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  • Writer's pictureKaren Buffier

Best places to stay in Phuket for families

Updated: Aug 5, 2020

Updated: July 2020

Do you need help finding the best place to stay in Phuket or Khao Lak? We have travelled regularly to Phuket and Khao Lak over the past 15 years and have road tested many of the hottest trending family resorts in Phuket. Read on to get a taste of the amazing resort options for your next trip to Phuket!

Picking the best Phuket hotels that are family friendly can be a hard choice as Thailand spoils you with a huge range of luxurious resorts, many of them utterly devoted to creating beautiful experiences for families. We have stayed in loads of different hotels and resorts in Phuket and Khao Lak but I really wanted to give you the very best advice, so I have enrolled the help of some other amazing family travel bloggers to give some honest advice on which Phuket resorts and hotels they have loved.

I want your family to love Thailand as much as mine does!

It’s a real advertisement for how wonderful the Laguna Phuket resort is that four of the recommendations are found inside the Laguna Resort and in my opinion the Laguna hotels are situated on one of the cleanest and prettiest beaches in Phuket (Bang Tao). The Laguna Phuket is a fully integrated holiday resort with deluxe hotels and villas set in lush tropical gardens. The resorts all sit beachfront on Bang Tao Beach are linked by a series of lagoons with unlimited access to shuttle buses and boats so you can explore and visit the whole resort area.

With a multitude of restaurants, pools, a world class golf course, tours and water sports, the Laguna Phuket is perfectly catered to look after families. The Bang Tao region of Phuket is a quiet, family friendly area away from the party scene and has stunning beaches that provide some pretty amazing sunsets which can be enjoyed from many of the beach restaurants. It is centrally located an easy twenty minute commute to the airport, Patong and other tourist areas in Phuket.

Here are some of the best hotels at Laguna Phuket.

Sally-Ann Brown from Toddlers on Tour

We have fond memories of the family friendly activities and places to stay in Phuket and opted to stay on the northern Phuket beach of Bang Tao at Outrigger Laguna Beach Resort Phuket. The resort is located right on the Andaman Sea with lagoon access.

Days at the resort are spent playing in the sand, taking free lagoon ferry rides (to sticky-beak at the other resorts or pop by the mini mart) and relaxing poolside. At times though, it didn’t feel all that relaxing, as much time was spent climbing stairs and zipping down the twisting waterslide. So for a little parent downtime we made use of the large kids club, offering a selection of creative craft activities, indoor toys and outdoor playground.

At the end of the day we would retire to our room overlooking the lush lagoons with king size bed and a day bed tucked in the corner, large enough for 2 children – such a clever design for a hotel room. Phuket is so family friendly that we are booked to return to the island later this year – can’t wait!

The Dusit Thani Laguna holds a special place personally after getting married here and staying both prior to kids and then again as a family. Highlights of this resort are the direct beach access, stunning views from the ocean rooms, the friendly and warm staff and the beautiful landscaping and gardens particularly around the pool area. The Dusit is a more traditional Thai style hotel and has an elegance that is very Thai in style. The last visit we had in 2018 was a little disappointing as the resort was undergoing some major refurbishments but should now be up and running at full operations again.

The Dusit hotel rooms are great if only travelling with babies and toddlers. Being in the same room is easy and the standard or superior rooms are lovely with the provision of baby cots and roll-away beds.

The Dusit spoils parents with a kids club, playground and a fun kids section of the resort pool complete with basketball hoop and water sports.

If you want to splurge, the Dusit Private Villas are highly recommended as they overlook the Lagoon, offer multi-level living, a rooftop private pool and even your own chef if you so desire! Here is a link for the latest prices in the Lagoon Villas.

Previously a Sheraton, the Angsana is a high quality larger resort which caters exceptionally well for families. Also with it’s own kids club and a variety of room types to suit families the best part of this resort is the exceptionally cool lazy river pool that winds through the grounds of the resort linking back to the main pool – my kids loved paddling through the lazy river on inflatables then perching up for sand play at the main pool beach.

If you are after a family friendly hotel that is cheerfully cheap and with all the perks of 4-5 star facilities then you really should check out the Cassia Laguna Phuket. Located within the Laguna Phuket complex the Cassia is a fresh, fun and vibrant hotel that our family loved.

The hotel ticked a lot of boxes and I could have easily spent more time than the one night we had as we used it for a short stopover close to the airport for a red-eye flight. The decor of the Cassia is funky with brightly coloured walls and vibrant artwork adorning every corner of the hotel. The service was also really impressive for somewhat of a budget option!

Here are a few reasons that make this hotel so great:

- Really affordable family style self catering apartments

- Access to all the facilities in the Laguna complex

- Friendly, hospitable staff

- Well priced and super yummy food - one of the yummiest pineapple fried rice dishes served from a kombie poolside!

- Cleverly designed pools - spacious and relaxing with a great sandy kids play area overlooking the lagoon

Outside of the Laguna area other popular Phuket resorts for families are next...

Our stay at the Phuket Marriott Resort and Spa, Nai Yang Beach was merely meant to be a few nights to rest and relax with the kids after our flight from Australia and the location for this is perfect as you are a short 15 minute drive from the airport. Fortunately, our stay turned out to be so much more than hoped and I wholeheartedly recommend the Marriott Nai Yang hotel as one of the stand out newer resorts in Phuket.

If you can afford the upgrade, the pool access rooms are superb and allow you to chill out on your private balcony where the kids can jump straight into the pool and be supervised easily without any hassles. For a family of four, you can request a room with two queen beds to sleep up to four in one room. The pool itself is fabulous and wraps almost the whole way around this boutique resort and the main pool with infinity edge has relaxing and beautiful views across Nai Yang beach. The rooms are modern, Thai inspired and in very good condition and the grounds and gardens are tropical and beautiful.

The staff at the Marriott are hands down some of the friendliest and most professional of any resort. The kids loved the simple kids club and the restaurants served consistently delicious food. Of particular note, the buffet breakfasts at the Marriott Mai Yang really blow most Phuket resorts out of the water. The freshness, quality and variety of their breakfast is sensational.

The location of the Marriott is a little isolated which could be a problem for some but we enjoy the quieter areas so we weren’t too worried by this. You can still walk via the beach during low tide to Nai Yang village where you will find a local supermarket and restaurants or take a very short taxi ride when the tide is up.

The Santhiya Resort is the place to go if you want an island stay with some true wow factor. Just a short 20-30 minute boat ride from Phuket, Koh Yao Yai is a more traditional Thai island half way between Phuket and Krabi with aspect out to Phang Nga Bay. From the moment the resort comes into view from the boat you know this place is going to be amazing. The rooms feature traditional hand carved walls and the views are to die for - every room has private, unobstructed vistas over Phang Nga bay.

A big plus for the Santhiya is that it is luxury and beauty without the exorbitant prices. The villas are more expensive, but we simply booked two standard rooms next door to each other which worked perfectly. Another highlight of the resort is the stunningly gorgeous lagoon pool complete with it’s own waterfall and floating long tail boats to relax in.

The kids club facilities are huge and our girls literally never wanted to leave the place. I did one of the yoga classes during our stay and as a long term yogi I was really impressed with the quality of the instructor, and the beautiful studio overlooking the ocean complete with ocean breeze and the 6am sunrise was a lovely experience.

Absolute best bit about the Santhiya – views from the Saiitara Restaurant and plunge pool! By far the best place for evening sunset drinks and dinner and the privilege of eating breakfast each morning from the window ledges with nothing but blue skies and turquoise waters reaching out to the karst islands - pure bliss.

If you have time definitely consider a visit to the Santhiya… you can book your stay right here!

The Katathani Phuket complex is frequently rated in the top hotels in Phuket so I wanted to include a week's stay to see whether the reviews live up to the high ratings. Overall, we had a really great stay at the Katathani however I think it is only fair to outline why I think this hotel is so popular and perhaps a few reasons why it might not be the choice for you depending on what you are after.

Firstly, let me outline what makes this resort really great and worthy of its high praises - particularly for families:

  • The resort has a huge array of conveniences built into the complex including onsite supermarkets, a coffee shop, a great pizza and pasta café which makes life with young kids really easy. There are also many local restaurants and shops within an easy walk to eat locally.

  • There are a large variety of pools including an excellent splash water play area and slides which are fantastic for toddlers and younger kids

  • There are all the western indulgences that appeal like a good gym, computer play rooms, games room etc. and a big bonus for us at the point of our trip where we had bag loads of dirty clothes was a self-service laundry (a great idea)

  • I think the biggest selling point for families is the array of brilliant family friendly rooms. Plenty of rooms with the trundle lounge beds.

Whilst on the surface this resort has a whole lot going for it for me personally there were elements of the resort which left me a little underwhelmed and may help other travelling families decide if this resort suits their travel style. Firstly, this resort is BIG. And by big, I mean there are several wings and a myriad of guests and although the extensive facilities cope well with the volume it does sometimes detract from the authenticity. Breakfast feels like you are part of a wildebeest herd and the volume of food being served detracts from the quality of food and the experience.

Potentially the biggest issue I had with the Katathani was the pollution on the beach. Sadly, the plastics and glass in the water and washing up on the beaches in Thailand is becoming a serious concern but the beach at Katathani was absolutely loaded with rubbish during our stay. Whilst the hotel does clean it daily the extent of the problem in this location means we didn't really even walk on the beach.

Please try and do your bit when travelling in Thailand and consider your single use plastic usage to not become a contributor to this cascading problem!

Christine Knight from Adventure Baby

When staying in Phuket, we loved the Novotel Phuket Karon Beach Resort and Spa. This beautiful Phuket resort has a fantastic location for travellers wanting to be close to tourist attractions such as the Big Buddha, but far enough away to feel like you’re staying in a small village. We loved the beautiful main pool, the especially designed children's pool, the clean and fun kids club, plus the special meal deal they had for kids that significantly cut down meal costs.

Katathani Khao Lak

Choosing to move a little further away to popular Khao Lak we opted for a stay at The Sands Khao Lak which is an expansive family friendly resort. Given that we were unfortunate enough to hit an 8 day straight monsoon downpour we can well and truly verify that kids club a this resort is top notch and has exceptional staff to help keep the kids busy and entertained.

The pools at the Katathani are great with a separate adults-only pool and a kids’ pool complete with water slide. Food was fantastic in the main restaurant with plenty to keep the kids happy and a great choice of themed dinner options throughout the week.

The Katathani Khao Lak have super fun family rooms. Decorated in fresh ocean themed designs the kids had their own expandable trundle beds in the living area which closed off from the main bedroom area complete with their own AV set up. All rooms at this resort also have views out over the pools and ocean.

Khao Lak was one area devastatingly affected by the Boxing Day Tsunami and although a very sombre experience I recommend visiting the small memorial museum in Khao Lak village. Note this is probably not suitable for very young kids due to the sensitive remnants and memorials.

Looking for a Thailand resort that’s completely away from it all? When we discovered Phi Phi Island Village Resort we knew we’d found that little slice of heaven – perfect for honeymooners through to families! So isolated, arrival is only by boat from Phuket or Krabi – a tractor then comes and collects you from the shallow bay.

There's a huge selection of cabana style cabins in various sizes (including family rooms), spread out over a large area so you still maintain your privacy. As well as two swimming pools, one including kids slide and splash area, day trip activities can all be organised through their recreation club. Another great option is being able to walk to nearby beaches which other than the occasional villager or fisherman, are almost deserted. You can also take a hike over Ko Phi Phi Don to the main village in Tonsai Bay – there are no cars on Phi Phi at all!

There are extensive meal choices available in the resort, but our favourite part of staying here was the small village behind the resort. With some amazing little Thai restaurants, the usual massage shops, convenience stores and tour operators it meant despite staying at a resort, you are not trapped into resort prices for everything!

The Holiday Inn Mai Khao epitomises family friendly accommodation in every way. Located minutes from the airport we opted for a few nights here on arrival to let the kids rest and get over the jet lag. What this hotel lacks in extravagance it gains in boutique ambience and fantastic value for money. The Holiday Inn resort has a kids stay and eat for free policy making it a great choice for families.

The family rooms were superb – spacious with two separate bedrooms (bunks which were safely railed even for young kids) and fully decked out with kids toys and activities.

The pool area is smaller than most in Phuket but really peaceful and pretty and you rarely need to share it with any other guests. The landscaping and gardens are gorgeous and there is an excellent gym and day spa on site.

I was a little worried about noise being so close to the airport but the kids LOVED watching the planes come in to land and the rooms are all double glazed for sound so there are no issues with noise in your room.

Best part of all was the family friendly dining. Both the main restaurant and the very relaxing beach bar restaurant were THE MOST accommodating and friendly dining experience with kids. The staff bend over backwards to make the kids happy and lots of little touches like kids crockery, cutlery, special menus and activities made meal times enjoyable.

If you want to be closer to the hustle and bustle of Patong then I recommend the Novotel Phuket Resort. A reasonably priced hotel with top notch facilities and rooms, the Novotel sits prettily atop the hill at the northern edge of Patong Beach. Still an easy walk into town but far enough away for families to find some quiet.

This resort has great views especially from the three-tiered swimming pool that cascades down the hill. For families, there is a kids club, free wifi and complimentary shuttle bus that runs into Patong.

The Sunsuri is an impressively designed hotel built into the mountain edge on the southern point of Nai Harn beach. The area of Nai Harn itself is interesting with the Nai Harn Monastery perched on the edge of a lake that you can walk around for some exercise. We were at this hotel in July which meant the seas were too rough for our young kids so we were happy to enjoy the beautiful pools at the Sunsuri instead. The Sunsuri pools cater for all tastes with some quiet areas, a fun kids pool complete with large water slide and diving board and some other play zones set up for pool volleyball or basketball.

The rooms are luxurious and very spacious and we were given a great upgrade giving us a balcony with expansive views out towards the ocean. We really enjoyed our stay at this hotel and given the family friendly price point this place is a winner.

Food options in Nai Harn are great and our all time favourite cafe in Phuket, Unni's restaurant was a great find and only a 5 minute walk from the Sunsuri towards the beach. This tiny restaurant became our ‘local’ for the stay in Nai Harn and consistently served up super food and friendly service. There are also loads of other restaurants back in Nai Harn town so you can easily find affordable and tasty food outside of the hotel.

There really are lots of great places to stay in Phuket to suit all range of budgets so I hope these list of family friendly options helps you to narrow down the choices. If you know of any amazing resorts in Phuket that your family can rave about please add them in your comments below so that we can all take a look!

Phuket things to do with kids

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