Reading a book on the beach while working on a great tan. Gentle swims. Walking hand-in-hand along the sand. Shopping for souvenirs. Sipping cocktails while gazing at the sunset. Does that spell “perfect holiday”?
If you’re a grown-up, yes. But if you’re a child it all spells B-O-R-I-N-G. However, help is at hand for families holidaying in Phuket. Many hotels have excellent facilities for keeping kids occupied and safe. Below is just a small sample.
Holiday Inn Phuket Resort
Located on Phuket’s best-known beach, Patong Beach, the Holiday Inn has fun Pirate-themed rooms as part of its family suites, with beds shaped like boats and a treasure map right across one wall. Yo Ho Ho! Don’t forget to bring your eye patch and your parrot…
The resort’s kids’ club has a full-time team to welcome kids from age five to 12 and keep them happily and safely amused all day long, doing arts and crafts or playing games. For the teens, there is Club 12+, a “parent-free zone” with Internet access, PlayStation, a DVD player and a karaoke corner.
- Location: Patong Beach
JW Marriott Phuket Resort & Spa
At the north end of the island, on Mai Khao Beach, the JW Marriott has a huge pool with a separate section catering especially to families, with a shallow bubble pool and a water slide.
It also has a supervised kids’ club with colorful playhouse and climbing frame, wooden toys, a doll’s house and many fun “Little Turtles Activities” to keep youngsters busy from 9 to 5.
For older kids there is a separate section with Internet access, a large movie screen, PlayStation, pool table and table tennis.The JW Marriott also has activities to involve the entire family, such as Thai cookery lessons, batik classes and other arts and crafts and even kick-boxing.
- Location: Mai Khao Beach
Swissotel Resort - Phuket - All Suites
The resort is located on Kamala Beach, just 15 minutes’ drive north of the fun town of Patong, yet one of the most relaxing beaches on the island. The hotel has 180 spacious suites, each with a separate living room with sofa that converts easily into another bed at nighttime, along with pantry and private balcony.
Facilities include a large swimming pool with water slide, a children’s pool and a beach volleyball court. For children specifically, there is a CD games room, a children’s playground and a Kids’ Room, and plenty of energetic activities, including horse riding, can be arranged.
- Location: Kamala Beach
Ramada Phuket Southsea
This hotel was recently refurbished with families in mind. It’s a short walk from the beach and about 10 minutes’ walk from the shops in Karon. The hotel has a fantastic KidzClub, well run with lots of activities such as batik painting, swimming and cooking. The resort’s pools are designed very much with families in mind. One has fountains, while another comes equipped with that essential ingredient: dinosaurs.
The hotel even has themed rooms for “the young and young at heart alike”. These include Underwater and Outer Space rooms and a Castle suite. If you have little girls, they’ll be ecstatic in the Castle, where they can feel just like princesses. Even eating is fun, in the themed Castle Bar & Grill - right next to the KidzClub and Dino-Pool.
- Location: Karon Beach
Angsana Laguna Phuket
The Sheraton is well prepared for families with children. Accommodation includes Island Villas with two bedrooms, suitable for couples with two children, and three variations on a similar theme: the Private Pool Villas, each with its own pool and three bedrooms, suitable for a family of six; the Private Pool Residences, with a bigger pool; and Private Grande Pool Residences with four bedrooms for families of up to eight - and a pool, of course. The latter two also have living and dining rooms and kitchens - for kids (or dads) who insist on having food made by mum and no one else.
The VIK (Very Important Kids) Club provides daily entertainment, games and crafts, and gets visits every day from Ning Nong and Yum Yum, the resort’s baby elephants. The Club is complimentary for guests aged from four to 12.
- Location: Bangtao Beach
DoubleTree Resort by Hilton Hotel Phuket
Going north from Kamala, you’ll come to Surin Beach, considered by many to be one of the most beautiful beaches in the world, and home to the Surin Beach Resort, with its 256 elegant deluxe studios and suites.
This is an ideal place for family holidays with plenty of space and a large centerpiece pool with two long, winding, water slides. There is also a special kids’ pool, a children’s playground, a supervised Kids’ Club, CD games, snooker, a beach volleyball court and a snooker room.
- Location: Surin Beach
All these hotels provide babysitting on request, with prices starting from 100 baht an hour. Cots for babies are usually supplied free and most hotels have a doctor on call. Internet access for children is carefully controlled to bar access to inappropriate websites.