This guide has been curated by Alexandra Harris, Business Development Manager at Travel by Timothy Oulton. Alex's family have had a home in Phuket since 1995, so they know the island inside out.
"Phuket is not a destination where you should go to immerse yourself in culture. Instead, take advantage of the beautiful beaches to totally unwind. There are also some great restaurants to discover on the island, but they tend to be quite spread out, so it's worth considering to hire a car".
The CoveBreakfast / brunch
For a chilled, toes-in-the-sand experience, take a drive down to Ao Yon Beach near Panwat, and grab a table at The Cove. The breakfast menu is decidedly Australian, with smoothie bowls, smashed avocado, and healthy juices featuring amongst the many mouthwatering options. The lunch menu will not disappoint even the fussiest of eaters. There really is something for everyone - from delicious tapas sharing dishes, to wood fired pizzas, plenty of fish and meat dishes, and a small but enticing selection of Thai dishes. They are known for their seafood, so we would particularly recommend trying a couple of their Thai seafood dishes.
8/1, Wichit, Muang, Phuket 83000 I +66 (0)62 242 3442 I firstname.lastname@example.org I Open daily from 7:00am - 10:00pm
Atsumi Raw CafeLunch
Every respectable holiday destination needs one of these - a raw vegetarian and raw vegan cafe, which will keep the new breed of super conscious millennials happy. Grab a table in the garden and eat yourself smug!
99/1 Moo 7, Wiser Road, Rawai district, Phuket I +66 (0)76 623 828 I Open daily from 9:00am - 8:30pm
Set amongst the treetops and overlooking the lengthy Kamala Beach, Keemala is unique on Phuket Island for its ethos and style. The hotel’s restaurant - Mala, represents much of what the resort stands for, offering healthy, clean cuisine to hotel guests and outside visitors. They are particularly well known for their Indian menu, serving up an array of mouthwatering dishes that will be nicely washed down with a glass of wine or a cocktail from their well stocked bar. It’s worth a trip here not only for the food, but also to soak up the special atmosphere in this very pretty restaurant, hidden amongst the trees.
Keemala, 10/88 Nakasud Road, Kamala I +66 (0)76 358 777 I Open every day, all day
Nara Cuisine was a concept created in 2003 by two Thai female entrepreneurs (and friends), who wanted to create a true taste of Thailand for locals and foreigners alike. The concept was received so well that they now have several branches of Nara and its sister brand Apinara in Bangkok, and more recently they have also expanded into other cities in Asia as well. The food at Nara is a modern take on age old Thai recipes, and the food here is certainly some of the best to be found anywhere in Phuket. Be sure to try the Andaman Parcel - a dish created specially for the Phuket restaurant: a locally caught sea bass that is deep fried, and served in an addictive green chilli sauce with herbs and betal leaves, providing the dish an added depth of flavour.
Central Phuket Floresta, Ground Floor, No. 199 Moo 4, Tambol Vichit, Amphur Mueang Phuket, Phuket 83000 I +66 (0)76 689 095 I Open daily from 10:30am - 10:00pm
SilkLunch / Dinner
Set within Andara - Kamala’s smartest hotel, Silk serves world class Thai cuisine in a casual chic environment, boasting views over the hotel’s pool and to the ocean beyond. It’s often empty at lunch as the majority of Andara’s guests eat either in their villas or at the beach, but at dinner time it can be tough to get a reservation - especially during high season. When we were last there over the Christmas & New Year period, they decided not to allow outside bookings at all, which is rather strange. We hope this unfriendly rule won’t last!
15 Moo 6, Kamala Beach, Kathu, Phuket I +66 (0)76 338 777 I Open daily from 7:00am -12:00am
Ka Jok SeeDinner
Phuket’s most infamous restaurant is an experience to be remembered. We won’t spoil the surprise, but make sure to book a table for dinner from 8pm onwards, and come wearing your dancing shoes! The Thai food here ain’t all that bad either by the way. Ka Jok See is located in Phuket Town, so it will be at least a 30 minute drive from most beach resorts. It’s relatively easy to book a car and driver in Phuket though, and it would be well worth organising for this occasion. During peak season, tables are booked weeks, and even months in advance, so make sure to make a booking as early as possible.
26 Takua Pa Road, Phuket Town (off Rassada Road, past Michael’s bar) I +66 (0)7 621 7903 I Open daily from 6:30pm-late
Seafood at TrisaraDinner
To be honest, Trisara does F&B better than any other hotel in Phuket. The deck is a fantastic place to while away an afternoon over a long lunch, and we hear that Pru - Phuket’s first restaurant to be awarded a Michelin star, is fantastic too. We at Travel by Timothy Oulton are particularly keen on eating local cuisine when travelling however, so it is for this reason that we particularly recommend Seafood at Trisara. The quality of ingredients and execution of every single imaginative yet authentic dish is simply perfect here. Combined with thoughtful service and a wonderful relaxing atmosphere, this restaurant should be on everyone’s ‘go to’ list for an indulgent Thai meal.
60/1 Moo 6. Srisoonthorn Road, Cherngtalay, Thalang, Phuket I +66 (0)76 310 100 I Open daily from 6:00pm-10:30pm
The only place to go for sushi and teppanyaki on Phuket island. A meal here is well worth the drive down to the southern tip of the island, as the quality of the ingredients (mainly coming straight off a daily flight from Japan) are sensational. The views from the airy driftwood restaurant aren’t so shabby either. Be sure to request a table by the window, and get stuck into their excellent sashimi platter.
Sri Panwa Hotel, Phuket 88 moo 8, Sakdidej Road, Vichit, Muang, Phuket 83000 I +66 (0)76 371 000 I email@example.com I Open daily from 12:00pm - 11:00pm
Bars and Nightlife
360 PavilionsSmart Casual (no swimwear or kaftans)
This fabulous open air bar is arguably the best spot in Phuket to catch one of the islands infamous sunsets. The bar is located in a hotel and is perched high up on a hill, hence the incredible views. It’s perfect for pre-dinner drinks and snacks. Perhaps combine a visit with dinner at Trisara afterwards at Seafood at Trisara, or even at the hotel’s new Michelin starred restaurant - Pru, for a real treat.
31/1 Moo 6, Cherngtalay Thalang, Phuket 83110 I +66 (0)76 317 600 I firstname.lastname@example.org I Open 5:30pm-11:00pm
Siam Supper ClubSmart Casual
Also known for its high quality western cuisine, this cozy spot on the edge of the Laguna development is a magnet for Phuket expats and tourists in the know, who are looking for a well made Martini. It gets particularly busy during peak season when owner Sean Power hoists up the bar, welcoming old and new friends with open arms. The live jazz night on Monday is always fun.
36-40 Lagoon Road, Cherngtalay I +66 (0)76 270 936 I Open daily from 6pm-1am
Lola stocks some of the most beautiful kaftans that we have seen anywhere. Mostly made from the softest Indian fabrics in an array of striking colours, it’s hard not to leave without buying something! The accessories here are also worth a look.
Lemongrass HouseLotions and Potions
Lemongrass House makes a huge array of soaps, creams, oils, and powders, using natural and local products known for their healing properties. Their products are sold in many of Phuket’s best hotels and boutiques, but a visit to this stand alone store is worth it to experience their enormous selection, and to breathe in the heady scent of all the wonderful products. We love many of their products, but we particularly swear by their mosquito repellent - it smells so good and works a treat, even though it is chemical free! As you would expect, all Lemongrass House’s products are sulphur and paraben free, and are never tested on animals.
10/2 M.1, Tambon Cherngtalay, A.Thalang, Phuket I +66 (0)76 325 501 I Open daily from 9:00am - 8:00pm (for other locations, please check company website)
The spa at this eco retreat has won a number of awards for it’s divine holistic treatments, each curated to incorporate elements of ocean, earth, fire, air, and ether. All products used have been carefully selected for their natural healing qualities, and are paraben and cruelty free. This is the only hotel spa that we can truly recommend to our clients, as so many others offer terrible value for money these days. Combine your treatment with a meal at Keemala’s fabulous and health conscious restaurant, also named Mala.
Keemala, 10/88 Nakasud Road, Kamala I +66 (0)76 358 777
Blue Elephant Cooking SchoolCooking School
Phuket is unfortunately lacking when it comes to interesting cultural activities, but we would recommend trying a cooking class at The Blue Elephant School, for a crash course in traditional Thai cooking, as well as a trip to the market to learn about local ingredients, and to buy supplies for the class.
96 Krabi, Tambon Talat Nuea, Amphoe Mueang Phuket, Chang Wat Phuket 8300 I +66 (0)76 354 355 I Morning session: 9:30am-1pm, afternoon session: 1:30pm-5:00pm
Catch Beach ClubBeach Club
Phuket’s original beach club has re-opened on Bang Tao beach, after the Surin location was closed down multiple times by the army, who are tightly controlling beachside businesses. The new one is bigger, with a huge restaurant space as you enter the venue, a large pool surrounded by day beds, and a good chunk of beach with more sun beds to be hired. Food here is not bad, but service can be patchy.
Prices for day beds are as follows: VIP Double Bed (max 3 people) = THB 3,000 per day; Pool Sala (max 2 people) = THB 2,000 per day; Single sun beds = THB 1,000 per day. Every option is fully redeemable against food and drinks. The restaurant is open to all.
202/88 Moo 2, Cherngtalay, Thalang, Phuket. I +66 (0)65 348 2017 I email@example.com I Open 09:00 - late (beach club) 11:00 - 23:00 (restaurant).
Phuket with Kids
Phuket Elephant Sanctuary
This retreat gives rescued and retired elephants the chance to roam freely in 30 acres of lush tropical jungle, free from the cruel hands of many other Asian ‘elephant parks’. This is a genuine ethical project, so visitors experience the elephants from a distance - no bathing or riding on them. It is possible however to take part in feeding them during your tour.
100, Moo 2, Paklok, Thalang I +66 (0)76 529 099 I Several programme options are available, please check the sanctuary’s website for details
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