Phuket, a large island on Thailand’s west coast, is one of the country’s most popular tourist spots thanks to its white sandy beaches, clear waters and island-hopping opportunities. Because of its size, there is a huge variety of places to stay and areas to choose from. Phuket’s airport is towards the north of the island, while some of the most popular places to stay in Phuket are on the southern or western beaches, which can take around an hour to reach by car, so planning where to stay in Phuket and how to get there is essential.
The island offers a range of activities besides its fantastic beaches. Visitors can stroll around the cute coloured buildings in Phuket Town, visit the Giant Buddha in Chalong or take a boat trip to Koh Phi Phi or James Bond Island. So whether you’re into partying, on a family holiday, on a romantic getaway or looking to immerse yourself in Thai culture and landscapes, there’s somewhere perfect to stay in Phuket that will make your holiday memorable.
- Where To Stay In Phuket
- Bang Tao
- Chalong Bay
- Mai Khao
- Phuket Town
Where To Stay In Phuket
Patong is a popular area to stay in Phuket for backpackers, group holidays and those looking to let loose.
This busy district on Phuket’s lower west coast has a huge concentration of restaurants, shops, bars and clubs, so it’s the place to be if you want great nightlife.
Patong has its own long beach, so there’s also the chance for post-partying relaxation.
Patong can be a good option for first-time visitors, especially young people, as there is lots of budget accommodation available and not all of Patong is noisy, plus it’s got a tonne of food, drink and shopping options.
On the other hand, Patong has developed a reputation for scams and pickpocketing, and certain hotels can be noisy if they’re close to Bangla Road and it isn’t Phuket’s most family-friendly area.
Luxury – Amari Phuket
Amari is one of Phuket’s best luxury hotels, just a short walk from Patong Beach.
It has two pools and its own private stretch of beach for guests, plus an onsite spa and two restaurants.
Many of the spacious rooms, which come with flat-screen TVs and huge beds, offer sweeping ocean views.
Food options include Italian food at La Gritta, fresh seafood at The Jetty Restaurant, and two beautiful bars.
Mid-range – Patong Signature Beach Hotel
The perfect mid-range option designed in classic Thai style but with all the luxury amenities you could want, Patong Signature is also perched on Patong’s beachfront.
It offers a sparkling blue outdoor pool, modern rooms with sea views, and its onsite restaurant.
The beach is easily accessible and close to the busy Bangla Road nightlife in just 10 minutes on foot.
Budget – Hotel Clover
Luxury is ever-affordable in Phuket, as the stunning Hotel Clover proves. Just 100 meters from Patong Beach and with a gorgeous rooftop infinity pool, the hotel has modern, white rooms with balconies or sea views.
Aside from the pool, there is a fitness centre, bar, lounge area and garden, and guests can enjoy a daily continental breakfast.
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Further north, and therefore slightly closer to Phuket airport, is the lovely area of Bang Tao.
Bang Tao Beach, one of the longest in Phuket, is a classic Thai paradise of soft sand and swaying palm trees and water sports of all kinds are on offer.
Although there is a range of accommodation options in Bang Tao, generally, it is home to slightly more expensive resorts – ideal for those who want a tranquil getaway.
Thanks to the area’s growing popularity, the southern end of Bang Tao has an array of shops, restaurants, cafes and beach bars to enjoy.
Almost all of the upmarket hotels in Bang Tao have spas and many independent ones in the area, so this is a popular spot for getting massages, scrubs and wraps, and generally pampering yourself!
Luxury – Banyan Tree Phuket
Banyan Tree is well-known for having some of the world’s best luxury properties, and their Bang Tao location is no different.
This stunning hotel offers guests spacious villas with private pools and a large outdoor pool onsite.
Enjoy a massage in their spa, visit the tennis courts or gym, and choose between Thai food at Saffron or an international buffet at Watercourt.
On top of this, there are two bars and a cafe, and it is just 20 minutes from the airport and a stone’s throw from Bang Tao Beach.
Mid-range – Arinara Beach Resort
Just a two-minute walk from Bang Tao Beach, Arinara’s beautiful property offers a range of spacious, sea-view rooms, many of which come with private pool access, and most overlook their huge outdoor pool.
Rooms all have air-conditioning and private balconies, plus there is a gym, kids centre and games room.
Four restaurants and a pool bar mean you won’t need to search for dining options.
Budget – Diamond Resort
Diamond Resort is ideally located and elegantly designed 900m from the beautiful Bang Tao Beach.
The expansive hotel features an outdoor pool, gym and garden area, and the modern rooms and suites come with flat-screen TVs, living areas and balconies, plus kitchenettes as standard.
Guests can enjoy a daily buffet breakfast, an onsite sauna and small children’s play area, and the hotel’s beach shuttle is free.
Chalong is a large district south of Phuket on Chalong Bay.
Chalong can be an ideal location for those looking to splash out, as there are plenty of upmarket hotels here, along with private tours and charters and it is home to the famous Big Buddha, a fun day trip.
One of Chalong’s downsides is that beaches are few and far between; however, Chalong Bay still has stunning ocean views and is lined with waterfront shops and restaurants.
Chalong’s location also means you can reach Phuket Old Town in around 25 minutes and drive to beaches in other areas in a short time.
Boat trips for snorkelling and diving are abundant here, as are day trips to islands like Koh He and Koh Lon.
Luxury – Noku Phuket
Sat atop a hill in Chalong, Noku is the epitome of luxury, offering private treetop and pool villas with plunge baths and views over Chalong Bay.
The hotel has a restaurant serving delicious Thai and International cuisine with floor-to-ceiling windows, a well-equipped gym, a clothes boutique and an open-air bar area.
It also houses a stunning half-moon infinity pool with views over Chalong and getting around is via cute golf buggies.
They also offer free shuttles to nearby beaches, shopping areas and Phuket Old Town.
Mid-range – Aochalong Villa Resort
A rarity in Chalong, Aochalong is located just 300m from a quiet stretch of beach. Spacious, Thai-inspired rooms have pool or sea views from the balconies, plus living and dining areas in the villas, and there is a large infinity pool onsite.
The beachside restaurant serves international and Thai dishes, and the hotel offers free shuttle services to western Karon Beach.
Budget – Chalong Chalet
This hotel is an incredibly affordable option for those staying in Chalong, despite offering stunning rooms with deep baths, TVs and garden views.
There’s a large outdoor pool, a restaurant serving local and International cuisine and an onsite bar.
Chalong Bay, filled with alternative dining and drinking options, is just a kilometre from the hotel.
Far up in the north of Phuket is Mai Khao, a lesser visited area home to stunning beaches, sparkling blue water and tropical jungle.
The entire area is still relatively untouched, so the select hotels and guesthouses enjoy peaceful surroundings and ultimate luxury.
It’s also where turtles hatch each year in the right season, generally during Spring, which can be a unique spectacle!
Although many people only stay here the night, as it is close to Phuket airport, Mai Khao has so much to discover and is ideal for families, solo travellers or couples searching for the less touristy yet still stunning side of the island.
Shops, restaurants and bars are not as dense as in Patong or the Old Town, but there are enough foodie spots and beach cafes that you won’t run out of options.
Luxury – Anantara Vacation Club
A short five-minute walk from the tranquil Mai Khao Beach, Anantara offers its signature ultimate luxury experience here.
Villas and suites here all come with living and dining spaces; many have private pool access, balconies and flat-screen TVs.
The spa has a menu of treatments, and guests can book tours through the hotel to explore the surrounding area.
Taurus Restaurant serves a huge mix of cuisines, and guests can even design their private dining experience.
Mid-range- SALA Phuket
SALA sits directly on Mai Khao Beach, with beautiful ocean views from the spacious outdoor swimming pools.
There’s also a large garden, spa, sauna and steam bath. The luxurious rooms and villas have flat-screen TVs, outdoor showers, free-standing bathtubs, private pools, and sundecks.
You can also drink at two bars or dine at the rooftop restaurant while enjoying panoramic ocean views.
Budget – Baan Mai Khao
Baan Mai Khao sits in the perfect beachside location, offering sea views, free bicycle rental, an outdoor swimming pool, a gym, a garden and a lounge area.
The apartments have spacious living and dining areas, terraces and pool views, and the complex is ideal for families.
The beach is within walking distance, and the family-friendly Splash Jungle Water Park is near the property.
Phuket Town is the island’s major hub of shopping, dining and drinking and is a great place to stay if you’ve never visited the island, as it is in a prime location on the southeast of Phuket.
Like Chalong, beaches are less common here as it sits on a bay, but you’ll have enough to choose from that this isn’t a problem.
Tours to almost everywhere in Phuket and all of the islands are available here, along with shopping centres, local and international restaurants, great nightlife and an abundant choice of hotels for all budgets.
Phuket Old Town is part of the city, lined with old-style, brightly coloured houses, shops, temples, cafes, and more.
The Old Town is a popular day trip, perfect for picking up a souvenir, enjoying a coffee or smoothie in the sunshine and experiencing the local culture.
Luxury – Hotel Verdigris
A gorgeous, cosy and luxurious hotel right in the heart of Phuket Town, Hotel Verdigris is in a classic, old-style building with an outdoor pool, garden and terrace.
The sumptuously designed rooms all come with minibars, coffee machines, and king-sized beds; many have balconies with city views.
The hotel is a 10-minute walk from the Old Town, and tours to surrounding areas can also be organised.
Mid-range – The Blanket Hotel
It can be difficult to find an affordable and spacious hotel in the compact buildings of Phuket Town, but The Blanket offers huge rooms with living areas, flat-screen TVs and large, comfy beds.
Although there is no restaurant, the hotel has a range of breakfast options and is directly in the town centre, surrounded by shops and restaurants.
Budget – The Memory at On On
This gem of a hotel is located right in Phuket’s Old Town, meaning sightseeing, food and drink are on your doorstep.
The beautiful rooms are decorated in rich blue tones, with large beds, TVs and private bathrooms.
Despite not having a pool or restaurant, its location more than makes up for it and it is the best budget option for staying in Phuket.
Kata is on the southern end of Phuket’s west coast, and while it offers a variety of things to do, it is particularly popular with families.
It encompasses two main beaches, Kata Beach, which is the longest and the smaller Kata Noi – both are backed by cute beach cafes, bars and shops and provide an array of land and water-based activities to enjoy.
Kata is home to a stunning house reef, so snorkelling and diving are the top activities.
The accommodation also varies in cost, but around Kata Beach, you’ll find both luxury and affordable spots, while at Kata Noi, upscale resorts dominate slightly more.
Aside from the beach, island hopping is easily done from this area, the food scene is one of the island’s best and there are a couple of excellent markets to wander through.
Luxury – Sawasdee Village
A dreamy resort just 350m from the beach, Sawasdee Village has endless luxury amenities and stunning spaces.
There are two expansive outdoor pools, a children’s pool and a spa, and the property is built on manicured gardens full of water features.
The huge rooms all have TVs, computers and minibars and onsite, guests can enjoy the spa, hot tub, tour bookings, cooking classes and even a small supermarket.
There are two excellent restaurants and a bar for all-day dining too.
Mid-range – OZO Phuket
Right on Kata Beach, OZO is a great mid-range option, especially for families.
There’s an outdoor pool, gym, garden, games room and a playground.
The stunning rooms all have their own living areas, terrace or city views, and you can easily organise tours around Phuket.
Guests can choose from a range of breakfast options, plus their onsite restaurant, which serves Italian, Thai and Asian cuisine.
Budget – Chanalai Romantica
This adults-only resort is the perfect budget option for couples or solo travellers looking for a secluded, private getaway just five minutes from Kata Beach.
It offers modern, spacious rooms with private balconies, TVs, minibar and outdoor seating.
These surround the hotel’s luxurious outdoor pool and terrace area, plus you can eat at the Stardust Restaurant for breakfast or international cuisine all day.
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