Phuket is a tropical dream with its easy-access international and domestic airports. The island is the biggest in Thailand and boasts endless untouched beaches fringed with gravity-defying palm trees or fragrant Thai casuarina pines. Phuket’s undulating mountains are part of the Greater Tenasserim Range, which runs from north of Thailand, almost to Singapore. Phuket is bursting with things to do. The warm turquoise seas are home to coral reefs, turtles, and a myriad of rainbow-colored coast-dwelling fish.
Different areas of Phuket attract different people. Young couples of solo travelers without children tend to head to the busy heart of Patong’s bar-strewn center while Rawai is fun and laidback with a jungle vibe. Further north, you’ll find exclusive beach clubs and grownup wine bars on Kamala, Laguna, or Bangtao beaches. The Phuket coastline has many intriguing fishing villages where you can explore local markets and dine on the freshest seafood in Thai-typical beach hut restaurants. Why not hire long-tailed boats and jet skis from the shores for some thrilling adventures, or quieter folk might prefer kayaks and paddleboards for a more gentle explore.
If you find that you are all beached out, there are many cultural things to do in Phuket Old Town. There is a plethora of eye-catching and wallet-emptying art galleries and museums, graffitied walls, historic mansions, and Sino-Portuguese shophouses. Breathtaking temples and monk’s quarters are further north in Thalang and Chalong. Natural lakes dot the verdant landscape, and there is a smattering of wildlife sanctuaries that protect Thailand’s elephants and gibbons. You can find native monkeys outside Phuket Town, way up high on Monkey Hill.
If you are looking for something a little bit different from a hotel, then look at the growing selection of private villas on Airbnb. The hosts provide exceptional hospitality to you and your guests, super-comfy accommodation in diverse locations, and access to some of the best restaurants and things to do. Little Steps Asia has chosen their favorite Airbnbs, some of the most exemplary super hosts, and the best in home entertainment or work-from-home necessities. You won’t want to leave.
Want more on Phuket with kids?
Thinking about moving to Phuket (short or long term?)
This extraordinary villa is nestled within an award-winning resort in Kamala on the west coast of Phuket. Kamala is a great base to explore the island; your Airbnb boasts beautiful mountain views and good access to some handy grocery stores, fun cafés, restaurants, and bars. The host provides a shuttle service to and from the beach throughout the day. If you seek airy luxury with complete privacy, this could be the villa for you. Himmapana has three bedrooms and three bathrooms, so an ideal choice for a family or small group of friends. The interiors are flooded with natural light from the floor-to-ceiling windows, bright white paintwork and light wood finishes, muted grey and taupe furnishings, and the occasional green accent give a sense of biophilic living. Each bedroom is furnished with a king-sized bed and en-suite bathroom. The expansive modern kitchen and dining room have everything you could desire for fun-filled evenings of entertaining. The living room has wide fully-retractable doors that open onto a sunken area and swimming pool.
For a slightly less extravagant but prettily decorated home, this townhouse apartment is close to Nai Yang Beach. The host has decorated the apartment in soft sage and white and brought the space alive with potted plants and botanical artwork. The light wood finishings, floor-to-ceiling windows, and skylights allow the Phuketian sun to pour into each room. The ample kitchen has a townhouse feel and leads onto the dining room to comfortably seat six adults. Both bedrooms are furnished with king-size beds, a desk, and have access to the small balcony. The apartment has a washing machine, a tumble dryer, and a travel cot for small children. Two well-serviced bicycles are available to borrow; there are some pretty cycling routes in Sirinat National Park (and the best sunsets!).
This gorgeous beach house is a mere 300 meters from the beautiful Bangtao Beach. The villa is set in its own tranquil gardens surrounded by tropical trees and features a large ‘L’ shaped pool. Baan Mandala has three large bedrooms and three bathrooms, making the villa perfect for up to six guests or a family. The largest bathroom not only features a huge rainshower but a relaxing bath. Glass doors throughout give you a feeling of space. The walls are painted bright white, which offset a blend of contemporary and antique furniture, different shape windows, bold rugs, and lattice-inspired Asian artwork. The western-style kitchen is expansive and fitted with modern appliances, including a washing machine, dishwasher, and espresso machine. For relaxed evenings at home, relax with alfresco barbeque dining. Bangtao Beach is a stone's throw from Laguna and its pleasant wine bars, restaurants, and a walking market on Friday nights.
Villa Seakiss is an impressive five-bedroom sea view villa in one of Phuket’s most sought-after locations; Cape Yamu is a small headland on the east coast of the island. Villa Seakiss is within a luxury gated complex with impressive views across the Andaman Sea. The villa has four large bedrooms with floor-to-ceiling windows and impressive ocean views. The interior design has been well-considered by the villa owner. Only the finest fittings, furnishings, and accessories have been used throughout. The expansive living spaces include a western-style kitchen with all of the mod cons you would expect in such an expansive villa and are also equipped with a washing machine and dryer. You can use the kitchen, or a private chef can prepare a pre-arranged menu for you and your guests, which can be served in the dining room or on the terrace. They've thought of everything; there is even a kid's corner with plenty of toys. Outside is a garden, expansive deck with sunloungers, and an infinity pool.
Villa Sammasan is a treat to behold. Spread over four levels, the villa is contemporary luxury with open plan living and a Scandi appeal. Akin to a modern art gallery, the home has floor-to-ceiling sliding doors that flood the bright rooms with plenty of light and give access to the terrace, swimming pool, and shaded sala. The mezzanine level forms a comfortable entertainment room with super soft sofas and state-of-the-art television. Cleverly placed art by local artists create eye-catching talking points. The top floor of Villa Sammasan is the master suite which boasts a private balcony and a Jacuzzi in the bathroom. The two guest rooms are bright white with bold accents of color and jazzy artwork that continues the fun. The nearby village has some great dining venues, spas, and boutique shops; a little further down the hill are Kamala and Bangtao beaches with seaside restaurants, beach clubs, and watersports activities. Villa Sammasan is fully loaded with staff so that you don't have to lift a finger.
Villa Sauvage has an air of uniqueness. The villa is nestled in its own little universe of mountains, jungle, and privacy, yet a mere four minutes from the beach. The villa is peaceful and open so that you feel at one with nature. Slightly industrial in style, the entire complex is constructed from warm grey stone. The open-plan kitchen, dining room, and living room are open on two sides; one leads to the pool while the other leads to the courtyard gardens and the lawns beyond. There are two bedrooms, each with an en-suite shower room and full amenities. Around the pool are sun loungers. The expansive lawns give kids plenty of space to roam, and there is a net for volleyball or badminton. Kamala is a beautiful jungly region of Phuket and renowned for its hospitality. You can expect to find some charming cafés, restaurants, and beach bars locally. The gardens of Villa Sauvage lend themselves to parties; the super host will ensure that your every whim is catered for with their private chef and waiting staff.
Villa Jeanne is surrounded by rolling green hills and overlooks a picturesque lake. The spacious villa is split over three levels with stone-clad walls, beautiful interior design aesthetics, and fashionable unfinished concrete walls. There are four bedrooms with super-comfy beds and three and a half very modern bathrooms. The bright kitchen, living, and dining area open onto a terrace with an area for alfresco dining and the partially covered swimming pool. The dining room table can seat six people comfortably, so it's ideal for family dinners. The villa is just on the outskirts of the hubbub of Kamala. This once sleepy fishing village now has some of the island’s trendiest beach clubs, restaurants, bars, and access to miles and miles of beach.
Blue Point is an upscale condominium residence on the outskirts of hedonistic Patong. The bright two-bedroom apartment has everything you need for a comfortable stay in Phuket. The kitchen and dining room are fitted with the mod cons expected and a dining table that seats six people. The large sitting room has snuggly seating, a state-of-the-art media entertainment system, and access to a large covered terrace and seating that affords you mesmerizing views of the sea and the ever-changing sky. Downstairs are two bedrooms with en-suite bathrooms; the master has a balcony with two chairs and a small table. The large infinity pool is shared, and there are ample sun loungers for languid days. Children are welcome, and the hosts can supply cots and baby chairs.
Baan Chang Sanctuary is exactly that, a sanctuary. It's a detached private bungalow in a mini-resort of three similar bungalows surrounding a gloriously cooling pool with sun loungers within a walled tropical garden. The bungalow has one bedroom and a large bathroom with a shower and a separate bath. There are tea and coffee-making facilities with fresh, filtered water and a mini-fridge. A delicious breakfast is brought to your bungalow with freshly squeezed juices, local fruits, and stacks of delicious pancakes or homemade granola each morning. Baan Chang is close to cafés, restaurants, and yoga studios. Your host can arrange all sorts of activities for you. If you are staying in a group, you can rent all of the bungalows and have the beautiful space to yourself.
Julia is in a modern gated complex. The four-bedroom villa is inspired by Balinese styling and indoor-outdoor living. The entire villa envelops the expansive swimming pool, a terrace with seating, and a perfectly manicured lawn. There are four good-sized bedrooms; the master has an en-suite bathroom with floor-to-ceiling windows and a large bathtub (big enough for two) that overlooks a private section of the garden. The open-plan kitchen, living, and dining areas are perfect for entertaining with its grand vaulted ceiling and impressive chandelier. The décor is muted with a soft stone and charcoal color palette and beautiful teak furniture. Close to Bangtao Beach and Layan, it's one of the most luxurious areas of Phuket, with well-established restaurants and wine bars.