Best place to stay in Phuket: The best hotels in the best areas (for ALL budgets!)
Our full time travelling family has really enjoyed discovering the island of Phuket in Thailand. Patrick and I have travelled Thailand extensively, from south to north and east to west and back again, plus several of Thailand’s beautiful islands. Phuket is a new destination for us and one we are quickly becoming very fond of. It is a large island; around 50km by 20km, so it has something for everyone no matter what kind of trip you are after! Here are our recommendations for the best place to stay in Phuket for every kind of traveller:
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Best for partying in Phuket: Patong
Patong, half-way down the island on the west coast, is the Marmite of Phuket- you’ll either love it or you’ll hate it. It’s busy and is the best place to stay in Phuket for tourists who want to shop, drink, club and buy sex. It’s a typical stag / bachelor party kind of place and most people wouldn’t feel comfortable taking their kids to walk down the main strip which is full of bars with scantily-clad girls dancing on tables, go-go bars, cabarets, ping-pong shows (I’ll tell you when you’re older) and the like.
However, thanks to the central location of Patong staying on the outskirts is what some families choose to do for convenience as it is easy to get about all over the island. It also has the OTOP Shopping Paradise which is popular with families for the ease of purchasing souvenirs and clothes (with a bit of haggling of course).
Patong also has a large beach- it’s busy but this also means it is extremely convenient to book day trips from or hire jet-skis if that takes your fancy. The same goes with regards to the accommodation; Phuket can be pricey compared to other parts of Thailand (especially in high season November- April) but Patong has such a huge variety of accommodation it works well for shoestring travellers.
Recommended trips for party people:
Make a splash on this Get Your Guide watersports boat cruise, giving guests a chance to try stand-up paddleboarding, canoeing, kayaking and even flinging themselves into the ocean via the boat’s own waterslide! Scuba diving is also an option on this trip. For more information and to book visit Watersports Cruise Day.
Luxe: For those treating themselves to a bit of luxury on their Phuket holiday, the KEE Resort & Spa offers serenity and glamour among the madness of Patong. Swim up bars in the lagoon-style pool, a Sky Lounge with panoramic views and a state-of-the-art fitness centre create a luxurious vibe for guests. Click here for the latest prices and deals.
Mid: For those looking for comfort without blowing the budget, the Deevana Patong is minutes away from the famous Bangla Road nightlife and often offers guests extra treats such as Thai massages, welcome drinks and airport transfers. The resort won a Tripadvisor Certificate of Excellence and features two pools, a spa and a gourmet restaurant. Click here to see the latest prices and deals.
Budget: For budget travellers check out the Enjoy Hotel, offering clean and comfortable rooms on a small budget. It is situated conveniently near Jungceylon shopping centre and is 15 minutes from the beach. Each room has air-con, free WiFi and hot water. Click here to see the latest prices and deals.
Shoestring: For you young, spritely backpackers, the Balcony Hostel has what you’re looking for. The clean dormitories offer reading lights, lockers, free WiFi and tea and coffee making facilities are the hostel is a 10 minute walk from the beach and red light district. Click here to see the latest prices and deals.
Best for a Phuket honeymoon: Surin
Surin is a popular destination with visiting celebs, with a high-end and secluded vibe. Known locally as ‘Millionaire’s Row’, Surin is the best place to stay in Phuket for people watching, relaxing in luxury resorts and enjoying the postcard-perfect palm-fringed beach. Surin is peaceful without being isolated; popular shows, waterfalls and other attractions are all within driving distance.
Recommended activities for honeymooners:
Surprise your partner with this sunrise tour to the spectacular Phangna Bay and visit the famous islands that appeared in James Bond. Relax on a traditional long tail boat, explore natural caves and enjoy a Thai lunch before cruising in the turquoise water in your own canoe. Check it out here : Romantic Sunrise Trip to James Bond islands
For evening entertainment, check out the Siam Niramit cultural show- a colourful performance taking the audience on a journey of history, geography and traditions through three acts. Feast on freshly prepared Thai food before the performance for a memorable evening. For more information and to book visit: Stunning Cultural Show with Transfers
Luxe Adults Only Resort: Ayara Hilltops is a stunning retreat among tropical gardens offering views of the ocean. Suites have private terraces and pools filled with rose petals as well as entertainment systems and rain showers. The hotel has a large pool, spa and fitness centre as well as a gourmet restaurant for romantic meals. Ayara is just a 30 minute drive from the airport. Click here to see the latest prices and deals.
Luxe: The Surin Phuket is the most popular resort with celebs and is a perfect spot for a Phuket honeymoon. It has direct access to the stunning Pansea beach and offers beach suites with complimentary massages and minibar. The staff can arrange candlelit private beach dinners, couples spa treatments and bespoke day tours for all of its guests. Click here to see the latest prices and deals.
Luxe: TwinPalms Phuket is another five-star hotel with a huge saltwater lagoon pool and several restaurants. Daily butler service is available and guests can enjoy the fitness centre, relax in the library or book an excursion at the exclusive tour desk. Consistently rated Superb on TripAdvisor. Click here to see the latest prices and deals.
Mid (honeymoon with kids): The Novotel Phuket on Surin beach is perfect if you happen to be honeymooning with your kids! Just 5 minutes from Surin beach, the Novotel has a waterslide, animation programme and KidsWorld kids’ club as well as complimentary stays and dining packages for guests under 16. A great way to enjoy couple time while the kids have a blast! Click here to see the latest prices and deals.
Mid: Amora Beach Resort Phuket is set on Bang Tao beach in a unique tropical haven. Dining options include a relaxed high-quality buffet as well as a more formal Thai seafood restaurant and beach bar. Rooms are elegantly decorated in white and offer minibars and tea and coffee making facilities. Click here to see latest prices and deals.
Budget: If, like us, you want to enjoy a fab honeymoon on a budget, try the beautiful Surintra beach resort in Surin, Phuket. Rooms are decorated in a contemporary style and some have in-room jacuzzis, ideal for a romantic break. High-speed WiFi and complimentary breakfast are included with all rooms. Click here to see the latest prices and deals.
Best for a family holiday with young kids: Kamala
Kamala is located just north of Patong and is a quiet fishing bay surrounded by forested hills. It is popular with retirees and so makes a great chilled-out location for families with little kids who don’t want to be caught up in the rush of the busier resorts. There are beach cafes and restaurants and day trips such as visits to nearby islands or waterparks are available and the water is good for snorkelling straight from the beach. Kamala is getting more popular as families discover its qualities so when considering the best to stay in Phuket for your trip, take into account that in a few years it may be much busier!
Recommended activities with young kids:
Kids will love the Phuket TrickEye museum, a gallery of larger-than-life illusion art with which kids can interact and snap photos. Check it out here: Phuket TrickEye Museum Trip
Luxe: Treat the family to a gorgeous break at the Hyatt Regency hotel in Kamala. Located at the southern end of the beach, many of the rooms have panoramic views and are considerably more spacious than other comparable hotels in the area. The dining options here are unparalleled, with three restaurants and a popular Sunday brunch event with free-flow drinks and buffet. Click here to see latest prices and deals.
Mid: The Novotel Phuket at Kamala Beach is just 30 minutes from Phuket airport and offers an all-day dining restaurant, swim-up pool bar, kids’ club and spa and fitness centre. A complimentary shuttle service to Patong is also available for more shopping and restaurants. Click here to see latest rates and deals.
Budget: The Kamala Resort & Spa offer spacious studios with kitchens for a convenient family trip. A 24-hour front desk, room service, pool and fitness centre with spa all make this a great option for families on a budget. Click here to see latest prices and deals.
Best for a family holiday with teens: Kata
Kata is a beach resort in the south-west of Phuket. It is the best place to go in Phuket to avoid go-go bars or red-light massage parlours, and it still has a good nightlife with an outdoor shopping market and plenty of late-opening cafes. If you are travelling with teens this is a good location option as they can have independence without being in the hub of the ‘adult’ areas of Phuket. Kata beach is a large stretch of golden sand with clear water and water-sports to choose from.
Recommended trips for families with teens:
Teens will love meeting other teens and grabbing a surfboard in the crystal clear waters of the Andaman sea with these epic surf lessons from Get Your Guide.
Teens and adults alike wil also love the Flying Hanuman Rainforest Adventure, where visitors can fly through the trees on zipwires in lush Thai jungle!
Luxe: The Club Med resort on Kata beach is the perfect treat for every member of the family. Set on a 25-hectare palm grove on Kata beach it is excellently located and offers a five-star all-inclusive experience with experience such as Thai boxing, cookery classes, dance evenings and foam parties. The teens’ club puts on discos, film evenings and activities to keep everyone busy and happy! For the latest prices and deals click here.
Mid: Jinta Andaman is a lovely little hotel with spacious guest rooms that all have balconies, air-con and fridges and well as tea and coffee making facilities and complimentary drinking water and toiletries (these go a long way to save the budget!) A three minute walk from Kata beach it has a clean swimming pool and is a stone’s throw from the cafes and bars of Kata without being noisy. For the latest prices and deals click here.
Budget: Kata on Sea is a hidden gem; fantastic value large rooms with a swimming pool and very helpful management, it is the perfect place to stay if you want good clean accommodation at a low price. Click here to see the latest rates.
Best for a holiday with a ‘local’ vibe: Rawai
Rawai is often hailed as the best place to stay in Phuket for those who get away from the tourist crowds and see what local life is like on Phuket island (the prices here are cheaper too!). The first place to open as a ‘tourist beach’ on the island, nowadays Rawai is a working beach with boats coming in and out from day tours as well as local fishermen. There aren’t the huge shopping facilities of the big beach towns but there are a couple of lesser-known day trips such as to the nearby island of Koh Bon, a sea-shell museum and a stunning photography point at Promthep Cape.
Recommended activities for those wanting to know about local culture: The Phuket Old Town tour from Get Your Guide is a small-group tour showing visitors the highlights of the island including local temples, viewing Sino-Portuguese architecture and ended at a distillery for a glass of rum! Click here to check it out!
Luxe: Try the Phu NaNa boutique hotel for contemporary villa accommodation with private balconies, kitchens and garden bathrooms. A pool and massage service will help you relax away from the main crowds of Phuket. For latest rates and deals click here.
Mid: 10 minutes from the pretty Naiharn beach is the Naya bungalow complex of 10 bungalows. There is a swimming pool and restaurant (you can order breakfast in bed!) and each bungalow has WiFi, air-con, a TV and kitchenette. Click here to see the latest rates and deals.
Best all-rounder: Karon
Karon, with Phuket’s longest beach at three miles, is sandwiched between Patong to the north and Kata to the south. This makes it an excellent location for beaches, nightlife, day trips and boat excursions to other islands such as Phi Phil and the like. If you want a good beach with plenty of restaurant, shopping and day-trip options but not too intense nightlife, Karon is the best place to visit in Phuket.
Recommended classic Phuket tours and activities:
Spend a day on the nearby Maiton island, where guests can not only swim in the crystal-clear waters but also spot wild dolphins. A delicious Thai buffet lunch is also served complimentary. Click here to check it out!
Turn up the adrenaline with this full day white water rafting adventure. Guests will also get to ride ATVs, experience a jungle rope bridge and the ‘flying fox’ zipwire for a full day of high-impact fun! Click here to check it out!
Scuba divers flock to Phuket thanks to its warm, clear blue waters and brightly-coloured tropical fish. Complete your Level One PADI with this three-day course and enjoy the freedom of being certified to dive anywhere in the world! For more information and to book, click here!
Indulge in a 6-hour food tour of Phuket as you visit the Old Town and taste the flavours and ingredients that make up the culinary aspects of Thai heritage. You will enjoy 10 dishes plus desserts, fruit and drinks so make sure you come hungry! For more information and to book, click here.
Luxe: Centara Grand Beach Resort is a luxury five-star resort on the sands of Karon beach and featuring its own water park. There are seven excellent restaurants to dine in, a luxury spa and watersports on offer. There is also a full daytime and evening programme of activities for guests so boredom is not an option! To see latest rates and offers click here.
Mid: Novotel Karon Beach Resort & Spa is fantastic for solo travellers, couples and families. It has seven room types, three pools and a world-class kids’ club as well as five dining options serving Thai and international gourmet cuisine. To see latest rates and offers click here.
Budget: Karon Living Room Hotel offers clean, simple rooms with free high-speed WiFi, beach equipment rental and ensuite bathrooms. Complimentary water and bathroom amenities are included Click here to see the latest prices and deals.
I hope you found helpful nuggets in our guide on the best place to stay in Phuket. If you think a hotel deserves to be featured on here please let me know in the comments. If it’s more Thai islands you’re after, check out this post all about Koh Lipong!
Make sure you check out our packing list for Thailand as well as our guides on the best travel kettles, travel strollers and travel irons! Our post on our first impressions of Phuket may also be helpful, as well as our review of the Phuket cat cafe.
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