Phuket: many dedicated family beach hotels sure to keep children happy

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Top family beaches & beachfront resorts on Phuket

Children are not fussy about the bed they sleep in, nor do they care to check out the bathroom before booking. But the swimming pool, the water slides, the games room and the state of the beach are all high –priority items. The beach can be heaven for kids, but they need just a few critical facilities if they are to stay happy for a few days, and tire themselves out regularly with gleeful activity.
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With Phuket famed for some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, it’s not surprising that many true beachfront resorts here have gone to significant effort to make themselves child- and family-friendly. One on this list of Top 10 family beach resorts was built specifically as a family hotel.
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Here we identify the resorts that we think provide the best facilities for children and families; children’s swimming pools plus wading pools for toddlers and babies, kid’s clubs, games rooms, playgrounds etc. However, there are still others beach hotels on Phuket where children can fit in quite well. Check each hotel’s list of facilities, and look at the photos of its swimming pool, or pools preferably, and then the beach.
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If any single resort were to be named the Most Child Friendly on Phuket, Sunwing would surely take the prize for toddlers while Centara and its water park would claim the honours for older ones from about 5 years up. And the beach that deserves the title of most family friendly on Phuket is undoubtedly Bang Tao , the beach on which five of this list of ten are located.
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Centara Grand Phuket Resort has a family water park within

With its huge water park to entertain both children and adults, Centara Grand Beach Resort Phuket is a natural for the list of family-friendly beachfront resorts on Phuket. In fact most the approximately ten Centara beach resorts around the country qualify as particularly friendly to families and children. They are planned that way. The jungle-themed water park at Centara Phuket includes water slides, tunnels, artificial beaches and various coves and props to make navigating the waterways fun for all ages.
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The park is open to families from outside, with the fee (2017) being 1,000 Baht per person for a full day’s use. In addition, this resort enjoys a wide sandy beach with water that is invariably clean and calm in the high season, and thus also excellent for children.
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Like other Centaras, this also has its children’s club, Camp Safari, which is always staffed. There are also pools for the very young, from toddler up.
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JW Marriott Phuket Resort & Spa; a family-friendly tradition

If the multiple photos of entirely different swimming pools in the JW Marriott Phuket Resort & Spa seems like a mistake, it’s not. This resort simply has so many different pools and water environments for all ages that it belongs near the top of family-friendly resorts on Phuket. What, after all, makes little kids happier than good, fun pools?
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Marriott also enjoys a vast, 500 metre long beachfront, with lots of gardens and lawns between the hotel buildings and the sand. The beach in front is also good for children during the high season months when the water is mostly dead calm. Thick lines of trees at the top of the beach provide shade for kids to play in during the hot hours at midday. Perhaps the only set-back for this resort is the distance from most other Phuket attractions that children might like to experience, like elephant rides and the Big Buddha. The Splash water park, however, is at the south end of the same beach, Mao Khao. Of course Marriott, with its log traditional of caring for American families, also has its own children’s club.
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Radisson Blu Plaza Resort Phuket Panwa Beach – a quiet resort with fun for kids

Swimming pools make or break a beach resort for children, and Radisson Blu Plaza Resort Phuket Panwa Beach is another that was obviously built with children in mind. The resort’s multiple pools are spread over different levels and wind between varied sun decks. Radisson also has a dedicated kid’s facility, Sapparot Club, with a dedicated children’s pool and waterslide.
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With Radisson Phuket being on the island’s protected east coast, well away from the famous tourist beaches, its own beach is quite narrow and the water shallow – something that might work well for children if not for adults. It is also quite far from many of the attractions that will help keep kids entertained, though many parents will appreciate the relative tranquillity of this side of the island. However, Phuket town, with both its modern shopping malls and traditional markets, is quite close by, and that can provide things to do for both young and old.
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Arinara Bangtao Beach Resort – built around its huge pools

Once again, here in Arinara Bangtao it is huge expanses of water plus slides that keep children entertained through the day, and get them ready for a good night’s sleep. And that propels Arinara Bangtao Beach Resort comfortably into the Top 10 children-friendly list. This resort does not have much space for gardens or greenery – its land has largely been turned into swimming pools which fill the central courtyard around which the resort is built. The pools cascade down different levels towards the beach. There are several specific areas for children of different ages. All rooms overlook the pools, while the bottom floor rooms open directly onto another thin pool that rings the resort.
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Arinara also offers the obligatory kids’ club and playground. The beach is also particularly children friendly during the high season months, with calm water that is quite shallow close to the beach and thus relatively safe for little ones. Arinara is one of the string of a five particularly family-friendly resorts here that makes Bang Tao Beach Phuket’s most family-friendly beach.
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Sunwing Resort & Spa Bang Tao Beach – a purpose-built family resort

Sunwing Resort & Spa Bang Tao Beach is purpose-built as a family beach resort, and the number of young children here is testimony to its success in attracting families from all around the world. It also makes special pricing offers for families, has children’s menus and of course provides a good range of children’s facilities and supervised activities. The most obvious concessions to children are the multiple swimming pools in all depths. There is a paddle pool for babies, another for toddlers and big but relatively shallow pools for the older ones.
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Since Sunwing faces Bang Tao Beach it also has relatively child-safe sand and water for children to play in. The resort has quite a lot of trees, providing lots of shady areas for little ones to run and play in.
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Dusit Thani Laguna Resort – a Thai tradition of looking after families

All Dusit Thani hotels in Thailand are renown as good family accommodations, and the Dusit Thani Laguna Phuket is no exception. The resort offer a children’s club, playground, kid’s pool and games room. It also has baby-sitting and child care services for parents wishing for time to themselves. As part of the Laguna integrated resort complex, children here can also use the Camp Laguna children’s club in addition to the hotel’s own, in-house facility.
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Dusit Laguna is built into a thick forest of casuarina trees which provide deep shade over a wide area stretching from room blocks to the sand. This gives children many outdoor play areas that can be used through the whole day. Dusit also has access to the placid lagoons at the back, where families can kayak, sail beach catamarans or wind surfers.
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Phuket Marriott Resort & Spa, Merlin Beach – huge, family swimming pools not far from Patong

As said before, swimming pools tell much about a resort’s suitability for families, and here at the Phuket Marriott Resort & Spa, Merlin Beach it becomes obvious at just a glance that this resort was built with children and families in mind. The pools are vast. There are three large ones, and multiple areas within them, including shallow areas for kids of different ages. One of those pools is dedicated to children, with slides and play areas.
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This large resort of 414 rooms has a huge open, grassy area between the buildings and the beach, a great area for parents to lie back in a sun lounge while kids expend their energy on the lawns. The Merlin also offers 37 pool access rooms, giving direct access to the pool running along the building, though children under 12 years old are not permitted in these rooms.
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The resort naturally has a kid’s club plus baby-sitting and child care services. Though it is in a quiet backwater, Merlin Beach Resort is just five minutes drive from famous Patong Beach, with its many restaurants, markets, shopping centres bars and other lifestyle activities.
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Le Meridien Phuket Beach Resort – family hotel with huge pools on a private beach

This resort in a private beach cove on Phuket’s southwest coast is one of the largest on the island, with 470 rooms and a complete range of facilities and activities to match. Le Meridien Phuket Beach Resort also has some 10 restaurants and plenty of activities for children in the kid’s centre. The resort’s two swimming pools are huge, and include a children’s that provide kids of all ages with more than enough space for splashing.
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The beautiful, secluded beach is surely Le Meridien’s finest asset, and during the calm of the high season months when the wind comes from behind the water often begins the day glassy smooth. With exceptionally clear water and a very gradual slope from shallow to deep, this is an excellent beach for children to play and swim on.
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During the monsoon season waves wash in here from the Andaman Sea, though they are rarely very big and are often used by both bigger children and adults riding blow-up surf riders.
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Angsana Laguna Phuket – water all around, water all within

Angsana Laguna Phuket is another of the major resorts in the Laguna Phuket integrated hotels complex that was purpose-built as a family resort. The big swimming pools cum winding waterways that lead children on an adventure through the gardens are the first obvious sign. Then there is an artificial beach leading into a swimming pool that is excellent for little ones. The resort is set on an island surrounded by lagoons, with a walkway connecting it to the beach.
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Angsana offers kids one of the most innovative clubs, with a multi-level tree house and a jungle gym. Baby-sitting and child-care services are also available.
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Accommodations here include both regular hotel rooms and a variety of villas and residences, allowing families to live home-style, do their own cooking etc. Angsana is one of five resorts on Bang Tao Beach named to this most family-friendly list, and it too shares the same child-safe beach environment, plus the soft, fine sand and clear, calm water through the high season months.
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Outrigger Laguna Phuket Beach Resort – the first theme water park on the island

In its early days Outrigger Laguna Phuket Beach Resort carried the distinction of building the first real children’s themed water park on Phuket with a good water slide. Though small compared to some of the newer ones, this remains a fun place for children of all ages – and adults. The theme is ancient Asia with some relics from the Angkor kingdom, complete with crocodiles, elephants, and various beasts. Winding water channels lead kids off on imaginative journeys into exotic worlds.
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Outrigger Phuket also has an enormous advantage in the lake it faces on the back side. This calm body of water is ideal for teaching bigger kids to kayak, sail beach catamarans or master wind surfing. The resort’s expansive, shaded lawns are also an excellent outdoor playground for children.
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by John Everingham
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