Thursday, December 31, 2009

The beach at Cape Panwa.


The beach at Cape Panwa is sheltered, an ideal place to sit in the shade with a cocktail or a cold beer, plus it’s lots of fun for children. You won’t see red warning flags flying here as the rip tides and dangerous currents of Phuket’s west coast are non existent in this southeastern secluded spot. 

One thing that is very important to staff members at Cape Panwa is the state of our beach. That’s why we have regular beach clean ups

It’s hard work but we have a lot of fun doing it and it’s rewarding to see the result.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

December Thai Weddings at the Cape Panwa Hotel


 We have just had two very special Thai-Style Weddings at Cape Panwa Hotel.



Our congratulations go to a young Russian couple Tatyana and Grigoriy – they had a beautiful day and their photographs were superb.


The next Thai Wedding was of a young couple from England; Scott and Donna - their family came with them and they had a very special day with laughter and smiles. 
This was then followed by a trip on the Panwa Princess to local islands which involved snorkeling, fun in the onboard Jacuzzi and more swimming.
Congratulations and best wishes to you all from the Cape Panwa team

Click here for photographs of more weddings at Cape Panwa.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Christmas is coming


The Spirit of Christmas entered our lives in a big way last week - the Hotel’s Christmas tree was put up in the lobby, heavy with gold and silver decorations and festooned with lights








Christmas started two weeks ago for the staff with the sound of drums and chanting. It sounded as if Bollywood was visiting Cape Panwa Hotel but it was only the staff rehearsing their Christmas show. It seems like this year’s show will outstrip last year’s ‘Tigers in a Cage’ extravaganza!




The Christmas Carols start next week, costumes are dusted off and all the goodies ready – all we need now is for Santa to drop by.




Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Privileges and Sunshine Village



As a guest of Kantary Bay who has attained Gold Privilege Card status for her repeat visits, Jean Wall is allowed to use the Cape Panwa limousine. 

What Jean chose to do with her time with the limousine proved to be very special.  



Jean chose to use the limousine to take her on a visit to Sunshine Village

Sunshine Village was initially set up to support and provide a home to children who lost their families in the tsunami but now helps a greater number of families that need support in the Phuket area.  

Jean brought lots of goodies with her from England to donate to the charity including teddy bears for all of the children. She was very happy with her experience and already has plans to visit again on her next trip to Phuket.



Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Sharing Thai food at Laem Panwa




Traditionally when you sit down to dine Thai-style, everybody has a bit of each other's dinner. This means that the table is covered with an array of plates and bowls and yes (to my mother's horror) people lean over to get food.
 
They will also lean over to take food from your serving plate - so BE WARNED for the next time that you go out to dine Thai-style with a group of friends.

At the Laem Panwa Restaurant at
Kantary Bay we have two 'sharing' menus for you to choose from.

There is an Introductory Menu; an appetizer, a soup, two main courses, side dishes and a dessert. Then there is also a Classic Menu; with two appetizers, soup, two main courses, two side dishes and a dessert.
Click here for a look at this selection.


Just choose which dishes to share and GO FOR IT!

Whoops, nearly forgot - if you are in a four-person group, you'll only be charged for three.



Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Miss Belgium 2010 Contestants visit the Cape Panwa Hotel & Spa


On November 16 a group of European beauties arrived amidst much fanfare at the Cape Panwa Hotel. Traditional Thai dancers, an elephant and a large contingent of our (male) staff were on hand to greet them.  

20 Miss Belgium 2010 contestants stayed with us for the week in our newly completed Cape Suites - equipped with iPod docking stations, wall mounted flat-screen televisions and whirlpool baths on every balcony. 

Mr. Claude Sauter, our GM, was lucky enough to interview two of the beauties during their stay (video posted on youtube).  

Whilst at Cape Panwa the ladies undertook a great number of activities including elephant riding, bathing, sea-kayaking, spa treatments, donning Thai dress and visiting Wat Chalong and a Thai market.
 
On their final night a farewell, white-themed party took place at Panwa House Restaurant on the beach with dancing, a live band and a barbecue. It was a pleasure having them and we hope to be welcoming them all back again in the near future.


Tuesday, November 17, 2009

A romantic few days at the Cape Panwa Hotel and Spa!

On Monday we had a wonderful day – Dr Vikas and Siobhan celebrated a Thai Wedding at the Cape Panwa Hotel.  They wore traditional Indian clothes and after their wedding ceremony they walked to the beach accompanied by a baby elephant.



The very next day Sacha proposed to his girlfriend Satyam on the beach.
Sacha had been planning this day for ages and the nerves and excitement showed when it all worked and Satyam said, “YES”.



Then, at the end of the week Andrew wed Camila. 
Friends from around the world joined them on this special day.  
Their carefully planned wedding took place on the beach and was followed by cocktails and a barbecue at Panwa House, one of Cape Panwa's delightful beachside restaurants.  The reception was enjoyed by all.




Monday, November 9, 2009

Loy Kratong at Cape Panwa Hotel


This annual celebration falls on the full moon night of the twelfth lunar month, usually in mid November. At this time the moon is brightest and the tides highest.

Loy Krathong literally means 'floating basket' and they are made of the trunk of a banana tree -
click here for photographs of Cape Panwa making Krathongs. The Krathong is pushed away from the water bank. A wish is then made, with the hands being raised in a traditional Thai'wai', as the Krathong floats away with the current.

The Loy Krathong festival dates back to the time of the Sukhothai Kingdom, about 700 years ago. It marked the end of the rainy season and the main rice harvest and is based on a Hindu tradition.

Another tradition of Loy Krathong is Miss Nopamas - one year, a beautiful woman called Nopamas, made some special lanterns for the festival. She made them from banana leaves and shaped them like lotus flowers. The king was so impressed with what he saw, he announced that krathongs would be floated on the water every year from then on. Today, the memory of the woman who made the first krathong is remembered in a beauty contest called "The Nopamas Queen Contest" - and Tasanee won this year.






Please vote for your favourite Miss Nopamas - look at the photographs in the margin.


Click here if you would like to see the Celebration of Loy Krathong at Cape Panwa Hotel.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Cape Panwa’s Vegetarian Festival experience



What did they see? 


The procession started simply with groups of people smiling and laughing. A devotee interrupted this with a spiked metal ball on a rope that he was lashing his back with.




WARNING 
the facial piercing and self mutilation photographs which can be viewed 
by clicking the link can be disturbing to some people.


Click her for some more photographs of self mutilation in the festival.

A teenage girl passed by with a dummy in her mouth, running through the parade with a team of followers – this was a person who was possessed by a spirit.

Then came many more devotees - their faces pierced by a variety of objects – the main one that springing to mind was a beach umbrella!  Click here for some
photographs of self piercings - then came the man who was shaving his tongue with an axe - and more piercings!

Small explosions came from further in Phuket Town – Tim and his team decided to investigate.  Here there were groups with headscarves on and sunglasses – and they were parading on two poles a Chinese effigy.  People around them were throwing packs of firecrackers at them – THE NOISE WAS INCREDIBLE and the
atmosphere electric!





There was a brief respite when the explosions stopped and  the road was filled with cars which had beautifully adorned ladies handing out sweets to the onlookers or sitting in a trance on the back of vehicle….

Every so often a person entranced by a medium would stop outside a
building that had an offering on a table – words were said – a paper was given and fruit shared – the spirits had blessed the building.

The calmness continued for a little and then
more crashes and explosions were heard coming from town – it was from the Clockhouse Tower in Phuket Town centre.  Here they had lots of firecrackers wrapped around poles, which were then lit they lit and everybody stepped back.  There was a  spirit medium dancing in the centre of the firecrackers – a sight to behold.



Then there were more firecrackers with raised Chinese effigies – Tim retired to Swensen’s to meet his group and relax.  This did not last long as Tim had a dance with a spirit medium.







An experience that should not be missed but frankly many guests would not go again. Tim was enthralled with it all and visited more events by himself and has promised to find a text book to explain it all to him - and wants to sign up for next year.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

The Vegetarian Festival in Phuket - an introduction


Jamie Monk has traveled a great many places in the world and started his blog in 1996 and has been going every since then - please click here for his profile.

Jamie is a keen diver - join Facebook to keep up to date on his activities. His blog discusses his life in Phuket with his family and much much more.

Jamie also has a wonderful array of photographs of previous Vegetarian Festivals and comments that we would like you to visit for you to learn more -
click here for his history of this amazing festival.



Cape Panwa will be visiting the Phuket Vegetarian Festival on the 24th of October (specifically the Jui Tui shrine in Phuket Town) and we will have a wonderful collection of photographs to share with you very soon - watch this space.

Bob Nevatte's photo - for more click here

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Happy Birthday Wacharanon



Wacharanon has been with us for a long time - he joined us in 1998. He started at the Uncle Nan’s restaurant, the CafĂ© Andaman and Top of the Reef before he worked in the Lighthouse where he really found his stride.

Simon (his nickname) has an infectious smile and a laugh – well a giggle – that fills the Lighthouse.


We prepared a birthday cake for him to say thank you for all he does for the Cape Panwa Hotel and it was his birthday.


Sunday, October 11, 2009

Not forgotten


The tsunami, for some, seems to have happened a long time ago but there are Thai families and children who still need our support.

H.R.H Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn’s Special Task Unit (SSTU) is an organization that focuses on families who need help in this area and more.

Returning guests Richard and Ness Bush liaised with us at the Cape Panwa Hotel and asked how they could help. The SSTU provided the Cape Panwa Hotel with a list of families who needed help. Richard and Ness were immediately put at ease that the SSTU could be trusted with donated money and plans were put in place to raise funds – please click here to see some of the events.

They then met some of the children who needed support and this was quickly given – please click here to see some of the visits. The SSTU are still working with these families by teaching them how to set up businesses to support themselves. If you would like to contribute to help some of the families affected by the tsunami please contact Ness via email (nessbush@googlemail.com) or Richard or Ness Bush through their website.


Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Mr Coconut Man



Cape Panwa Hotel is built on the side of the hill on an east-coast peninsula. The land was originally used for a coconut plantation. The hotel's buildings try to blend in with the plantation, producing a charming effect but this does not come without its difficulties.


The coconut trees thrive in the humid environment of the hotel's grounds and many of the trees are over 20 metres tall, making them bend and sway with the sea breezes and creating a hazard in windy conditions, with falling coconuts aparticular danger.


This is where the Coconut Man comes in. To watch him scale a tall and slender tree to cull, then drop the nuts from a great height has to be seen to be believed.



Click here for a youtube of Mr Coconut

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Au Revoir, Khun Rochidee


Cape Panwa Hotel has been lucky enough to have had Khun Rochidee since 1984, more or less: He's been the catalyst of many a joke, the reason for many broad smiles and a constant good guy who, year in and year out has placed hotel guests' needs above his own. But times move on and now we have the greatest of pleasure in announcing his promotion to the post of General Manager at Kameo House in Rayong.

Kameo House is the latest addition to our sister group of properties, The Kameo Hotel and Serviced Apartment Group and an excellent property for Khun Rochidee to start his career as a General Manager in.

Khun Rochidee, we wish you all the best in your new posting - and don't forget us! But in that plush, brand-new location we know you'll have a fun and successful stay.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Turtles in Phuket Town


There is an ancient Chinese Ceremony in Phuket called Por Tor.

The Chinese - Thais believe that during this period the spirits of their ancestors will stay on the earth for one month and they give gifts and offerings during the spirits' stay.

A prominent feature of this celebration is the number of red turtle shaped cakes –
Ang Koo.

In Thai and Chinese culture the turtle represents longevity and in the Chinese culture red represents prosperity. We purchased a turtle and we visited the Bang Nae Shrine in Phuket Town passing through the market.

Guest of the Cape Panwa offered our turtle (see picture), lit our joss sticks and candles and entered the shrine. We were then led to a very small corridor behind the shrine decorated with tiny ornate Chinese figures – similar to those at the
Chinese Temple in Phuket.

The guests and I were then led to a small ceremonial stove where we lit tissue paper from a perpetual flame and threw it into the oven – this was to create a flame to tell the spirits that we have honoured them.

Then we saw some folk Thai dancing called
Likay – this was a truly amazing and wonderful experience for us all.


Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Shopping and more in Bangkok

Tim needed a break, Christmas presents and a Shopping Fix - he took his wife Chuen and his daughter Jemma to Bangkok for the weekend.

There are regular flights with Thai Airways and they took their break at the Cape House Hotel in Central Bangkok. It was an effortless journey and they received a lovely welcome from the staff.

There are a number of different ways to get about in Bangkok but the BTS Sky Train is without a doubt the simplest way. Cape House Hotel is 2 minutes from Chit Lom station and they first visited Siam Paragon; a very glamorous air-conditioned shopping mall (read expensive).

After this they visited the adjoining Siam Centre that can be best described as 4 floors of fun with a plethora of shops – Jemma fell in love with her new clothes and trainers! - please click here for some photographs of shops.

They walked through all the markets back to Cape House; but thought that next time the pushchair would stay at home, as it was not easy to negotiate all the obstacles. They had dinner at the Italian Restaurant, Italian Bistro No.43 and then slept soundly in their one bedroom suite.

The next day was an early start and they went to Safari World – and there were animals galore, swimming polar bears, lazy lions, noisy parrots, boxing orangutans (Jemma’s favourite). a Safari Park and much more! - click here for their photographs.

They were exhausted after this - which meant they swam in the pool and relaxed in the heated Jacuzzi at Cape House followed by dinner at Central food Court – Chidlom.

The next day was a real Shopping Adventure – Chatuchak (THE Weekend Market) – taking took the BTS from Chit Lom to Mo Chit.


Chatuchak is the President of all markets – over 15,000 market stalls of……….. Everything ……….. a wonderful place – well worth a visit for your Christmas shopping – click here for their photographs.

Click here for a video of their wanderings in Chatuchak.

They are already thinking of their next visit to Bangkok - but it was nice to come back to a little piece of paradise – Cape Panwa.


Tuesday, September 1, 2009

The Winds of Change - September, August, July, June and May


SEPTEMBER UPDATE: The sun was shining, the wind was cooling, the ice cream cold - a piece of paradise for sure. This may be considered the Rainy Season but it did not rain today when I went to the beach - but it rained when I played golf last week!

AUGUST UPDATE
: I returned from a holiday in a very very cold Australia (now I understand "Christmas in July") to the Cape Panwa beach .... in fact I will test a cocktail at the Beach Bar this very afternoon!

Songkran was the celebration that welcomed the rain for the crops of tomorrow so we expect rain which does not always come.

The photo at the top is today (September) and the others are the previous months.

However the winds over Phuket have changed! The sun is now over the equator and the islands throughout Asia have begun to warm up and we are blessed with hotter weather – as if it was not hot enough already!

With the hotter weather over the island the moist air is pulled from the oceans leading to strong westerly winds. This means that there are large waves and red flags on the beaches on the West coast.

At the Cape Panwa Hotel we are lucky because we are on the southeastern tip of Phuket; which means that we are sheltered. As a result of this the sea at the Cape Panwa Hotel is calm and safe all year round – have a look at the photos that I took today and on the weekend.

For those of you who can tell me who sings the song ‘Wind of Change’ (I can’t stop singing it) AND who made a speech of the same name and where there is a prize to win.

This competition is now closed and a winner will be announced, thank you for your participation.

Click here for more photographs of the Cape Panwa Hotel.

Click here for YouTube of the beach in September OR on the screen below