You may laugh at the pronunciation, and you may shudder when you think of some of its party towns (I'm looking at you Patong) but Thailand's largest island, Phuket, will always be a special place for me. Not least because Phuket has lots of top quality luxury resorts and hotels. Over the last eight years my partner and I have visited Phuket more than ten times and many of those holidays were spent in beautiful and luxurious resorts, including two trips with our eldest son so we also know you can find family-friendly luxury hotels on Phuket too!
The Best Luxury Hotels in Phuket
While holidaying in Phuket has changed a lot since we first went there eight years ago - it's a lot busier, more touristy, and value for money can be harder to find - the one thing that has gotten better and better is the variety of luxury hotels and resorts on offer. I therefore thought it was high time I put together a list of the best luxury resorts in Phuket for you to peruse for your next holiday, and I've called on some help from my travel blogging friends so that this list of tried and tested Phuket luxury hotels and resorts is as comprehensive as possible. Now all I need are direct flights from Amsterdam - please!!!
Point Yamu by COMO
The first three resorts listed are those that I've stayed at and loved so I will be reviewing them, and they're sort of in my order of preference but that doesn't mean they're in the order of the most luxurious to least luxurious (because they're all jolly luxurious!).
The reason I like Point Yamu by COMO the best is because it perfectly combines two things my kind of travel is now all about; stylish luxury and family fun. It's incredibly family-friendly, and yet that doesn't take away from either the style or luxury on offer. It's also a very secluded and peaceful resort so you really feel you get away from it all when you're there, which as a young family was greatly helped by the presence of a fantastic kids club, free baby/toddler food and very professional babysitters.
There is a big "but" coming because it's important you know that Point Yamu is actually on the "wrong" side of the island, i.e. the east coast, which means not great beaches and no dreamy sunsets (although part of the resort is facing west so you do see them!). In fact there is no beach at Point Yamu by COMO as it's positioned a top a small cliff on a peninsular that juts out. This means it has almost panoramic views of the surrounding waters and islands in the distance, but nope, no beach... except there is a beach. (I know, this is confusing but hear me out... ) Out on a deserted island a short car journey and boat ride away (that is completely free - you just need to book in advance), COMO have commandeered a private beach club just for them, complete with Phuket's typical beautiful soft yellow sand and crystal clear waters. Being more pool people than beach people we only went to the beach club once but thoroughly enjoyed the amenities, food and watersports on offer while we did. As with most resorts on Phuket, the transfer time from the airport to COMO is also very manageable, at around 50 minutes.
We stayed at Kata Rocks during our babymoon in Phuket back in 2015 and it was easily the highlight of our whole trip. We were only there three nights but I remember feeling incredibly relaxed while I was there and very sad to leave, which is the best evidence that I love this modern luxury resort. I was apprehensive about staying at Kata Rocks because it's in one of the busier areas of the island (and we normally prefer to stay on more northern beaches) but I didn't have to worry because the resort is tucked away from everything (and everyone) else at the far southern rockier end of the busy Kata Beach. And yes, I did say rocky - hence the name! So again, this is both an example of how we are NOT beach people and how you should skip this Phuket resort if you really want to go somewhere with direct access to a beach (and don't worry plenty of the other Phuket luxury hotels on this list do have just that!).
We had a villa with a private pool which had a spacious living area that easily would have probably been large enough to host dinner both of our extended families had they been there (but hey, thank goodness they weren't!) so was incredibly comfortable for just the two of us and we loved watching the sunsets from our balcony. That's one thing you really can't fault Phuket for if you are on that west side of the island; the sunsets are amazing.
The Surin Phuket
The other resort we stayed at during our Phuket babymoon was The Surin Phuket, a hotel I'd long wanted to stay in after we rented a house near the resort a few years previously, and this is the luxury Phuket resort you need to go to if you definitely want a beach as it has its own private beach, and it's a beautiful one too. Easy to get to from the airport, The Surin is more of what I consider a traditional Thai resort with more authentic designed wooden private villas and huts, lots and lots of palm trees, and yes, a lovely beach to enjoy, while sipping a mango lassi, of course.
One thing I have to point out is that the villas are scattered around a hillside and there is quite a climb up and down to them from the beach and main resort facilities. For some this won't be a huge problem and we actually welcomed it because of all those mango lassis, but if accessibility is an issue, you should keep this in mind. Again the sunsets were a sight worth watching and I remember the Thai food being really fantastic here.
The Slate by Annika of Midnight Blue Elephant
The Slate is one of my favourite luxury hotels in Phuket and located right by the very underrated Naiyang beach. Unlike so many other hotels in Thailand, its design is quite modern, paying homage to the area’s mining history. Lots of steel and metal sculptures mix nicely with the jungle-like surroundings. You are also a very quick transfer away from the airport - less than twenty minutes!
It is the perfect place for anyone and everyone seeking a luxury getaway including families and couples (or solo travelers like myself) as it is a big resort so you never feel too crowded and there are activities for everyone. They offer three pools of which two are adult-only and older teenagers, and one is for families. The Slate also has a variety of restaurants to suit every taste and you are close enough to a stretch of lovely beach restaurants and bars. The nice thing about the area - while there is always something to do, you can find big stretches of beach all to yourself and you are far enough away from the infamous Phuket party areas.
One thing that is a must-do when staying at the Slate is a visit to their beautiful Coqoon Spa which I believe is one of the best in Thailand. Here you can have your treatments in an actual nest-like cocoon and emerge feeling like a pretty butterfly!
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Naka by Annika of Midnight Blue Elephant
While the Naka has the perfect romantic setting and its own private beach, it is completely different to what most would consider a romantic luxury resort in Phuket. Clear lines, modern designs and no frills (definitely no folded swans on your bed!) are part of its charm. Each villa offers plenty of room and privacy with stunning views over the bay and some killer sunsets to match. My favourite was the private infinity pool that is actually big enough to do laps in, and the layout of the villa had enough space for a whole family to spread out or in my case a travel blogger with lots of luggage. It's also in a great location on Kamala Beach which is close to other beaches but not too far from the airport so your transfer will be well under an hour.
Water lovers have the choice between their private beach or a huge pool which is great for swimming so you can work up an appetite. For dinner head to their sky lounge Meka. This is not only a great place for sun-downers but also serves wonderful, innovate fusion cuisine.
Keemala by Alex of Swedish Nomad
Keemala is one of Thailand's most luxurious resorts and something of a hidden gem tucked away in the jungle of Kamala in Phuket. It's a 5-star resort, part of the Small Luxury Hotels and features some very unique and memorable hotel rooms. How about staying in a bird's nest overlooking the jungle with your own private pool? or a "Bungalow in the Sky" where you also can enjoy a private pool with gorgeous jungle views.
If that wasn't enough, Keemala also serves some fine-dining with a special focus on health. The spa area is also excellent with plenty of treatments available for guests. I recommend getting a private bath in herbs, and later on spoil yourself with a traditional Thai massage.
After that, reserve a table for dinner, and try their very own Himalayan Salt Brick dishes. Their lamb dish cooked on this Himalayan salt brick is heavenly. For drinks, try the butterfly mojito if you prefer non-alcoholic, or go for some rum cocktails from the house cocktail menu if you prefer an alcoholic beverage. In addition to that, most of the vegetables and herbs used in the food and breakfast are sustainably farmed at the hotel so this is very much an eco-friendly resort in Phuket.
All of their rooms are stylishly decorated with some very nice details that gives you a feeling of luxury in the jungle. Especially the bathrooms were unique and gave a rustic feeling with a nice touch of glam, and again, more than enough of comfort and luxury!
The Pavilions by Inma from A World To Travel
Located on the eastern side of Phuket Island (the same "wrong side" as Point Yamu reviewed above - Frankie) and away from the backpacker hostels and non-stop night life of Patong and Phuket Town, sits Amatara Wellness Resort.
A one-of-a-kind luxury travel getaway offering guests seeking piece of mind and body, loads of different wellness options. From full detox experiences including meals and special menus, to a wide range wellness treatments. If dieting on your holiday isn’t your thing there are other tasty and more indulgent choices too! In the spa, Amatara offers unique massage experiences, including Thai yoga massage, incorporating breathing techniques as the massage therapist twists and bends you into a human pretzel. Furthermore, Amatara Wellness Resort boasts to having the only Thai hammam spa in all of Southeast Asia. Unlike traditional Turkish hammams which can leave you with more aches and pains, the hammam at Amatara is a gentle series of deep tissue scrubs, ice shower, mud mask and a relaxing stay in a Himalayan salt cave.
To help facilitate the right wellness program during your stay, the resort employs their own physiotherapist who will evaluate your mind and body, providing recommended treatments available at the resort as well as suggested lifestyle changes. If improving the mind and body during your holiday isn’t what traveling to Thailand is all about, Amatara Wellness Resort offers stunning views of the Andaman Sea to escape the real world for a few days, as well as a plethora of food and dining options.her luxury travel blog and on Facebook.
Renaissance Phuket Resort & Spa by Monique from Honeymoon Backpackers
If you’re looking for one of the best luxury resorts and hotels in Phuket, Thailand, then look no further than the Renaissance Phuket Resort & Spa. This stunning luxury accommodation is situated right on the shores of Mai Khao Beach and boasts an incredible outlook over the Andaman Sea. It's also one of the most accessible resorts on Phuket with a transfer of just ten minutes!
Frolic in the massive pool overlooking the beach. Take on your partner or travel companion in a game of pool, ping pong or foosball in a games area just metres from the beach. Or simply relax on a sunbed with a waiter at your every beck and call offering an array of food and drink at your disposal.
If you’re balling out on your vacation or Phuket honeymoon, why not opt for a luxury beachfront villa. The stunning pool villas boast their own plunge pool and have a huge bathtub! You’ll never want to leave your beachfront pool villa, especially when you have the option to get room service delivered to your room.
The complimentary buffet breakfast served daily here is fantastic! We’ve never experienced such a huge variety of western and local food at a 5-star luxury resort. With the biggest range of fresh juices and fruit available. Each and every day we over indulged with breakfast, always leaving entirely satisfied.
So if you’re looking to relax in absolute luxury on your vacation in Phuket, make sure you stay at the Renaissance Phuket Resort & Spa. It’s one of the best luxury beachfront hotels on Phuket Island and Mai Khao Beach where it's located is just simply stunning, you certainly won’t be disappointed.
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Frances M. Thompson
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