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The best of our recommended family-friendly hotels to stay in Thailand
Searching for somewhere far-flung and fabulous to take the kids? Thailand's amazing mix of culture, luscious jungle, stunning beaches and delicious cuisine is a match made in heaven for adventure families looking for somewhere unique and unforgettable. Don't forget the hotels either - from fun kid's clubs and sparkling pools, to luxurious family-sized rooms, we check into the best family-friendly hotels in Thailand that every parent should know about.
The Sands Khao Lak by Katathani
The scene: Located along the picturesque Nang Thong Beach, The Sands Khao Lak is an expansive resort that truly does cater for all. Divided into three wings, the Lagoon and Seaside sections are laidback and more adult, whilst the Aqua Wing offers colorful, fun activities the whole family will enjoy. Take your pick from seven bars and restaurants, enjoy a range of activities including yoga and movie nights, and relax on the sunshine terrace.
Best for kids: The Aqua Wing is renowned for being a hub of family-friendly fun, with lots of water features, slides, and even an amazing lazy river that winds through the area. Toddler and kid pools create a safe environment for all ages, whilst the Sands Castle Kids Club arranges fabulous activities including arts and crafts, trampolines and rock climbing.
Best for parents: Who doesn’t love a lazy river? It isn’t just for the kids, mom and dad will love leisurely floating along the river too. If that’s not your thing, head to the adult-only pool for a relaxing afternoon while the kids are in the club.
More information and to book: The Sands Khao Lak by Katathani
Centara Grand Beach Resort, Krabi
The scene: With the added benefit of its own private beach at Pai Plong Bay, this five-star resort is reached either by a short tuk-tuk ride from Ao Nang or by speedboat from Nopporathara Pier. There’s a good-looking pool complex, PADI dive centre, and 192 effortlessly luxurious ocean-facing and garden-view rooms, suites, and private villas - many of which have pools or Jacuzzis.
Best for kids: The two well-run kids’ clubs offer age-appropriate activities in a supervized setting. There’s Camp Safari for children aged 4-9 as well as E-Zone for tech-savvy teens too old for fish-feeding, painting, competitions, games, and arts and crafts. Babysitting is also available.
Best for parents: Time away from the kids can be spent blissing out at the fabulous SPA Cenvaree, working up a sweat at the state-of-the-art gym, and getting stuck into sailing, snorkelling, kayaking and windsurfing at the on-site watersports centre. Equally worthy of your attention is Hagi for Japanese show cooking, Rim Saai for Thai seafood, Lotus Court for Asian cuisine, and the stylish Deep Blue Bar for DJ beats and late-night cocktails.
More information and to book: Centara Grand Beach Resort, Krabi
Cape Panwa, Phuket Island
The scene: For a beach-blessed stay in Phuket, this four-star resort is set on a secluded promontory in the island’s lesser-known south-east. The location couldn’t be more spot-on; right on one of Thailand’s only private beaches and surrounded by coconut groves and tropical gardens. All of the 205 suites and villas are top-spec, with many featuring Jacuzzi tubs.
Best for kids: There’s a kids’ playground as well as an indoor games room that opens daily from 8am to 10pm. Visits to see the orange clownfish, reef sharks and stingrays at the small and rarely-crowded Phuket Aquarium can also be arranged.
Best for parents: When you’re not lazing by either of the two pools, working out in the gym, relaxing in the sauna, and booking treatments in the spa, make the most of the on-site activities and excursions. There’s boat trips to Coral Island, private Thai boxing and yoga classes, batik painting, and the chance to whip up your own Thai meal. And while the 10 bars and restaurants more than satisfy, nothing beats the meat feast that is Friday’s Steak Night Buffet.
More information and to book: Cape Panwa, Phuket Island
Centara Grand Beach Resort & Villas Hua Hin, Hua Hin
The scene: A grandiose resort with a family-friendly approach, this 1923 colonial-style beachfront stay ticks all the boxes for style-conscious guests. There’s acres of dazzling landscaped gardens, four outdoor pools, two putting greens, and over 200 luxury-led rooms and suites with high ceilings, period-style furnishings, polished hardwoods, and sumptuous Thai silks.
Best for kids: This place offers all the facilities and activities that children could want: swimming, tennis, volleyball, football, badminton, bike rental, and more. There’s also Camp Safari for children aged 4-9 and E-Zone for hard-to-please teens. Babysitting is also available.
Best for parents: Within easy reach of eight 18-hole golf courses, this place has something for everyone. There’s SPA Cenvaree for treatments, a state-of-the-art fitness centre for workouts, and two tennis courts for optional private lessons. The equally impressive dining scene includes Hagi for Japanese show cooking, Rim Saai for Thai seafood, Railway Restaurant for all-day dining, and Salathai for traditional Thai cooking.
More information and to book: Centara Grand Beach Resort & Villas Hua Hin, Hua Hin
Amari Koh Samui
The scene: Sitting on a peaceful stretch of Chaweng Beach, Amari Koh Samui adopts an authentic and utterly charming Thai-vibe, with beautiful architecture, colorful Balinese décor, and gorgeous lagoon-style pools looking out to sea. The split-level Deluxe Family Duplex is a wonderful hideout for adventurous families, with a comfy living room on the lower floor.
Best for kids: Younger guests won’t want to leave Amari’s wonderfully colorful kid’s club, featuring a fun animal themed playground and offering a wide range of cool activities. There’s also a children’s pool perfect for splashing around in the sunshine.
Best for parents: Direct access to the powdery sands of Chaweng Beach presents a stunning spot to sun yourself – moving only to grab your drink. Whilst the Amaya Food Gallery offers a vibrant, casual spot for the whole family to dine together, parents hoping for time just the two of them should wander along to Amaya Bar for a gorgeous sunset cocktail.
More information and to book: Amari Koh Samui
Santiburi Beach Resort, Golf & Spa, Koh Samui
The scene: Smack bang on the sweeping white sands of Koh Samui’s Mae Nam Beach, this stunning resort promises five-star luxury on the unspoiled northern coast. There’s 59 suites and low-rise villas spread across 23 acres of beautiful tropical gardens, a supersized freeform outdoor pool, and a championship 18-hole golf course right on the cliff's edge.
Best for kids: The Kids’ Activity Centre is kitted out with table tennis, darts, and a room for video games and PlayStation. Activities include Thai-influenced arts and crafts workshops, batik shirt painting, gel candle making, cooking lessons, basketball, football, and acrobatics.
Best for parents: Nothing beats an end-of-day massage at Santiburi Spa - a sublime space complete with indoor baths, and outdoor deep soaking tubs. There’s also two restaurants for contemporary Thai and international cuisine, a brand-new sports centre for high-tech workouts, and a separate air-conditioned room for yoga classes. Sporty types will relish the floodlit tennis court, jogging and cycling trails, and half-sized grass football pitch.
More information and to book: Santiburi Beach Resort, Golf & Spa, Koh Samui
Khaolak Merlin Resort, Khao Lak
The scene: For Andaman Sea views that go on forever, this four-star resort north of Phuket ups the ante with a lush rainforest location and direct access to 190 metres of Khao Lak beachfront. Assuming an upscale vibe throughout, it has four outdoor pools, a spa pool with Jacuzzi, and 200 ultra-stylish rooms and pool villas with chic décor and all mod cons.
Best for kids: There’s a separate children's pool with waterslide, playground with climbing equipment, kids’ menu, and free-to-borrow bikes. Babysitting and childcare services are also available. Older kids may use the tennis court that opens daily from 8am to 9pm.
Best for parents: Superbly geared for families, most of the focus here is on the outdoor areas. Cool off by one of the four pools, work out in the small fitness suite, and enjoy relaxing facials, massages and aromatic body wraps and scrubs at the Merlin Spa. There’s also a couple of excellent restaurants for seafood, grilled delights, and all-day Thai and Asian fare as well as a laid-back beachfront bar for long drinks and well-crafted cocktails.
More information and to book: Khaolak Merlin Resort, Khao Lak
Anantara Riverside Resort, Bangkok
The scene: Despite being in the heart of Bangkok, this resort has been carefully crafted to provide its guests with a laidback, tropical ambience. Its 281 guestrooms and 95 suites all offer a serene retreat from the lively Asiatique riverside entertainment complex that it overlooks, creating the best of both worlds.
Best for kids: Kids will love making friends at Chang Noi Kids’ Club where they will be kept busy with sports, crafts, and even learning how to dance like their local Thais. Alternatively, for some quality time spent together with your children, Anantara boasts an expansive swimming pool with a safe shallow-end, jacuzzi and tennis court.
Best for parents: For a bit of child-free relaxation head to Anantara’s spa – a tropical haven with couples’ suites where you can switch off with full-body treatments. For something more hands on, Spice Spoons on-site cooking school allows you to uncover the secrets behind Southeast Asia’s finest cuisine. As evening falls, immerse yourselves in traditional Thai experiences such as the daily torch-lighting ceremony where you can enjoy live music and spectacular scenes as the sun sets, or for even further exploration of Bangkok’s heritage, enjoy a romantic boat tour or river cruise along its network of canals.
More information and to book: Anantara Riverside Resort, Bangkok
Elephant Hills, Krabi
The scene: We think camping in the rainforest is an irresistible experience at any age. With Elephant Hills you and the family can embark on either a three-day Jungle Lake Safari, a three-day Jungle Safari or a four-day Nature Safari (age restrictions apply). Busy days spent exploring will culminate with a restful night’s sleep at the luxury floating camp overlooking the irresistible Cheow Lan Lake.
Best for kids: Children will relish in the opportunity to feed and bathe elephants and spot monkeys and gibbons in the heart of the rainforest. See their eyes light up as they are taken on magical canoe tours through Thailand’s most enchanted rivers and lakes.
Best for parents: Whilst everything is made suitable for kids and parents alike, we think the parents of you will particularly enjoy leisurely jungle treks and, if opting for the four-day tour, an exhilarating speedboat tour. With cooking demos and cocktails on offer, Elephant Hills offers more than just a feast for the eyes.
More information and to book: Elephant Hills, Krabi
Phuket Marriott Resort & Spa, Merlin Beach:
The scene: Island retreats don’t get much better than this- spanning the sugar-white sands of Tri-Trang beach yet a mere five-minutes from the liveliness of Pa Tong, this resort has something for everyone. The rooms are not only newly-renovated but, with a variety of styles, you are sure to find one big enough to make your home-from-home for the whole family.
Best for kids: Days of excitement lie ahead for kids staying at the extraordinary Phuket Marriott Resort. There are three swimming pools to explore, one exclusively for the little residents, fit with an interactive Splash Pad and mini water slide. For more fun in the sun, there is a children’s play area and a kids’ club offering supervized indoor and outdoor adventures. Babysitting services are also available.
Best for parents: The vibrancy of this resort that is so loved by kids can be easily balanced out with romantic interludes for parents thanks to the on-site spa, adults-only pools and intimate dining options. There is also a beauty salon or fitness centre for some well-deserved me-time, not forgetting the stunning beach which offers up a real slice of paradise.
More information and to book: Phuket Marriott Resort & Spa, Merlin Beach
Katathani Phuket Beach Resort, Phuket:
The scene: This resort is paradise for all the family, and that’s not just because of the breath-taking views surrounding it. An array of facilities cater for everyone, along with an assortment of elegantly styled rooms, including well-equipped family suites fit with enchantingly decorated kids’ rooms.
Best for kids: With four colorfully designed child-friendly swimming pools, one of which features a water slide; a play area and sand-pit; and a kids-club with stimulating daily activities, your child will never be bored at Katathani Phuket. Babysitting services are also available.
Best for parents: With a beach this glorious you hardly need anything else to do, but this expansive resort offers an abundance of activities irrelevant. Relax in the rooftop jacuzzi at the spa, get a sweat on at the state-of-the-art fitness centre, get competitive in a game of water polo, volleyball, table tennis or practice your Thai boxing.
More information and to book: Katathani Phuket Beach Resort, Phuket