If you haven’t been to Phuket in recent months then come on down! There has never been a better time to visit. It is pristine and empty with fabulous resorts and hotels. However, with the returning tourist clock ticking don’t leave it too long. Phuket is readying itself as an Immunity Island to entice and welcome back international tourists.
Phuket was developed as one of the world’s leading holiday destinations with visitors drawn to its wondrous beaches. What ruined Phuket for me in the past was that it became too popular, and as I live in Thailand, I’m not going to vacation with the masses.
However, as Covid 19 transformed the world, it also changed Phuket and since Christmas my husband and I have swapped our Bangkok city living for the gentler, good for the soul Phuket way of life. As was our custom for the past year, we went on staycations every weekend. We now continued our Thailand Staycations in Phuket hotels in nearly twenty hotels.
Look again Thailand, the island is truly special AND its people really need your help.
Phuket is just an hour’s flight from Bangkok,
served by an international airport.
Geared for Foreigners:
Phuket attracted the overseas crowds happy to pay top dollar for their two weeks of paradise, supported by multi-lingual workforce that provides good customer service. It is an easy destination now for all Thailand’s residents, especially Expats.
World-Class hotels, restaurants & facilities
To attract top foreign markets Phuket developed world-class facilities aiming their marketing at overseas visitors. Who knew Phuket’s resorts were so utterly gorgeous, not I. We were unaware of the beauty of the place and its top-notch hotels.
Phuket had 14.4 million tourists in 2019, of these over 10 million were international visitors, absent since early 2020. Due to the pandemic second wave, the Thai Government gave a directive to cancel all non-essential travel – and the domestic travel market dried up for Phuket. The beaches are empty, the sea warm, oh so blue and crystal clear, and the wildlife has returned. You can still enjoy the beaches for yourself this coming Songkran, before Phuket reopens for international tourists.
Insane price bargains
Without international tourists Phuket has reduced its prices drastically. You’d be mad to miss out. We’ve found great places on fine beaches once beyond our spending power are now within grasp for a splurge.
The Island needs your Baht
Since staying in Phuket I have been impressed by the incredible community spirit and struck by the island people coming together in difficult times, whether at the Phuket international women’s groups or other organisations’ activities.
Some comments by Phuket islanders:
Samantha Gayfer: the economic impact of COVID has been brutal on the island and now, almost a year after the hospitality industry has shut down we are seeing huge swathes of the population running out of options to feed themselves and their families - especially on the outlying islands.
Andrea Edwards: The Thai government has done an amazing job keeping Covid19 under control. However, for a place like Phuket and its surrounding areas tourism is the lifeblood. Without tourism, the impact has been horrendous. Take a drive through Karon, Kata and Patong and you'll see how empty and desolate the streets are.
Your holiday helps!
One way you can help is by booking a holiday or a weekend break. Every hotel you stay in, every meal that you eat, every bed that you sleep in, every massage that you enjoy and every taxi that you take provides much needed employment for someone.
Can you enjoy a holiday in Phuket when so much is closed?
Yes, you can but you need to check out everything in advance – is the resort recommended recently (guide books are now outdated check recent Google or Trip Advisor), and is it well-managed, the location, what facilities are open such as restaurants and the pools. Popular beaches with Phuket expats are Rawai or Nai Harn which remained buoyant and see more action. Phuket town that is often overlooked has much to offer culturally.
Here are some staycation hotels that we have enjoyed:
North Phuket (close to the Airport)
Nai Yang Beach - The Slate is a fun, luxurious and romantic resort with wow upon wow. Designed by internationally acclaimed architect Bill Bensley, with the stunning Michelin Plate awarded Black Ginger restaurant.
Nai Yang Beach - Dewa, a beautifully run resort comprising of apartments, villas and suites with the nicest lush gardens we found on Phuket found alongside Sirinat National Park.
Thalang - Trisara of utmost elegance with its own private jetty and beach and Michelin Star restaurant PRU. You will have an unforgettable time here.
Naithon Beach - Pullman Arcadia stands out for our incredible view over the beach, wonderful food and fantastic staff.
Woo Gallery & Boutique Hotel: loved this hotel & location, new rooms, breakfast is great. The owners’ passionate project lovingly restored the building, turning half of it into a museum.
Casa Blanca: perfect for my solo trip, another great Phuket city location, new modern styled rooms.
Memory on On On: go for this if you love history, you won’t get a better location.
Blue Monkey Boutique Hotel: fun & stylish, slightly out of the way but above a great cafe, good value.
Surin Beach - The Chava Resort wonderful apartments with a magnificent wow of the pool area opposite the lovely Surin Beach. Good coffee and breakfast on site.
Kamala Beach - Intercontinental A lovely room, beach, and great Sunday brunch. Try to stay beach-side of the road if you can. Great activities program! Kamala beach was vibrant, most lively nighttime action outside Phuket Town.
Kata Beach - The Boathouse a firm favourite right on Kata Beach, with our favourite Executive Chef on Phuket.
Kata Beach - Kata Rocks life doesn’t get any better than a stay at Kata Rocks, fun, exclusive and forever in my heart.
Nai Harn Beach - Nai Harn hotel wins our award for the best value in a stunning location. Beautiful rooms overlooking our favourite beach.
Rawai - Mangosteen Ayurvedic Resort & Spa A fabulous bungalow in pretty gardens with choice of wellness programs, Can thoroughly recommend the yoga!
Cape Panwa - Cape Panwa Hotel stylish away from it all location, lovely pool area and serene small but exclusive beachfront.
Ao Yon Beach - The Cove supporting a tiny hotel with only three rooms, quiet and remote, absolute beachfront with great bar and restaurant.
I encourage you to look again at Phuket and support this island. We constantly find that Phuket is a cheaper, less crowded and more special option at the moment than our neighbouring Bangkok beaches in Hua Hin and Pattaya. We can be relaxing on the beach in Phuket in less time than it takes to drive to Hua Hin AND we get nicer resorts at much cheaper prices. We love this!
Come to Phuket, it is not to be missed!