Best Hotels in Phuket 2012
This is a list of the Top 10 Phuket Hotels 2012 based on TripAdvisor rankings. For each hotel below there are links for online rates and availability - I recommend Agoda.com if you want to book a hotel in Phuket. There are also review links below - also mostly from Agoda where possible - only people who have booked the hotels through Agoda can make a review, and if you check some of the reviews, they tend to be very honest reviews, with plus points and minus points - combine Agoda reviews with the TripAdvisor reviews for an even wider range of views.
Top 10 Phuket Hotels 2012
1. The Baray Villa (Kata Beach)
The Baray Villa - just 14 luxury villas, which are run by the Sawasdee Village Resort, and yet separate from the resort. Villas are 2 floor with huge rooms, jacuzzi, direct pool access, set in tropical gardens, with a spa available. Reviews make the villas sound fantastic! The Sawasdee Village itself is also part of the top 10.
• The Baray Villa - Reservations at Agoda.com
• Baray Villa Reviews
2. The Shore at Katathani (Kata Noi Beach)
Katathani has been around for years, but The Shore is their new luxury "pool villa" development, opened in 2010. And it sure looks good! Pool villas, some with seaview (note: reviews mention that the view does vary from villa to villa), all with private pools. Very much a couples hotel. I see lots of honeymoon reviews.
• The Shore at Katathani - Reservations on Agoda.com
• The Shore Reviews
3. Rising Sun Residence (Chalong)
Not your normal beach hotel, Rising Sun Residence has 12 villas in the hills of Chalong overlooking Chalong Temple. There are seven three-bedroom villas, four of these have a private pool and jacuzzi, kitchen and large living room. The five one-bedroom villas are built around a large pool with sun deck and jacuzzi. Long way from the beach, so would suit people who want to explore Phuket and "come home" in the evening. My kind of people!
• Rising Sun Residence - Reservations on HotelsCombined.com
• Rising Sun Residence Reviews
4. Andara Resort and Villas (Kamala Beach)
A 5 star resort, found overlooking Kamala Beach with luxury villas and a fancy restaurant called "Silk". This is a place to relax and be pampered. All villas have private pools. Note that the resort is not right on the beach - it's on the hillside with great seaviews - but there is a free shuttle to their own private Beach Club.
• Andara Resort & Villas - Reservations on Agoda.com
• Andara Reviews
5. Villa Zolitude (Chalong)
Another "up in the hills" idea .. and seems to be very popular. Villa Zolitude is between Phuket Town and Chalong. Not near any beaches. Up in the hills, you pass Villa Zolitude if driving up Radar Hill. Certainly quiet up there, away from the crowds by quite a distance. Good idea to have some transport if you stay at this hotel.
• Villa Zolitude - Reservations on Agoda.com
• Villa Zolitude Reviews
6. Sawasdee Village (Kata Beach)
Sawasdee Village has been around for 20 years and keeps changing to keep up with the latest needs of tourists - scroll back up to number 1 (Baray Villa) which is run by the same people. The original Sawasdee Village is small, quiet and built around gardens and water features. Only about 50 rooms, not a huge resort. I reviewed Sawasdee Village on this blog a few years ago. It was not in the top 10 last year, but has always had a good reputation.
• Sawasdee Village - Reservations on Agoda.com
• Sawasdee Village Reviews
7. BYD Lofts (Patong Beach)
BYD Lofts is not so much a hotel, it's more like serviced appartments, with a communal rooftop pool, near the center of Patong Beach. There are 1 and 2 bedroom appartments of varying sizes. A good place to stay if you like to be near the center of all the action (that's Patong) but need a quiet place to retire to.
• BYD Lofts - Reservations on Agoda.com
• BYD Lofts Reviews
8. Boomerang Village (Kata / Karon Beach)
I did a review of Boomerang Village on the blog in 2009. A few years ago I was surprised to find it rated so highly, it's quite different to some other hotels - on the hillside behind Kata and Karon Beaches, a good 15 minute walk to the sand, but obviously very popular! I think places like this make up for the off-beach location with a very good personal service, plus it's very quiet - hard to believe you are staying in Thailand's most touristy destination!
• Boomerang Village - Reservations on Agoda.com
• Boomerang Village Reviews
9. Trisara Resort Villas
Trisara features private pool villas on a private beach just north of Layan beach in the north of Phuket. Another of the "secluded, luxury, amazing views, forget-your-worries" style hotels. Only 39 villas, lots of space. Villas of varying sizes from 2 - 6 bedroom, so can be ideal for families or big get togethers, or weddings. Or just for a relaxing trip for a couple.
• Trisara - Reservations on Agoda.com
• Trisara Reviews
10. Mom Tri's Villa Royale (Kata Noi Beach)
Mom Tri Devakul was one of Phuket's tourism innovators. His Boathouse hotel was one of Phuket's first five star boutique hotels with a widely acclaimed restaurant and a wine cellar that I hear is still very good. The Villa Royale was built later on land which used to be his home, on the rocky headland overlooking Kata Noi beach. A stairway from the hotel takes you down to the beach and the water. Great views from the rooms and from the restaurant too. It's got a certain touch of class, only has 35 rooms/suites and is often fully booked!
• Villa Royale - Reservations on Agoda.com
• Villa Royale Reviews
• More about Mom Tri's Villa Royale on Jamie's Phuket
What do you think of the top 10? Maybe you have stayed somewhere else that you thought was amazing? Do add a comment below! The top 10 for 2012 is an interesting mix of old and new resorts, big hotels and small hotels, villas, hillside, beachfront.... Something for everyone, I think. There is a trend in recent years for new luxury resorts and for seaview (not on the beach) villas. Land prices are very high these days in Phuket, so it's hard to think about opening a small hotel or guesthouse. In the last couple of years, new resorts include the new Holiday Inn and the Renaissance Resort which are both at Mai Khao Beach and the new Centara Grand Beach Resort at Karon Beach.
Updated December 2012 - some new (and very useful) hotel information:
• Top 10 Phuket Family Hotels
• Top 10 Phuket Luxury Hotels
• Top 10 Phuket Value Hotels
Updated 2013 : Top 10 Hotels in Phuket 2013
For Phuket hotel bookings, I recommend looking at Agoda.com - it's what I use. On the subject of reviews, by all means read them, but do think also about actual hotel features - location, size, room type, price (!), suitability for kids etc.. one person's heaven may be another person's holiday nightmare! Any questions about hotels, please do leave a comment or ask on my Jamie's Phuket Facebook Page.
• Top 10 Hotels in Phuket (older 2011 version)
• Jamie's Phuket Hotel Recommendations
• Phuket Hotels online info and booking @ Agoda.com