[review] Thavorn Palm Beach Resort – The Phuket’s vintage experience is preserved here. [ajira]

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The Thavornwongwongse Family, the founding family of the hotel, were one of the first pioneers in the development the landscape of Phuket in the 1960’s. Thavorn Palm Beach Resort was constructed during the days when the infrastructure of Phuket was rather primitive, before the construction of the bridge that the mainland to the island, and even before the construction of a modern airport in the 1970’s. It was certainly hard to imagine how they have built their many hotels and resorts back in the day. Despite, the seeming difficulties, the hotel was designed by one of the best architects in Thailand during the time, commissioned by the prime minister. 

Thavorn Palm Beach Resort has been well maintained and gradually developed over the years to become one of best hotels along Karon Beach coastline in many ways. Here are a few things I like the most of the resort:

1. The food. Rather obviously, for a foodie like me, dining experience is very important for a complete travelling experience. The hotel has a variety of food selections from many restaurants including authentic and traditional Thai style restaurant with “Kantok” style of serving, a contemporary Italian restaurant, and a hip coffee shop where you can find the exotic syphon coffee and fine TWG teas.

2. The garden. Palm Beach Resort is filled with exotic species of plants and various kinds of animal. It’s the love of the founders who are fond of the beauty of flowers, plants, and animals. Not only you will find yourself in the land of rare plants, beautiful flowers, and a diverse set of animal such as parrots, pigeons, rabbits, or tortoise, you will also find yourself submerged in many interesting statues from traditional Thai novels, all of which you won’t find in such combinations in any other hotels around the city.

3. The many swimming pools. There are a total of 5 swimming pools in the hotel with various settings, making the hotel a paradise for those who like swimming in the pool, like me.
Here’s the chronological view of my stay:
The Arrival (11am)


The main entrance to the hotel lobby.
The unique statues are omnipresent throughout the hotel.

Refreshing welcome drink and cold towel. 

Room check-in.

My bedroom for tonight looks quite comfy. 

After checking in, I started to walk around the hotel area, and here are some of the captures. You can easily notice the many pools and beautiful gardens right away.








Lunch at Ciao Bistro and Café (around 12 noon)
Ciao Bistro and Café is an Italian restaurant with many interesting menu. The restaurant is set in an open-air space with a full view of Karon beach and full exposure to its seabreeze. Their food was good, however, what struck me most was their drink variety and the quality of their tea and coffee selections. 


Simple arugula salad.

Beef tenderloin. It was made a little too well done for my liking, but still was tasty.

Delicious pizza fresh from the oven right outside.

Warm and creamy beef lasagna. 

This style of Thai tea serving was already difficult to find in Bangkok. The ice was made from pre-mixed Thai tea, and served with only a bottle of cold milk. This serving style also eliminate the chance of ice melting too much into the tea and possibly making the tea too diluted. Good presentation and Aroi!

After a nice lunch at Ciao Bistro, I headed into its air-conditioned coffee shop area. Besides the good looking pieces of cakes, I started to notice the quality coffee and tea that they put on display on their shelves. TWG fine tea selection. Syphon coffee. Since I hadn’t had syphon coffee for a long while, I decided to give it a try and also to test how well they know this little scientist machine. 





Let’s syphon!

After water is thoroughly heated, the water in the lower compartment is compressed by its own pressure, and consequently all escape through the grounded coffee and rest in the upper compartment.

Now, we would cool the lower compartment. As the temperature is lowered, the pressure is reduced. The coffee is then filtered and come down to the lower compartment once again. 

Now, the coffee is ready for serving.

Syphon coffee is then served with a piece of cheesecake. J What a way to end my lunch.
We finished lunch around 2:30pm. We had some spare time in the afternoon, so I decided to partake in their pizza making class.
Pizza Making (3pm)


Pizza making class was an easy version (for fun), as we do not go into how to make the dough. We started out by learning how manipulate the dough into the round piece with even thickness. It was more difficult than I thought, although not too difficult. The technique was to try to press evenly and around, and then when it comes to the edges, you need to work with your fingers to press the sides out so your dough is flatted out evenly. It takes practices to not work too hard and puncture the dough, and to achieve even thickness, the right thinness, and round. 

The tomato sauce was already premade. 


You can then choose the topping as you wish. I chose three cheese, and Parma ham.

Bake time!

Hot fresh pizza is ready to be served!

I added arugula to balance out the many types of cheeses. Done! I didn’t take more photos as the pizza slices were gone in 15 seconds!

After the fun of pizza making, I had to go out for a business meeting. After I came back, guess what time it was already. It’s dinner time!
Dinner at The Old Siam (6pm)
Old Siam is an authentic Thai restaurant that serves food with traditional serving style, Kantok.  Kantok is actually derived from the Northern area of Thailand, of which a round elevated tray is used for serving food on the table.  It is usually a formal way to serve special guests. The guests would sit around the table then the decorated trey full of foods would be placed in the middle. Then, the guests would share the food together. It is to a gesture of formality, warmth, and love among the table members at the same time.


The table is set low near the floor, where the guests would also seated on the ground,
like in the old days.


The panoramic view of Karon shoreline can be seen from the dining room of Old Siam.

Refreshing Phuket cold fresh coconut juice.

Kratong Tong (Golden bags)

Todman Gung (fried flat shrimp meatball)

The rice plate comes covered with banana leaf.

The rice was served mixed together between white Jasmine rice and brown. 

Pa-nang beef was truly authentic with tasty thick chili paste and fresh coconut milk.

Simple stir-fried asparagus with shrimps.

Stir-fried chicken with cashew nuts.

A beautiful and delicious set of sticky rice, grilled pork, and papaya salad. Once again, the rice is hidden inside the banana leaf to keep its warm temperature and moisture.
Old Siam Restaurant is one restaurant that I can recommend for a place of authentic Thai food and experience. It is also suitable for a romantic setting, dining while watching the panoramic view of beautiful sunset at the very horizon right from the dining room.
<< In Sum >>
Thavorn Palm Beach is a vintage hotel with beautiful vintage gardens, an authentic Thai restaurant, and affordable room prices. The staffs have been very hospitable throughout the 2 days during my stay. The room was clean and well prepared.  Some areas of the hotel seem dated but that is not unexpected from a vintage hotel like this. In case you need to travel into the city, the hotel provides you with a shuttle bus that leaves 3 times a day. Nonetheless, the overall quality and experience certainly well surpass my expectation; the hotel building and the garden is very well maintained and the food is great.
Under Thavorn umbrella, there’s also Thavorn Beach Village & Spa that is not too far from here, about 20 min drive. It is of a higher scale in comparison to Thavorn Palm Beach, with more luxurious hillside rooms and more extensive gardening. I did not stay at this hotel, but had the chance to visit and dine here during the same trip. Here is my photo essay:







And, I also found this big tortoise in the hotel area! How cute! 

Marisa the Terrace, an open-air restaurant inside of the hotel located next to a pool, is also another restaurant that serves good Thai food. Here, the food is semi-contemporary, with some of the dishes are authentic while some are more creative.

Nam Prik Set – a traditional chili paste set, best eaten with a warm plate of jasmine rice.

Stir-fried chicken and cashew nut.

This “dry” Khao Soi duck is rather impressive, as it’s not the type of Khao Soi that you would find normally. The “soup” was delicious with full range of spice, and goes very well with the duck breast pieces.  It’s one of the many creative dishes that they have.


Pumpkin Sago in coconut milk.
There are many types of room here, but the hillside rooms are the most exclusive. They are as beautiful as it sounds…


The architect and the landscape here is quite stunning with
traditional Thai style wooden roofs and structure.

This is how you get carried up to and down from the room.







Each room has a small balcony to enjoy the full view of the hotel below and the shoreline. I’m sure to spend time a lot on this balcony if I get to stay in one of these rooms.

Stunning view of Kamala shoreline from the rooms above.
At this hotel, there’s also another Old Siam Restaurant that sports a different style of Thai food from the other. Their head chef, Jeeranant, stays mainly at this restaurant. Thai food here goes much more creative; the taste remains very much Thai, but the menu creation and food presentation certainly has the Western influence. There is a wider range of food selection as well, including more expensive of high quality ingredient selections. 







Two Thavorn hotels are unique in their own way, both having long histories but different in the storyline that are written almost in every corners inside their green surrounding areas of the hotels. Staying here, you can almost feel that you have warped into a different timeframe, where the time moves slower, and where the memory of the past flows through the air…

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Created date : 26-01-2016
Updated date : 26-01-2016
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