Where To Stay | Phuket, Thailand

I spent five nights checking out infamous Phuket and its varied resorts. Check out my favorite places to stay!

The Indigo Pearl

Multiple folks I met along the way suggested I check out the boutique-yet-large design hotel in Phuket, the Indigo Pearl, so I made sure it was my first stop after returning from Koh Yao. I was finally feeling better after 11 days sick, so my two lovely nights at the Pearl were a reawakening to the happy side of travel. Of course the property has all the 5-star hotel amenities one expects – huge swimming pools, tons of scheduled activities, a full-service gym, dive center, tennis courts, beach access, comfortable rooms (mine had an antique bathtub on the porch), multiple restaurants and an expansive breakfast buffet.

But the Indigo Pearl was no beige box hotel, as we used to say in brainstorms for various hotel clients. Designed with the area’s tin mining history in mind, after staying here I had the distinct impression that tin mines are the sexiest of mines, with rough wood and polished metal accents. Tin mines also appear to have delicious cuisine, as I discovered one night at Black Ginger, the onsite gourmet Thai restaurant.

Black Ginger, the jewel in the Pearl’s cuisine crown

The little details make The Indigo Pearl special

The coolest part about the Indigo Pearl has to be its other wordly Coqoon Spa. Avatar 2 could derive inspiration from its main attraction, the Nest, a spa suite that appears to float in the surrounding rainforest. I popped in via the flying bridge that attaches it to the rest of the suites and was a bit speechless. Have you ever seen a spa like this?

Coqoon Spa, a Phuket must-see (Photo courtesy The Indigo Pearl)

The Indigo Pearl is the ideal hotel for someone who loves beaches & sunshine (like me) but perhaps gets bored with lazing around and needs a bit of activity.

When you go, don’t miss:

  • Muay Thai boxing class
  • Moo’s Kitchen Thai Cooking School
The Pavilions Phuket 
I was spoiled absolutely rotten at The Pavilions Phuket, a Relais & Chateaux property just a quick drive up the street from The Indigo Pearl. My villa was a dream come true and absolutely enormous… as was the TV. Thank heavens. I had a royal wedding to watch.
Goodbye to my childhood dreams of marrying William. Oh well. Harry’s hotter. 

My huge living areaMy private pool… sigh 

The whole time I was comfortably entrenched in my villa, I couldn’t help but think Catherine & William could honeymoon here and have all the privacy in the world. There are 48 private villas, all with their own pools and some with their own spas. That’s right, I said spas. I had a massage and the therapist came through a secret door in the back to prepare the room with candles, music, etc. After having dozens of massages in Bali, Laos and Thailand, I can safely say this one was the best. Afterward, I walked all of three feet to my cozy bed where I dozed and actually felt relaxed for once.

The only problem with utter privacy, peace and seclusion? It’s super romantic, so maybe it’s not the best place for a solo gal traveler watching her Prince Charming marry another lady… but hey. I made the best of it. And how hard could it be? There was a spa in my room. I Skyped the gals in Apt. 9A back in NYC during the wedding, chowed on mini-bar cookies, ordered room service and padded around in my bathrobe listening to MP3s preloaded on the villa’s monster sound system. Not a bad way to spend a rainy afternoon in Thailand, really.

Bundarika Resort

Bundarika’s best quality, and I can’t stress this highly enough, is it’s location right on Layan Beach. Much of Phuket is a touristy hot mess, so a strip of sand untouched by hawkers and hordes is a precious commodity.

I also had a private pool in my villa here at Bundarikia (I know, I know. Are you sick of me yet?), so I was feeling quite spoiled. Depending on the type of room, you might find your accommodations to be quite luxe or just moderate. Mine were average aside from the awesomeness of the private pool and the huge outdoor tub right next to it, but there are options to upgrade to a beachside villa that’s quite magnificent. As the property was undergoing some renovations at the time I toured it, I think it’s safe to say Bundarika will be a top notch place to stay in the near future, especially considering its prime location. Check it out if you’re looking for privacy in Phuket without paying top dollar.

*Stays were complimentary. Thanks to each hotel for hosting me! 

Up next… Misadventures in Thailand


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