7 December 2016
This is the new 2016 Top 10 Phuket Hotels list! It's based on Trip Advisor rankings and ... well, are all the reviews really real? I think on average it should be about right - some of these hotels have thousands of reviews. There are again a couple of new hotels in the list, but much of the top 10 is similar to 2015. For each hotel there are links for checking online rates and availability - I suggest using Agoda.com to book your hotel in Phuket. There are also links to reviews for each hotel - also mostly from Agoda where possible. Hotels get scores out of 10 on Agoda so you can easily compare, and reviews can only be left by people who have booked the hotel, but Agoda does not have any ranking lists, so this top 10 uses TripAdvisor rankings.
1. Trisara Phuket Villas & Residences
Trisara has amazingly been top of the top 10 for 3 years running, so I guess it's no fluke! And it's also not cheap :) Oh, I'd love to stay here a few days! Trisara has spacious private pool villas by a private beach to the north of Bang Tao beach in the north of Phuket island. Trisara is a "private, luxury, amazing view, relax and unwind" style hotel. Only 48 villas, lots of space, no crowds. There are also some "private residences" with 2 - 6 bedrooms, ideal for families or big groups, or even weddings. Or just for a relaxing getaway for a romantic couple. The location is miles from any busy areas, so you will need your own transport or get taxis everywhere.
• Trisara - Online Booking
• Trisara Reviews
2. The Chava Resort (Surin Beach)
The Chava jumped into the top 10 last year at number 7, now pushing for top spot. Surin Beach always has something in the top 10. The Chava Resort is actually a collection of 2 - 5 room apartments (they call it an "apartment resort"), some are run by the hotel, some privately rented. Rooms are enormous, not normal hotel size, good for families and small groups. Again, it's a place with views, slightly up in the hills, not by the beach but really only a few minutes from the sea.
• Chava Resort - Online Booking
• Chava Resort Reviews
3. Andara Resort and Villas (Kamala Beach)
Up from 6 to 3 ... Andara is a 5 star resort, on the hillside near Kamala Beach with luxury villas. It was rated highly on my best family hotel list, and with individual villas and private pools, will suit couples as well as families. Andara resort is in the hills, not right by the beach. Some (not all) of the villas have superb sea views. There is a trend of non-beachfront luxury the last 5 years. Maybe because the beach areas - certainly the main beaches - are too full, and also because beachfront land is impossibly exppensive. If you want luxury and seclusion, it's there, but not necessarily right by the beach.
• Andara Resort & Villas - Online Booking
• Andara Resort Reviews
4. BYD Lofts (Patong Beach)
2nd place in 2014, 3rd in 2015, 4th in 2016 - BYD Lofts seems to be keeping up standards if you want something near the heart of Patong Beach close to the action and in the middle of the busiest beach area in Thailand - this hotel offers serviced apartments (again, you see - apartments, rather than just rooms), featuring a rooftop pool (and a view over the beautiful concrete jungle of Patong). There are one or two bedroom apartments of various sizes. I hardly ever visit Patong, it's not my style, but for sure Patong beach is very convenient for visitors, with huge numbers of restaurants plus shops/the Jungceylon Mall and tour agents near you. And bars and nightlife.
• BYD Lofts - Online Booking
• BYD Lofts Reviews
5. Point Yamu by Como Resort (Cape Yamu)
A quite new resort (opened 2014). And a great location, if you don't mind being miles from anywhere! A few years ago when Cape Yamu started being developed, we took a drive to explore the area. It looked terrible. A beautiful natural headland covered in concrete and cranes. Of course now it looks totally amazing and I'd be very very happy to stay a night here. Oh, by the way ... it's not cheap! Not at all! Cape Yamu is on the east coast of Phuket, and there are great views. There are 79 rooms plus 27 private villas. It looks amazing. Did I say that already?
• Point Yamu Resort - Online Booking
• Point Yamu Resort Reviews
6. The Shore at Katathani (Kata Noi Beach)
The Katathani Resort has been a fixture for many years at quiet Kata Noi beach to the south of Kata beach. The Shore is the newer luxury "pool villa" development, which opened in 2010 catching the popular wave of private villa style hotels - as you may see from this top 10! And these villas look great. They are all private pool villas, some with seaview (note: if you ready the reviews you can see that the view does vary from villa to villa). A great hotel for couples. Most of the reviews are from couples and I see lots and lots of honeymoon reviews. Well, you have to spoil yourselves once.
• The Shore at Katathani - Online Booking
• The Shore Reviews
7. Navatara (Rawai Beach)
And the surprise new entry for 2016 .. I've not heard of this place, but it's been open since 2013! I can't keep up with new hotels! Navatara has just 37 rooms, is built "Thai style", some rooms have direct pool access, all rooms look pretty big! A small, Thai style resort away from the main beaches, but not too far - sounds like what a lot of people ask me to recommend! Not by the beach, about 500m from Rawai beach and a few minutes drive from Nai Harn beach and Phromthep Cape. A very nice corner of Phuket.
• Navatara - Online Booking
• Navatara Reviews
8. Amari Phuket (Patong Beach)
The Amari Phuket Resort has been open for a very long time. It was one of the first big resorts in Phuket, opening way back in 1984. For an olde hotel like this to make the top 10 is quite an achievement. Great location to relax at the far south end of Patong Beach away from the madness, but you can walk to the busy center of Patong in 15 minutes. A new "ocean wing" just opened in January 2016. They do keep on improving and last time I looked it, everything looked perfect. Yes, please!
• Amari Phuket Resort - Online Booking
• Amari Phuket Reviews
9. Pen Villa (Surin Beach)
Pen Villa was a new entry on the 2013 list and then moved out of the top 10. It's back! Again, a smaller resort, away from the beach (Surin about 700m away). It looks quite simple from the outside, but certainly seems popular, it's a family run place and quite a bit cheaper than the rest of the top 10. Reviews on Agoda are good too.
• Pen Villa - Online Booking
• Pen Villa Reviews
10. The Surin (Pansea Beach)
And to round out the top 10 another Oldie but Goldie. The Surin (formerly called The Chedi) reopened with the new name about 5 years ago, but The Chedi had been there for nearly 30 years already, with it's ridiculously good location on a private beach between Surin and Bang Tao beaches. And it's not ridiculously expensive. Actually the beach is not quite private, it's shared with the Amanpuri.
• The Surin - Online Booking
• The Surin Reviews
So, that's my Top 10 hotels in Phuket as of early 2016. Have you stayed at a hotel that's not listed, but you think it should be? So you better review it big time on TA,. Phuket, now that it's been on the mainstream tourism route for about 30 years, has a mix of old and new resorts, big hotels, small guesthouses, villas, apartments, hillside, beachfront, busy areas, very quiet areas... There is actually something here for everyone and any budget, but doing some proper research is important especially checking hotel location. Look at a map. In recent years many new luxury resorts have opened in more secluded areas and the trend is for sea view hillside (not on the beach) villas. Land prices and rents are so high that beachfront is a mega investment. Phuket has a big luxury market now, but at the same time small guesthouses and "backpacker price" places are flourishing.
Check agoda.com for hotel booking. Lots of reviews on agoda for most of the hotels listed here and certainly do read the reviews, but do think carefully also about what suits you - location, resort size, hotel style, price(!), do you want something for couples, or suitable for families / kids, close to the airport or close to nightlife etc. Some like it quiet and secluded, others want action. If you get it wrong, doh! If you have any questions, please do ask on my Jamie's Phuket Facebook Page. See you in Phuket!