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Top 10 Phuket Hotels for 2021

Well after a really sh*tty 2020, it's time for a 2021 Top 10 Phuket Hotels blog post. Hopefully Phuket and world tourism in general will be re-opening sometime in 2021, let's hope the Covid-19 pandemic doesn't last for too much longer. I guess nobody much is booking hotels right now, and yes 2020 has been a bad year. It seems a little petty to complain that Phuket tourism has suffered when so many have suffered worse, but Phuket does rely to a very large extent on tourism and I hope things can get going again soon. If things open up, please do visit Phuket! For each hotel listed you'll find a link to check online deals and availability with Agoda.com. The list is based on Tripadvisor rankings which of course may be imperfect and change all the time. Hotels get scores out of 10 on Agoda so you can compare reviews - on Agoda reviews can only be made by guests who have actually booked the hotel, so you can see if real hotel guests agree with TA ratings!

For sure the list is still subjective, your personal choice will depend on many factors, and you can search hotels easily on Agoda to try and find your Phuket hotel. It's a big place, Phuket. Take your time when looking for hotels, check the location on a map, read reviews, figure out if you want somewhere really quiet or close to lots of restaurants and bars. The right hotel is there, but you do have to do some digging! Happy Travels!

1. Avista Grande (Karon Beach)


Avista Grande at Karon Beach leaped into the top 10 last year and now tops the list. The full name is Avista Grande Phuket Karon MGallery by Sofitel .. bit of a mouthful. Sofitel is a chain, part of the Accor group, with MGallery being a more boutique luxury style of hotel. I worked at Karon beach at the Sunrise Divers shop and we had a fair number of happy customers staying at this hotel.

Avista Grande - Information, Reviews & Booking

2. The Cove (Cape Panwa)


The Cove is a smaller hotel (I think it has about 15 bungalows) which has been open for a few years and seems to have suddenly got very popular! It's located in the Cape Panwa area of Phuket which has long been one of my favourite areas miles away from the big beaches, but there are quite a few restaurants and plenty of local life. It's at Ao Yon beach, right by the sand.

The Cove - Information, Reviews & Booking

3. The Chava Resort (Surin Beach)


The Chava was number 1 in 2016, number 2 last year and now number 3 - pretty consistent! Surin Beach always has something in the top 10! The Chava Resort has 2 - 5 room apartments (an "apartment resort"), some are run directly by the hotel, while some are privately rented. Rooms are really big, great for families and groups. It's a place with sea views, slightly up in the hills, not right on the sand but just few minutes walk from Surin beach.

Chava Resort - Information, Reviews & Booking

4. BYD Lofts (Patong Beach)


BYD Lofts has been in the top 5 for 6 years. If you want a room near the heart of Patong Beach, close to the action and in the middle of the busiest beach area in Thailand, BYD Lofts offers serviced apartments with the hotel featuring a rooftop pool (and a view over the rooftops and hotels of Patong). There are 1 or 2 bedroom apartments of various sizes. I rarely used to venture into Patong myself - not my style, but Patong beach is very convenient for visitors, with huge numbers of restaurants plus shops/the big Jungceylon Mall and tour agents near you. And bars and nightlife too.

BYD Lofts - Information, Reviews & Booking

5. Navatara (Rawai Beach)


Navatara is another that remains popular - it has been at number 5 for 3 years running. Navatara opened in 2013, but with hotels opening all the time I'd not even heard of it until writing the top 10 list in 2016! Navatara has 37 rooms, built (I would say) "Thai style". Some rooms have pool access, and all rooms look pretty big. This is a smaller, Thai style resort away from the main beaches, but not too far - many people ask me to recommend a hotel like this or The Cove. Like many of the hotels on this list, it's not on the beach. Navatara is about 500m from Rawai beach and a few minutes drive from Nai Harn beach and Phromthep Cape. One of my favourite corners of Phuket.

Navatara - Information, Reviews & Booking

6. The Surin (Pansea Beach)


The Surin (formerly called The Chedi) reopened with the new name about 10 years ago, but The Chedi had already been in Phuket for years, with it's uniquely excellent location on a semi-private beach between Surin and Bang Tao beaches in the north of Phuket. I'd like to stay here! Another resort that is a little bit remote but you can get to Surin or Bang Tao for restaurant options. Personally, I'd rent a car if I stayed here. And The Surin is not ridiculously expensive compared to the neighbour - the beach is shared with the very very fancy Amanpuri.

The Surin - Information, Reviews & Booking

7. Marina Phuket Hotel (Patong Beach)


Quite surprised to see a hotel like Marina Phuket Hotel in the top 10 - a block by the side of one of Patong's back roads, a fair walk to the beach, not really a pretty area, but it does seem to have a lot of good reviews on TA and on Agoda (see link below). And it does have a rooftop pool and bar/restaurant. And the price is pretty good.

Marina Phuket Hotel - Information, Reviews & Booking

8. Renaissance Phuket Resort (Mai Khao Beach)


Renaissance is one of several Marriott resorts north of Phuket Airport at Mai Khao Beach. Renaissance has been on this blog before as part of the Best Luxury Phuket Resorts list and was in the Top 10 Hotels for 2019, 2018 and 2017. Mai Khao beach is still really quiet and unless you stick to the various Marriott hotel restaurants you'll need transport or taxis to get to other places. Rent a car, explore, drive just a few minutes from here and you're over the bridge into Phang Nga province. Ideal for relaxation and a quiet base for exploring the greater Phuket area!

Renaissance - Information, Reviews & Booking

9. Kantary Bay (Cape Panwa)


Another hotel in the Cape Panwa area to the south of Phuket Town and a long way from the busy main west coast Phuket beaches. Kantary Bay is part of the Cape and Kantary group which have very nice hotels all over Thailand - the nearby Cape Panwa Hotel is also theirs. It's located right by the Phuket Aquarium on a quiet road with a few nearby restaurants and there are often lots of local food stalls on the roadside. Nice view across the bay, but there's not much beach there. The hotel cafe is apparently very good.

Kantary Bay - Information, Reviews & Booking

10. Chanalai Hillside Resort (Karon Beach)


And another at Karon beach! There are several Chanalai resorts in Phuket (Garden, Hillside, Romantica, Flora) and all are in Kata or Karon. Note - if you stay at one of these, be sure if you book tours that you know which Chanalai you are at (I speak from experience booking people for dive trips!) Chanalai Hillside is .. you'd never guess, on the hillside - about 5 minutes walk to Karon beach.

Chanalai Hillside Resort - Information, Reviews & Booking


And that's the Top 10 hotels in Phuket. Maybe. Have you stayed at a hotel that's not listed, but you think it should be? Go and give it a big review and get it's TA ranking up! Phuket has been on the mainstream tourism route for 30+ years now, and there is a great mix of old and new resorts (hard to keep up with openings and re-brandings!), big hotels, guesthouses, villas, apartments, hillside, beachfront, busy areas, quiet areas. There really is something in Phuket for everyone!



2020 - A Year Not in Phuket

Where to begin? How was 2020 for you? It's been a shitty year for many people. If you are one of those idiots who thinks Covid-19 is a hoax, or if you refuse to wear a mask in a shop, or if you are one of those who has been breaking social distancing rules and don't care because you think you are healthy, well you can go jump in the sea. As I write this, 12 days into 2021, I am waiting for a text with my Covid test result. I took a test at a walk in testing center yesterday after a couple of days feeling feverish, and have now taken a couple of days off work, which might well turn out to be more, depends on the results! I have a close connection to Covid-19. Back in 2019, a few months after arriving back in England, I started working at a company called Abingdon Health, and as 2020 developed, the company has grown and is part of a consortium making Covid-19 antibody tests. And we have been very busy, especially over the second half of 2020. So, one plus for 2020 - I have had a good job! We are still living here in York, England. My son should be doing his GCSEs this year, but ... due to Covid, looks like that might be cancelled. My daughter finished a college business course earier this year and has had a few part time jobs, but due to Covid, jobs are hard to find!

Meanwhile, back in Phuket ... we still have a house for sale. My wife is in Thailand right now, been there for like 4 months. She had to do a 2 week government quarantine when she arrived - not allowed to leave the hotel room - thankfully it was paid by the Thai government for Thai nationals. We also have our house for sale in Chumphon. We had hoped to have sold already, but .. yeh, Covid. Travel restrictions in Thailand have been very strict, there are hardly any foreign tourists, and it's tough for local businesses, such as Sunrise Divers where I used to work and my friend's travel company Easy Day Thailand.

How quiet is Phuket? Have a look at the photo below posted on Twitter by my friend Steve who runs the Pineapple Guesthouse in Karon.

Life has kind of been in limbo for a year. Waiting to sell our property so we can buy here in England, waiting to see what happens with Covid-19, and it's got worse again. We've not taken any holidays. I took quite a lot of long weekends during the year, using up my work holiday allowance bit by bit. And of course I cannot really complain. Many people have had a bad year, lost jobs, lost income, lost loved ones. And let's not even get started on the other news of the year. I mean, here in the UK we have had Brexit and Boris, but that pales in comparison to the USA with continued and very justified anger about police killing black people, and then the USA has had a right wing egotistical, narcisistic clown as President, who refuses to admit he is ever wrong, and gosh, let's hope that is all over in 8 days from now on 20 January.

Normally, my yearly reviews over the years - see list at the end of this post - will show all the places in and around Phuket that we visited. 2020 was the first year for me since 1999 that I did not spend any time in Thailand. The first year since 1994 that I spent the whole year in the UK! Getting used to life back here is not so hard. But we really need to sell our houses soon! And I am not sure I like the winter. Some cold days are nice, if the sun shines and it's not windy, but some days are cold, wet and breezy and I wish I was having a cold beer Chang on the beach in Phuket! Anyway, we did not spend the whole year in lockdown. I have half-heartedly started a Yorkshire Blog. And we did have a lot of nice days out during the summer when we all thought Covid-19 had gone away.


(above) Sunset in Knaresborough, June 2020.


(above) Roseberry Topping in the Yorkshire Moors, July 2020.


(above) Out driving in the Yorkshire Dales in August 2020.

UPDATE : My Covid-19 test was POSITIVE! So the kids and I will be isolating at home for another week.

So, please come on 2021, get better soon! I was maybe hoping we'd have a chance to take a Thai holiday in the summer, but we'll have to wait and see. I hope if you are reading this that your 2020 had some highs and your 2021 has some highs!

Best Wishes from York (England), not Phuket

Previous Yearly Reviews:

2019 - 2018 - 2017 - 2016 - 2015 - 2014 - 2013 - 2012 - 2011 - 2010



Our House For Sale (or Rent) in Phuket

If you follow me on social media (Twitter or Instagram) you may have seen that, after 19 years in Phuket, I headed back to the UK last year. Reasons? School/education for my kids, a new challenge, a new life, being close to family in the UK ... we plan to stay for quite a few years, maybe forever - we are keeping our house in Chumphon (my wife's hometown), but in order to fund this big move we are selling our house in Phuket. Or we'd be happy to rent it long term (at least 6 months). Anyone interested, please contact me by email (jjjjmonk@yahoo.co.uk) or if you are in Phuket and want to see the house please call +66 97 993 1549 to arrange a viewing. Cheers!



Location, Location Location

Sure everyone has an idea of their preferred location. If you want a seaview, sorry we can't help, but .. we are in the Kathu area. The center of the universe! Within 5-10 minutes we can drive to all major malls and supermarkets, cinema, international hospitals, many of the best schools, local markets, golf courses, lots of restaurants .. Patong is a 10-15 minute drive in one direction and Phuket Town is 10-15 minutes in the other direction. Nearest minimart to our house is a 2 minute drive or 10 minute walk, and there's a gasoline station in the same location. We are on a quiet side road, but close to everything. There's a clubhouse with a pool and gym right over the street from our house. There's no through traffic passing our house, it's very peaceful.

Our house sits of 140 Wah of land, which is 560 square meters. This is divided into 2x70 Wah plots with separate land titles. The house is on 70 Wah and we bought the extra land later so we have a big garden area and space for parking multiple vehicles and lots of space to expand the house or build your own pool or even build a second house.

The house is one floor (unless you count a climb of 2 steps to the bedrooms. There's a large living room/dining area, a not-so-huge kitchen that we often thought to enlarge, 3 bedrooms, one main bathroom, plus 1 bedroom has en-suite shower/toilet and another bedroom has en-suite shower. Main bathroom was recently redecorated. All bedrooms and living room have aircon. Behind the kitchen is a covered utility area where we have washing machines/dryer/storage. At the front of the house there's also a decent size shed.

Water supply to our street is very good, and we also have a water tank with pump. Electric supply in Kathu is very reliable. We have 3bb internet / wifi in the house which a new owner can take over if they want. There are multiple wall mounted fans around the house which will stay there. All windows have new mosquito screens and bars. Security in the street has never been a problem. It's a very safe area.

If you need more information - please contact me by email (jjjjmonk@yahoo.co.uk) or to see the house please call my wife +66 97 993 1549 to arrange a viewing.

We lived there 15 years and we were the first occupants of the house, so it has had 1 careful owner! Perfect for a family, lots of space, quiet area but close to everything.

Selling Price : 6,750,000 Baht or near enough offer. For a house in this location with a big land area, it's a good price.

Rental : 19,000 Baht per month - discount possible if paying long term in advance.

Location Map



House Photos



























As you can see - lots of space and different areas around the house. We have enjoyed living here, adding extras to the house, redecorating, repainting, growing the garden - lots of big mature plants which we planted many years ago. I am biased, but it's a very nice place to live.

Anyone interested, please contact me by email (jjjjmonk@yahoo.co.uk) or if you are in Phuket and want to see the house please call +66 97 993 1549 to arrange a viewing. Thanks!