Where to Stay
If you want to avoid the crowds and the madness, then you’ll want to avoid Patong town on the island’s southeast edge. It’s the most developed part of the island, and hence the most raucous.
Instead, head to Bang Tao beach on the northeast coast. The Laguna complex is home to several resorts, but it’s also got something for the more budget-conscious traveler: Cassia Phuket (from THB3,750 ($830) per night through Oct 29, 64 Moo 4 Srisoonthorn Rd., Cherngtalay, Phuket, (+66) 76-356-999) bridges the gap between serviced apartment and hotel, and is geared towards the younger, more independent traveler. As you walk in, the huge open space offers a grocery store, bar and hangout areas, and feels more like a beach bar than a hotel lobby. The rooms are compact and well designed, with full kitchenettes. Many boast tall ceilings containing a loft space chill-out area should you just want to kick back with a breakfast delivered straight to your room.
Cassia’s proximity to (33, 33/27 Moo 4, Srisoonthorn Rd., Cherngtalay, Phuket, (+66) 76-372-400) means that if you’re down for a bit of pampering, it couldn’t be simpler. This was the group’s first hotel, and literally wrote the book on the tropical “garden-style” spa. Get the signature Thai massage for an out-of-this-world experience.
Banyan Tree Phuket