21 February 2017
It's time for a 2017 version of the Top 10 Phuket Hotels list! As before, it's based on Trip Advisor rankings which may not be perfect and I know the site has it's issues with fake reviews ... There are again a couple of new hotels in the list, but much of the top 10 is similar to 2016. For each hotel there are links for checking online rates and availability - I suggest using Agoda.com to book your hotel in Phuket or have a look at Hotels Combined. 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, so you can see if real guests agree with the TA ratings!
Top 10 Hotels in Phuket
1. The Chava Resort (Surin Beach)
The Chava hit the top 10 in 2015, and was number 2 last year. Now it's hit the very top! 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 - Reviews and Booking
2. Trisara Phuket Villas & Residences
Trisara was top of the top 10 for 3 years running, they might be disappointed to be number 2 this year! I'd love to stay here a few days and do nothing at all! Trisara features 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 - Reviews and Booking
3. Andara Resort and Villas (Kamala Beach)
Andara stays at number 3, same as 2016. This is a 5 star resort, on the hillside near Kamala Beach, another one with luxury villas. It also features on my best family hotel list, but 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 in recent years. Maybe because the beach areas - certainly the main beaches - are too full, and also because beachfront land is impossibly expensive. If you want luxury and seclusion, Phuket has it, but not right by the beach!
• Andara Resort & Villas - Reviews and Booking
4. BYD Lofts (Patong Beach)
BYD Lofts certainly seems to be popular - it's been in the top 5 for the last 4 years. 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 1 or 2 bedroom apartments of various sizes. I hardly ever visit Patong myself - 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 too.
• BYD Lofts - Reviews and Booking
5. Como Point Yamu
A very new resort (opened in 2014) with 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 and I was not happy. A beautiful natural headland covered in concrete and cranes. Of course now it looks totally amazing and I'd be very happy to stay a night here. Oh, by the way - it's not cheap! Cape Yamu is on the east coast of Phuket, and the views are superb. There are 79 rooms plus 27 private villas. It looks great. Did I say that already?
• Point Yamu Resort - Reviews and Booking
6. Navatara (Rawai Beach)
Navatara appeared on the list at number 7 last year. Another fairly new hotel, it opened in 2013, but I'd not even heard of it until doing last year's list! 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 - Reviews and Booking
7. The Pavilions (Layan Beach)
The Pavilions previously appeared on my Top 10 Romantic Hotels page a few years ago. The resort promotes itself heavily as a couples place - with a tagline "Where romance blossoms", and it's a no kids resort. Located on a small hill with sea views towards Bang Tao and Layan beaches, but not really near the beach. There are apparently 2 award winning restaurants and (quote from their website) the largest hotel pool in Phuket.
• The Pavilions - Reviews and Booking
8. The Shore at Katathani (Kata Noi Beach)
The Katathani Resort has been open for many many years at quiet Kata Noi beach to the south of Kata beach. The Shore is their newer luxury "pool villa" development, which opened in 2010 catching the popular wave of private villa style hotels - as you can certainly see from this top 10! And these villas look great. They are all private pool villas, some with seaview (note: if you read 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 before real life starts!
• The Shore at Katathani - Reviews and Booking
9. Amari Phuket (Patong Beach)
The Amari Phuket Resort was one of the first big resorts in Phuket, opening way back in 1984. For an old hotel like this to make the top 10 is quite an achievement! But they do keep renovating and adding to the resort. 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" opened in January 2016. Work never stops, there are continual improvements and last time I looked it, everything looked perfect. Yes, we would like to stay, please!
• Amari Phuket Resort - Reviews and Booking
10. Renaissance Phuket Resort (Mai Khao Beach)
Renaissance is one of the Marriott owned resorts north of Phuket Airport at Mai Khao Beach. It's been mentioned on this blog before as part of the Best Luxury Phuket Resorts list and was in the Top 10 for 2014 too. Mai Khao beach is really quiet and unless you stick to only the various Marriott hotel restaurants you'll need transport or taxis to get to other places. Ideal for a few days of relaxation and not going anywhere!
• Renaissance - Reviews and Booking
That's the Top 10 hotels in Phuket as of January 2017. Have you stayed at a hotel that's not listed, but you think it should be? Go and give it a big review! Phuket has been on the mainstream tourism route for well over 20 years now and you can find a mix of old and new resorts, big hotels, small guesthouses, villas, apartments, hillside, beachfront, busy areas, very quiet areas. It's not a cliché .. There is actually something here for everyone and at any budget, but doing some research is very important especially the hotel location. Look at a map, please! In recent years many new top class 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, and most of this top 10 could be called luxury by my standards (!) but at the same time small hotels, guesthouses and "backpacker price" places are also flourishing.
I suggest that you check agoda.com for hotel booking. There are many reviews on agoda for most of the hotels listed on this blog, and please do read the reviews, and 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 noisy fun. If you get it wrong, you might end up leaving bad review because you chose the wrong place for you. Questions - got something to ask? Please do ask on my Jamie's Phuket Facebook Page. See you in Phuket! Happy Travels!