Phuket needs little introduction. Thailand’s largest island lies in the Andaman Sea and is blessed with lush mountains, white sandy beaches and luxurious resorts, making it one of Asia’s most iconic travel destinations. Thanks to the warm weather and easy connections to international airports, Phuket is an ideal year-round destination, although sun-seekers will want to visit during the dry season, when sunshine and blue skies abound between November and March.
With a sprawling area of more than 200 square miles, choosing where to base is important. And with hundreds of chic escapes and all-inclusive resorts, you’ll be spoiled for choice. Here is our pick of the best luxury hotels in Phuket and the nearby island of Koh Yao Noi.
V Villas Phuket
Located on Cape Panwa, the southeastern point of Phuket, V Villas Phuket is a newcomer to the luxury hotel scene and has quickly become one of the city’s most popular spots. Perched on a hill overlooking pretty Ao Yon Bay, V Villas Phuket is a colourful, design-oriented hotel that will appeal to a young, hip crowd. The property features 19 private pool villas with light, airy bedrooms and comfortable living areas. Each suite is seamlessly integrated with the outdoor space, whether you have a sea view suite or a hill view suite. The 24-hour personalized butler service is impeccable, and a private buggy is available 24 hours a day to escort you around the property.
V Villas is a short walk from the beach, and the resort’s proximity to attractions like Phuket Old Town and the Big Buddha makes it a nice place to relax, while being able to reach the main attractions with a short taxi ride. The Akoya Star Lounge, the hotel’s rooftop bar, is a stylish meeting place with 360-degree views of the bay. Pop in for hip DJ sets, imaginative cocktails and a tapas-inspired menu before dining downstairs at Yon Ocean House. This chic Art Deco-inspired restaurant serves Thai and European specialties like yellow curry with local crab and black ink risotto with king prawns and shiitake mushrooms.
One of the most iconic hotels in the world, Phuket was the birthplace of the Aman brand in 1988 with the opening of Amanpuri. Nestled in a coconut grove by the sea, the hotel is a true oasis on the west coast of Phuket and the epitome of elegance. Its open courtyards and reflecting pools flanked by traditional pavilions evoke a real sense of place and make you feel far away from the rest of the world. The word Amanpuri means ‘place of peace’ in Sanskrit and the hotel lives up to its name.
The property’s architecture was inspired by the ancient Buddhist capital of Ayutthaya and produced an aesthetic that has set Aman apart from its competitors for over 30 years. Guests can book bijoux pavilions located along elevated walkways that meander through the jungle, or spacious villas with up to nine bedrooms and private pools. Amanpuri is situated on a large sandy beach with sun loungers and cabanas: enjoy cocktails and hearty treats at the Beach Terrace Restaurant before lingering on the Sunset Terrace and watching the sky turn pink, purple and blue before you. Amanpuri’s restaurants have tastes that span the globe: Buabok offers specialties from southern Thailand, Nama celebrates Japanese Washoku and Arva serves Italian classics. Amanpuri can also arrange a private candlelit dinner on the beach for an unforgettable evening.
COMO point Yamu
Named for its location on Phuket’s eastern Cape Yamu, COMO Point Yamu is an elegant hotel with 106 rooms, suites, and private villas. With bright interiors that offer unobstructed sea views, the hotel will appeal to aesthetes who appreciate minimalist design and want to get away from it all. Designed by Paola Navone, the suites play with turquoise nautical designs and fiery red accents, a nod to Thai Buddhist iconography and Phuket’s Peranakan culture. COMO Point Yamu’s crowning glory is undoubtedly its expansive terrace with a swimming pool offering 360-degree views of the famous Phang Nga Bay.
With its large halls, manicured lawns, and numerous meeting rooms, the hotel is versatile and well-suited to weddings and corporate events. The hotel has two restaurants: La Sirena, a relaxed all-day dining restaurant with Italian comfort fare, and Nahmyaa, perfect for a romantic dinner featuring Thai specialties, from noodle soups and curries to stir-fries. Be sure to book a spa day at Shambhala, COMO Point Yamu’s beautiful spa, offering holistic treatments from foot acupressure and detoxifying skin treatments to deep tissue massages.
The Naka Island
Just a 10-minute speedboat ride from Phuket, The Naka Island is an idyllic remote island resort perfect for couples and families seeking the privacy and convenience of an all-inclusive resort. The hotel’s 67 villas and 23 rooms have extensive private gardens with swimming pools and bungalows designed for lounging, playing chess or enjoying a taste of in-villa dining. The property was designed with sustainability in mind — smooth adobe walls, wooden thatched roofs, and open-air bathrooms immerse guests in nature. Naka Island is a hotel that truly conveys the essence of tropical living and barefoot luxury.
Guests can enjoy on-site experiences like spa treatments and cooking classes, or take a boat tour to the Phi Phi Islands. Bicycles are also provided for guests to venture out of the resort and explore Naka, a colorful island with a small, local community. The resort has three restaurants serving a variety of dishes to suit every palate. My Grill, The Naka Island’s signature beachfront restaurant, focuses on locally caught seafood and premium steaks imported from Australia, while Tonsai serves Thai dishes in a relaxed atmosphere.
Where to stay on Koh Yao Noi
Located 5km off the coast of Phuket, Koh Yao Noi is a true island paradise and a great alternative for travelers seeking a small town feel and a slower pace of life. Home to just 6,000 residents, it’s easy to moped around and offers visitors more accommodation options than its bigger sister Koh Yao Yai, with a quieter vibe than Phuket. Here we recommend a stay on the island.
Six senses Yao Noi
Six Senses Yao Noi is an ecological treetop retreat and one of the “greenest” luxury hotels in Thailand, quite literally. The property features 56 luxurious treehouse pool villas and suites with dramatic views of the ocean and surrounding jungle. Six Senses Yao Noi prides itself on friendly, personalized service, so each room has its own Guest Experience Maker on call 24/7 via app to guide you throughout the property, bringing you extra pillows or book a spa treatment. Perched on the highest point of the property, The Hilltop restaurant serves modern international and Thai dishes next to an infinity pole overlooking the impressive limestone cliffs of Phang Nga Bay.
A stay at Six Senses Yao Noi not only promises relaxation, but also personal enrichment. With sustainability at its core, Six Senses Yao Noi has designed unique experiences to rejuvenate the island’s tropical flora, fauna and people. You can pick fresh eggs at the chicken farm, kayak through mangroves, try your hand at tie-dye painting classes and take Muay Thai lessons right on the beach. The property also seeks to strengthen the island’s community by coordinating island clean-ups and volunteering at a local school.
Cape Kudu Hotel
The Cape Kudu Hotel is a charming boutique hotel that blends coastal chic with tropical island style. It’s a great place to stay for city dwellers looking to slow down island time. Part of Thailand’s leading luxury chain of hotels and serviced apartments, the hotel embodies warm Thai hospitality, though the decor will have you swear you’ve vacationed in Cape Cod. Cozy bedrooms with whitewashed wooden furniture and balconies with rope hammocks complete the beachy aesthetic and make you feel right at home. The property features two swimming pools, a reading room with a pool table and an intimate spa for relaxing treatments.
Overlooking the pool, the Hornbill Restaurant serves Thai and Mediterranean fare, while the neighboring Cafe Kantary, a patisserie-wine-bar-gelateria, offers gourmet bites for lunch. The hotel is just steps from the beach, making it easy to take boat tours of the bay. Be sure to book a morning excursion on a traditional long-tail boat: you’ll start with a floating breakfast before stopping to sunbathe on scenic Hong Island and ascending to the vantage point for one of the most incredible panoramas in all of Thailand.