Take a look at the best luxury hotels in Karon.
The Shore at Katathani is an upscale, 36-room villa hotel that caters mainly to couples and honeymooners. Its private location, tucked away in a cove along Kata Noi Beach, adds to the hotel's intimate, beachy atmosphere. Guests spend most of their time lounging beside their private plunge pools or in oversize daybeds facing the ocean at the main infinity pool. While the property, which includes a small spa and oceanfront restaurant, does not allow children under the age of 12, its sister property, Katathani Phuket Beach Resort, about a 10-minute walk along the beach, is family-friendly.
The 38-room Boathouse Phuket is a cozy and upscale romantic hotel directly on Kata Beach, offering postcard-worthy views from two small pools, stylish restaurants and bars, a spa, and a beach club lounge. Beach views are also available from balconies or terraces in rooms -- which are small but modern -- with flat-screen TVs, coffeemakers, and minibars. The crowded poolside scene and the night-time DJ and fireworks noise, however, might spoil the serene setting. For a secluded beach locale, check rates at the Mom Tri’s Villa Royale.
Mom Tri's Villa Royale is an upscale boutique hotel and spa set on a headland overlooking Kata Noi beach on the southwestern side of Phuket. The hotel's 35 rooms are housed in Thai-style buildings, including the former home of Thai artist and architect Mom Tri. Rooms are decorated with Thai antiques and have private balconies with sea views; some have direct shoreline access, or access to a private pool. There is a main pool overlooking the sea, saltwater pool tucked into the hillside, and separate pool for Kata Suites. The spa offers an outdoor steam bath and full range of treatments. Mom Tri's Kitchen serves excellent Thai cuisine, the wine cellar is consistently awarded for excellence, and there are a cozy piano bar and lounge. The hotel's unique Thai design is tough to compete with, but guests wanting a more modern setting could try the nearby Foto Hotel.
Marina Phuket Resort is a luxury complex set in a lush garden of dense tropical greenery overlooking the south end of Phuket's Karon Beach. Rooms are beautifully finished with outstanding technology that even includes Apple Mac computers, while bathrooms are impressively spacious with excellent amenities. The large lagoon pool is an on-site highlight and there's also direct access to the sea from the property. There isn't a spa, though there is an extensive dinosaur themed mini-golf course. Rates aren't cheap, but the Marina Phuket is a quality resort with little quite like it in the area.
Opened in 2013, Mandarava Resort and Spa is one of the area's more recent arrivals and it shows in its chic, contemporary styling. This luxury property is set on a hillside, which means captivating panoramas though it also means a 10-minute walk to Karon's beachfront and a steep climb back up. Rooms are elegant with furnished balconies and superb views. Three infinity pools are impressive and the hilltop spa is a relaxing spot for a massage. Although it's one of the pricier options around, the Mandarava is also undoubtedly one of the best (though maybe not for the little ones).
The four-pearl Yama Hotel has serenity in spades. This boutique property with its intimate size and quiet location aims to be a haven. And it certainly succeeds with its 104 stylish, streamlined rooms, most of which include deep soaking tubs along with robes and slippers. Its pool also offers tranquility, centered around a whirlpool and rimmed with loungers. There’s even a small but appealing spa and fitness center. That said, the location, while quiet, is also removed from all the waterfront action, which can be a downside for those looking to hit the nightlife scene or walk to the beach. There also isn't a ton of features geared to kids, although kids’ and teens’ play rooms do contain some toys and video games. Those looking for a more central family-oriented property could consider the Deevana Plaza Phuket Patong.
The upscale Baray Villa is an enchanting oasis in Kata Beach’s bustling center, providing a fairytale setting with romantic Thai decorations and Moroccan latticework. The peaceful atmosphere is enhanced by bamboo and tropical landscaping, a pool encircled by greenery, a swim-up grotto bar, a lavishly designed spa, and a romantic restaurant. A total of 14 two-story intricately decorated villas have flat-screen TVs, hot tubs, and private pools (but sunlight is limited in villas and private pools). Most guests simply opt to sunbathe at the main pool or the beach.
A decidedly modern property, Novotel Phuket Kata Avista Resort and Spa offers upscale, family-friendly lodging. The resort's hilltop location delivers bird's-eye views of the beach and sea, but the walk up and down the steep hill may be tedious for some. Thankfully, there's plenty to occupy guests on the grounds, including two pools, a game room, a chic library, a cozy spa, a rooftop deck, and a kids' club. The hotel's 143 guest rooms are spacious and streamlined with platform beds, deep soaking tubs, and private balconies overlooking the pool or ocean. But if you're longing to stay by the beach, try the comparable Kata Beach Resort and Spa or the pricier Katathani Phuket Beach Resort.
The 34 contemporary, minimalist apartments at Kata Rocks are unrivaled in an area where simple, traditional hotels are the norm. Sea views from this luxurious oceanfront property are a major attraction for couples of all ages looking for a romantic retreat. The full apartments themselves are as beautiful as the views outside, with sleek Italian decor, attractive private plunge pools, and west-facing terraces with ocean views across the bay. This resort offers on-site cooking classes and a good choice of Thai and international food from the poolside restaurant, plus a spa and fitness center. Unfortunately, though, there is no direct beach access. There's not much like Kata Rocks in the area, but travelers wanting private plunge pools in a more traditional package might try the Malisa Villa Suites instead.
Centara Grand Beach Resort Phuket is a luxury property geared towards families with kids. The highlights here are water-related: guests can borrow kayaks to explore the wide stretch of Karon Beach, or spend an entire day at the waterslides, lazy river, and enormous outdoor pool. The location isn't the most convenient, but there are several dining and bar options on-site, along with a kids' club and fitness center. Rooms and suites are on the cramped side, though they all have large, furnished balconies. Villas with private pools, Club level access, and ocean views are available for a hefty price. Couples will appreciate the adults-only pool and Cenvaree Spa, but may want to consider comparing rates at the tranquil Renaissance Phuket Resort and Spa -- though it's further from the nightlife of Patong.
The 11-suite Impiana Private Villas Kata Noi is a romantic luxury resort perched high on a cliff overlooking Kata Noi beach. Each villa comes with its own infinity pool and a wall of windows overlooking the Andaman Sea. Add 24-hour room service, personal butlers, spa tubs, huge beds with sea views, and in-room spa services, and there may be no need to venture off-site, but an on-demand free shuttle is available for those who do. It's worth being aware, however, that a number of guests complain of maintenance issues.
Le Meridien Phuket Beach Resort is a huge, self-contained complex surrounded by lush jungle that looks out over its own sandy beach. The hotel's large size can make it feel a little impersonal, but its scale does mean a vast array of facilities, including an enormous pool and a range of sport facilities. Spacious rooms have been sleekly renovated and many include lovely sea views. All this doesn't come cheap though, and you might also find yourself paying for plenty of extras -- including Wi-Fi -- if you book the room-only rate.
On a prime seaside location along a quiet stretch of Kata Noi Beach, this 479-room luxury resort looms large, with six pools, bars, and restaurants across the grounds. Spacious suites in the Thani Wing face the Andaman Sea, but other rooms in the Bhuri Wing are looking tired and need renovation. Catering to families and couples, Katathani is jam-packed with recreational activities, a beachfront spa, a fitness center, a Kids' Club, and other features. But it's somewhat isolated from any other entertainment in the area. Those seeking a livelier atmosphere might prefer Club Med or hotels along Kata Road. And couples looking for a more romantic vibe might try the more luxurious (but more expensive) Shore at Katathani.
The 139-room, upscale Access Resort & Villas is a unique hotel near Phuket's Karon Beach, with direct pool access from most rooms, and room service often delivered by boat. The resort feels exclusive and private, if a little past its heyday, with spacious rooms and furnished patios opening onto a series of five free-form pools, surrounded by palm trees, tropical flowers, and lush green lawns. Rooms that don't open onto the pools have private plunge pools and patios for more privacy. There's also a small gym, family-friendly services like babysitting, a game room, terrace dining and three bars, and free parking. Karon Beach is a 15-minute walk away, and there are interesting sights and restaurants in the immediate area.
This Movenpick Resort location, part of a global chain, is a huge upscale property set in extensive tropical gardens overlooking Phuket's beautiful Karon Beach. Facilities are plentiful and include four pools, four restaurants, a spa, and plenty of activities to keep the kids amused. A breakfast buffet is included in the room rate. Most rooms and villas have balconies with sea views, though, while generally well-maintained, some units are starting to show signs of wear. Rates are on the high side but it's a solid option for this type of high-end holiday retreat.