Updated: January 2017
Thinking of visiting Phuket? Looking to stay somewhere unique or boutique, away from the madness of Patong Beach and the noise, hustle and swill of Bangla Street? A great option is the Phuket Gay Homestay, a fifteen minute GrabTaxi ride (about 350 BHT) from the centre of Patong. Owners Ulf and his partner Boy have created an idyllic, ‘male only’ homestay at Neramit Hill Village, Phuket Thailand.
Ulf greeted us with his beaming Swedish smile and a warm Thai welcome. The guest house is a very peaceful retreat, slightly isolated and certainly not for the ‘party boys’ seeking the constant throb of the Paradise Complex (the gay street in Patong). Ulf and Boy purchased the house next door to their own five years ago and they have created a homestay with five bedrooms, all air conditioned, four having en-suites and another room with a separate bathroom. The bedrooms are spacious with white tiled floors, beds are comfortable, the furniture is in traditional dark timber and for around AUD$60 a night, it is exceptional value.
Situated in Kathu Village, it provides guests with the opportunity to see how local Thai people live. You can easily walk to excellent small and very inexpensive restaurants, great for picking up a chicken fried rice for lunch just down the road. At the local night market you can find scrumptious Thai pancakes, excellent fried chicken, pork and seafood. Also for the brave, see and sample, as Ulf describes it, ‘food of the future’, fried insects and grubs, glistening under the hot lights. Close by is Tiger Kingdom, Central Festival shopping centre and Go Kart Speedway a ten minute stroll away.
The crystal clear, saltwater pool is the heart of the guest house. Ulf says cheekily, “take a dip any time of the day or night with or without your swimmers”. Around the pool (clothing optional) is where guests sit with drinks, to relax, chat and use the high speed free wifi. You can also laze on the sun beds or catch one of the 200 or more gay or mainstream movies offered in the cosy lounge area.
During our stay there were guys from, Belgium, Germany, UK , France, Sweden and Australia. There is only ever a maximum of ten guests at one time. You soon feel part of ‘the family’ and it is a gay traveller’s haven, whether you are by yourself, a couple or part of a group. When checking out, one of the guests said to us, “this place is just perfect”.
Breakfast is included in the tariff, but not served until after 8am. However, you will never be too late for breakfast as everyone understands gay men may need a sleep in after exploring all the nightlife on offer in town. You will be served an English style breakfast of orange juice, tea or coffee, bacon, eggs, toast and marmalade. It is presented in the traditional sala (a type of separate outside, open-air eating nook with a Thai style angular roof) located outside the kitchen and sitting above a large pond containing dozens of colourful carp.
You are invited to bring or purchase any special requirements from the local markets. We often buy fresh fruit like sweet pineapple and juicy red papaya. You can help yourself to the kitchen facilities at any time to prepare your own food or drinks. A range of other beverages and mixers are on offer for cocktail hour, available through an honesty box system. This service helps everyone gather at some point in the day to get to know each other better or make decisions about a group outing for dinner or play.
Ulf and Boy like to eat out and will suggest various restaurants. They are happy to invite guests along and drive them in their Hyundai people mover. Their favourite is local restaurant, Chalk and Cheese A Brasserie by Thong Dee which has outstanding Thai and international food including famous Swedish meatballs as well as a good selection of international wines. Recently, Thong Dee (as it is known locally) was voted the number one restaurant on Trip Advisor in the whole of Phuket, a great achievement. Another favourite is Natural Restaurant in Phuket Town. Beautiful Thai food set in an oasis of exotic plants featuring a variety of stunning Thai orchids.
During our stay we often used Grab Taxi to go to the Paradise Centre in Patong for a night out at the gay bars and night clubs. The bars are all in one street and compete for your custom. Right in the centre of the action is My Way, Zag Club, Sundowners and for the best drag show in town try Boat Bar with the first show at 12:00am. (Check out TravelGayAsia for up to date information about bars, saunas and shows in the Patong gay area)
Ulf and Boy make your stay at their villa easy and enjoyable by offering to make taxi arrangements or ordering food from the local Thai restaurants and having it delivered. They will help with renting a bike, planning a day out and linked us to a website about Phuket which we found extremely useful for organising excursions (phuket101.net). If enough people are interested Ulf will organise day trips to some of Phuket’s best beaches or a speedboat or long tail boat to one of the nearby islands. Ulf says, “I’m not a 5 star hotel but I try to give 5 star service”, and we have always found this to be absolutely true.
A highlight of our stay was the Saturday evening pool party/ B-B-Q dinner that Ulf and Boy host. At the party you will meet other gay travellers, expats and Thais. The lively party attracts around thirty to forty people and it is an enjoyable way to make new friends over a drink by the pool. The food is a delicious mix of Western and Thai and Ulf’s succulent spare ribs are a real favourite. It’s certainly great value at 200 THB ($8 AUD) per person. (Check out our story, Gay Pool Party Phuket for more details)
Whether splashing around in the pool with a cocktail in hand, sharing travel stories or titilating tales from the bars with other guests, this is a perfect way to get a Sunday night celebration underway. Later, you can choose to hit the nightlife back in Patong or slip between the crisp white sheets in your room to prepare for an early start the next day on one of the thirty-five stunning beaches around the Phuket coastline.
You might decide to stay one night or one month at the Homestay, as one of the guests was planning to do. However, rest assured your holiday in Phuket Gay Homestay will have a local, peaceful feel among like-minded men. Boy and Ulf’s charm and willingness to please will make you feel very comfortable and special. Our only worry about this place is that it will become so popular it will be difficult to reserve a room. We suggest, before you leave here, book again for next year. We did!
Know Before You Go
- You can book Phuket Gay Homestay through Agoda.com
- Taxis from Phuket Airport to the Home-stay are 600THB (arranged by the Homestay)
- Address. 135/6 Neramit Hill Village, Moo 7, Kathu, Kathu, Phuket Thailand. 83120
- Website: www.phuketgayhomestay.com
- Currently rated 5/5 on Tripadvisor
- Check out our related article about the Saturday pool parties: http://gaymenonholiday.com/2015/05/splash-out-in-phuket/