Where to stay in Phuket
Phuket Island is bigger than most people realize. The island is about 50km long, it takes about 90 minutes to drive from one end to the other. So when booking snorkeling tours logistic planning is important. Where you plan to go snorkeling will influence where you should stay on Phuket along with other considerations such as budget and other interests.
Snorkeling tours start from several different piers on different parts of Phuket, some of the piers are on the mainland north of Phuket. Most snorkeling tours provide free transfers from hotels in Kata beach, Karon beach and Patong beach. Other areas may incur a surcharge, normally just a couple of hundred baht.
If your tour starts in Chalong Bay (South East Phuket) it’s best to stay in south Phuket at Kata, Karon or Patong beaches. Rawai, Naiharn, Phuket Town and Cape Panwa are also ok but may incur a surcharge.
If your tour starts in Phuket Town (East Phuket) you can stay in most parts of the island. Transfers will be free from Phuket Town, Patong, Kata and Karon, other areas will incur a small fee.
If your tour starts in Thap Lamu or Baan Nam Khem (close to Khao Lak, north of Phuket) it is more convenient to stay in north Phuket or Khao Lak because transfers will be shorter,. You may get charged a surcharge but it’s worth it rather than sitting in a minibus for a extra hour. For example, a Similan Islands day trip picks up in Kata beach at 6am to transfer to Thap Lamu pier. The transfer is free of charge. It picks up in Mai Khao beach at 7.15am but charges 200 baht extra. Most people prefer to pay the 200 baht and get 1 hour extra in bed.
Our Phuket Hotel Recommendation
Each Phuket hotel recommendations below links to Agoda.com, a major online hotel booking website. Recommending hotels is never easy but all the suggestions below have either been stayed in by us or come highly recommended by friends. If you can’t find what you are looking for please do ask us because we are an agent for many hotels throughout Thailand including smaller boutique resorts that do not list with Agoda.
Patong beach Central (Bars, restaurants, beach, shopping)
- Kee Resort and Spa – right in the very heart of Patong’s nightlife. Close to the beach, bars, restaurants and shops. Close to Jung Ceylon shopping mall. A nice central 4 star resort.
- Summer Breeze – a lower budget option that is equally central but still lets you get a quiet night’s sleep.
- Millenium resort – 4 star resort attached to Jung Ceylon. Perfect if you are coming for a shopping weekend.
- U-Sabai hotel – a budget option close to Jung Ceylon in soi Banzan.
Patong beach front (or very close to it)
- Graceland Resort and Spa – 4 star on a nicer part of Patong beach with plenty of local restaurants close by.
- Royal Phawadee Village – Good location close to the beach and beach restaurants. Walking distance to Jung Ceylon and Bangla road.
- Burasari Resort – feels like a boutique resort even though it has nearly 200 rooms. About 100 metres from the beach.
- Baan Boa resort – budget beach front resort in south Patong.
Outside Patong beach:
- Phuket Marriott Resort and Spa – located by the quieter Tri Trang beach (Merlin beach) and walking distance (over a hill) to Paradise beach. Regular shuttles in to Patong centre. Good resort for a family holiday. It has a kids pool, water slide, play ground and kids club.
- Le Meridien Phuket Beach Resort – a 5 star resort on it’s own beautiful beach south of Patong. Nice snorkeling from the beach.
Kata Noi beach:
- Kata Thani Beach Resort – lovely 5 star resort that dominates Kata Noi beach. You can snorkel on the house reef.
- Kata Beach Resort – 4 star resort popular because if it’s perfect beach front location.
- Sugar Marina Fashion Resort – good 3 star resort close to the beach and at the better end of Kata beach for restaurants.
- Sawadee Village resort – a beautiful 4 star spa resort. Elegant Thai style. A hidden oasis.
- Pier 42 Boutique resort – just a few steps from the boat pier. Excellent seafood restaurants nearby. Suitable for a night or two.
- Ao Chalong Villa – good value for longer stays in Chalong.
- Rommanae Boutique Guesthouse – very cheap guesthouse in Phuket Town’s prettiest street offf Thalang Road.
- The Memory at On On Hotel – Phuket’s first hotel completely renovated in 2013. Old Phuket style.
- Westin Siray Bay Resort – Luxury resort on Sirey Island east of Phuket Town. Very good prices available in low season
- Kamala Beach resort – 4 star resort in the middle of Kamala beach. They don’t let kids in.
- Kamala beach front apartments – good value beach front accommodation with a small pool.
North West Phuket
- Dewa Resort – very nice Naiyang resort close to the beach and local restaurants.
- The Slate – super stylish award winning resort in Naiyang beach (previously called Indigo Pearl).
- Chez Charly bungalows – low budget bungalows 15 minutes walk to the beach.
- Renaissance – 5 star resort on MaiKhao beach. Good deals in low season although it’s a bit remote at that time of year.