Kamala is quiet, Kamala is peaceful, Kamala is relaxed – nothing makes these three statements more real than the fact that it’s located just a few kilometres north of Patong. Compared to Phuket’s noisiest and most crowded beachside town, Kamala is an oasis of tranquillity. Comfortably tackled in-between picturesque green hills, reachable with a single road only and blessed with a beautiful, perfectly shaped crescent of sand, Kamala has a bit of that remote, sleepy town feel that other Phuket destinations may lack. So, if it’s a break from your high-paced Phuket lifestyle you’re looking for, make Kamala your next staycation destination.
There are plenty of guesthouses in central Kamala, on both sides of the road cutting through the town, but none have better views than the accommodation located along Phuket’s Millionaire Mile. Situated south of Kamala’s centre, this coastal road is dotted with super luxury villas and classy hotels, offering what’s best in Phuket’s luxury lifestyle. Making sea vistas my priority, I opted for a stay at Cape Sienna Phuket Gourmet Hotel & Villas.
Cape Sienna is distinguished in two ways. First are the spectacular views guests can enjoy from just about any place on its sea-facing, western side. Whether you’re in the lobby, at the Vanilla Sky rooftop bar, at Plum Stackhouse restaurant, at the Poolside Bar & Restaurant or on your own room’s balcony, look to the left and you’ll see the palm tree-lined Millionaire Mile overlooking the deep blue ocean; turn your head to the right and you’ll enjoy a view of Kamala beach in its entirety. Whichever way you look, the views are stunning.
What is the other thing that sets Cape Sienna apart? The hint is in the full name of the hotel…
It’s no accident that Cape Sienna has the word “Gourmet” in its full name. Within its four F&B outlets the hotel offers some true dining thrills. A buffet breakfast by the pool is a perfect way to start a day, followed by seafood platters, Belgian fries and craft beers and wrapped up nicely with a mighty steak at Plum at sunset. We made one of Plum's prime beef cuts the hero of one of our recent “Phuket Epic Food” stories for a reason.
Away from the hotel, the selection is even wider. Kamala is home to some excellent restaurants, including an outlet of our favorite Taste restaurant, some excellent pizzerias (my friends swore by Bianconero da Tuveri) and even authentic Greek fare at the Greek Tavern. And all this is just the tip of a culinary iceberg that Kamala is.
Most guides to Kamala’s attractions list Phuket FantaSea on top of the list, but we can’t honestly recommend this kind of mass-tourism entertainment, especially to those of you who’ve been in Phuket longer than a week or two. You’ll be better off taking a walk to the beach or the town itself.
Kamala beach has three distinctive sections: its southern end was turned into a sort of a fishermen’s boats “shipyard” – the ambience here is distinctly local and photo ops plentiful (there’s also a Buddhist temple, Wat Baan Kamala nearby ); the midsection located close to the tourist town offers easy access to a plethora of bars and restaurants and a relaxed, holiday feel; to the north is a more natural and, for the time being, less touristy part of the beach; it’s also where Kamala’s beach clubs are located. If you’re here on a Sunday, check out Café Del Mar Sunday Brunch.
Kamala is relatively compact and, what’s not so common in Phuket, very walkable. A morning visit to the Wat and a walk amongst the colorful fishing boats in the south, followed by a day spent at one of the beach clubs with another walk, this time in town, after the suns sets, might just be the perfect staycation day in Kamala.