Panviman Chiang Mai Spa Resort is nestled high up in the hills, surrounded by tropical forests, flower gardens and orchards, in Maerim, north-west of Chiang Mai. The resort lodges a unique adventurous experience among the natural beauty of Northern Thailand.
Our First Impressions of Panviman Chiang Mai Spa Resort
Breath-taking. Panviman means ‘like in heaven’ in the Thai language and when we arrived it truly felt that way. The whole resort exudes a serenity that I have never experienced before. The lobby and main body of the hotel is built into the hills, so your first view of the resort and its surrounding area is simply spectacular. It smells so good there too, like light aromatherapy oils floating in the air.
A view of the pool area from the lobby terrace.
We were personally greeted by the General Manager, Mr Charles Sittichai, who joined us for breakfast (more on that later) and then took us on a tour of the resort in a golf buggy. The kids were ecstatic about this bit, they have always wanted to go in a golf buggy….its the small things eh! Charles was very apologetic that our room wasn’t ready for us straight away (we arrived at 9.30am, check in doesn’t start until 2pm so we weren’t expecting it to be ready at all!) and ensured that we were comfortably seated on the terrace whilst we waited. He checked on us frequently whilst we waited and pre-booked treatments for us at the spa for the following day. We could not have been happier with the service that he and the resort staff provided.
You haven’t stayed at Panviman until you have a photo on the floating bed!
Family Accommodation at Panviman Chiang Mai Spa Resort
This was our first time as a family staying in a spa resort, this kind of trip is usually reserved for mom and dad only. Spa’s are for grown ups right? So we were a little apprehensive about how well a spa resort could really accommodate us, as a family of four.
Our concern quickly disappeared when we entered our family villa. It was amazing with a capital A! The main entrance leads you into the upper area of the villa and master suite, with an en-suite shower room. Outside there is a huge terrace with its own hot tub and relaxation area. Downstairs the kids have their own apartment, with a mini kitchen, shower room and steam room. The villa also comes with super fast Wi-Fi at no extra cost.
Outdoor view of the master suite
Your own hot tub on the terrace
Indoor view of the master suite (photo courtesy of Panviman Chiang Mai Spa Resort)
Family Dining Options
Meals can either be taken in the Panorama restaurant or in your Family Villa, we tried both. The menus are the same and are at an equal standard – both excellent, with locally sourced ingredients. The views from the restaurant are so stunning that its worth leaving your room, we really recommend that you eat there and ask for a table by the window. If you are travelling with little ones just be careful as the windows are kept fully open in the restaurant and might be tempting for the curious explorer.
Breakfast is a mixture of buffet style food (Western and Asian) and a cooked to order selection such as omelettes and pancakes. The choices are immense and will leave you filled up until dinner.
A selection of Thai cuisine that we sampled at the Panorama Restaurant
Lunch and dinner is an al a carte affair from the same menu. We sampled a range of Thai and Western cuisine and were impressed with both. The ingredients are fresh, tasty and well priced for this type of resort.
Thai style banana split for dessert
Panviman Chiang Mai Spa Resort Facilities
The resort boasts its own organic vegetable garden, 2 swimming pools (one specifically for children), a world class spa and outdoor games/family area.
The swimming pool area is fantastic for families, with plenty of sun loungers and its own bar area. The water is very cold, however it provides a welcome relief from the Thai sun.
Kids Pool at Panviman Spa Resort Chiang Mai
The outdoor games area was a big hit with our kids; all of the activities are free, so the kids could test their archery and boxing skills as much as they wanted without dipping into our activity budget.
Evie trying her fists (and feet!) at Muay Thai Boxing
The spa treatments are suitable for both adults and children. Evie and I had a girls afternoon where we sampled a 90 minute aromatherapy, full body massage. Our treatment started with a foot cleanse and herbal tea before we moved to our private spa terrace to begin our massage. The next 90 minutes were pure heaven as we were both oiled and pummelled into a massage induced slumber. Pure bliss!
The spa is set around a beautiful oriental pond, stocked with colourful fish
(photo provided by Panviman Chiang Mai Spa Resort)
What Did The Kids Think Of Their First Stay In A 5 Star Spa Resort?
They both thought the resort was fantastic for kids, they were really impressed with the amount of outdoor games and activities on offer. Evie very much enjoyed her first massage. They also loved being whizzed around the resort on the back of a golf buggy.
They were happy with the menu choices and particularly loved the freshly cooked waffles at breakfast. The only thing they were unsure of was their bedroom; they were very excited at the idea of their own apartment downstairs and loved watching movies in bed, but when bedtime came around they felt it was too far away from mom and dad, so they ended up sleeping in our room.
Getting To Panviman Spa Resort from Chiang Mai
We arrived into Chiang Mai via the overnight sleeper train from Lopburi; we had pre-arranged a private taxi transfer with the resort at a cost of 1500 Baht (approx. £30), the cost is the same if you arrive by air into Chiang Mai. The driver was waiting to collect us in an air conditioned mini van and provided bottles of drinking water for the journey. We were very happy with the transfer service and it meant that we didn’t have to haggle with a local taxi driver at that time in the morning.
We did however use a local taxi on another day from Chiang Mai city back to the resort and it only cost 500 Baht (approx. £10), so it might be worth organizing your own transport if you are looking to save a little money. The journey from Chiang Mai to Mae Rim takes around 45 minutes and is very scenic, we didn’t hear a peep out of the kids for the whole time!
Have you ever taken your kids to a spa resort? We would love to hear about your experience, leave us a comment below.
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Disclaimer – We were guests at Panviman Chiang Mai Spa Resort, as always all views are our own and we were not influenced in anyway in writing this review. We only work with brands we truly believe in.