Do you need help finding the best place to stay in Phuket or Khao Lak? We have just spent 3 weeks road testing 5 of the hottest trending 2018 family resorts in Phuket to add to our already amazing list of resort options for your next trip!
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 also give some honest real-life recommendations on which Phuket resorts and hotels they have loved.
No glossy travel brochure trying to sell you whatever deal is going - just honest feedback to give you the best advice and options for picking an amazing family resort. After all, I want your family to love Thailand as much as mine does!
Laguna Phuket Resorts
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 humble 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 which 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 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 allow you some pretty amazing sunsets which can be enjoyed from many of the beach restaurants. It is centrally located with an easy twenty minute commute to the airport, Patong and other tourist areas in Phuket.
Here are some of the recommended hotels at Laguna Phuket.
Cassia Laguna Phuket
If you are after a family friendly hotel that is cheerfully cheap and with all the perks of five-star facilities then you really should check out the Cassia Laguna Phuket. Located within the Laguna Phuket complex the Cassia a fresh, fun and super 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. The decor of the Cassia is super stylish and brightly coloured walls and vibrant artwork adorn every corner of the hotel. The service was also really impressive!
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 really delicious food - one of the yummiest pineapple fried rice dishes!
- Cleverly designed pools - spacious and relaxing with a great sandy kids play area
You can find more photos and information about the Cassia Laguna here.
Sally-Ann Brown from Toddlers on Tour
It has been a few years since we last visited Phuket. We have fond memories of the family friendly activities and places to stay on the Thai Island. We stayed on the northern Phuket beach of Bang Tao Bay in the resort complex known as Laguna, at Outrigger Laguna Beach Resort Phuket 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!
Check latest prices for the Outrigger Laguna Phuket by clicking here
Dusit Thani Laguna Phuket
The Dusit Thani Laguna holds a special spot in my heart 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 makes you really feel as though you are in Thailand.
Unfortunately, the drawback for the Dusit is its limited room styles for families. If travelling with babies and toddlers where being in the same room is easy then the standard or superior rooms are very stylish and comfortable and the hotel provides baby cots and rollaways.
The Dusit spoils parents with a kids club, playground and a fun kids section of the resort pool. Look at the latest prices for the Dusit Thani Laguna Phuket here.
If you want to splurge (or money is no object), the private villas which overlook the Lagoon are super swish, 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.
Update: We very recently stopped in at the Dusit and I am sad to report that the place was looking a little worn out. There appeared to be lots of upgrades and work being done though particularly around the pool area so I am excited to see how the Dusit looks in the future.
Angsana Laguna Phuket
Although I haven’t personally stayed at the Angsana I highly recommend considering this resort after spending plenty of time visiting the hotel and using its facilities. 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 interesting river pool that winds through the grounds of the resort linking back to the main pool – kids love paddling through the lazy river on inflatables!
Angsana Laguna prices and availability can be researched here.
Outside of the Laguna area other popular hotels for families are below...
Marriott Nai Yang
Our stay at the Marriott Nai Yang 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 purpose 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 can wholeheartedly recommend the Marriott Nai Yang hotel as one of the stand out resorts in Phuket as of 2018.
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 you can supervise them easily without any hassles. For travelling with kids, 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 the boutique resort and the main pool with infinity edge has relaxing and beautiful views across the beach. The rooms were modern, thai inspired and in very good condition and the grounds and gardens are really lush and pretty.
The staff at the Marriott are hands down some of the friendlies and most professional of any resort we have come across. The kids club was fun for the kids 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 was sensational.
The location of the Marriott is a little isolated with not much around 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 down the beach during low tides to a local supermarket and local restaurants or take a short taxi ride. Don't forget to take a closer look at the Marriott Nai Yang and book today through this link...
Santhiya Koh Yao Yai
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 shuttle boat you know this place is going to be amazing. The rooms feature hand carved walls which normally wouldn’t really appeal to me but from the moment you step inside you recognise the beauty of the work. The views are also completely unbeatable and every room has private, unobstructed vistas.
A big plus for the Santhiya is that it is really affordable. The villas are more expensive, but we simply had two standard rooms next door which were perfect. Other highlights of the resort include one of the most stunningly gorgeous lagoon pools 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 with the breeze blowing in straight off the ocean was a lovely experience.
Absolute best bit about the Santhiya – views from the Saiitara Restaurant! 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.
If you have the time definitely include a visit to the Santhiya… you can book your stay right here!
Katathani Phuket Beach Resort
The Katathani Phuket complex is frequently rated in the top hotels in Phuket so I wanted to make sure we spent some time seeing whether the reviews live up to the high ratings. Overall, we had a really great stay at the Katathani however I think it only fair to be honest in outlining why I think this hotel is so popular and perhaps a few reasons why it might not be the choice for you.
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 and an excellent splash water play area which is 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 filthy clothes was a self-service laundry (a great idea)
I think the biggest selling point for families is the array of family friendly rooms. Plenty of rooms with the trundle lounge beds.
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 needs. This resort is BIG. And by big, I mean there are several wings and a myriad of guests and although the facilities cope well with the volume it does sometimes detract from the authenticity and you don’t get the same level of personal interactions with the staff. Breakfast feels like you are part of a herd and the volume of food being served I felt detracted from the quality of food and the experience.
Potentially the biggest issue for the Katathani was the price of the restaurants. Luckily again there are lots of local restaurants about...
Click here to see more photos and prices for the Katathani Phuket Beach Resort.
Novotel Phuket Karon Beach Resort and Spa
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.
Check deals for the Novotel Karon here.
Katathani The Sands Khao Lak
On our latest visit to Thailand with kids we opted to head further adrift from Phuket and found ourselves at the Katathani Khao Lak. It is an expansive and luxurious resort which is well set up for families. Of particular note is the kids club room which was really cleverly designed and full to the brim with exciting activities for little ones. This was fortunate for us as we had to spend a lot of time visiting with two toddlers after a random monsoon system that wouldn’t lift all but washed out our 8 night visit. The staff in the kids club here were exceptional. Both my girls are very shy and quiet and we struggle to leave them with strangers but here the girls were so comfortable they begged to be babysat giving us some nice kid free time.
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.
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 bed area - complete with their own AV set up. All rooms at this resort also have views out over the ocean.
Khao Lak was one are that was 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 though this is probably not suitable for young kids – we visited whilst the kids were with a babysitter back at the resort.
Take a look at the Katathani Khao Lak resort here.
Phi Phi Island Village Resort
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!
Check latest prices for Phi Phi Island Village resort here
Holiday Inn, Mai Khao
Looking for the ultimate family friendly experience in Thailand then you can’t go wrong with the Holiday Inn Mai Khao. 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. We weren’t expecting the grandest of experiences but what this hotel lacks in extravagance it gains in boutique ambience and fantastic value for money. This resort has a kids stay and eat for free policy making it a great choice for families.
To start, 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. The landscaping and gardens are gorgeous and the usual extras can be found such as a gym and spa.
I was a little worried being so close to the airport but the kids LOVED watching the planes arriving and watching them come in to land. The rooms are well insulated for sound so there are no issues with noise in your room.
Best part of all with this resort – 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.
Check latest prices here.
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.
Check out prices for the Novotel and more amazing hotels from Accor here.
Sunsuri Nai Harn
The Sunsuri is an impressively designed hotel built into the mountains edge on the southern point of Nai Harn beach. The area of Nai Harn itself is interesting with the Nai Harn Monastery perched prettily 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 way 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 were luxurious and very spacious and we were given a reasonably priced upgrade option which gave 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. My only suggestion for improvement with the Sunsuri is regarding the quality and options for food. The Sunsuri caters to some large Asian tour bus groups and this reflected in the choice and quality of food offered particularly for breakfast. Don’t worry though regarding other food options – one of our absolute favourite finds was the tiny Unni’s Restaurant just a 5-10 minute walk 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.
Book the Sunsuri today.
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. We are heading back to Thailand in a couple of months time and will be road-testing another three new resorts to potentially include in this list of Phuket hotels - so stay tuned!
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