Spacious and downtown location, ideal for the party crowd. The gardens are minimal, and the lobby is as welcoming as a shopping mall, but it’s all about the pools and location. In a massive block 150m from the esplanade, the rooms are in 4-level blocks in 3 wings, all overlooking separate pools – and each with a noisy swim-up bar. The overall design is appealing however, with sizeable balconies, and most on the ground floor have direct pool access.
Standard rooms are functional but unremarkable, with wooden furnishings and some Thai-style décor. And the suites (with 2 or 3 bedrooms) spread across 2 levels are so big there’s not enough furniture to make it feel homey. But the location is the overwhelming attraction: midway along Patong, close to renowned fast-food outlets, and with endless shops and bars in all directions, but distant from traffic and crowds. Free shuttle buses to Phuket Town are a pleasing addition.
Unusual design, prime location, trendy and likeable. The instantly appealing Turkish design in the lobby doesn’t extend to the interior (an attractive brown and white) but does continue inside the rooms. All are in 3-level blocks facing inwards and overlooking the pools, so none have sea views, but they don’t suffer from traffic noise either.
Rooms are brightly-coloured with plenty of windows; even the bathtub has views across the balcony. Most on the ground floor have direct access to a pool, while rooms on the upper levels feature an unusual extended balcony with a cushioned sofa.
And the villas are opulent and hidden behind elevated walls. Both pools are particularly elegant, with statues, spouts and palms, and swim-up bars blaring music that can be heard on all balconies. More suitable for the younger crowd, it’s along a quietish side-street only 100m from the esplanade and within walking distance of everything Patong has to offer.
Family-friendly resort in the heart of Patong’s restaurant, bar, and beach scene. The hotel has a special wing for families with suites that include dedicated children’s bedroom complete with bright, cartoon-style landscapes painted on the walls, a chest full of toys and beds made to look like mini ships; the children’s bathroom even includes kid-sized bathrobes. Rooms are as comfortable and functional as expected of this international chain, but also spacious and with a vague seaside holiday theme.
The separate adults-only Busakorn Wing features classy studios and villas, and those on the ground floor have direct pool access. Of the 4 mammoth pools, the main one is noisy and crowded, while the others are more relaxing and elegantly designed. With access from the esplanade and quietish side-street, it’s very convenient to the beach and a myriad of tourist facilities.
Rare tropical gardens and beach frontage, yet convenient. The Impiana offers only 70 single-level bungalows among lovingly-designed lawns and gardens in an area that could easily accommodate a multi-storey mega-resort. It is also one of very few boasting genuine beach frontage, rather than facing the busy esplanade.
Bungalows are in small clusters alongside a meandering path lined with palms, and a few face the sea. They are all compact, comfortable and stylish, with a sofa, lovely wooden desk, sizeable bathroom-cum-closet, and some Thai decorations.
The delightful café and breakfast area is virtually on the sand, while the beachside pool is also very attractive. The resort directly faces a serene stretch of sandy beach, devoid of jet skis and with hammocks and lanterns swinging among shady mangrove trees. But a few rooms do suffer from traffic noise because it’s central, e.g. only 300m to infamous Bangla Road.
Central and noisy, funky but not always functional. This combined shopping plaza and resort is distinctly unconventional. The spa is remarkably elegant, while the dismal kids’ club is squeezed alongside a bar. The exterior of the rooms are shaped like boxes and the self-described ‘Sino-Portuguese’ theme is not remotely apparent. Most rooms face the crowded pool and raucous attached bar, while those above the shops and facing the street would be even noisier. Ground floor rooms have direct pool access, upper floors have pool views, and the Plaza Rooms have neither.
All are spacious, but the décor and furnishings border on the bizarre: suites feature a garish crimson sofa, and rooms contain a purple desk, brown sofa and orange art, as well as a movable screen that doesn’t guarantee complete privacy between bathroom and bedroom.
Nonetheless, most guests care more about the unbeatable location: midway along Patong, and 200m from the esplanade and notorious Bangla Road.
Contemporary, rare beach frontage and oh-so convenient. One of very few directly facing the sea, this is elegantly modern without being impractically chic. Rooms are in 2-level blocks overlooking 1 of 2 pools, and those on the ground floor have direct access.
Each is spacious, with a décor of fashionable dark wood, a TV hidden behind an extended mirror, and feminine touches around the wall art and bathroom layout. All contain a veranda/balcony large enough for 2 inviting cushioned chairs, but most face another room just across the pool, while those near the road and lobby would be noisy. With some of Patong’s finest sea views, the 1- and 2-bedroom villas are particularly romantic and secluded, featuring a private pool, dining area, sundeck and living room with a home theatre system.
But for many the attractions are the setting and location: facing a quiet stretch of sand shaded by mangrove trees, it’s also along the esplanade and barely 100m from the infamous Bangla Road.
For shopaholics: two hotels for the price of one. Wedged within the world-class Jungceylon shopping centre, the Millennium is based in two buildings about 200m apart and different in style, facilities, appeal and name: ie Beachside (although it’s 500m from the ocean) and Lakeside (although no lake is nearby).
The former soars 5 floors above the shopping centre with cinemas, department stores, cafés and boutiques metres from the bottom of the hotel lift. The pool is smaller, but has better views, while some rooms face the car park or street, which still may be quieter than those overlooking the shops.
Bland corridors lead to colourful rooms with an oriental décor, generous balcony, and inviting curved sofa. Separate, but still accessible from within the shopping centre, Lakeside is classier and has a larger pool, with a kids’ pool attached. The décor in these rooms is more tasteful, and some on the ground floor have direct pool access.
Quieter, more personable, for the younger crowd. Positioned in the more relaxed southern section of Patong, this boutique resort is set back from the main road and most rooms face inwards, but those with ‘city views’ would be noisy. Most rooms in the 6-level block overlook the pool, with a swim-up bar attached and direct access for those on the ground floor.
A smaller pool on the rooftop offers delightful views of Patong and at a distance, the sea as well as a raucous bar. The comfortable rooms feature seascape paintings, colorful linen, and an oversized TV, but lack overall warmth, with stark furnishings of mostly black and white. With fewer rooms than neighboring mega-resorts, service is more personable, and it’s ideal for the younger set who want to be within walking distance of the beach and bars, but not stay among the crowds.
Immense, quiet, rare tropical gardens, ideal for families. The substantial grounds stretch from the main road to the esplanade in the more relaxed southern part of Patong, distant from the unsavory Bangla Road.
The overall ochre-and-brown design is attractive, the balconies drip with bougainvillea, and the twisting paths are lined with palms and vines. Some rooms overlook the road and car park, but most face inwards, diminishing traffic noise, and none have sea views. Rooms are compact, functional (like a motel) and colorful, with a sizeable desk and lovely sliding doors leading to the balcony.
More spacious and appealing are the Superior Rooms, while those on the ground floor have direct access to a pool for those guests only. The other 3 lagoon-shaped pools feature tiered sections packed with inviting lounge chairs. And the amenities for families are numerous, including 2 children’s pools, a colorful kids’ club with engrossing activities, and playground for toddlers.
The 10 Best Hotels in Patong / By Jannifer Bar / Phuket / TRAVEL EXCLUSIVE NEWS / New York