Where to Stay in Phuket – The Best Areas for Your Interests & Hotels from Luxury to Budget

Palm trees, white-sand beaches, crazy parties, luxury beach resorts, delicious Thai foods… What more could you expect more from a tropical island? Phuket has it all!

Phuket is Thailand’s most popular travel destination and is visited by all kinds of travelers including backpackers, honeymoon couples, families, and party people. It is a beautiful island that has a lot to offer for all tastes and I have found you the best areas to suit your personal preferences. 

Thanks to a large number of accommodation options and being easy to get around on the island, it is not difficult to find a hotel for your budget in Phuket. This convenience and the beautiful climate all year round, make Phuket a very attractive traveler’s destination. Doesn’t this all make you want to jump on a flight right now!?

In this blog post, I will cover the 6 best areas and beaches to stay in Phuket with all kinds of accommodation options from luxury to budget. In Thailand, you can catch very good deals on hotels if you make a booking in advance. That’s why I highly recommend you to book your accommodation as early as possible. Most of the hotels have a free cancellation policy, so do not worry if you change your mind!

If you are ready for a tropical getaway let’s find out where to stay in Phuket!

If you are in a hurry

Here are some of the best places to stay in Phuket sorted by price (all of them have fabulous reviews and great locations too!):

luxury hotel

Katathani Beach Resort

Best luxury hotel

airbnb

Boutique Design Penthouse

An Airbnb with amazing reviews

mid-range hotel

Aurico Kata Resort

Best value for money

budget hotel

Bangtao Mango House

Best affordable accommodation in the center

Here is a map about where to stay in Phuket with all the 6 neighborhoods I will be talking about in this post, so you can easily visualize them:

1. Phuket Town – where to stay in Phuket for the first time

Located on the east coast, Phuket Town is the largest city on the island and also the capital of Phuket province. In Phuket Town, you will be exploring nice local restaurants, bars, and beautiful shops along the narrow streets. 

Of course, you will have a great time at the white sand beaches of Phuket but if you are curious about Thai culture, Phuket Town is a great neighborhood to learn about the history of the area. You will be able to find many museums, colorful temples, and shrines here. That’s why I recommend Phuket town for first-timers as this area offers many nice attractions as well as easy access to the beaches. What more could you want?

In Phuket Town, you will find many nice hotels from luxury to budget. Being a very popular holiday destination I highly recommend you to make a booking in advance if you don’t want to lose your favorite place. Many places have free cancellation, don’t worry if you change your mind. 

If it’s your first time visiting Thailand I actually recommend splitting your time between staying in Phuket, Bangkok and Koh Phangan so you can get a great overview of the entire country.

Now, let’s check out the best places to stay in Phuket Town:

Luxury hotel

This beautiful luxury hotel is located in the center of town and offers a nice outdoor swimming pool, a fabulous fitness center, and a great spa. Relax with a delicious cocktail in their sky lounge while enjoying the amazing city views knowing that prices for this luxurious hotel start from just $100 per night for rooms and suites! This is a great place to splurge a little for a great price! Also, Phuket old town is within walking distance from the hotel.

Other accommodation options in Phuket Town

Mid-range

This nice mid range hotel in Old Phuket offers a swimming pool, free parking, and wi fi. Plus, the spacious rooms have a nice pool view

budget

Located in Phuket Old Town, the hostel features a swimming pool and free wi fi. Rooms are starting from $15 per night 

airbnb

This Airbnb is located in Phuket old town and offers fully furnished spacious rooms, free parking and wi fi are available

Things to do in Phuket Town

  • Hike up to Khao Rang for an amazing panoramic view
  • Pay attention to beautiful graffiti and murals on Phuket town streets
  • Visit the colorful Shrine of the Serene Light
  • Climb Monkey Hill and see many monkeys in their natural habitat
  • Visit Phuket’s biggest temple Wat Chalong 
  • See different kind of fishes at Aquaria Phuket which is the biggest one in Thailand
  • Taste delicious street food at the Sunday Walking Street Market
  • Watch a cultural show at Phuket Orchid Garden And Thai Village
  • Visit Phuket Thai Hua Museum

2. Karon – where to stay in Phuket if you’re on a budget

Located 10 km (5 miles) south of Patong, Karon is called the little sister of Patong because of its equally beautiful beaches and nature. In Karon Beach, you will find a postcard perfect white sand beach, crystal clear blue water, and cool restaurants and bars. You can enjoy 3 km (1 mile) of powdery sand in Karon Beach and snorkel to see a huge number of different colorful fish! 

There are 2 nice local markets you should check out for shopping in Karon. You can visit Karon Market and Karon Temple Market on Tuesday and Friday for tropical fruits, clothes, and souvenirs. Karon is one of the best places to stay in Phuket as you won’t be bombarded with so many tourist shows and you will be able to find nice accommodations for a better price compared to other parts of the island. Sounds tempting right?

Before jumping to the best places to stay in Karon I would like to remind you of the importance of making a booking in advance. Many hotels have free cancellations so it is better to be safe than sorry and booking early always gets you the best prices!

Luxury hotel

This beautiful beachfront hotel features a nice outdoor swimming pool, a gym, spa, and wellness center. Kata beach is a 5 minutes walk from the hotel, the rooms are spacious and family friendly rooms are available too! This is for sure my pick for the best hotel in Karon!

Other accommodation options in Karon

mid-range

Centrally located mid range hotel that is 2 minutes walk to the beach. Deluxe rooms even have a private balcony

budget

A budget hotel with a daily rate starting from $15. The hotel has spacious rooms including family rooms.  A 10 minutes walk to the beach

airbnb

Within walking distance to the beach and market, this Airbnb has a sea view balcony and a large swimming pool

Things to do in Karon

  • Spend some time at amazing Karon Beach with powdery white sand
  • Visit beautiful Wat Suwan Khiri Khet temple
  • Have a delicious Pad Thai at Phuket 101
  • Climb to nearby Karon View Point to watch spectacular sea view
  • Play golf at Dino Park Mini Golf
  • Chill at Khlong Bangla Park
  • Have a drink and watch a game at Walkabout Sports Bar

3. Patong – best for nightlife

Patong is located on the west coast of the island and is a half an hour drive from Phuket Town. It is the most touristy area in Phuket but also the nightlife haven. In Patong, Bangla Road is the street where you will find all kinds of bars, clubs, and entertainment complexes to party all night long.

Here you can also spot the famous Thai Ladyboys (transgender women). These women are often even more beautiful than Thai women, so you can easily get mistaken!

Even if you are not into nightlife, you should definitely pay a visit to Bangla Road to see the world famous entertainment center and experience this different atmosphere by walking along the streets with colorful lights and all kinds of loud music. 

Other than nightlife, you will find Patong Beach in this area. In Patong Beach, you can enjoy swimming in turquoise water and have a relaxing time during the day or join big beach parties in the clubs at night. Before you leave Patong Beach, make sure to stop by the market here, which is one of the best places to check out designer clothes, hats, and souvenirs!

Thanks to the world famous party scene, my answer to where to stay in Phuket for nightlife is definitely Patong. Here are some of the best places to stay in Phuket Patong for party people:

Luxury hotel

This luxury beach resort has 2 outdoor swimming pools, an amazing spa, and an on-site bar and restaurant. The amazing resort has rooms with balconies and even private pools in the deluxe rooms making it a very nice place to stay in Patong.

Other accommodation options in Patong

mid-range

4 star hotel that is within walking distance to Patong beach and offers 2 pools and a spa. Mid range hotel prices starting from $40 per night

budget

A few minutes walk to Patong beach, the hostel has clean rooms with free wifi. Room prices are starting from $15 per night

airbnb

Airbnb has rooms with a Patong beach view and a private pool. The house is 5 minutes walk to Phuket walking street with bars

Things to do in Patong

  • Check out numerous, nightclubs, restaurants, and bars at Bangla Road
  • Spend time at the beautiful Paradise Beach and join a party at Paradise Beach Club
  • Watch Muay Thai style boxing match at Bangla Boxing Stadium
  • Visit amazing Suwan Khiri Wong Temple
  • Try some delicious street food at Malin Plaza Patong market
  • Enjoy swimming at Patong Beach
  • Party at the big nightclub Seduction Complex
  • Eat delicious Thai food at Halfway Inn Restaurant

4. Kata – the coolest neighborhood in Phuket

Kata is located on the west coast of the island, right next to Karon and 10 km (7 miles) from Patong Beach. It is the coolest neighborhood in Phuket thanks to its trendy restaurants, bars, beautiful beachfront spa resorts, and stunning white sand beaches with palm trees. If you want to stay in a cool area, Kata is where to stay in Phuket for you. 

Kata is a great area where you will find a combination of chilled atmosphere, vibrant nightlife, and cool activities such as snorkeling and surfing, so if you’re someone like me who is into a little bit of everything, Kata is a great choice for you. 

There is a famous snorkeling spot at Kata Beach House Reef that enables you to see different kinds of fish, turtles, seahorses, and octopuses, then if you walk to the right of the Kata Beach you will see the best surf spot in Phuket! Could it get more perfect for beach lovers? Moreover, you will find great quality restaurants and coffee shops in Kata Beach. 

If you are looking for a place with a mixture of different vibes and activities, Kata is my answer for where to stay in Phuket. Let me talk about the best hotels in Kata:

Luxury hotel

This luxury beach resort and spa feature a world class wellness center, a large swimming pool, 2 fitness centers, 6 different on-site dining options, and a very good breakfast. You can have a great time at the pool area inside the beautiful tropical gardens that give off a relaxing jungle vibe and will make you forget all your worries. This beautiful resort is just a 15 minutes walk to the entertainment centers.

Other accommodation options in Kata

mid-range

This nice resort spa combo has an excellent pool and fitness center. With great mid range resort prices

budget

Beachfront hotel which offers spacious rooms with a sea view balcony. A great budget resort to stay near Kata Beach

airbnb

Stunning Airbnb which has a large private pool and balcony with a mountain and pool view. One of the best Airbnbs in Phuket

Things to do in Kata

  • Spend time at beautiful Kata Beach
  • Visit the enormous white marble Buddha statue – Big Buddha
  • Go shopping at the local Thursday market 
  • Swim and snorkel at the Kata Beach House Reef and see many kind sea creatures
  • Try surfing at Kata Beach
  • Enjoy swimming in beautiful water at Kata Noi
  • Eat traditional Thai food at Red Chair Cafe

5. Kamala – best family-friendly area

Kamala Beach is a 15 minutes drive to the north of Patong Beach. Here you will find a very beautiful and less hectic beach compared to Patong and thanks to its calm atmosphere it is a great area to stay for families. Here you will also be able to find a lot of family friendly activities such as Phuket’s famous Cultural Theme Park Fanta Sea as well as sightseeing activities and great shops. 

There are many nice resorts and world class spa centers in Kamala Beach too so after a beautiful day at the beach, don’t forget to pamper yourself with a relaxing spa treatment! As Phuket is a very touristy destination in some areas you might be overwhelmed with crowds but in Kamala, you will be able to enjoy quiet white sand beaches with your families. Does it already sound exactly like how you have imagined it?

Luxury hotel

Located in Kamala Beach, Phuket resort offers poolside bars and dining options where you can taste international cuisines. Guests can enjoy tennis courts, a spa, and karaoke rooms in the luxury resort. This is certainly a great place where to stay in Phuket for families.

Other accommodation options in Kamala

mid-range

4-star hotel which features a nice pool and fabulous breakfast. A great resort to stay near Kamala for families

budget

A nice budget hotel which offers a swimming pool and a water park. Resort prices are starting from $15 per night

airbnb

Airbnb that has rooms with sea and mountain views, a pool, a gym, and a children’s playground. Great place to stay for families

Things to do in Kamala

  • Taste traditional Thai food at Kamala Friday Market
  • Have fun trying ziplines at Flying Hanuman
  • Spend some relaxing time at Laem Sing Beach
  • Have family fun at Phuket FantaSea Theme Park
  • Enjoy a sunset stroll at Kamala Beach
  • Visit the Buddhist temple, Wat Baan Kamala, by the seaside
  • Have a surf lesson at Kamala Beach

6. Bangtao Beach – if you want to have a relaxed holiday

Located on the west coast of the island and just 5 km (3 miles) north of Kamala Beach, Bangtao is a very laid-back beach town. It is a less touristy area with beautiful quiet beaches and luxury beachfront hotels perfect for those who want to leave the hustle and bustle of the crowded towns behind. Bangtao Beach is also the second longest beach in Phuket, but that is not to say that you won’t find some upscale restaurants and cafes in the center of Bangtao too. 

If you go 15 km (10 miles) north of Bangtao Beach you can also reach Sirinat National Park where you can see turtles and many rare kinds of birds. It is an amazing national park to spend some time in nature to round out a perfect holiday. 

If you want to spend your Phuket holiday with a chilled atmosphere and also want to have easy access to many attractions, I definitely recommend Bang Tao beach for where to stay in Phuket. In this area on the beachfront, there are some of the most luxurious hotels in Phuket, and in the southern part of the beach you will find budget accommodation options so there truly is something for everyone here. 

Luxury hotel

Luxury beach resort which offers 2 swimming pools surrounded by a garden with a  jungle vibe, a private beach, an excellent fitness center, and a spa. The gorgeous resort is a few minutes walk to the restaurants and bars in the area. Also, the resort provides a free shuttle to Kamala Beach. Great beach resort for a romantic getaway and also for families.

Other accommodation options in Bangtao Beach

mid-range

The nice hotel has 2 amazing pools surrounded by palm trees and offers a free shuttle to the beach

budget

Located in Bang Tao, this budget hotel offers clean spacious rooms, free wifi, and a parking lot

airbnb

Airbnb within walking distance to the beach featuring a private swimming pool and modernly decorated rooms

Things to do in Bangtao Beach

BONUS 1: How to get around in Phuket

Since we found an answer to where to stay in Phuket, it is time to figure out how to get around the island. Thankfully it is easy to travel within Phuket thanks to its many transportation options. If you stay in a centrally located hotel you will probably be able to walk to the beach and town centers. However, if you feel like discovering different areas of the islands and making day trips, here are the transportation options you could use in Phuket. 

Tuk-tuks in Phuket
Tuk-tuk is a three-wheeled motor vehicle and you can see it in many South Asian countries. It is a fun and unique vehicle that you should experience in Thailand. Tuk-tuk is usually cheaper than taxis however, as tuk-tuks do not have a meter you must agree on the price with the driver before your ride. It would be helpful to use your bargaining skills at this stage. To give you an idea, a 10-minute ride usually costs around 200 THB.

For long rides, tuk-tuk rides would be uncomfortable because of the hilly roads but for short distances, it is a very convenient transportation option.

Taxis and Grab
From Phuket International Airport there is a fixed taxi price of around $15 (570 THB), to Phuket town. Inside Phuket, you can use metered taxis but for longer distances, you should bargain on a fixed price with the driver to get a better deal. 

If you don’t trust taxi drivers or prefer to know exactly how much you are paying, you can use the Grab app. By downloading the Grab app to your mobile phone you can easily find a ride and see the fare in advance. 

Local buses – Songthaews
Songthaews is the name of the open local bus in Thailand. You can easily recognize them from their bright blue painting. Destination names are written in English in front of the buses so you can easily spot them. But did you know that there are no bus stops in Phuket? You just need to wave them down on the road and they will stop for you. In the main areas of Phuket, buses run regularly between 7 am to 6 pm and the one round trip costs around 15–20 baht.

Car and motorbike rentals
Renting a car or motorbike would give you the flexibility to discover more areas in Phuket. You have to have an international driving license to rent a car and motorbike in Thailand and although many people (including the rental companies) often ignore this, if you get into an accident without the proper license you will not be covered. 

Driving a motorbike is convenient in Phuket but in some areas of the island you can encounter crazy drivers and in rainy seasons the roads can be slippery. So, be careful and make sure to have insurance. If you want to rent a car you can easily do it at the airport, plus most of the hotels offer free private parking in Phuket. 

BONUS 2: 3 best beaches in Phuket you need to see

I already mentioned some of the best beaches in this post as places where to stay in Phuket. However, there are many more beautiful beaches which are absolutely worthy of day trips during your Phuket holiday. 

Since it only takes 1.5 hours to drive across the whole island, these beaches are accessible within a day no matter where you stay. So don’t forget to check out some of these powdery white sand beaches and crystal clear waters!

1. Surin Beach
Located on the west coast of the island and just next to Kamala Beach, Surin Beach is one of the most beautiful beaches in Phuket. Offering crystal clear waters of the Andaman sea and white powdery sand, Surin Beach is a great place for sunbathing and swimming. 

You can also snorkel in the calm water and rent a kayak to explore the surroundings of the beach. In the low season (May – October), Surin Beach is also a great spot for bodyboarding and surfing. Around the beach, you will find facilities such as restaurants, cafes, and ATMs and a parking lot is available too. You should definitely spare a day to Surin Beach during your Phuket Holiday.

2. Mai Khao Beach
Mai Khao Beach is on the northwest coast of Phuket and half an hour drive from the town – Phuket. It is a 10 km (8 miles) beach inside the Sirinat National Park. You can simply enjoy a lazy day at Mai Khao Beach or if you are in search of action there are several attractions around. Make sure to visit the beautiful chapel, Wat Mai Khao, and have a stroll inside Sirinat National Park. 

Being so close to the airport, Mai Khao Beach is also known as Airport Beach. Watching landing planes is another activity you can do when lying on Mai Khao Beach. How cool is that!? If you are looking for a less touristy beach with a lot of nature, you should add Mai Khao to your Phuket list!

3. Karon Beach
I already mentioned Karon asa place where to stay in the Phuket but I would like to give some more highlights of this beautiful beach as it deserves to be on this list even if you are not staying there. Karon Beach is one of the longest white sand beaches in Phuket which means you will be able to easily find deserted areas on the beach Karon to enjoy some privacy. 

Karon Beach is also home to turtles that come at night and leave their eggs on the beach so if you are here around February you might even get to see them hatch! Some other popular activities on the beach Karon are snorkeling, parasailing, and riding a Jet-ski. In terms of facilities, you will be able to find restaurants and cafes around and you can rent sunbeds and umbrellas on the beach. 

Frequently asked questions about Phuket

🏝️ Which is the best area to stay in Phuket?

If you are visiting Phuket for the first time, Phuket Town is the best place to stay and discover the island’s culture as well as the nice beaches. Also, Karon and Kata are the best places to stay for families.

🏖️ Which beach is best to stay in Phuket?

Karon Beach and Kamala Beach are the best places to stay in Phuket. I recommend staying at Beyond Resort Karon or Cape Sienna Hotel if you are looking for a relaxing stay. 

🤔 What should I avoid in Phuket?

Phuket is a safe city to travel to. You should avoid drinking tap water and make sure to use mosquito repellent at night.

⏱️ How many days in Phuket is enough?

You should stay a minimum of 3 days to enjoy Phuket. There are plenty of things to do if you stay longer such as discovering temples, stunning beaches, and doing some activity tours. 

🍸 How is the nightlife in Phuket?

Phuket has a very famous nightlife scene with all kinds of bars, clubs, and entertainment complexes. The famous area for nightlife is Bangla Road in Phuket Patong.

☀️ What is the best month to go to Phuket?

Thanks to its tropical climate you can visit Phuket all year round. However, most travelers prefer to go to Phuket between November and February as it is the driest and warmest season.

Conclusion

Phuket is one of the most popular holiday destinations in Thailand and I am sure you will have a great time on this tropical jungle island. I hope this blog post helped you find a nice place to stay in Phuket and you have already started packing!

In this blog post, I covered the best areas to stay in Phuket and mentioned the nicest hotels and thai style Airbnbs in each area. Phuket is visited all year round by travelers. That’s why I highly recommend you make a reservation now if you have already found your ideal place.

If you are having difficulty deciding which coast of the island is better, I suggest you pick the hotel you like the most as it is very easy to travel within the island. Don’t forget you can always take day trips to other parts of Phuket to discover more areas.

Here is a summary of where to stay in Phuket with the 2 best hotels with a convenient location and great reviews:

I would be glad to hear about your holiday experience in Phuket, so don’t forget to leave a comment below if you have any other suggestions or questions about where to stay in Phuket or Thailand! I’ll be happy to leave a reply!

Have a nice holiday,

Eylul

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