Fancy some of the world’s most idyllic beaches (at reasonable prices)? Phuket is back.

Bars and nightclubs may be closed for now — but the authorities are considering a relaxation of rules from December onwards, dependent on Covid cases remaining low.

In 2019, Thailand was visited by more than one million Britons, making it our favorite long-haul destination. We have compiled a list of some of the best packages that will entice us to return.

Treasures from the tropical jungle

The Shore at Katathani, pictured, is staggered on a tropical hillside and its villas have superb views over Kata Noi Beach

The Shore at Katathani, pictured, is staggered on a tropical hillside and its villas have superb views over Kata Noi Beach

Kata Noi Beach’s south end has the Shore at Katathani. It offers luxury and affordability. This resort sits on top of a tropical hillside. It offers stunning views across the beaches, Ko Pu Island, the coastline and beyond. The resort offers a range of bars, restaurants and beachside cafes, as well a spa, infinity pool, tennis courts and a workout area. There are many good Thai restaurants within easy walking distance.

Don’t miss: Sunset drinks on the sea view terrace of the hotel’s Nest Beach Club.

Get it now Seven days’ B&B in a pool villa with London flights from £1,489 pp this winter (

Hillside hideaway

Total harmony: The Big Buddha of Phuket - which is 147ft tall - can be seen all over the island

Harmony: You can see the Big Buddha of Phuket, which stands at 147ft high.


  • At just over 200 square miles, Phuket is Thailand’s largest island, with no fewer than 36 beaches.
  • The population is approximately 400,000, but it grows to one million when Christmas tourists arrive.
  • Many buildings in Phuket were rebuilt after the 2004 tsunami that claimed 250 lives.
  • Hollywood is a big fan of its natural beauty. The Beach, featuring Leonardo DiCaprio as Leonardo DiCaprio is shot only a short ferry ride away. The Bond 1974 film The Man With The Golden Gun was partly shot in Ko Khao Phing Kan which lies to the north.
  • This is where Scaramanga (the Bond villain) lives. It’s also known as James Bond Island.
  • Thailand’s royal family is respected throughout the country. Respect is shown when the nation anthem (single) is played on the streets two days a week. It is also against the law to kiss or cuddle in public.


The Centara Villas are located between the lush tropical foliage of the hillside that is covered in jungle at the northern end of bustling Karon Beach. They are an ideal place for people who prefer to be away from the crowds while still having the option of joining the fun.

Two restaurants and a bar are available at this resort. There is also a swimming pool. It’s a short walk to the beach.

Don’t miss: Take the 1.5-mile hike uphill to Phuket’s 147 ft-tall white Buddha, which can be seen all over the island. Amazing views.

Get it now Seven days’ B&B in a sea view villa including London flights from £839 pp (

A private spa

The Phuket Marriott Resort & Spa rests beside the secluded, virtually private Merlin Beach in the Tri Trang Beach area. The resort is located close to Patong Beach Cape and the bustling tourist towns of Karon Beach, Patong Beach. The rooms are elegantly decorated and simple. You will find bars and restaurants, as well as a spa.

Don’t miss:You can walk from your hotel to Coconut Heaven for delicious seafood and stunning views of the ocean.

Get it now Seven days’ B&B with London flights from £1,116 pp in January (

The best beach in the world

The peaceful Sansuri Phuket is on the quieter, far southern side of Phuket — on a hillside with a jungle backdrop and a view of a lake. Nai Harn Beach can be found 500 metres away. It has been named one of Asia’s top beaches.

The hotel’s design and décor are contemporary Asian, with a large pool and numerous restaurants and bars.

Don’t miss: One-day trip to Phuket Old Town. It is about 12 miles from here.

Get it now Seven days’ B&B including London flights from £1,286 pp in December (

Superb sunsets

You will find Avista Hideaway, a boutique located in a lush tropical forest near the Karon and Patong beaches. This peaceful location features three swimming pools and rural Thai-themed architecture. Views over the nearby bay are superb, especially at sunset from the Sizzle Rooftop restaurant, one of the island’s best.

A short taxi ride will take you to the major resort areas and Tri Trang Beach.

Don’t miss: Longtail boat cruise around Cape Town from Tri Trang Beach, Freedom Beach.

The stylish boutique Avista Hideaway is tucked away in a tropical forest near Karon Beach, pictured above

Avista Hideaway, the stylish boutique located in tropical forests near Karon Beach is shown above.

Get it now Seven days’ B&B including your flights from London is from £1,127 in January (

Island hopping

Take an upmarket approach to island hopping by spending four nights at the Santhiya Resort & Spa on the island of Ko Yao Yai — the resort has a private beach and is surrounded by jungle. Take a boat ride to Kata Beach in Phuket, where you will spend five nights at Kata Palm Resort. Five nights on Ko Phi Phi Island Beach Resort is the next stop, located by half a mile long.

The island of Ko Yao Yai, pictured above, is home to the Santhiya Resort & Spa, which has a private beach and is surrounded by jungle

The island of Ko Yao Yai, pictured above, is home to the Santhiya Resort & Spa, which has a private beach and is surrounded by jungle

Don’t miss:You can snorkel or scuba dive in the Andaman Sea. There are many excellent Padi Dive Centres located on the island.

Get it now 15 nights’ B&B from £3,499 including London flights during January and February (

Catamaran cruise

Bay watch: Phang Nga bay. Take in spectacular views of the bay, which is near Phuket, on a six-night catamaran cruise

Bay watch: Phang Nga bay. Enjoy spectacular views from the bay (near Phuket) on a 6-night catamaran cruise 

You will have a great time on a catamaran sailing 80 feet, so bring your adventure spirit and pack your best friend. Kitted out with comfortable cabins and packed with stops that are a roll call of the region’s highlights, this makes a brilliant voyage.

Phang Nga Bay, Phuket (including James Bond Island as seen in The Man With The Golden Gun), Railay Beach and Ko Ha Yai are all covered.

Don’t miss: You can sample Thai street food by taking a walk to Railay Beach’s Night Market.

Get it now Six nights with en-suite cabin half-board, plus some other meals and several activities, from £1,069 excluding flights (about £500 extra) during February-March (

Elephants & easy life

Bang Tao Beach (pictured above) is one of the longest beaches on Phuket. It lies on the north-western side of the island, along with an elephant nature reserve

Bang Tao Beach, pictured above is one of Phuket’s longest beaches. You will find it on the northern side of Phuket, alongside an elephant nature reserve. 

The uncrowded Bang Tao Beach is located on the northern-western side of Phuket and is five miles long. 

Saii Laguna Phuket lies right next to the sea, and it has six pools. 

It is a relaxed place with simple, affordable rooms away from the crowds — well suited to families as well as couples.

Don’t miss:You can reach the Nature Phuket Elephant Reserve in a 10-minute drive.

Get it now Seven nights’ B&B including London flights from £1,099 pp (

Peaceful south

Settle down and watch the sunset from the shores of the 'idyllic and peaceful' Nai Harn Beach, pictured

Take a seat and enjoy the sunset on the shores at Nai Harn Beach (pictured).


Now, fully vaccinated Britons can enter Thailand and not be required to remain in quarantine as previously.

It is necessary to provide proof of the negative PCR testing done before you arrive.

Details are on the ‘entry requirements’ page for Thailand at

A link here takes you to a Tourism Authority of Thailand web page with details of which documents need to be completed — and other requirements for entry, such as travel insurance cover.

Local seafood in the Nai Harn Hotel, which occupies a prime location towards the southern tip of Phuket

The Nai Harn Hotel is a great spot towards Phuket’s southern tip for local seafood

Nai Harn Hotel, located in the south of Phuket on a green hillside is situated at the tip of Nai Harn Beach.

You can enjoy stunning sunset views from your rooftop bar or terraces overlooking the bay, particularly at sunset. Elegant rooms have an airy, fresh feel.

Although the location is peaceful, it’s only a short taxi ride from the bustling Kata Beach area.

Don’t miss: Paddle in a sea canoe beneath the stars and through the hongs (sea caves) for one of Phuket’s greatest travel experiences. John Gray’s Sea Canoe, the island’s leading operator, is due to re-open to groups soon.

Get it now Ten nights’ B&B including London flights from £899 pp (

A delicious treat

Pullman Phuket Arcadia is the ideal place to relax on a beach vacation away from all the hustle and bustle. Located on Naithon Beach at the far north-western corner of the island, the hotel is a good distance from the beaten track — and the beach is lovely and quiet.

This modern and stylishly designed hotel overlooks the bay from a small cliff.

The hotel has a high-end Italian restaurant and wine bar — and for a meal out, try the excellent Coconut Tree, a Thai restaurant.

Don’t miss: Spend a day at Banana Beach, a small and undeveloped slice of old Phuket that’s a little hidden treasure where you can sip fresh juice and eat just-caught seafood on the sand.

Get it now Seven nights’ B&B with London flights from £1,382 pp (