The best Phuket hotels from luxury beach resorts to boutique hotels in Phuket Old Town. Here’s where to stay on Phuket depending on the experience you want – whether you want breathtaking sea views, want to be within splashing distance of the sand or a stunning swimming pool, or close to atmospheric markets, street food and restaurants specialising in southern Thai food.
Thailand has re-opened to fully-vaccinated tourists without quarantine, following the success of the Phuket Sandbox Programme. But that doesn’t mean you should skip Phuket and make a beeline for Bangkok. On the contrary, Phuket is a fantastic place to kick off your Thailand trip.
Thailand’s largest island, Phuket is blessed with a wide variety of beaches, towns, villages, and beach resorts, each with their own personality, which means you need to choose where to stay on Phuket carefully.
Then there’s Phuket’s Old Town, also called Phuket Town, the charming historic heart of the island’s capital, where you’ll find markets, street food stalls, cafés and restaurants offering fantastic Southern Thai food, including Phuket cuisine that’s unique to the island.
Phuket Town also has a rich culture and long history, splendid pastel-painted heritage buildings, decent shopping, and cafés and bars with character, which have been gradually reopening.
While most visitors prefer to be by the beach and visit Phuket Town on a day trip or for dinner, even if you’re set on a beach holiday we think Phuket Town warrants a stay of at least a night or two.
On our longest trip to the island, we spent our month on Phuket some years ago researching Phuket cuisine and street food, and sampled more than a dozen beach resorts and boutique hotels on Thailand’s sprawling southern island.
Below you’ll find our picks of the best Phuket hotels, from luxury Phuket beach resorts to boutique hotels in Phuket Old Town.
Best Phuket Hotels from Luxury Beach Resorts to Boutique Hotels
Thailand’s biggest island, Phuket is 540 square kilometres in size, 21 kilometres wide and almost 48km in length, and it’s mountainous, so it’s not as if you can bounce from one side of the island to the other with ease and speed. You need to choose where to stay on Phuket very carefully.
Whether you’re looking for a Phuket beach resort with access from your accommodation directly to the sand or you’re satisfied lapping up the spectacular sea views from the side of a swimming pool, you’ll be very satisfied with resorts such as The Surin, which offer access to the sand from beachside cottages, and Anantara Phuket Layan, although you’ll need to choose your villa carefully.
Como Point Yamu, Paresa, Andara, and Kata Rocks, all have gorgeous pools and awe-inspiring ocean and island views, although they’re a short drive or sweaty walk to the beach. There are no views from the private pool villas and rooms at lovely Sala Phuket, but it’s an easy amble to one of Phuket’s cleanest beaches, and the bar, restaurant and pool offer prime sunset-viewing.
Just off the island on the mainland, most of the accommodation at Aleenta and Iniala Beach House (currently closed) in Baan Natai, is within splashing distance of the sea — you can hear the waves crashing against the shore from the comfort of your bed — and also offer sublime sunset views.
In Phuket Town, the markets, museums, temples, café, restaurants and bars are all a short stroll away from the charmingly restored Memory at On On and lovely Casa Blanca, both two of the best Phuket hotels in the Old Town.
Best Phuket Hotels from Luxury Beach Resorts to Boutique Hotels — Our Picks
By the Sea On Phuket Island
Point Yamu by COMO
If your requirement as to where to stay in Phuket calls for a combination of fantastic food, views, style, and a swimming pool, then Point Yamu by COMO is your hotel and one of the best Phuket hotels. On Cape Yamu on Phuket’s east coast, overlooking Phang Nga Bay, Point Yamu by COMO is spread across a striking concrete shell and 27 pool villas skirting the main complex. Opened in April 2014, the resort boasts an endearingly playful design by Italian Paola Navone, inspired by Thai culture and Buddhism. A whimsical lobby display features pagoda bells, kitschy garden statues and tin monk’s bowls filled with flowers, while traditional artisanal techniques abound, such as woven rattan, stencilled antique tiles, and wooden roof tiling on feature walls. A 100-metre swimming pool with gob-smacking bay views makes up for the lack of beach access, and a COMO Shambhala Spa offers signature treatments. A highlight is the food, which was overseen by Australian chef Daniel Moran when we last stay – Italian-focused Mediterranean cuisine at La Sirena and a light take on southern Thai food at Nahmyaa. An array of activities includes complimentary 15-minute transfers to Rang Yai Island, longtail boat rides to Naga Noi, and cruises to Ko Phi Phi, James Bond Island and the Similians. Book Point Yamu by COMO online with our booking partner Booking.com.
Anantara Phuket Layan
Anantara Phuket Layan is easily another one of the best Phuket hotels. The resort is set on a secluded bay with a private sandy beach (rare in Thailand), on the mid-northwest coast. The property has all the signature elements of the brand’s style, from airy pavilions for public spaces and quintessentially Thai-style tiled roofs to polished timber floors, silk soft-furnishings, and orchid-filled vases. Here you have a choice of rooms and suites with Andaman Sea vistas or spacious villas without views but boasting private pools. We tried the latter and it was lovely, but I preferred to swim in the larger beachside pool so I’d probably opt for a room with a view if I stayed again. The Thai food at the beautifully designed Dee Plee restaurant was outstanding, and the Spice Spoons cooking class and market tour were excellent. All day dining restaurant, Sala Layan, was also terrific. The resorts offers a range of water sports, as well as Muay Thai kick boxing classes. Book Anantara Layan Phuket Resort online with our booking partner Booking.com.
Slap-bang on beautiful Mai Khao Beach, Phuket’s longest and cleanest beach, which is protected as part of the north-western Sirinat National Park, lovely low-rise Sala Phuket is another one of the best Phuket hotels and one of the island’s most laidback resorts. Thanks to a well-planned layout with the reception on one side of the resort, the alfresco restaurant, lounge bar and pool on the other, and private pool villas hidden behind high walls in between, the property feels very intimate and exclusive. There are 79 stylish villas and suites, but it feels as if there’s half the amount. The sprawling lawns also allow sunbathers to spread out, so it’s only at meal times and when guests make a beeline for the lounge-beds to savour the sunset that you realise there are others staying. The international and Thai dishes on the menu are all excellent – everything from quesadillas to Phuket specialty khanom jeen (room-temperature rice noodles, coconut curry, crispy vegetables, and condiments). This is where to stay in Phuket if your priorities are privacy and tranquility – along with great food and a good beach. Book Sala Phuket online with our booking partner Booking.com.
Located on a headland on the mid northwest coast and set in lush tropical palm-filled gardens, luxurious Trisara is another one of the best Phuket hotels and easily one of Phuket’s most exclusive resorts – except on weekends, when things get busy when expats and locals linger over a sumptuous Sunday seafood-driven champagne brunch. We highly recommend it. The lavish pool villas and residences, perched above the sea, are enormous, boasting spacious decks, serene infinity pools, and panoramic ocean vistas. While it’s tempting to enjoy sundowners from your villa, venture down to the bar for the fabulous cocktails. The Thai food was fantastic and cooking class excellent. Service at the seaside restaurant was slow and the food a tad disappointing the night we dined, but the lazy Sunday brunch and a private barbecue dinner on the deck of our villa more than made up for it. Book Trisara online with our booking partner Booking.com.
One of the most idyllically situated resorts on Phuket, set amidst coconut palm groves, The Surin spills down a luxuriant hillside, overlooking a drop-dead gorgeous beach and is easily another of the best Phuket hotels. Designed by renowned Paris-based architect Ed Tuttle, who rejuvenated the property a few years ago, the hard and heavy lines of the lofty main building that houses the reception and restaurants is at odds with the casual charm of the light-filled cottages that cascade down the slope and sit on the edge of the sand. But once you’re settled into your spacious cottage, sprawled out on a towel on the sand, or sipping a sundowner as you watch the sun set from your own veranda, you won’t really care. There’s a stunning palm-lined swimming pool, two restaurants serving terrific Thai food, and the beach is ideal for early morning or late afternoon walks and it even gets swell large enough for a surf, if not some boogie boarding. While it’s not far to walk into the town of Surin, once you’re ensconced in your cottage you probably won’t want to leave, so take supplies and lots to read. Book The Surin Phuket online with our booking partner Booking.com.
Another one of the best Phuket hotels, Paresa is perched on a headland on Phuket’s mid-west coast, offering some of the most jaw-dropping sea views on the island, best appreciated from the infinity pool or deck of the restaurant. The spacious comfortable villas and suites are quintessentially Thai-resort style with terraces and plunge pools. Not all offer the panoramic views of the public spaces, so confirm this is what you want ahead if it’s important. The food is notable from both the Thai and European menus, each of which is offered in the same restaurant that’s loosely divided into two. But the culinary highlight for most is the special ‘Infinity Experience’ for couples, offered at low tables set over sun-beds that protrude into the infinity pool. Very romantic. The menu features indulgent dishes such as Australian grain fed Angus beef with seared foie gras, but that’s the kind of experience it is. There’s an excellent cooking class with market walk that we also highly recommend. If you want a dip in the sea the Paresa offers transfers to its beach club nearby at Kamala. Book Paresa Resort Phuket online with our booking partner Booking.com.
The palm-fringed Olympic-sized swimming pool and Kamala Beach vistas would have been enough to entice me to Andara if I hadn’t have known about the enormous apartments with their brilliant kitchens and spacious entertaining areas. Like a lot of the properties we chose to stay at for our research on Phuket cuisine, the Andara not only has a very good Thai restaurant that serves dishes from Phuket and Southern Thailand, they also offer cooking classes and in-villa dining prepared by their chefs. We requested a combination of the experiences, so we got to observe two lovely local cooks prepare our dinner in our kitchen, and pick their brains about Phuket cuisine in the process. The suites and apartments are decorated with Jim Thompson silk textiles and fitted out with Bose sound systems and the like. Of all the places where to stay in Phuket that we road-tested, this is the one we’d recommend for discerning travellers who want to settle in for a while, and it’s easily another one of the best Phuket hotels. Book Andara Resort online with our booking partner Booking.com.
This exclusive property cascades down a steep hill on the rocky peninsula at the end of busy Kata Beach, ensuring complete privacy. The white, light-filled, two-storey villas and lofts boast a futuristic design inspired by the shape of the super yachts, which drop anchor in the bay. The sleek minimalist interiors have state-of-the-art kitchens set up for entertaining, with every conceivable appliance and utensil you could think of – a passionate cook or chef would be very happy holidaying here. There’s a fully stocked fridge and wine cellar, and outside there is a huge lounge and private plunge pool. If you don’t want to stay in, you don’t have to go far. There’s also a fine poolside restaurant and bar serving light, elegantly presented Thai and international food, which was overseen by Aussie chef Steve Baker when we last stayed. The only downside is Kata Beach and the town itself. If you really want to dine outside the resort, you’re best making the trek into Phuket Old Town. This is another one of the best Phuket hotels and this is where to stay in Phuket if your goal is ultimate relaxation and you don’t plan on straying far from your sleek accommodation. Book Kata Rocks online with our booking partner Booking.com.
Unlike Kata Rocks, which is on a hill on the edge of Kata, The Boathouse is slap-bang in the centre. Whether this is a good or bad thing really depends on what you think of Kata Beach and the town. We’re not fans of the area, but The Boathouse is loaded with old-fashioned appeal, from the property itself, which in some ways felt like a generations-old, family-owned, holiday town hotel to the hands-on attention of the general manager who made an effort to make every guest feel at home. The pick of the rooms is the Beachfront Suite, which is super-spacious and looks out onto the sand – so close that you can hear the sound of the waves crashing against the shore and smell the salty sea air. Their daily Sunset Bubbles and Nibbles was a must when we last stayed, located in the library overlooking the ocean, and Saturday Night Jazz was popular with expats. Dinner at the restaurant was hit and miss when it comes to the Western food, especially the steaks, so stick to the Thai cuisine and you’ll eat exceedingly well. Book The Boathouse online with our booking partner Booking.com.
Best Phuket Boutique Hotels in Phuket Old Town
The Memory at On On
In the heart of Phuket Town and built in 1929, making it one of Phuket’s oldest hotels and one of the best Phuket hotels in the Old Town, The Memory at On On was a seedy backpacker joint that featured in the movie The Beach before re-opening after extensive renovations in late 2013. While the hotel has retained some (refurbished) dorm-style accommodation and budget rooms, it’s the lovely mid-range rooms you should book with balconies, flat screen TVs and mini-bars. Despite the remodelling of rooms, it’s still the public spaces, including pretty courtyards and quiet nooks that exude the most charm. Decorated with retro furnishings and vintage pieces, such as antique wireless radios, they’re very photogenic (and frequently Instagrammed). Book The Memory at On On Hotel online with our booking partner Booking.com.
If food factors highly in your decision as to where to stay in Phuket then you want to be in Phuket Town and this comfortable boutique hotel is a fantastic choice, and easily another one of the best Phuket hotels in Phuket Town. The effusive, well-travelled, English-speaking Thai owner of this rather grand whitewashed hotel, with a distinctly feminine sensibility – pastel colours, pretty furnishings, fresh flowers – is a passionate baker and foodie. She also owns a delightful café nearby selling the baked goods she makes herself. Something of a foodie, she and her staff are keen to share restaurant tips, taking care to make reservations and mark spots on maps. They are equally eager to hear how you enjoyed their recommendations the next morning – as they scrawl breakfast suggestions on your map. The whitewashed hotel, in a faux-colonial style, has comfy rooms with balconies with ornate wrought iron railing. Skip the 25 square metre Superior rooms in favour of the more spacious Deluxe rooms or Family Suite. The central location is handy for shopping, dining and drinking, with fantastic boutiques, galleries, restaurants, and bars close by. Book Casa Blanca Boutique Hotel online with our booking partner Booking.com.
Best Phuket Beach Resorts Just Off the Island
Just down the road from Iniala (below), sleek, low-rise, whitewashed Aleenta is one of our favourite boutique resorts in Thailand and easily one of the best Phuket hotels in Phuket province. We first stayed here when we updated the DK Thailand guidebook many years ago and have checked in a few more times over the years, trying several different types of accommodation, from the Pool Villas to the two-bedroom Pool Residences (our pick of lodgings at Aleenta). The resort is set on a picturesque part of Natai Beach and the infinity pool, lounge bar, and Beachfront Suites all take advantage of the spectacular ocean vistas. The Edge restaurant, ran by chef Alex Bitterling when we last stayed, is superb, serving creative, contemporary Thai-inspired cuisine. Aleenta Phuket, like its sister property near Hua Hin, is an eco-friendly resort, supporting the Pure Blue Foundation focused on marine conservation and a turtle sanctuary. Book Aleenta Resort And Spa, Phuket online with our booking partner Booking.com.
Iniala Beach House (currently closed)
If money is no object when it comes to where to stay in Phuket province and you don’t necessarily need to be right on the island, then Iniala Beach House is easily one of the best Phuket hotels to check into. The stunning luxury resort is located at Natai beach, Phang Nga, just over the bridge to the mainland and offers a one-of-a-kind experience. While it’s not on the island itself, the nearest airport, Phuket International, is a just a short drive away. Opening with a bang in late 2013, Iniala Beach House consists of 10 idiosyncratically styled villas, each by a different designer and filled with Southeast Asian art. The property also has a gallery and dedicated art curator. Iniala was a destination for gourmands when it first opened thanks to its restaurant Aziamendi, the first foreign outpost of Chef Eneko Atxa of Azurmendi near Bilbao. It served three sublime tasting menus, one an homage to the Basque restaurant, another inspired by Thai cuisine and local produce. Iniala Beach House is expensive, however, it’s all-inclusive, including butler, driver, spa therapist, treatments, activities, picnics, barbecues, and meals at Aziamendi. All profits from Iniala go to the Inspirasia Foundation to support health and education projects in Thailand, Indonesia and India. Azurmendi has now closed and Iniala Beach House remains shuttered. We’ll update this when it reopens. Book Iniala Beach House online with our booking partner Booking.com.
We’d love to hear your thoughts on the best Phuket hotels. Have you stayed at any of these Phuket beach resorts or Phuket Town boutique hotels? We’d love to know what you think. Feel free to leave your recommendations in the comments below.