Are you looking to stay in Phuket, Thailand? I am your go-to guide! I have been travelling to Phuket art least once a year for the past 10 years and I have plenty of insider knowledge about where to stay.
What’s more, through talking to other travellers and locals who travel to Phuket, I can help you pick the right place for your stay. Whether it’s a hotel, backpacker’s hostel or an Airbnb, I can guarantee that you’ll find the ideal accommodation in Phuket.
Maybe you want to stay in party central (Patong), or something more relaxed and calming (Rawaii or Nai Yang) with the option to go to those “party areas” or busy market streets. Or you might want to know which is the best area to stay in Phuket with your family.
We will cover off all types of Phuket accommodation options from Hostels to luxury hotels that don’t cost the earth as well as how to decide where to stay in Phuket Thailand, the best Phuket hotels, best places in Phuket (to stay and to visit), the best places to stay in Phuket Thailand and many more.
If you need some discreteness during your visit in Phuket, you might also want to consider Phuket Luxury Villas. A luxury option, the luxury villas will provide a getaway experience, where you can enjoy fun-filled moments with your family and friends. You can check out our full guide to Phuket Villas here. Wondering where to stay in Phuket 2023, this comprehensive guide will help you out.
Phuket is considered one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, it’s popular with Honeymooners, solo travellers and even digital nomads. Thailand is fairly cheap compared to some Western areas, which makes places to stay Phuket, pretty affordable! Please enjoy this comprehensive guide on where to stay in Phuket in 2023!
Below are 10 of the best neighbourhoods in Phuket to help you make the right decision when trying to work out best suburb to stay in Phuket for you.
We have tried to make the guide as easy to follow as possible. We have also included some things to do or places to visit as well as some eatery suggestions of either our favourite places or some funky places to eat at within the areas in Phuket so you can use this as a go to guide.
Quick note: Prices will obviously vary from high season to low season, in some cases by almost 50%! Low tourist season is from May to October and high tourist season is November to April. Personally I think Phuket is the best in October as it is the last month of the low season and there doesn’t seem to be much rain to ruin your holiday.
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Party Central/Busy Areas in Phuket
Patong Phuket – Where to stay in Phuket for singles
Patong is the main tourist area in Phuket, the beach is often filled with hundreds of people on lounge chairs, jet ski’s and people selling everything from Ice cream to massages, sun glasses, clothing, “lucky Balloons” (aka lanterns) and soooo much more!
Most people are wondering where to stay in Phuket for first timers? Generally people tend to folk to Patong because its a centralised tourist area.
The streets of Patong are littered with bars, lady boys, tailors, ping pong shows and actual litter… Patong is also named Phuket walking Street as there is a large market area.
The Patong aroma is one that burns your nostrils but don’t worry, you’ll soon get used to it, luckily when it rains the smell goes away but beware the pong comes back with a vengeance!
Some people might say that Patong is where you can get a true taste of the craziness Phuket has to offer. Patong is considered one of the best places to stay in Phuket for young adults, the area is party central! Although keep in mind that sometimes you can literally “taste” Patong – it can be super smelly but people staying there tend to get used to the smell fairly quickly.
Patong beach is thought to have some of the best Walking Street market shopping in Phuket, it has a great selection of markets that sell “designer” clothing, handbags, watches, shoes and much much more as well as non designer watches, wallets, clothing, shoes, hats etc.
Most of the vendors all seem to sell the same thing for varying prices. The price will depend on how you ask, what you say or what you look like. To get by unscathed, here are some tips on how to barter your way to the best price in Thailand. It’s where to stay in Phuket for nightlife.
I would characterize Patong as frantic or organised chaos and we were there in the low season, which was apparently pretty quiet! It would be nothing short of chaotic in high season, what an experience that would be!
As Patong is the main tourist area of Phuket, the hotels are cheap! If you’re wondering Patong is also where to stay in Phuket solo.
As the main tourist area of Phuket, Patong can be categorised as frantic and chaotic, even during the low season!
Why stay in Patong:
Patong is considered one of the best places to stay in Phuket for young adults and singles, as the area is party central!
Patong is also where to stay in Phuket for first-timers seeking a vibrant nightlife, as it is certainly where you can get a true taste of the craziness Phuket has to offer.
There are also a ton of accommodation options available, whether you’re looking for something budget-friendly or want to splurge a little.
Things to do in Patong:
- Bangla Night Market
- Enjoy the nightlife
- Phuket Simon Cabaret
- Patong Beach
Where to Stay in Patong
Karon – Best place to stay in Phuket for tourists
The question is, do you choose Karon or Patong when trying to work out where to stay in Phuket…… Karon beach is not as frantic as Patong beach but often referred to as “Patong’s Little Sister, located only 20 minutes away from Patong. In Karon you will find a range of small shops/markets, a bar or 2 and nice little restaurants and cafes.
Karon is one of the best places to stay in Phuket Thailand because you can enjoy what the Thai life is like without having to be bombarded with ping pong shows and other unwanted experiences.
There are not as many lady boys or ping pong shows (unless you go down Bangla road in Patong) and most of the bars are just off Patak Road and are similar to Patong, in that they have a few “hostesses” that you can enjoy a few beers or games with. They are sure to keep you “company” for a fee………
As for shopping you can head to Karon Bazaar, here they sell every from dvds to clothing, suitcases and beachwear, oh and you wont be hassled by tailors, unlike Patong.
Alternatively you can head to the Karon Temple Market on Tuesday and Friday’s, they sell similar things to the Bazaar but you can also find food and fruit, many of which most westerns have never seen before. Its always interesting to wander round these markets, seeing and smelly new and wonderful things.
A common question among travellers is whether to choose Karon or Patong. Karon Beach is often referred to as Patong’s Little Sister, located only 20 minutes away and a lot less frantic.
Why stay in Karon:
Karon is one of the best places to stay in Phuket, Thailand because you can enjoy what Thai life is like without being bombarded by those trying to sell you something or falling into too many tourist traps.
Since Karon is pretty central, it’s a good base if you want to explore other areas of Phuket during the day. With a beautiful beach and a great selection of markets, restaurants and bars, Karon has a little bit of everything.
Things to do in Karon:
- Shop at the markets
- Explore the nightlife
- Karon Beach
Best Places to Stay in Karon
Kata Beach – Best place to stay in Phuket Thailand
Kata Beach is generally better suited for families, no matter what time of year, it has a beautiful palm-lined white sand beach with almost crystal clear waters. Kata beach is actually in Karon but i thought it would be a nice addition to the list.
Kata beach has some really good restaurants and lively nightlife as well, just in case you want to go out a little but not have to deal with the crowds in Patong! It has plenty of shops from souvenir shop to clothing stores to 7-Elevens and local supermarkets.
As far as night life goes Kata beach is not as crazy as Patong and is a little smaller than Karon, you will find that the nightlife is fairly tame as it’s aimed toward families and couples rather than single people. If you’re a fan of great views head to the “3 capes” look out at Kata view point, where you can see Patong, Kata and Karon.
No matter what time of year, Kata Beach has a beautiful palm-lined white sand beach with crystal-clear waters. Although this beach is actually in Karon, it’s worth including on its own.
Why stay in Kata Beach:
Kata Beach is generally better suited for families. You will find that the nightlife is fairly tame as it’s aimed toward families and couples rather than single people.
Kata Beach has some really good restaurants and lively bars as well, in case you want to go out a little but not have to deal with big crowds.
The beach is also calm and safe for kids to swim in, and there are numerous hotels that offer kids’ clubs and babysitting services.
Things to do in Kata Beach:
- Spend the day at the beach
- Soak up the views
- Visit The Big Buddha
Best Places to stay near Kata Beach
Phuket Town – Old Town places to stay in Phuket
Phuket town is located in central Phuket and not a typical tropical location with beach views (well not all areas have beach views), however it has its own flare of a mix of old and new.
The centre of Phuket town is called Old Phuket Town or Thalang Road, which is lined with colorful 19th-century shop houses and Sino-Portuguese buildings, which were built in 1903. Phuket town actually has come fairly unique places to stay in Phuket: Sino-Portuguese buildings.
Phuket town is fairly busy from dawn to dusk with markets along the main streets and a decent amount of restaurants and bars for those who enjoy a bit of nightlife (although not as crazy a Patong). Below is a list on the best places to stay in Phuket Town.
Phuket Town is the capital city of Phuket and is not a beachside destination like most places on the island. However, it has its own unique charm with a mix of old and new.
Why stay in Phuket Town:
Staying in Phuket Town provides an opportunity to experience a different side of the island, away from the more touristy areas by the beaches. It feels most authentic here, as it is not as catered to tourists and shows a glimpse of everyday life for the residents of Phuket.
The town is fairly busy from dawn ‘til dusk, with bustling markets along the main streets and plenty of restaurants and bars for those who enjoy a bit of nightlife without going overboard. You’ll also find a ton of affordable hostels and hotels here.
Things to do in Phuket Town:
- Explore the historic architecture
- Thai Hua Museum
- Do some shopping – Robinson Department Store and Central Festival Phuket
- Taste the local cuisine
Where to Stay in Phuket Town
Quiet more relaxed areas in Phuket
Rawai – Where to stay in Phuket for couples
Wondering where to stay in Phuket couples? Rawai is one of my favourite areas to stay while in Phuket, its approx. 45mins from Patong and short drive away from Chalong pier.
Rawai is a place where you can relax by the beach, with very few people around and finally relax and unwind, rather than being crowded in Patong. Rawai is also a great place to stay in Phuket for honeymooners.
Rawai beach is known as a working beach where you can easily hire a long boat to take you to neighbouring islands like Bon Island or Coral island for a day of snorkelling or relaxing on a small island.
It’s more of a local area and only has a few hotels around. The locals often have “pop up” markets and most hotels have easy to access 7/11 stores. Personally I think Rawai is the best area in phuket to stay in, it’s super easy going and such a relaxing spot.
This is not an area to go shopping or party in, it’s an area to relax and enjoy the fresh air and sunshine.
We’ve stayed at Serenity Resort a few times, which is always very relaxing and out of the way however this resort doesn’t have a very swimmable beach but they do have a great pool and the majority of rooms come with a private pool. It’s a perfect honeymoon resort!
If you want to do some swimming then I would recommend Rawai beach and Nai Harn beach, which are close to the very popular Phromthep Cape look out, where people go to see beautiful sunsets each night.
If you are in the area check it out, its worth getting there a little earlier than sunset to get a good spot! Rawai is one of best areas to stay in Phuket, is very chilled out and relaxed, perfect for couples or solo travellers looking to recharge.
Wondering where is the best area to stay in Phuket for couples? Look no further than the peaceful area of Rawai, located on the very southern tip of the island.
Why stay in Rawai:
Rawai is one of the rare places in Phuket where you can relax by the beach with few people around and finally unwind away from the large crowds.
This is not an area to go shopping or party in, but a laid-back haven to recharge and enjoy the fresh air, clear water and warm sunshine.
This atmosphere makes Rawai a wonderful place to stay in Phuket for honeymooners or couples on a romantic getaway, as you can get a bit of privacy here, especially at the beachside resorts.
Since Rawai is a traditional fishing village, it has remained more of a local area and doesn’t have a huge amount of hotels (although you’ll still have plenty of options).
Things to do in Rawai:
- Promthep Cape
- Explore the nearby islands
- Enjoy the beaches
Best Places to Stay in Rawai
Nai Yang- Best place to stay in Phuket for families
Nai Yang is my next favourite area to stay in as it’s only 5 mins from the airport and about an hour away from Patong.
Here you will find a fine white sand beach with a few little stores, beach massage parlours, restaurants and a few old abandoned hotels (a bit of adventure, if you dare!) and some nice resorts. Nai Yang is located within the very popular Sirinat national park.
It’s a great beach to relax at without being bothered by people trying to sell you something or by other guests or visitors. The water is warm and fairly clear, you can go snorkelling on the reef at northern end of the beach. Kite surfing is fairly popular in this area too if you want to try your hand at it.
We usually stay at The Slate (formally Indigo Pearl ) Resort, it’s a huge yet beautiful resort but can be a little on the expensive side, but worth the price. Nai Yang has a few different ranges of accommodations for different budgets however it isnt packed like most other areas of Phuket.
This is also a beach known for beautiful sunsets, grab a cocktail and relax as you want the sun go down (depending on the time of year, you might need to take your cocktail around the cove). If you can’t afford to stay here, I would highly recommend trying out one of their restaurants for lunch or dinner – so worth it!
If you’re looking for another beach you can take a short 20 min tuk tuk to Mai Khao beach, it is a little more secluded and is one of the best beaches in Phuket.
Below is a list on where to stay in Phuket with family, this area is very chilled out and not near any of the more inappropriate places in Phuket for little kids. In my opinion, Nai Yang, is one of the best places to stay in Phuket.
Nai Yang is only about five minutes from the airport and an hour away from Patong. Here you will find a fine white sand beach with a couple of vendors, beach massage parlours, restaurants, a few abandoned hotels, and some nice resorts.
Why stay in Nai Yang:
Nai Yang is far away from any of the “inappropriate” party places that Phuket has gained a reputation for, making it the best place on the island for young kids and families to stay. Most hotels and resorts here offer amenities like children’s play areas and babysitting services.
If you have a young baby, however, you should be aware that there can be a lot of noise from the planes above and decide if this will be an issue for you or not.
Nai Yang has a range of accommodations for different budgets, though it tends to be a bit more expensive to stay here compared to other areas of Phuket. If the hotels are out of your price range, it’s still worth visiting Nai Yang for lunch or dinner.
Things to do in Nai Yang:
- Sirinat National Park
- Chill out at the beach
- Go kite surfing or snorkelling
Best Places to Stay in Nai Yang
Kamala – Best area to stay in Phuket for families
Kamala is approx 20 minutes away (although it feels a long longer in a tuk tuk) from Patong but it’s far enough away to enjoy to serenity and peace but close enough to make a trip to Patong for a few hours or even the day.
Kamala has a wonderful beach and luckily doesn’t attract crowds which makes it a little like a hidden gem (cliche i know sorry!).
It makes it easy to relax on the beach without getting hassled, Kamala beach also offers a number of beach hotels. Kamala is home to FantaSea, which is considered a “Cultural Theme Park” and very popular with tourists. Personally it think Kamala is the best are in Phuket to stay, it’s super chilled out.
Kamala is approximately 20 minutes from Patong — far enough away to enjoy the serenity and peace but close enough to make a trip there for a few hours if you wish.
My personal favourite is The Bell Pool Villa Resort. You get you own private pool and villa – here you can hire a chef to come in and cook you a massive BBQ!
Why stay in Kamala:
Kamala is one of the most chilled-out places in Phuket without being isolated from the island’s top attractions and experiences.
If you’re looking for a tranquil beach trip while still being in a convenient location, don’t look past this amazing area. Kamala is an ideal place to stay if you’re looking to relax and unwind, whether that’s with a massage or two or a full weekend of pampering.
Things to do in Kamala:
- Chill at the beach
- FantaSea – unique nighttime cultural theme park
- Have a spa day (or two)
Best Places to Stay in Kamala
Bang Tao Beach – Where to stay in Phuket for relaxation
One of Phuket’s longest, and least populated beaches, is Bang Tao Beach. Located on the Western coast of Phuket, Bang Tao is one of the more off the beaten path places to stay in Phuket.
For nature lovers, Sirinath National Park is just 15 kilometers north of Bang Tao Beach, where visitors might see nesting turtles or rare birds.
One of the best hotels to stay in Phuket is the Dusit Thani Laguna hotel, a tranquil oasis along a beautiful stretch of Bang Tao Beach.
While most of Bang Tao Beach is fairly quiet, the southern end, at Surin Beach is quite lively. Surin Beach is sometimes called Millionaires Row, thanks to the many luxury hotels lining the beach.
One of Phuket’s longest and least populated beaches is Bang Tao Beach. Located on the western coast of Phuket, Bang Tao is one of the more off-the-beaten-path places to stay in Phuket.
Why stay in Bang Tao Beach:
Bang Tao Beach is a great place to stay in Phuket if you’re seeking a quieter and more secluded location compared to some of the busier tourist areas on the island.
While there are many luxurious hotels lining the southern end of the beach along Millionaires Row, there are also more affordable options to be found as well.
Things to do in Bang Tao Beach:
- Spend the day at the beach
- Bang Tao Night Market
- Blue Tree Phuket
Best places to stay in Bang Tao Beach
Mai Khao Beach – Places to stay in Phuket on the beach
One of the nearest beaches to Phuket’s International Airport, Mai Khao Beach is one of the least developed beaches in Phuket. The beach here is a bit more coarse, but the lack of crowds makes up for it.
If you only have one day in Phuket, and want to save time commuting around the island, then Mai Khao Beach is one of the places to stay in Phuket closest to the airport. Nearby Nai Yang beach also has some accommodation options, and families visiting Phuket with kids will love the Splash Jungle Water Park.
As one of the closest beaches to Phuket’s International Airport, Mai Khao Beach is one of the most untouched beaches on the island.
Why stay in Mai Khao Beach:
If you only have one day in Phuket and want to save time commuting around the island, then Mai Khao Beach is one of the top places to stay. The beach here is a bit more coarse and undeveloped, but the lack of crowds make up for it.
Aside from the airport, the JW Marriott Phuket Resort is one of the only places to stay in Phuket on the beach at Mai Khao, making it feel pretty exclusive.
Things to do in Mai Khao Beach:
- Splash Jungle Water Park
- Enjoy the untouched beach
- Visit the turtle sanctuary
Best places to stay in Mai Khao Beach
Chalong – Where to stay in Phuket for easy access to day trips
On Phuket’s East Coast, Chalong is popular for boaters. The shoreline is muddy, so it’s not a great beach destination in Phuket. The most popular attraction in this region is the hilltop Big Buddha. Other things to do near Chalong include the Botanic Garden and Phuket Bird Park. If you’re wondering where to stay in Phuket for island hopping, Chalong is a great spot as the pier offers a lot of boat activities.
Ao Chalong Pier is a busy hub of activity, with many pubs and restaurants catering to travelers heading out on sailing and diving day trips.
If you are arriving by boat, you’ll find several options for mooring: Boat Lagoon, Royal Phuket Marina, and Yacht Haven. While Chalong is a more urban area of Phuket, there are still several places to stay in this area of Phuket.
In the southeast of Phuket is the area of Chalong. It’s best known for its large marina, making it a hub for boat tours and diving trips to nearby islands.
Why stay in Chalong:
If you’re wondering where to stay in Phuket for island hopping, Chalong is a great spot as the pier offers ample opportunities for boat trips. It’s also close to numerous attractions on the mainland, including the Big Buddha and Wat Chalong.
Since the shoreline of Chalong is pretty muddy, it’s not a great beach destination, but you’ll only have to travel a few kilometres to find a suitable swimming beach.
Things to do in Chalong:
- Go island hopping
- Phuket Botanic Garden
- Wat Chalong Temples
Best places to stay in Chalong
Final Thoughts: Best area to stay Phuket
Phuket is one of the most wonderful place to stay, with plenty of amazing accommodation choices. Whether you want to escape on a luxury holiday or explore the city’s cultural highlights, you can find the perfect place for you.
So don’t wait and book your stay in Phuket now! Enjoy a unique and memorable experience, full of fun activities and delicious food.
Make sure it’s an unforgettable trip by booking the best hotel for your dream journey. Goodbye Phuket – until next time!
FAQ for Where to stay in Phuket
What is the best part of Phuket to stay?
Wondering best places to stay in Phuket to party? This is highly dependent on why you’re visiting Phuket. If you are looking to party in Phuket, I’d recommend Patong. Kata and Karon are great ares for tourists who don’t want to stay in the craziness of Patong.
Rawai is fantastic for couples who want to relax or go on honeymoon, Rawai is really relaxed. Nai Yang and Kamala are both great areas for families as it’s not as overwhelming as the other areas in Phuket.
Is it better to stay in Phuket or Patong?
Phuket town is great for shopping, history and culture where as Patong is party central. Patong also offers some great night markets for shopping but it can be pretty overwhelming as vendors really want you to buy from them.
Which side of Phuket has the best beaches?
There are beautiful beaches all over Phuket and Thailand in general. The beaches for swimming would be in Karon, Kata and Nai Harn. Kata, Freedom, and Banana beaches are the more ideal for snorkelling. Kamala and Rawai beaches are great for relaxation although Kamala can be a little busier at times.
How many days in Phuket is enough?
If you’re wondering how many days in Phuket is ideal or how many days do you need in Phuket? You could easily spend 2 weeks in Phuket or 2 months and still not see or do everything.
Most people generally stay in Phuket for 4-7 days, depending where they are travelling from. Personally I think & days in Phuket is perfect, you can see a few sights and still get some time to relax.
|Favorite accommodation options for Phuket||Best Hotels|
|❤️ Best Area first timers||Kata or Karon|
|💸 Best Luxury Hotel||The Slate|
|👪 Best Hotel for For Families||Dewa Phuket Resort and Villas|
|🏨 Best Mid-Range Hotel||Karona Resort & Spa|
|🛏️ Best Budget Hotel||The Tint At Phuket Town|
|✨ Best Hostel||Lub d Phuket Patong|
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