Having lived and spent a significant amount of time in Phuket on the west coast of Thailand, over the years, I can confirm there is a considerable array of luxury hotels in Phuket! But, whilst they all look nice on the surface, some feel austere or ‘could-be-anywhere’ and plenty are simply built to a tick list of supposedly 5-star facilities. Typically, these are the hotels most likely to charge top dollar and yet it’s often a case of features and function trumping over character. You’ll even find function giving way to gimmick – such as when the communal pool turns out to be more inviting than your private one!
For us at ETG, a property needs a blend of attributes that truly elevate it and makes it worth splashing out for. Whether small and family-run or an elaborate resort with all mod cons, a hotel must have character, soul, and something special to make the grade. So, with that in mind, I’ve compiled my (unashamedly subjective) list of the 5 best luxury hotels in Phuket to include in your Thailand getaway trip.
5 – The Surin – overlooking a near private beach
The Surin overlooks one of the best and most private beaches on the island – peaceful Pansea Bay which it shares only with Amanpuri. Yet, you also have access to a livelier beach with restaurants and bars just a stone’s throw away at Surin Beach itself. This combination of privacy and local amenities is a rare one in Thailand. It goes without saying that the service, style, rooms, and facilities are great, giving it a spot in my top 5.
4 – The Nai Harn – luxury on the southern tip of Phuket
Set into the hillside overlooking beautiful Nai Harn bay at the southern tip of the island, the Nai Harn is another top pick. Most rooms and suites enjoy ocean views, and this hotel really has a sense of place in harmony with the natural surroundings. Spend your days here snorkelling, paddleboarding or enjoying cocktails served by the beachside butlers!
This hotel is mainly for adults but there is a family wing where you can reserve two rooms that share an outdoor area and pool, a great option for families with older children.
3 – Sala Phuket – pool villas next to a national park
Even after 10 or more years, the pool villas at Sala Phuket are seriously stylish and unusual. Occupying a prime spot on one of the island’s most pristine stretches of beach (National Park status means there can be no construction at all on the beach itself), the resort is picture-perfect. The villas and suites have beautiful living spaces, elaborate outdoor bathrooms and a range of subtly coordinated facilities and amenities. The beach-side restaurant and bar offer a sublimely chilled-out vibe complemented by two alluring swimming pools which run alongside the beach. Tranquillity permeates every corner of the resort – it’s one of the most blissfully relaxing places I’ve ever stayed.
2 – Trisara – the best pool villas in Phuket?
Trisara’s pool villas and suites are dotted across the stunning hillside on the west coast of the island. A concept many have tried (and failed) to imitate, the resort’s blend of privacy, luxury and comfort continue to wow its lucky guests. Very much a place to retreat from the world, the villa’s pools offer incredible views, and the spacious and elegantly appointed rooms are complemented by the indulgent bathrooms. It’s easy to spend all day in the pool admiring the view until the sun sets spectacularly on the horizon. Deriving its name from the Sanskrit language for “third garden in heaven”, Trisara truly is a haven for the senses.
1 – Amanpuri – the first-ever Aman property
Thailand’s original luxury resort and still right up there with the very best, Amanpuri is a true classic and worth spending the money on? Aman are now famous globally, but Amanpuri was their first foray, and it remains their flagship property and my number one of the huge array of luxury hotels in phuket. The resort is proof that if you get the basics of a property right first time, the magic will always remain. The resort already has a real ‘wow factor’ before you even get to the beautiful private beach. The stylish and simple villas offer real peace and seclusion and blend serenely amongst the palms and into their stunning hillside location. The trademark Amans service adds to the uniqueness of a stay here and helps explain why the property is still the regular choice of A list celebrities and Royalty when they visit the island.
For those looking for alternative luxury properties on the west coast of Thailand, within a reasonable distance of Phuket airport, we recommend:
And for those looking for lesser-visited Thai beaches, why not read our best beaches, off the tourist trail in Thailand blog?