Central Festival Phuket is one of the two mega malls on the island (the other one being Jungceylon) and is a great stop for a rainy day. It had a bit of a slow start but soon gained a huge success. Originally using only 3 of its 4 levels built in a circular shape, it finally opened the 4th floor at the occasion of their 6th anniversary.
That’s where you will find most designers brands and cosmetics, most famous and most expensive are as expected on the ground floor, but note that ‘Central Department Store’ is actually a shop in the shop, often having it’s own great promotions. Shops in the main gallery don’t participate to this promotions.
Houseware, House Decoration, Tools and electric equipment.
Clothing: CK, CK Jeans, Armani Exchange, Diesel, DKNY (nice one), Miss Sixty. There are always sales, so it’s worth a look. Most brands have interesting prices, except Diesel, which is really more expensive than in Europe.
Cosmetics: L’Occitane, Chanel, Esthee Lauder, Shiseido, and most of the usual brands
Watches: A pretty big display of accessory watches, but not many high end brands
Women Shoes: Not a very large selection, lucky if you find your size once you find the shoes you like
Women fashion, Muji, Zeen Zone selling fun stuff for teens.
Men fashion, shoes, luggage, B2S a very large book shop with DVD and few blu-ray, and music CDs (all real). Banks and all the restaurants are on this floor.
Kids floor with lots of clothing, toys and useful items. Also lately dozen of cosmetic shops and diet shop moved to the top floor… If you need a facial or a haircut.
Ground floor is often hosting events… loud events. This usually happens on week end and it gets even louder at the end of the month. Motors shows and property shows are the most common. Rest of the time the area is used as a huge discount items display. Surrounding the central area are the usual ‘ground floor fashion shops’: Guess, Zara, Esprit, and Mango (MNG)
Now what really made the success of Central Festival Phuket are the many restaurants franchises… At first the management might have thought that people would come shopping and when done with it, have lunch or dinner. With the 2010 renovation, you can see how that trend has changed. People come for food… and maybe they’ll buy something once done! Most popular are the new ‘Wine Connection’ great choice, good food and affordable price and Zen Japanese Restaurant on the ground floor. On the third floor, MK Suki and Fuji Japanese Restaurants are always popular venues. Also well known are S&P, Sizzler, Yaam Sap, Hachi Ban Ramen and a lot more.
Week ends are full of visitors and a parking space is really hard to find, but there is a worst case scenario: A rainy day at the end of the month when salaries have been paid! Imagine everyone on the island deciding to spend a bit of their newly earned salary (on food mostly!) and as it rains, there is nowhere else to go. So if you drive, first try to avoid meals times, and second, park across the road at Homeworks. Just a bit of walk using the skybridge is a hundred time better than driving in circles in a smokey underground parking!