It's time for the 2019 Top 10 Phuket Hotels list. There are 3 new entries compared to 2018 and a new number 1. For each hotel there are links for checking online rates and availability with Agoda.com. As for all previous year's top 10 hotel lists, I based this on Tripadvisor rankings which may be imperfect and change all the time. You'll find links to reviews for each hotel. Hotels get scores out of 10 on Agoda so you can compare reviews, and importantly 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!
1. Ayara Kamala
Ayara Kamala Resort was new in the top 10 last year and now jumps right to the top! Despite the name, the resort is not right on Kamala beach - you'll find it on the headland south of Kamala along with several other very nice resorts and private villas. This stretch of coast has great views and the resort is quite exclusive, with just a dozen or so villas. The area is called Millionaire's Mile. From the resort to Kamala beach is about 2km, so hopefully they have a free shuttle!
• Ayara Kamala - Information & Booking
• Ayara Kamala - Reviews
2. The Chava Resort (Surin Beach)
The Chava hit the top 10 in 2015, hit number 1 in 2016 and was number 2 last year too. Surin Beach always has something in the top 10! The Chava Resort features a collection of 2 - 5 room apartments (this seems to be called an "apartment resort"), some are run directly by the hotel, while some on the same property are privately owned and privately rented. Rooms are really enormous, not normal hotel size, great for families and groups. Like Ayara, it's a place with sea views, slightly up in the hills, not right on the beach but just few minutes walk from Surin beach.
• Chava Resort - Information & Booking
• Chava Resort - Reviews
3. BYD Lofts (Patong Beach)
BYD Lofts remains very popular - it's been in the top 5 for the last 5 years. Unlike the top 3 on this list - 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 beautiful concrete jungle of Patong). There are 1 or 2 bedroom apartments of various sizes. I rarely 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 & Booking
• BYD Lofts - Reviews
4. Trisara Phuket Villas & Residences
Trisara has been either 1 or 2 on this list for about 5 years, so a surprise to find it ranked 4th! I would really really love to stay here a few days and do nothing at all! Are you listening Trisara manager?! Trisara offers private pool villas by a private beach to the north of Bang Tao beach in the north of Phuket island. Trisara is what I'd call a "private, luxury, superb view view, relax and unwind" style hotel. Only 48 villas, acres of space, no crowds. There are also "private residences" (houses) with 2 - 6 bedrooms, ideal for families, big groups, or even wedding parties. Or just for a relaxing getaway for a romantic couple. The location - miles from any busy areas, so youll need your own transport or have to get taxis everywhere.
• Trisara - Information & Booking
• Trisara - Reviews
5. Navatara (Rawai Beach)
Navatara first appeared on the list at number 7 in 2016, and has been at number 5 for 2 years. Navatara opened in 2013, but with hotels opening all the time I'd not even heard of it until doing the top 10 list in 2016! Navatara has 37 rooms, built with some "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! Like many of the very best hotels, 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 & Booking
• Navatara - Reviews
6. Avista Grande (Karon Beach)
The top 10 in the last couple of years has almost entirely been missing hotels at the main beaches, but the Avista Grande at Karon Beach leaps into the top 10. 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 work at Karon beach at the Sunrise Divers shop and we have had a fair number of customers staying at this hotel in the last year.
• Avista Grande - Information & Booking
• Avista Grande - Reviews
7. Chanalai Flora Resort (Kata Beach)
And another on a main 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! And note that this is not the same place as La Flora, which is in Patong. Chanalai Flora is in a great location just a few minutes walk to Kata beach, and there are plenty of shops and all kind of restaurants nearby. And the price is quite a bit lower than most of these top 10 resorts!
• Chanalai Flora Resort - Information & Booking
• Chanalai Flora Resort - Reviews
8. The Surin (Pansea Beach)
The Surin (formerly called The Chedi) reopened with the new name about 8 years ago, but The Chedi had already been in Phuket for many many years, with it's uniquely excellent location on a "private" beach between Surin and Bang Tao beaches in the north of Phuket. I'd stay here! Another resort that is a little remote but you can get to Surin or Bang Tao for restaurant options. 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 & Booking
• The Surin - Reviews
9. Renaissance Phuket Resort (Mai Khao Beach)
Renaissance is one of the various Marriott owned 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 also in the Top 10 Hotels for 2018 and 2017. Mai Khao beach is still really quiet and unless you stick to only 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 a few days of relaxation and a quiet base for exploring the Phuket area!
• Renaissance - Information & Booking
• Renaissance - Reviews
10. Pacific Club Resort (Karon Beach)
Pacific Club has been lurking around the top 10 for years, sometimes in and sometimes just out. Located on the hillside above Karon beach near the also-popular Mandarava resort, Pacific Club is a bit off the main strip, quiet at night, great views, has a popular restaurant and various room types including suites and small apartments with kitchens. It's about 10 minutes walk down to the beach.
• Pacific Club Resort - Information & Booking
• Pacific Club Resort - Reviews
And that's the Top 10 hotels in Phuket as of early 2019. 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 nearly 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 is something here in Phuket for everyone. Any budget.
For anyone thinking of coming to Phuket - doing your research is very important especially regarding the hotel location. Look at a map, please! I read too many reviews complaining about location. Check the map! In recent years, as this list shows, many top class resorts have opened in more secluded areas and the trend is for sea view hillside (not on the beach) hotels and villas. Land prices (buying or renting) are so incredibly high that beachfront would be a mega-investment. Although Phuket does get many package tourists these days there is also a big luxury market, 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 plentiful.
For hotel booking, reviews, information ... check agoda.com or booking.com! See you in Phuket!