The first step to planning your vacation to Phuket is deciding where to stay. As Thailand’s largest island, this tropical paradise has no shortage of attractions and resort towns for every type of traveler. There are also accommodations available for every budget, no matter if you are looking to party in Patong Beach, take in the culture of Phuket Town, or soak in the sun in a quieter locale like Kata Beach or Bangtao Beach. Whether you already have an idea of where you want to stay, or you don’t even know where to begin, this guide will help you pick the perfect spot. Let’s take a look at 10 of the best vacation destinations in Phuket, as well as some top hotel picks in each area.
Patong Beach is the most popular resort town in all of Phuket. The daytime activity is centered on the 1.77-mile white-sand beach, which is known for a plethora of water sports opportunities. You can go jet skiing, parasailing, snorkeling, windsurfing, and more. After the sun sets Patong Beach transforms into the main nightlife spot on the entire island. The hub of the excitement is Bangla Road, which is home to all manner of dance clubs, go-go bars, beer bars, and live music bars. The area is also known for having some of the best shopping and dining on the island, with plenty of shopping malls and night markets to check out. There is no better place to stay for excitement and convenience.
Due to the party atmosphere, Patong Beach mostly attracts younger travelers. However, there are plenty of activities for couples and families as well. The north and south ends of the beach tend to be quieter and more laid back, away from the hustle and bustle of the main strip.
Recommended hotels in Patong Beach
- X2 Vibe Phuket Patong: Just up the road from the beach, X2 Vibe Phuket Patong offers chic style and bright rooms. Some rooms include a kitchenette, living area, terrace, and access to the pool. Guests can enjoy complimentary breakfast, as well as an on-site gym and spa.
- Lub d Phuket Patong: A modern-style hostel, Lub d Phuket Patong gives you a choice of mixed-sex dorms, female-only dorms, and private rooms. You can cool off in the outdoor pool and walk to the beach in just three minutes. Free parking is also available.
- Tiras Patong Beach Hotel: If you want to have your feet in the sand in under a minute, then book a room at Tiras Patong Beach Hotel. Located in the heart of town, this comfortable hotel also offers easy access to shopping and dining.
Check In to Tiras Patong Beach Hotel, Step Out to Patong Beach
Kata Beach has a well-earned reputation for being one of the most family-friendly resort towns in Phuket, which is why it is the second-most popular place to stay. The pristine beach and clear sea are perfect for spending a day outdoors enjoying the sand and warm water. There are some excellent snorkeling spots, and snorkeling gear is inexpensive to rent. It is also a popular beach among surfers. The town itself is very walkable and is a great place for travelers who want all of their conveniences within easy reach.
Though Kata Beach tends to be less noisy and crowded than Patong Beach, it does get quite busy during the peak season. Nevertheless, you can always beat the heat and the crowds by heading back to your hotel, and there are many different accommodation types to choose from. Scattered among the resorts and hotels are a variety of restaurants and souvenir stores, and there are plenty of great nightlife spots as well.
Recommended hotels in Kata Beach
- Wonderful Pool House at Kata: Located within walking distance to the beach, Wonderful Pool House at Kata is a favorite among couples and families. Rooms come with a balcony and the property also has an outdoor pool. Parking is free, and airport shuttles are provided as well.
- Sugar Marina Resort – Nautical – Kata Beach: Just a few minutes away from the south end of the beach, Sugar Marina Resort – Nautical – Kata Beach is located on a street full of shops and restaurants. Amenities include free parking, an outdoor pool, and an on-site restaurant.
- Aurico Kata Resort & Spa: Situated in the northern end of the Kata Beach area, Aurico Kata Resort & Spa offers a host of facilities, including an outdoor pool, a fitness center, a restaurant, and a playroom. You can also choose to include a buffet-style breakfast with your booking.
Check In to Aurico Kata Resort & Spa, Step Out to Kata Beach
Karon Beach is the best place in Phuket for beach lovers. Located between Patong Beach and Kata Beach, the long and wide beach never feels overly crowded, and you can always find a more secluded spot. The sand is backed by thick greenery, which helps to limit the sound from the road. While at the beach, some of the most popular activities are snorkeling and diving. There are many shops, bars, and restaurants just a short walk away as well. Once the sun goes down, the night markets set up for the evening, and the town’s nightlife spots open their doors.
Karon Beach is a fantastic locale for all sorts of travelers – from families, to honeymooners, to backpackers – and there is a range of accommodations for all budgets. You’ll still have access to all of the facilities and services you need while getting to enjoy a quieter atmosphere. To stay closer to the action, you’ll want to be situated along the beachfront road.
Recommended hotels in Karon Beach
- Phoenix Hotel Karon Beach: A family-friendly hotel, Phoenix Hotel Karon Beach allows kids up to 12 to stay free if using existing bedding. Breakfast is included with your booking, and this property is so close to the beach that the outdoor pool has fantastic ocean views.
- Sugar Marina Resort – Art – Karon Beach: Just a few minutes’ walk to the beach, Sugar Marina Resort – Art – Karon Beach offers free parking, an outdoor pool, and room bookings with breakfast included. Each room features contemporary decor, and the property is filled with artwork and sculptures.
- Grand Sunset Hotel: The Grand Sunset Hotel offers a truly luxurious stay complete with a spa, a fitness center, and a breakfast buffet. Standard rooms overlook tropical hillsides while upgraded rooms overlook the ocean. Walk to the beach in no time and enjoy beautiful views of the sunset from the rooftop infinity pool.
Check In to Grand Sunset Hotel, Step Out to Karon Beach
Nai Harn Beach
Located in the very south of the island, Nai Harn Beach is a special spot because it hasn’t been overly developed. Tucked away between verdant cliffs and backed by thick greenery, the long and wide beach offers plenty of space for everyone, even during peak season. Snorkeling is a popular activity here because of the clear waters, and the soft white sand is also perfect for lounging and suntanning. From November to April, the waters at Nai Harn Beach are well-suited to swimming. From May to October, however, rougher waters make it great for surfing and kitesurfing.
Though a quieter beach, there are still plenty of restaurants, shops, and hotels for a complete vacation experience. When staying in the Nai Harn Beach area, it is also highly recommended that you take the short, 10-minute drive to Karon Viewpoint. From this incredible viewpoint, you can see three beautiful beaches and their bays all in one vista. It makes for some truly spectacular photographs.
Recommended hotels in Nai Harn Beach
- Naiharn Beach Resort: Only a 10-minute walk to the beach and set amid lush greenery, Naiharn Beach Resort is a top choice for travelers looking for a peaceful stay. Amenities include a saltwater pool, a fitness center, free parking, and free accommodations for children under 13.
- The Nai Harn: If you prefer to stay right on the ocean, then your best choice will be The Nai Harn. This hotel offers a secluded feel on an unspoiled plantation with spectacular sea views from the rooftop lounge. Breakfast and parking are both included for free.
- La Maison Ya Nui Resort Phuket: Offering excellent value for the price, La Maison Ya Nui Resort Phuket is situated just five minutes from the beach in a quiet area. The property has an outdoor swimming pool and a garden, and guests can rent a car or a bicycle as well.
Check In to La Maison Ya Nui Resort Phuket, Step Out to Nai Harn Beach
Rawai Beach is also located in the south of Phuket. It is a calm and quiet locale that isn’t on too many tourists’ itineraries because it is not a swimming beach, and there isn’t much of a nightlife either. However, this charming resort town was actually the very first tourist beach on the island. It is an ideal place to stay if you are looking for a more local feel. It is also one of the best places to sample some fresh seafood thanks to the fantastic seafood market and numerous local restaurants.
The beach itself offers lovely views of the turquoise water and the nearby islands. It is also a starting point for several different island-hopping boat tours. If you do want a swimming beach, Nai Harn Beach is just a short drive away on the other side of the peninsula. Many other southern Phuket attractions are easy to reach from Rawai Beach, making this a great jumping-off point for a variety of day trips.
Recommended hotels in Rawai Beach
- Ya Nui Resort: Located in a green and quiet neighborhood, Ya Nui Resort offers a relaxing getaway with easy access to several beaches and numerous restaurants. The hotel also has a saltwater pool, and guests can rent cars, motorbikes, and electric bikes.
- The Title Beach Front: True to its name, The Title Beach Front is right across from the beach. Step out to the sand in minutes or have a swim in the outdoor pool. The hotel also has a sauna and a nice garden area. Kids six and under can stay for free.
- The Title Boutique Condotel Phuket: Just down the road and a smidge closer to the sand, The Title Boutique Condotel Phuket offers an ideal location and great facilities for families. There is a pool, a garden, and a sauna, and children up to nine years of age can stay for free.
Check In to The Title Boutique Condotel Phuket, Step Out to Rawai Beach
Kamala Beach is another top option for those looking for a quieter and more relaxing time. It is located north of Patong Beach and has a very family-friendly atmosphere that is also popular with older tourists, which means there aren’t very many nightlife options. Instead, visitors come here to enjoy a lazy day on the idyllic beach or they head into town for a spa treatment. There are also many restaurants located right on the beach serving delicious local food, so you don’t have to go far for a bite.
Kamala Beach has a more authentic village feel than other Phuket resorts, and there is an array of affordable accommodations available for budget travelers. The bay is surrounded by hills that are covered in jungle, making this one of the most picturesque places on the island. Like other spots along the west coast, the waters are suitable for swimming from November to April but better for surfing from May to October.
Recommended hotels in Kamala Beach
- Kamala Resotel: Set amid mountains and lush greenery, Kamala Resotel is just a 10-minute walk to the beach. Guests can take advantage of complimentary parking and buffet breakfast, as well as an on-site restaurant and bar. The rooftop infinity pool offers stunning views.
- Wabi Sabi Boutique Hotel: A family-friendly property close to the beach, Wabi Sabi Boutique Hotel allows kids up to 11 years of age to stay for free. Amenities include a restaurant, a bar, and an outdoor pool. Parking is included, and you can opt to include breakfast with your booking as well.
- Thai Kamala Beach Front: It doesn’t get any closer to the ocean then the Thai Kamala Beach Front, which has its own private beach. Many of the elegantly decorated rooms offer ocean views, and there is a relaxed restaurant where you can unwind as well.
Check In to Thai Kamala Beach Front, Step Out to Kamala Beach
Considered by many to be one of Phuket‘s most beautiful beaches, Surin Beach also has a reputation for celebrity sightings. This is because it is one of the most luxurious spots on the island, with several high-end beach resorts and some of the best restaurants and wine bars as well. The beach has fine, white sand and turquoise water perfect for snorkeling, and the resort, though popular among tourists, feels more like a coastal village.
Surin Beach is usually not too crowded, and it is a perfect place to enjoy a laid-back beach vacation. However, this is not an area designed for budget travelers. Accommodations tend to be on the pricier side, but you can find many reasonably priced dining options. Shopping is also a must-do activity here, and there are a lot of trendy spots to check out. It is a choice locale for travelers looking for an exclusive feel in a picturesque setting. There aren’t many other attractions nearby, but the beach is all you really need.
Recommended hotels in Surin Beach
- Surin Beach Residence: Be at the beach in just four minutes while staying at Surin Beach Residence. When you’re in for the evening, you can also enjoy the outdoor pool and well-equipped fitness center. The hotel offers free parking and each room comes with a balcony.
- Manathai Surin Phuket: Step out to the beach within minutes or stay in and take advantage of all of the amenities Manathai Surin Phuket has to offer. This hotel has two outdoor pools, a restaurant, a bar, a lounge, and a fantastic spa. You can include breakfast with your room booking as well.
- The Park Surin Serviced Apartments: Located on a hillside and backed by thick jungle, The Park Surin Serviced Apartments offers a private feel and wonderful views. The outdoor pool is accompanied by a hot tub, and the fitness center is a good place to get a workout.
Check In to The Park Surin Serviced Apartments, Step Out to Surin Beach
Once a very exclusive area with mainly luxury resorts, Bangtao Beach has evolved into a lively town with accommodation options for a range of budgets. There is a sophisticated nightlife scene that tends to be quite affordable as well, and that is much tamer than what you will find at Patong Beach. At 3.7 miles, the beach is also the second-longest stretch of sand in Phuket, and you will never have to look very hard for a secluded spot in the sand. You’ll find some of the best beach clubs on the island here as well.
Bangtao Beach is a good choice for couples or for families who are looking for an energetic resort town with all of the conveniences they need in one place. It can be divided into three main areas: a central area where you will find most of the luxury accommodations, a more affordable area along the southern and of the beach, and an underdeveloped and hilly northern side that is also the site of some exclusive resorts.
Recommended hotels in Bangtao Beach
- Allamanda Laguna Phuket Serviced Apartments: With the beach only a two-minute walk away, Allamanda Laguna Phuket Serviced Apartments offers family-friendly accommodations at an attractive price. Parking is free, breakfast is included, and a local area shuttle will take you anywhere you want to go.
- Cassia Phuket: Just a bit further from the beach, Cassia Phuket is set in a beautiful location overlooking a lagoon. The one- to two-bedroom apartments feature modern decor and vibrant artwork, and the hotel offers a pool, a fitness center, a spa, golf course access, and free breakfast.
- Angsana Laguna Phuket Hotel: Located between two lagoons and not far from the beach, Angsana Laguna Phuket Hotel offers a truly luxurious stay. A full-service spa, an outdoor pool, and a golf course are just some of the many amenities. Rooms come with balconies and either garden or pool views.
Check In to Angsana Laguna Phuket Hotel, Step Out to Bangtao Beach
Mai Khao Beach
Mai Khao Beach is the longest beach in Phuket, extending for almost seven miles along the northwest coast. It is also one of the closest beaches to Phuket International Airport, making it easy to get in and out. The beach doesn’t tend to get overly crowded, and there are many secluded sections that can feel completely deserted. This makes it a fantastic choice for couples who want a romantic getaway. The fact that it is located inside a national park has helped prevent overdevelopment, but there are still plenty of resorts, restaurants, and shops around.
Aside from all of the typical beach activities, one of the popular things to do on the northern end of Mai Khao Beach is to watch the planes as they fly incredibly low overhead on their way to land at the airport. Crowds gather along the shoreline with their phones out, ready to take photos and tracking flight data. Planes come in every 10 to 15 minutes.
Recommended hotels in Maikhao Beach
- Maikhao Palm Beach Resort: A luxurious hotel sitting right on the beach, Maikhao Palm Beach Resort provides every comfort for all types of travelers, including families. There is a family room, a kids club, and a babysitting service, as well as an outdoor pool, a fitness center, and a spa.
- Maikhao Dream Villa Resort and Spa Centara Boutique Collection: Experience the complete beach vacation package at Maikhao Dream Villa Resort and Spa Centara Boutique Collection. This luxurious resort has its own private beach as well as a spa, a state-of-the-art fitness center, and an outdoor infinity pool.
- Maikhao Beach Guest House: If you’re looking for simpler but quality accommodations, Maikhao Beach Guest House is an excellent choice. Travelers on a budget will love this well-reviewed property, which is just a few minutes’ walk to the beach and offers free bicycle rentals.
Check In to Maikhao Beach Guest House, Step Out to Mai Khao Beach
It might not have a beach, but Phuket Town should absolutely be at the top of your list of places to stay in Phuket. It offers a nice change of pace and scenery from the resorts, and spending a few days in the cultural heart of the island can help you get to know its people and its history a little better. Plus, there is always a lot to see and do! Most of the town’s major attractions are found in or around Phuket Old Town. This historic part of town is known for its excellent examples of Sino-Portuguese architecture. It is also where many of the top restaurants and hotels are located.
Taking a stroll along the beautiful streets is an attraction in and of itself, and you’ll stumble upon other top landmarks, like Jui Tui Shrine and Chinpracha House, along the way. Two of the main thoroughfares in town, where you will find the most unique shops and things to see are Thalang Road and Soi Romanee. Phuket Town really comes to life on the weekends with the Phuket Weekend Night Market and the Sunday Walking Street Market.
Recommended hotels in Phuket Town
- The Besavana Phuket: Centrally located right by all of the main attractions in Phuket Old Town, The Besavana Phuket boasts a chic and casual vibe. There are numerous shops and cafes within easy walking distance, and the hotel also has a relaxing outdoor pool and garden area.
- Casa Blanca Boutique Hotel Phuket: Situated on the eastern end of Phuket Old Town, Casa Blanca Boutique Hotel Phuket is just two minutes from the activity on Thalang Road. An upscale property, it features a small outdoor pool, a quaint coffee shop, and a lovely garden.
- Blu Monkey Boutique Phuket Town: Offering comfort and convenience at a great price, Blu Monkey Boutique Phuket Town is a family-friendly property that will have you close to some of the city’s top landmarks. Amenities include free parking, a family room, and a coffee shop.