Thai holiday destinations don’t come more iconic than Phuket. Stunning beaches, incredible food, glorious tropical weather and Thailand’s legendary hospitality are just a few of the reasons Phuket is one of the country’s beloved holiday spots. Whether you want to spend your days at a gorgeous beachfront resort, get crazy at a few of Patong‘s pubs and clubs or spend your time making the most of the great food and shopping, Phuket has you covered. If you’re planning a trip but aren’t quite sure where to stay for the type of holiday you’re seeking, we’ve got you covered with our guide on where to stay in Phuket! We’ve also included a few extra insider tips, to help you figure out the best time to visit, what to pack and how to get there.
But first, watch this…
Best time to visit
We visited Phuket in early August and the locals told us the weather at that time is a little hit and miss. That’s because the rainy season in Phuket is generally May through to October, which is great for anyone travelling on a budget as you’re more likely to scoop up a bargain on hotel rates during low season. Even though it was rainy season and it did rain while we were there, we still had an incredible time and managed quite a bit of sunshine. You’ll find the high season in Phuket generally runs from November to February, offering plenty of warm days filled with glorious sunshine and endless opportunities to swim and sunbathe. March through to mid-May is when things get really hot so do keep this in mind if you end up planning your trip for this time.
How to get there
We flew with Thai Airways from Brisbane to Bangkok, had a brief layover, then flew from Bangkok to Koh Samui. After spending four nights in Koh Samui we flew over to Phuket before flying home again via Bangkok. The first leg of the trip was around 8 1/2 hours and the flight from Bangkok to Samui was only around an hour. Our experience with Thai Airways was really good, we managed to get ourselves those seats with no-one in front so we had extra leg room, the seats were comfortable and the service was fantastic. The staff were so welcoming and helpful, it was really nice! I was also really impressed with the food. Our vegetarian meals on the way over and back were both veggie pasta dishes and they were delicious! If you’re considering which airline to go with, I recommend Thai. The full-service airline experience made the journey much easier and enjoyable!
What to pack tips
When it comes to packing for Phuket, you want to keep it light! As it’s typically quite hot and humid, you’re going to want to bring lots of light, breathable clothing. Things like cotton summer dresses and skirts, shorts and shirts are perfect. I find baggy, floaty clothing to be more comfortable as it doesn’t cling to you and absorb any sweat. Matt typically wears cotton or board shorts with either cotton t-shirts or sweat wicking t-shirts while I opt for linen shorts and button-up tops, summer dresses and skirts with baggy t-shirts. Of course, you’ll want to make the most of the resort pools so swimwear, hats, and footwear easy to slide on and off is essential.
Centara Villas Phuket
Centara Villas Phuket is located around an hour’s drive from Phuket Airport and 10 minutes from Patong Beach. To get from the airport to the hotel, I recommend organising a transfer with the resort as it just takes the hassle out of finding reliable transport after a long-haul flight and makes your holiday that much more stress-free. We absolutely loved the location of the resort as it was nice and close to all the action of Patong Beach but tucked away in the perfect spot, so you feel a world away from everything too.
The resort itself is laid out in a really interesting way. In place of one large building with all the hotel rooms in one spot, you’ll find 72 gorgeous villas dotted around the property. We loved the sense of privacy as you really do feel like your villa is your own little slice of paradise. The villas are classic Thai-style, beautifully fitted out and spacious. They’re the perfect combination of modern and classic, with loads of space to spread out and make yourself at home. Of course, the resort offers free wifi and there are plenty of great movie channels should you feel the need for a movie marathon.
There are a few different villa types to choose from, including Deluxe Villas, Deluxe Ocean Facing, Spa Villas and Pool Villas. Obviously, which type you decide to book will depend on your budget and what you want to experience. We stayed in a Deluxe Ocean Facing Villa and absolutely loved it! Our room was just gorgeous and so comfortable, as the afternoon storms started to roll in we would sit out on our private balcony, listening to the waves crashing and watching the sky change colour. It was so relaxing!
In addition to fantastic villas, the resort is also home to two pools perfect for spending your time swimming, sipping cocktails and relaxing. If you want to take your relaxation to the next level you can visit Spa Cenvaree for a few hours of pure indulgence. We were treated to a 60-minute massage each and really enjoyed ourselves. The treatment rooms overlook the waves crashing and there’s something so soothing about it. Afterward, we soaked in the bathtub for a little while and let our troubles melt away.
The grounds of the resort are quite spread out, but there’s a fantastic on-site mini-car service. If you want to get to the spa, restaurant, lobby or anywhere else, you can call the mini-car service and they’ll come and pick you up to take you there. The service was really fast and reliable, we never waited for more than a minute or two to get a lift. The resort grounds are lush and green, so you really do feel like you’re in the jungle while still be able to spot the water. We enjoyed wandering the grounds, sitting down on the water’s edge and enjoying the peace and quiet.
When you get hungry, there are two on-site restaurants, The Cliff Restaurant and The Bayview Restaurant and Bar. We dined at both and found the food and service to be fantastic! The breakfast each morning was stacked with tasty bites and everything was so fresh and delicious. At night, you can sit up at The Cliff Restaurant and enjoy the unbeatable water views while getting stuck into meals like the seafood buffet. If you’d rather spend your days enjoying your private pool and making the most of your villas, you can always order room service.
One other thing we both really liked was the easy access to Karon Beach, which is far more quiet and peaceful than Patong Beach. You can easily wander down to the water and spend the day at the beach before walking back up to the resort if you like. Guests of Centara Villas Phuket can also gain access to the incredible pools of the nearby Centara Grand Beach Resort! We went down there for dinner on my birthday and were blown away by how incredible the pools were (we also made the most of the great food and cocktails).
Centara Villas Phuket is perfect for anyone visiting Phuket looking for a more special stay. You’ll feel so spoilt when you arrive at your gorgeous private villa and far away from the busy streets outside, despite being a short drive to all the sights and sounds of Patong Beach. If you’re celebrating something special, like a honeymoon, anniversary or milestone of some sort, a stay in a private pool villa is the way to go! With great food, fantastic service, the perfect sea-side location and lush jungle all around, Centara Villas Phuket will leave you feeling relaxed, refreshed and recharged.
Pro Tip: If the location sounds right but you’re after something different, accommodation-wise, you might want to check out Centara Grand Beach Resort, Phuket. It’s located right on Karon Beach so you have that ultimate beachfront access with the large, sprawling resort feel. There are multiple restaurants and bars to choose from, entertainment for big and little kids plus some pretty incredible pools too!
Centara Blue Marine Resort & Spa
Similar to Centara Villas Phuket, you’ll find Centara Blue Marine Resort and Spa an hour from Phuket Airport and around 7 minutes from Patong Beach. Where Villas feels more tucked away, Blue Marine feels more social as you’re treated to stunning views of Patong and beyond. At night, we loved sitting on our hotel balcony enjoying the fresh sea air, watching the sunset and seeing Patong come to life. While you can see Patong, don’t worry, you’re far enough away that the sounds and craziness of the clubs, pubs, and bars, can’t be heard from your room.
The resort is actually pretty huge and to make the most of its hillside position, the resort is staggered up the slope but, don’t worry, there’s a fantastic mini-car service here too. All you have to do is call and they’ll come to pick you up to take you where you need to go around the resort. If you love swimming, you are going to love your time at Blue Marine as they have THREE pools! One has just been refurbished so it’s brand new and perfect for spending your days lazing in the sunshine. The other two pools are also gorgeous and one is even equipped with a slippery dip (it’s by far the best hotel pool slippery dip I’ve experienced!)
Given the size of the resort, there’s an accommodation type to suit everyone. Room types include superior, deluxe ocean facing, premium deluxe, premium deluxe ocean facing, premium deluxe spa, premium deluxe suite, deluxe two bedroom family suite, deluxe one bedroom pool villa and deluxe two bedroom pool villa. We were lucky enough to stay in two different accommodation types! The premium deluxe spa was fantastic, offering a gigantic shower and gorgeous spa on our balcony. The room was spacious with a comfortable bed and unbeatable, 180-degree views of Patong and the Andaman Sea.
We also stayed in a premium deluxe ocean facing room with pool access so we could spend our days sitting on our terrace our room and step right down into the pool. It ensured we made the most of the pool and we could spend our time soaking in the sunshine, taking in the water views and relaxing. Both room types were great and I would recommend both, I’d probably just say if you really love swimming and are after a poolside holiday, you may slightly prefer the deluxe ocean-facing room with pool access.
The resort offers a free shuttle service which operates a few times a day taking guests back and forth between Jungceylon Mall. It’s a great option for getting yourself down to Patong Beach to see and experience it all. We caught the shuttle down and opted to walk back to the resort so we could see more of the beach. The walk was actually pretty easy, though you do need to be careful when walking alongside the road. We also decided to catch a TukTuk down to Patong Beach in the evening and found one quickly and easily who took us both for THB200.
For anyone wanting to treat themselves, Spa Cenvaree offers indulgent treatments in a beautiful setting. You can unwind with a traditional Thai massage, facial, couples treatments or immerse yourself in one of their signature rituals. It’s the perfect way to take your holiday to the next level and spoil yourself. When it comes to staying connected, the hotel’s wifi was a bit patchy but, that could just mean less time spent staring at a phone and more time spent out and about, making the most of your holiday. The resort also has two restaurants, Blue Horizons and Tropics Lounge and Bar, though we opted to grab a bite while out and about exploring Patong (Thai street food is incredible!)
Centara Blue Marine Resort & Spa is perfect for anyone looking for a resort experience and wanting to feel like they’re part of Patong Beach while not having to be in the thick of things. Getting around the local area is easy and fast, with the resort’s great location and the staff are absolutely wonderful! There’s an accommodation type for every need and budget but if you are looking to truly spoil yourself or celebrate something special, I’d recommend taking a peek at the pool villas – they’re gorgeous.