Phuket is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world and one of the top reasons that tourists choose Phuket for their holiday is because Phuket has many beautiful beaches, offers great value for money and the freedom to do fun things that are not allowed in other countries!
Choosing accommodation in Phuket can be difficult for some people who visit the island for the first time, especially when you are looking for accommodation for a big group of people and need to make sure that the place suits everyone. However, if you are looking for relaxing accommodation for a group of 10-12 people, within walking distance to the beach, restaurants and shops, you may want to consider this beautiful 5 bedroom villa called Villa IDEAL. The villa is located in Baan Thai Surin Hill estate, near Surin beach. The estate is surrounded by many five star hotels, resorts, luxury properties and beautiful sandy beaches. The villa is ideal for a fun and relaxing stay with friends and family. Beyonce and Jay Z also stayed in a nearby five star resort called Amanpuri near Surin beach for their holiday a few years ago!
Get to know the areas in Phuket:
The North West: Bang Tao, Surin, Kamala
If you are looking for a budget hotel, Bang Tao might be an option. There are several hotels in the Bang Tao area, many of them within walking distance to Bang Tao beach which is very convenient for beach lovers. Bang Tao is the longest beach in Phuket and most beautiful in my opinion. The famous Catch Beach Club is also located on Bang Tao beach. There is a Muslim village and a Thai-Chinese village in Bang Tao, so you will find colourful day and night markets full of cheap delicious local food and fruit. A local supermarket, Tesco Lotus, is full of Thai products and local beers. There are also many good Thai restaurants and street food very popular with locals which you should not miss trying.
If you would like to go a bit up market with easy access to high-end facilities, the Laguna complex is an option. The complex is located on Bang Tao beachfront and is a mix of five star hotels, resorts, golf courses and luxury property estates. The whole area is immaculate. Staying in the Laguna area gives you easy access to Boat Avenue which I would call a town centre. Boat Avenue provides many good high quality restaurants, bars, wine shops, shopping and a high quality supermarket called Villa Market where they import a lot of high quality products.
The Surin and Kamala areas have many luxury properties, villas, five star hotels and resorts. The accommodation in this area is mostly luxury with few nice hotels less than 4 star. Staying in Kamala gives you easy access to Patong which is the centre of entertainment. Rihanna and her crew stayed in a five star resort in Kamala called Paresa before going to perform at the F1 Grand Prix concert in Singapore in 2013.
Staying in this area gives you easy access to high-end facilities, e.g. beach clubs, fine dining, golf course, horse riding, etc. You can also find good value for money local facilities such as outdoor markets, seafood restaurants, street food and local supermarket without going out of the area. This area is suitable for a family holiday and people who want to have a relaxing time and enjoy what Phuket has to offer. This area is only 30 minutes from the airport.
The Central West: Patong, Kata, Karon: Patong is the centre of entertainment, nightlife and bars. It ideal for fun nights and partying hard! The streets are full of bars, tourist restaurants, massage shops and souvenir shops. There are a lot of cheap hotels popular with young people on a low budget and who want easy access to the nightlife. I would not recommend you to bring children and stay in Patong. Patong beach is not particularly special, sometimes very crowded and the sand is not always kept clean. Water sports are available here but be careful when using jet skis as you can be tricked into paying for damage that you may not have caused!
Kata and Karon are located in the south of Patong and only 10-15 minutes by car to reach Patong. This area is more layback than Patong and popular for family holiday as hotel prices are not as high as in the north of the island and the beaches are beautiful. The facilities are very touristy; tourist prices prevail and you will hardly find any locals here. However, there is one local supermarket in the area called Makro that provides a good selection of local and imported products. Patong, Kata and Karon are about 1 hour from the airport.
The South: Rawai, Nai Harn: At the southern end of the island, Rawai beach is more like a marina where a lot of long tail boats and speed boats are waiting to take tourists to the nearby small islands. The beach is not suitable for swimming because the sea bed is very rocky but you can rent a boat to beautiful small islands nearby – just walk by and check out the price with the skippers who sit waiting for customers. Rawai beach front is very touristy; most shops, bars and restaurants are for tourists, with hardly anything for locals. Around the corner at Rawai beach is a popular seafood market where you can buy fresh seafood and bring it to a number of restaurants opposite the market where they will cook it for you. I would recommend to cook at Mook Dee Seafood, the original seafood restaurant before this area became more and more popular. There are also pearl and souvenir shops next to the seafood market where you can buy pearls from China! Hotel prices are very reasonable near Rawai beach.
Nai Harn beach is located only 10 minutes by car from Rawai beach. Nai Harn beach is beautiful and many nice hotels, resorts and private properties are located here. This area is popular with Russian families who escape their winter and rent a private property for 1-3 months. It’s also popular with retired foreigners who find long term rental accommodation is affordable. The price for accommodation in this area is quite reasonable for long term stays and private properties are available for short stay holiday use as well. This would give you an option of feeling more like home. Check out these villas with private pool for only USD 100-150 per night which can accommodate up to 6 people.
Staying in Rawai and Nai Harn gives you easy access to Chalong, a residential area that offers local facilities. The famous Big Buddha and Wat Chalong are located in Chalong. To reach Rawai and Nai Harn would take 1-1.5 hours from the airport as they are located in the south of Phuket and the airport is located in the far north.
I hope this helps you to find a suitable location and accommodation for your holiday in Phuket.