You may have heard about the many suggestions about where to stay in Phuket. However, you probably do not know much about the biggest island in Thailand. Phuket is known all over the world because of its beautiful beaches. But these beaches are not the only ones that make the city stand out.
Here are just a few facts about it that will make you want to visit Phuket soon:
The island is a tropical paradise. It covers more than 5,800 square feet, making almost as big as Singapore. The huge area offers numerous sandy white beaches with crystal clear waters. You will experience a ton of lively activities in the area, especially at night.
You will have to decide about the areas to stay in Phuket because there are several options around. Good news are that whether you are on a budget or you want to splurge, you will find various choices for you.
If you are a fan of James Bond movies, you may have known that the 1974 hit “The Man with the Golden Gun” featured a nearby island called Phang Nga Bay. It is even dubbed as the James Bond Island, which is located in Phang Nga Province. The island’s original name is Koh Tapu (literally means nail because of its shape).
Phuket Town displays different architecture styles. However, the most prominent is Sino-Portuguese or Chinese Baroque. Several Sino-Portuguese mansions are all over Old Town. If you love art and culture, these mansions should be a part of your itinerary.
If you mention to Phuket to anyone, they will most likely talk about the island as a destination for weddings and honeymoons. With several luxury villas along the tropical island, it is easy to see why people want to get married here.
The views alone will make you fall in love with nature. Each point in the city will give you a panoramic view of the blue waters. You can even get to the top of the hill to see almost everything that this place offers.
Where to stay in Phuket: Best Areas to Stay in Phuket
It is always ideal to know where to stay in Phuket first to plan your journey. This guide will give you the information you need about the areas to stay in Phuket.
1. Mai Khao
Mai Khao is a beach that has a peaceful vibe. Stretching along the northwestern coast of the city, Mai Khao Beach is one of the best places to stay in Phuket for those who want to feel a little bit isolated. There is not much noise here, especially compared to the other busy parts of the island.
When you get here, you should not miss the Splash Jungle Water Park. The Turtle Village is also an interesting part of Mai Khao Beach. Expect to see pines and other tropical trees on Phuket’s longest beach that spans over 11 km.
Mai Khao is the ultimate lovers’ destination. It is a favorite spot of those who are on a honeymoon. It is generally secluded yet there are still opportunities to socialize with other people.
Plus, if you are not in the mood to do anything, you can simply admire the location. It is a bit far from shopping and nightlife though. You may have to drive at least an hour to get to the touristy areas.
Nevertheless, if you are looking for an area where you can enjoy gorgeous water views and a quiet vacation, Mai Khao Beach is a great choice.
For ideas on where to stay in Phuket, specifically Mai Khao Beach, you should first consider your budget. If you want affordable accommodation, you can check out Sai Kaew House and similar accommodation options.
Meanwhile, if you are looking for a more luxurious selection, consider SALA Phuket Resort and Spa or the Anantara Mai Khao Phuket Villas.
2. Nai Yang
Another quiet place amidst the boisterous city of Phuket, Nai Yang is one of the best places to stay in Phuket. It is an excellent choice for those who want to be away from the crowd.
However, there are shops for surfers and kiteboarders in the area. You will also find bars and restaurants here, although they are not as busy as the other sites on the island.
Despite being relatively noiseless and peaceful, there are many things that you can do while in the area. Aqua One Water Sports Phuket is just 10 minutes from the airport. This location is perfect for those who want to learn how to dive with their diving courses. You can also buy or rent a water scooter from them.
Coqoon Spa, on the other hand, is for those seeking a soothing treatment while in Phuket. There are eight rooms, each with a unique offering. From a tree-house spa to a romantic setting, there is surely a room for you here.
For kiteboarding fans, Nai Yang is where you may want to experience this fun sport. Kitesurfing or kiteboarding is not easy without proper instruction. You need to learn how it is done correctly. There are classes that you can take in Nai Yang. Additionally, the beach is a fantastic destination for kitesurfers.
If you are wondering where to stay in Phuket while in Nai Yang, some of the options include Indigo Pearl, a five-star hotel and Holiday Inn Resort. There are also budget accommodations in the area. Nai Yang Beach Hotel is a popular choice because it is just a short walk from the beach itself.
3. Hat Nai Thon
Hat Nai Thon is one of the best places to stay in Phuket for those who want to be close to a quiet, beautiful beach. While the other two mentioned areas above are also as peaceful, Hat Nai Thon has something else to offer. It is close to the tree-filled jungle that you can explore.
Hai Nai Thon may not be as popular as the other sites in the island, but it has its own charm. It is not crowded yet it has amenities that will make your stay comfy and enjoyable. Restaurants are easily accessible and there are many hotels as well. This way, you will find a good quantity of accommodation to stay in Phuket while in Hat Nai Thon.
The calm village near the water welcomes everyone. However, it is not the place to go to if you plan to do parasailing or jet skis. If you are looking for some lively activities, there are bars along the road with karaoke. For water activities, diving is a common pastime but you need to take a few lessons first.
Hai Nai Thon offers different choices for accommodation that will fit your budget. There are lavish villas in the area but they are outnumbered by budget to mid-range hotels. You can also find expensive rooms nearby if you would like to stay in a fancy place. Among the selections here include Naithonburi Beach Resort, Andaman White Beach Resort, and Trisara Phuket.
4. Bang Thao
Bang Thao (also spelled Bang Tao) is a cool recommendation on where to stay in Phuket. It offers one of the longest and most beautiful beaches in Phuket. It is peaceful here but you can do a ton of activities.
It is why many tourists visit here whenever they are in Phuket. Bang Thao is a spot that has different hotels, restaurants, and other commercial establishments.
If you plan to stay in Phuket for a night or more, Bang Thao has some choices for you. Among the most booked hotels in the area are The Pavilions, Moevenpick Resort Bangtao, and Outrigger Laguna Phuket Beach Resort. Accommodations can be as affordable as $68 per night but it can also be around $800.
Always consider your budget, your itinerary, and the activities that you would like to participate in before you book a hotel. Bang Thao is quite popular among tourists, which is why it is not surprising to find options for backpackers who are on a budget.
Hostels, Airbnb properties, lodges, and short-stay apartments are also in the area. You surely will never run out of choices here.
Chalets, villas, and other types of properties can also be rented. When you stay in Bang Thao, you can take advantage of the famous restaurants in the area and enjoy your meals there.
For instance, the Mamma Mia Grill and Restaurant is a hotspot where you can find different people dining here. It features Swedish chefs who prepare steaks and other mouthwatering food.
Another activity you should not miss is visiting Wat Cherng Talay, which is also called Cherngtalay. It is popular because it is recognized as the spiritual center of the area.
Phuket Adventure Mini Golf Club is for golfers and budding players visiting Thailand. It features an 18-hole course that is both challenging yet fun for all skill levels.
Surin is known for many things, making it one of the most interesting areas to stay in Phuket – and even in the entire country. Surin is a province in the north filled with gems that everyone will appreciate. It has a few national parks and showcases arts and culture.
It offers plenty of things and activities that you will enjoy, no matter what you are interested in. For instance, you can discover more about silk since Surin is the home of sericulture or silk production in Thailand. There are a few centers that devote their time in teaching about the silk industry in the country and its heritage.
For animal lovers, on the other hand, working with a charity organization known as Save Elephant Foundation is a good idea. You can become a volunteer where you can be educated about animals, including elephants in the province.
Aside from these two activities, you can also stop by at the San Lak Muang shrine, Phanom Sawai Forest Park, or the Surin National Museum.
After a long day visiting different hotspots in Surin, all you probably want to do is sleep. Everyone demands a comfortable place where they can sleep at night or anytime of the day. Surin offers a host of options for travelers, including hostels, hotels, and even Airbnb. It is a good idea to always book in advance because it can get quite busy in Surin.
Some of the options include Thong Tarin Hotel, which offers free WiFi among the many amenities and the Surin Majestic Hotel that provides breakfast for free.
Seven Bee Boutique Hotel is also a wonderful option if you are looking for a midrange hotel. One great thing about this place is that it has facilities that can rival even the more sophisticated hotels in the area.
Another option for families is Kamala. It is one of the best places to stay in Phuket if you have little ones with you. Kids will enjoy the serenity of the area, along with the opportunities for a great time. Kamala is a small village but provides plenty of amenities.
Unlike other busy towns, you will feel safe and sheltered while in Kamala, even at night. The atmosphere is indeed relaxing. You can find several spas and wellness centers. If you want to dine, you can easily access restaurants and small eateries in the area.
Kamala is charming with its unique location between mountains filled with tall trees and greenery. The Andaman Sea is also nearby, making the village seem bigger than its actual size.
Kamala used to be a small fishing town but has now become one of the excellent areas to stay in Phuket for a quiet vacation. However, it does not mean you will not find any enjoyable activities in this place.
Kamala offers easy access to Surin Beach, which is a bustling tourist site. Meanwhile, you can just stay in the area and swim in Kamala Beach. It is also a wonderful place for snorkeling, building sandcastles that your children will have fun doing, or just go sunbathing for a relaxing day.
The restaurants here are among the top choices for those who want to taste authentic Thai cuisine.
Kamala, as a family-friendly destination, offers budget accommodations that will make you feel as if you are home. Some hotels and hostels are small so you do not feel overwhelmed.
A good option is the Ban Kamala Fantasea Hotel, which is a collection of different types of accommodation. You will find private rooms, dorms, and even sophisticated spaces.
The Umbrella House is also one of the best places to stay in Phuket, especially for those with kids. Everyone will feel comfortable and at ease here with the ideally placed rooms and fluffy beds.
This guide has covered mostly the peaceful northern areas to stay in Phuket. However, if you would go to the island to have fun, one of the most recommended is Patong. The beach, along with the beach houses here, is simply a treat. There is also a wide range of hotels and resorts so you can choose the best one for you.
Patong is famous for being the center of nightlife in Phuket. If you want a loud place, Patong should be in your list of destinations while in the city. The beauty of this area is that it may be where most of the seaside fun lies but it still provides you with tranquility.
The resorts are at the quiet part of town where you can take solace in your room without partygoers disturbing your sleep.
Patong is great for holidaymakers who want to be near the party scene. At the same time, it is where you can find many budget-friendly accommodation options. If you are searching for a busy beach, Patong is your top choice. Plus, many hotels here are close to shopping opportunities.
Some of the best hotels in the area are Amari Phuket and Holiday Inn Resort. Meanwhile, for a high-end option, the Avista Hideaway Phuket Patong McGallery by Sofitel is one to consider.
If you are on a budget and you seek advice on where to stay in Phuket, many would recommend Karon. This beach is on the western part of Phuket Island. It is one of the biggest in the island, only next to Mai Khao. Expect to see beautiful sights of seemingly endless water and sand.
There are plenty of things that you can do while in Karon. The best part is that you do not have to spend a fortune to experience them.
Karon Beach spans more than three kilometers of clear waters and sand. The place is not crowded even though it is quite popular for tourists and locals. It has restaurants and recreation facilities that will make your stay enjoyable no matter what time of the day.
You can visit some hotspots, including the Way Suwan Khiri Khet, which is a temple with stunning features. If you want a more adventurous activity, the Karon View Point is where you should go. It offers hiking opportunities and you can see wonderful sights of the beach and even the forest.
There are hotels in the area but you can also find hostels and budget-friendly choices, such as hostels and inns. Most of them are near a restaurant or an eatery, so you can take a short walk and dine there.
The Palmery Resort is also a good choice. Even though it is a budget hotel, you will not be disappointed when it comes to the cleanliness of the place.
If you are traveling with your family, Kata is one of the best places to stay in Phuket. It is best known as the family-friendly area in Phuket.
Young adults also love Kata because it is quite trendy. It has attractions, exciting nightlife, and peaceful surroundings. There is not a day that passes by when you would run out of things to do while in Kata.
This area is also a great place for couples and friends who are looking for a holiday spot. From the wellness centers to the delectable dishes served at restaurants, Kata is truly an enjoyable place to visit and stay at.
One of the popular activities here is visiting the Kata Beach House Reef. You can go snorkeling or diving here. It is an interesting place to visit because it is home to a variety of sea life, including fish, octopi, turtles, and even seahorses.
If you are not into watersports, you can go out and see what the locals are up to. You will normally find them visiting the Thursday market in the area. You can join them here to buy spices, fish, and food exclusively from Thailand. Meanwhile, if you simply want to swim, you can just step out of your hotel and go to Kata Beach.
The Shore at Katathani is a great option on where to stay in Phuket while in Kata. It provides a group of villas right at the beachside. You will find lavish amenities here that will make your stay comfortable with your family. There are amenities, such as free WiFi and an entertainment system.
10. Nai Harn
Compared to other west coast beaches in Phuket, Nai Harn’s beauty is often overlooked. However, it may not be a bad thing at all. It is perfect for those looking for a serene place to stay while in Phuket. However, perhaps because of tourists in the area, there are not many accommodations in Nai Harn.
You will mostly find cheaper alternatives to mid and upper range hotels. Nai Harn is in the southwestern part of Phuket. It is sheltered and is quite underdeveloped, especially when compared to the other beaches in the island.
A local Buddhist temple owns most of Nai Harn’s surrounding area, which may be the reason why it remains low-key till this day. Nevertheless, it does not mean you will have a boring stay while in this part of the island. It is still one of the best places to stay in Phuket, especially for families.
If you have kids in tow, you may want to look into The Nai Harn or the All-Seasons Resort. Both are great for families with activities for the young ones. Most of the rooms here are simple yet presentable. However, they are not as fancy as the other hotels. You can save and even participate in certain activities.
The Nai Harn Hotel, however, is the fancier option of the two. It offers fine dining and all the guestrooms have views of the sea. Just look at the window and you will see the sprawling sandy beach right from your terrace.
Another option is Baan Krating Phuket Resort, which is great for couples. It is isolated yet provides seaside views as well.
Even better, if ever you change your mind and you want to be near where the action is, Nai Harn is the ideal location. For instance, Karon, is not far away, and Patong, which is for partygoers, is around 30 minutes away.
11. Phuket Town
For those who have not been to the province, Phuket Town is where to stay in Phuket. It is the largest city and is the capital as well. Phuket Town is where you will see the attractions that you will not forget.
There are also shopping centers, restaurants, and accommodations for everyone. Whether you are traveling alone, with your family, friend, or a loved one, Phuket Town will suit everyone’s tastes.
Phuket Town has many heritage sites. You will find shrines, museums, and temples that were built decades ago. If you want to see what Phuket truly offers, you should certainly visit Phuket Town and even stay here for at least one night.
You can enjoy numerous activities while in the area. One is climbing up Khao Rang, which will give you a great view of the city. When it is clear, you could even see the offshore islands.
Meanwhile, if you are more of a history buff, you should not miss Old Phuket Town. This part of Phuket Town showcases shophouses that have been around for a long time. There are also old temples in the area, along with the Shrine of the Serene Light that greets hundreds to thousands of tourists per day.
Accommodation options are mostly guesthouses that are quite small but you can also find lavish resorts in the area. The Westin Siray Bay is one of the most highly rated mainly because of its amenities and ideal location.
With several areas to stay in Phuket, you will not run out of choices, whether you are on a budget or you do not mind spending some cash.