Overlooking the Andaman Sea and Kata Noi Beach, the 42 suites that make up Villa Royale, designed by architect Mom Luang Tridosyuth Devalus (better known as Mom Tri, and a descendant of royalty) once formed a summer house. In addition to a saltwater pool in the landscaped, cliff-side premises, there are two freshwater pools, and the beach is just steps away. The town of Kata itself is a short walk down the hill.
This boutique hotel, with its oversized serviced apartments, is steps from Patong Beach and an easy walk to the main tourist hub, where you can shop and visit bars and restaurants. A TripAdvisor’s Travellers’ Choice three years in a row, visitors report that rooms are large and clean, and the staff is friendly. Also, while the pools are small, there are two of them.
A contemporary beachfront resort on Phuket’s southwestern shoreline, La Flora offers guests beautiful, modern poolside rooms; suites and private pool villas; and an efficient, friendly staff. Unique features include parallel lap pools overlooking the Andaman Sea and an open-air rooftop restaurant and bar.
Only 15 minutes from the airport, the setting of this luxury resort seems worlds away, nestled in landscaped tropical forest on the small beach of its own quiet bay. Guests recommend the immaculate gym to work off all the great food (which includes black truffle pizza, lobster and Thai-style omelets).
The Chava Resort
Located on one of Phuket’s best west coast beaches, Surin, this resort offers private plunge pools with many of its rooms, and there there are large multi-bedroom suites with full kitchens, perfect for families. Surin Beach is a five-minute walk, and there’s a supermarket even closer to the hotel. You’re slightly more than a 30-minute drive from the Phuket Town night market, which takes place every Saturday and Sunday evening, and a 20-minute taxi ride will get you to the shopping and nightlife in Patong.
In the hills overlooking the Andaman Sea on the west coast of Phuket, Andara Resort is located on Kamala Bay, a 30-minute drive from Phuket International Airport. TripAdvisor reviews say the resort is spotlessly clean, and the views awesome. Golf cars are available to get around the resort, and a complimentary transfers will take you into town, just a few minutes away
Mid-Range Independent Hotels
Built around a pool, the Navatara Resort puts guests within easy reach of Rawai, a working beach where you can head out by boat to surroundings islands. The scenic Promthep Cape is just up the hill. There are shuttles and bicycles available for either trip as well as to see the white sands of Nai Harn Beach and the Rawai Fish Market, a great place to score fresh seafood for your next meal.
Patong Mansion Hotel
Winner of TripAdvisor’s 2015 Travellers’ Choice, Patong Mansion wins points from guests for the cleanliness of the rooms and helpfulness of the staff. With scooters available to rent at very reasonable prices, getting around is easy. And if that’s not your preference, you can get help planning a day tour of Patong by tuk tuk. You are also a 15-minute walk to the beach, to the Jungceylon Mall, and to the Bazan Fresh Market complex.
The Melody Phuket
Created by two sisters, and said to be inspired by the sounds of the sea, The Melody is a “music and lifestyle” hotel. Its location on Patak Road, within walking distance of both the Kata and Karon beaches, is in the Muang Phuket district and is quieter than the main town of Patong. It’s a new hotel, and very clean, with contemporary decor that reflects the musical theme.
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Kamala Tropical Garden Resort
Located on Phuket’s west coast, the resort is located on Kamala’s Main Road, minutes away from the beach (a free tuk tuk is available) with both suites and serviced apartments available. Its location is close to shops, eateries and spas, while the lush landscaping keeps it private and quiet. If it’s the hustle and bustle of Patong you’re after, it’s about a 15-minute drive south.
Overlooking Kata on the southwestern coast of Phuket, and embraced by tropical gardens, this hilltop resort is a great getaway for walkers and tranquility seekers. About a 15-minute walk to the beach, with tuk tuks available, there are two other beaches a short drive away: Nai Han and Yanui. Guests particularly raved about the pool, the food, the cleanliness and the decor, including a Thai-inspired headboard on a curtained bed and Buddha statues scattered among the rooms.
The Memory at On On Hotel
Opened in 1929 as Phuket's first hotel, The Memory served Chinese traders and European sailors when tin mining was the island’s main industry. The hotel’s website says that the name “On On comes from 'Un Un' in Chinese, meaning happiness for all visitors.” The hotel was completely renovated in 2012, melding modern amenities with classic design and colonial architecture. It is situated right in the heart of Phuket’s Old Town, where lots of bars and cafes wait just outside, and there is an evening fresh market around the corner. It also has dorms for the backpacker crowd and serves traditional Thai breakfasts.
Budget Independent Hotels
The Tint at Phuket Town
Each of the Tint’s 48 spacious rooms have their own unique decor. Situated on a quiet road in central Phuket Town, the hotel close to restaurants, the beach and old town itself.
Summer Breeze Hotel
Billing itself as “the friendliest hotel in Patong Beach,” the family-run Summer Breeze is in a fairly quiet residential area, though it is still convenient to shopping and restaurants. Guest reviews speak highly of the friendly, helpful service, and they say that staying in the Thai village hotel gives them an opportunity to experience the real Thailand, which includes authentic Thai hospitality.
Patong Princess Hotel
A two-minute tuk tuk ride to the center of Patong, The Princess is an elegant hotel with a stunning rooftop pool; large, clean rooms; and friendly staff. Located at the southern end of town, it’s within walking distance to a beach, night market, coffee shop and bars; you can also walk about 20 minutes to the heart of the action on Bangla Road.
Forest Patong Hotel
One of the newer hotels in Patong Beach, this 35-room facility is modern, clean and friendly. A 20-minute walk from the beach, it’s in a quiet location and allows its guests to discover an authentic Thai neighborhood, with roadside stalls and pushcarts selling local food.
The Color Kata
Kata Beach is a 10-minute walk from this centrally located hotel. The hotel itself is clean and modern with funky decor. Helpful staff is always at the ready, and while the hotel’s restaurant has great food, there are restaurants directly across the street that guests say are also good, if you’re looking for options.
ImagesCaro SodarJoan Campderrós-i-CanasPhuket @ photographer.net