My Favorite Airbnb in Phuket A Luxe Under200 Loft on a Bustling PalmTree Lined Street
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My Favorite Airbnb in Phuket: A Luxe Under-$200 Loft on a Bustling, Palm-Tree Lined Street

Rented and reviewed: This contemporary apartment in a high-rise was the ideal birthday getaway for one member of the Traveler team.

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I take birthdays very seriously and I strongly believe they deserve to be celebrated to the highest degree. For my birthday this year, I wanted to get out of my comfort zone and explore a new place that I’ve been dreaming of visiting. Thailand had made it high on my list after a friend forced me watch an episode of Keeping Up With The Kardashians in which the country got ample screen time. The beautiful beaches, with mouthwatering street cuisine and picturesque sunsets, were exactly where I wanted to spend my special day. My boyfriend, who was just as thrilled as I was, joined me for the occasion.

After 24 hours of air travel and a 45-minute drive from the airport, we finally made it to the Airbnb we had booked.

A Brightly Lit Loft Near Kamala Beach

We had booked an apartment in a high-rise building. As we drove up, it was on a steep hill, and luckily I packed just the right walking shoes. The outside of the complex had a beautiful, round tunnel that led us into the lobby. The seating area had little bamboo chairs and coffee tables. Through the lobby there was a small workout room with ellipticals, bikes, and treadmills. There was a 24-hour help desk right at the center of the lobby. It also had security that checked in all incoming vehicles, from motorbikes delivering food, to Ubers, to residents. The building offered the same degree of comfort and safety that you would receive at a high quality hotel. 

Upon arrival, our host Anny met us and showed us how to enter the Airbnb using the code, as well as how to record the electricity measurement before we settled in. The electricity fee averaged about 100 to 400 Thai baht per day (about $3 to $12).

The condominium was on a steep hill but within walking distance of the beach. 

As soon as we walked into the two-bedroom loft, I immediately was met with sweeping views from the enormous windows—thickets of palm trees and jungle-like emerald green vegetation filled my eyes. The other floor-to-ceiling windows, that lined the downstairs bedroom and living room area, let immense amounts of sunlight in. One of my favorite parts of the space was sitting on the comfortable periwinkle sectional couch at night and watching Phuket FantaSea theme park's carnivalesque fireworks and light show soaring across the sky. The park was a mile-and-a-half from our home base.

The kitchen was fully stocked with utensils, pots, and pans. We made use of them, as we made many trips down to the town center where five 7-Elevens could be found that had an array of instant noodles that we just had to try. We also frequented the local eateries located along the main and side streets of Kamala. A handful of popular small cafes were slinging dainty, savory pastries and fresh fruit smoothies. We also imbibed multitudes of curries; noodle dishes like guay teow, tom yum goong, and khao soi; mango sticky rice everyday for dessert; Thai lattes; and matcha bubble tea.

The large windows had interesting views of the surrounding town. 

Although I ultimately chose to stay in the larger primary bedroom upstairs, I found myself lounging and napping in the smaller downstairs bedroom. It was the best place to motorcycles zoom down the energy-packed, bustling streets.

Each room had its own charm and showcased the everyday happenings of the town through the windows, but the primary bedroom was placed in the heart of the loft and was the center of it all. Waking up each morning with sunlight shimmering through the main windows and dusting our faces was a highlight. In the loft was a television, a sitting area with a small coffee table, a desk, and chair that doubled as a vanity area.

The kitchen had a sleek four-seat dining table.

A steep pair of wooden staircases made from beautiful light wood led to the loft upstairs.(But sock-wearers be warned—they are slippery!) When it came to design in the loft, the host played on a theme of blond wood elements that appeared throughout the apartment. The closets, headboards, and the desk were made from the same elegant material. 

Each washroom had pebbled flooring and an adjustable, rainfall shower head. The washroom upstairs was open-concept without doors. Alongside the shower was a deep soaking bathtub with numerous Jacuzzi jets. Although I spent most of my time at the beach, there is a swimming pool and hot tub on the property. On our first day when we were wandering around the complex, we immediately dipped our toes in to get some relief from the heat before making dinner plans in Patong. 

The bathrooms upstairs and downstairs have dark, granite countertops. The lighting is limited with only a single lightbulb on the back of the mirror making the ambiance very calming in these spaces. It was very easy to decompress and prepare for bed after a day of touring Phuket.

Upstairs, there was a king-size bed, a sitting area with a small couch, and two dedicated work spaces. 

Kamala beach is a little under a mile away from the Airbnb, and although it’s quite close, I recommend getting a tuk tuk, a motorized version of a three-wheeled rickshaw, to transport you there. You’re going over some busy roads that aren’t pedestrian friendly. Restaurants line the beach and most days we went there was a fairly large crowd. There is plenty to do: horseback riding, jet skiing, and parasailing are common activities that you can reserve on the spot. The rental is in a prime location between beaches. If you don’t want to go to Kamala Beach, Phuket has seven beaches to choose from that are only a tuk tuk away.

This stay connected me to nature and city alike, and gave me the ability to reflect and admire the beauty that is Thailand. Turning 24 in Phuket was a birthday I’ll never forget.