PHUKET, Thailand — Located on a cape overlooking the Andaman Sea, Sri
panwa is the only five-star hotel in Phuket, a well-known beach destination. It
features villas, houses and one-bedroom suites on 40 acres of land.
owners are the biggest and longest-running real estate company in Thailand. The
son of the real estate family, Vorasit Issara, known less formally as Wan,
graduated from The Lausanne Hotel School in Switzerland. He wanted to create a
five-star property that was new and fun for his generation. He and his father,
Songkram Issara, formed a hotel partnership.
Issara asked his colleagues from Lausanne to help him run the hotel. In 2006,
they started operating as a hotel with 12 rooms and a residence. Today, Sri
panwa offers one-bedroom pool suites, one- to two-bedroom pool villas, and
three- to five-bedroom residential villas. Each villa is has its own infinity
swimming pool with a jet stream Jacuzzi system, large master bedrooms, an
outdoor bathing area with a separate rain shower and a sunset pavilion of its
own. They currently have 52 villas and the new phase that
is opening in November will bring another 30 units.
average price for a one-bedroom pool suite is 25,000 baht, or about $699 U.S.
per night. The five-bedroom residence goes for 130,000 baht or $3,634 per
most of the guests are from Asia. “I expected Europeans,” said Suleeporn
Sritutti (Sulie), business development rep at Sri panwa. “The whole year
through we have guests from China, Korea, Japan and Thailand. Our owner knows
how to do PR!”
high season (Nov.-April), international guests predominate, while Thai people
tend to come in the low season when it is less expensive. The luxury resort has
a staff of 300 people. “The owner remembers everyone’s name,” Sritutti said. “We
like to hire young, local people who want to learn to speak English. Normally
on the island, turnover is big. Here we have many employees who have been here
for six years or from the beginning [in 2006].
“Our owner loves food, and he loves mixing everything
up,” Sritutti said. Baba Soul Food offers Southern Thai food. Baba Poolclub,
with its 5,000-plus-square-metre entertainment outlet, has a wide range of
Japanese, Italian, barbecue, Thai and hotpot cuisine. And Baba Nest, perched
high in the sky, is a great place for sunset cocktails with a spectacular view.