Where To Stay in Phuket: Best Areas & Hotels in 2024

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Having trouble deciding on where to stay in Phuket?

Thailand boasts some of the most beautiful islands in the world with the biggest and most popular being Phuket. With its numerous beaches and resorts, choosing the best area to stay in Phuket might not be an easy decision.

That’s where I’ve got you covered! Having travelled extensively through Thailand over the years and done my fair share of island hopping, I’m happy to share this guide with you. I’ll go through the best areas and towns on the island and help you decide where you should stay in Phuket.

Located on the Andaman Sea near the south, Phuket is Thailand’s largest island and one of the world’s most popular destinations. It’s often in the top 10 of the most visited places in the world and it’s not difficult to see why.

It has beautiful beaches and scenery like James Bond Island, amazing temples and architecture like the Big Buddha, great shopping and restaurants as well as a very famous, lively party scene.

Phuket is an excellent island destination whether you’re a backpacker, couple, family or anyone who is looking for a slice of paradise. Sound too good to be true? Let’s dive in and get into it!

Quick Guide: Where To Stay In Phuket

Short on time? Want to know the best areas to stay in Phuket right away? Then check out these hand-picked listings below.

📍Best Area In Phuket For First-Timers – Kata Beach

Swimming pool with deck chairs and umbrellas at Katathani Phuket Beach Resort

Katathani Phuket Beach Resort
⭐️ 8.6/10
✔️ Excellent location
✔️ Onsite spa and 2 fitness centres
✔️ 6 pools and 6 dining options!

📍Best Area In Phuket For Families – Karon

Hotel resort huts surrounded by jungle with the pool in full view

Mandarava Resort and Spa
⭐️ 9.0/10
✔️ Chic, contemporary resort
✔️ 5 pools with bars
✔️ Spacious rooms with balconies

📍Best Area In Phuket For Couples – Kamala

Small thatch-roofed villas with pools surrounded by jungle

⭐️ 9.1/10
✔️ Romantic mountain location
✔️ Unique design and architecture
✔️ Private pool

📍Best Area In Phuket For Nightlife – Patong

Big room with blue sofas and wooden beams and roof with the ocean seen through a large window

Amari Phuket
⭐️ 8.1/10
✔️ Private beach
✔️Beautiful pools
✔️ First-class spa

📍Best Area In Phuket For Island Hopping – Phuket Town

Modern glass houses surround a pool with a circular deck chair area. the whole area is surround by thick trees

Island Escape By Burasari
⭐️ 8.5/10
✔️ Peaceful location
✔️ Stunning infinity pool
✔️ 5-star luxury

Where To Stay In Phuket For First-Timers

View of the sea from the beach with an green island to the left and green hill on the right.

📍Kata Beach – Known for its breathtaking views and tranquil ambience, Kata Beach is an excellent choice for first-time travellers to Phuket.

Kata has some of the nicest beaches in Phuket and offers a more relaxed atmosphere, creating an inviting environment. It’s also an excellent hub should you decide to experience some of the island’s famous nightlife as you’re only a short taxi ride away from the Patong.

While Kata’s secluded charm may seem remote, it provides an excellent introduction to Phuket’s renowned hospitality and natural beauty. There are still plenty of markets and restaurants around as well as tour agencies so you can always book a trip to a nearby island or even take a Thai cooking class.

Its pristine shoreline and crystal-clear waters offer the quintessential tropical paradise experience, perfect for first-timers looking to unwind and soak up the sun.

With its blend of tranquillity, accessibility, and natural beauty, Kata Beach is the perfect starting point for first-timers eager to discover the wonders of Phuket.

Where To Stay In Kata

📍Budget Option $ â€“ Sugar Ohana Poshtel ⭐️ 9.3/10

Double bed with view of palm trees in the window. Very white decor

This excellent hotel is anything but budget. All rooms have aircon and ensuite facilities and beds are comfy with the beach only a 5-min walk away, making this an excellent value pick!

👉 Check rates and book here

📍Mid-Range Option $$ â€“ Katathani Phuket Beach Resort ⭐️ 8.6/10

Swimming pool with deck chairs and umbrellas at Katathani Phuket Beach Resort

One of the most popular resorts in Phuket, this hotel has nearly 2k reviews. With a beachfront location, 6 pools and 6 dining options, it’s easy to see why visitors keep coming back.

👉 Check rates and book here

📍Luxury Option $$$ â€“ Kata Rocks ⭐️ 8.9/10

Apartments of Kata Rocks located on the hillside with the sea and beach in view in the background

Be prepared to be pampered with a touch of world-class luxury. Along with exceptional views, each private villa has a mini pool and private terrace. Rooms come with iPads as your control panel!

👉 Check rates and book here

Things To Do In Kata

✔️ Karon Viewpoint

One of the most popular things to do in Kata, Karon Viewpoint offers incredible views of Kata Noi, Kata and Karon Beaches, which is why it’s nicknamed 3 Beaches Viewpoint.

On a clear day, you can even spot the Phuket Big Buddha. Just be aware that at certain times, like weekends or holidays, the viewpoint can get a little bit crowded.

✔️ Kata Noi Beach

Located just a short boat ride away from the main beach is Kata Noi, a stunning little bay ideal for swimming and snorkelling.

Affectionally known as ‘Little Kata Beach’, the warm blue water, clean sand and chilled vibes are perfect for day trippers looking for a less crowded beach.

✔️ Kata Night Market

Kata Night Market is a great place to try as many cheap Thai dishes as you can. Try classics like Pad Thai and spring rolls before sampling a bit of crocodile if you dare!

The market is also a great place for clothes, souvenirs and handmade jewellery. Of course, you’re expected to haggle unless the price is already listed.

✔️ Kata Temple

While Phuket is known primarily as a beach destination, it’s always good to take some time to experience a bit of culture. Especially in a place like Thailand!

Kata Temple, or Wat Kattisangkaram in Thai, is well looked after by its monks and it’s worth spending 30 minutes to an hour of your time there. You might be the only tourists around!

✔️ Ska Bar

If you’re after an ice-cold drink in one of Phuket’s coolest beach bars with a chilled vibe then look no further than Ska Bar located at the southern edge of Kata Beach.

The Ska Bar is an awesome place for those sundowners but they also offer delicious Thai food too. All this with great views of the beach and low-key reggae playing in the background.

Where To Stay In Phuket With Family

Man and young son walk on a beach as water from the waves come in.

📍Karon Beach – While suitable for most travellers, Karon Beach provides a relaxed atmosphere, making it ideal for families looking for a peaceful retreat. Karon offers plenty of space for children to play safely, while parents can enjoy the tranquillity of the surroundings.

Located just next to Kata Beach on the west coast, Karon is famous for its long, sandy beach stretching 3 kilometres and meeting the calm waters of the Andaman Sea. While it is slightly larger (or longer) than Kata, the choice of dining and accommodation options almost reaches Kata in some areas.

Children and adults alike can take advantage of Karon’s many activities. From watersports like parasailing and jetskiing to child-friendly Dinosaur-themed amusement parks, Karon is the perfect place for all the family to enjoy.

There are no crazy bars or late-night clubs in Karon. The nightlife is more family-friendly with a great range of dining options and entertainment aimed at those looking for a more traditional beach getaway.

Where To Stay In Karon

📍Budget Option $ – Thira House ⭐️ 9.4/10

A bedroom in Thira House with dim lighting and window

Two-star accommodation with mountain and sea views, the staff at this guest house will ensure that you have a warm and welcoming stay. Rooms are clean, and spacious with a balcony or terrace.

👉 Check rates and book here

📍Mid-Range Option $$ – Pullman Phuket Karon Beach Resort ⭐️ 8.4/10

Aerial Pullman Phuket Karon Beach Resort including a circular pool surrounded by palm trees and a view of the beach and sea

Family-friendly resort with a variety of dining options and fitness facilities. All rooms have balconies with views of the sea, garden or lagoons. There are also 5 pools and a kids club for the little ones.

👉 Check rates and book here

📍Luxury Option $$$ – Mandarava Resort and Spa ⭐️ 9.0/10

Hotel resort huts surrounded by jungle with the pool in full view

A contemporary resort set in tropical gardens, this hotel boasts 5 pools and bars as well as fitness and spa facilities. There are also yoga and Thai cooking classes available on request.

👉 Check rates and book here

Things To Do In Karon

✔️ Big Buddha

The Phuket Big Buddha can be seen from nearly all over the island but it’s much better to see this iconic statue close up.

Big Buddha stands at the top of Nakkerd Hill offering excellent views of the island. You can even walk up to the statue but an ATV tour is a much more fun experience.

✔️ Dino Park Mini Golf

A fun activity for all the family. Adults can enjoy golf and children (or children at heart) can enjoy the dinosaurs at this prehistoric-themed mini golf course.

The course is even better in the evening as the place is lit up and the heat has died down.

✔️ Karon Temple

A visit to a Buddhist temple would be an educational experience for all the family and Karon Temple is a must-visit once you’ve had enough of the beach.

Also called Wat Suwan Khiri Khet, the temple is small but well-maintained and offers a peaceful introduction to the temples of Thailand

✔️ Karon Temple Market

On Tuesdays and Fridays, Karon Temple serves another purpose – the Temple Market. The temple grounds are opened up to street vendors and market stalls.

This is a great place to buy those souvenirs and enjoy some of the famous Thai street food.

✔️ Karon Park

If you’ve had enough beach for one day you can always take a leisurely stroll around Karon Park and/or its large artificial lake.

The trees in the park provide plenty of shade and there are some simple exercise machines around the park if you feel you’ve had too much Pad Thai or green curry.

Where To Stay In Phuket For Couples

Beach in Thailand with gold sand and many palm trees on the beach.

📍Kamala Beach – Located on Phuket’s east coast just a short drive north of Patong, Kamala stands out as my top pick for couples seeking a laid-back beach getaway. The relaxed atmosphere makes it perfect for unwinding together.

One of its main draws is that the beach isn’t directly alongside a road, allowing for a tranquil dining experience right by the shore, where you can enjoy a meal and drinks at your own pace.

Despite its peaceful ambience, Kamala Beach offers all the essential services and amenities couples need for a comfortable stay. Plus, it’s easy to venture out and explore other parts of the island if desired.

With its beautiful beach and serene surroundings, Kamala provides an ideal setting for couples to relax and enjoy each other’s company without the hustle and bustle.

For couples looking to escape and reconnect, Kamala offers a perfect retreat. However, if you’re seeking lively nightlife you may need to take a short taxi ride south to Patong!

Where To Stay In Kamala

📍Budget Option $ – The Mareeya Place ⭐️ 9.3/10

A room at Mareeya Place showing the autumn tone and furnishings

This two-star boutique hotel is only a 3-minute walk to the beach, markets and restaurants. Rooms are clean and spacious and the owners really make you feel at home.

👉 Check rates and book here

📍Mid-Range Option $$ – Cape Sienna ⭐️ 8.5/10

Featuring stunning sea views, this resort has a rooftop bar, 2 pools, 4 dining options and a variety of fitness facilities. The beds are super comfy and some rooms have a spa bath.

👉 Check rates and book here

📍Luxury Option $$$ – Keemala ⭐️ 9.1/10

Small thatch-roofed villas with pools surround by jungle

Romantic, one-of-a-kind resort located on the mountainside. Rooms have private pools and the unique architecture creates a magical atmosphere. It’s 2km to the beach but shuttles are provided.

👉 Check rates and book here

Things To Do In Kamala

✔️ Kamala Friday Market

Nice local market with plenty of local souvenirs and clothes for sale. Also a good selection of street food as well as fruit and vegetables on offer. Many of the vendors from the larger Karon Market turn up here so there’s always a good choice of stalls.

Despite the name, the Kamala Market is also open on Mondays and sometimes even Thursdays.

✔️ Phuket FantaSea

For something a little different, head to Phuket FantaSea, a cultural evening theme park of sorts that draws visitors from all over the island.

You can enjoy a meal and a show at this slightly touristy attraction but it does do a good job of replicating the Ayutthaya-style decor from the old Thai kingdom.

✔️ Wat Baan

Charming little temple located toward the southern end of Kamala. The temple has been immaculately rebuilt since it was heavily damaged in the 2004 tsunami.

Although smaller than many other temples in Phuket, it’s well worth taking the time to wander the grounds as many tourists simply just drive past!

✔️ Surin Beach

Just a few kilometres north of Kamala is a beautiful 1km stretch of white sand known as Surin Beach. A little quieter than Kamala Beach, it’s a lovely place to just soak up the sun, maybe do a bit of snorkelling or even

There are a few nice restaurants towards the south and, being on the west coast, it’s also a fantastic place to watch the sunset.

✔️ Café Del Mar Phuket

Looking for a slice of Ibiza in Phuket? Then Cafe Del Mar Phuket might be the perfect answer for anyone looking for some nightlife in Kamala.

This beach bar and restaurant offers chilled vibes and a relaxing atmosphere even if you don’t get as much bang for your baht here.

Where To Stay In Phuket For Nightlife

Illuminated Patong Beach sign at night with many people wandering the street underneath.

📍Patong Beach – We all know that Phuket has some fabulous beaches but there’s another reason why visitors make their way here – to sample the infamous nightlife. If you’re reading this then you already know I’m talking Patong Beach!

During the day, Patong buzzes with shoppers exploring its tourist shops, tour offices, and even a modern shopping mall. As well as tasty Thai restaurants, those who are craving Western food or familiar American chains are in luck as Patong has it all. From German beer gardens to American sports bars and Irish pubs, there’s no shortage of options for grabbing a drink in the afternoon.

But when night falls, Patong truly comes alive. The thumping music leads the way to vendors selling cheap drinks along the roadside. Patong becomes party central, drawing in revellers and those looking for a good time. Go-go bars, ping pong shows, and more line the streets and alleys off Bangla Road.

Surprisingly, the beach is clean thanks to local efforts. Beach vendors offer boat rides, hammocks, and sunglasses to beachgoers making it one of the best places to stay in Phuket for young adults.

Staying at hotels and resorts nearby offers proximity to the action without sacrificing sleep quality. However, budget travellers should be aware that finding an affordable room in Patong Beach is becoming more challenging.

Where To Stay In Patong

📍Budget Option $ – Memory Patong ⭐️ 8.3/10

Reception room at Memory Patong, wooden ceiling and there are stairs in the background

Three-star accommodation slightly off the back from the noise of Bangla Road, with helpful staff and clean rooms. Superb value for money with plenty of shops, 7/11’s and restaurants nearby.

👉 Check rates and book here

📍Mid-Range Option $$ – Amari Phuket ⭐️ 8.1/10

Big room with blue sofas and wooden beams and roof with the ocean seen through a large window

A popular choice in Patong, Amari has a private beach, beachfront or ocean-view room options and a fantastic Italian restaurant. Close enough to the nightlife without compromising peace and quiet.

👉 Check rates and book here

📍Luxury Option $$$ – Four Points by Sheraton ⭐️ 8.7/10

Four Points is just a few steps from the quieter, and prettier, northern part of the beach. It’s only 1km from Bangla Road and has 2 fantastic restaurants and a cool pool that spreads around the hotel.

👉 Check rates and book here

Things To Do In Patong

✔️ Bangla Road

Where else? The infamous Bangla Walking Street at night is the place to be if you’re looking for food, drink or anything that might interest you from those menus!

Many who visit Patong are looking for a crazy experience and you can have as quiet or crazy a time as you wish on Bangla Road.

✔️ Muay Thai

Fancy watching some MuayThai/Thai kickboxing? Patong just happens to be home to two of the most famous Muay Thai stadiums in south Thailand – Patong Stadium and Bangla Stadium.

Many matches, especially on the islands, have a more exhibition feel to them (except in the capital, Bangkok) but you can expect a more authentic fight at these stadiums.

✔️ Night Markets

Patong is home to several night markets with Bangla Night Market, Malin Plaza and OTOP Market being the most popular.

Expect to find the usual selection of excellent street food, including fresh seafood, as well as souvenirs and clothes.

✔️ Flying Hanuman

One for the thrill seekers among you, Flying Hanuman offers a variety of outdoor activities like ziplining and abseiling whilst being surrounded by Phuket’s lush green jungle.

Named after a Hindu deity, you can expect to be flying around from a variety of platforms during your time here. Choose from 30 minutes, 1 hour or 2.5 hours.

✔️ Simon Cabaret

Glamorous, over the top and loads of fun. The Simon Cabaret is a show filled with extravagant, colourful costumes, atmospheric music and ladyboys!

The show is one of the most popular and entertaining evenings in Phuket and a great way to see the ladyboys sing (or lipsync) and dance to amazing choreographed sets.

Where To Stay In Phuket For Island Hopping

Colourful colonial buildings showing the wooden windows.

📍Phuket Town – For those wondering where the best area to stay in Phuket is for a spot of island hopping, or even to James Bond island, you’ll find that most boats leave/arrive from the east coast of the island near Phuket Town.

With that in mind, it makes sense to stay close to the piers to keep travel time limited and Phuket Town is an excellent choice, although I would only recommend staying here if you have already explored the lovely beaches on offer in Phuket first as you won’t find any in the town.

If you make your way to Old Phuket Town, you’ll find streets lined with colourful Portuguese-style wooden houses, cute verandas, and intricate decorations. The area is also home to artsy boutiques and trendy hangouts, adding to its unique vibe.

One of the highlights of Phuket Town is its vibrant street art scene. Numerous murals adorn the walls, and walking trails guide you to discover them all. Exploring street art is a must-do activity here.

When it comes to dining, the nightly street market in Phuket Town offers typical Thai dishes and drinks, attracting both locals and tourists. Live entertainment, including dancers and singers, adds to the lively atmosphere.

Phuket Town, and more specifically the Old Town, has an old-world charm making it an excellent option for travellers seeking a quieter and more cultural experience on the island. While you’ll miss out on Phuket’s beaches in the old town, it is the perfect base for heading out to Koh Phi Phi, Krabi and many other islands.

Where To Stay In Old Phuket Town

📍Budget Option $ – The Memory at On On ⭐️ 8.8/10

Old style room at Memory Phuket Town. The wall is flaking and there in a wooden sign on the wall.

A must for anyone who wants to experience Sino-Portuguese architecture. Beautifully decorated, the rooms are full of character the hotel is located right in the middle of the Old Town.

👉 Check rates and book here

📍Mid-Range Option $$ – Casa Blanca Boutique Hotel ⭐️ 8.7/10

Classical style room with white paint and furnishings with blue cushions on chairs.

Located in Phuket Old Town, this boutique hotel is a quirky option with charming rooms that mix antique decor with modern features. The rooftop terrace bathtubs are a must-see!

👉 Check rates and book here

📍Luxury Option $$$ – Island Escape By Burasari ⭐️ 8.5/10

Modern glass houses surround a pool with a circular deck chair area. the whole area is surround by thick trees

Dreamy location on Coconut Island. Perfect for those looking to escape the hustle and bustle of the mainland. Top facilities with fabulous pools. You can even swim up to some of the rooms!

👉 Check rates and book here

Things To Do In Phuket Town

✔️ Sunday Walking Market

A popular market that opens on Sundays from late afternoon to late, the Sunday Walking Street Market, or Lard Yai, is a lively and bustling market in Old Phuket Town.

Expect the usual stalls and vendors with souvenirs and food on offer while you’ll also often find buskers and performers adding to the already buzzing atmosphere.

✔️ Wat Chalong

You may have already seen many temples around Phuket but Wat Chalong is by far the most important on the island as well as being the largest and most visited.

It’s definitely worth taking your time to explore the incredible Thai architecture – it is said that the main pagoda contains a splinter of one of Lord Buddha’s bones.

✔️ Soi Romanee

Soi Romanee is not your typical image of Phuket and it’s beaches and nightlife. The colourful Sino-Portuguese buildings that line these streets are fabulously maintained and are a photographer’s dream.

While you may not be wandering around a red-light district as it once was many years ago, you can still enjoy ice cream, coffee and boutique shopping.

✔️ Monkey Hill

A scenic viewpoint which is easily reached by car or scooter at an appropriately named location. Not only will you get great panoramic views of the island at Monkey Hill but you’ll also encounter many monkeys!

If you plan to walk, please read the rules as the monkeys can be easily aggravated and you don’t want to be the one telling the story of how their food or phone was stolen.

✔️ Thai Hua Museum

Located in a Sino-Portuguese mansion, this museum displays various exhibitions including the history and traditions of Phuket detailing the journey of the first Chinese migrants to the island.

Originally used as a school, the museum is a great place to educate and familiarise yourself with the people who became the foundation of the local community in Phuket.

FAQ: Visiting Phuket

Now that you know the best areas to stay in Phuket, I’ll take you through some FAQs. Here are the most asked questions when travellers are preparing for their visit to Phuket.

Which part of Phuket is best to stay?

Choosing the best part of Phuket to stay depends on what you’re looking for from your trip. I’ll recap what my thoughts are on which part of Phuket is the best place to stay:

Kata – best for first-timers. A great intro to Phuket.
Karon – best for families with plenty of children’s activities.
Kamala – best for couples looking for a relaxing getaway.
Patong – best for nightlife and young adults. Party central!
Old Phuket Town – best for culture and access to other islands.

Is it better to stay in Patong or Phuket Town?

It is better to stay in Patong for the party and nightlife and Phuket Town, or Old Phuket Town, for a more local experience.

Each traveller will have their preferences but it’s good to know that lively Patong is quite Westernised with its American fast food restaurant and Starbucks

While Phuket Town can be a more cultural experience, there is no beach. You will have more access to the other islands though as many of the main piers and harbours are located nearby.

Is it safe to walk at night in Phuket?

It is quite safe to walk around most parts of Phuket at night. Thailand is generally regarded as a safe country although you should always stay alert on your travels. Avoid heading to the beach alone and always keep bags and belongings close to your person.

How many days in Phuket is enough?

You could easily spend 3-5 days in Phuket. If you decide to explore more areas then you will 7 days or more. Many people base themselves in one place and explore different parts of the island in a week or even two.

Wrapping Up: Where To Stay In Phuket

There you have it! I hope that these recommendations on the best areas to stay in Phuket have helped you make a decision during your travel planning.

Phuket truly deserves its name as the Pearl of the Anadama and is one of the many reasons to visit Thailand. From powdery soft sand beaches to crazy late-night parties, Phuket has something for everybody. Being the biggest island in Thailand means you can really feel the change in vibe as you explore the different beaches.

While you can enjoy everything the island has to offer no matter where you stay, my guidelines will give you an idea of what to expect in each area. For example, we could’ve stayed in Kamala but we decided we wanted to sample the nightlife in Patong instead and had an absolute blast!

So whether you’re a backpacker on an island-hopping adventure around Thailand, a newlywed couple looking for a honeymoon destination or a family looking for a quiet place to relax but with plenty of activities to keep you and the little ones occupied.

All that’s left now is to book that flight and pack your bags! Enjoy!

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