Phuket is a big island. It can take about 1 hour to drive from the top of the island to the bottom of the island, and so picking the best areas to stay in Phuket is important. Plus every area is quite different so where you stay on the island really depends what type of holiday you are after.
I have spent a lot of time traveling around Phuket and have stayed in different areas of the island, which created different experiences for me each time I visited. And so after a number of years of traveling to Phuket, I have put together this guide of the best areas to stay in Phuket.
And so to help you decide the best area to stay in Phuket, I will start from the north and work my way down south. But do keep in mind that no matter where you end up choosing to stay, it is quite easy to get around Phuket – you could rent a car and drive yourself, or hire a car with a driver to travel around the island.
Table of Contents
Best Areas to Stay in Phuket
This is one of the more lesser known parts of Phuket and more underdeveloped parts, even though there are some beautiful resorts here. Mai Khao is located just north of the Phuket Airport and offers a long sandy stretch of white sand with greenery surrounding the area.
This is the perfect spot if you are looking to really get away from the hustle and bustle, and are happy to chill out, soak in the sun while sipping on that cocktail and reading a good book. Some lovely resorts in the area with my pick of the bunch being The SALA Phuket.
Surin & Kamala
In terms of beaches and swimming, I must confess that Surin and Kamala Beaches are my picks for some of the best areas to stay in Phuket. From the months of November to around May, the water is beautiful and the beach is a perfect spot to sunbake.
The town in the area is quite small and so the dining options are relatively limited, however I still enjoyed the serene beauty of the beach and turquoise blue waters. This is definitely a much more laid back part of Phuket. If you do stay in this part of time, be prepared to hire a car.
If you are looking for a place to stay in Kamala Beach, do check out the Ayara Kamala Resort & Spa – its villas offer stunning views over the Andaman Sea.
You can also opt to stay at the 5-star Hyatt Regency Kamala Resort, which is another great spot with clifftop views over Kamala Beach. The resort boasts great food options, including their Sunset Grill Restaurant for that romantic dinner for two.
Just 15-20 minutes south of Patong Beach is Karon, a more quieter part of town compared to Patong.
Karon has its fair share of food and nightlight options, as well as shopping and beach activities, so there is enough to do within walking distance. The beach is also a long stretch of white sand and is not overly crowded with tourists.
I am not a fan of Patong at all – so Karon is a great alternative to ensure that there is still plenty to do without the chaos of Patong.
While there may not be any beach front accommodation, there is still top quality hotels available. My pick is the Movenpick Resort Karon Beach, which is literally across the road from the beach and offers fantastic resort facilities for couples and families alike. And it has one of my favourite spas on the island!
Kata Beach is located further south from Karon, and is a bit smaller than Karon. It still offers a decent amount of food and nightlife options, but where Kata wins with me is the beach and the water is much nicer than Karon.
The Boathouse by Montara is the perfect sanctuary at Kata because it is beach front. You can stay here, but if you don’t there is still a delicious restaurant and a great beach club that you must check out while in Kata.
Cape Panwa is oh-so-romantic with its stunning views over the Andaman Sea – this was one of my favorite spots in Phuket. It is a little more isolated from the rest of the island, however it is so beautiful. And have I mentioned the absolutely stunning sunsets?
The perfect romantic getaway, especially if you stay at a lux resort like the Sri Panwa Resort. A must visit while in Phuket, especially if you can score yourself a table at the rooftop Baba Nest for sunset drinks. I cannot emphasis enough how beautiful this part of Phuket is. To be honest – Sri Panwa Resort is one of the reasons I really fell in-love with Phuket.
On a Boat
And if sailing in Phuket is your jam…or even if you are curious about sailing, then the water off Phuket is a beautiful place to stay. One of my favorite things to do in Phuket is sail around the many islands. The water is calm and the scenery is breathtaking – but do keep in mind that the best months to sail are between November to April.
Hop onto a catamaran and sail around the islands exploring the turquoise blue waters and absolute beauty that surrounds Phuket. This was one of the most memorable things that I got to experience while in Phuket and would not hesitate to do it again.
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No compensation was received for this post, however some of the accommodation providers provided my stay complimentary. All opinions remains my own.
So many amazing places to stay in Phuket. I would definitely go with Cape Panwa. I love a beautiful sunset and enjoy areas that are a bit isolated as I enjoy calmer locations.
Looks like you have found some truly stunning places. I like the look of Cape Panwa best although sailing also appeals
So helpful! Really good to see some of the alternatives to the crazy business of Patong, especially with notes not only about the beaches but about local facilties and restaurants as well.
Great post! I will recommend these places to my parents who will come to Hong Kong to visit me in a month’s time, but want to have a few relaxing days in Phuket after the hustle and bustle of HK. I think the resort with that Infinity Pool could be exactly their cup of tea 😉
I think it would be Cape Panwa for me – isolation and peace are what I look for on a relaxing holiday, although they all look gorgeous!!
Cape Panwa gets my vote as well – I avoid crowds and too much nightlife like the plague! However, I COULD be tempted by the Ayara Kamala resort – anyplace with a pool and view like that deserves a second look 😀
Amazing places to stay in Phuket. The views from the pool villa at the Ayara Kamala Resort at Kamala Beach are so breathtaking. I am going to check this resort out for availability when I go to Phuket.
I have an expat friend contemplating doing Phuket before she gets repatriated – this is perfect !