Phuket just thinking of the word can get you in trouble. If you’ve been here, you’ll know why. There are many things to do here, making it one of the most visited tourist destination in Thailand. Seventy percent of this island is covered with mountains, the name “Phuket” which means crystal mountain. In the past on the route between China and India, seafarers had to stop by here for shelter. Marked in Ptolemy old maps, the island was known as Jang Si Lang or Junk Ceylon.
This province is famous for a lot of tourist attractions both in natural and cultural aspects, such as Phromthep Cape, Patong Beach, Chalong or Chaitararam Temple, Chino-Portuguese architecture and Phuket Fantasea. Apart from the natural sightseeing, beautiful beaches and cultural heritage, one thing that you can’t miss are wonderful man-made resorts that are destinations by themselves. In this feature we go hunt down many of the most beautiful, luxurious, and unique resorts in Phuket. If you’ve visited Las Vegas every year, you’ll notice there are many new Casinos resorts popping up year after year. Now you can’t compare Phuket to Vegas, but in a similar way, both places can be as wild and fun. The growth of new resorts openings every year can also be similar, so you can imagine that the choice of hotels and resorts offered here is large.
Mai Khao, a beach with long peaceful white sand is the setting of JW Marriott Phuket, which is one of the closest resorts to the Phuket International Airport.
Here you will find beautiful beach and nice cozy pool. What is unique here is there are live performances in many of the outlets; you can enjoy daily performance on the pond at the lobby area with a sun set background. There are Thai contemporary performances with a local feel at the Ginja restaurant while you have dinner.
At Out of the Blue – Drink bar watch out for the blue men dance while having a sip of your favorite drinks. If you are a breakfast person, this is the place to be, they provide one of the best buffet meal in the island with champagne and wide selections of food, some we never seen offered for breakfast before.
On Bang Tao beach, it is hard to miss the Laguna Resorts, which consist of 5 resorts set on an old tin mine site. The remaining land from the mine is left with large lagoons. There are Banyan Tree, Sheraton Grande Laguna, Dusit Laguna, Laguna Beach, and Allamanda Laguna, each with unique features, different designs ranging from luxurious to affordable. What brings this apart from other places is the sharing of facilities. If you stay at Dusit, you can use the pool at Sheraton.
Each resort is set by either the beach or the lagoon or both. All resorts are connected by shuttle boats and trams. The shuttle boats are nice to ride, with nice view of the surrounding. To get from one resort to the other you might have to take 2 shuttle boats, so don’t get carried away the rides can be time consuming. Another interesting thing to check out is the pool at the Sheraton Grande. There are several pools connected by endless path ways running throughout the resort with corners, curves, Jacuzzis and waterfall, making it a nice swimming experience. And also if it meets your budget, the Banyan Tree offers pool villas by the lagoon that you can get use to very easily. Even though the villa are not beach front, it is designed in a way that there is no back side, just the entrance and a beautiful space that you can enjoy with comfort privacy and luxury.
A new comer in Bang Tao is the Phuket Pavilions, a new name of the hospitality industry, but setting standard at very high with all pool villas. This is not a beach side resort but provides an elevated view of the beach. Romantic ambiance at the 360 bars with good deal on the Sunday Barbeque and Friday wine dinners.
Pansea beach is one of Phuket’s loveliest beaches in term of scenery, stunning views of the turquoise water of the Andaman Sea and white beach with good snorkeling and swimming during the dry season. The Chedi Hotel is set here, at this incredible location. 108 thatched cottages sit under a canopy of coconut groves, where landscaped slopes descend to meet a private sandy shore. The warm Thai hospitality and a unique location make The Chedi one of Phuket’s premier resorts.
Patong is the most famous beach in Phuket, probably most famous for its night life. There is nothing to compare between Patong and Patpong in Bangkok only similarity in the name. Bangla road is the center of night life in Patong, where you will find many small open air bars with dancers on the counter. It could be nice cheap fun experience, the beer cost no more than a 100 baht. Be Aware of the ladyboys, they can get real aggressive in bugging you for drinks etc., but it is hard to tell them apart from real ladies. Patong offers a wide variety of action other than the nightlife such as wind surfing, jet skiing, boat rides, even go-karts and bungy jumping. Low season for this part of town hardly exists.
What is still being talk about is the Jungceylon Shopping Complex. Expected to open early 2005, finally it opened and made it big. Now in Patong you can shop with class. It just added more complexity to Patong. What had just opened in Nov 2007 as the part of Jungceylon is the Milenium Resort Patong.
Le Meridien Phuket Beach Resort is one of the pioneer of fine resorts in Phuket though very well maintain to its standard. Set near by Patong on its own bay with private beach. Design by Mom Tridhosyuth Devakul, an architect/owner of many resorts in Phuket (Mom Tri’s Boathouse, Mom Tri’s Villa Royale, Tri sala).
Due the steep beach front and deep sea of Karon beach creates a colorful striking aqua blue sea, ones you see in post cards. The waves here are big and adventurous for beach swimmers. An advantage for the beach side resorts for having such a colorful sea view. The Hilton Phuket Arcadia Resort and Spa or former known as Phuket Arcadia is one of them with the highest number of rooms in Phuket (685 rooms in total). With that much rooms you’d think it would be crowded, but not at all, the resort has 2 lobbies, 3 pool, 8 outlets with gardens and lagoon on 195 rai land.
Kata and Kata Noi beach, a classy small town, similar to Aspen, the famous skiing resorts. When in this part of the island you’d feel you are in an upscale place with fancy shops and restaurants. It could also be called the surfing capital of Thailand. If you see anybody with surf boards, you’d know where they are headed here. There are also many very nice resorts here.
Sawasdee Village, one of the first boutique resorts in Kata. Set 300 meters away from the sea in a tropical garden with an amazing Spa. Art, deluxe, and convenient is what Sawasdee Village is all about. The first step into the resort, you’ll feel like entering charming by gone era place because of an ancient-style building. Sawadee Village focuses on customers’ relax and comfort, so they provide intimate guest rooms in the garden which are shaded by various beautiful trees. And if you would like to relax more, there’s also a five-star spa with a combination of Thai traditional and Indian massage. At night, an open air pool bar is a great idea for those who want to sit and sip some cocktails in a nice atmosphere here. Not only architecture here that is wonderful but you can also find various and delicious Thai foods here.
Malisa Villa Suites, a new all villa resort target towards couples. If you’ve seen their ad photos you’d know what I mean. Malisa Villa Suites offer a harmonious blend of western and contemporary Thai architectural. All Villas ensure your ultimate privacy with a private swimming pool with beautiful landscaped gardens, a large open-air rain-shower area, and private sunbath deck.
Set on the a mountain side facing the beach, Mom Tri’s Villa Royale, offers aqua blue sea views of Kata bay.The renown designer/owner Mom Tridhosyuth Devakul lives here, and spends some time fine tuning the resort. Another resort using the Mom Tri’s name is the near by Mom Tri’s Boat house.
The rough road to Nai Harn beach makes it not much known. So it is quite isolate and private. Here it is also a location of the Royal Phuket Yacht Club which was formerly known as Le Royal Meridien Yacht Club. It offers ocean front suites with exceptionally large terrace facing the sea.
Because the ocean front location is mostly occupied, a lot of development has moved to the east side. Cape Panwa is one of the pioneering location that newer development are moving to. Sri Panwa is a 5-star all pool villa resort located on cape Panwa. Each villa has a u-shaped pool surrounding the house. Being on the mountain side provides all villas with elevated panoramic view of Andaman sea.
Ao po, not a familiar location but it is becoming a G-spot for new development. Best Western Premier Supalai resort is set here. It is one of the few development that has already opened. It provides nice views from the room with option of larger villas and pool villas
Phuket is a fast growing resort destination. It is hard to keep track of what everything is happening. Therefore, we might have missed some worth mentioning resorts but we hope this guide is useful for your next Phuket trip and check back for more updated resorts info.