Where to stay in Phuket: best areas guide

written by
Joanne Owen

updated 13.02.2024

Planning a trip to Thailand? Read on to discover where to stay in Phuket, with detail on the best areas for every kind of traveller — from 24-hour party people and seclusion seekers, to families and luxury-lovers. As a bonus, here we also share travel tips and itinerary ideas that might make your trip all the more rewarding.

Which area is the best to stay in Phuket?

Wondering where’s the best place to stay in Phuket? That depends entirely on what kind of experience you’re looking for and your budget.

  • Nightlife: if nightlife is top of your travel priorities, and you want to be able to choose from a range of accommodation options (hotels, luxury resorts and cheaper spots), consider staying around bustling Patong Beach
  • Quiet break: if, on the other hand, you’re seeking a quieter break, Kata Beach comes recommended. Related, Mai Khao is a cool place to stay for a more secluded experience.
  • Travelling with kids? Karon Beach is a great place for family trips, while Bang Tao is one of the best places for wellness experiences, like Thai massages and spa treatments.

At the more luxurious end of the scale, try Kamala Beach, while Old Town Phuket is the best area for culture vultures. 

Thinking of taking a trip to Thailand? Browse our customisable Thailand itineraries to take the hassle out of planning and booking.

Top tip: our comprehensive Best of Thailand itinerary includes Phuket.

Yao Noi, Phuket © Shutterstock

Yao Noi, Phuket © Shutterstock

Patong Beach: best place for a vibrant nightlife

Phuket’s most popular beach resort town, Patong Beach is brash and busy, with a beautiful long stretch of soft sand fronted by the Andaman Sea. 

Famous (or notorious, depending on your preferences) for its wild nightlife, Patong is not the place to come for peaceful island idyl, or a taste of authentic Thai culture. 

Rather, it buzzes with bars and clubs (some of which are pretty sleazy, it has to be said), with action centred on Bangla Road.

Back on the beach, operators offer stacks of activities, among them jet skiing and parasailing.

For a break from Patong's pandemonium, take a boat to nearby Freedom Beach.

Where to stay near the Patong Beach

  • The Lantern Resorts Patong: A 20-minute drive from Phuket Town, The Lantern Resort Patong is located in the heart of Patong Beach. It features 3 swimming pools, a spa and a restaurant.
  • Hotel Clover Patong Phuket: Located 100 meters from Patong Beach, Clover Hotel Patong Phuket features a restaurant, free private parking, an outdoor pool, and a fitness center.
  • Burasari Phuket Resort & Spa: Burasari Phuket Hotel is a 10-minute walk from the Bangla Road nightlife area. The resort is a 40-minute drive from Phuket International Airport. The hotel provides an airport shuttle service upon request and for a fee.

Find more accommodation options to stay near the Patong Beach.

Not sure when to travel? Read up on when to visit Thailand, and find out about the weather in Phuket in December — one of the best months to visit. 

Wat Doi Thep Nimit Monastery on the top of Patong hill in Phuket, Thailand © Shutterstock

Beyond the beach  — Wat Doi Thep Nimit atop Patong hill, Phuket © Shutterstock

Karon Beach: where to stay in Phuket for families

For a less manic, more family-friendly experience in Phuket, consider staying near Karon Beach.

Known as Patong’s “little sister”, the beach here is almost as big, and just back from the golden sand, there are playgrounds for kids to use up energy on.

Though much less crowded and rowdy than Patong, it’s still a lively, with lots of nightlife, bars and markets, but the vibe is more child-friendly.

Where to stay near Karon Beach:

  • Karon Homes: Located 150 meters from the beach, Karon Homes offers free WiFi and free private parking. The property is 50 meters from a temple with a weekly local market and about 5 km from Patong, where various stores and nightlife venues can be found.
  • Karon Phunaka Resort: Located on Mount Naka, Resort Karon Phunaka offers panoramic views of the ocean and forest. Cool sea breezes accompany Thai dishes at Resort Karon Phunaka's open-air restaurant. Meals can also be served in the rooms.
  • JonoX Phuket Karon Hotel: Located 1.1 km from Karon Beach, JonoX Phuket Karon features an outdoor pool, free private parking, a restaurant and a bar. This 4-star hotel features a kids' club, room service and free WiFi.

Find more accommodation options to stay near Karon Beach.

Travelling as a family? Find out everything you need to know about family tours of Thailand, and check out our Family Time in Thailand trip. 

Kata Beach: best area for a quiet beach stay

Taking down the bustle a few more notches, west coast Kata Beach has a reputation for being one of the best beaches in Phuket.

With a wide stretch of sand gently sloping to the Andaman Sea, the beach is sheltered, and exudes a much more secluded vibe than Pantang and Karon.

In addition, Kata Noi Beach, just south of Kata Beach, is on hand for a yet quieter experience.

At the same time, Kata boasts a pleasantly lively town centre, with markets and local restaurants. And,  should you want to mix things up, you’re just a 20-minute drive from the full-on action of Patong.

Where to stay near Kata Beach

  • The Shore At Katathani: Featuring beautiful sea views and a 5-star beachfront with private pools, The Shore At Katathani is a luxury resort located on Kata Noi Beach. This adults-only hotel features a main infinity pool, a spa, and free WiFi.
  • Hotel Kata Hill Sea View: Less than a 5-minute walk from Kata Beach, Kata Hill Sea View Hotel offers an outdoor pool, a bar, and free public parking on site. Kata's many restaurants and stores are within walking distance.
  • Orchidacea Resort - Kata Beach: Situated on a hill, Orchidacea Resort - Kata Beach overlooks the Andaman Sea and Kata Beach. It offers air-conditioned rooms, a swimming pool, and a fitness room. A free shuttle service to Kata Beach is available 3 times a day.

Find more accommodation options to stay near Kata Beach.

Love beaches? Discover the best beaches in Thailand.

Nai Yang beach in Phuket Thailand © Shutterstock

Peaceful Phuket © Shutterstock

Bang Tao: best place for massages and spa

Sitting pretty on a peaceful crescent-shaped bay, Bang Tao is a top spot for enjoying Thailand’s wellness offerings. 

With accommodation here generally in the mid-to-high range (head to the southern end of the beach for less pricey options), Bang Tao’s sublimely serene setting is ideal for rest and rejuvenation.

Many resorts and hotels boast on-site spas offering the likes of massages, facial treatments and manicures, with independent spas offering similar.

Where to stay in Bang Tao:

  • Outrigger Surin Beach Resort: The new Outrigger Surin Beach Resort - SHA Plus is an elegant resort complex nestled by the white sands of Surin Beach. Filled with vibrant colors and vintage artwork, this tropical seaside paradise offers an atmosphere of tranquility.
  • Pai Tan Villas: Featuring 11 exclusive villas built around 2 swimming pools, Pai Tan Villas offers free Wi-Fi and a restaurant. It is located along Bang Tao Beach, a 25-minute drive from Phuket Airport.
  • Bangtao Beach Garden: Featuring a balcony with garden views, an outdoor pool and a fitness center, Bangtao Beach Garden Hotel is located near Bang Tao Beach. It offers a terrace, free private parking, family rooms and a picnic area.

Find more accommodation options to stay in Bang Tao.

Want a wellness-oriented break? Read up on meditation centres in Thailand.

Kamala Beach: a luxury place to stay in Phuket

Looking for all-out luxury and wondering where to stay in Phuket? Consider focusing your accommodation search in the Kamala Beach area.

With a tranquil, laidback ambience, it plays host to lots of high-end options, from fancy 5-star resorts to opulent villas.

Where to stay near Kamala Beach:

  • Sunprime Kamala Beach: With 4 outdoor pools and convenient beach access, this large beachfront hotel offers spacious rooms set in landscaped grounds. It is a 10-minute walk from the restaurants and stores of Kamala Village.
  • Andara Resort Villas: Located on Phuket's west coast overlooking Kamala Bay, Andara Resort Villas offers luxurious accommodation overlooking the Andaman Sea. The resort features a spa center and an outdoor pool.
  • B3 HOUSE: Featuring mountain views, free WiFi and free private parking, B3 HOUSE is located 600 meters from Kamala Beach.

Find more accommodation options to stay near Kamala Beach.

Looking for luxury? You’ll love our Thai Sojourn trip.


Bang Tao is a top place to stay in Phuket if you're seeking spa treatments © Shutterstock 

Old Town Phuket: best area for culture

If you’re not set on a typical Thai beach break and want a more authentic experience, check out staying in Old Town Phuket. 

Steeped in history and known for its bright, ornate Sino-Portuguese architecture, many guest houses and hotels are housed in buildings that date back to the town's tin mining heyday.

A place where Sino-colonial mansions sit alongside temples, cafes and galleries, Old Town Phuket is the ideal base for culture vultures who love the idea of enjoying authentic local food and uncovering culturally diverse history.

With accommodation options covering all kinds of budgets, you won’t have a problem finding somewhere to suit your pocket.

Top tip: don’t miss the Sunday market that’s held on Thalang Road from 4pm.

Where to stay in Old Town Phuket

  • The Dorm Hostel: Offering a shared lounge and views of the city, The Dorm Hostel is located in Ban Lo Long, 1.2 km from Thai Hua Museum.
  • The Blanket Hotel Phuket Old Town: Located 1.4 km from Thai Hua Museum and 1.5 km from Chinpracha House, The Blanket Hotel Phuket Old Town offers accommodation in Phuket Town.
  • The Memory at On On Hotel: Located in the heart of Phuket Old Town, The Memory at On On offers comfortable, private rooms with free WiFi. It offers a 24-hour front desk and a tour desk.

Find more accommodation options to stay in Old Town Phuket.

Old Phuket Town in Thailand © Shutterstock

Old Phuket Town in Thailand © Shutterstock

Mai Khao: a secluded area to stay in Phuket

Located on the northwest coast of Phuket, being part of Sirinat National Park, Mai Khao Beach remains largely undeveloped.

Alongside the beautiful beach — so huge, you’ll have no problem finding swathes of deserted stretches — the park is a joy for nature lovers. 

Encompassing over 90 square kilometres, it includes mangroves, coral reefs, a total of four beaches, and several trails.

Free from noisy nightclubs and touts, accommodation in this area ranges from five-star options to family-run guesthouses and boutique hotels.

Where to stay in Mai Khao:

  • Renaissance Phuket Resort & Spa: Renaissance Phuket Resort & Spa offers luxurious accommodation on the white sands of Mai Khao Beach. It features a large outdoor pool, jogging and cycling trails, and 5 restaurants. Free WiFi is available throughout the hotel.
  • Meliá Phuket Mai Khao: Located on Mai Khao Beach, the 5-star Meliá Phuket Mai Khao Hotel offers outdoor pools, a fitness center and a garden.
  • Phuket Campground: Set amidst peaceful nature, Phuket Campground offers modern, air-conditioned cottages with lake views. It offers a tour desk and barbecue facilities, as well as free Wi-Fi throughout the property.

Find more accommodation options to stay in Mai Khao.

Tik on a hike to the top of Bang Tao hill © Banyan Tree Phuket

Beyond Mai Khao, hike to the top of Bang Tao hill for enchanting seclusion in Phuket © Banyan Tree Phuket

Chalong Bay and Rawai: best for island-hopping

If you’re the kind of traveller who wants to make the most of their trips, not least if you’ve taken a long-haul flight to reach your destination, the idea of island-hopping might be your idea of a dream holiday.

So, if you’re wondering where to stay in Phuket and want to make your island-hopping dreams come true, think about staying around Chalong Bay and Rawai.

Located on the southeast coast of Phuket, Chalong Bay is a lively, colourful port and residential area that offers easy access to lots of little islands, most popularly Coral Island. Here, excellent snorkelling and diving awaits. 

It’s also famed for its eponymous rum distillery and the 45-metre giant Buddha that sits atop the Nakkerd Hills between Chalong and Kata.

Meanwhile, Rawai, on the southernmost tip of Phuket, is known for its longtail boats. Head to the beach to take a trip to outlying islands like Koh Bon and Koh Kaeo.

Where to stay in Chalong Bay and Rawai

  • Phuket Paradiso: Located 300 meters from Chalong Beach and 500 meters from Chalong Pier in Chalong, Phuket Paradiso Guesthouse offers accommodation with a seating area. This guest house offers free private parking, all-day security, and free WiFi.
  • Benjamas Place: A 5-minute drive from beautiful Rawai Beach, Benjamas Place offers modern air-conditioned rooms with a private balcony and free Wi-Fi. An outdoor pool is available on-site.
  • Smile Residence: Featuring free WiFi and an outdoor pool, Smile Residence offers accommodation in Rawai Beach. The property is about a 10-minute drive from Nai Harn, Kata, and Karon Beach.

Find more accommodation options to stay in Chalong Bay and Rawai.

Into the idea of island-hopping Thailand? You’ll find extra inspiration in our customisable Thailand’s Islands and Highlands trip. 

Joanne Owen

written by
Joanne Owen

updated 13.02.2024

Joanne is a Pembrokeshire-born writer with a passion for the nature, cultures and histories of the Caribbean region, especially Dominica. Also passionate about inspiring a love of adventure in young people, she’s the author of several books for children and young adults, hosts international writing workshops, and has written articles on the Caribbean and inspirational community initiatives for Rough Guides. Follow her @JoanneOwen on Twitter and @joanneowenwrites on Instagram.

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