With its palm-fringed coasts, wide-ranging array of dining and lifestyle establishments and child-friendly villas, it’s unsurprising that Kata is a popular destination among family vacationers. Beyond the beach, the town offers easy access to cultural attractions, viewpoints, upscale spa venues and yoga studios, as well as a nightlife scene that’s energetic – yet isn’t seedy or rowdy.
It’s a destination that lends itself to a variety of travel preferences. You can lounge at the beach, experience a surge of adrenaline at outdoor adventure sites, visit an old town rich in history and culture, or take it slow by enjoying plenty of downtime at the beach – and our Kata travel guide aims to steer you in the right direction.
Things to do in Kata:
1. Spend a day at the beach
The name Phuket almost immediately conjures up images of a postcard-worthy beach – golden sand, clear blue skies and glimmering waters.
At Kata Beach, it’s all about family fun and enjoying a lively beach atmosphere: there’s plenty to do (including parasailing, jet-skiing, banana boating, snorkeling and diving), ample seafront dining options and a nightlife scene that’s vibrant, but not rowdy. It’s also conveniently located, within proximity to the town and local amenities.
The vibes differ at Nai Harn Beach; here, it’s much quieter, and you’ll only find a handful of hotels, restaurants and shops along the bay. The waters are great for swimming between November till April, but do exercise caution if you’re here during the low season (May till October) as strong currents may be present. Excellent snorkeling can be enjoyed further south at the beaches of Ya Nui or Ao Sane, both of which are just 10 minutes’ drive from Nai Harn Beach.
2. Take in uninterrupted sunset vistas from a viewpoint
For uninterrupted vistas over Phuket’s scenic coastlines, make a visit to Promthep Cape or Windmill Viewpoint.
Promthep Cape, located at the southernmost tip of the island is the more popular of the two, and visitors need to be prepared to brave the crowds as it’s common that busloads of tourists will stop by close to sunset. However, the attraction does offer excellent photo-taking opportunities and boasts a striking elephant shrine surrounding by numerous elephant statues in myriad sizes and colours. If you arrive during the evening, round out your visit with dinner at Promthep Cape Restaurant. There are sumptuous seafood dishes to be enjoyed, and the restaurant’s prime location offers stunning sunset views over Nai Harn Beach.
Windmill Viewpoint, located just above Ya Nui Beach offers a more serene ambience. While there aren’t many amenities up at the viewpoint (apart from a sala and small parking area), it’s a better option if you’d prefer not to rub shoulders with fellow tourists while enjoying the coastal views.
3. Unwind with a decadent spa ritual
Thai massages, cleansing facials, detoxifying wraps and body scrubs – we say yes, please! Enjoy top of the line treatments at Infinity Luxury Spa, a venue equipped with luxurious treatment rooms, a tropical-style relaxation patio, sleeping pod room and a chromotherapy room for coloured light therapy. There’s also the option of enjoying an in-villa massage or spa treatment if you aren’t quite in the mood for stepping out.
4. Discover Phuket Old Town
Phuket Old Town may be a 40-minute drive from Kata, but it offers a good change up from the beach and is worth visiting for its Sino-Portuguese architecture, fascinating galleries, myriad cafes and restaurants and Chinese shrines. Stop by one of the private and public museums, observe the locals as they make prayers in a shrine or hop into one of the colourful textile stores – or simply soak up the rich history and atmosphere as you wander about the archways and streets.
5. Rejuvenate with a yoga class
Belove Yoga Rooftop Studio checks off all the essentials for a perfect yoga class in the tropics – prime rooftop setting overlooking Karon Beach, a breezy, open-air studio and classes conducted right on the beach. The studio offers both group and private classes, as well as a variety of yoga styles to suit different levels and preferences.
6. Visit Kata Temple
Also known as Wat Kittisangkaram, Kata Temple is just six minutes’ drive from Kata Beach, so you can easily make a visit here after spending a day out at the beach. While the temple isn’t large, it boasts beautiful architectural details and a wonderfully serene atmosphere.
7. Learn to cook your favourite Thai dishes
Sally’s Kata Thai cooking classes have been raved about for her educational and engaging approach, informative market tours and comprehensive lessons. If you prefer a private in-villa cooking lesson, your villa manager will be happy to make the necessary arrangements.
8. Get outdoors
Water sports enthusiasts may try their hand at flow boarding at Surf House Phuket, an artificial wave sport facility. With a soft, padded bottom, consistent flow speed and shallow waters, the facility makes it easy and painless for beginners looking to try out surfing, wakeboarding or kiteboarding. After dusk, the venue takes on a different vibe; a regular stream of late night events with live DJ acts makes it a great spot to chill out and party the night away.
If land sports adventures float your boat, it’s time to round up your friends and family for a day out at eco-adventure park Hanuman World. Not for the faint-hearted and acrophobic, the attraction features multiple platforms located high up in the trees and 16 zip lines that transport thrill-seekers over a vast jungle.
9. Spend quality time with your little ones
Transport your kids back to the prehistoric times with a visit to Dino Park Mini Golf, an attraction featuring a lush jungle setting, life-sized dinosaurs and an 18-hole miniature golf course. It’s best to arrive in the evening; the lighting creates a colourful setting, and you’ll avoid the sweltering mid-day heat. After the game, tuck into Dino Burgers at the on-site Dino Bar, a restaurant with an atmospheric cave-like setting.
Or rack your brains over puzzle-solving games at 30 Minutes to Escape. This indoor facility offers themed rooms that visitors need to “escape” from, through solving a series of mind-boggling puzzles. 30 Minutes to Escape features two themes: in the first room, you’re transported to an ancient Mayan Temple, where the goal is to escape with stolen treasures, while in the second room participants are transformed into professional thieves looking to steal away with confidential documents.
Where to eat in Kata
1. Mom Tri’s Kitchen
Dining at Mom Tri’s Kitchen is a feast for the senses: the restaurant’s prime location atop a headland offers unobstructed sea views, the decor, featuring alcoves, antiques and artworks is elegant, jazz music plays softly in the background and the food is sublime. Take your pick from a comprehensive menu that lists traditional and fusion dishes. The wine selection is just as impressive, with over 700 labels – but with a skilled resident sommelier to offer recommendations, choosing a great bottle will be a breeze.
Mom Tri’s Kitchen, 12 Kata Noi Rd, Kata Beach, Karon, Phuket, p. +66 76 333 569. Open 11 am – 11 pm daily.
2. La Scala
Located within the Katathani Phuket Beach Resort, La Scala serves up Italian cuisine with a contemporary twist. The setting is elegant, with ambient lighting, furnishings in wood and neutral tones and expansive glass windows that draw the eyes out towards the ocean.
Popular starters include the pan-fried mussels, sliced veal and cream soups, while the mains selections include salmon cabonara, baked Dover sole, pan-fried seabass or a succulent tenderloin steak. Round out your meal with a classic tiramisu, or try out one of the homemade ice cream flavours.
La Scala, 14 Kata Noi Road, Katathani Phuket Beach Resort, Kata, Phuket, p. +66 76 318 350. Open 7 pm – 12 am daily. Last orders at 10:30 pm.
3. Ariake Japanese Restaurant
Interactive Teppanyaki grill station, sushi bar, private tatami rooms – Ariake has got all the amenities needed to serve up contemporary Japanese cuisine. Beyond its mouthwatering dishes and wide selection of sake and international wines, what makes Ariake stand out is the fun-filled experience it delivers. You’re in for a good time when you dine by the Teppanyaki station, as you watch the chef flick food into the mouths of diners, juggle eggs with a spatula or cracking jokes as he dishes out the next impeccably presented dish on the menu.
Ariake Japanese Restaurant, 29 Soi Karon Nui, Le Meridien Phuket Beach Resort, Karon, Phuket, +66 76 370 100. Open Mon, Tue, Wed, Fri and Sat, 5 pm – 11 pm.
4. Atsumi Raw Cafe
Atsumi Raw Cafe is a venue made for health-conscious, vegan and vegetarian travellers. The cafe feels welcoming, with indoor seating and an outdoor dining area in the back garden.
Atsumi’s menu lists a full range of wholesome, salubrious fare – from muesli fruit bowls and breakfast bowls, to spring rolls, healthy burgers, smoothies, raw cheesecakes and flaxseed biscuits. Tip: we’ve only heard good things about about Atsumi’s “Raw-sagna” – a dish featuring layers of zucchini, fermented almond cheese, eggplant bacon and a walnut, macadamia and fig pate – so be sure to try it out if the dish is available during your visit!
Atsumi Raw Cafe, 99/1 Moo 7, Viset Rd, Rawai, Phuket, p. +66 76 623 828. Open 9 am – 8 pm daily.
5. Odysseus Greek Organic Restaurant
Take a break from fine-dining venues; at Odysseus, it’s all about enjoying fresh, flavourful fare – like pita breads, dips, salads, moussaka and tzatziki – in a laidback, unfussy setting. Excellent service rounds out the dining experience, as does the owner’s friendliness and enthusiasm.
Odysseus Greek Organic Restaurant, 56/47-9, Kake Kwan Road, Kata Beach, Karon, Phuket, p. +66 65 560 6165. Open 12 pm – 10 pm daily.
6. The Oceanfront Restaurant and Bar
Just as its name suggests, dining experiences at The Oceanfront come accompanied by breathtaking vistas of the sea. The all-white setting is chic and stylish, and the vibes are relaxed. Come early to hang out by the 35-metre infinity pool, laze by the bar or enjoy a colourful sunset show out on the terrace. After sundowners, head back in to feast on a spread of seafood, Thai or Mediterranean dishes. Highlights include the massaman lamb curry, crab salad, tuna tartare and the signature Kata Rocks gin cocktail.
The Oceanfront Restaurant and Bar, 186/22 Koktanode Road, Kata Rocks, Kata Beach, Karon, Phuket, p. +66 76 370 777. Open 6:30 am – 10 pm daily.
7. Rum Jungle Phuket
It’s easy to see why Rum Jungle is a hit with expats and vacationers – the venue is cosy and intimately lit, the decor features rustic, traditional Thai design elements and the vibes are relaxed, with Brazilian music playing in the background. A weekly specials menu outlined on a blackboard display, featuring Italian-Mediterranean fare keeps things interesting even for regular diners. Or go with well-loved classics like the tuna carpaccio, pork fillets, chicken breast with eggplant or seafood tagliatelle.
Rum Jungle Phuket, 69/8 Baan Sai Yuan, Rawai, Phuket, p. +66 76 388 153. Open Mon – Sat, 11 am – 3 pm and 5 pm – 11 pm. Closed on Sundays.
8. Heaven Restaurant and Bar
With views out to the beaches of Kata Noi, Kata and Karon, Heaven makes for an ideal location for sundowners and oceanfront dining. The menu is extensive, featuring an eclectic selection of seafood, Thai, Italian and Russian dishes. With a spacious dining terrace, generously proportioned servings and relaxed ambience, dining at Heaven promises to be an enjoyable experience.
Heaven Restaurant and Bar, 6 Moo 2 Soi Leam Mum Nai Ban Karon, Phuket, p. +66 93 140 0113. Open Mon – Sun 4 pm – 11.30 pm.
9. Italian Job Coffee
Just five minutes’ walk away from Kata Beach, Italian Job Coffee is a great spot for beach-goers looking for a cosy little venue for breakfast or light cafe fare. Apart from the coffee (which is excellent and widely raved about), the menu also features pastries, breads, pastas and desserts.
Italian Job Coffee, 179 Soi Koktanod, Kata Beach, Karon, Phuket, p. +66 98 068 8213. Open 7 am – 12 am daily.
10. Coffee House Cafe
Coffee House Cafe dishes out the usual breakfast suspects – like eggs benedict, omelette, sandwiches and pastries – in a well-appointed, vintage-style setting, coupled with great coffee. If you’re seeking out a brunch spot, this is one place you shouldn’t miss.
Coffee House Cafe, 88/25-26, Kata Road, Karon, Phuket, p. +66 80 969 6764. Open 8 am – 11 pm daily.
Related: Best Organic Restaurants in Phuket
Where to stay in Kata
1. Villa Amanzi
Perched atop Kata Noi Hill, Villa Amanzi offers vast vistas over dense tropical foliage and out to the ocean. The home is beautiful and serene; guests will enjoy ultimate privacy in a tranquil environment, and access to a full range of amenities, including a glimmering infinity pool, indoor bar, on-site gym and spa room. The interiors are contemporary and opulent, featuring wood panel flooring, arched ceilings, designer lighting, as well as expansive windows and glass doors that bring the outdoors in. Containing six bedrooms in total, Villa Amanzi will comfortably accommodate 12 guests.
Around Villa Amanzi
Enjoy easy access to the beach, beach clubs, restaurants and attractions from Villa Amanzi. Renowned dining establishments like The Boathouse, Mom Tri’s Kitchen and La Scala are less than five minutes’ drive away. Other amenities nearby include Belove Yoga Rooftop Studio, Infinity Luxury Spa at Kata Rocks and Surf House Phuket.
Infinity pool | Sea view | Indoor bar | On-site gym and spa room
Enjoying a prime hilltop location, Baan Hen Kata looks out to the ocean and rugged coastlines of West Phuket. The home is stylish and modern, but you’ll also find traditional Thai design elements peppered across the property – like steep Thai-style roofs, statuettes and wood carvings. A sparkling tiered infinity pool hugs close to the edge of the property, offering uninterrupted vistas of the ocean. The opulence continues indoors, with amenities like spacious sunken bathtubs, beautiful wood-clad bedrooms and living spaces overlooking the sea. Five bedrooms accommodate 10 guests.
Around Baan Hen Kata
You’re just a skip away from the beach, restaurants and lifestyle attractions in the vicinity. While Baan Hen Kata offers an excellent personal chef service, you’ll also want to dine at must-eat venues like Capannina, The Boathouse and The Oceanfront Restaurant and Bar at Kata Rocks. Family-friendly amenities nearby include Surf House Phuket and Dino Park Mini Golf.
Infinity pool | Ocean view | Decor features a blend of modern and traditional Thai design elements
3. Makata Villa
Cosy and well-appointed, Makata Villa feels just like home the moment you step in. Outdoors, you’ll find a swimming pool flanked by sun umbrellas and recliners, as well as a breezy relaxation area outfitted with lounge furnishings.
Enjoy alfresco dinners by the poolside, or dine indoors in an open plan living area that includes a lounge and kitchen. Work up a sweat at the estate’s shared tennis court or gym – or take it easy with a stroll to Kata Noi Beach. Containing three bedrooms in total, Makata Villa is ideally kitted out for groups of six.
Around Makata Villa
From the villa, you’re within walking distance to Kata Noi Beach. You’re less than 15 minutes’ drive from popular dining establishments like La Scala, Rum Jungle Cafe and Odysseus Greek Organic Restaurant. Nearby attractions that offer a great family experience include Karon Viewpoint, Surf House Phuket, Dino Park Mini Golf and Wat Kittisankaram.
Located within walking distance to Kata Noi Beach | Shared access to tennis court and gym | Cosy, homely ambience
See our villas in Kata. Inspected and selected by Villa-Finder.com.