Koh Samui; good beach hotels for families, interesting cultural experiences for children
Koh Samui is well-suited for family beach holidays, for a number of reasons. Thailand at large is quite safe for families and children, and Koh Samui is certainly the same. The quality of beachfront hotels is generally good, with a wide range of styles and prices. But perhaps most important are the beaches - especially for little ones – and the wide range of things to do and see – for older kids. Most of Samui’s beaches have relatively shallow water, and a gradual slope towards the deep, leaving lots of safe shallows close to shore where young ones can splash and play in relative safety. It’s sometimes inconvenient for adults who want to really swim, but safer for families with young children. Also, the water is especially calm through most of the year, with small to medium waves only crashing on the beaches during the northeast season in November – January.
Older children also enjoy the beaches, but when they need further stimulation there’s a whole range of places to go and things to see on this coconut-covered island. Some excellent new cultural experiences await children of Western families, from visiting local markets to see what the Thais eat to visiting the Muslim fishing community at Hua Thanon or contemplating the Big Buddha statue and its intriguing surrounds.
Driving non-stop around Samui takes just one hour, so it’s the ideal size to spend half a day, or even a full day, going slowly, taking side roads, stopping off and exploring. Renting a car is easy and relatively cheap on Samui, and families will get great value from such trips. There are more pages here suggesting interesting places to see, like Koh Samui’s 7 secret, little-seen beaches , or explore Samui’s admin town, Nathon . Below we list our top choices for the island’s best resorts for families with children of all ages, and give reasons for each selection. The writer has personally visited and photographed virtually all 270 hotels and resorts qualified by this website as true beachfront.