The pristine beaches of Phuket are among the best in the world, making it a top destination for all kinds of tourists. Culture buffs will enjoy the historical attractions at Old Phuket Town, while adventure seekers are sure to go wild at Patong’s beach parties. Kata’s diverse sea life is a must-see for divers, and the private beaches of Karon will be perfect for families. Whatever your agenda is, there is something in Phuket for everyone. With over 30 islands and 100 villages to explore, planning could be a challenge. If you’ve come here for help, then continue reading as we help you decide where to stay in Phuket, as well as the best Phuket hotels.
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Where to Stay in Phuket
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Best Places to Stay in Phuket
1. Patong, for the best beach parties
Rightfully topping the list is Phuket’s most popular tourist destination – Patong. Located along the west shoreline, this coastal town is best known for its perfect mix of beautiful beaches and raging party scene. Its powdery white sand and clear blue waters make for a fun day under the sun with a cocktail in hand. Come night, the party continues as people flock to Bangla Road at the heart of Patong to experience the best bars, clubs and exotic shows. There’s a reason they call it the best place for single people and groups of friends. It’s your one-stop-shop for all the fun things Phuket has to offer.
Things to do in Patong:
- Swim and sunbathe at Patong Beach
- Watch a live Muay Thai match in Bangla Boxing Stadium
- Have fun at Surf House Phuket, from afternoon pool surfing to partying til dawn
- Experience a different kind of beach party aboard the Hype Luxury Boat Club where you can enjoy happy hour drinks and swim in the surround islands
- Drink, dance or do water activities in Paradise Beach Club, the biggest beach club in Phuket
- Explore Bangla Road and its famous pubs and clubs. Make sure to go to Seduction Nightclub, Patong’s biggest night club
- Take a break from the partying by visiting Suwan Khiri Wong Temple or munching on cheap food at the Malin Plaza Patong Market
Where to stay in Patong: Amari Phuket
Set right along Patong Beach is the world-class Amari Phuket. From the lobby to the outdoor dining to the beachfront infinity pools, guests are greeted by breathtaking views of the Andaman Sea. Luxury treatment continues as you avail of the Breeze Spa’s massages, dine in any of their 4 international cuisines and unwind in your beautiful tropical suite. Come night time, you can easily head over to Bangla Road, which is just a short 5-minute drive away. If you wish to explore outside Patong Beach, the resort also offers free shuttle services to nearby and equally beautiful Kata Beach.
2. Phuket Town, for culture and convenience
If you haven’t already guessed from its name, Phuket Town is the capital of Phuket province and is the largest city on the island. Staying here will give you easy access to commercial establishments, delicious restaurants and many shopping venues. What I especially love about it is the charm of its narrow streets lined with European architecture, colorful Sino-Portugese buildings, quaint cafes and boutique shops. It is particularly popular for its Sunday Walking Street Market (locally called Lard Yai) where you’ll see stalls selling clothes, local Thai handicrafts and exotic street food, as street performers entertain you while you shop. Apart from its local urban scene, it’s also a good place for tourists looking to experience Phuket’s rich heritage. Also called Old Phuket Town, it is home to the Chalong Temple (the largest in Phuket) and other shrines and museums. While it is generally a convenient base for first-time travellers, keep in mind that there are no beaches in the town itself. Travelling to the best beaches will take you around 30 minutes via taxi.
Things to do in Phuket Town:
- Learn about Phuket’s rich history visiting the Chalong Temple, walking the streets of Old Phuket Town and climbing Khao Rang Hill for a stunning view of the city and sea
- Appreciate the remnants of Thai’s Taoist past at the Shrine of the Serene Light
- Take pictures with dozens of monkeys in Phuket Monkey Hills
- Explore the local food and trinkets at the Sunday Walking Street Market
- Go on a food trip around Old Phuket Town, try popular local delicacies and learn how to cook authentic Thai dishes
- Watch one of Thailand’s most popular shows, Siam Niramit, and learn more about Thai culture
Where to stay in Phuket Town: Westin Siray Bay Resort and Spa
The Westin Siray Bay Resort and Spa is the best place to stay in Phuket Town because of its peaceful ambiance and convenient location. Located near the city and the beaches, guests can easily experience the best of both worlds in just a few minutes’ drive. The suites and villas boast off a tropical atmosphere because of its rainforest showers, balcony views of the sea, and lounge pools exclusive to some rooms. Other 5-star amenities include the WestinWORKOUT® Fitness Studio, Heavenly Spa by Westin™, outdoor pools and delicious dining by the ocean.
3. Kata, for a perfect balance between fun and relaxation
Also located in the west coast is Kata Beach, similar to Patong Beach in terms of its immaculate beaches and active nightlife scene but in a more relaxed and slightly more glamorized environment. Considered to be one of the trendiest areas in Phuket, it has a fun mix of local food markets, cultural attractions, world-class spas and unique bars. It is also known for its “sauna in the jungle” with a plunge pool and a quaint café surrounded by lush green trees. Kata Beach House Reef is another must-see especially for snorkelers and divers looking for parrotfish, seahorses and the occasional turtle.
Things to do in Kata:
- Make your way up to the Big Buddha at Naka Kerd Mountain for some Thai history and beautiful views of Phuket
- Explore the Thursday market for fish, spices and authentic Thai food
- Find the sauna in the jungle for a relaxing getaway
- Swim, snorkel or dive at the Kata Beach House Reef
- Treat yourself to a full day of pampering at one of the many renowned spas in the area
- Enjoy some drinks with the perfect island music at Ska Bar
Where to stay in Kata: Malisa Villa Suites
Malisa Villa Suites is a hidden nature resort nestled at the heart of Kata area and just an 8-minute walk away from Kata Beach. Although it is not a beachfront resort, their villas are beautifully designed to make you feel like you’re in your own private beach house. The villas are beautifully designed with relaxed coastal furnishings, a private pool amidst plush foliage, and a comfortable bathroom complete with a bathtub, shower space and variety of toiletries. Delicious meals are well within reach at the hotel’s Nanta Restaurant and an option for in-villa catering.
4. Karon, for leisurely activities with the family
Right next to Kata Beach is Karon Beach, the second largest tourist beach in the island with 3-kilometers of fine white sand and turquoise waters. It is even quieter and more relaxed than Patong and Kata, but still tourist-friendly with a variety of affordable accommodations, local restaurants and chill bars. Although it is less frequented by people, there are still a lot of fun activities to do in the area like take an afternoon hike up Karon View Point, visit the Wat Suwan Khiri Khet Temple and try exotic insects at the Karon Temple Market. It’s a good place to stay for those who want to enjoy the outdoor activities without the big crowds and expensive tourist costs.
Things to do in Karon:
- Stroll along Karon Beach, go snorkelling and swim the waves
- Go on a hike up the Karon View Point for stunning views of the beach, sea and forests
- Drive an ATV in Khlong Bangla Park and enjoy other outdoor activities
- Visit the Wat Suwan Khiri Khet temple for a taste of Thai traditions
- Explore the Karon Temple Market and try exotic food like crocodile and insects
Where to stay in Karon: Centara Grand Beach Resort
For the ideal family vacation, we recommend staying in the Centara Grand Beach Resort because of its variety of fun activities that all members of the family will surely enjoy. The resort’s water park is complete with big slides, water playgrounds and infinity pools. You can also spend a relaxing day at the Spa Cenvaree or dine at the resort’s many restaurants and bars. Rooms are very spacious and comfortable, instantly exuding a homey ambiance. Some even include a private pool with sun beds for the whole family to relax in. For couples, there are more secluded villas with a Jacuzzi and romantic views of the ocean. Getting to Karon Beach will take a leisurely 10-minute stroll.
5. Rawai, for island hopping
Originally the first tourist beach in Phuket, Rawai Beach is now a quiet village with a shoreline that has more long tail boats than foreigners. Although it is not commonly found among the list of best beaches in Phuket, it has gained its reputation as an ideal kick-off point for island hopping. These long tail boats take tourists to the nearby Coral and Racha islands known for their shimmering turquoise waters perfect for snorkelling. Besides these daily tours, the area is otherwise calm and uneventful. Other iconic attractions nearby are Phromthep Cape (a must-see island) and Nai Harn Beach (for snorkelling).
Things to do in Rawai:
- Go island hopping and snorkel at Coral and Racha islands
- Explore nearby attractions like the pleasant Laem Ka Beach, the must-see Phromthep Cape in Chalong, and the iconic Nai Harn Beach
- Enjoy a local organic meal made from farm-to-table ingredients
Where to stay in Rawai: The Vijitt Resort
The Vijitt Resort is a precious find in the Rawai area. It spans over 18 acres of private Thai villas, a relaxing spa facility, fitness gym, a tasteful selection of cuisine options from Thai to international, and a relaxing beach bar with views of Chalong Bay and the Coral Islands. The stand-alone villas are elegantly furnished with high-quality wood, outdoor pools and clear glass walls for panoramic views of the ocean. Other top-quality services include complementary shuttles to Phuket Town and planned tours to the nearby islands.
6. Bang Tao, for a private island getaway
The last on our list is a perfect honeymoon spot or a getaway vacation for some R&R. About a 30-minute drive from the city center, Bang Tao Beach is a 6-kilometer stretch of white sand and blue waters lined with upscale villas. Because there is generally not much to do in the area, its main appeal is the seclusion from tourist crowds and the enjoyment of a private beach resort. Take your time picking the best resort since that is where you’ll be spending most of your time (and meals!).
Where to stay in Bang Tao: Dusit Thani Laguna Pool Villa
There is no better way to relax than to relax in pure luxury at the Dusit Thani Pool Villa. This idyllic resort boasts off beachfront views of the Andaman Sea, best enjoyed from the comfort of your private infinity pool. Inside your room you’ll find Thai-inspired furnishings, posh beddings and a spacious, well-equipped bathroom. The rest of the resort offers outdoor pools and water sports, spa treatments and a beauty salon, fitness center and a golf course, a Kids club and a game room, Thai cooking classes and many more activities to keep you relaxed and entertained. Dining options include Italian, Thai, international to name a few, and a lounge to enjoy some live music in. I don’t see how anyone would want to leave this resort. But if you do, there are free shuttle services to different areas around Phuket.
We hope that our guide on where to stay in Phuket & the best Phuket hotels has helped you! Please share it with your friends and family. Do also check out our other Phuket reads below!
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