Calling all sneaky shoestring travellers! Phuket may be one of Thailand’s pricier destinations, but in this hotel guide, we reveal some unsung accommodation spots for you to catch some zzzs for less than $600 (yes, that’s in Hong Kong dollars!). And whilst they’re budget approved, these Phuket hotels are beauties in their own right, so don’t worry, there won’t be a cockroach in sight. Save your baht for diving, deluxe beach bars, and digging into the formidable foodie scene, and let the good times roll.
If you like to be in the action, you can’t beat this spruced-up Sino-Portuguese pad in Phuket’s Old Town. Full of character, it’s surprising more people aren’t raving about Casa Blanca. There are just 17 whitewashed rooms (some with balconies, all with large pillowy beds), staff have their ear to the ground about the latest happenings in town, and the tiny pool is a tempting prospect on a sweltering day. This is one hell of a good deal.
Rooms from $453.
There’s a lot to feel happy about at this low-key laid-back resort. You may be in Phuket but at Manohra Cozy Resort, you’ll find respite from the crowds. Guests wallow beside the large pool, ordering light bites from the bar before mooching to the flour-soft sands of Karon Beach, 15 minutes away. Rooms (although dated with some painted in brassy bright reds) are super comfy with fridges, TVs, and bathrooms that have a bath and shower. You can’t sniff at free wi-fi either.
Rooms from $373.
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We promise you can find patches of peace and isolation in Phuket – one being Nature Park Resort, a family-friendly property in a quiet part of Patong, scattered with palms and tropical plants. The outdoor pool will get everyone’s seal of approval, massages can be booked, and the restaurant rustles up some mean just-cooked grills. Air-conditioned rooms meanwhile are functional and all-round crowd-pleasers, with basic kitchens and bathrooms. Travelling with siblings, nieces, nephews or kids of your own? Kids under 10 stay for free! Bargain.
Rooms from $292.
This collection of bungalows does a cracking job of doling out top-notch service and facilities for a seriously cheap price. At Kata On Sea you can expect immaculately made beds in simple whitewashed rooms, large wardrobes, TVs, balconies with cityscape views, bathrooms with free toiletries, bikes for rent and a large curve of a pool. Go now, before this under-the-radar resort attracts the crowds and the prices shoot up.
Rooms from $171.
If you want to be steps away from the seductive sands and lapping waves of Phuket, make tracks to AM Surin Place, sitting cheek by jowl with Surin Beach. Rooms are perfectly put together with plenty of little details: umbrellas, slippers, coffee, tea, and a well-stocked mini-bar. They’re incredibly fresh and bright, with floor-to-ceiling windows and either balconies or mini gardens with every room. As a newbie on Phuket’s hotel scene – this is one to watch.
Rooms from $433.
The rooms at The Color Kata are playful and spacious: think huge printed headboards, flat screen TVs and plenty of colour. But be warned: the bathroom (toilet included) has glass walls so only share with someone you don’t mind watching as you shower. Not that you’ll be spending much time in your room – Kata Beach is a short stroll away: a curve of golden sand which promises some spacious off-peak times.
Rooms from $504.
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The Blue Pearl Kata Hotel carries off the nautical theme with ease: simple rooms flaunt fresh white and blue decor, wooden floors, and nods to life at sea. And this being only 50 metres from Kata Beach, it seems wholly appropriate. Star billing here goes to the rooftop pool, where guests gaze at the joyfully chaotic streets below while dangling their feet in the cool water. As well as thoughtful touches – beach towels, multilingual staff – a pizza joint and Swensen’s Ice-cream are footsteps away.
Rooms from $514.
Book at the right time, and you can find some cracking deals at Aquamarine Resort & Villa, this sprawling resort on Kamala Beach. If you’re paying the lower end of the scale, chances are you’ll be staying in a deluxe room – all billowing white drapes, teak furniture and boldly coloured cushions. Balconies with sea views up the ante, but it’s the facilities that’ll leave a lasting impression, from the spa with a lengthy menu of treatments, to the swimming pools (there are three of them). It’s also minutes from the chilled shores of Hua Beach – finding a quiet patch of sand in Phuket is never easy, but Hua is often blissfully quiet.
Rooms from $554.
Super swish Journey Hub Hotel – close to Patong Beach – sets the benchmark for affordable hotels that don’t compromise on style or service. You’ll let out a collective cheer as you head to the roof with its very dapper infinity pool: a hip waterside hangout where sunset views of the Andaman Sea will leave you slack-jawed. Rooms are simple, neutral and have all the gear for a good night’s sleep – there’s no denying you get a lot of bang for your buck here.
Rooms from $433.
At Zea Hotel is a pad full of character – it feels like stepping into a beachy-surf cottage. It’s no surprise that this contemporary spot is consistently applauded for its infectious laid-back ambiance. That and the fact it’s steps from the sedate sands of Tri Trang Beach. If you’re willing to step ever so slightly over budget, you’ll get perks like breakfast included, a welcome drink on arrival, complimentary bottled water and more. All rooms have terraces with ocean views and you’ll be won over as soon as you spot the lolling hammocks.
Rooms from $599.
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Featured image via Journey Hub Hotel, all other images via respective websites.