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Phuket Town is Phuket’s largest town, and a culturally rich, lively and cosmopolitan capital at that. Phuket Town is a real historic melting pot, with people and influence from China. Portugal, India and the Arabian Peninsula helping to built this town - when Phuket was just an island of tin mines and rubber plantations. And it’s where you’ll find the island’s most colourful textile shops and markets, some of its most glorious shrines and some fantastically grand old Sino-Portuguese buildings as well.
Staying in Phuket Town can also be significantly cheaper than staying in one of the beach resorts, and you’re just back from the coast. And our Hotel Guru’s recommendations for the best places to stay in Phuket Town also include some of the best places to stay on the whole island.
Buses and Songteows easily connect you to the beaches and the rest of the island, and start from Shannon Raining and the Ranong Market. The bus to Patong Beach is probably the most popular and runs between 7am and 6pm.
What not to Miss
- Phuket’s streets offer a wonderful mix of coffee houses, textiles shops, small eccentric galleries and restaurants, and wandering them has got to be one of the main reasons you’d chose to stay in Phuket Town over elsewhere on the island.
- Phuket Town is also where you’ll find the island’s museums, with the headliners probably being the Phuket Culture Museum; Chyn Pracha House, a fantastic mansion built in 1903 from tin-riches, and now an antique-lover’s dream; the Phuket Thaihua Museum, housed in what was once a Chinese language school and telling the tale of the island’s Chinese inhabitants; and the Phuket Philatelic Museum, which is in the fabulous old post office building.
- Phuket Town’s temples and shines are also a reason to choose to stay here over one of the island’s resorts. Put Jaw is the island’s oldest Taoist temple, built more than 200years ago - if you have a troubling question you can get a clear answer here by throwing the two red, mango-shaped pieces in front of the alter in the air, and if they land same side up the answer is ‘no’, and different sides ‘yes’. The Chinese Taoist Shrine of the Serene Light is a particularly atmospheric example, with decorated walls and a beautifully vaulted ceiling; but the Jui Tui Shrine is probably the town’s most popular - it’s a shrine for those who want to improve their physical health through prayer. The Bang Niew Shrine and the Sui Boon Tong Shrine are also popular, and even more so during Phuket’s Vegetarian Festival.
- The Phuket Butterfly Farm is another popular attraction, just three kilometres from Phuket Town. The Thai Village and Orchid Farm is also charming, with cultural shows and dance performances daily. And there’s a crocodile farm… with alligators too…
- Phuket Island is the kind of place where you can pack in a lot of adventure, or do very little. Go sailing or jet-skiing, try parasailing or diving, snorkelling or free diving, kite-surfing, canoeing or deep sea fishing. The island’s spectacular coastline is well worth seeing and you can do it under your own steam or someone else’s. Phuket isn’t the only island in these parts and it’s definitely worth visiting some of the others.
The Best Places to Stay in Phuket
For Great Value
- £150 per night isn’t inexpensive, but the Como Point Yamu is a great value option if you want to treat yourself to a proper Phuket experience. With an enviable position overlooking the Andaman Sea, two excellent restaurants, an award-winning spa, rooftop infinity pool and daily menu of sporting and cultural activities, this is classic Phuket.
For Spectacular Views
- Sri Panwa is a chic collection of glass-fronted villas filled with every modern comforts and offering spectacular sea views. There are just 59 rooms/ villas and you’ll have just the right facilities, including a private assistant for your kids if that would help you relax and enjoy yourself.
For a self-catering apartment
If you’d prefer to stay in an apartment or private villa we recommend you visit our online partner, booking.com.
- Phuket Airport is 30kms to the north of Phuket Town, about 30 to 45minutes by taxi, or an hour and 20minutes by bus - but traffic is often bad. It’s only loosely connected to the UK and Europe, most flights will travel via Bangkok. Phuket is known for having relatively expensive taxi prices and very limited public transport.
- If you’re thinking about hiring a car we recommend checking what our online partners, Rentalcars have to offer.
- The peak time for visiting Phuket is between November and February when it’s cool and dry, after than it gets quite hot until about May then the monsoon season starts.
Still not sure which is the best place to stay in Phuket for you?
- Expand your search to include our recommendations for all the best places to stay on Phuket Island,
- or even further to include the best places to stay in Krabi or Khao Lak,
- or contact one of our friendly Gurus for advice.
Best Hotels in Phuket
Keemala 38 rooms from $538Phuket (Chang Wat)
A unique and utterly luxurious resort. Sleep up in the trees with your own birds nest villa - complete with private pool. Plus eco-luxe interiors complete with canopied beds, luscious views and huge egg bathtubs. Two restaurants serving largely home grown dishes and spice route flavours.Eco break - A contributor to non-profit organisation Kamala Green Club plus employing green principles and serving locally sourced food.Romantic Break - Villas are suited to twosomes and feature private pools and stunning views. No children allowed.Spa breaks - Mala spa features eight treatment rooms, traditional treatments and healing therapies.Cooking classes - Learn some thai dishes at the culinary academy. Pick your vegetables from the "enchanted garden".Recommended by - Mr & Mrs Smith, Kiwi Collection
Amanpuri 83 rooms from $1011Phuket
Divine Aman offering and absolute haven of tranquility. Enjoy signature Thai and Chinese inspired treatments in the secluded spa, and dinner at your choice of not one but five restaurants. Something for everyone. Rooms are relaxingly low-tech - there are enough outdoor activities to keep you busy!Families - Plenty of watersports on offer, tennis courts and baby sitting services.Spa breaks - Aman spas are world renowned and this one is no exception.Romantic Break - Tranquil villas, private pools and couples spa treatments.Back to Nature - Boasting its own stretch of white sandy beach.Recommended by - Mr & Mrs Smith
The Slate 177 rooms from $164Phuket (Sakhu Thalang)
The Slate is a stunning 5* hotel located just a stone's throw away from Phuket's coast. This peaceful oasis boasts gorgeous suites furnished in a chic manner and with plenty of wooden influences. Their truly unique Coqoon spa is a must visit! Utterly divine cuisine. A luxurious and magnificent stay!Beach Life - The Slate is just three minutes from the beach so you can spend your days lounging by the seasideFoodies - The property boasts eight exquisite eateries, all of which are definitely worth a visit!Total relaxation - Forget about all your worries as you unwind in their rainforest spa!Great walks - Hike through the stunning Sirinat National ParkRecommended by - Mr & Mrs Smith, Tablet
Kata Rocks 34 rooms from $1039Phuket (Kata Beach)
Kata Rocks enjoys a prime location on the coast of Phuket, boasting fantastic sea views. The hotel offers 1-4 bedroom luxury villas designed in a chic, contemporary fashion. Relax with a cocktail and take in the sunset! Mediterranean cuisine served. A truly stunning stay!Total relaxation - Bask in the beautiful sea views as you relax in the infinity poolBeach Life - Kata Rocks is just a ten minute walk from the nearest beachSailing - Speak to Bristol Charter Phuket to charter a luxury yacht-the perfect way to explore the seas and all around Phuket!Fishing - Head along the coast and find yourself a nice quiet spot for some fishing
The Nai Harn 130 rooms from $264Muang District, Phuket
The Nai Harn is a stalwart on the Phuket luxury hotel scene, but a recent renovation has kept this Mediterranean-inspired seaside resort as relevant as ever. Stylish rooms include open views. Perfect for a getaway with a loved one or total relaxation.Families - Stay together in family rooms and make use of the babysitting services offered to have a relaxing evening without the kids!Beach Life - The Nai Harn is located just 2 minutes away from the beach so you can easily spend your days lounging by the seasideRomantic Break - Stunning accommodation, a beachfront location, ocean views and excellent cuisineKayaking - The hotel provides kayaks if you fancy heading out for a splash on the water
Iniala Beach House 4 rooms from $2117Phuket
An uber chic collection of design penthouses and villas on a gorgeous stretch of white sandy beach. Be utterly spoiled with your own butler, driver, chef, spa therapist and housekeeper. Style is sleek and contemporary throughout; think clean lines, soft hues and plenty of glass. Achingly cool.Beach Life - Relax in the lap of luxury in one of the gorgeous design beach front villas.Diving - With easy access to the Similan and Surin Islands find some of the world's best diving within reach.Sights nearby - Find two 18-hole championship courses in the vicinity.Secluded setting - For escaping.
Twinpalms 97 rooms from $111Phuket (Cherng Talay)
A chic property to satisfy both tranquility seekers and night revellers. A gorgeous pool, spoiling spa and beach butlers will tend to all your needs and lively Surin beach is just steps from the property. The style is cool and contemporary and staff ever efficient. Beach perfection.Beach Life - An uber chic property set in lush surrounds and just minutes from a white sand beach.Cooking classes - Learn to cook a three course thai meal in the hotel kitchen.Fishing - The hotel organises deep sea fishing excursions.Views - Great views from hotelRecommended by - I Escape, Mr & Mrs Smith
Sri Panwa 59 rooms from $498Phuket (Vichit, Muang)
As stylish as it is luxurious, Sri Panwa has raised the bar on boutique chic holidaying. Glass fronted villas not only allow for enjoying the spectacular sea views but are filled with every modern comfort you could conjure up. Ideal for families and couples alike this is a truly spoiling retreat.Total relaxation - Merging contemporary comforts with natural beauty you'll be left wishing for nothing in this oh-so-cool hotel.Families - The hotel's thought of everything to keep kids happy and entertained (including a private assistant).Sailing - Cruise through the Phuket archipelago in style aboard one of the two hotel boats.Diving - Explore the tropical seas on a scuba diving expedition.Recommended by - I Escape, Mr & Mrs Smith
Paresa Resorts 49 rooms from $396Phuket (Kamala,)
Drawing upon the surrounding beauty to create a secluded resort that places super-luxe simplicity at its core. Villas make the most of stunning vistas with plenty of floor to ceiling glass walls and natural wood. Some have private pools, all have spa baths. A fresh Mediterranean menu is served.Kayaking - Through the surrounding lagoons for a true jungle experienceFishing - Fishing and snorkelling trips can be arrangedGreat walks - To the nearby templesViews - Great views from hotelRecommended by - Mr & Mrs Smith
Como Point Yamu 79 rooms from $195Phuket (Talang)
This island resort fuses traditional Thai style with splashes of Mediterranean colour that reflects its enviable position overlooking the Andaman Sea. An award-winning spa, daily menu of sporting and cultural activities, and two outstanding on-site restaurants make it even harder to leave.Sights nearby - Khao Phra Thaeo National Park within five miles.Swimming Pool - Pool with view, rooftop pool, infinity pool.Sailing - Can be booked nearby.Seaside - Ideal for a seaside holiday.