Like Phuket in the 18th century, Hotel Verdigris sits at the crossroads of eras and civilisations, melding old-world opulence with an almost dreamlike exoticism. It feels a world away from glow sticks and full-moon parties, but lies just steps from the technicolour hues and heritage of Old Town Phuket. After a day immersed in the city’s kaleidoscopic street life, you’ll be ready to return to the ethereal calm of this enchantingly bijou urban retreat, enveloped in its timeless melange of marble, velvet and art deco detailing.
Noon, but flexible, subject to availability. Earliest check-in, 3pm.
Double rooms from £132.99 (THB5,700), including tax at 7 per cent. Please note the hotel charges an additional local city tax of 1% per room per night prior to arrival.
Rates include breakfast.
Guests have unlimited use of the hotel’s free shuttle service to get dropped anywhere around the Old Town.
At the hotel
Terrace with koi pond, library, free WiFi, 24-hour front desk, concierge, and free local transport. In rooms: Bluetooth speaker, minibar with free snacks and soft drinks, coffee machine with free Starbuck pods, TWG tea-making kit, smart TV with Netflix, HARNN bath products, bathrobes and slippers, and air-conditioning.
Our favourite rooms
With oodles of space, impeccable styling and deluxe extras the top-floor Copper Junior Suite is worth stretching the budget for. A rooftop mosaic-lined plunge pool also adds to the swoon-factor.
The eye-catching marble-tiled pool terrace has a pair of loungers where you can flop onto to dry off. There are also a few shaded tables where you can take a refreshment poolside.
There are no spa facilities, though the hotel offers free transportation to a nearby spa with discounted rates.
Leave plenty of space for the inevitable hoard of colourful panungs and silk scarves purchased from Phuket City’s night markets.
The hotel will arrange massages either in-room or poolside.
Sorry little Smiths, this adult-only bolthole is just for the grown ups (aged 18 and over).
As well as a raft of energy-saving measures, Hotel Verdigris avoid single-use plastics wherever possible and reuse and recycling of materials is encouraged at every stage.
Grab a table by the roadside window and watch the passing Phuket City streetlife while you wait for your order.
Match the hotel’s vintage finery, even if it’s just for breakfast.
Breakfast is a real highlight here. It’s served in the Sunroom, an airy glasshouse dining room attached to Hotel Verdigris. You can choose from the usual ‘Western’ favourites – eggs, toast, cereal et al – prepared in-house, or plump for a more traditionally Thai morning meal, brought in fresh from local restaurants. Although the Sunroom’s not open beyond breakfast, private dining can be arranged here, which involves a superb seven-course menu weaving international dishes with Southern Thai flavours.
There’s no formal bar, but guests are welcome to visit the reading room’s jazz-backed speakeasy bar, a hush-hush spot where you’ll find tables adorned with individual bottles of house single-malt whiskey, reading glasses and a paper (just note down the drams you've drained). If you’d rather sample a different whiskey (they have some Japanese, rare and limited-edition picks too), just press the button on your table and someone will be at your side to take your order, or change what's spinning on the record player.
Breakfast is served until the leisurely time of 11am.
Hotel Verdigris is located in the heart of Phuket City, the capital of Thailand’s Phuket island, and a short stroll from its historic Old Town centre.
Phuket International Airport is around 45 minutes away by road and offers connections from dozens of destinations around the world. You can arrange transfers through the hotel charged at THB800 for a car and THB1,050 for a van each way.
Most visitors to the island get by fine without their own set of wheels, but if you’re planning on renting a car the hotel offers a free valet service and secure parking.
Worth getting out of bed for
Mixing swathes of elegantly faded colonial architecture, a scattering of temples and buzzy urban sprawl, Phuket City is the throbbing and unvarnished heart of the island. And just a short meander from Hotel Verdigris is its historical epicentre of Old Town Phuket, which is more than worth an hour or two of exploration. Its main artery is bustling Thalang Road, with its rows of old Sino-Portuguese shophouses mingling with hip coffee shops, colourful street markets and centuries-old herbalists. Head down on Sunday evenings when the whole stretch is pedestrianised with numerous enterprises spilling out onto the street. Just off Thalang Road, the former red-light district of Soi Romanee Alley merits a visit, too, with some of the city’s finest heritage façades on display.
To escape the bustle, you’re also within easy walking distance of leafy Rang Hill, with its giant golden Buddha, thriving monkey community and panoramic views over the island. Sunsets are particularly spectacular up here. You’ll find the highest concentration of temples in Phuket City, too, and you’re a mere five minutes’ stroll from one of the most spectacular – Wat Mongkhon Nimit. And if you’re interested in delving deeper into the city’s multi-layered past, the Phuket Tai Hua Museum has it covered and is just a few blocks away.
For Thai food taken to the next level, you won’t find finer than at the original Blue Elephant Restaurant. Housed in a stately mansion, the setting fits the refined Royal Thai cooking style served here and dinner is a dress-up affair. Less formal but no less elevated, nearby Royd restaurant offers a more contemporary take on Southern Thai cooking. Expect creative flavour combinations and pincer-precision presentation in a moodily low-lit dining space.
It’s clear the baristas at The Shelter Coffee are serious about their art, and au fait with a range of brewing systems, including aeropress and cold-drip options. A chilled-out atmosphere, groovy tunes and tropical garden out back all add to its hip appeal. Campus Coffee Roasters take bean roasting to the next level, and you can taste it in their expert brews. If that wasn’t enough they bake their own pastries and their cheesecake is rave-worthy.
You won’t be stuck for nightspot options as there are more than 20 bars within two blocks of the hotel. One of the most popular is Dibuk House, a cocktail bar a few minutes’ amble away. Expect classic and signature concoctions with Thai-inspired twists in an intimate setting. If foot-tapping to live bands while you imbibe is your thing, then the Bebop Live Music Bar should be on your radar. Locals and visitors are drawn in for drinks with daily jazz, soul and blues gigs in a cosy, low-lit space.
Every hotel featured is visited personally by members of our team, given the Smith seal of approval, and then anonymously reviewed. As soon as our reviewers have returned from this urban island hotel in Thailand and unpacked their wrap pants and silk scarves, a full account of their sun-kissed break will be with you. In the meantime, to whet your wanderlust, here's a quick peek inside Hotel Verdigris in Phuket City…
Gazing upon its façade, with its moulded cornices, arched doorways and general air of neoclassical elegance, it’s hard to believe the Hotel Verdigris was purpose-built in keeping with the heritage architecture of its Phuket City locale. Step inside and the property’s beguiling qualities continue, with a timeless melange of tasselled velvet, brooding hues and art deco accents. Strains of jazz flit around lofty ceilings, adding to the rarefied air of this beautifully bijou hotel. They cite the mysterious Martina Rozells as their muse, the Phuket-born Thai-Portuguese wife of a British colonel. She’s reflected in the old-world Eurasian opulence of the hotel and its eponymous bluish-green motif as worn in her portrait. A triangular staircase zigzags through four floors to a pond teeming with koi carp. A reading room dotted with exotic antiques overlooks a marble-lined swimming pool. It’s an artfully crafted and dreamily intimate world that charms at every turn.