We have been going to Phuket for the past 7 years in December to unwind and recharge after a long hard year at work. It is a short 2hr plane ride away and we love how convenient it is to get there. We have always avoided the Patong area, (ladyboys, drunken party goers are not really our thing) preferring to stay at Bangtao beach.
A collection of hotels make up Laguna Phuket and we’ve stayed at 3 over the past 7 years Best Western Allamanda, Angsana Laguna Phuket (formerly Sheraton) and Mövenpick Resort. Laguna is self sufficient but it is nice to have a car or scooter to explore other beaches or restaurants outside the Laguna area. Taxi prices are super inflated and I suspect there is a cartel (or mafia!) within the Laguna area. A trip to Patong would be ฿700 one way and you can either ask the driver to pick you up later (additional fee for waiting) or catch a taxi from Patong.
Places to eat
We think this is the best place to watch the sunset and have live seafood. Prices are roughly the same among the row of beachfront restaurants and we think this place has the best presentation and ambience. You can choose the live seafood from the tanks behind the restaurant. We end up eating here on most nights, and an added bonus is the view of fireworks or floating lanterns sold by beach peddlers. Provides free pick up in the Laguna area.
31/13 Banyan Tree Beachfront, Moo 4., Cherngtalay, Thalang
Toto Italian Restaurant
When we get sick of Thai food after eating it for consecutive days, we get our pasta and pizza fix from this Italian place. Portions are generous sized so you can share the antipasti, pastas or pizzas. We never had a problem with the service despite some bad reviews on Tripadvisor. Provides free pick up in the Laguna area.
24 Laguna Resort Entrance, Lagoon Road, Cherngtalay, Thalang
Flame, Pasta and Bake
These 3 outlets by the Twinpalms resort are beside each other at the entrance of Laguna. Flame is a rotisserie that serves chicken, kebabs, burgers, pizzas and wraps, Pasta serves well… pastas and Bake is a bakery and patisseries. This is the only bakery I am aware of that you can get freshly made pain au chocolate, croissants etc in the Laguna area other than hotels. They do not provide a pick up so the best way is to take the shuttle bus to the gates of Laguna and it is a 5min walk.
106/46 Moo 3, Surin Beach Road, Cherngtalay, Talang
If the hotel spas are too expensive, a good alternative is the Oasis Secret Garden Spa at the entrance of Laguna. They provide free pick up from the Laguna area but remember to book early as it is very popular and almost always full. Another alternative are the massage parlors outside the Laguna gates for a ฿400/hour foot or back rub.
Where we stayed
Mövenpick Resort Bangtao is right on the beach, perfect for lazy travellers like me who just want to roll out of bed and onto the beach. There is a beach area with umbrellas just for the hotel guest or if you prefer there is a regular sized swimming pool for the laps and pool bar for refreshments.
35 Moo 4, Cherngtalay, Thalang