I have to admit I’ve been coming to Phuket for years and tend to stay around Surin Beach and Kamala. This was my first trip hanging out in the south in Kata – and I loved it.
Kata is a buzzing town with shops, restaurants and endless spas that line the street. I feel it offers something for everyone. There is a headland that separates the beaches: Kata and Kata Noi. Kata is a long stretch of beach where you have an array of water sports, sunbeds that you can rent by the hour and hire jet skis.
Kata Noi which is 5 minutes from Kata by tuk-tuk or 15 minutes on foot depending on where you are, is a hidden gem that people have been keeping a secret. It’s a stunning cove with white sand, blue water and fewer people.
Kata Villas with Views
There are amazing villas all around Kata which we stopped in to have a look at. For those travelling with an entourage bigger is better! Villa Sunyata has 8 bedrooms, all very much the same size. With a huge pool and plenty of space for everyone.
Two doors up is Baan Hen Phuket. What a surprise! The villa is fantastic and the manager has been here for 20 years. You can’t tell the villa is this old as it’s in incredible condition. They have an extensive menu available for guests at very reasonable prices, so we thought it would be perfect for a large family.
There is one really big master bedroom upstairs and a second master downstairs. Then three more rooms on the same floor but smaller than the masters and better for teenagers more than couples. The villa is so much bigger in person and the pool has a really cool ledge so you can sit back with a cocktail in hand and take in the stunning views. You really feel like you are on top of the world here at Baan Hen Phuket.
In a private gated estate overlooking Kata Noi is Villa Amanzi. The property features art and furniture collected from across Asia giving the villa an interesting style. With its stunning sunset views it’s the perfect villa to celebrate a birthday or just to have a BBQ on the deck overlooking the Andaman Sea.
Within the same estate is Makata Villas, a pair of 3-bedroom villas side by side. The villas have a comfortable design, fully enclosed with a team of staff to look after you. You can book them individually as they are quite separate from each other, or rent them both to make six bedrooms. It’s not interconnecting but is private from the villa next door and great if you want to stay in a villa close to everything Kata and Kata Noi have to offer without breaking the bank.
Kata Restaurants You Simply Must Try
We discovered some amazing restaurants in Kata. One of our personal favourites is Mom Tri’s Kitchen at Villa Royale. Wow, this is one of those restaurants that you are so glad you stumble across. It was only that we had been walking around the area and saw the sign and walked in to reserve a table. We booked for 6:30pm and arrived slightly early to enjoy a cocktail before dinner and were delightfully surprised to hear an amazing guitarist playing in the lounge area while the sun was setting. The mood was perfect, the food amazing and the bartender also knows how to mix a proper martini.
Another restaurant we loved is The Boathouse Restaurant, on Kata Beach. Again it’s the perfect place to watch the sunset with an extensive wine list to choose from. We had salmon and it was delicious. The proud recipient of the “Best of Award of Excellence” from Wine Spectator every year since 2006, The Boathouse Restaurant has been synonymous with fine cuisine in Phuket for almost three decades.
Quite a few people also rave about Leonardo da Vinci, but we didn’t have a chance to try this one. It has a mix of modern designed facilities and traditional Italian cuisine. Good prices and again a good wine list which is always a must for me!
On our last day we dived into a Wine Connection. This restaurant is located on the main street and great for people watching. If the name sounds familiar it’s because Wine Connection originated in Singapore and have expanded all over Asia. We had the cheese platter and the house wine which is a French pour. The steak worked out to around $25 and I had the gnocchi which was perfectly cooked.
Shop ‘til You Drop
When you walk outside just opposite the Wine Connection there is a cute little shop selling little bags and hats. I bought a few pairs of earrings for under $10 each.
If you don’t mind spending more, down the street heading towards Kata Noi are more upmarket boutiques selling beach fashion, leather goods and amazing silk carpets. The prices are fair for the quality but bring your credit card.
In general, the shopping in Phuket is touristy – you have counterfeit handbags, t-shirts galore, novelty souvenirs and more of the same at the next shop. But if you like to walk around like I do you may come across a boutique or two, but you really do have to look out for them. I came across a fabulous shop selling hand-made jewellery and earrings which got the bug out of my system.
Kata is a Great Base
Some may think the drive to Kata from the airport is too far. But it really isn’t considering its central position once the holiday is underway. Kata has everything you need and more. It’s a family location, not as crazy as Patong and a short drive to many of Phuket’s attractions.
You can explore the beaches down south like Nai Harn and Yanui Beach or take a car to Raiwi where you can hire a long tail boat for a couple of hours or full day to explore the islands around Phuket. Or if you have time on your hands then go to Cape Panwa which offers great swimming beaches, restaurants and a more laid-back vibe away from the hustle and bustle of Patong.