If you’re planning a family trip to Phuket right now, you’re in for a treat. Though we have been to Thailand before, our recent trip was our first time in Phuket. We didn’t know what to expect, but I’m happy to say we really enjoyed it and will definitely go back. We actually went to Thailand this time as part of a bigger trip to attend a family wedding in Malaysia, but we love Thailand so much we couldn’t go all that way and not take our kids there, so we decided to combine a visit to both countries.
One of the major positives about Phuket as a destination for a holiday with small children is convenience. You can fly directly to Phuket from Bangkok (as opposed to some Thai islands which require a flight or road travel from Bangkok to a port town, and then a subsequent boat trip). Also there are some great hotels in the immediate vicinity of the airport itself. I think we would still visit Phuket even when our children are older, as there were many activities we didn’t get a chance to do this time as they aren’t as toddler-friendly, such as elephant treks.
In this post I’m going to tell you about 3 wonderful family-friendly hotels in Phuket, Thailand, all of which we stayed in, would highly recommend, and are close to the airport.
- The Slate, Nai Yang Beach – Of all the family-friendly hotels in Phuket, we absolutely loved this one. The whole place looks like a work of art! It is so stylishly decorated, every corner seems to have something interesting to look at. We got off to a good start with an early check-in, which is always a plus when you’ve just got off a long haul flight plus connecting flight with children! We were so relieved and grateful to get to our lovely room, a D-Buk Suite. It had a large bed for us, as well as a comfy daybed for our 8 and 4 year old children. Our youngest (age 2) slept in a cot which was already set up and ready for use when we checked in, along with a little welcome pack containing soap and some baby toiletries.
One of our favourite features at the Slate was the main pool, which has a lagoon shape with a “waterfall” feature, large rocks in the shallow area, and is surrounded by greenery, all of which gave it a lovely natural feel. There is a separate toddler pool and a small box of toys to use at the pool/beach was provided. And there are two further adults-only pools. We managed to visit one of these and it was brilliant! There was never a problem getting sun loungers by the pool. In fact the whole resort felt quiet and exclusive, despite the pretty reasonable price tag.
The hotel is located on Nai Yang Beach, though it is separated from the beach by a road. The beach is a little dirty in places, to be completely honest, but to balance this there are several independent places where you can eat, right on the beach, get massages, and do your laundry cheaply (we had to do laundry pretty much straightaway, to our surprise, due to some travel sickness!) Having these amenities is a major plus, as we like to get out of a resort, have a wander and check out the local scene, where possible.
There’s a good kids club called the Tin Box, which our children enjoyed. There are some paid activities and many free ones. We paid for our daughter to do tie-dye T-shirt and Batik T-shirt making and “walk on waterball” in the pool. There was a free kids cooking class which took place in a very grown-up kitchen, which they enjoyed. They were actually shuttled there by golf buggy, which was quite a highlight!
The food is very good at the Slate. It is on the pricier side, but kids eat free at the restaurants which helped a lot. Also water is provided in your hotel room, on a daily basis, as well as jugs of iced lemon water by the pool. I don’t think we had to buy any bottled water at all during our stay!
If you’re looking for something truly special I recommend their signature restaurant, Black Ginger. In order to get there a man rowed us from the spectacular entrance (pictured below) across the lagoon on a raft, while lit torches flickered all around us. It was a unique experience! The food and drinks were fabulous too, and despite the sophisticated ambience they cater completely for children as well, providing a kids menu and crayons. My daughter enjoyed her won ton soup and mocktail!
2. Sunwing Kamala Beach
Next on the list of great family-friendly hotels in Phuket is the Sunwing. We stayed here for a couple of nights. It is certainly a family-friendly hotel to the max! In fact, if you don’t have children I probably wouldn’t advise staying here as it is SO popular with families and the noise could get a little much if you’re hoping for a relaxing resort.
It is located on Kamala beach, which is quite a buzzing stretch. There is no road to cross so you can get straight from the back of the hotel onto the beach. There are vendors on the beach selling drinks. The beach here is a little cleaner but it isn’t pristine by any means…I found (and disposed of) a piece of broken glass bottle which was alarming!
There’s a large kids club at Sunwing, but kids can’t be left by themselves here. They have various activities such as free face-painting and T-shirt decorating (paid). There’s also a games room for older children age 8 and above, which my daughter liked!
There are many swimming pools, I think we counted about 6, and waterslides too! The pools were lovely and very much enjoyed by our children. There is lots of entertainment around for kids, including special appearances by the hotel mascots. The main restaurant has a relaxed atmosphere, and there’s a section with lots of pillows where children can sit and watch cartoons projected on a big wall. There were many children playing or sleeping on couches in full view of their parents, during dinner, so you can feel quite at home here even if your children are active like ours and don’t like to sit still for too long!
Food is decent at Sunwing. The breakfast buffet was very busy, but not bad. At dinner there is a kids buffet, which was free if accompanied by a paying adult. They label all foods so any potential allergens are clearly marked, which I felt was very thoughtful.
3. Phuket Marriott Nai Yang Beach
We only had a night here, but it was long enough to know we would like to come back! Of the 3 family-friendly hotels in Phuket we stayed at this one had the nicest, calmest beach which was great for our kids. The hotel is literally right on the beach, and it is a lovely clean, quiet stretch which isn’t shared with any other hotels or businesses at the moment, giving a real get away from it all feeling, despite being so close to the airport (you can hardly hear the planes, though you can see them in the distance, which our youngest actually enjoyed anyway.) At low tide you can wade a long way out and play on the sand banks. Bliss! Just don’t forget the sun cream!
There’s a good kids club here too. Our 4 year old son was happy the instant he entered the place, and the two women working there were so friendly and really took an interest in him and some lego models he brought with him, so he was really won over.
The main pool here has an infinity edge with a great view of the beach. It’s a lagoon style pool which winds around the resort to some extent, so there are several rooms with direct pool access from the room.
We had two interconnecting rooms on the first floor (note there is no lift to the first floor rooms though we were escorted to our room at the start by a bell hop and driven the whole way there in a golf buggy).
We didn’t have many meals here but the ones we had were great. The breakfast buffet was out of this world. There was even a juice bar! You could select the fruits or vegetables you wanted to include and it was all prepared for you. There was a huge fridge with lots of different juices to choose from. There were whole coconuts on offer (to drink from). There was also a custom noodle soup bar. We could have spent hours at this breakfast buffet. It felt relaxed and staff were attentive and helpful. During the day free ice lollies were handed out near the pool.
All in all these family-friendly hotels in Phuket were winners. If you’re looking for a lovely holiday with kids, in Thailand, I suggest you try them all! But if you just want one hotel for your trip I think our favourite was the Slate, as it seemed the most unique. Wishing you happy family travels!
If you liked this post you might be interested to read about our family trip to Bali, another beautiful destination that’s great with kids!