Hotel Alternatives

Hotels — By Diana Bocco on November 9, 2011 at 9:19 am

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Phuket offers a wide range of hotels, from high luxury to extreme budget. If your main concern is saving money, there’s no need to worry –You will find something in Phuket that matches your budget. If you’re more interested in trying something different, Phuket also has plenty of unique accommodation options to offer.

Apartments and Houses

Although you might be familiar with the concept of holiday rentals, things work a bit differently in Phuket. Condos and apartments are available all over town, but houses are even more common. Renting a house has a number of benefits: more privacy, more space, less noise. Many houses are also located inside small “complexes” or gated communities that have their own pool and sometimes other facilities, such as gyms or small restaurants. Or you can save money and explore the local culture by renting a traditional Thai house, made of teak wood and built on stilts. These traditional houses often lack modern conveniences, such as AC or hot water, so keep that in mind.


Phuket is one of the backpacking capitals of the world, so it’s no surprise you’ll find plenty of hostels in town. Some have the expected bare rooms and lockers, while others will offer a touch of luxury. For example, rooms at Bodega Phuket start at 400 baht (about U$13) for a bed in a dorm to 1,200 baht (about U$40) for a private double room with all the bells and whistles you’d find at any hotel. Jinta Andaman is even cheaper at 310 baht (U$10.5) for a bed (free WiFi included).

House Exchange

Phuket is home to many American and European expats, and many of them own properties in town. As a result, you’ll find that Phuket offers plenty of opportunities for home exchanges. Intimidated? Don’t be. Home exchange doesn’t mean you’ll be sharing the house with the owners. What it means is you’ll stay for free at their house and they’ll stay for free at yours. Home exchanges can help you land incredible places that you might not be able to afford otherwise, such as a private holiday home overlooking the sea or a hotel-serviced villa with all the luxuries.

Meditation Center

The Karuna Meditation Center is one of Thailand’s best places to relax and get away from it all. The center offers meditation retreats that last anywhere from 3 to 9 days, accommodation included. Depending on your budget and what you’re looking for, you can stay at one of the center’s bungalows or sleep in the main building, which has more basic rooms.

Tags: alternative accommodations, holiday rentals, hotels, traditional Thai house