Panwaburi Beachfront Resort Review: Staying at Phuket’s Viral Hotel

Tucked away in southeastern Phuket, Ao Yon is the perfect place for an ultra-Instagrammable escape. Here’s our full review of Phuket’s incredible Panwaburi Beachfront Resort.

What happens when you mix with a nautical-themed hotel with lush jungle vibes and FREE crystal clear kayaks at your disposal? You get Panwaburi Beachfront Resort — a little gem of a hotel that has been all over Instagram in recent months.

We, of course, just had to head there to see what all the fuss was about. Read on to discover why you need to book a stay at this stunning Phuket hotel.

Staying at Panwaburi Beachfront Resort

Transparent kayak floating on clear blue water at Panwaburi Beachfront Resort

To be totally transparent: we booked a couple of nights at Panwaburi Beachfront Resort because we had seen plenty of videos on TikTok and we wanted to check out the postcard-worthy kayaking situation.

Rooms and Amenities

Double bed room at Panwaburi Beachfront Resort

The rooms were actually a pleasant surprise – we were expecting them to be simple. In fact, they were nautical themed and came with a stocked fridge and a little whale toy to look after called Panwa (this is also how you tell them to clean your room.) This was a very cute touch.

That said, the main draw of the resort is the crystal clear kayaking. While it’s not as beautiful as it looks on TikTok (nothing ever is), it’s still pretty idyllic. There are two kayaks floating in the pool, so there’s no need to worry about booking them. The pool area doesn’t get very busy, so you can spend most of your time unwinding in peace.

Roof top pool and bar at Panwaburi Beachfront Resort
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This Phuket hotel also boasts a small gym and sauna area, as well as a rooftop pool bar which looked fun but we didn’t spend much time at. Another facility we didn’t utilise but you might want to is spa treatments throughout your stay. We thought they were a little too pricey considering you can get incredible massages in Thailand for half the price.

Dining at Panwaburi

One thing that can make or break a resort is the dining options. And, while we found the food a little bit hit or miss, it’s totally fine if you’re just there for a couple of days. 

There are a few places to eat near Ao Yon Beach (especially if you’re a seafood lover) but we opted to eat breakfast and dinner at the hotel’s Chillay Restaurant. It looked a little depressing – a bit like a school canteen – though it was very clean and the view over the pool was a bonus.

We’ll be honest, the breakfast wasn’t too great. It was very simple for the price with a couple of bread, cereal, and hot options. Though, you’re not there for the food – you’re there for the viral clear boat kayaking.

That said, dinner was a lot better. We ordered Pad Thai and a cheese pizza (after all, we had already been in Thailand for two weeks and there’s only so many portions of fried rice we could stomach). The latter of which was average but the local food was great. 

Overall, the onsite restaurant is a good option if you don’t want to leave the resort. Though, if you want to head further afield, the nearby Hill House is a brilliant place to dine with epic views of the beach below.

The Location

Panwaburi Beachfront Resort

As we’ve mentioned, this hotel is pretty tucked away. The resort is opposite Ao Yon Beach in a very quiet area – the nearest town is a small trek uphill.

Panwaburi Beachfront Resort is around 50 minutes from the airport, though we arrived via a ferry from the Phi Phi Islands that took less than two hours to reach Phuket (the resort was a short drive away.)

One thing to mention is that this hotel is on the opposite side of the region to Patong Beach. This means that it’s not ideal if you’re looking to party it up in Phuket. But it’s worth staying there for a night or two of total tranquillity – and to snap some stellar Instagram photos.

Panwaburi Beachfront Resort Phuket: Practical Information

Walkway through the middle of Panwaburi Beachfront Resort

Rates for this hotel start at around 2300 Thai Baht for one night. We recommend spending at least two nights here to make full use of the facilities and explore the nearby area. When we arrived, there was a sizable queue of people waiting to check in, so it’s worth noting that they don’t tend to let people access their rooms early (annoying, but totally fair.)

The nearby area is pretty quiet, but Bottoms Up Coffee is just around the corner. Head here for a strong cup of coffee in the morning or for snacks throughout the day.

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