Wild weekend. Mellow beach break. Culture-packed tour. A trip to Phuket, Thailand’s largest island, can be whatever you want it to be. And there’s a place to stay to match any preference – from party-mad social hostels to style-conscious flashpacker digs. Save money, meet new friends and have a ball when you stay at one of the best hostels in Phuket.
Another gentrified addition to Phuket Town, Vitamin Sea is a refurbished shophouse turned hostel, close to the Sunday night market and the intricate Taoist Shrine of the Serene Light. There are basic mixed and female-only dorms and a private room, plus a suspended mesh-floored mezzanine above the lobby – redefining what it means to hang out. Rassada Pier (the gateway to Phi Phi island) is just a 10-minute tuk-tuk ride away.
With comfy, capsule-style bunks, a fairy-lit garden bar and rainbow-bright murals leaving no bare wall unbrushed, Sleepy Station is far from a snoozefest. The golden sands of Kata Beach are just a 10-minute walk away, while the wild nightlife of Patong is an easy songthaew (cab) journey north along the coast. Lovely host Fida and her team can help book excursions and onward travel.
White Wall Poshtel lives up to the “posh” moniker, with decent dorms and budget-friendly private rooms with high ceilings and swish bathrooms. Elsewhere, there’s a pool table, bar and private garden for socialising. Go for dinner with your newfound friends at Raya (just around the corner) to sample classic southern Thai dishes in a casual setting. This place is popular but the crab curry is worth the wait.
While it doesn’t offer board rental or surf lessons, FIN Hostel is designed with surfers in mind, with colourful dorms and double rooms and chilled social spaces. Kata Beach is a great spot to catch a wave from May to November whether you’re a newbie or not, with surf schools and shops dotted along the sand – and there’s a wave simulator at the beachfront Surf House year-round.
If these walls could talk… Dating back to 1927, The Memory at On On is Phuket’s oldest hotel. In 2000, it starred as a run-down budget Bangkok hostel in backpacker favourite, The Beach. It’s since had a facelift: the Sino-Portuguese facade has had a lick of paint and the interiors have been renovated to create shabby-chic boutique bedrooms and four- and six-bed dorms.
Budget-conscious couples and starfish sleepers will like the double-bed capsules at Borbaboom Poshtel in Old Town Phuket. All rooms are painted in midnight blue (to aid sleep or stay on trend? Either way it looks cool) and are kept sparkling clean. If you can bear to leave the little rooftop pool, heritage sights Thai Hua Museum and Chinpracha House are just a 10-minute walk away.
Fun-loving party people are sure to have a blast at Vibes Party Hostel. Start the fun with a few drinks in the sociable bar, a game of beer pong or a playoff at the pool table, and then head to Bangla Road for a wild time. There are nightly parties in the hostel where you can meet heaps of new drinking buddies. The swimming pool is a top place to chill and shake off your hangover, ready to start all over again come nightfall. Cook up comfort food in the kitchen or order something tasty from the restaurant. You’ll also find tours, scooter rentals and a round-the-clock reception. The air-conditioned mixed dorms sleep four or six and there are four-bed dorms for just females, too.
Expect whitewashed and bare-brick walls, gleaming metalwork and rustic wooden touches at the edgy-industrial Pause Kathu. The four-bed mixed dorms have their own bathroom and are air conditioned, while couples who love the hostel life can check into an ensuite double room. The cosy common area is a top place to chill and trade travelling tales. At the heart of Phuket island, Pause Kathu is about halfway between Phuket Town and Patong. Having your own transport is an ideal way to discover the island.
The Neighbors Hostel in Phuket Town is housed within a beautifully restored historic building. With Peranakan-style furnishings and decor, the hostel transports you to the Phuket of old. The hotel cafe and common areas attract both guests and locals, allowing you to meet a diverse range of people, while accommodation includes mixed and female-only dorms, plus private double rooms. A basic breakfast is included in the price.
The homely vibes are strong at the warm and welcoming Baan Baan Hostel and it’s a fantastic place to make genuine connections. Located in the heart of Phuket’s old town, there are many historic buildings to admire and a wealth of nearby attractions to keep you busy. A free continental breakfast is served each morning and you have full use of the communal kitchen. There are indoor and outdoor spaces where you can relax and meet others. Beds have privacy curtains in the eight-person dorms and there are private ensuite rooms.
Who says that staying in a hostel can’t be a little bit fancy? Glam it up and inject luxury into your stay when you book L’atelier Poshtel Phuket. Designed like an art gallery, there are visual treats everywhere. There are striking mixed and female-only dorms for four and eight, all with beautiful decor, high-quality furnishings and bedding, and air conditioning. The pod-like beds provide privacy and have a personal reading light and power sockets. Ensuite private rooms are available too. Access is by key card and there’s a shared kitchen, tour desk and hangout area. It all sits in a quiet location just outside Phuket Town.
Aekkeko Hostel in Phuket Town is housed within a charming Sino-Portuguese building with plenty of character. There’s a bar, kitchen and barbecues but you’ll start your day with a complimentary continental breakfast. You can lounge and mingle in the common area, which has a TV, selection of games and books. The air-conditioned mixed dorms sleep eight, while privacy curtains and lockers help you to feel at ease. It’s also close to the bus station, so it’s easy to get around the island. And the locale has lots of cool street art and plenty of architecture to admire, too.
It’s all about the laid-back vibe at ChillHub, the modern hostel buildings surrounded by lush greenery and situated close to golden Bangtao Beach . Relax in a hammock, cool off in the swimming pool and chat with others over a free cup of coffee in the chill-out area. There are spacious common areas where you can recharge and refresh. The hostel has basic cooking facilities, plus mixed and female-only dorms for six – all with air conditioning and lockers. For entertainment, there’s a book exchange and bikes to hire.
Flying into Phuket late or have an early morning flight out? Hubb Hostel is just a five-minute drive from the airport. It provides a free one-way transfer, too. Naiyang Beach is within walking distance and you can reach a range of restaurants, shops and bars on foot. Dorms sleep eight and beds have a curtain, reading light and power outlets. There are private ensuite rooms for two as well. In the morning, grab a bite to eat from the on-site cafe or make your own breakfast in the basic kitchen.
Stylish, modern, comfortable and well equipped, Lub d is located just 200m (656ft) from the sands of Patong Beach. With impeccably clean bathrooms, private ensuite rooms and both mixed and female-only dorms, it’s easy to sleep well here. The hostel has a gorgeous see-through swimming pool and you can even test out your skills in the muay Thai ring. The vibe is social and there are several common spaces where you can hang out with new friends.
Travellers who enjoy the social atmosphere of a hostel but value their privacy are sure to love Phuket Capsule. Your private pod has everything you need to feel comfortable, including soft bedding, power outlets, a mirror and a reading light. The shared bathrooms are clean and offer an assortment of free toiletries. There are also ensuite double and twin rooms, ideal for couples and BFFs. On-site facilities include a restaurant-bar, barbecues and a tour desk. You’ll find this cool hostel in the heart of Phuket Town.
Emma Sparks contributed additional reporting.
Destinations Unlocked:Let our travel expert Stefano help you find your perfect Culture trip
Looking for an expert's perspective?Uncover my top 3 recommended places from each continent on the map.
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1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
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1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
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3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
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