Close your eyes and picture paradise. What you're picturing is Phuket: turquoise-colored waves, teeming with kaleidoscopes of fish, that lap onto sugared shores ringed in jungle green. It is no wonder that Thailand's largest island has become a backdrop for some of the most luxurious hotels in the world.
Set in the Andaman Sea, it is a prime destination for divers as well as a center for soulful Thai cuisine, not to mention epic beaches that seem to stretch for days. Phuket is where luxury begins in Thailand's southern islands. But with so many fabulous hotels to choose from, which are the best of the best? Allow us to help get you started on the right foot. Here are the 10 best luxury hotels in Phuket.
10. Banyan Tree Phuket
A sanctuary of all-pool villas sits nestled around a salt water lagoon, tucked amid jungled greenery. The Banyan Tree Phuket is one of the most sought-after hideaways in the Andaman Sea, known for its over-the-top, indulgent spa as well as its expert golf course. A wonderful luxury property for families, this sprawling resort has 175 villas on 89 acres of gardens as well as multiple outdoor pools, activities like yoga and cooking classes, and several restaurants.
The number one reason to stay at Banyan Tree Phuket is its villas, many of which have private pools and jacuzzis. Guests who have stayed at this property rave about the attention to detail, noting relaxing tea during turndown and herbal sachets left for steam baths. Relaxation is of the utmost importance here, and the staff is on hand at every turn to ensure guests are personally pampered.
9. Anantara Layan Phuket Resort
If you define luxury as breathtaking views and outstanding fine dining, you would be hard-pressed to find a more luxurious hotel than the Anantara Layan Phuket Resort. Find rooms, suites, pool villas, and luxurious residences laid out in a beachfront, jungle-ensconced setting. The panoramic views, private pools, and luxury spa access are even available long term as residences are for sale for those who can't bring themselves to say goodbye.
Perched on a hilltop overlooking jungles and beaches, Anantara Layan Phuket Resort is an absolute oasis. This slice of heaven is known for its staff, who work tirelessly to make sure every detail is not only perfect, but personalized. Guests rave about the list of activities, particularly the yoga and Muay Thai, so even active travelers will find their fixes. Breakfast is a must, as is a delicious cocktail at the resort's beach.
8. Paresa Resort Phuket
The word paresa translates to "heaven" in Thai, so the bar is already set exceedingly high. Fortunately, Paresa Resort Phuket lives up to the hype, with private luxury villas, views over the Andaman Sea, and an infinity pool that glimmers with hundreds of twinkling lights. The cliffside perch of the completely private resort makes guests feel as if they are actually ascending, and with staff who are referred to as angels, it's no wonder Paresa is on our list.
Paresa is perfect for adults. There are not many kid-friendly facilities here, which for many travelers is a plus. Its location puts it out of the frenetic, hectic scene below, so choose this resort if relaxation and getting off the grid is high on your priority list. Guests of Paresa are enamored with the staff and the food, specifically the Thai cuisine and in-room dining, which receive stellar marks across the board. Tip: The Spa Pool Suites are fan favorites. Each has an outdoor deck, and a reservation in a Spa Pool Suite comes with a daily 45-minute massage. The split-level villas overlook the Andaman Sea from their private pools and balconies.
7. Twinpalms Phuket
Discover this secluded sanctuary just off of Surin Beach on Phuket's west coast. Twinpalms Phuket -- a member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World -- is contemporary vibe meets traditional hospitality and style. The 97 penthouses, suites, and rooms embody clean lines and minimalist style, and all the resort’s accommodations are fringed in palm trees and graced with private terraces and pool views.
And speaking of the pool, this is undoubtedly the crown jewel of this island getaway. The expansive lagoon pool is Olympic length, and 15 of the guest rooms have direct access to the pool right from their patios. This makes for a refreshing respite after a day enjoying bespoke experiences like yachting with the hotel's fleet of 10 luxury yachts and power boats. For something a little more low key, there are also tours to ethical elephant sanctuaries, snorkeling, sea canoeing, and, of course, excursions to Surin Beach, which is just behind the resort.
6. Sri Panwa Phuket
At Sri Panwa Phuket, it is all about the otherworldly views. Perched on a mountain, the cluster of luxury villas that dot the hillside have a seemingly endless span out to the sea. Guests are in love with the staff, design, and the location of the hilltop, plus the hidden enclave of 20 pool suites and 10 penthouses. Each villa has its own infinity pool for the ultimate in privacy and relaxation. But if it's a social scene you're after, you’ll be drawn to the Olympic-sized waterfall pool that is nestled into the grounds of the main resort. This is the perfect perch from which to sip an elegant cocktail and watch the sky transform into a swirl of velvet fire come sunset.
This resort feels like a world all its own, tucked away from the fray of Phuket's larger cities. Nowhere is this more palpable than at the Baba Nest, the resort's exclusive, sexy and stylish rooftop bar, complete with a wraparound infinity pool that overlooks the Andaman Sea and Phuket's Southern peninsula. It truly is the cherry on top of an already indulgent and chic property.
Connoisseurs of luxury will recognize the Aman brand -- the string of fabulously exclusive, understated, and elegant luxury resorts around the world. But it all began with Amanpuri, perched on Phuket overlooking the Andaman Sea. Amanpuri peeks out of the palm trees on a hillside with a design evocative of Ayutthaya, the ancient capital of what was once Siam. But while the location and design are distinctively Thai, guests will find that a stay is extremely cosmopolitan. Indulge in fresh Japanese sashimi, Mexican tostadas, Pisco cocktails, and more. The resort has a stunning infinity pool that looks out over the sea as well as a beach where adults and families can explore nature. Many of the rooms, known as pavilions, have private pools and/or ocean views, as well.
What puts Amanpuri on this list is the consistent praise it receives for being a place of peace, and one with exquisite attention to detail. The staff here makes sure to treat each guest as a friend. Not only that, the food is absolutely to die for, especially at the onsite Japanese restaurant, Nama.
4. The Surin
If luxury is in the details, then it is no wonder why The Surin ranks in the top five luxury hotels in Phuket. One of the reasons why guests love this resort so much is that no request is treated like it’s too much trouble. A genuine staff that cares about personalization and attention to detail sets the tone for what is already teed up to be a phenomenally luxurious stay.
This exclusive beach getaway, a member of Design Hotels, is sleek and chic, but homey and warm all at once. There are 103 hillside and beachfront cottages and suites, all of which have been built into the landscape. It is understated elegance at its best. The interiors of the cottages are evocative of a luxe Hamptons getaway. Overall the design is timeless yet contemporary, complete with quiet hideaways for guests to escape into their own little worlds. Guests also love the location on the island's west coast, on Pansea Beach, which is tucked out of the way for a quieter, more relaxing getaway.
3. COMO Point Yamu
One of the best things about COMO Point Yamu is that guests choose their own adventure -- literally. Whether it's a relaxing getaway or an active one, the decision is left entirely up to the guest. Arrive at the property's clifftop perch and witness a dramatic entrance overlooking the Andaman Sea and the limestone cliffs of Phang Nga Bay. The design pops with color but maintains a minimalist vibe throughout its 79 rooms and suites and 27 private villas. There are two main dining venues serving Italian food and Thai food, plus a bar and a beach club. Add the signature COMOShambhala wellness retreat and this is a getaway that is an absolute five-star experience.
Guests love the seamlessness of the experience from landing to check in, the spaciousness of the suites, the beautiful views, the food, and the service. A prime yachting destination made famous by James Bond's Man with the Golden Gun, the area is packed with underwater attractions for divers and snorkelers. There are also opportunities for kayaking, sailing, fishing, and climbing. But if realigning is what you're after, the wellness experience really is top of the world at COMO Point. Treatment rooms and a designated treatment pool overlook the sea, and therapies include Thai massage as well as a range of other Asian-inspired treatments. There are daily activities, including yoga and pilates, to support you in your wellness journey. There are also Shambhala Cuisine menus available at all restaurants and room service for guests who want to be mindful about what they’re consuming while on vacation.
2. Andara Resort And Villas
Andara Resort and Villas is one of the most luxurious stays in all of Phuket (or Thailand, for that matter). One glance at their website and you already have a taste of what you will be in for. A stunning welcome video takes prospective travelers into each corner of the resort, from its luxury yacht-for-hire to the hillside villas, fresh food, immersive activities, and stunning location. Andara is the resort where A-listers go to hide away in their luxe villas or suites, many of which have private pools and views of the Andaman Sea. In fact, once you check into your villa, you might never leave, as guests can arrange for private chefs to come in and their cabinets to be stocked with their favorite foods. That said, if you do meander the resort, you'll discover a spa, infinity pool, and Silk, a fabulous dining experience.
Guests come for the reputation. Yes, prices are high, even for a luxury resort in Thailand (Andara hovers around $500 a night), but the consistent review is that you absolutely get what you pay for in terms of luxury, personalization, comfort, and service. In fact, many guests report that their expectations were not only matched, but exceeded. The hotel takes the time to know each guest individually and provides above-and-beyond touches to make the stay memorable, from surprise upgrades to packing personalized breakfasts for excursions.
Winner of the TripAdvisor 2019 Travelers' Choice award, with a nearly perfect score from Google, TripAdvisor, and Booking.com, it's no surprise Trisara is the number one choice for luxury hotels in Phuket. The journey begins on a private bay, where guests arrive via free airport transfer (yes, transfers are included). After arrival, all that's left is to drink in the views and forget about anything else. The modern resort has all sea-facing rooms, suites, and villas, each with a private pool and expansive views over the sea and private beach, which rings the property in sugary white sand. The hotel itself has a stunning infinity pool, three restaurants (including a jazz brunch on Sundays), a decadent spa, and facilities for kids and families. Another perk? The resort offers a complimentary 15-minute photo shoot with their in-house photography team.
You will be hard-pressed to find a negative word out there about Trisara, save for a few on the price, but it seems guests are paying what’s fair for this five-star experience. Common words of praise include “luxury at its finest,” and “the one and only best resort in Phuket.” Guests rave about the villas and the concierge team. The food is outstanding -- guests are particularly smitten with the baked-on-site cookies left in their rooms. Be sure to order breakfast room service at least once to enjoy your first meal of the day from the privacy of your villa. Many guests have reported that once they checked in, they added additional days because they couldn't imagine checking out. It doesn't get better than that.