, but the extraordinary attention to detail, from the pre-loaded iPod to the sarongs and spare beach towels piled high in the dressing room, to the profusion of power points, the extra wide bed, open air sunken full size bath, outdoor sala for in room dining, and the open air shower
If you didn’t feel like lolling on one of the two sun loungers on the terrace by the open air shower,
you could, as I did for one day, just stay propped up on the bed, writing, with the glass windows on all three sides slid open to the fresh air, with the ceiling fan lazily swishing through the air above, occasionally plopping into the pool through the bedroom windows.
Or, you could retire to the vast day bed in the salon a la Madame Recamier, to watch television, listen to music on the villa-wide Bose sound system or simply flick through the piles of books and periodicals left on the tables.
And there’s not a lot to dislike about a villa that comes with its own kitchen, complete with microwave, kettle, sink and fridge, along with a free – and stocked daily – minibar of beer, sodas and water. Each morning we would find dishes of papaya and dragon fruit in the fridge, and more bags of those delicious deep fried broad beans replacing the empty plates of the day before.
Waking up very early, around 545 and gradually watching the sky lighten, and the birds start to sing is a glorious thing.
And then, as the sky brightens, of course the very first thing any sane person would want to do is to roll off the bed and straight into the water.
We were guests in Pool Villa Four, Nemo, at Sri Panwa for two nights, bed & breakfast, and including round trip transfers and dinner on one night at their Thai restaurant Baba Soul. We paid for extras and all other meals and drinks.