Choose the Best Areas to Stay in Phuket 2024

Trying to determine the best areas to stay in Phuket for your beach holiday in Thailand? Get comfortable – we have compiled a rundown of the most popular areas, the pros and cons of staying in each and then a few of our favorite properties to help you find the right hotel or resort for your visit.

Stunning white-sand beaches, swaying coconut palms, luxury hotels, and cool beach clubs—Phuket in Southern Thailand has it all and so much more. The island province of Phuket is one of Thailand’s best-known islands and its most popular tourist destination. And following the recent expansion of Phuket International Airport, it’s easier than ever to find a flight directly to this tropical paradise.

Once you have your flight sorted, the next task is to decide where to stay in Phuket. Koh Phuket is Thailand’s largest island, and home to more than 30 beaches. As such, there are plenty of options when it comes to choosing your base.

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Phuket’s west coast is dotted with beautiful beaches, each with its own charm and character, so let’s have a look at the best areas to stay in Phuket and find out which beautiful beach is perfect for your holiday in Phuket.

Bang Tao Beach

Bang Tao is best for beach lovers looking for a relaxing beach holiday or a romantic getaway.

Situated a short drive from the airport in the northwest of the isalnd, Bang Tao is a quiet beach area, with the convenience of plenty of shops and restaurants nearby.

Bang Tao is one of the longest and most pristine beaches in Phuket, its tranquil vibe makes it an excellent choice.

The beach is perfect for a relaxing day, soaking up the sun and cooling off in the warm and gentle Andaman Sea. For lunch, there are plenty of restaurants at the edge of the sand serving delicious local dishes alongside western favourites.

Layan Beach Phuket

The northern end of Bang Tao Beach turns into Layan Beach. You can walk the five kilometres of white sand from the southern end of Bang Tao to the northern end of Layan Beach and enjoy the tranquillity of this expansive beach along the way.

Within walking distance of Bang Tao Beach is an area known as Cherngtalay, with an array of excellent shops including Villa Market which stocks many imported items and is a favorite shopping place for ex-pats.

Bang Tao’s location is handy for getting out and about to explore the island, particularly if you rent a car. From Bang Tao, there is a road that connects to Phuket’s major thoroughfare – route 402. The island’s coastal road also makes it easy to get to Patong and Phuket’s other main beaches.

Local tip: If you are looking for a more secluded beach, you can hire a long tail to take you a quick ride to the north of Bang Tao, where you can access the private beach known as Trisara Beach.

Our favorite hotel in Bangtao Beach

Anantara Layan Phuket Resort

Suites, pool villas, and pool residences all offer absolute luxury, making Anantara a perfect choice for a honeymoon or any special occasion when you are looking for somewhere to stay in Phuket and spoil yourself.

Anantara Rooftop Phuket
Enjoy sunset from the rooftop bar

Their spa and wellness centre offer an amazing treatment with heated seashells you will remember for a very long time! There are half a dozen dining options on-site for days when you can’t bear to leave the luxury.

Find out more about Anantara Layan Phuket Resort

Surin Beach

Surin is best for those looking for a quiet beach with options to explore further afield.

To the south of Laem Son, the headland at the southern end of Bang Tao Beach lies Surin Beach. This smaller stretch of sand is also a relatively tranquil beach, with soft golden sand, and is perfect for a spot of peaceful sun-worshipping.

Surin Beach in July

Surin Beach is also a convenient gateway from which to explore the rest of the island. The main coastal road passes through here, and you can easily head out to explore the west coast of the island. You can also cross to the east coast from here by following the main road through Bang Tao.

Surin is well suited for those who are comfortable hiring a scooter or a car, with very few attractions you will probably want to get out and about some days.

There are plenty of excellent accommodation options in and around Surin. Check out the luxury resorts on the Laem Son headland or perhaps the smaller, more affordable accommodation options closer to Surin Beach itself.

Our top resort picks in Surin Beach

Outrigger Surin Beach Resort

Outrigger right on the beach has 60 rooms, stylish suites, and spacious plunge pool suites. Well located only 20 minutes from the airport and 30 minutes from Patong Beach and 30 minutes to Phuket Town, this is a perfect place to relax within driving distance of all the fun the island offers.

Find out more about Outrigger Surin Beach Resort

The Surin Phuket

Directly on the sand at Pansea Beach, the hotel offers two swimming pools and plenty of fun complimentary water activities, including beach football and volleyball, catamaran sailing, hobby cat, canoeing, windsurfing, snorkelling, body, and paddle board.

 There is a large variety of room types, including one and two-bedroom apartments and pool villas.

Find out more about The Surin Phuket

Kamala Beach

Maintaining its fishing village vibe, Kamala is best for a mix of tranquillity and parties. 

Continuing our journey down the west coast of Phuket brings us to Kamala Beach next. Sandwiched between two headlands, Kamala Beach is a great place for swimming in calm waters. The edge of the sand is lined with some excellent restaurants, and there are a few beach activities available, such as jet skis or horse riding. 

Kamala Beach Swing Phuket
Kamala Beach at Sunset

Kamala Town, behind the beach, also boasts excellent restaurants, bars, and shopping. There is a Big C supermarket for those in self-catering accommodation, and plenty of choice for those eating out each night. There are some wonderful mid-range hotels here too.

Kamala Beach is close to Patong – Phuket’s main party zone – but far enough away to be a peaceful location.

If you are looking for the perfect spot for a special sunset cocktail, head to Café del Mar towards the northern end of Kamala Beach. This world-renowned brand brings some cool evening tunes and a sophisticated selection of spirits to Kamala and is a great place for a late-night party, too.  

We, however, found we preferred the laid back style (and prices) at Coconut Garden in the middle of Kamala Beach.

For a more relaxed sunset drink, we chose Coconut Garden in the middle of Kamala Beach

The headland between Surin and Patong is known as Millionaire’s Mile, and the luxury hotels here are perfect for those seeking fine dining with an excellent sea view. 

Our favorite hotels in Kamala Beach

The Naka Phuket

Only ten minutes’ drive from the hustle and bustle of Patong, this hotel is the right one for you if you are looking for somewhere to stay in Phuket that offers luxury, privacy, and absolute beach frontage just minutes from the island’s buzzing nightlife.

The Naka, a member of Design Hotels, offers spacious, two and three-bedroom pool villas. The villas feature natural timber, large infinity style pools and even laundry facilities. Generously sized hotel room are also available. The hotel is a short walk from the beach.

Find out more about The Naka Phuket

InterContinental Phuket Resort

This luxury hotel located on the pristine sands of Kamala Beach is a modern and elegant 5-star luxury beachside retreat. The resort spans a large area from the beach to the hillside, surrounded by lush jungle-covered hills on one side and offering stunning views of the Andaman Sea on the other.

The 221 rooms, suites and villas offer the ultimate luxury. Each accommodation is tastefully adorned with rich colours and warm wood tones, combining elegance with charming local influences. This creates a chic and inviting space where you can immerse yourself in the natural beauty of this private beach resort in Kamala, Phuket.

It’s a short walk from the pool to the beach at the Intercontinental Phuket

They offer direct pool access rooms, a well-reviewed kids’ club and an outdoor swimming pool with ocean views.

Find out more about The Intercontinental Phuket

Glam Habitat 

If you want a private pool option that won’t break the bank but still gives you a bit of luxury then take a look at Glam Habitat. The hotel is only a one-minute walk from Kamala Beach.

Modern minimalist designed one, two, three and four bedroom private pool villas are available. There is an onsite bar and restaurant and an outdoor pool. While there are no ocean views, this is a very nice property with great staff.

Find out more about Glam Habitat

Patong Beach

Patong Beach is best for those looking to party the night away when they stay in Phuket.

The infamous Patong Beach is probably the best-known of Phuket’s tourist beach areas. This bustling bay boasts almost three kilometres of powdery white sand and is the perfect beach for the more active holiday-makers. The headland to the south is home to a few smaller, more secluded beaches too, like Freedom Beach and Paradise Beach Club. 

Patong Beach Phuket
Patong Beach Phuket looking north

Behind the beach area is a hive of activity. The roads are thronged with shops, stalls, restaurants, bars, and hotels. You can shop till you drop at Jung Ceylon – Patong’s shopping mall.

There are restaurants serving cuisine from around the globe alongside authentic Thai eateries. And in the centre of Patong is Bangla Road, which is the island’s main party zone, and becomes a walking street after dark.

The whole of Bangla Road is lined with bars, clubs and restaurants, and is quite the experience for the uninitiated. 

For a quiet meal or cocktail overlooking the water, head to Kalim Beach at the northern end of Patong Beach. 

Patong is a convenient location for exploring the rest of Phuket Island, too. Situated in the centre of Phuket’s west coast, you can easily head north or south along the coastal road, or head east, over Patong Hill to explore Phuket Town or to shop at Central Festival. 

Our top choices in Patong Beach


A perennial favorite with many guests becoming repeat visitors, Graceland is an extensive property with a range of room types. From ocean view rooms, pool access rooms to family suites, you will find a room to suit your group. There are two outdoor pools and a spa and wellness centre.

Graceland Phuket Pool access room

Find out more about Graceland

LIV Hotel Phuket Patong Beachfront

Directly across the road from Patong Beach Liv Hotel offers guests a range of options from deluxe ocean view rooms to a number of pool access and family rooms. The hotel is close to the thick of the action at Bangla Road but far enough away to give a little peace when you want to escape the party.

Find out more about LIV Hotel Patong Phuket

Options in adjoining Kalim Bay

Wyndham Grand Kalim Bay

We recently spent three nights at the Wyndham Grand at Kalim Bay and can highly recommend it. Just far enough from the action of Patong Beach, but close enough when you feel like joining the crowds.

Our balcony pool room at Wyndham Grand Phuket

There is an onsite bar and restaurant with fabulous views, spacious rooms, and large outdoor pool the Wyndham Grand is a great spot to stay in Phuket if you are looking for a luxury room with a view and their range of private pool rooms and suites is extensive.

I would go back in a heart beat!

Find out more about The Wyndham Grand Phuket

Karon Beach

Karon Beach is best for those seeking a long, relaxing beach with some exercise opportunities, too. 

Continuing down the long and winding coastal road will bring us to Karon Beach next. Karon Beach is another popular location in Phuket. It boasts a three-kilometre-long beach and a myriad of bars and restaurants.

The long promenade behind Phuket’s third-longest beach, with some exercise stations along the way, is a popular spot for those keen for some early morning workout before the sun gets too high. 

Pullman Phuket Arcadia Karon Beach Resort launched in April 2023

If you are seeking a big night out, you can hop in a taxi or a tuk-tuk and make the brief journey up the coast to Patong. If a cheeky sunset gin and tonic is more your style, check out Kata Rocks, in between Karon and Kata, and try their own brand of Kata Rocks Gin as the sun sets into the Andaman Sea. 

Staying in Karon puts you in a great location to explore the other southern beaches of Phuket too. A short drive to the south leads you over the small headland to Kata and Chalong, and the famous Big Buddha statue with its fantastic views over Phuket’s east coast beaches.. You can also reach Phuket Town easily from Karon Beach. 

Our top choices in Karon Beach

Pullman Phuket Karon Beach Resort

If you want a resort with all the bells and whistles, take a look at Pullman Phuket on Karon Beach. With its own beach club, eight onsite dining options, five outdoor swimming pools, floodlit outdoor tennis courts for sports enthusiasts, and a state-of-the-art fitness centre you won’t run out of things to do. There is also a fantastic kids’ club making this a top choice for families.

One of the five pools at Pullman Karon Beach

You are bound to find something that’s just right from the selection of 662 spacious rooms and suites,

Find out more about Pullman Phuket on Karon Beach

Mandarava Resort and Spa, Karon Beach

Mandarava Resort and Spa, Karon Beach offers contemporary standalone villas, just 10 minutes from Patong Beach, Bangla Road’s nightlife, and Jung Ceylon Shopping Centre. Despite this it feels like an oasis of calm.

The resort It offers five swimming pools, five pool bars, fitness facilities, spa services, and free shuttle service to Karon Beach, 700 metres away. You can reach Phuket Town in 30 minutes and Phuket International Airport is 45 minutes away.

The villas feature contemporary decor, a private balcony, a 40-inch flat-screen cable TV, minibar, and an en suite bathroom with a separate bathtub and shower.

Find out more about Mandarava Resort Karon Beach

Kata Beach

Kata Beach is best for exploring the south of Phuket from a tranquil beachside base. 

Another excellent choice for your stay in Phuket is Kata Beach and its smaller sibling, Kata Noi Beach (‘noi’ means ‘small’ in Thai). Kata Beach may not be Phuket’s longest beach, but it is still close to two kilometres long. The northern end of the beach can be a great place to dip into the water with a mask and snorkel to see some colourful marine life. 

Kata Beach
Kata Beach

A short amble south of Kata Beach will bring you to Kata Noi Beach. This smaller bay, surrounded by resorts, is a peaceful and popular spot to chill in the sand. Both Kata and Kata Noi are great places for a sunset beer too. If you follow the coastal road south from Kata Noi, you will soon reach Promthep Cape and Rawai Beach. 

Central Festival shopping mall. and Phuket Town are also easily accessed from the Kata area. 

Our top accommodation at Kata Beach

The Boathouse Phuket

The Boathouse enjoys a prime location right on Kata Beach, closely surrounded by excellent local restaurants. Its terrace offers stunning views of the beach and bay, a great place to enjoy a drink served by the charming, and helpful staff.

One of the standout features is the infinity pool with direct beach access, where you can enjoy sun chairs and umbrellas without the usual hassle. The property is a boutique heritage site with large, well-serviced rooms and generous bathrooms.

Find out more about The Boathouse Phuket

Nai Harn Beach

Nai Harn Beach is best for those looking for a smaller beach with excellent walking opportunities.

Nai Harn Beach is tucked away in a deep bay on Phuket Island’s south-west coast. This quiet little gem is a favorite amongst expats as it is a little smaller and quieter than the other tourist beaches. With a lake just behind the beach and nice, gentle hikes possible through the surrounding hills, Nai Harn is perfect for morning strolls and sunset walks. 

Nai Harn Beach in the wet season with the Nai Harn in the distance

Jump on a scooter and head south to Promthep Cape for stunning sunset photos or to explore some of the smaller nearby beaches. Both Ya Nui Beach to the south and Nui Beach to the north are stunning beaches, and far from the madding crowds.  

For those considering joining day trips to Phuket’s scuba diving and snorkelling sites, Nai Harn and the other southern beaches are a perfect place to stay. The boat trips leave from nearby Chalong Pier, and you will get an extra ten or fifteen minutes in bed before the pick-up compared to those staying in Patong or Kamala. 

Top choices at Nai Harn Beach

The Nai Harn Phuket

The Nai Harn, with its impressive sea views and beachfront location, is comfortably nestled in a tropical hillside overlooking Nai Harn Beach. Once you check in you feel miles from anywhere as you enjoy the ocean views from the pool or perhaps your room!

The Nai Harn looking to the Cape

Promthep Cape’s famous viewpoint is less than 10 minutes away by car. Patong’s nightlife and shopping are a 40-minute drive, and Phuket International Airport is 48 km from the resort.

Check the price and room options at Naiharn Beach Resort

Rawai Beach

Rawai Beach is a great base for scuba diving, it’s best to have your own car or bike.

The narrow beach at Rawai is just the other side of Promthep Cape from Kata Beach. Whilst seldom touted as one of Phuket’s best beaches, the quaint beach town of Rawai is still a pleasant location. Perfect for seafood lovers, there are plenty of fantastic restaurants a short walk from the beach, and the south-westerly facing view takes in Coral Island, a couple of kilometres off-shore. 

Promthep Cape

Whilst not ideally placed for a sunset photograph, the nearby Promthep Cape affords spectacular sunsets over the ocean. In the opposite direction, Panwa Cape is also a great spot for sunset. Rawai and the nearby Chalong are superb shopping locales, with a Villa Market close by for those self-catering too. 

Phuket Town and Patong Beach are both around fifteen kilometres away. With Chalong Pier nearby, Rawai is also ideal for those looking to join scuba diving trips out to the nearby islands. For those looking to explore Phuket Island, this will be easier from Rawai if you are comfortable driving a scooter or renting a car. 

Top Choices in Rawai Beach

The Vijitt Resort Phuket

The Vijitt Resort Phuket, located on Friendship Beach in Rawai, offers spacious Thai villas with free WiFi and features a beach-facing infinity pool. Covering 18 acres, the hotel provides stunning views of Chalong Bay and nearby islands, and is within 6 km of Kata View Point and Chalong Beach.

Seaview room at Vijitt Resort

Villas boast teak wood furnishings, air-conditioning, flat-screen TVs, and large bathrooms with bathtubs and bathrobes.

The resort includes a spa with private treatment rooms, and a gym. Dining options include international breakfast at The Savoury, Thai cuisine at Baan Vijitt, and a selection of wines at The Wine Cellar, complemented by light refreshments at The Beach Bar. A free scheduled shuttle to Phuket Town is available.

Check the price and room options at Vijitt Resort

Phuket Old Town

Phuket Old Town is full of culture and close to the piers for easy access to nearby islands. 

For those looking to delve into Phuket’s rich history, a stay in the old town Phuket area is a must. Meandering through the streets lined with Sino-Portuguese buildings and nibbling on delicious street food is a different way to spend some time when you visit Phuket Town. This is also the administrative region of Phuket province, where you will find the Phuket Immigration office if you need to extend your visa. 

Old Phuket Town
Soi Romanee Old Town Phuket

Phuket Town is a great location for shopping—Central Festival Mall is close by, and there are a myriad of day and night markets where you can spend your holiday pennies.

Take our self guided walk of Phuket Town

There are some cool attractions dotted around Phuket Town too. Monkey Hill Viewpoint is ideal for photographing the sunset or monkeys! And if you get a rainy day, why not check out a cooking class at the Blue Elephant Cooking School.

If you plan to island hop during your Thai vacation, then Phuket Town may be a good option for you to stay in. Rassada Pier is Phuket’s main pier and is the departure point for most ferries heading to the surrounding islands, such as Phi Phi, Koh Lanta, and Koh Yao Yai. 

Our favourite boutique hotels in Phuket Town

Phuket town is home to several attractive, well-priced boutique hotels. We recently experienced two and loved them both.

Casa Blanca Boutique Hotel

With its small outdoor pool tucked away on the roof and spacious guest rooms, Casa Blanca delivers great value for money. You are within walking distance of all the old town’s best eats and the Sunday night market is around the corner.

Check-in at Casa Blanca

Check the price and room options at Casa Blanca Boutique Hotel

The Memory at On On Hotel

This 98-year-old property is a great choice for lovers of all things vintage. Perfectly situated in the middle of Old Town, the hotel is surrounded by street art, charming cafes, restaurants, and small shops, making it easy to explore Phuket’s old town on foot. The rooms are pleasantly spacious and well-maintained.

The Memory at On On Hotel features an extensive display of memorabilia

The staff are super helpful and made us feel like friends, going out of their way with tips on what to ear and see nearby. A highlight of this location is the nearby Sunday market, which is a must do experience while you are here.

Check the price and room options at The Memory at On On Hotel

Sirinat National Park

Sirinat is a good choice for a few nights before heading north or if you have an early flight.

Tucked away just below Phuket airport, you will find Sirinat National Park, sometimes spelled ‘Sirinath National Park’ with an ‘h’ at the end. This small, tranquil national park, which encompasses four beaches – Haad Nai Thon, Haad Nai Yang, Haad Mai Khao, and Haad Sai Kaeo – these northwest coast beaches are perfect for nature lovers, or those with an early flight out of Phuket.

iew from Thai Airways flight over Mai Khao Beach

Mai Khao Beach, or Haad Mai Khao (‘Haad’ or ‘hat’ is the Thai word for ‘beach’), is Phuket’s longest beach and it’s easy to find a tranquil spot in the sand here. But if you don’t mind some intermittent noise, you can sit on the beach directly under the flight path of the airplanes landing on the runway a stone’s throw from the ocean. This is quite a unique photo opportunity.

If you have kids in tow, or are a big kid yourself, the nearby Splash Jungle Water Park will keep everybody entertained on your last day, too.

Phuket’s traffic can be testing on the main roads during rush hours and staying your last night close to the airport can earn you an extra hour in bed on your last morning. 

With some choice beach hotels, Sirinat is also a convenient location for those looking to venture to the mainland to explore. The Sarasin Bridge, which connects Phuket to the mainland, is a mere twenty kilometres away. From here, you can reach Khao Sok, Khao Lak and the viewpoints over Phang-Na Bay. If you are planning a scuba diving liveaboard, the majority leave from Khao Lak, so this could be a good option for you too. 

Our favourite hotels near Mai Khao Beach

Meliá Phuket Mai Khao

This beachfront luxury resort hotel by Melia features wellness-inspired pool villas and 1 bedroom suites decorated in soft colours, perfect for relaxing. There is a very well-equipped fitness centre and the stunning YHI SPA and wellness centre. If you need to wind down, Melia Mai Khao Beach a perfect choice.

Check the price and room options at Meliá Phuket Mai Khao

Our Final Thoughts on where to stay in Phuket

Phuket is known as a fantastic holiday spot for good reason—there’s something for everyone. As Thailand’s largest island, it is worth researching the areas to ensure you choose the one that is best suited to your holiday plans.

Still undecided? Why not split your time between a stay in the quieter north and a stay on the busier tourist beaches a little farther south?

Remember the size of Phuket means it’s also possible to move around the island during your stay. On our last visit, we spent three nights in Old Town before we moved to Kalim Bay for five days. This allowed us to explore both the south and central parts of the island without too much backtracking. Next time we plan to stay in the north.

Not spending your entire vacation in Phuket? Then consider a night in Sirinat National Park or old Phuket Town close to whichever ferry pier you will leave from to make onward journeys easier.

And for the beach lovers, well, you are truly spoilt for choice when you visit Phuket with its plethora of white-sand beaches, excellent hotels, and stunning scenery. We are sure you will find the perfect fit.