Effervescent, culturally rich and encircled by sublime beaches, Phuket offers a fascinating array of experiences from its stunning coastline just waiting to be explored, to its exuberant nightlife.
Located in Southern Thailand and surrounded by the Andaman Sea, Phuket is not only the largest island in the country, but also one of its premier travel destinations. With its pearly-white sands and glorious emerald water, it’s not hard to see why.
Phuket is Asia’s playground for the rich and famous, with lots of exquisite nightspots, elegant boutiques and impressive yachts moored in the harbours. Likewise, the spectacular diving and dining along with the luxury villas in Phuket are a magnet for jet-setters year after year.
Patong, the largest and busiest beach resort in Phuket, throbs with excitement day and night. Its white sand beach, though bursting with bars, shops and nightclubs is undeniably beautiful, while the fine dining options are second to none. At its heart, party central Bangla Road is a hectic mix of neon signs, “ladyboy” cabaret and Thai boxing. Not far from here is one of the island’s most popular nightclubs along with its greatest shopping centre and a collection of interesting art galleries.
A great example of past and present coming together, Phuket Town makes for a wonderful break from the beaches. Home to beautiful Sino-Portuguese architecture, inspiring galleries and art studios, it is the island’s cultural centre and a great place to shop for antiques and mingle with the locals in arty cafes.
“Phuket’s cosmopolitan dining scene is brimming with upmarket establishments and cuisines from every corner of the world. From highly regarded restaurants serving fresh, local fare to impressive newcomers trying to make a name for themselves, there’s a venue for every palate.”
Nestled in the hills between Kata and Patong, Acqua is one of Phuket’s finest restaurants. Chef Alessandro Frau serves refined, artistic Italian cuisine along with delightful wood-fired pizza, whilst the lengthy wine list is dominated by Italian reds and whites. The restaurant’s interior features imaginative lighting and a modern black and white decor.
www.acquarestaurantphuket.com / +66 76 61 81 27
Baan Rim Pa
Sumptuous Royal Thai cuisine is served by candlelight and accompanied by piano music at Baan Rim Pa, an elegant restaurant set on a cliff above shimmering blue waters. Its open-sided design allows for beautiful panoramic views over the sea and beach of Patong.
www.baanrimpa.com/thai-restaurant / +66 76 34 07 89
Breeze at Cape Yamu
Located in an upmarket development on the east coast of Phuket, Breeze at Cape Yamu is a classy open-air venue with inspiring views. The culinary philosophy here is to use only the freshest seasonal ingredients, and the innovative menu fuses French, Japanese and Thai flavours.
www.breezecapeyamu.com / +66 81 271 23 20
Siam Supper Club
This swanky bar and grill in Cherngtalay is where the glamorous gather to wine, dine and listen to jazz. The dining room has a gentleman’s club feel and specialties include gourmet pizzas, grilled tenderloin steaks and divine cheesecake. Both the food and the service are top-class, as is the atmosphere.
www.siamsupperclub.com / +66 76 27 09 36
“A new wave of fashionable beach clubs, funky cocktail lounges and spectacular sundowner spots are out to prove there's more to Phuket than the infamous Bangla Road.”
Often voted among the best bars in the world, Baba Nest is a stylish rooftop lounge with a shimmering wrap-around infinity pool and 360-degree views of Phuket and the sea beyond. Elevated 60 meters above sea level, the floating deck is furnished with plush beanbags and low coffee tables, making it one of the best spots in Phuket from which to watch the sunset. There is also a selection of tasty Mexican tapas and soothing tunes to accompany the cocktails.
www.babaphuket.com/phuket-luxury-restaurant-best-sea-view-restaurant-thailand.html / +66 76 37 10 00
Catch Beach Club
Famous for its regular ‘White Parties’, Catch Beach Club on Surin Beach is the most fashionable place to hangout on the island. It comprises a chic dining space and an open air wooden deck where DJs, saxophonists and fire dancers keep the party alive until the early hours. Expect quality live music, fine food, exciting cocktails and a laid-back, luxury vibe that reminds one of the Med.
www.catchbeachclub.com / +66 76 31 65 67
Located on the notorious Bangla Road, Seduction is one of Phuket’s most exclusive nightclubs. Spread across 5 different venues, it offers everything from world-class DJs to al fresco rooftop dining and there is also an exclusive VIP room.
www.seductiondisco.com / +66 76 34 57 11
For a refreshing change of scene, head to The Speakeasy on the boardwalk of the Royal Phuket Marina. Fitted with period furnishings and vintage travel trunks, this swanky venue serves an array of cocktails in a characterful atmosphere reminiscent of 1920s-30s Prohibition bars in the US.
www.royalphuketmarina.com/the-speakeasy / +66 81 270 32 26
“Phuket’s coastline is replete with sheltered bays, ideal for snorkelling, and dazzling stretches of white and golden sand lapped by glassy emerald waters. They range from the infinitely famous on the west coast to the blissfully deserted on the offshore islands of Phi Phi, James Bond and the Similans.”
Lined with luxurious accommodations and trendy beach clubs, Bang Tao attracts an upmarket clientele of mostly international tourists. The beach is calm and beautiful with long stretches of white sand, warm waters and lots of shade.
Soft white sand and turquoise water make Surin one of Phuket’s loveliest beaches. It’s a wonderful place to sunbathe, snorkel or chill out with a cold drink and a Thai massage. Thanks to the multi-million pound houses perched in the hills above, Surin Beach is popular amongst the rich and famous.
“If lounging on the beach all day isn’t your cup of tea, Phuket has a wealth of attractions on offer, from ancient temples and marble Buddhas to cultural museums, vibrant food markets and fabulous national parks. There are also countless outdoor activities to fill your time, from water sports and rock climbing to jungle trekking and elephant rides.”
No visit to Phuket is complete without a trip to Ko Phi Phi, some of the world’s most strikingly beautiful islands. Ferries, speedboats and long-tail boats leave from Phuket daily, but nothing quite compares with a luxury yacht tour around the majestic limestone cliffs that rise dramatically out of the sea. A daytrip to the mesmerizing Phi Phi islands with Limestone Adventures includes swimming and snorkelling at Maya Bay (made famous in The Beach) as well as a beach picnic.
www.limestoneadventures.com / +66 76 27 33 28
Phuket is the island of gorgeous spas, with over 150 certified venues pampering locals and tourists alike. For a truly over-the-top holistic experience, award-winning Banyan Tree Spa Phuket is the place to go. With its serene royal pavilions and divine Asian therapies it is truly luxurious. The spa also offers yoga and tai chi classes.
www.banyantreespa.com/outlet.php?oid=1 / +66 76 32 43 74