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Where To Stay In Phuket, Thailand – Our 10 Favorite Beaches & Hotels

It’s no great mystery what has made Phuket Thailand’s most popular tourist destination. It is truly gifted with natural beauty, and traveling along the coast of Phuket, you’ll see one beautiful white sandy beach after the other, like pearls on a string.

But there is more to Phuket than just the stunning beaches; atmospheric old-colonial-style shops and restaurants, spectacular temples, lively nightlife, and so much more. Every little beach town has its distinct personality, and deciding where to stay in Phuket can feel quite overwhelming.

Beautiful beach bliss in Phuket, Thailand
Maria at Surin Beach in Phuket

Whether you are looking for a family-friendly beach holiday, a secluded luxury getaway, or want to party the night away at Phuket’s famous nightlife, choosing the right place to stay can make or break your holiday.

We have been to Phuket many times, but things here change fast. So to be able to write in-depth Phuket guides and articles, we spent months exploring Thailand’s biggest island like we never have before.

Latest Updates: Our most recent visit to Phuket was in early 2023. This guide has been completely updated and reorganized with the most current travel information. 


One of the results is this guide to the best places to stay in Phuket, filled with our favorite beaches and all the hotel gems we discovered along our way.

Where To Stay In Phuket – Thailand

Phuket has a lot of accommodations available for any budget – affordable guesthouses, value-for-the-money mid-range hotels, small boutique hotels, family-friendly beach resorts, and luxury getaways far from the crowds; it is all here.

Important: None of the hotels recommended here are paid placements or have sponsored our stay in any way. If you book through any of our links, we make a small commission at no extra cost to you. This helps keep our site running – so thank you in advance for your support! ♥

The 10 Best Places To Stay In Phuket

This Phuket hotel guide reveals what we think are the best places to stay in Phuket and why. We hope you find this guide helpful in finding the best place to stay for your Phuket trip.

We’ve divided this guide into 10 of the best areas to stay in Phuket – 9 beach areas and 1 town (Phuket Town).


The map above: The 10 best places to stay on Phuket – 9 beaches and 1 town

For each area, we will tell you the pros and cons of staying there, what sights and activities are nearby, and we reveal our favorite hotels at any budget – Top-End, Mid-Range, and Budget.

The following 10 areas are the best places to stay in Phuket (in our opinion):

 


Beach 1: For Families & Couples

Kata Beach

The stunning Kata Beach is one of our favorite beaches on Phuket

Kata Beach is one of Phuket’s three most popular beaches, along with Patong and Karon. It’s smaller than the other two at 1.5km in length, and its popularity means that you won’t find that secluded spot to lay down your towel, but thankfully there is still room enough that it rarely feels overcrowded. The beach itself is beautiful, with soft white sand.

Kata Beach is one of Phuket’s most popular beaches for surfing, especially in the tourism off-season between June to September. For the rest of the year, swimmers, sunbathers, and snorkelers dominate the beach. While you will see and hear some jet skis and the occasional parasailer, the vibe is still more relaxed than at busier Patong Beach.

Head away from the beach and into Kata center itself, and you will find a wide range of hotels and resorts and plenty of nice restaurants, bars, shops, and night markets.

Kata Noi Beach

Kata beach is actually split into two parts by a rocky headland – Hat Kata Yai to the north and the smaller, more secluded Hat Kata Noi to the south.

The Kata Noi beach is lined with palm trees, and along the road that runs parallel to the beach, Thanon Kata, there are lots of places to buy drinks and food.

The beautiful and laid-back Kata Noi Beach in Phuket
The smaller Kata Noi Beach is laid-back and beautiful

Why Stay In Kata Beach

Kata beach is less seedy than Patong and a bit more sophisticated than Karon. It attracts visitors from all over the world, and it is especially popular with families and couples.

Kata strikes a nice balance between offering lots of activities and places to eat and drink while still retaining a fairly relaxed, easy-going vibe.

If you want more nightlife, you can easily get to the much busier Patong Beach, just a 13-min drive away.

Kata Beach, Phuket, Thailand
Surfing is great at Kata Beach

Things To Do Around Kata Beach

  • Yoga/ Wellness
    Kata has plenty of spas, wellness centers, and Yoga studios.
  • Surf
    Kata is a popular surfing beach during the off-season (June – September).
  • Karon View Point
    It used to be named Kata viewpoint, which makes more sense since it is much closer to Kata Beach than to Karon. From this viewpoint, you have a fantastic view overlooking Kata Noi Beach, Kata Yai Beach, and Karon Beach.
  • Kata Night Market
    Kata has its own night market, which is well worth visiting to sample some Thai street food and soak in the atmosphere.
Kata Night Market is a fun market with Thai street food
Head to Kata Night Market for some delicious Thai street food

What’s The Catch?

If you prefer more solitude and want an undisturbed palm tree to put down your towel under, then Kata is not really the perfect beach for that. In that case, have a look at Phuket’s less visited beaches, like Bang Tao and especially the northwest coast beaches.

Where To Stay In Kata

Top End

The Boathouse Phuket
The Boathouse occupies arguably the most enviable location in Kata, right on the southern end of Kata Yai beach, with direct beach access and gorgeous ocean views from most of its luxurious rooms and suites.

The Boathouse Hotel Kata Beach Phuket
Maria enjoying the view from the beach restaurant at The Boathouse Hotel

The rooms are spacious and modern, with every comfort you’d expect from a five-star hotel, and the more expensive rooms include a terrace and bathtub.  The outdoor infinity pool is right by the beach and has a fantastic sea view.

The hotel’s restaurant is well known for its excellent food and is worth a visit even if you’re not staying there.
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The Shore At Katathani
This luxurious 5-star adults-only resort is on the slightly smaller (yet equally beautiful) Kata Noi beach. With direct beach access and stunning rooms and villas, it’s a tropical beach holiday dream come true. The villas are spacious, with hardwood floors, a bathtub, a large terrasse, and wall-to-ceiling windows that really show off the gorgeous views.

The Shore Kata Hotel
The Shore Hotel (adults-only) consists of luxurious villas and has a fantastic location right by Kata Noi Beach

There is a lovely spa, and you can take classes such as Yoga and aqua aerobics. The staff and service are top-notch and help make staying here a memorable experience. It is far from cheap but fantastic for a special occasion like a honeymoon.
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Kata Rocks
A top-end resort with private villas perched on the cliffs between Kata beach and Kata Noi beach. The modern, almost futuristic all-white villas overlook the blue Andaman Sea. The villas feature an iPad-controlled sound system, a fully equipped kitchen, a private plunge pool, and contemporary cool artwork on the walls.

The 30-meter infinity pool is awesome, and there is an excellent fitness center. It’s a great choice for anyone looking for a quiet luxury getaway yet wanting to be close to Kata with its beach and restaurants.
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Mid Range

Aurico Resort & Spa
Aurico Resort is a newly built hotel at the northern end of Kata. We were among the first to stay here, and we loved it. The rooms are large, clean, and well designed, with comfortable beds, free wifi, flat-screen tv (including English channels), air-con, and a minibar including a tea/coffee making station.

The staff is friendly and welcoming, and the buffet breakfast is excellent. The pool is enormous (some rooms have direct pool access), and Kata beach is about a 10-minute walk away.
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Katathani Phuket Beach Resort
With its prime location right on Kata Noi Beach, this 5-star hotel has it all. Here you can walk directly onto the beach from the hotel or relax and have a dip in one of the swimming pools. We loved that there are pools for relaxing and a separate kids’ pool with a water slide for play (they also have a kids club).

Katathani Phuket Beach Resort has a fantastic location right on Kata Beach
Katathani Phuket Beach Resort has a fantastic location right on Kata Beach and a huge pool

You can choose between beachfront suites (in Thani Wing) with fantastic sea views or rooms at the hotel building across the lane (Bhuri Wing). The hotel is newly renovated, and everything is fresh and stylish. We did not try the Tew Son Spa, but it looked fantastic. The hotel also has two fitness rooms and a tennis court.
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Ozo Phuket(Rooms and Apartments)
If you’re looking for a family-friendly hotel in a great location within easy walking distance of Kata beach, then Ozo Phuket fits the bill perfectly. A recent addition to Kata (it opened in 2019), its stand-out feature is three beautiful pools set among the large green garden. For kids, there is a children’s playground and pool with a fantastic waterslide, as well as activities like kids’ movie night.

The rooms are modern and well-designed, with comfortable beds, climate control, large screen tv,  and solid light-proof curtains. Larger one- and two-bedroom apartments (family rooms) are also available. Breakfast is served as a buffet with plenty of choices. There are many places to eat nearby, a 7/11 is just across the street, and Kata beach is just a five-minute walk away.
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The Sea Galleri By Katathani
Rooms here are spacious, clean, and comfortable, with a modern design yet has enough local character that you won’t forget that you are in Thailand. The stand-out feature is the infinity swimming pool with spectacular views overlooking the bay and a rooftop bar perfect for watching the sunsets.

The hotel is located about 1km from Kata beach, and there is an hourly shuttle service for the days when you don’t feel like walking.
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Chanalai Garden Resort
With a great location perched on a cliff at the southern end of Kata Beach, this older yet still charming Thai-style resort does, at times, offer good value for the money. While far from the most modern or stylish, our room was spacious, clean, and comfortable, with a balcony with stunning views overlooking the Andaman Sea.

There are two swimming pools, one with music and a pool bar and a quieter one, which became our favorite, that is more laid back and relaxing. The beach is just a 3-minute walk away. The resort sits on top of a hill, and while there are lifts, be prepared to climb some stairs.  The view is, however, worth it!
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Budget

Kata Bai D
With a great location just a few minute’s walk from Kata beach and a friendly, sociable vibe, this charming little guesthouse is a real gem. The rooms are spacious, modern, and decorated in light and airy colors.

The host, Sam, and his staff are genuinely friendly and will make you feel right at home. Breakfast and complimentary snacks are available all day.
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Sugar Ohana Poshtel
This little hotel is hard to beat for value with its climate-controlled spacious double and twin rooms, all clean and comfortable, just a few minutes walk from the beach. There is a communal area for socializing, free wi-fi throughout the property, friendly staff, and a surprisingly tasty complimentary breakfast.
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Beach 2: For Beach Lovers On A Healthy Budget

Bang Tao Beach

Bang Tao Beach is our favorite Phuket beach and stretches on for 8 km.

Beautiful Bang Tao beach is our favorite beach in Phuket. The beach is one of Phuket’s longest and lies on the northeast side of Phuket. The half-moon-shaped bay stretches for 8 km of soft powdery white sand and is lined with trees.

The southern part of the region is home to many three and four-star hotels, some cool beach clubs, and an old fishing village further inland. Roughly in the middle of the beach is Laguna Phuket  – a large 1000 acres area of land with seven high-end hotels built around an inland lake.

The further north you go, the less developed the beach gets, and this is where it becomes genuinely stunning. White powder sand and the blue sea stretched out as far as the eye can see, and paradise is a word that readily springs to mind.

Why Stay At Bang Tao Beach

This is the perfect beach for anyone looking for a peaceful beach where it is still possible to find your own palm tree to put your blanket under, close your eyes, and not be disturbed by anyone.

Also, unlike many of Phuket’s beaches, no road runs along Bang Tao beach, so you are free from the traffic noise.

There is a refreshing lack of sunbeds that crowd some of Phuket’s other smaller beaches (although some of the Bang Tao hotels have their own small areas with sunbeds). You will also not be disturbed by jetskiing and paragliding here.

The Dream Beach Club at Bang Tao beach is a great place to hang out both daytime and in the evening
The Dream Beach Club at Bang Tao beach

Since Bang Tao is so large, you can choose to mingle at the beach clubs or find some peace and solitude. It is also perfect for running or for a sunset walk.

There are plenty of hotels to choose from, although most of them are in the mid-range to high-end price range. Bang Tao is also one of the closest beaches to Phuket Airport (a 25-min drive).

Read More: Tropical Beach Bliss – Bang Tao Beach, Phuket

Things To Do In Bang Tao

  • Enjoy the relaxed-vibed Bang Tao beach
    Bang Tao Beach itself is the main attraction. You can walk for hours along the beach, and the further north you get, the less developed it is. Here you can discover your own undisturbed tropical paradise, put down your blanket beneath a palm tree, and forget the world around you.
  • Boat Avenue & Tinlay Village / Plaza
    This is the shopping and restaurant area of Bang Tao. It is located close to the Laguna Complex entrance. Here you’ll find shops, supermarkets, and some of Phuket’s best restaurants. There is also a huge Villa Market supermarket with internationally imported food and an impressively well-stocked wine department.
Boat Avenue in Bang Tao has lots of excellent restaurants, kafes, and bars
Boat Avenue is the place to head for excellent dining
  • Beach clubs
    Beach clubs are trendy in Phuket, and Bang Tao has its fair share, especially along the southern end. Watch the sunset while enjoying a cool drink.
  • Sports Activities
    Kayaking, Sailing, or go Horseriding with the Phuket International Horse Club
  • Golf
    Bang Tao is a golfer’s dream, with a 27-hole golf course at the Phuket Country Club and an 18-hole course at Laguna Golf Phuket,
  • Bang Tao Night Market
    Bang Tao’s night market is one of Phuket’s better night markets. A great place to come for some delicious Thai street food and fresh fruits or shop for some gifts and souvenirs. It is open Monday & Thursday evenings.
  • Wat Cherngtalay Temple
    A small but beautiful Buddhist temple in bright white and red colors with gold decorations.
Horseriding at Bang Tao beach is one of the many fun activities you can do in Bang Tao Phuket
Horseriding at Bang Tao beach is a popular activity.

What’s The Catch?

Bang Tao beach is considered relatively high-end, and there aren’t many dirt-cheap budget accommodations around. This is also not the beach to choose if you enjoy activities like parasailing and jet-skiing, as it is a more relaxed beach. While Bang Tao has some excellent restaurants, the nightlife is limited. Head to Patong if you want to party.

There are not a lot of classic sightseeing attractions close by. But you can easily jump in a taxi or tuk-tuk or take the bus around Phuket for some sightseeing of temples and markets.

Where To Stay In Bang Tao

Top End

The Pavilions
There are a lot of top-end resorts in Bang Tao, but The Pavilion stands out. This is a “private hilltop villa with your own swimming pool” type luxury and a perfect tranquil hideaway for that special occasion. The villas are large, with modern Japanese-inspired decor and an infinity pool with an ocean view.

The hotel restaurant, The Plantation Club, is regarded as one of Thailand’s best, and the 360 bar has some of Phuket’s finest sunset views. Golf buggies take you around the property, and there is a free shuttle to the beach (a 5-min ride) and to Tinlay Village for shopping and restaurants.
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Dusit Thani Laguna Phuket Resort
Dusit Thani is an upscale Thai-owned hotel chain with long and proud traditions, and its Phuket hotel does not disappoint. From the warm welcome in the lemongrass-scented lobby to the perfectly manicured gardens, this is Thai hospitality at its finest. Our room was not the flashiest, but we really liked the classic decor, large, super comfortable bed, and beach-facing balcony.

The Dusit Thani Laguna Resort Phuket has a big swimming pool and is located right on the Bang Tao Beach
Dusit Thani Laguna has a big swimming pool and is located right on the Bang Tao Beach

There is a large beautiful garden and a swimming pool, and the fitness center is excellent, although it does close a bit early in the evenings. There are five in-house dining options to choose from, and the breakfast buffet is fantastic! And the location, right in the middle of the best part of Bang Tao beach, is hard to beat. We loved our stay at Dusit Thani.
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Mid Range

Hilton Garden Inn
Hilton Garden Inn is the new kid on the block and opened in 2020 as part of the Hiltons chain of mid-priced hotels. The rooms aren’t the largest, but the design is modern and stylish, and we loved the super comfortable bed. However, the view from our room was pretty disappointing, straight into the next building, so I think it’s worth upgrading to the Deluxe room for the mountain view.

We loved our room at Hilton Garden Inn in Bang Tao, Phuket
We loved our stylish and comfortable room at Hilton Garden Inn, although we had no view (so choose a Deluxe room for mountain views)

Once we walked onto the rooftop, we forgot all about our room view. What a great rooftop area! Relaxing by the pool with a cool drink and enjoying the fantastic view across the laguna was a real highlight of our stay.

Fantastic views from the swimming pool at Hilton Garden Inn in Bang Tao, Phuket
Maria enjoying the fantastic view from the Hilton Garden Inn‘s rooftop infinity pool

We also appreciated the hotel’s many thoughtful touches, like the vending machine in the lobby for those late-night snack runs, the complimentary bikes for rent, and the well-equipped fitness room.

The location is halfway between the town, with shops and restaurants, and the beach. You can walk either way (10 minutes), use the hotel shuttle service, or grab a bike. Breakfast was excellent, with plenty of buffet choices, and the service was always friendly and helpful. Overall, a great addition to Bang Tao’s hotels.
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Cassia Phuket
Maria’s parents stayed at Cassia for two weeks and loved it. Cassia is located by the lagoon within easy walking distance of the beach (5 minutes), or you can take the hotel ferry across the lagoon straight to the beach.  The apartments are spacious, clean, and comfortable, with a kitchenette and balcony.

There is a swimming pool with sun loungers, and the hotel also has a small area with sun loungers on the beach reserved for the guests. The staff is charming. This is one of the best deals in the otherwise high-end Laguna Complex area.
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Sunwing Bangtao Beach
If you’re looking for a family-oriented resort with a fantastic location right on the beach, then this is it. The rooms are very spacious, and two-bedroom apartments are available for large families. There is a kids club with lots of activities, a fitness center, and no less than six pools to enjoy.

A 24h Family Mart convenience store is right across the road from the resort. The staff is friendly and always helpful, and the grounds are stroller friendly—a great choice for those traveling with small children.
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Pai Tan Villas
This is a secluded, peaceful resort with two pools and eleven villas set in a stunning green lush garden. Rooms are clean and well equipped with air-con, wi-fi, mini-fridge, and comfortable beds.

Most rooms are just a few steps away from a pool, and you can walk to the beach in less than five minutes. It’s good value for the money and especially popular with people staying long-term.
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Beach 3: For Those On A Budget

Karon Beach

Sunset at Karon Beach, Phuket, Thailand
Stunning sunset at Karon Beach

Karon beach is a stunning 3,5 km long white-sandy stretch of beach. It is one of Phuket’s top three most popular beaches, along with its neighbors, Kata Beach to the south and Patong beach to the north.

The beach itself is quite something. It’s wide with soft white sand and clear turquoise water. There are no beach bars on the beach, and the closest restaurants are on the other side of the road that runs alongside it. This, and the palm trees that separate the beach from the road, give the beach a relaxed vibe.

There are many large resorts along Karon Beach, but there is plenty of space, and unlike the smaller Kata and the busier Patong, it rarely feels crowded. The resorts in this area are, for the most part, located on the other side of the road and not on the beach itself.

Why Stay At Karon Beach

Karon beach is perfect for those looking for a beautiful beach with plenty of family-friendly resorts, lots of activities available, and a good selection of restaurants nearby. It is a popular beach, but it is so big that it rarely feels crowded. It is also a fantastic spot to watch the sunset.

Read More: Travel Guide To Karon Beach, Phuket

Things To Do In Karon

Some of the most popular things to do in Karon beach include:

  • Watch the sunset from the beach club
    Enjoy the sunset with a cool drink in hand from the only beach club in Karon, the Coast Beach Club at Centara Grand Beach Resort
  • Karon Temple Market
    Karon Temple/ Wat Suwan Khiri Khet is a colorful Buddhist temple that turns into a night market on Tuesday and Friday nights. This is a great place to eat street food, socialize and do some souvenir shopping.
  • Karon Park
    Take a stroll or go for a run around Karon Park, a small park with an artificial lake at the northern end of the beach. It has a running track and exercise machines free for use.
  • Khlong Bangla Park
    A stretch of the beach where Phuket Beach Volleyball Club sets up volleyball nets for public use.
  • Dino Park Mini Golf
    A cool dinosaur-themed mini-golf park in the jungle. Great fun and perfect for families and kids. It’s been closed for a while but is due to reopen in December 2022.
  • Surfing
    The southern end of the beach is popular with surfers. The main season is from April to October, and you can rent a surfboard or sign up for lessons.
  • Snorkeling and Diving
    Many dive operators offer courses and dive trips to nearby islands.
  • Parasailing and jetskiing
    Parasailing and jet skiing are popular activities at Karon Beach. Great fun if you need a break from sunbathing.
Parasailing is popular at Karon Beach Phuket
Parasailing is a popular activity at Karon Beach

What’s The Catch?

Karon has sometimes been nicknamed “little Patong” due to the girlie bars and pubs along Bangla Plaza. But the nightlife in Karon is generally more family-friendly than at its infamous neighbor Patong.

Karon might also be a little disappointing if you’re looking to do some shopping. There are some small shops and markets here, but I would suggest heading for Patong or, better yet, Phuket Town for far superior shopping.

Where To Stay In Karon

Top End

Mandarava Resort and Spa
With freestanding elegant villas spread around a lush green tropical garden, this is a quiet, peaceful oasis, yet you’re just a 10-minute walk away from Karon center and the beach (there is also a hotel shuttle). There are no less than five pools (one is for adults only), an excellent fitness center, a game room, and a spa.

Rooms are very spacious and comfortable, with private patios. However, be aware that the area is quite hilly, so it’s best suited for those who don’t mind some stairs. Overall this is one of our favorites in Karon.
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Centara Grand Beach Resort
Centara Grand, one of Karon’s classic resorts, is starting to show its age a little, but if you want to be right on the beach, then this is one of the few resorts in Karon with direct beach access.

The hotel’s landscaped garden contains four outdoor pools. There is also a tennis court, a fitness center, a lovely spa, and a kid’s playroom with lots of activities for children.

Karon’s only beach club, the Coast Beach Club, is a part of the resort and is a great place to relax with a cool drink and watch the sunset in the evenings.
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Mid Range

Avista Grande
Avista Grande is one of our favorites in Karon. It has a great location at the southern end of Karon beach, which means that Kata beach is also within easy walking distance. Karon beach itself is just across the road from the hotel. The rooms are large, modern, and comfortable, and ours had a large balcony with a seating area and a lovely spacious bathroom with a tub.

The swimming pool is huge, and there is an excellent fitness center. One of our favorite things about the hotel is the cozy, relaxed rooftop bar with great views overlooking Karon.
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Centara Villas
Situated on the hillside with spectacular views overlooking Karon bay, this is the sister property of the more famous Centara Grand. However, it’s much smaller and more intimate, with villas scattered among its green grounds. The rooms are spacious and well furnished with all the usual amenities like air-con, flat-screen tv, free wifi, and a mini-bar. The swimming pool area is lovely. It even has a waterfall! And the restaurant serves good food and an excellent breakfast.

This is a great choice for those who prefer to be away from the hustle and bustle and don’t mind climbing some stairs for the stunning views. There is a walking path down the hill to Karon beach (a 10-minute walk), or you can use the shuttle service to Centara Grand (you can also use their pools and restaurants).
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Beyond Resort Karon
The standout feature of this large resort is its fantastic location. Along with Centara Grand, it is the only hotel located right on Karon Beach. The beach is just steps away, and the lovely pool area with its two large pools has a fantastic view over the bay.

Rooms are furnished in a contemporary Asian style with private balconies overlooking the pool and beach. It’s at the very southern end of Karon beach, so you’re also very close to Kata, with its many restaurants.
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Budget

Kasemsuk Guesthouse
With its fantastic location in a quiet neighborhood just a few minutes’ walk away from the beach, this family-run guesthouse is one of Karon’s most popular. The rooms are basic but clean and comfortable and include a tv, a safe, and a fridge. There are plenty of restaurants nearby, and the staff is absolutely lovely.
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Beach 4: For Party Lovers, Young Adults & Shoppers

Patong Beach

Patong Beach is a long stretch of while sand in Phuket, Thailand
Patong is Phuket’s most visited beach

No other beach in Phuket divides people’s opinions like Patong beach does. Those who love it will praise it for its beautiful white sandy beach, its many fantastic restaurants, lively nightlife, a multitude of shops and malls, cinemas, shows, and entertainment, its excellent selection of places to stay, and its many restaurants.

While those who dislike it will tell you about the seedy go-go bar nightlife, the overcrowded beach filled with noisy jet skis, parasailers, massage touts, and the tour groups that constantly parade through the beach in search of the perfect selfie. Patong is a well-oiled tourism machine, and if you’re looking to experience authentic Thailand, this isn’t the best place.

Some love it and come back year after year, while others swear they will never set foot there.

Personally, Patong is probably our least favorite beach in Phuket. We rarely go there except when we need to do some official business, like extending our visa.

Yet, it is perfectly possible to have a great time staying in Patong. There are some fantastic hotels here. And if you, like us, find Patong beach too busy, you can always head to one of the less-visited nearby beaches, like one of our favorite beaches in Phuket, the stunning Freedom Beach (less than a 10-minute drive away).

Stunning sunset in Patong Beach, Phuket, Thailand
Patong Beach gets peaceful in the evenings with lovely sunsets

Why Stay At Patong Beach

This is where tourism began on Phuket island, and it is still easy to see why the first visitors were drawn to this once laid-back fishing village back in the 1950s.

Today Patong is very popular with young adults that come here to party. The party usually lasts till the early hours in hundreds of go-go bars, strip- and dance clubs, discotheques, nightclubs, and cabaret shows. There is never a dull moment in Patong.

The beach is beautiful, and if you enjoy watersports like jet skis and parasailing and don’t mind the crowds, this is a fantastic beach for that.

It is, in many ways, the tourism center of Phuket. You can find everything here, from immigration and visa services to large shopping malls, a cinema complex, and more restaurants than the other beaches have combined.

Patong has several cozy markets selling delicious Thai street food
Lots of delicious street food in Patong

As for entertainment options, Patong can’t be topped; Thai Boxing, escape room, go-kart, bungee jumping, and jungle hiking on a canopy walkway are just some of the activities available.

Patong also has a wide variety of accommodations options for any budget, from the coolest boutique hotels to hideaway luxury hotels and hip hostels.

Read More: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly – A Travel Guide To Patong Beach, Phuket

Things To Do In Patong

  • Nightlife
    Most of the action centers around the infamous Bangla Walking Street. It’s a 400-meter-long street lined with clubs, bars, and restaurants on both sides.
  • Shopping
    Patong has two of Phuket’s largest shopping malls – Central Patong and Jungceylon. They are located opposite the road from each other. Here you find lots of international shops and eateries, including an Apple store, a five-screen cinema, a Starbucks, big supermarkets, and even a 16-lane bowling alley.
  • Banzaan Market
    A fresh food market with a food court on the top floor.
  • Night Markets
    Patong has two-night markets,  Malin Plaza Patong and OTOP Night Market.
  • Thai Boxing
    Patong has two Thai Boxing stadiums, the Patong Boxing Stadium and the Bangla Boxing Stadium. They usually arrange fights on alternating days so that you can catch a fight most days of the week.
  • Andamanda Phuket
    The island’s newest and largest entertainment park Andamanda is located between Patong and Phuket Town. This enormous Thai- themed waterpark opened in May 2022 and includes 12 slides and 36 activities, including a 550-meter lazy river ride and a 10,000-square-meter wave pool.
  • Jungle Canopy Walkway & Zipline
    A unique way to experience Phuket’s rainforest is ziplining among the treetops at Flying Hanuman.

What’s The Catch?

If you are looking for a quiet, family-friendly holiday, you will probably want to avoid Patong. It’s quite famous for its raunchy nightlife, and if you’re not really into the nightlife, then there are much better places to stay in Phuket.

The beach is Phuket’s busiest and sometimes gets very crowded, although less visited beaches are nearby.

The entrance to Bangla Walking Street, always packed with partying people in the evenings
Bangla Walking Street in Patong is where most of the action is

Where To Stay In Patong

Top End

Amari Phuket
The Amari lies at the foot of Patong Hill, with stunning views of the bay and the long white sandy beach. Location-wise, it strikes the perfect balance of being within easy walking distance of Patong center with all its restaurants and shopping yet far enough away from the noise.

The lovely infinity pool at Amari Phuket Hotel in Patong
We particularly lovely the swimming pool at Amari Phuket Hotel, with a fantastic view of the sea and Patong Beach

With modern, spacious, and comfortable rooms, a large infinity pool, and an excellent restaurant, it’s our top pick for Patong.
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BYD Loft Boutique Apartments Hotel
This apartment hotel offers luxurious, stylish, modern apartments in a central location in the middle of Patong’s attractions, with the beach a two-minute walk away. Both one- and two-bedroom apartments are available, all with fully equipped kitchens, a large flat screen tv, and a balcony.

We really enjoyed the rooftop swimming pool, and the tasty breakfast served in the hotel’s restaurant. And the beds were like heaven.
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Mid Range

Four Points by Sheraton Phuket
With a great location, steps away from Patong beach, this new 600+ -room resort (opened in 2020) has quickly become very popular.

Nicely designed and comfortable rooms include all the modern comforts such as air-conditioning, large screen tv, coffee maker, blackout curtains, and seriously comfy beds. There is a range of rooms to choose from, some with a balcony, direct pool access, or an ocean view.

There are two main pools, one of which is a long shaded pool perfect for swimming laps, while the large pool in front overlooks the beach and is fantastic for enjoying a drink and watching the sunset. The fitness center is spacious and well-equipped, and there is a kids’ club and playground for the children.

Situated at the quieter end of Patong beach, Patong center is a 10-15 minutes walk away. The hotel provides free bikes for rent.
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Burasari Phuket Resort & Spa
This resort has a central location within Patong center, just a few minutes walk from the beach and ten minutes from Bangla Street. But once you enter the hotel grounds, you are transported away to a lush tropical garden. Our room was mid-sized but comfortable with amenities such as free wifi, large screen tv, and a mini-bar.

There are several lovely pools around the property, but we found that sun loungers sometimes fill up. The breakfast buffet is excellent, and the staff is always kind and helpful.
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LIV Hotel Phuket Patong Beachfront
This boutique hotel has a great location just a few meters from Patong beach. The hotel is well maintained with cozy rooms with plenty of space, large comfortable beds, free wifi, flat-screen tv, air-con, and a balcony. Some rooms have patios with direct access to the swimming pool.
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Patong Heights
Patong Heights is located on a hill with stunning views of Patong bay. If you prefer smaller, more intimate hotels away from the hustle and bustle, then Patong Heights fits the bill perfectly. With its spacious, stylishly decorated rooms, friendly service, a large swimming pool, and excellent breakfast.

Patong beach is 10 minute walk away, or you can use the complimentary shuttle service to the center. You are also within walking distance (25 minutes) of our favorite beach in Patong, Freedom beach, which is spectacular and much quieter than Patong Beach!
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Deevana Patong Resort & Spa
With its green and lush grounds and two swimming pools, Deevana is a quiet little hideaway in the middle of busy Patong. Rooms range from mid-sized twin rooms to spacious junior suites, all with balconies. The beach is about a five minutes walk away, although the hotel also offers a shuttle service.
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Hotel Clover Patong

Budget

BearPacker Patong Hostel
This cozy backpacker hostel with clean, comfortable, air-conditioned dorm rooms and private rooms is just a couple minutes walk from Bangla street.  There is a small swimming pool on the roof with a fantastic view and a communal area for socializing.
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Beach 5: For Families, Budget Travelers & Long-Term Visitors

Kamala Beach

The bay of Kamala Beach in Phuket
The 2 km long Kamala Beach is fantastic

Kamala beach is the closest beach to Patong geographically, but you really can’t tell. Unlike Patong, it’s still a fairly chilled-out beach very popular with long-term vacationers, families, and young couples.

Kamala is probably the beach village that has best retained its Thai village charm and its local roots. Restaurants see just as many locals as tourists, and it’s still possible to have a beer and a cheap meal at a beach bar.

Kamala Beach is lined with small cozy restaurants serving sea food
Kamala Beach is lined with cozy restaurants, and one of very few Phuket beaches with no road parallel to the beach

The long half-moon-shaped bay is lovely, stretching out for about 2 km of white soft sand lined with palms and casuarinas. A small gravel road (may it never be further developed) runs along the beach lined with local seafood restaurants, bungalows, and shops.

But things are changing, and new resorts have recently been built at the once undeveloped northern end of the bay, including the MontAzure, InterContinental, and Novotel resorts. It remains to be seen how this will impact Kamala in the long run.

Kamala Beach is popular for weddings
Kamala Beach is popular for weddings photos

Why Stay At Kamala Beach

With accommodation options for any budget and a beautiful 2km stretch of beach, Kamala remains a favorite with those staying long term, families, and young couples that prefer a nightlife more suited to a pleasant evening out rather than an all-out party.

While the beach sees its fair share of jetskis and the occasional banana boat, its overall vibe is still that of a relaxed and laid-back beach. The water is well suited for swimming with small waves, making it a good choice for families with children.

Things To Do In Kamala

  • Kamala Market
    Visit the Kamala Friday market for some delicious Thai snacks, street food, and light souvenir shopping.
  • Water activities
    Stand-up Paddling, Windsurfing, and snorkeling are all popular activities here.
  • FantaSea
    FantaSea is a sort of Vegas-style theme park located east of Hat Kamala.

What’s The Catch?

Kamala is changing, but, at least for now, it still retains much of its Thai village charms.

Where To Stay In Kamala

Top End

Keemala
Keemala is one of those once-in-a-lifetime hotels perfect for a special occasion. Set back among green lush jungle-clad hills sit ultra-luxurious private cottages with spectacular views overlooking Kamala Bay. The cottages are uniquely designed and decorated in a very cool oriental style that mirrors its surroundings with dark wood, stone, and clay materials.

Every cottage has a private pool, a large terrace seating area, and every-conceivable comfort, from the complimentary minibar to the large flat-screen tv. The service is world-class. The hotel has a spa, wellness center, and an excellent restaurant. Keemala is very expensive but also very unique.
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InterContinental Phuket Resort
This beautifully designed international luxury hotel is one of the newest additions to the once undeveloped northern end of Kamala Beach.

Rooms are modern and spacious, with a light and airy feel thanks partly to the large floor-to-ceiling windows. All rooms have a seating area with a sofa, large screen tv, a minibar, and a balcony. The gorgeous bathroom has a deep relaxing bathtub and body care products from Thailand’s own luxurious Harnn brand. Some rooms come with direct pool access, and one-bedroom Pool Villas are also available.

The rooms are set back from the beach, but there is direct beach access from the hotel’s main pool and beach bar. Amongst the hotel grounds, there are four pools, an excellent kids club with lots of toys and activities, a tennis court, a first-class gym, and no less than four restaurants. Give the Japanese restaurant Tengoku a go, or head down to the Pine bar at the beach, which serves excellent pizzas and puts on a great fire show in the evening. 

Be aware that the area is kind of hilly, so it’s not great for those with a stroller or a wheelchair. Also, walking into the center of Kamala takes about 20 minutes, and we recommend following the beach rather than the busy main road.
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Mid Range

Cape Sienna Gourmet Hotel & Villas
With spectacular views overlooking the bay from its location in the southern hills, Cape Sienna is really a top-end hotel that is often available at a great mid-range price. Various rooms are available, from studio apartments to suites with a private pool, but all rooms share the same fantastic views.

We stayed in a studio room. The design was kind of minimalistic but modern, light, and airy, with touches of colors that made us think of the Mediterranean. There was plenty of space for us and all our luggage. We particularly loved the balcony with an amazing sea view.

Our fabulous room at Cape Sienna Hotel in Kamala, Phuket
Loved our spacious room at Cape Sienna with a balcony with a fantastic sea view

Our favorite part of our stay was spending a few hours relaxing by the pool and enjoying the view overlooking Kamala Bay. We only stayed for one night and ate dinner in Kamala town, so we didn’t get a chance to try the hotel restaurant. Except for breakfast, which was excellent and served in front of the pool.

The swimming pool at Cape Sienna hotel in Kamala is awesome
Cape Sienna‘s pool is one of the best in Phuket if you ask us

There is plenty to keep you busy, with three restaurants, a tennis court, a fitness center, and an infinity pool. It’s a quiet area, but there is a 7/11 store a few minutes walk down the street. For more options, you need to head to the beach. The hotel offers a free shuttle service, but we decided to walk, which took us about 15 minutes.
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Kamala Beach Resort
Kamala Beach Resort is a family-friendly resort right on the beach. The rooms won’t win any design awards, but they are spacious and comfortable, with wooden floors, a balcony, and a large flat-screen tv.

There are no less than four pools spread through the well-kept garden, along with restaurants, several bars, and a well-equipped fitness center. The main pool is right in front of the beach and is enormous.

There is a mini-mart on the first floor, and Kamala village is about a 10-minute walk away.
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Budget

Kamala Resotel
A  budget boutique hotel with fresh, clean, and spacious rooms. There is a fantastic rooftop pool, perfect for a sunset swim. Breakfast is tasty, and the location is great, with the beach a five-minute walk away. A great budget choice!
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Wabi Sabi Boutique Hotel
Wabi Sabi is a small boutique hotel set in a quiet neighborhood perfect for a good night’s sleep yet within easy walking distance of Kamala Beach (a 3-minute walk) and the town center. We only had one night here but could easily see ourselves staying much longer.

The rooms are large, modern, and airy, with floor-to-ceiling windows and a large balcony. All rooms have free Wi-Fi, flat-screen tv, refrigerator, and coffee/tea-making facilities. The staff is lovely and speaks English well. Breakfast is surprisingly good. Add to that a nice mid-sized swimming pool, and we think this is excellent value for the money.
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Another good budget hotel in Kamala is  At Kamala Hotel

Beach 6:  For A Less Visited Beach Yet Close To Sights

Nai Harn Beach

Lovely Nai Harn Bach, Phuket, Thailand
The white sandy beach of Nai Harn is one of Phuket’s most beautiful beaches.

Nai Harn Beach is located on the southwest coast of Phuket, and while it isn’t among Phuket’s most famous beaches, it is widely considered one of the most beautiful. Although less visited than many of the more famous beaches in southern Phuket, its popularity has grown over recent years, and afternoons can get pretty busy.

Nai Harn is a very picturesque beach, sheltered inside a cove, its white sand and clear turquoise water flanked with green jungle-clad hills on either side. The beach isn’t among Phuket’s largest, but the sand is white and soft, and conditions are well-suited for swimming most of the year.

On the hillside to the north, with spectacular views, lay Nai Harn’s only on-the-beach hotel, five-star The Nai Harn (formerly The Royal Phuket Yacht Club), and its restaurant Rock Salt. The sea directly in front of the hotel is a popular surf spot.

Maria enjoying the spectacular view from The Nai Harn Hotel, Phuket
Maria enjoying the spectacular view from The Nai Harn Hotel – a fantastic hotel!

There are some local restaurants along the beach where you can grab a meal or a drink. And some volleyball nets if you fancy a quick game.

Further inland, beyond the lake, about a 15-minute walk from the beach, is a small town center where much of the accommodation is. Continue onwards, and you will reach Nai Harn town itself, where you can find just about anything you need.

Why Stay At Nai Harn Beach

This area is popular with ex-pats and visitors who prefer to be away from Phuket’s touristy hot spots and don’t mind the slow pace and lack of exciting nightlife.

Things To Do In Nai Harn

  • Promthep Cape
    Phuket’s favorite spot for watching the sunset. There is a lighthouse with a nice view from the top and a display of vintage equipment. Outside is an elephant shrine dedicated to Lord Brahma with thousands of carved wooden elephants. It gets hectic in the afternoon when the tour buses arrive in time for sunset.
  • Samnak Song monastery
    The monastery owns much of the land around here, and is probably why the area has seen modest development. Dress conservatory when visiting.
  • Nai Harn Lake
    Set back from the beach, Nai Harn Lake is an inland lagoon where you can paddle around on a swan-shaped boat or have a picnic and watch the locals fish. The lakeside is a popular spot for an afternoon run.
  • Ya Nui Beach
    A small, less-visited beach to the north of Nai Harn.
  • Surf
    Nai Harn has two surf spots, the reef break in front of the Nai Harn Hotel and a long sandbank at the southern end.
  • Ao Sane Beach
    A small 200 m beach with palm trees, plenty of local charm, and some budget bungalows for rent. It’s a lovely beach for snorkeling.
  • Windmill Viewpoint
    Also known as “the secret viewpoint” (really not much of a secret, to be honest), the Windmill Viewpoint has fantastic views overlooking Nai Harn and Ya Nui Beach.
Lovely view from Windmill Viewpoint, Phuket, Thailand
Maria taking photos of the view of Ya Nui Beach at Windmill Viewpoint

What’s The Catch

There aren’t many places to stay close to Nai Harn beach, and the hotels here are at the upper end of the price range. Budget travelers will find better and cheaper options around the nearby Ao Sane Beach or Ya Nui beach. Or stay further inland, between Nai Harn and Rawai, away from the beach.

This area is quite hilly, and the sights are fairly far apart, so renting a motorcycle is a popular way to get around the area.

The drive to Phuket Airport can take quite a while (about 1 hour one way).

Pristine Nai Harn Beach, Phuket, Thailand
Easy to find a spot at Nai Harn Beach

Where To Stay In Nai Harn

Top End

The Nai Harn
The 5-star Nai Harn Hotel (although sometimes available at a surprisingly reasonable rate) is in the enviable position of being the only hotel located right by Nai Harn beach. The resort has spectacular views of Nai Harn bay from its slightly elevated place up the northern hill.

Amazing swimming pool at The Nai Harn Hotel in Phuket
We particularly loved the swimming pool at The Nai Harn Hotel. Check this view!

Rooms are large and comfortable with all the usual top-end amenities like large flat screen tv, tea/coffee making facilities, and an en suite bathroom with a shower and a bathtub. The ocean-view rooms are worth the upgrade for the balcony with an outdoor seating area and stunning views overlooking the beach and the bay. The pool area is lovely, and the international restaurant serves some tasty but slightly pricy dishes. We had some burgers there, which were top-notch. The breakfast buffet is also fantastic!
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Mid Range

The Gallery Hotel Nai Harn
This new hotel just opened in a great location at the edge of Nai Harn Lake. The rooms are modern, fresh, stylishly decorated, really spacious, and have a balcony. There are two swimming pools and a small but well-equipped gym.

This is a quiet area, yet you’re less than five minutes away from plenty of restaurants, and you can walk to Nai Harn beach in about ten minutes. The hotel also conveniently has a mini-mart on the premises. This is our top pick for the best mid-range accommodation in Nai Harn.
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Sunsuri Phuket
A large family-friendly resort located within easy walking distance of Nai Harn beach. The resort sits on a hill, so although golf buggies are available, it’s best suited for those who don’t mind some stairs.

The pool area is lovely and relaxing, and the pool itself is huge, complete with a water slide and a kid’s pool. Rooms come in various sizes, from twin rooms to villas with a private pool. This is a good choice for families with children who will love the kids club and playground.
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Wyndham Grand Nai Harn Beach
Maria’s brother and his family stayed here for a week at the start of 2022, and loved it!

It is a new hotel, and parts of it were still under construction at the time. The room was spacious, modern, and beautifully designed, with a large balcony and an outdoor bathtub. They were very impressed with the hotel’s elegantly landscaped grounds built around an enormous swimming pool. The family’s youngest member, who was just a year old at the time, enjoyed it too! 🙂

Nai Harn beach is about a 10-minute walk from the hotel.
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Budget

Naiharn Beach Resort
A short 10-minute walk inland from the beach lies Naiharn Beach Resort. While it lacks ocean views, the rooms are clean and comfy, with good beds, fast, free wi-fi, air-con, and a mini-fridge. The staff is lovely and accommodating in offering suggestions, booking transportation, and arranging tours.

The neighborhood is quiet, close to Nai Harn Lake, with some good local restaurants nearby. There is a mid-sized pool with sun loungers and a billiard room. This hotel is good value for the money.
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City: For Cultural Travelers & Foodies

Phuket Old Town

The Sunday Market in the Old Phuket Town is our favorite market in Phuket
The Sunday Market in Phuket is fantastic

Not many people base themselves in Phuket Town since it is so far away from the beaches that drew most of us here in the first place. Many will just visit Phuket Town on a day trip, but there are many reasons why we think you should seriously consider staying for at least a night or two in the city.

Phuket Town and specifically the old part of town, has seen a real revival in recent years. Many of the once run-down mansions and shophouses have been restored and are now boutique hotels, museums, art galleries, and restaurants.

And thankfully, it’s all been done fairly tastefully with not a Burger King or Starbucks in sight.

Why Stay In Phuket Old Town

Phuket’s Old Town is charming with well-preserved Chinese shophouses, interesting museums, cozy coffee shops, artist’s galleries, fantastic night markets, and some of Phuket’s absolute best food.

It’s also a fun place to go shopping with lots of small designer shops selling locally produced clothes and handmade crafts. It’s a different world from the touristy souvenirs that you typically find at the beach shops elsewhere in Phuket.

Soi Romanee in Phuket Town
Beautiful old shophouses in Old Town Phuket

Once the tour busses leave and the day-trippers go home, the town really comes alive. Restaurants, many of which have been here for generations, swing open their doors and serve up authentic old-style Thai food, unlike anything you will find at the beach restaurants.

And every Sunday evening, the main road, Thanon Thalang, closes off for traffic, and one of the best night markets we have ever been to appears. It transforms the road into a colorful spectacle of stalls and street performers, mixing with the mouth-watering scent from a hundred simmering pots. Such a cool experience!

There are also some really cool boutique hotels here, and the prices are very reasonable compared with the more expensive beach hotels. If you don’t want to stay in Phuket Town, you should definitely head here on a day trip. We always spend a couple of days in Phuket Old Town when we visit Phuket.

Read More: Phuket Town Travel Guide – The Best Sights, Restaurants & Hotels

Things To Do In Phuket Town

  • Soi Romance Alley
    A row of colorful old Chinese shophouses in what was once the city’s brothel district.
  • Art Galleries
    Phuket’s Old Town is packed with galleries and artists’ studios.
  • Night and Weekend Markets
    The Sunday night market is a must, but the Chillva market and Indy Market, and the large weekend market are also worth visiting.
  • Chinapratcha House
    One of the best-preserved old Sino-Portuguese mansions from Phuket’s glory days.
  • Phuket Tai Hua Museum
    This is our favorite museum in Phuket. The two-story Sino-Portuguese mansion is stunning, and the exhibitions tell the fascinating story of Phuket town and the Chinese that emigrated here.
  • Fantastic restaurants
    Blue Elephant, One Chun, Raya, Tu Kab Khao, are just a few of our favorite restaurants. See our complete Phuket Old Town guide for more restaurant recommendations.
  • Cozy coffee shops
    There are lots of cool coffee shops in old town, like Bookhemian (part book store, part coffee shop), the classic China Inn Cafe, or the coffee baristas at Shelter House.
  • Aquaria Phuket & 4D Trick Eye Museum
    Aquaria Phuket is Thailand’s biggest aquarium. It is connected with the fun 4D Trick Eye Museum.

What’s The Catch?

Not much, except that it is too far from the beaches for most beach lovers to stay here long term. The closest beach is Patong beach, about a 25-minute drive away.

Where To Stay In Phuket Town

Courtyard by Marriott Phuket Town
Courtyard by Marriott is our favorite hotel in Phuket town! It is a newly refreshed and renovated hotel within easy walking distance of the old town’s sights. And what a great job they have done!

Our fabulous and fresh room at Courtyard by Marriott in Phuket
Our fresh and colonial-style room at Courtyard by Marriott was so comfortable! Could have stayed there forever.

The hotel looks brand new, with elegant, comfortable rooms that give you a sense of luxury at an affordable price. We loved relaxing at one of the comfortable lounge beds in the rooftop swimming pool area after a day of sightseeing.

We loved the swimming pool at Courtyard by Marriott in Phuket
We loved relaxing by the pool at Courtyard by Marriott in between sightseeing Phuket town. Super comfortable lounge beds!

Breakfast was also first class, with plenty of options, including some unique Phuket town specialties. I highly recommend the Moo Hong omelet and the curry crab eggs benedict (I had to order two as they were delicious!).  We liked this hotel so much that we extended our stay a few extra days.
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The Memory At ON ON Hotel
First made famous in the movie “The Beach” when it stood in for the run-down Bangkok hostel that Leonardo De Caprio’s character stayed at. Since then, it’s been completely renovated, and today, this classic Sino-Portuguese mansion is a fantastically charming boutique hotel.

The beautiful lobby at The Memory At On On Hotel

Its roots go back as far as 1927, and it was Phuket Towns’ first hotel. You can still stay in “The Beach” room, but it is much more comfortable now. The location is perfect, right in the center of Old Town Phuket.
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Casa Blanca Boutique Hotel
Another beautifully restored boutique hotel. The rooms have a light, fresh design, hardwood floors, comfortable beds, and a relaxing sofa. We stayed in a standard room, but the slightly more expensive deluxe rooms have a balcony.

Standard room at Casa Blanca Hotel Phuket Town
Our cozy room at the Casa Blanca Hotel

There is a small swimming pool on the rooftop, and the cafe downstairs serves up some delicious cakes. Old town’s sights are just around the corner from the hotel. Highly recommended and we loved our stay here!
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Beach 7: For Luxury Travelers

Surin Beach

The luxury Surin Beach, Phuket, Thailand
Surin Beach is one of the finest in Phuket

Surin beach is beautiful, with a wide stretch of soft golden sand transitioning into the pale turquoise water. This is Phuket’s high-end beach paradise, where you may spot a celebrity walking along the beach if you’re lucky.

Some stalls sell food and drinks at the beach’s northern end, and the local Patcharin seafood restaurant is at the southern end. Otherwise, there isn’t a lot of activity on the beach.

The resorts around here are almost exclusively top-end, and many of the estates and condos in this area are owned by some of the world’s wealthiest people.

Surin has a small town center with some restaurants, art galleries, and some fabulous boutiques and shops, but there’s not much going on after dark.

Surin Beach transitions into Pansea Beach at the northern tip, a sheltered cove of beautiful white sand. There used to be a walking trail leading you down to Pansea Beach, but it had been fenced off when we last visited in 2019.

While Pansea Beach is technically open to the public (private ownership of beaches is not allowed in Thailand), it has practically become the private beach for two luxurious world-famous resorts – the Amanpuri and The Surin Phuket.

Surin Beach in Phuket, Thailand
Not many beach hotels at Surin Beach

Why Stay At Surin Beach

Surin beach is best suited for those with a healthy budget looking to stay in a top-end resort in a quiet, upscale neighborhood with a beautiful beach to relax on.

You can also go to nearby Laem Sing Beach by boat from here. Laem Sing Beach doesn’t have road access and is considered one of Phuket’s last “secret” beaches.

Things To Do In Surin

  • Sunbathe
    It’s a great beach to relax and catch some rays.
  • Surfing
    The beach is popular for surfing in the monsoon season, June to October/ November.
  • Snorkeling
    The beach’s northern end is pretty good for snorkeling, especially from November to March when the water is at its clearest.

What’s The Catch?

Surin gets very quiet in the evenings and doesn’t really have a nightlife worth talking about. It also lacks any major attractions, and with few exceptions, most of the resorts are expensive.

Where To Stay In Surin

Top-End

Amanpuri
Amanpuri is the playground of movie stars and celebrities that can afford its minimum thousand-dollar-a-night bungalows. Widely recognized as among Phuket’s finest hotels, Amanpuri offers luxurious elegance in peaceful surroundings on the secluded Pansea beach, one of Phuket’s finest beaches.

Here you can get your own classicly decorated bungalow with a private pool and fantastic ocean views. Amanapuri is hard to beat if you’re looking for that peaceful paradise experience and have the budget for it.
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The Surin Phuket
The Surin Phuket shares the exclusive Pansea Beach with the Amanapuri. Of the two resorts, the Surin is usually the (slightly) more affordable and is a great choice for a special occasion like a honeymoon.

On the hillside, among tall coconut palms, lay luxurious cottages interconnected by wooden walkways. The smaller cottages are perfect for couples, while the larger two-bedroom cottages have room for four people. In addition, there are two swimming pools, a fitness center, and a tennis court. It’s a fantastic place to escape the outside world and enjoy a few days of pampering in blissfully peaceful surroundings.
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Mid Range

Palmyrah Surin Beach Residence
This is a welcome and recent (opened in 2020) addition to Surin’s few mid-range hotels. Spacious and nicely-designed double and twin rooms with a large balcony, a seating area, and a kitchenette make this a great deal. There is a rooftop swimming pool and a fitness room. The location is very convenient, with restaurants and shops close by; best of all, Surin beach is only five minutes walk away.
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The Park Surin Serviced Apartments 
While there aren’t many mid-range options in Surin, this apartment hotel is an excellent exception. Offering large, clean apartments complete with a private kitchen, balcony, and amenities such as air-con, free wifi, and flat-screen tv.

In addition, there is a swimming pool and a small but decently equipped gym. The hotel’s location is between Surin and Bang Tao beach, and you can walk to both beaches in about 10-15 minutes.
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Beach 9: For Undisturbed Beach Paradise

Northwest Coast – Nai Thon, Nai Yang, Mai Khao

The stunning Mai Khao Beach Sirinat National Park Phuket Thailand
The peaceful Hat Mai Khao Beach, part of the Sirinat National Park

Along Phuket’s northwest coast lies Nai Thon Beach, Nai Yang Beach, and Phuket’s longest beach Mai Khao Beach (11 km in length), which together make up the Sirinat National Park.

Nai Thon Beach houses maybe our favorite Phuket hotel – Pullman Phuket Arcadia.

Since the area is a national park, it is less developed than most Phuket and has more than 22km of white sandy shoreline.

You can walk for hours along the beaches here and just come across locals relaxing beneath a palm tree or enjoying a swim. However, we’re still in Phuket, and while they may be better hidden, quite a few resorts are dotted around the area.

Why Stay In Here

The northwest coast of Phuket is best suited for those looking for tranquility, miles of large open spaces, and don’t mind being away from most nightlife, shopping, and entertainment.

It is also very close to the airport, making it a good choice if you have an early flight and want to avoid the long transport from the island’s south end. In addition, there are some genuinely excellent resorts here.

Things To Do

  • Kitesurfing
    Nai Yang is very popular for kitesurfing due to its quiet shallow water. The best season is May to October.
  • Snorkeling
    Nai Yang is also pretty good for snorkeling during the high season, November to March.
  • Horse riding
    Horse riding along the long beach is a popular activity.

What’s The Catch?

There’s not a great deal to do besides enjoy the beach and the hotel facilities. Phuket Town and larger city centers such as Patong are quite far away.

There is quite a bit of rubbish and trash brought in by the tide in beach areas where hotels don’t tidy up. If you decide to visit on a day trip, be aware that you will need to buy an entrance ticket as this is a National Park. There isn’t a lot of budget accommodation close to the beach.

Nai Thon Beach

Starting in the south and moving north, the first beach is Hat Nai Thon, a lovely 1 km stretch of golden palm-lined sand. It’s one of the lesser-known Phuket beaches, so even during the high season, it rarely feels crowded.

The pristine Nai Thon Beach, Phuket is awesome
The pristine Nai Thon Beach is probably our favorite beach in Phuket

The beach is lined with beautiful tall palm trees that separate it from the main road and the village beyond. The village is relatively small but has everything you need, including several restaurants, convenience stores, pharmacies, and a few hotels.  It doesn’t have much nightlife, but if you’re looking for that relaxing island vibe next to a beautiful beach, then Nai Thon is perfect for that. The beach is also blissfully free of sunbeds and watersports.

Fantastic Nai Thon Beach is one of our favorite beaches in Phuket
There are only two hotels at Nai Thon beach, so it never gets crowded, even in the peak season (December & January)

Nearby you’ll also find the beautiful Banana beach, although it’s not easily accessible and requires some climbing to get to from the main road.

Where to Stay in Nai Thon

Pullman Phuket Arcadia Naithon Beach
If I had to choose just one, I would have to say that The Pullman Phuket Arcadia is probably our favorite Phuket hotel.

Spectacularly perched on the cliffs at the northern end of Nai Thon beach, the Pullman has it all! There are stunning views, friendly staff, lovely spacious, well-furnished rooms, and an elegant infinity pool that seemingly defies gravity and reaches out across the ocean.

Pullman Arcadia Hotel Phuket has one of Phuket's best swimming pools
Pullman Arcadia Hotel is probably our favorite Phuket Hotel. We simply L-O-V-E the hotel pools (they actually have two!)
Maria enjoying the spectacular views at Pullman Phuket Arcadia
Maria admiring the spectacular beach and sea view from the pool at Pullman Arcadia

We stayed here for over a week at the start of 2022 and loved it! We were lucky enough to be upgraded to a deluxe room, which was almost like having our private bungalow with a large balcony overlooking the green garden. All rooms are soundproofed and include a large flat-screen tv, a large bathroom with a bathtub, a balcony, and a mini-bar with complimentary soft drinks and snacks. Some rooms have a sea view, and one-bedroom pool villas are available.

Our stunning room at Pullman Phuket Arcadia
Our beautiful room at Pullman Arcadia

In addition to the spectacular infinity pool, there is another beautiful swimming pool a little further up the hill. This quickly became our favorite, and some days we had it almost to ourselves.

There is also an excellent fitness center, spa, kids club, and playground.  The breakfast buffet has a lot of options, and the food was excellent. On our last night, we treated ourselves to a pizza at Vero Trattoria, and the pizza and the terrace’s sunset view were equally fantastic.

Having delicious italian dinner at Pullman Phuket Arcadia
We had Italian pizza at the hotel restaurant, which was delicious!

The beautiful Nai Thon beach is just a stone’s throw away.  This is an excellent choice for a relaxing holiday away from the crowds, and the airport is just a 10-minute drive away.
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Nai Yang Beach

The easiest accessible of the northwest beaches, Nai Yang, is a beautiful half-moon-shaped bay with shallow, still water. It is popular with kite surfers, and watching the kiters do their thing is great fun.

Naiyang beach is one of the longest and most laid-back beaches in Phuket
Nai Yang is a peaceful and fantastic beach

It’s also a good beach for snorkeling from November to April, when the sea is calm.

Kite surfing at Nai Yang Beach, Phuket, Thailand
Nai Yang is popular among kitesurfers

It is also the most developed beach in this area of Phuket. Here you can find shops, mini-marts, ATMs, motorcycle rentals, and almost everything else you may need.

There are lots of restaurants, many of them lining the long beach. In the evening, you can watch the sunset from a beachside table while enjoying fresh seafood straight from the barbecue.

Cozy beach restaurants at Naiyang Beach in Phuket
We had dinner at this cute beach restaurants at Nai Yang
Stunning sunset at Nai yang Beach, Phuket
Maria walking in the sunset at Nai Yang Beach

Where To Stay in Nai Yang

Phuket Marriott Resort and Spa
The Mariott sits at the quiet southern end of Nai Yarn beach, and you can easily spend lazy days lounging by the large lagoon-like pool that winds its way through this peaceful, elegant resort. The rooms are great, large, and modern, with either a balcony or a terrace with sun loungers and direct pool access. The pool is huge with lots of sunbeds, we never had a problem finding available sunbeds.

The only negative we discovered was that the beach at this end of the bay isn’t particularly great for swimming at low tide. We loved the restaurant and bar, the food was delicious (fantastic ice cream!). Loved the bonfire on the beach each evening, where we could roast marshmallows.
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The Slate
A unique high-end resort with decor and design inspired by Phuket’s tin mining history. The property is vast; there are no less than five restaurants, three swimming pools (two of which are adult-only), a lovely spa, and an excellent fitness center offering  Yoga, Muay Thai,  and pilates classes. There is plenty of activities for kids as well. The beach is right outside, and this area has quite a few restaurants.
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Kokotel Phuket Nai Yang Beach
We stayed here for a few days in 2022 and found it a surprisingly good value for the price. The rooms are quite spacious, clean, light, modern, and comfortable.

Our lovely room at Koko Hotel Phuket
Koko Hotel is fresh and new, and we slept like babies in the comfortable beds!

Maria’s brother sprung for a pool access room, which was not worth it since it turned out to be just a narrow water passage on the ground floor. The rooftop pool is much better, it spans the entire length of the hotel and has plenty of sunbeds.

Fantastic rooftop swimming pool at Koko Hotel Phuket
We loved the rooftop pool at Koko Hotel

Free hot and cold water dispensers are available on every floor, which we found very convenient. Breakfast was okay but lacked variety.  So some days, we had breakfast at one of the beachside restaurants instead.  You can walk to the beach in about five minutes.
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Pensiri House
The best budget option in Nai Yarn, Pensiri House, offers clean and comfortable rooms just a five-minute walk from the beach. All rooms have air-con, free wifi, hot water, and cable tv. The rooms in the new block are the nicest, modern, light, and airy, with a balcony.
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Mai Khao Beach

Mai Khao is Phuket’s longest beach and one of the least developed. It makes up a large part of the Sirinat National Park, which was established to preserve the natural habitat of the sea turtles that lay their eggs on this beach. Sadly, due to development and egg poachers, it has been years since they spotted the last turtle eggs here.

The airport planes take off from the southern end of Mai Khao, and the beach has become Instagram famous for shots of the planes flying over the beach at low altitudes.

From the airport, Mai Khao beach stretches northwards as far as the eye can see, and finding a secluded spot to lay down your towel here is no problem at all.

Mai Khao Beach is popular for taking photos of the airplanes
Mai Khao Beach is popular for taking those cool Instagram shots of planes. Here Maria “almost” gets hit by a plane. 🙂

Here To Stay at Mai Khao Beach

Renaissance Phuket Resort & Spa
With its location along the seemingly endless Mai Kao beach, Renaissance Phuket offers tranquility in luxurious surroundings with modern architecture and stylish interiors. The rooms are large and airy, with floor-to-ceiling windows that let the light and nature in. The pool villas have a private pool, or you can use the resort’s two large swimming pools.

The beach here is clean and well-maintained. The breakfast buffet is excellent, and there are five restaurants to choose from. There is a spa and an excellent fitness center where you can take yoga, Pilates, and Thai boxing classes.
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Beach 10: For Long-Term Visitors & Escaping The Crowds

Rawai Beach

Rawai beach is not the best for swimming
Rawai beach is not the best for swimming, here you can go on boat trips

Rawai is at the southern end of Phuket and is a sleepy (by Phuket standards) local town, a favorite with ex-pats, long-term visitors, and those preferring to be away from Phuket’s more touristy areas.

Rawai beach itself is far from Phuket’s loveliest and isn’t well suited for swimming. There’s quite a bit of litter around, the water is not the clearest, and the beach is busy with fishing boats and longboats coming and going. But it is a hub for trips to the local Coral islands, and you can easily charter a longboat to take you on a day trip or join one of the many island tours.

If you have a car or motorbike, Laem Ka beach, a lovely small little visited beach, and the very popular Nai Harn Beach are about a five-minute drive away.

Why Stay At Rawai Beach

What draws people to Rawai is the local town vibe, more affordable hotels, and the excellent local seafood restaurants serving delicious dishes for a much lower price than you’ll find at the more popular beach areas of Phuket.

The area is also popular with long-term visitors who come to study Muay Thai Fighting, immerse themselves in other cultural arts, learn the language, etc.

Rawai has a good choice of accommodations, from budget guesthouses to five-star resorts. You can also rent a condo if you plan on staying long-term.

Things To Do In Rawai

  • Promthep Cape
    Phuket’s favorite sunset spot, complete with a lighthouse.
  • Study Muay Thai
    There are many options for training Thai boxing in Rawai and nearby Nai Harn.
  • Explore the local beaches
    Just a five-minute drive away is the beautiful Nai Harn Beach. There are also smaller and less visited beaches nearby, such as Laem Ka Beach and Ya Nui Beach.
  • Windmill Viewpoint
    A small viewpoint with great views overlooking Ya Nui beach.
  • Island Tour
    Take an island tour and find your own beach on one of the many nearby islands. Popular tours include Coral Island, Racha Island, Khai Island, and Buddha Island/ Ko Kaew.
sea food restaurants along the sea front in Rawai, Phuket
Small restaurants along the seafront in Rawai

What’s The Catch

Rawai isn’t the place to come for nightlife, shopping, and entertainment. And while Rawai beach is home to some excellent local seafood restaurants, it isn’t suitable for swimming and sunbathing.

Where To Stay In Rawai

Top End

The Vijitt Resort
The Vijitt Resort is arguably Rawai’s coolest boutique hotel, with elegant seaside cottages spread across its immaculate green grassy grounds. Located right next to Friendship Beach, the view from the large infinity pool is spectacular. The villas are spacious and luxurious, with floor-to-ceiling windows, including wifi, air-con, a mini bar, and flat-screen tv.

Deluxe villas have outdoor showers, large bathtubs, and private balconies with sea views. There is a spa and a fitness center. The beach is not suited for swimming, but the hotel provides shuttle buses to nearby beaches.
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Mid Range

Royal Thai Villa Phuket
If you’re sick of modern resorts and prefer a more authentic Thai vibe, then the Royal Thai Villa will not disappoint. With beautiful wood villas designed and furnished in elegant classic Thai style, but with all modern comforts. The swimming pool is lovely with a fantastic sea view. You’re a little off the beaten path here, so be prepared to use a taxi or rent a motorbike to get around.
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Rawai Palm Beach Resort
With spacious, well-decorated rooms and no less than three pools (including a kid’s pool and playground), Rawai Palm Beach is a large family-friendly resort that offers good value for the money. The more expensive rooms have direct pool access and a large bathtub.

The main swimming pool is enormous and has a swim-up bar. The fitness center is well-equipped, and there are plenty of local restaurants within easy walking distance.
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Stay Wellbeing & Lifestyle Resort
This resort is a little different with its focus on well-being and lifestyle. Several beautiful pools and a lavish spa department complete with a Japanese-style Onsen / hot bath. The three-story fitness center is one of Phuket’s best gyms and offers Muay Thai and Yoga.

Rooms are spacious, light, and airy and have a balcony with a seating area (some have direct access to the swimming pool). The in-house Fresca Kitchen & Deli restaurant has an island-wide reputation for its excellent food, and the monthly Sunday brunch event often sells out.
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Budget

Ya Nui Resort
With well-sized comfortable rooms with balconies tucked back from the main street and close to Ya Nui beach (a 10-minute walk), this budget hotel is deservedly popular with short-term and long-term visitors. The restaurant serves up some tasty food and has a lovely swimming pool.
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Quick Summary – The 10 Best Places To Stay At Phuket

1. Kata Beach
Great place to stay for families who want to have plenty of activities available and a beautiful beach that isn’t too crowded. Also popular with couples who enjoy the trendy nightlife. A popular beach for surfing in the off-season (June – September).
Read more about Kata
Click here for our recommended Kata hotels

2. Bang Tao Beach
Best for beach lovers on a healthy budget with its upscale accommodation and miles of untouched beach.
Read more about Bang Tao
Click here for our recommended Bang Tao hotels

3. Karon Beach
A mix between Kata and Patong, with lots of bars and restaurants and Phuket’s second-largest beach.  Plenty of mid-range and budget accommodation.
Read more about Karon
Click here for our recommended Karon hotels

4. Patong Beach
Patong is best for party lovers, shoppers, and thrill-seekers with its vibrant nightlife, shopping, restaurants, entertainment, activities, and tours.
Read more about Patong
Click here for our recommended Patong hotels

5. Kamala Beach
Best for families, budget travelers, and long-term visitors who value the relaxed local Thai village vibe of Kamala Village and the beautiful beach.
Read more about Kamala
Click here for recommended Kamala hotels

6. Nai Harn Beach
Among south Phuket’s most scenic beaches, yet also one of the least crowded. Great surf beach and snorkeling is also excellent.
Read more about Nai Harn
Click here for recommended Nai Harn hotels

7. Phuket Old Town
Best for cultural travelers and foodies looking for beautiful architecture, museums, vibrant night markets, cozy cafes, boutique hotels, cool shops, and Phuket’s best Thai restaurants. Not great for beach lovers.
Read more about Phuket Old Town
Click here for recommended Phuket Old Town hotels

8. Surin Beach
Best beach for luxury, with some of the world’s best resorts in an upscale neighborhood that attracts celebrities from all over the world.
Read more about Surin
Click here for recommended Surin hotels

9. Sirinat National Park/ Mai Khao, Nai Yang & Nai Thon Beach
For those looking to discover their own tropical paradise among miles of undisturbed beaches and, for the most part, upscale resorts. Also popular with kitesurfers and those who need to be close to the airport.
Read more about Sirinat
Click here for recommended Sirinat hotels

10. Rawai Beach
It is best for those who want to avoid the tourist crowds and have their own transportation to the nicer beaches. Also popular among long-term visitors who come to study Muay Thai and seafood lovers for the affordable seafood restaurants.
Read more about Rawai
Click here for recommended Rawai hotels


There you go, all our favorite beaches and hotels in Phuket. Hopefully, you now know a bit more about the island, and deciding where to stay in Phuket has become a little easier.

We intend to add more hotels and info to this guide, so please let us know if you have any suggestions or tips!

Have a great trip to Phuket! ♥

Read next – our other articles about Phuket: 

And if you plan on combining a visit to Phuket with a pit stop in Bangkok, check out our tips on where to stay in Bangkok.


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About The Writer Espen Egeland

Espen is a Norwegian travel nerd who started his independent travels at age 19 when he bought a one-way ticket to Indonesia in search of adventure. He has explored more than thirty countries across six continents, lived in Thailand and studied in Australia. He has a master's degree in computer science, but his true passion is photography, filmmaking, and sharing his love of travel. In 2014, while on a year-long trip across South - East Asia, he co-founded the travel blog Nerd Nomads. Since then he's been a full-time traveler. See our about page for more about Espen.

6 Comments

  1. the sunset in Patong Beach is to die for! would love to visit there one of these days! Phukey is such a dream destination!

    Reply
    • Totally agree, Patong Beach has some beautiful sunsets! We also had some lovely sunsets in Bangtao Beach, in the northern part of Phuket. Phuket sure is a beach paradise.

      All the best,
      Maria

      Reply
  2. Incomparable sunsets may be seen at Patong Beach. I would really like to go there someday! Phukey is such a fantastic vacation spot!

    Reply
    • Hi Adam!

      Totally agree, Phuket is a fantastic place to go on holiday! Lots of beautiful beaches!

      Thanks for commenting!

      All the best,
      Maria

      Reply
  3. Thank you Espen, great read and pointers. Looking forward to our short trip to Phuket soon especially Phuket town ..
    Budi

    Reply
    • Hi Budi,

      Really happy to hear that you found the article helpful! Phuket’s old town is a really cool place to visit 🙂

      Have a great trip!

      -Espen

      Reply

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