Phuket offers a unique and tropical experience for any type of traveler. Whether you’re spending a whole week here or just passing through on your way to the islands of the Andaman sea, the Phuket neighborhood you choose will certainly shape your trip.
Where to Stay in Phuket: The best places to stay in Phuket include the neighborhoods of Patong, Karon, Kata, Phuket Town, and Kamala. The partiers go to Patong. The families spend time in the quieter neighborhood of Kamala. The hipsters and first-timers visit Phuket Town and Kata.
There are over 90 different villages in Phuket – each offering something new and exciting to explore. We’ll break down each district and explain why these specific neighborhoods are great for different factions of travelers. If you’ve already booked your accommodations – fret not, as there are no bad places to stay in Phuket.
Some single people travel to experience grand adventure in isolation while others venture abroad to meet like-minded single people at the bars. If you fit into the latter group, Patong is your ideal destination. More specifically, Bangla Road is the heartbeat of this party city.
There are few places in the world that compare to Bangla Road (and most of the other places are in Thailand, too). This thriving area for singles offers clubs, pubs, bars, raves, exotic dancers, and more. If you’re looking to drink in an atmosphere that’s less centered around finding a drinking companion, visit the Bangla Boxing Stadium for a wild Muy Thai match.
The Balcony Hostel in Patong comes highly recommended. Another great option is the Lub d Patong hostel. Hostels are always a great way to meet other travelers. Sleep with Me Design Hotel is a great place to rest your head if your budget exceeds that of the normal backpacker.
You can nurse your hangover at the beach with the myriad of other exhausted Bangla Road patrons. Paradise Beach and Patong Beach are two great options. Though, come nighttime Paradise Beach is certainly not a place to relax.
Blue Ocean Resort, the Phoenix Grand Hotel, Amari Phuket are all phenomenal options for single travelers after a more upscale experience. The Charm Resort in Patong has a staggering number of great reviews and has certainly earned its name.
Anyone who comes to Phuket exclusively to party at night is missing out on seriously memorable moments. While certainly a place to chase your hedonistic pleasures, Patong has much more to offer. Visit the Suwan Khiri Wong Temple to gain insight into Buddhist culture and architecture. No trip to Patong is complete without sampling the street food stalls, either.
Phuket is a beautiful beach getaway. There are so many places to stay in this part of Thailand that will offer you a relaxing and romantic stay. Whether you are traveling to Phuket for your honeymoon or anniversary, or just stopping by for a quick holiday, we have some wonderful options for you to make your stay in Phuket one for the books.
If you are coming to Phuket in search of an exclusive beach and resort experience, we will recommend that you stay in either Karon or Kata. A little north of the city, these two beaches are about 40-50 miles from the airport. However, these beaches offer an unreal experience away from the hustle and bustle of the city, right in the middle of nature. Of course, the resorts out here are more expensive, so we recommend these beaches for honeymooners or couples that are not on a budget.
Of the resorts on Karon & Kata, a few stick out as truly incredible experiences. The Centara Grand Beach Resort Phuket is one of the best known 5-star hotels in Phuket. This compound is truly amazing, with 9 different types of accommodations and 8 different bars and restaurants on the property. You will hardly ever need to leave this giant resort, which is perfect for max R&R time. Not to mention, this hotel is more reasonably priced than it’s other 5-star counterparts, starting at around $200/night.
If you are looking for a more adventurous time in Phuket, might we recommend the Phuket Orchid Resort. This beauty is also located in Karon and boasts an incredible compound. Complete with an on-site water park, this resort was made for the couple looking to have some fun on their holiday! You can drink cocktails, play on the waterslides all day, and then head to an action-packed cooking class at night. The rooms here start at $75/night.
For budget couples that still want a luxurious, resort feel, we have a gem for you! Located in Kata, the smaller beach town near Karon, is the Kata Country House. This beautiful resort has two amazing pools and is close to the beach. What’s even more amazing is its price. You can find a room at this lovely resort for as little as $43/night. Talk about some bang for your buck!
If you want a more cultural, city experience, Patong North or South would be ideal for the couple who likes to sight-see and enjoy some nice beach time. Located in the heart of the city is the famous Seaview Patong Hotel. This hotel is the ideal way to see Phuket, with the city, beach, and historical temples all a stone’s throw away. This beautiful resort has a pool-side bar, beauty salon, and 3 delicious restaurants in the compound. Perfect for relaxing while seeing all that Phuket has to offer. This hotel has rooms starting around $120/night.
For a more budget stay in Patong, might we recommend the Poppa Palace Hotel Phuket. This lovely hotel has everything a young couple could want for a relaxing holiday. Complete with two large outdoor pools, a restaurant/bar, and close proximity to the beach, you will never run out of things to do at the Poppa Palace. This beauty starts at about $50/night and is lauded as one of the best budget hotels in the country.
Phuket is an amazing place to stay on your next family vacation. With beautiful beaches, cultural excursions, kid-friendly activities, and accommodations, as well as spas and massage schools, Phuket offers an exciting time for both children and parents. The first step in your Phuket family vacation is picking the best family-friendly hotel for your needs. We have listed several amazing options below.
Most families like to hang out in the Kamala and Bang Tao areas. Kamala is a great beach area with a lot of affordable beachfront hotels. Kamala is close to Phuket FantaSea, a large cultural theme park that is a must-see with families. Additionally, the calm blue waters of Kamala make for a great family beach outing or family surf lessons. Bang Tao is a little more secluded but offers a variety of family-friendly resorts with exciting activities such as horse rides, a beautiful lagoon, and some of the best swimming pools in Phuket.
If Kamala is more your cup of tea, we would recommend the Sunwing Kamala. This huge resort boasts 7 different swimming pools, a kids corner, “happy baby studios” (rooms specially designed for those with babies and toddlers), an on-campus medical center, as well as many restaurants and bars for the parents. This place was literally built for families. You can get a room here starting around $200/night.
There are over 30 different beaches in Phuket. Each of these golden stretches of sand offers a different crowd and a different stunning view. We will discuss the most popular beaches, what they have to offer, and mention several of the best nearby hotels. Then we’ll dive into the area in Phuket that offers the highest concentration of great beaches.
One of the most famous beaches in Phuket is Kata Beach. While not overly crowded, this charming bay offers clear waters, long-tail boats, and lively nightlife (though, not too lively).
The Shore at Katathani is a conglomerate of numerous beachside villas that sits on the south end of Kata beach. This resort is beyond tranquil – so much so that children under 12 years old aren’t allowed to stay here. Maybe that’s why it’s so tranquil here?
Freedom Beach offers the nicest and whitest sand in all of Phuket. You won’t find the normal tourist accommodations here. For example, there are no jet skis or pesty vendors approaching you as you bask in the Thai sun here. However, the lack of normal offerings is due to its isolated location.
There are no roads that will lead you directly to Freedom Beach. I’m sure there’s a poignant metaphor in there somewhere. You can only reach this sandy piece of heaven by long-tail boat or traversing a rather steep trail. Avista Hideaway is one of the nicer hotels nearby. The sunset views each night are unparalleled.
Ya Nui Beach is a beach unlike any you’ve ever seen. This stretch of sand actually creates an L-shape. A small peninsula extends and doubles the size of this sandy alcove. The snorkeling in Ya Nui is incredible and equipment is relatively easy to rent in the area.
If you want to make Ya Nui the crux of your trip, we recommend that you stay nearby. A popular (and aptly named) hotel is Last Paradise. If you’re after something more regal, check out the Sunsuri or the Mangosteen Resort & Spa. Each hotel offers you a personal slice of heaven.
Surin Beach was once Phuket’s pride and joy. While still an incredible beach, the area has become overrun by millionaires. We realize that might sound ridiculous but the area was once home to a sprawling community of Thai people. They have since been forced out as mansions now dominate the property market in Surin.
If you wish to spend time here (like many American celebrities), expect to shell out a pretty penny. The fancy resorts here spare no expense and offer some of the most luxurious experiences in all of Thailand. The most popular accommodations at Surin are the Amanpuri and Twinpalms.
With a name like Paradise Beach, the area sets a rather high bar for itself. It reaches that bar. As one of the most attractive beaches in Phuket, there’s even a 200 baht fee to access the beach. While only the 1.5x the length of a football field, this small beach packs a serious punch.
Paradise Beach has giant rock formations at both ends of the sand that act as a natural marker for the coral gardens a hundred yards into the water. Ban Yin Dee is a boutique resort that sits in close proximity to Paradise Beach. Two other close hotels are Tri Trang and Merlin Beach resort.
Nai Harn Beach was once a quiet and closely guarded secret of the local Thai people. In the past few years, the popularity of this beach has exploded. Thankfully, the beach’s peculiar location right next to a large lake has kept large construction projects away from this natural setting.
Surfers and kitesurfers flock to Nai Harn from May to October. The Nai Harn Hotel is the best place to stay in this area. All Seasons Nai Harn is another great resort just a half kilometer away. Pack your board and sunscreen and head down to this southern beach for great waves.
Bangtao Beach is one of the quieter beaches in Phuket. It’s a peculiar sight actually. On one end of the beach, tourists relax at a small handful of resorts. On the other end is a community of working-class Thai families.
While some may be turned off by the polarity of this beach, this neighboring community of Thai people is home to some of the nicest people you’ll meet abroad. These fishermen, farmers, and rubber-trappers have some incredible street food that you’d be remiss if you didn’t try.
Outrigger Laguna Phuket Beach is a beautiful resort but if you want a truly unique experience, stay at Banyan Tree Phuket. The unique architecture here is picture perfect and contrasts beautifully against the jungle island scenery. The Movenpick Resort in Bangtao is one of the only other resort in this strip with an architectural composition that compares.
Kamala Beach and the surrounding area are significantly less crowded than the strip near the neighboring Patong Beach. This tropical getaway offers equally stunning views of the mountains and the beach.
Cape Sienna, Sunwing Resort, and the Swissotel are all marvelous options for your trip to Kamala. These family-friendly options put you in close proximity to Kamala Beach and the nearby eateries that have recently popped up.
Mai Khao Beach is a little bit out of the way as compared to the rest of the beaches listed above. To some, that’s exactly what they’re looking for. The area is relatively remote and as such, there is a large gap between each resort. This private hideaway offers a uniquely isolated experience in one of the most beautiful places Phuket has to offer.
If you’re an nature enthusiast, Mai Khao is definitely the right place to stay. This area is the most peaceful beach in Phuket, which is why so many giant sea turtles use it as a breeding ground. Parrotfish, seahorses, and octopus alike can all be found in these waters. Anantara Vacation Club, Renaissance Phuket, and SALA are all beyond gorgeous resorts. If you need something cheaper near Mai Khao, check out the Micky Monkey.
Most backpackers flock to Patong, as it fits their alcohol-fueled interests. However, more and more backpackers are exploring Phuket Town nowadays. This old town is home to a rich history and also some of the best restaurants you can find in Thailand.
The Shrine of Serene Light shows Taoist etchings. Chalong Temple, the largest temple in Phuket, is located here. Whether you want to climb Khao Rang, visit Monkey Hill, or take in Windmill Viewpoint, there’s something beautiful for everyone in Phuket Town.
The hotels and hostels in Phuket Town may seem small when compared to the giant resorts in surrounding Phuket neighborhoods. However, the resorts have nothing on the charm, personality, and unique nature of these Sino-Portuguese buildings.
The Tint Hotel is a cozy and clean option for people who want a relatively cheap room to themselves. Sino House Phuket Hotel is a hipster haven and offers modern art in each of the available rooms. Blu Monkey Hub and Hostel is a great place for backpackers to meet up with other like-minded travelers
Gone are the days Phuket was just a sleepy backpacker hangout. For better or worse, this town has opened its doors to travelers of all varieties. We make the argument that this influx of tourism has brought a tremendous amount of prosperity to Phuket. After all, backpackers are only spending a few dollars a day.
If you want to ensure you’re giving back to the community of Phuket and everyday townspeople, check out Airbnb or Couchsurfing. Nothing compares to the experience of making friends with a local who knows the ins and outs of the city.
There are truly no bad places to sleep in Phuket. The allure of Thailand is that something awaits every type of traveler. Phuket is equally incredible for couples, families, and the stag backpacker. No two people will have the same experience in this tropical paradise.
What are the best beaches in Phuket?
Phuket has over 30 different beaches accessible to beachgoers. Kata Beach, Freedom Beach, Ya Nui, Surin Beach, Nai Harn, Patong Beach, and Paradise Beach are all idyllic stretches of sand that offer incredible views, snorkeling, and rental shops.
How do you get to Phi Phi Islands from Phuket?
There are several ferries that leave from the Phuket piers to the Phi Phi Islands. You can book these at your hostel, hotel, or resort at any time. The ferry tickets often include a shuttle ride that takes you to the pier.