Panviman Chiang Mai Spa Resort
What We Love
- A majestic spa retreat located high up in the hills in the cultural heartland of Northern ThailandThe rooms, generously sized and featuring a large balcony furnished with a daybed
- The two-tiered waterfall swimming pool
- Open-air spa treatments in a place of total tranquility
What To Know
- The spa also has a meditation cave
- Play a game of golf, archery, boxing or pool table
- The resort is quite large and hilly, but the hotel has tuk tuks that shuttle guests around
- Free WiFi
- Parking On Site
Perched on a verdant mountainside north-west of Chiang Mai in Northern Thailand, the romantic Panviman Chiang Mai Spa Resort offers spectacular views of green, winding valleys and humid jungle. These views are best enjoyed from the two-tiered waterfall pool and panoramic restaurant. What’s more, Panviman makes a great base for exploring northern Thailand’s abundant beauty – don’t miss the hidden hilltribe villages and spectacular Thai architecture of the region.
Be sure to take rejuvenating therapies and classes available. You’ll be spoilt for choice with the extensive treatment programs available, a blend of traditional Thai lanna healings, eastern meditation and modern remedies. Unsurprisingly, this unforgettable five-star property was awarded a TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence.
How to Get There
The resort with its park like compound and the view to the surrounding mountaneous area is nothing less than magnificent! The reception building, with "open air" breakfast; dinner and lounge areas, offer splendid views to the surrounding hills and vegetation. The organically grown vegetables and the food in general tastes great - there’s great choices even for vegetarians, like myself. Imagine having a sundowner while enjoying the amazing views and listening to the peacocks crying, cicadas sing and to listen to the distant sounds from the mountains and forests! I did not have time and opportunity to go bicycling or walking in the surrounding area, however, the resort has a big parklike area to explore as well. The pools with sounds of waterfalls and three terraces were wonderfully relaxing and enjoyable to stay by. I love the traditional style and tasteful Thai interior decor, which is to be found everywhere at the resort. I would say this is one of the rare places in the world where even disabled persons can get to enjoy undisturbed views and nature at a mountain hill resort, as you are swiftly picked up and easily brought to and from your room, to the restaurant, around the premises etc. with the hotel “golf buggies” - if ou wish. As the resort is approx. 40 min. by car from Chiang Mai city, I would recommend to split your stay between a couple of days in the city and to spend some time at the resort - should you wish to experience the markets, restaurants etc. in town. Don’t waste your time driving back and forth - it’s both costly and time consuming. And in any case, while you're residing here, you really don't want to spend time away from this piece of heaven on earth!
The only thing that I found less good were the prices for massages and there was no possibility for having a manicure and pedicure at the resort.
We stayed at this resort for 3 nights from 25 Jan 2019 to28 Jan 2019. We had booked Jacuzzi villa and it was very spacious. Beautiful and luxurious. Resort lobby is nice with beautiful views from the lobby balcony . The resort has lot of activities for kids and adults too. Room service is quick. All the staff in the resort were very hospitable, polite and smiling. Nice swimming pool. They have a meditation cave and it’s beautiful and awesome. We had also used there Spa facility and Massage were good. Breakfast was nice . Since we are vegetarian, staff cooked for us vegetarian fried rice, noodles , pasta and pan cakes . The resort is beautiful and relaxing. We had a lovely stay. However we would suggest to include more vegetarian dishes in there Restaurant Menu. May be like include some Indian dishes , Mediterranean dishes, etc
I have done a lot of travelling and been in simple, adequate, cheap, expensive and what-have-you hotels, but never have I seen myself forced to leave because of an intolerable situation.
In this lovely laid out resort we looked forward to a quiet relaxing stay.
After a tiring day of sightseeing we booked into the room.
For a relaxing drink we sat ourselves on the balcony with a lovely view. Unfortunately noise coming from the valley made this stay unpleasant but we hoped it would end soon and went for a walk which ended at a reserved table in the restaurant.
The table offered a great view, the menu is unspectacular. The wine was served by a trainee and her supervisor, but neither of them could handle the corkscrew, so I opened the bottle myself in the end.
We had the idea of a romantic dinner. However, here the situation was even worse. From one side loud thumping noise that some might refer to as music, from the other side the classical Thai music played in the restaurant, both at about the same volume. Rather an acoustic challenge for my brain to integrate this into something meaningful. In other words: most irritating and we decided to seek the peace of our room. Here however the thumping noise from the valley still penetrated, making it impossible to relax, let alone sleep.
At around 10 p.m. I called the reception but no one could give an idea as to how long this would go on and my request to speak to the manager was accepted but nothing happened. Since everything was unclear and we could not accept waiting for the noise to stop at some undetermined time we decided at around 10.30 pm that we had no other option than to leave.
The irony is that the resort cannot be blamed directly for noise they do not make, but they do sell a product that in our case did not meet it's expectations. Having a resort like this also requires reassurances from the environment.
My letter of complaint, seeking some form of compensation (after all the room was barely used and we did not have breakfast) resulted in a reply from the manager explaining why the noise was there and offering a special rate on return. As if that would be in our minds….
We stayed at this resort for 3 nights from 23 Jan 2019 to 26 Jan 2019. We had booked Jacuzzi villa and it was very spacious. Beautiful and luxurious. Resort lobby is nice with beautiful views from the lobby balcony . The resort has lot of activities for kids and adults too. Room service is quick. All the staff in the resort were very hospitable, polite and smiling. Nice swimming pool. They have a meditation cave and it’s beautiful and awesome. We had also used there Spa facility and Massage were good. Breakfast was nice . Since we are vegetarian, staff cooked for us vegetarian fried rice, noodles , pasta and pan cakes . The resort is beautiful and relaxing. We had a lovely stay. However we would suggest to include more vegetarian dishes in there Restaurant Menu. May be like include some Indian dishes , Mediterranean dishes, etc
We stayed at the Panviman on the recommendation of a friend and after reviewing photos of the property we were sold and super excited. Panviman delivered on its exceptionally beautiful grounds and professional service, for the most part. While we had a good time in Chiang Mai, we will not stay at the Panviman again nor would we recommend a stay longer than one or two nights at the hotel. We’ll start with the cons and work our ways to the pros of the Panviman.
- Our room was moldy. It was rank with the stench of mold and mildew which we had to endure for 5 nights. We stayed in a pool villa where the condition of our room was appalling for a 5-star hotel. There was a two-toned toilet that required some elbow grease to flush; an odd shower with a clogged drain and mildew in its corners; dust and cobwebs all around the room; the king bed were two twin/full mattresses pushed together so you could feel the middle seam between the mattresses; and there were broken light fixtures (which they tried to fix); a busted safe (which they also tried to fix); a closet that smelled of green oil; and a stagnant oily/watery substance as part of a diffuser that I believe was for mosquito repellant but it was never lit – it kind of sat in the corner by our beds which we moved and it was never touched by any of the maids so I’m not sure what purpose it served. All of those things were minor compared to the mold and musty dampness of the room. While we were in our room we would open all the doors leading to the pool deck to air out the room as best as we could. There are no screens on any of the doors or windows so leaving it open throughout the day was not a possibility. We were thoroughly disappointed because if not for the mold, the room would have been disappointing but fine. We realized we were making up excuses for the hotel and were dreading having to endure another night sleeping there. We didn’t raise our concerns because the hotel was fully booked (so what could the staff do at this juncture). The ladies who cleaned our rooms did it as best as they could but to remove deeply ingrained mold would take a lot more action from management. We begin to realize that although the grounds of the hotel was beautiful, all of its structures were beginning its descend into disrepair caused by only cursory attention from whoever is charge (stains, cracks, dust, etc. were prevalent throughout the facility).
- Having said the above, the pool villa set-up was spacious and nicely done. The pool villas are also more closely located to the main areas (but Panviman will come by with a golf cart to pick you up and take you to the main area if you ask). The Jacuzzi villas looked a bit dark in my opinion because there is a canopy overtop (a deck actually) that covers the entire back porch so I liked the pool villa for its open air quality and privacy.
- We were never picked up by the Panivman shuttle which we had pre-paid for. Luckily we had the name of a taxi driver recommended by our friend who coincidentally happened to be at the airport at the same time we arrived. He was cheaper than the Panviman shuttle and we used him for our entire trip in Chiang Mai. The hotel charged us 1500 THB and the taxi driver charged us 1000 THB. We also took a red taxi back once (it was super late and it cost us 1200). Taxi prices wasn’t our issue as I think the prices are fair considering how far away Panviman is from the city. It’s at least 45mins to 1 hour from the city. If you want to use the same taxi driver we used, private message me, I will give you his name and WhatsApp. He was EXCELLENT and took us everywhere we wanted to go, even to Chiang Rai.
- While I’m on the subject, the Panviman shuttle leaves the hotel 2 times a day – at 1100 and 1600. The charge is 150 THB for 1100 and free for 1600. They pick you up from the city at 1700 and 2200 at no charge. We used the Panviman bus service to come back to the hotel once and it was just fine. You must RSVP ahead of time for any shuttle service.
- The coffee was terrible (when you could find someone to provide service at the one café). The coffee in the main restaurant was also terrible. It would’ve made a world of difference to have good coffee in the morning – especially if you take your coffee black. This is minor, but this is a 5-star hotel! There are cute coffee shops dotting the road from Panviman and we tried one that was really good – Caffe Muan Chon (our driver recommended the place).
- Location. If you plan on taking a lot of different tours, going to see temples, and just getting a feel for Chiang Mai (basically if this is your first time in Chiang Mai), Panviman is not the best location. Again, it’s far from the city through a twisty mountain road. You’ll also be stuck in traffic getting out of the city going back to your hotel depending on the time of day you leave. If you’re looking for a peaceful and tranquil relaxing vacation and not doing much or going anywhere, Panviman is perfect. We didn’t mind the location but would’ve split our time between Panviman and somewhere else in the city.
- Hotel grounds and views were beautiful. The hotel is situated on a mountain so the terracing was really unique. If you have bad knees, just note that walking towards the main areas is a downward slope from your room. We walked all over the hotel and found little surprises along the way – the meditation area, the organic gardens that seem to terrace on forever, and the staff who were working on keeping the area beautiful. The pool area was really beautiful and the view from the pool itself was stunning. Even in the winter months, the sun hits the pool deck perfectly so you can still tan. The water was too cold for swimming though and I didn’t see anyone attempt while I was there.
- We took the Thai cooking class and that was a lot of fun. The staff that was assisting and the chef himself were so pleasant to hang out with. It was a really good experience for us and the food we cooked was damn good (especially the massaman curry!). Bring your appetite. You get to pick two dishes to cook. You are first guided through the garden where you are shown the different ingredients you’ll cook with. After you’re done cooking, you eat what you’ve made right there by the garden. They also provide you a disc of all the photos they took of your experience and a little certificate (it was really cute!).
- The spa is amazing! We got massages and the whole experience was really perfect. The facility was clean, comfortable, and really beautifully situated on the hotel grounds. The masseuses were fantastic and had great techniques. Suggestion, if you’re going in the winter time, get your massage on early because when the sun starts to set, it gets cold sitting by the lake.
- The hotel food wasn’t bad at all. There were some dishes that were on par or better with others we had around the country (pad thai) and others that were just ok (khao soi). You’re at a hotel in the mountains so yes, prices are going to be more expensive than the street food you get in the city. But they are not astronomical and quite fair. They had a hot pot special that was excellent and the breakfast spread was really fantastic (except for that darn coffee). Plus, the view from the restaurant was gorgeous.
- With the exception of the reception staff, service was excellent. The reception staff seemed busy. There was always a flourish of activity behind the desk so the few times we spoke to these staff members (about the shuttle, about the charges on the credit card for the shuttle that never picked us up from the airport, about the café that says open but no one was there to provide service), they gave us the sense that we were a nuisance disrupting their paperwork. When we asked about booking spa service we were told to go back to our room and dial 8 to do so. Honestly, what made this hotel is its overall service (even with a few bad actors). I believe a lot of the staff members were in training in the hospitality business but that didn’t take away from their service.
I would've given this place a lower rating if not for the positives I mentioned because the sleeping situation was so uncomfortable. We did not get a good night's rest until we left Chiang Mai.