On our last visit to Thailand we opted for a dual centre holiday with Tui which had us spend 1 week in Cape Panwa, Phuket and 1 week in Khao Lak, Phang Nga.
We wanted each of these weeks to offer something different and so for our second week in Phuket we booked the 5* Cape Panwa Hotel which offered modern accommodation. For our first week in Phang Nga however we booked a smaller hotel which offered a traditional Thailand style, the Bhandari Resort & Spa.
Traditionally styled hotel grounds
Approaching the hotel what strikes you first is the sheer volume of trees that encompasses it and the completely wooden construction of the buildings. It feels like you are in the jungle which is made even more real with the insect noises at night!
It looks great and straight away from the warm welcome, cold drink and cold flannel that you receive at the check in desk you know you are going to enjoy your stay here.
The Bhandari Resort really is a hotel like no others that we had seen in the area. From the moment we arrived in our minibus we knew it would be special.
As you wander through the resort you become absorbed into the tree lined walkways. There are relaxation areas, ponds and plenty of statues just waiting to to be discovered.
Staying in one of the Bhandari resort’s bungalows
At the Bhandari Resort there are 2 different types of accommodation available, the apartments and the bungalows. We opted for a bungalow during our stay.
The bungalows do of course come at a premium cost but like when you opt for a suite rather than a simple hotel room, you really do come to love and appreciate having that extra amount of space each day.
Like the rest of the hotel, the bungalows are constructed of wood and traditionally styled with peaked roofs. They also include a small porch and seating area with a drying rack.
Thai full body massage at the Bhandari spa
The Bhandari is of course not just a hotel resort as it also contains a spa. You can get a wide variety of treatments and massages done here by simply making a reservation in advance. This is of chargeable and isn’t included in your Bhandari booking.
Although a lot pricier than the large number of other massage businesses surrounding the Bhandari, the atmosphere and surroundings here are well worth it. We opted for 2 full body massages which lasted 1 hour and were sublime.
Dining at the Bhandari
Dining at the Bhandari was great and offered a huge selection of food options. The servers were fast, welcoming and made sure we had everything we needed at all times.The hotel does regular themed nights in the restaurant so we decided to give 2 of them a try – the traditional Thai buffet night and BBQ night.
Traditional Thai buffet night
The traditional Thai buffet night is a really enjoyable evening that certainly doesn’t leave anyone going hungry! There’s always that risk with a buffet to completely stuff your face to the point of needing to be wheel-chaired out of the restaurant and this will be one of those times.The buffet offers a huge selection of Thai food from noodles to green curries with meat, fish and vegetarian options all available.
It was one of the best meals we had in Thailand simply due to the ability to try so many different things so make sure you reserve a table for this one!
The second themed evening we went to was an American themed BBQ night. This has all of the hotel staff sporting their best denim, checked shirts and cowboy hats and has a bit of country music playing in the background.
Much like the Thai buffet night the BBQ night offers a selection of buffet food for starters and mains.
During the evening you will head to the meat counter and select what meats you want which once cooked will be brought to your table.
The breakfast buffet at the hotel is really consistent and like the other buffets at the Bhandari, it offers a large selection of breakfast food with English, continental and Thai breakfast options available.
There’s also an egg station with omelettes and other eggs of your choosing made to order in front of you.
The Bhandari does of course have a swimming pool at its centre which offers a relaxing space within the hotel grounds.
The sun beds are all wooden and of good quality and with the trees being so tall you can move around throughout the day to duck in and out of the shadier beds. I can assure you that you’ll be wanting to escape the Thailand sun at 1-3pm as it’s such an intense heat.
At the pool there is a pool bar offering a good selection of food options along with a good cocktail menu. Like most places in Thailand there is a happy hour here so be sure to make the most of their 2 for 1 drinks offer!
Bhandari Resort & Spa review
The Bhandari Resort & Spa was like no Hotel I’ve ever stayed in. Its style alone made it visually different but the general atmosphere, cleanliness and overall feeling of relaxation that it offered were incredible. But above all else the stand out pro point of the Bhandari Resort were the staff. Every member of of staff at the hotel were incredibly friendly, warm and welcoming no matter what time of day it was, what job they were doing or where they were in the hotel. Quite often hotel staff be a little hit and miss but not here, they made our stay incredibly special.
If you’re looking to head to Southern Thailand/Khao Lak this year then don’t hesitate to make a booking at the Bhandari Resort, you won’t be disappointed.
Are you planning a trip to Thailand or have you stayed at the Bhandari Resort? Let us know in the comments!