Where to Stay in Phuket First Time: 10 Best Areas

The best areas to stay in Phuket for both first time and returning tourists are the neighborhoods of Mai Khao Beach, Nai Thon Beach, Bang Tao Beach, Surin Beach, Kamala Beach, Patong Beach, Karon Beach, Kata Beach, Rawai Beach, Phuket Town. In this guide, I will help you to find where to stay in Phuket for nightlife, honeymoon, families, couples, singles, solo travelers, and budget backpackers.

In 2019 Phuket was listed as the 14th most visited destination in the world! Nearly 10 million people a year can’t be wrong, and you will find wonderful sights and great experiences on Thailand’s biggest and most popular island, located on the Andaman sea.

From Phuket, you can easily take a boat trip to the island of Hae, Phi Phi Islands, Phang Nga Bay with James Bond Island (Ko Tapu) where James Bond filmed “The Man with the Golden Gun” in 1974. It is linked to the mainland to its north by a road bridge. The Phuket International Airport (HKT) is in the island’s Northwest.

The most popular tourist destinations are, as you’d expect, the beaches. And the best of Phuket’s beaches run for over 40km down the island’s West Coast. The quieter of the west coast beaches are found towards the north. Mai Khao Beach, Nai Thon Beach, and Surin Beach are good locations if you are looking to stay out of the most heavily developed areas.

If you’re a couple and honeymooner looking for somewhere a bit special to be together, Nai Thon Beach, Surin Beach, and Kata Beach are the best bet. Kamala, Kata, and Karon beaches are busy places with lots of activities for families, young adults, a group of friends, and everyone else too. Beaches with a lot more tourism infrastructure include Bang Tao Beach with its large beach resorts.

Patong is the over-the-top, love-it-or-hate-it center of party action of Phuket. If you’re a night owl, then this is the place for you. Karon is better than Patong if you prefer quieter and more laid back location with easy access to the nightlife, Patong is better than Karon if you prefer in stay in middle of the nightlife and shopping center.

But don’t forget to check out fascinating Phuket Town over on the West Coast; it is one of the best areas for singles and solo travelers, long-term travelers stay for a month.

💖 Best Area:Phuket Town
💎 Best luxury hotel:Novotel Phuket City Phokeethra Hotel
🏨 Best mid-range hotel:The Malika Phuket Hotel
💰 Best budget hotel:Phuket Sunny Hostel

>> FIND BEST HOTELS IN PHUKET TOWN <<

10 Best Areas to Stay Phuket First Time

1. Mai Khao Beach, close to airport and beautiful beaches

Mai Khao Beach, close to airport and beautiful beaches
Mai Khao Beach: best area to stay in Phuket near airport @Dennis Wong

Phuket’s roads can get very busy indeed, especially in the peak season. So it can be a good idea to choose a hotel close to the airport the night before you fly. That way, you’ll avoid any last-minute panic.

Fortunately, there is a very nice beach called Mai Khao Beach, which is just a few minutes’ drive away from Phuket International Airport.

Located on the northwest coast of Phuket, Mai Khao is the longest beach in Phuket at 11km stretches from Sirinat National Park at the end of Nai Yang Beach to the north of Phuket at Sai Keow beach, near the Sarasin Bridge.

Sirinat National Park is famous for its white sandy beaches and the view of planes flying low over a beach for landing. Mai Khao Beach is a great spot to see mole crabs and sea turtles laying eggs on the beach between November and February.

Hat Nai Yang is covered by coniferous trees and a good spot for snorkeling to see a large beautiful coral reef.

Families and kids will love to spend a fun day at a popular theme park on Mai Khao Beach, Splash Jungle Water Park. Another great activity for families is to visit the turtle sanctuary at Mai Khao Marine Turtle Foundation, which is a part of JW Marriott Resort.

Other points of interest are the Mai Khao Temple (Wat Mai Khao), IWP International Wake Park, Turtle Village, a big shopping and dining complex in Mai Khao.

You will find some good medium and upper-end hotels on the beach, and there are plenty of cheaper hotels not far away that cater specially to onward travelers. 

In fact, Mai Khao Beach is a decent choice for a longer stay if you prefer a bit more peace and calm than you will find at Phuket’s more central and crowded beaches. It’s also a great place for couples and honeymooners who want a romantic getaway.

Stay in Mai Khao beach if you want to be close to the airport, want a quieter beach, don’t want to be close to the most touristy places, want a reasonable choice of restaurants, don’t need buzzing nightlife.

Best places to stay in Mai Khao Beach:

Luxury: The Slate is a classy luxury hotel by Nai Yang Beach, just a five-minute drive from Phuket Airport, so transfers are smooth and effortless. There are three swimming pools within the expansive gardens. One pool is adults-only, for those seeking peace and quiet. There is a kids pool too, of course, in a shady and sheltered spot. The rooms are very large and extremely well-appointed; some even have a jacuzzi and sauna.

Mid-Range: Holiday Inn Resort Phuket Mai Khao Beach is a great value hotel located on the beachfront of pretty, tree-lined Mai Khao Beach. As you would expect from a Holiday Inn hotel, the facilities are excellent, and this is a really good value choice given the quality of service. The airport is just a few kilometers away, and the hotel offers a shuttle service. You can prepare for travel by pampering yourself in their spa and wellness center. There are also Thai cooking classes and a huge pool beachside, so you won’t ever be short of things to do.

Budget: Phuket Airport Hotel is the best budget hotel option close to the airport. It is a nice and relaxed place to prepare for your flight. The rooms are bungalows set in a pretty garden around an outdoor pool. Facilities are excellent for a budget hotel and include a free airport transfer, making it an even more convenient place to stay.

Their rooms are sound-proofed, so you won’t need to worry about being disturbed by air traffic. Rooms also feature a flat-screen TV with cable channels and a patio. Another nice touch is the free-flow tea and coffee service that is available all day.

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See more: How Many Days in Phuket is Enough?

2. Nai Thon Beach, quiet beach, away from the crowd

Located 28 km from Patong, Nai Thon Beach lies on Phuket’s West Coast between Banana Rock Beach and Nai Yang. It is still something of a hidden gem when compared to the better-known beaches to the South. This is a beautiful and quiet beach, a great place to get away from the crowds.

The beach itself is stunning, and you can stroll on the sand without being impeded by flocks of deck chairs. The beach is very long and wide, well-shaded by tall pine trees and divided in two by a small rock formation.

The area has a decent selection of mainly mid-range places to stay, and there are quite a few dining and drinking options, even though it is by no means a place for partygoers. Nai Thon is the perfect choice for experienced travelers who are looking for a lovely spot that is away from the masses.

Some of the luxury places to stay in this area are Trisara Phuket, Naithonburi Beach Resort, and Andaman White Beach Resort. If you stay here, then you should also explore nearby Banana Beach, which is an even more remote and secluded sandy strand.

Stay in Nai Thon beach if you want some honeymoon privacy and romance; you want a lovely, uncrowded beach, you want a relaxed community atmosphere, you want to avoid jet-skis and parasailing, you want a small but good choice of hotels, bars, and restaurants,

Best places to stay in Phuket in Nai Thon Beach:

Luxury: Pullman Phuket Arcadia Naithon Beach This luxury resort enjoys a fabulous location on top of a rocky bluff with fantastic views over the ocean. A huge swimming pool fronts the resort making the most of this clifftop vista, and there’s a beautiful little sandy cove just next door.

Pullman Phuket Arcadia resort offers guests a celebrity welcome and visitors class the level of service as truly exceptional. The resort has all the five-star facilities that you would expect and they offer a choice of several bars and restaurants all offering top class international cuisine

Mid-Range: Andaman White Beach Resort Phuket This resort is a great mid-price option if you want to get away from it all because it has its own private beachfront. There is also a large 40-meter swimming pool beside the sea also. The resort has a Thai restaurant and a western one, and there is also a gym and a spa, for exercise and relaxation, respectively. The relaxed atmosphere and out-of-the-way charm of the resort mean that it’s a great destination for couples. And if you are tired of isolation and want to visit the busier nearby Beach, then it’s just a short taxi ride away.

Budget: Naithon Beach Service Apartment Phuket Just because you’re on a budget doesn’t mean that you can’t stay in a place with great facilities,and this serviced apartment is a great family-run option.  The apartments are in a handy central village location next door to a five-star resort. The room is a small serviced apartment with all kinds of handy facilities like a refrigerator, hairdryer, alarm clock, electric kettle, and cable TV.

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3. Bang Tao Beach, where to stay in Phuket for family

Bang Tao Beach, where to stay in Phuket for family
Bang Tao beach: best area to stay in Phuket with family @Mountain/ \Ash

Located between Layan beach and Pansea beach on the North West coast of Phuket, Bang Tao Beach (also known as Laguna Beach) is one of Phuket’s longest beaches. It’s home to a cluster of large luxury beach resorts and has developed a reputation as Phuket’s high-end tourism center. There are some top-quality resorts here with superb facilities.

It is a great place to stay with family for all of the activities for kids that a larger hotel can provide.

The Laguna Phuket complex dominates a large section of Bang Tao with an 18-hole Laguna Golf Phuket and five luxury hotels set around six scenic lagoons. It includes Banyan Tree Resort, Dusit Thani Laguna Phuket, Angsana Phuket Resort, and SAii Laguna Phuket Resort.

The infrastructure of this beach has developed in line with the people who come here, so you will find top-quality dining and entertainment. There is also great shopping if you aren’t particularly constrained by budget.

There are many choices of restaurants, shopping, bars, and beach clubs like Bluesiam Beach Club, Catch Beach Club, Dream Beach Club, LUX Beach Club Phuket, XANA Beach Club Phuket.

Bang Tao beach also offers a wide range of water sports activities like paragliding, kitesurfing, banana boat rides, and jet skis. There are also surfing, windsurfing, Hobi cats, horseback riding, elephant rides along the beach for kids.

Another interesting place to visit is the Wat Cherngtalay, Cherngtalay Shrine a bright and colorful Thai temple, a great place for photographs!

Bang Tao is also a popular residential area, and you will see some lovely private villas around the area. 

Stay in Bang Tao Beach if you want a luxury, high-end beach resort, are traveling as a family, want good shopping, are keen to try lots of quality bars and restaurants.

Best places to stay in Phuket in Bang Tao Beach:

Luxury: Banyan Tree Phuket Hotel This member of the exclusive Banyan Tree chain of resorts is an attractive and spacious resort design in a traditional Thai style with characteristic pointed roofs and opulent decor. In addition to the large swimming pool, some rooms have private pools and have a smart modern design making the most of attractive wooden flooring. This relaxed and spread-out Resort is an ideal choice for couples or for anyone who wants to get away from the busier parts of the island.

Mid-Range: Bangtao Varee Beach Phuket Hotel This boutique hotel packs a lot of punch for a mid-range budget. It features attractive bungalow accommodation set out in pretty landscaped gardens. Two-bedroom suites are also available, which are a perfect choice for families.

Guests love the quality and variety of the buffet breakfast. Rooms also have a kitchenette, which guests find very useful. Hotel staff and receive very high praise with guests commenting that they genuinely care for the needs and well-being of their visitors. All rooms are air-conditioned and have flat-screen TVs, minibars and of course free Wi-Fi.

Budget: Chill Land House Phuket If you are looking for great quality budget accommodation right in the center of Bang Tao Beach, you will be very happy to chill around the house. This Resort is close to the beach and also very convenient for local shops, restaurants, bars and infrastructure.

The apartment rooms are spacious and a good choice for small families since it is easy to accommodate an extra bed. Rooms are well-equipped with flat-screen TVs, fridge, kettle, and air-conditioning. Chill Land House is a friendly family-run resort where guests feel at home. The restaurant offers excellent authentic Thai cuisine at very reasonable prices.

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4. Surin Beach, where to stay in Phuket for luxury holiday

Surin Beach, where to stay in Phuket for luxury holiday
Surin beach: best quiet place to stay in Phuket @Josh Evnin

Commonly known as Millionaires Row, Surin is another small but attractive beach that has, by and large, escaped the crowds.  If you want to stay beside a picture-postcard beach but don’t mind a slightly smaller choice of activities, it is a great base for your stay in Phuket. 

Phuket is a popular place and it is so overwhelmingly tourist-oriented. So, you will probably find that even if you choose one of the island’s “quieter” places to stay, such as Surin, you will be impressed with how much it is for you to eat, drink and do. 

The beaches are white sand, turquoise waters, and a nice mix of activities great place to bathe, surf (May to November), and snorkel.

Surin beach has good mid-range places to stay and also a few super-exclusive six-star resorts where, if you can afford them, you might spot a celebrity or two.

If you feel adventurous, you might even combine a few days here with some time in Phuket Town or one of the busier beaches as a nice contrast.

In this area, you can check out the Surin National Museum, Phanom Sawai Forest Park, and San Lak Muang shrine.

If you have two nights in Phuket, you should maybe choose to stay somewhere like Surin Beach. Surin Beach is the best location where to stay in Phuket for 2 nights. This beach is a little out of the busy center to the south, so onward travel to Phuket International Airport or the road bridge is straightforward.

Stay in Surin Beach if you want something a little different, like central, but not too central, are looking for great value mid-range places, have the budget to stay in an exclusive high-end hotel

Best places to stay in Surin beach:

Luxury: Twinpalms Phuket Hotel If you’re looking for a luxury hotel at Surin Beach, then twin Palms is the place to go. This resort is located in a conveniently central location just a stone’s throw from the beach. Accommodation ranges from large smart double rooms all the way up to the budget-busting luxury of penthouse suites or duplex suites that have a private pool.

As you’d imagine, there are great facilities including a spa and fitness center, a swimming pool and a library. The breakfast buffet is very popular and there is indoor and outside dining all day at the Oriental Spoon Grill and Bar. Guests particularly like the huge double beds and the great customer service and detention to detail.

Mid-Range: Surin Sabai Phuket Hotel This hotel name translates as happy/comfortable Surin. And that’s a very good description of this classy mid-range hotel. Surin Sabai is a mid-sized modern six-story hotel that forms a U-shape around a large and attractive outdoor pool and garden. All rooms have a private balcony and have excellent facilities like a safety deposit box, toaster kitchenette, and cable TV. 

The hotel is a 5-minute walk from the beach and this is perhaps why you get such good value for money. So if you insist on being right beside the sand, then look elsewhere, but if you’re looking for great quality accommodation in an attractive countryside spot, then this is a great place to stay.

Budget: The Park Surin Serviced Apartments This accommodation comes in at the higher end of budget accommodations, but prices are still very reasonable for the facilities on offer. The Park Surin is a particularly good choice for families and groups of travelers since they have one, two, and three-bedroom apartments that can cater to up to six people.

All rooms are extremely large; the one-bed apartment is 71 sqm., and the three-bed apartment occupies a huge 150 sqm, including a balcony. There is an outdoor swimming pool, a fitness center, and a spa that offers a massage service. Guests particularly enjoy the space and the home-from-home freedom afforded by this apartment-style accommodation.

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5. Kamala Beach, family-friendly area, affordable accommodations

Kamala Beach, family-friendly area, affordable accommodations
Kamala: Best area to stay in Phuket with family

Kamala Beach is just up the coast from Patong, but the two beaches are very different. Kamala beach is one of the main centers for family-based holidays in Phuket.

The resorts and activities here are very family-friendly, and while plenty is going on, it isn’t quite as full-on as Patong.

Kamala Beach is one of Phuket’s nicest beaches. It is long and wide and shelves gently into the sea, so the water is shallow and good for kids to play (supervised, of course). 

You also have a couple of small beaches Rayee Beach and Hua Beach on the south and swimming and snorkeling at Laem Singh Beach on the north.

There is also the 140-acre cultural theme park, Fantasea Park; a classic Buddhist temple, Wat Baan Kamala; a local market, Kamala Friday Market; and Kamala Lawn Bowling Club.

Despite all of the tourism Kamala still has a local community feeling, and it is a good place to go if you want to find local Thai eating spots as well as places that cater exclusively to tourists.

Stay in Kalama beach if are traveling with family; you want a wide range of budget accommodation; you like a pretty beach with clear water, like central, but not too central, want a large resort with lots of facilities

Best places to stay in Phuket in Kalama Beach:

Luxury: Keemala Phuket Hotel If you have a large budget and you want a memorably stunning hillside resort that boasts astonishing views, then Keemala is the place for you. The resort comprises thatch-roofed private bungalows of striking design, all with a private pool looking out across gorgeous sea views.

Their five-star facilities include an outdoor pool, a spa, a fitness center and a sauna. Keemala’s restaurants serve top-notch Thai and international dishes and guests comment that meals are reasonably priced for such a high-end Resort.

You really need to check out photos of the resort before you choose your room. Choices include “Cottage with Private Pool” or the “Zen Villa with Private Pool” or the premium “Bird’s Nest Villa with Private Pool.” All are different, and all are very impressive, with amazing views.

Mid-Range: Kamala Resotel Phuket Hotel This great mid-range accommodation is a 5-minute walk away from pretty Kamala Beach. Facilities include a rooftop swimming pool and bar and a shared lounge and kitchen.

Rooms are spacious and some have balconies. The resort is newly completed and very smart and chic in layout and design. Guests comment on the great staff service and extreme cleanliness of the resort. Since the resort is located in the center of Kamala village, restaurants, bars, travel agencies, and all facilities and activities are close to hand.

Budget: Baan Natacha Beachfront Guesthouse This friendly Guesthouse lives up to its title and offers a great way to stay on exclusive Kamala Beach at a budget price. Rooms are clean and simple but have all the features you need like TV, refrigerator, safety deposit box, and air-con. There’s no lift, so you need to walk to higher floors but, hey, remember this is a budget place!

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6. Patong Beach, where to stay in Phuket for nightlife

Patong Beach, where to stay in Phuket for nightlife
Patong Beach: the best area to stay in Phuket for nightlife

The 3-km strip of golden sand of Patong Beach is ground zero, the epicenter, the heart of it all. This area is home to Phuket’s party, nightlife, and red light scene. Patong has the greatest concentration of tourist development on the whole island, so if that is what you’re looking for, then here it is.

The beach here is beautiful! You can rent beach chairs and umbrellas, get a beach massage, try jet-skiing, snorkeling, scuba diving, parasailing, and watersports. If you want to learn to surf, the Surf House Patong Beach offers the lesson all year around!

You also have Freedom Beach which is reachable by longtail boat and only during the high season. With its soft white sand and turquoise sea, great places to relax!

The center of town is bright and loud and all-action. If you are in the mood to party, then Patong is unquestionably the place for you. In the evening, it’s more lively with the neon lights and the music.

Bangla Street is a party street with nightclubs, bars, beach clubs, rooftop bars, live performances, shopping malls, and Go-Go bars. Make sure to check out the Simon Cabaret Show with beautiful performers!

You will also find great shopping, cinemas and malls and hundreds of bars and restaurants. The Jungceylon Shopping Mall near the famous Bangla Walking Street has plenty of shops, fast-food venues, and restaurants.

There are also night markets, the most famous are Otop Market and Malin Plaza which is great to grab a Thai meal and buy souvenirs. meanwhile, the Banzaan Fresh Market is a good chance to buy fresh local fruits and spices!

Another must-do in Patong is to catch a live Muay Thai match! You can learn Muay Thai at Patong Stadium Muay Thai Gym on Sai Namyen Road.

With all that activity and excitement, it is easy to forget that Patong also has a beautiful beach. If you don’t mind the madness of the center of town, then you can find some respite at the resorts to the north and south ends of the town. 

Staying at Patong beach if you want to party the night away, like crowds and mass tourism, want cinemas and shopping centers, want a budget room.

Best places to stay in Patong beach:

Luxury: Amari Phuket Hotel The Amari name is a byword for quality and professional high-class hotel accommodation and Amari Phuket is no exception. The resort is located right on the sand at the quieter south end of Patong Beach. The hotel has a smart modern design and decor and offers great facilities to guests, including five restaurants and bars, an outdoor pool, a spa, and a fitness center. 

Mid-Range: Hotel Indigo Phuket Patong is a great example of a smart, central, mid-range hotel with contemporary design and facilities. Despite this modernity, the resort takes its design inspiration from traditional fishing village decor. It sounds strange, but it works. Despite its boutique size the hotel sports an impressive number of facilities such as a fitness center and martial arts facilities. There is a rooftop swimming pool and bar with surrounding sun loungers and an extremely smart restaurant and bar downstairs.

Budget: Lub d Phuket Patong is a three-story L-shaped hotel surrounding a huge outdoor swimming pool. This new hotel uses a smart white color scheme, and this clean style is utilized in the rooms and the bar, restaurant, and poolside area. It has good features for budget travelers, including a self-service laundry, a co-working space, and a games room. And if that’s not enough, you can try the full-size Thai boxing ring located in the hotel lobby.

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7. Karon Beach, Patong’s Little Sister, budget-friendly area

Karon Beach, Patong’s Little Sister, budget-friendly area
Karon Beach Phuket: Best place to stay in Phuket for shopping

Located 10 km south of Patong, Karon Beach is a popular family choice and more laid back. It has many hotels and lots of infrastructure and things to do but hasn’t yet succumbed to the sensory overload of Patong.

The beach is a long sandy stretch, crystal clear blue water, regarded by many as one of Phuket’s best, and, despite the development, you can always find a quiet spot.

If shopping is your thing, then Karon will be of particular appeal. The Karon Bazaar (Shopping Sale Karon Plaza) has many stalls where you can haggle away over the price of clothes, beach gear, and other tourist favorites.

There are also some more exclusive and upmarket shops in the village, and the Karon Temple Market on Tuesday and Friday is a more traditional Thai-oriented market that is well worth checking out. The Centre Point Village, next to Karon Princess Hotel also has many shops and restaurants.

Whether or not you are with your family, Dino Park Mini Golf in Karon Village comes highly recommended. 

The nightlife in Karon is around Bangla Plaza, a bar and pub street off Patak Road. You will find some popular nightclubs and bars like Coast Beach Club at Centara Grand Beach Resort, and Angus O’ Tool’s Irish Bar & Restaurant.

You also have Way Suwan Khiri Khet temple and Karon View Point, Khlong Bangla Park, Karon Temple, Karon Beach naga statue, Karon Park.

A first-time visitor to Phuket who is looking for a lovely beach, a lively area, and a central location should choose Karon Beach as a great example of what the island has to offer.

Sure, Karon Beach has a lot of tourist development, but there are some great places to stay, a lot to do, and a beautiful beach. Accommodations are budget-friendly hotels, backpacker hostels, inns, guest houses.

Stay in Karon Beach if you are traveling on budget; you are traveling with family, want lots of activities, are a keen shopper;

Best places to stay in Phuket in Karon beach:

Luxury: Le Meridien Phuket Beach Resort is a commanding presence along a long stretch of Karon beachfront. The m-shaped building reflects traditional Thai architecture and surrounds two enormous swimming pools. The resort has several restaurants and bars, a spa and fitness center and a gym. All you have to do is walk out of the front of the hotel and you’re right on the sands of beautiful Karon Beach.

Mid-Range: Pacific Club Resort Phuket is all about clifftop views. The resort perches on the top of a cliff with superb views out over the sea and is located a 10-minute walk from the center of Karon Beach. The resort pool offers fabulous views over Karon Beach. Pacific Club is a spacious resort and because there are only 33 rooms so there’s plenty of room to spread out. The restaurant is very popular and has all of the Thai favorites and an impressive international selection from Mexico to Italy. Room choices include doubles studio suites, one-bedroom suites, and two-bedroom suites.

Budget: Karon Living Room Phuket is a simple, clean and smart choice for budget-conscious visitors. And is well suited to all types of Travelers since they have double rooms, triple rooms, and family rooms, all with a pretty garden view.

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8. Kata Beach, where to stay in Phuket for snorkeling, surfing

Kata Beach, where to stay in Phuket for snorkeling, surfing
Kata Beach: the best area to stay in Phuket for Snorkel @Megan Smith

Located on the west coast, the 1.5km long paradise Kata Beach comprises two separate beaches, Kata Yai beach (big) and Kata Noi beach (meaning small Kata).

Both are lovely beaches that are fronted by large beach resorts like the Club Med. However, the beaches themselves are open to all, and once you get down there, with golden sands, clear blue water, you are welcome to swim, sunbathe, surf, snorkel, and chill out.

There is some good snorkeling off the rocks at the North end of the beach. In the low season, months of June to October, the sea gets a bit wavier, and you can learn to surf here.

Around Kata Beach, you will find the Karon viewpoint, which is known as Saam-haad (three-beach) viewpoint by locals where you can view the Kata Noi, Kata Yai, and Karon Beaches.

There are also Dino Park Mini Golf which is a well-designed dinosaur-themed mini-golf for both children and adults, the Surf House where you can surf under any water condition, and Wat Kitti Sangkharam (Kata Temple) at the foot of a hill on Kata Beach.

The Phuket Big Buddha at the top of the Nakkerd Hills is also nearby. it is one of the most famous landmarks in all of Phuket.

The village behind the beach is full of restaurants, bars, shops, and entertainment. There are many resorts and hotels lined up along the long Kata beach road, you’re sure to find the perfect hotel to stay in.

Kata Beach is one of the most visited beaches after Patong Beach. If you asking where to stay in Phuket Kata or Patong, it is purely down to personal preference. Kata Beach is a good place to stay if you want to be central but not too central. There is plenty to do, and the beaches are excellent. It is a good place to stay for families and couples.

Patong is the busiest place in Phuket. It has masses of tourist development and a huge party scene that includes lots of girlie bars etc. If this sounds like your kind of thing, then this is where you should stay. There are cinemas here, and malls, hundreds of shops, bars, restaurants and all the rest. It is convenient, but it certainly isn’t quiet.

Stay in Kata Beach if you want to snorkel, want large beach resorts, want mid-to-high-end accommodation, want to learn to surf.

Best places to stay in Kata beach:

Luxury: The Shore at Katathani Phuket Hotel is a luxury adults-only resort situated on a great beachfront stretch and the whole of a hillside adjacent to exclusive Kata Noi Beach. Views from the hillside bungalows are amazing and the design of the resort caters to this by including a private outdoor pool with every room. The Shore is a perfectly romantic and peaceful setting, so it’s an excellent choice for couples and honeymooners. But if you’re looking for things to do, the resort conducts activities such as yoga and aqua aerobics and their Serenity Spa offers luxurious massage and beauty treatments.

Mid-Range: OZO Phuket Hotel is a super mid-range accommodation option. It is an attractive low-rise resort with a large garden that features a swimming pool and two kids pools. Of course, this makes OZO a great family option. Additionally, there’s a fitness center and a shared lounge Bar and restaurant. The resort has twin and double rooms, family suites, and two-bedroom rooms that cater to all varieties of travelers. Rooms are all aircon with flat-screen TVs and satellite TV, fridge, and private bathroom. Ozo is situated between Kata and Kata Noi beaches; both are just a few minutes’ walk away.

Budget: OK Phuket Hotel is a popular hostel that has the atmosphere of a family home. There is bright and cheerful decor throughout with a technicolor tropical maritime theme from the wall art to the bright and cheerful room design. Kata Beach is just 300 m away, and OK Phuket is central for local bars, restaurants, shops, and facilities. The accommodation comes in double rooms and four-bed dormitory rooms ideal for families and groups of travelers. Guests speak very highly of the family that runs the hostel and their friendliness and willingness to arrange trips, activities, and tours.

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9. Rawai Beach, where to stay in Phuket off-the-beaten-path

Rawai Beach, where to stay in Phuket off-the-beaten-path
Rawai Beach: the best area to stay in Phuket on budget @Phuket

The Rawai Beach area of Phuket is, surprisingly, not really the best destination for beach lovers. The beach faces east into Phuket Bay, and the waters here are often muddy and less clear than on the west coast beaches.

It is still an interesting place, though, and a good choice of location for people who are interested in getting a little bit off the beaten tourist path and exploring the real Phuket.

There is some great seafood to be found here since this side of the island is where fishing boats unload their fresh catch. Local restaurateurs hover and vie with each other to get the best and freshest fish, and a seafood meal at Rawai is a highlight of a Phuket Trip. 

Rawai is also a good place to take a day trip to explore some of the stunning islands that lie just offshore from Phuket.

Within the Rawai area, you can find the Nai Harn Beach which is one of the most beautiful beaches in Phuket, where you can enjoy watersports, cycling and running. Ya Nui Beach has calm water, ideal for kids to swim also a great spot for snorkeling.

From Rawai, you can take longtail boats to Koh Bon Island which is a great place for snorkeling, and Coral Island where you can find Banana Beach and Long Beach, and enjoy many of its watersports.

To have great views of the area, head to Promthep Cape Lookout. Meanwhile the Phuket Seashell Museum and Rawai Seafood Market are also worth visiting!

Stay in Rawai beach if you want to see the real Phuket, love seafood, looking for budget accommodation, and want to visit nearby islands.

Best places to stay in Phuket in Rawai Beach:

Luxury: Royal Thai Villa Phuket is the most popular place in Phuket for prestige Villa rentals. We’ve picked out one of the best serviced villas in the area as our five-star accommodation recommendation here. Royal Thai Villa is a beautiful waterfront property with a large swimming pool and a meticulously maintained garden with a gate opening onto the water. It is a stunning Thai-style pointed roof villa with ostentatious wood paneling and flooring throughout. The style is reflected in all fixtures, décor, lighting and artwork to give a thoroughly regal ambiance.

Mid-Range: Fisherman Way Beach Villa is a beautiful seafront property that offers guests the privacy of a private one or two bedroomed cottage, or for the less budget-conscious, there are one, two and three-bedroom villas with a private pool. The Villas are in a private and out of the way location. Staff is happy to arrange transport and there are a few shops and restaurants that are short walk away. If you like to escape the crowds and explore the island at your own leisure, this is a perfect choice.

Budget Hotels: Sandy House Rawai Phuket Guest House is a pretty guest house that has an old-world, almost fairy tale charm. The accommodation comes in the form of well priced double rooms. The guest house is a boutique accommodation, and while there are some good restaurants nearby, this area will suit people who are happiest in a peaceful location. Bicycles and motorbikes are available for hire, and it’s a relaxed 15-minute cycle to the beach. Alternatively, if you don’t fancy that effort, then there is a free shuttle ride to the beach every morning.

FIND BEST HOTELS IN RAWAI BEACH

10. Phuket Town, where to stay in Phuket for history and culture

Phuket Town, where to stay in Phuket for history and culture
Phuket Town: best area to stay for solo travelers

Phuket Town gets neglected by visitors in favor of the admittedly lovely beaches of the West Coast. But people who choose to stay here will be rewarded with a relaxed and pretty town with some impressive old colonial architecture and a uniquely laid-back charm.

There is some great accommodation from hostels all the way up to five-star. I recommend staying in Phuket Town for a day or two to see the museums and do some shopping before hitting the beaches.

Rassada Pier is the departure point for ferries to Koh Phi Phi, Koh Lanta, and other destinations that can be reached by ferry from Phuket. This pier is located in Phuket Town, so this is a good place to stay to be close to the ferry.

Phuket Town is the best place if going to Phi Phi Island for Island Hopping. If you are an independent traveler or backpacker island-hopping around Thailand’s Andaman coast, you will leave Phuket from Rassada Pier in Phuket Town.

It is also a thriving Thai port town and there are lots of things to see and do. Phuket Town has some great places to stay that are ideal for meeting other travelers.

It is a good idea to stay in Phuket Town, where you will find a delightful old town with some beautiful colonial architecture and history. The main streets of Old Phuket Town are Thalang, Phang Nga, Krabi, Dibuk, and Yoawarat.

The Old Town offers lovely photo opportunities with temples, shrines, quaint cafes, and pastel-colored well-preserved shophouses! It has a strong old colonial Chinese and Portuguese influence, especially along the Soi Romance Alley, filled with coffee and ice cream shops.

The significant attraction in Old Town Phuket is Phuket Walking Street, a popular market held every Sunday on Thalang Road. you can buy handicrafts, clothing, traditional medicine, and many other things.

You can also shop at its many night markets like Phuket Weekend Night Market, and Indy Market (also known as Laad Ploy Khong in Thai).

Adjacent to Phuket Walking Street stands the Jui Tui Shrine, which is a popular Chinese temple. There are also many temples and shrines including the Shrine of the Serene Light and Wat Mongkol Nimit.

If you are interested in history and culture, there are several museums to explore like Phuket Trickeye Museum, Thai Hua Museum, Thavorn Hotel Museum, Peranakan Phuket Museum, Phuket Philatelic Museum.

The amazing 2-storey mansion of Chinapratcha House was built in 1903 by the Pratipak Chinapracha family, a great example of the Sino- Portuguese architecture style. This architecture resembles the likes of Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, and Penang Island.

Next to it, lies the famous Blue Elephant restaurant, the old stately Chinese mansion that used to be the Governor’s Mansion. Famous for its fine china Thai food, you can join its Thai cooking class too!

Art lovers will love Phuket Town, Phang Nga road has many art galleries. Street arts, murals, and lively paintings are everywhere.

Monkey Hill Viewpoint (Toh Sae Hill) is a free tourist attraction with the incredible opportunity to interact with wild monkeys and enjoy breathtaking views of Phuket.

Stay in Phuket Town if you like towns want an authentic place with real charm, are interested in Phuket’s culture and history, are an independent or budget traveler, traveling alone

Best places to stay in Phuket Old Town:

Luxury Hotel: Novotel Phuket City Phokeethra Hotel is the best luxury option for Phuket Town. It has 180 rooms in an impressive high-rise building that offers great views across the city and Phuket. The rooftop bar is a superb place to enjoy a sunset cocktail while taking in the sights.The hotel is a stone’s throw from all the sights, shopping, and culture of Phuket’s Old Town. Guests are very impressed by the buffet breakfast and rate the overall quality of the food and drink very highly.

Mid-Range Hotel: The Malika Hotel is a great mid-range, mid-size hotel located just a few minutes’ walks from Phuket Town. The smart and clean rooms occupy a three-story hotel building beside a large swimming pool and patio area with sun-loungers and plenty of space to spread out and relax. If you want to jump straight into the pool, book a ground-floor room that opens out directly onto the poolside.

Budget Hotel: Phuket Sunny Hostel is a great choice for budget and independent travelers. This hostel occupies an old colonial building right by the old town. Room types range from doubles to six and seven-room dorms. Everything that you need is in close walking distance, including the Thai Hua Museum, the bus station, and lots of places to eat and drink. There is also a textile and craft market and plenty of other shops nearby, so it is a great choice to plan a holiday gift-buying spree for yourself or others.

FIND BEST HOTELS IN PHUKET TOWN

See more: Frequently Asked Questions Best Places to Stay in Phuket

🎬 Check out my virtual tour about the best places to stay in Phuket in this video or continue reading:

Where to stay in Phuket: Best Areas to Stay in Phuket, Thailand

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So, now you should be very clear about what Phuket has to offer and which of its many beaches and towns will be the perfect choice for you. I hope that you have a phenomenal visit to this fabulous tropical island!

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