Where to Stay in Phuket – Neighborhoods & Area Guide

Phuket, the most infamously famous party island in Thailand, is also the biggest in the country and is known for its mind-boggling nightlife, crowded (and some not-so-crowded) but pristine white-sand beaches, lush greenery and wildlife, and a strong Chinese-influenced culture.

Located in Southern Thailand and surrounded by the all-encompassing Andaman Sea, Phuket was once a major trade route between India and China. While the Chinese influence can still be witnessed in the many Chinese-style shrines and restaurants scattered around the island, Phuket has long since developed from being a trade route to a major tourism boon to the country. Visitors from all over the world flock here to enjoy the after-dark atmosphere of Bangla Road and to take a boat trip to James Bond Island.

Every season is a good season to visit Phuket, and thus, it is always swarmed with tourists – locals and westerners alike. Below is a list of some of the most popular neighborhoods on the island to give you an idea of where to stay in Phuket when you visit the party central of Thailand.

Patong Beach

Patong Beach

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Patong Beach

The most famous beach resort in Phuket, Patong is your gateway to the biggest parties on the island. Dotted with hundreds of cafes, restaurants, nightclubs, and of course, Go-Go Bars, Patong is best discovered at your own pace – go any slower and you will miss the action, go any faster and you will be overwhelmed with all that happens around you. Bangla Road, the shopping, dining, and party street of Patong is where all the action unwraps all night, every night. When here, you have to catch a show such as the Simon Cabaret – the biggest transvestite cabaret event in Asia. For something more adventurous, try dragon-jetting and jungle bungee jumping.

Good for: All kinds of travelers, especially the young.
Other Highlights: Phuket FantaSea, Wat Chalong, Banzaan Fresh Market, and Tiger Kingdom Phuket.

Hotel Recommendations:

  • Lub d Phuket Patong – A short walk from Patong Beach, Lub d Phuket Patong is a ritzy hotel with plush guestrooms and state-of-the-art facilities. The property has an outdoor pool (if you aren’t beach ready yet) and an on-site tour desk who help you arrange excursions in and around the island. Try your hands on a full-blown Muay Thai workout session at the boxing ring or get your work done at the co-working space before you head out to explore the lively street of Bangla. Great for all kinds of travelers.
  • Amari Phuket – A stone’s throw away from Patong Beach, Amari Phuket is a lavish beachfront property with stunning views of the surrounding sea and a world-class spa and wellness center. Apart from the spacious, well-appointed guestrooms, guests can enjoy one of the two outdoor pools and relish the meals at either their Italian restaurant or the seaside eatery which serves international cuisines. A well-equipped fitness center is on-site for fitness lovers. Suitable for all kinds of luxury travelers.
  • Baan Laimai Beach Resort – Nestled in the heart of Patong’s main shopping district, this fabulous beach resort has a large lagoon pool with a bar where guests can relax during the day. Rooms here are spacious and sport a traditional Thai décor. Island excursions and sightseeing can be arranged at the tour desk. Perfect for all kinds of travelers.

Kata Beach

Kata Beach

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Kata Beach

A charming bay south of Karon Beach, Kata is extremely prominent among families. Known for its pristine white beaches and crystal-clear sea, the coastline here is lined with swaying palms, fine dining restaurants, and vibrant (but not as loud as Patong) nightlife. While May to October attracts surfers to the beach from all around the world, November to April is when visitors come to soak in the sun. Kata South is home to many upscale resorts. From souvenir stores to fashion brands, this pleasant beach town has it all.

Good for: All kinds of travelers.
Other Highlights: Kata Noi Viewpoint Bars, Surf House Phuket, Kata Night Market, and Surfing at Kata Beach.

Hotel Recommendations:

  • Chanalai Romantica Resort, Kata Beach – Featuring a swim-up bar, a fully-functional fitness center, and complimentary Wi-Fi throughout the property, this gorgeous resort property is located at a 5 minutes’ walking distance from Kata Beach. Guestrooms here are spacious and wonderfully-designed and are fitted with flat-screen TV, outdoor seating, a private bathroom with bathtub and direct pool access (in selected rooms). Great for all kinds of travelers.
  • Alpina Phuket Nalina Resort & Spa – Boasting a world-class spa and wellness center and a massive lagoon pool, Alpina Phuket Nalina Resort & Spa is located within tropical landscapes and houses a children’s playground. Guestrooms come with private balconies and direct pool access (in selected rooms). Guests can use the free shuttle access to Kata beach which is only a few minutes’ walk from the property. Suitable for couples and small families.
  • The Yama Hotel Phuket – A short drive from Kata beachfront, the Yama Hotel Phuket offers well-appointed guestrooms with cable TV, minibar, and a bathtub. Guests have unlimited access to the on-site swimming pool and the fully-equipped fitness center. Some room tariffs provide a superb complimentary breakfast. Perfect for all kinds of travelers.

Karon Beach

Karon Beach

Source: Joey Santini / shutterstock

Karon Beach

The third longest beach in Phuket, Karon is located on the west coast of the island between the beaches of Patong and Kata. Among the most prominent holiday destinations in Phuket, Karon is famous for its excellent snorkeling and diving opportunities. The town of Karon is essentially divided into three sections – the Center offers good Buddhist temples and a great variety of shopping and dining venues, the Beach Road is home to many world-class resorts and shops, including the Karon Bazaar, and last but not the least, the area around Luang Poh Chuan Road which hosts the wilder nightlife in the town.

Good for: All kinds of travelers.
Other Highlights:
Wat Karon, Dino Park Mini Golf, ATV Karon, Karon Beach Naga Statue, and Thai Cooking Class.

Hotel Recommendations:

  • Kata Tranquil Villa – A 5 minutes’ drive from the picturesque beaches of Karon and Kata, this splendid property features luxurious rooms, villas, and suites with air-conditioning, flat-screen TV, a kitchenette, and a private bathroom. Guests can begin their day with a sumptuous breakfast and refresh themselves in the outdoor pool before heading out to explore the area. Great for all kinds of travelers.
  • The Village Resort & Spa – A gentle stroll away from the beach, the Village Resort & Spa features spacious, well-decorated villas with private terrace and pool access (in selected rooms only). Additionally, the resort houses an outdoor pool and a swim-up bar, a full-service spa, a tour desk to arrange for your sightseeing and excursions, and a hot tub with panoramic views of the surrounding mountain. Suitable for all kinds of travelers.
  • Thavorn Palm Beach Resort Phuket – A couple of minutes walking distance from the beach, Thavorn Palm Beach Resort Phuket is nestled along the remarkable Karon beachfront. Surrounded by lush greenery, the private rooms and suites at the property offer private balconies, Thai-style décor and striking vistas. The beach resort houses multiple dining options, a fully-equipped fitness center, and 4 swimming pools. Perfect for all kinds of travelers.

Kamala Beach

Kamala Beach

Source: Sunti / shutterstock

Kamala Beach

Situated north of the neon streets of Patong Beach, Kamala is rather peaceful and laid-back. A fishing village and an enclosed bay, the town is neighbored by forested hills which make Kamala one of the most picturesque places in Phuket. Popular among long-term travelers and retirees, the beach town has a number of accommodation options, from luxurious villas to long-term rentals. Though fairly untouched by extreme tourism, this beach town is home to one of the most significant attractions of Phuket – Phuket FantaSea, the first and the biggest Las Vegas-style show on the island which has been entertaining spectators since 1998.

Good for: All kinds of travelers.
Other Highlights:
Laem Singh Beach, Wat Baan Kamala, Phuket Fantasea Show, and Tsunami Memorial Park.

Hotel Recommendations:

  • Kamala Beach Resort, A Sunprime Resort – Boasting multiple outdoor pools, a traditional Thai massage center, a beachside restaurant, a swim-up bar, and a state-of-the-art fitness center, this lavish resort is located on the beachfront and is only a 10 minutes’ walk from the dining and shopping streets of Kamala Beach. Great for all kinds of travelers.
  • Thavorn Beach Village Resort & Spa Phuket – Overlooking the turquoise blue waters of Andaman Sea, the swanky resort & spa features Thai-style bungalows with cable TV, spa bath, terrace area, and a private balcony. Guests can enjoy a swim at the enormous lagoon pool or flex those muscles at the on-site fitness center. Perfect for all kinds of travelers.
  • Novotel Phuket Kamala Beach – A quick drive from Phuket FantaSea, Novotel Phuket Kamala Beach has a full-service spa, an outdoor swimming pool, a fully-functional fitness center, and a dedicated Kid’s Club. Guests stay at expansive suites and rooms with soundproofing, flat-screen TV, minibar, and ensuite bathroom. A superb complimentary breakfast is served daily. Great for all kinds of travelers.

Rawai Beach

Rawai Beach

Source: Lucy Brown - loca4motion / shutterstock

Rawai Beach

Revered as the very first tourist beach on the island of Phuket, Rawai has been a popular holiday and weekend getaway destination for locals for several decades. Now a “working beach,” Rawai is the launching point for many excursion boat tours that take visitors to the different islands and sightseeing spots around the surrounding sea. A long-tail boat trip to Coral island or Rocha Island is a popular trip from here among tourists.

Good for: All kinds of travelers.
Other Highlights:
Phuket Orchid Farm, Phromthep Cape, Laem Ka Beach, Phuket Seashell Museum, and Wat Sawang Arom.

Hotel Recommendations:

  • Navatara Phuket Resort – A short walk from the beach, Navatara Phuket Resort features stylish accommodation in spacious rooms fitted with free Wi-Fi, TV with satellite channels, balcony, and safety deposit box. An outdoor pool and a well-equipped fitness center are on site. A fabulous complimentary breakfast is served daily. Perfect for solo travelers, couples, and small families.
  • The Vijitt Resort Phuket – Sprinkled with large, stand-alone Thai-style villas established along the beachfront, and a sea-facing infinity pool, the Vijitt Resort Phuket welcomes guests to enjoy extraordinary views of Chalong Bay and the Coral Islands. Guests can make use of the free shuttle service to Phuket town. Great for all kinds of luxury travelers.
  • Serenity Resort & Residences Phuket – Nestled along the coastline of Rawai beach, Serenity Resort & Residences Phuket offers well-appointed guestrooms and suites with elegant wooden furnishings, views of the sea, and kitchenettes. Suitable for all kinds of travelers.

Surin Beach

Surin Beach

Source: DeltaOFF / shutterstock

Surin Beach

Regarded as Phuket’s “Millionaire’s Row,” Surin is home to several lavish resorts and is frequented by many local and international celebrities from time to time. Although a popular neighborhood for tourists, Surin feels less crowded and more like a coastal village. The smooth, white sands and remarkable turquoise waters make the beaches of Surin extremely famous among Thais and international tourists.

Good for: All kinds of travelers.
Other Highlights:
Pansea Beach, Surin Plaza, and Laem Sing View Point.

Hotel Recommendations:

  • Surintra Boutique Resort – A quick walk from the glistening white sands of Surin Beach, Surintra Boutique Resort features modern guestrooms with dark wood furnishing, comfortable seating area, TV with satellite channels, and great views of the pool and surrounding greenery. The tour desk can arrange for diving and rock climbing around the area. Great for all kinds of travelers.
  • Surin Beach Resort – A minutes’ walk from the beach, Surin Beach Resort features an outdoor pool, a sun terrace overlooking the beach, a spa and wellness center, and a fully-equipped fitness center. The friendly tour desk can help you arrange day-trips in and around the neighborhood. Guests can enjoy wining and dining at the on-site restaurant and bar. Suitable for all kinds of travelers.
  • Novotel Phuket Surin Beach Resort – Located right across the beach, Novotel Phuket Surin Beach Resort offers a world-class resort experience in the heart of Surin. Rooms and suites here are equipped with avant-garde facilities such as a private balcony, TV with DVD Player, minibar, and private bathroom with free toiletries. Additional facilities at the property include 3 outdoor pools with water slides, a spa and wellness center, and a 24-hour front desk. Perfect for all kinds of travelers.

Mai Khao Beach

Mai Khao Beach

Source: Serg Zastavkin / shutterstock

Mai Khao Beach

Located on the northwest coast of Phuket, Mai Khao is an 11-kilometer-long stunning coastline, fortunately underdeveloped and far away from urbanization. A part of Sirinath National Park, Mai Khao Beach is largely uninhabited by tourists which makes it the perfect spot if you’re looking for privacy and solitude. Perhaps one of the most interesting (and convenient) features about the largest strip of sand in Phuket is that it is home to the Phuket International Airport.

Good for: All kinds of travelers.
Other Highlights:
KidzSole Flying Trapeze, Sirinath National Park, Turtle Village, Wat Mai Khao, and IWP International Wake Park.

Hotel Recommendations:

  • Renaissance Phuket Resort & Spa – Within a minutes’ walk from the beautiful Mai Khao Beach, this vogueish resort and spa features fancy rooms and villas with a floor-to-ceiling window, soundproofing, and ensuite bathroom with bathtub and premium toiletries. Pool Villas come with private plunge pools. Guests can start the day with a refreshing swim in the large outdoor pool and enjoy a lavish breakfast at one of the many dining facilities. There are jogging and biking trails around for guests to experience. Great for all kinds of travelers.
  • Anantara Mai Khao Phuket Villas – A couple of minutes from the beach, Anantara Mai Khao Phuket Villas is bordered by Sirinath National Park and features an infinity pool, opulent villas with private pool, personal wine cellar, sundecks, and multiple dining options. Health freaks can enjoy yoga and aerobics sessions at the property or indulge in a full workout at the fitness center. Perfect for all kinds of luxury travelers.
  • Coriacea Boutique Resort – Set amidst a tranquil atmosphere by the beach, Coriacea Boutique Resort offers well-appointed guestrooms and suites with modern amenities such as cable TV, wardrobe/closet, and a patio. Guests can stay connected with their loved ones over complimentary Wi-Fi. Splash Jungle Water Park is just a short drive away. Suitable for all kinds of travelers.

Phuket Town

Phuket Town

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Phuket Town

Unlike the party streets of Patong and resort towns of Kamala and Mai Khao, Phuket Town, also known as Old Town, is steeped in Thai traditions and culture. Speckled with Buddhist and Chinese temples, Thai Wats, wonderfully-preserved shophouses, and museums, the town is home to many majestic Sino-colonial mansions which were occupied by the tin barons of Phuket around a century ago. The best way to explore the town is to take a gentle stroll around the streets. Phuket Walking Street, the latest addition to the list of attractions in this part of the island, set along Thalang Road houses a number of Thai, Chinese, and Indian stalls every Sunday from 4 PM.

Good for: All kinds of travelers.
Other Highlights:
Phuket Trickeye Museum, Thai Hua Museum, Chinpracha House, Phu Ket Philatelic Museum, and Phuket Mining Museum.

Hotel Recommendations:

  • Casa Blanca Boutique Hotel – Located within a fascinating colonial building, Casa Blanca Boutique Hotel features well-appointed guestrooms with wood flooring, flat-screen TV with satellite channels, safety deposit box, and modern ensuite bathroom. The property houses a well-manicured garden, an outdoor pool, and a coffee shop. Great for all kinds of travelers.
  • The Village Coconut Island Beach Resort – Nestled on a private beach with unprecedented views of Phang Nga Bay, the Village Coconut Island Beach resort offers peace and solitude from the hustle and bustle of the island. Guests staying here can indulge in various water sports and adventurous activities, including mountain biking, paddle boarding, windsurfing, and Muay Thai classes. Perfect for all kinds of travelers.
  • The Nchantra Pool Suite Phuket – A couple of minutes’ walk from the beach, this outstanding property features wonderfully-decorated suites and guestrooms with a separate living area, balcony, and ensuite bathroom with spa bath. The 24-hour front desk can attend to special needs at all hours while the tour desk can help make excursion arrangements around the area. Great for all kinds of travelers, including big groups of up to 6 members.

Bangtao Beach

Bangtao Beach

Source: Dima Fadeev / shutterstock

Bangtao Beach

Bangtao, a beach town filled with opulent resorts, has the second largest coastline in Phuket, after Mai Khao. Its 6-kilometer-long stretch of beautiful white sand and clear blue waters are home to several accommodation properties, restaurants, and tourism businesses. Boasting great shopping venues and some of the greatest beach clubs in Phuket, Bangtao is a family-friendly destination. Dream Beach Club is a must-visit.

Good for: All kinds of travelers.
Other Highlights:
Layan Beach, Laguna Phuket Golf Club, Horseback Riding in Bangtao, Wat Cherng Talay, and Anthem Wake Park.

Hotel Recommendations:

  • Best Western Premier Bangtao Beach Resort & Spa – Featuring two swimming pools, a fully-operation fitness center, classy rooms, and a tour desk, Best Western Premier Bangtao Beach Resort & Spa is just a minutes’ walk from the beach. The full-service, world-class spa and wellness center offers a range of treatments and massages that can be enjoyed by the beachside (upon request). Great for all kinds of travelers, including big groups of up to 5 members.
  • Outrigger Laguna Phuket Beach Resort – A pleasant walk from the beach, this extravagant beach resort offers guestrooms with ensuite bathroom, flat-screen TV with satellite channels, and private balcony. Additional facilities at the property include a fully-functional fitness center, a revitalizing spa and wellness center, and an outdoor pool. Guests staying at the Club, Villa, and Suite rooms are treated with a VIP check-in facility, gourmet breakfast, and access to the chef’s tasting menu. Perfect for all kinds of travelers.
  • Sunwing Bangtao Beach – Spread across the dazzling white sands of Bangtao Beach, this ritzy property features trendy studio units and suites with wooden furnishings, a kitchenette, a large balcony, and an ensuite bathroom with free toiletries. Guests can enjoy a swim at one of the many swimming pools and dine at the casual La Tasca or more formal Fino restaurant. Suitable for all kinds of travelers.

 

Where to stay: Best Hotels in Phuket, Thailand
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List of Image Sources

Where to Stay in Phuket – Neighborhoods & Area Guide:

Patong Beach

  • Patong Beach: John_Walker / shutterstock
  • Kata Beach: Windofchange64 / shutterstock
  • Karon Beach: Joey Santini / shutterstock
  • Kamala Beach: Sunti / shutterstock
  • Rawai Beach: Lucy Brown - loca4motion / shutterstock
  • Surin Beach: DeltaOFF / shutterstock
  • Mai Khao Beach: Serg Zastavkin / shutterstock
  • Phuket Town: Pakpoom Phummee / shutterstock
  • Bangtao Beach: Dima Fadeev / shutterstock