White sand beaches, undiscovered islands and more family-friendly resorts than you can imagine.  Thailand is emerging as one of the most popular holiday destinations to take the kids.

It’s less than a 10 hour flight from Australia. It’s cheaper than Hawaii & Fiji. And is a little more adventurous than the more popular holiday destination of Bali.

With so many accommodation options, finding the right resort for you family can be overwhelming. We’ve done a round-up of our favourites to help out.

Map of popular tourist areas

Locations of popular tourist areas in Thailand. Photo: Family travel/Google Maps

Phuket

JW Marriott Phuket Resort & Spa

Just steps from Mai Khao Beach and 20 minutes north of the airport, JW Marriott is a great choice for families looking to avoid the bustle of Phuket’s tourist areas. Located on Mai Khao beach on the northwest coast of Phuket, families can enjoy watersports like kayaking and catamaran expeditions, play at the tennis court and, of course, swim in the luxurious resort pools equipped water slides. The buffest breakfast offers an impressive spread of traditional and western food with fresh juices and smoothies made to order. The on-site deli is great for throwing together a quick lunch for the kids.

Highlights:

  • Dedicated kids pool
  • 11 restaurants to choose from

Room recommendations:

  • Oceanfront Pool Suite (2a+2c or up to 4 adults)
  • Garden Room Villa (2a+1c with extra bed)
  • Deluxe Family Terrace (2a+1c with extra bed)
  • Royal Villa (2a+2c or up to 4 adults)
kids playing pool at the Kids Club at JW Marriott Phuket Thailand

Kids Club at the JW Marriott Phuket. Photo: The Lux Traveller

 

Kata Palm Resort & Spa

A very affordable option for families, the Kata Palm is a 4-star resort just minutes from Phuket’s Kata Beach. It features 2 large swimming pools and two wading pools for kids with a mushroom water fountain. Enjoy a drink at the swim up bar and sit down for a meal at  one of the three dining venues.

Highlights:

  • Kids Club and baby-sitting available
  • Buffest breakfast included
  • Swim up bar

Room recommendations:

  • Deluxe Pool view (2a+2c)
  • Grand deluxe (2a+2c)
  • Premier suite (2a+2c)
Photo of resort kids pool with red and white mushroom fountain

Mushroom fountain in the kid’s pool at Kata Palm. Photo: Kata Palm Resort & Spa

 

Sunwing Bangtao Beach

The surf at Bang Tao beach can get quite big but there are enough pools and water activities at the resort to keep you cool. The village is just a short walk or tuk tuk ride away, with lots of shops, restaurants and cafes. The resort offers both traditional Thai and western foods with a huge buffet breakfast included.

Highlights:

  • Buffet breakfast included
  • Kids eat free with paying adults
  • Teen Lounge for older kids

Room recommendations:

  • Happy Baby Studio (2a+2c)
  • Family Suite (Up to 2a+4c)
Pool photo with waterslide at Bangtao beach resort

Check out that awesome water slide. Photo: Sunwing Bangtao Beach

 

Ko Lanta

Pimalai Resort & Spa

Beach on one side, mountains on the other, Pimalai Resort & Spa has the best of both worlds. There are two large swimming pools, a tennis court and daily kid’s activities. Guests have described the resort as an ‘impeccably maintained jungle’, full of tropical plants and colourful gardens.  While there are restaurants at the resort, they can be expensive for larger families. It’s worth exploring the dining options in the township of Ko Lanta.

Highlights:

  • Baby sitting available on request
  • Kids Club
  • Breakfast included in room rate
  • Happy hour at the Seven Seas Restaurant

Room recommendations:

  • Chairman Villa (3 bedrooms)
  • Beachfront two-bedroom Villa (Up to 4 adults)

*Hillside villas have a stunning view but can be tiresome to walk up for young kids when the buggies aren’t available

Infinity pool with curtain waterfall at Pimalai Resort, Thailand

Beautiful view from the infinity pool. Photo: Kim Holm/TripAdvisor

 

Koh Samui

Lanna Samui

Lanna is a quiet, 5-star boutique hotel on the island of Koh Samui. Guests can take a short stroll and find themselves of the shores of Bangrak beach and the free shuttle into Koh Samui’s nightlife and shopping district only takes 10 minutes. Young ones can enjoy crafting, watching movies and taking special cooking classes at the Kids Club while adults relax by the pool, enjoy the full-service spa and have a drink at the sophisticated bars.

Highlights:

  • Dedicated kids pool
  • Babysitting on request
  • Free shuttle to Koh Samui town center
  • Cots available

Room recommendation:

  • Deluxe two-bedroom penthouse suite (2a+2c) – $300/night
Photo of lounge room with kitchen in view

Enjoy a fully-equipped kitchen and spacious loungeroom area. Photo: Lanna Samui

 

InterContinental

On the shores of Ang Thong National Marine Park, the InterContinental boasts spectacular sunset views over the Gulf of Thailand in an exclusive, remote location. Just 79 rooms make up this mountainside retreat, equipped with seven dining venues, a full-service spa and a renowned kids’ club catering for kids 4-7 and 8-12. The crystal clear waters off Ko Samui offer world class snorkelling, diving and dolphin watching, while the resort’s five pools will keep you cool back on land.

Highlights:

  • Kids under 4 eat free & kids 4+ dine half price
  • Free access to Planet Trekkers kids’ club
  • ‘Family Pleasures’ package offers complimentary breakfast, baby sitting, massages, cooking classes and more.

Room recommendations:

  • Club Two-Bedroom Residence Villa (Up to four adults)
  • Club Napa Reserve Three-Bedroom Residence (Up to six adults)

Aerial shot of InterContinental cliffside resort in Ko Samui

Spectacular sunset behind Ko Samui’s InterContinental. Photo: InterContinental

 

Chiang Mai

Veranda High Resort Chiang Mai by Sofitel

This mountain retreat in northern Thailand is a nice change of scenery to the usual beachside suspects. From Chiang Mai airport, it’s scenic 45 minute drive into the mountains through rice paddies and tea terraces. The resort has an incredible infinity pool overlooking the mountains and shallow wading pool for kids. The WiFi isn’t great but it’s a great opportunity to swap screen time for family time.

Highlights:

  • Kids Club (ages 4-12)
  • Free shuttle to Chiang Mai town
  • Baby sitting services available
  • Cots available on request

Room recommendation:

  • 2 Bedroom Suite (2a+2c)

*Smaller rooms can come with an extra bed to accommodate two adults and one child.

Photo of sun lounges, infinity poola nd mountains in background at Veranda High Thailand

Unparalleled views from the infinity pool. Photo: Veranda High/Booking.com

Centara Hotels & Resorts

With multiple locations around Thailand, Centara’s selection of resorts are a no-brainer for families. Each resort has been designed with kids in mind. Lazy rivers to float down, multiple swimming pools, waterparks, slides and waterfalls will keep the kids entertained for days. Out of the pool, there is archery, rock climbing, Thai boxing, treasure hunts, kayaking and more.

Highlights:

  • Kids stay and play free
  • Free Kids Club (ages 4-11)
  • Babysitting services available

Family room options:

  • Family Residence Suite (2a+3c)
  • Deluxe Family Ocean Facing (2a+2c)
  • 2 Bedroom Pool Vills (4a+3c)
  • Deluxe Family Studio at The Lagoon (3a+2c)

*Rooms vary between locations. Most rooms can cater from one adult and one child with an extra bed.

Top 4 Centara Resorts in Thailand for families:

  • Centara Grand Mirage Beach Resort Pattaya
  • Centara Karon Beach Phuket
  • Centara Grand Beach Resort Phuket
  • Centara Seaview Resort Khao Lak

Find out more about Centara Resorts & Hotels here.

Enjoy poolside bliss at Centara Grand Beach Resort Phuket

Enjoy poolside bliss at Centara Grand Beach Resort Phuket. Photo: Centara Hotels & Resorts

 

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