5 Best Phuket Beaches for Families with Kids under 12


Searching for the 5 Best Phuket Beaches for Families with Kids under 12? Your search has ended! You can stop searching for Phuket family resorts and beaches – we’ve got the 5 best of the best right here. Bookmark this page before you lose it.

We even tell you the best toys to bring for your kids to play with at the beach!

When you bring your family to Phuket for the first time, you will probably feel a little unsure about just what is going to be facing you when you arrive. In the past, Thailand hasn’t been known as the top family destination in the world, like it has been for singles. You have heard that Thailand is the place for singles and couples who want to enjoy the nonstop nightlife – right?

Times have changed, and Thailand is quickly becoming one of the top family destinations on the planet. In recent years, Thailand’s Tourist Authority has been focused on changing the demographic of visitors from the backpacker and sex-tourist crowd, to higher quality tourists like people with families, retirees, and visitors in the upper-classes.

Of course, Patong’s nightlife isn’t going away anytime soon, it’s one of the strong allures of Phuket, along with world-class beaches and reasonable cost of vacationing for weeks at a time.

So, you’re coming to Phuket with your children (child) under 12, and you want to know, “Which beaches are going to be best for us?”

We’ll operate on the idea that more is more for kids under 12. The more activity going on at the beach, and your accommodations, the better. The more your child can do and look at, the better. He or she may not be ready to hang a couple hundred meters in the air under a parachute being pulled behind a boat – that’s OK! But, I’ll bet they enjoy watching it happen for a while and it helps kids understand that there’s more to life than sled riding or skiing in your home country!

What Criteria Do We Use for Recommending the Best Phuket Family Beaches?

  • Great kid-friendly resort
  • Soft sand to play in
  • Good food at the beach, or at the resort
  • Safe to access
  • Trees or umbrellas to shelter you from the sun
  • Gentle waves and shallow water, and/or an awesome swimming pool

We list 5 Phuket beaches that fit these criteria below. Keep in mind that there are plenty of things for kids to do at a beach, but if you bring some – that’s so much better. Fill a carry-on with things for your child to do while in Phuket, and your childrens’ vacation will be so much better. Yours too! Know what? Why not make the toys you bring a surprise – you know how kids love surprises!

List of Fun Beach Toys to Bring to Phuket

  • Sand Darts! These come under a variety of names, but search your local toy store or online at Amazon for sand darts or lawn darts. They come with a circle ring (target), and you stand back and see if you can get one or more of the darts in the target. This is great for two or more kids, or a parent and adult.
  • Frisbee! Or other flying disc. Flippy discs are great (soft material)
  • Disc Golf, or Ring Toss
  • Kite (small one)
  • Snorkel mask, snorkel, and some shoes to protect feet from shells and coral

Buy these Toys at a Beach Store on Phuket

  • Plastic shovels, buckets, sand sifters, and molds
  • Inflatable animal float or mattress
  • Boats or something else to float in the water

List of the Best Phuket Beaches for Families with Kids under 12 yrs. of Age

In no particular order, choose from some of these top Phuket beaches for kids and let us know how you get on!

You’ve probably never heard of this amazing beach!

Just north of the airport is this long beach facing west (and great sunsets!) that is really idyllic, and not often visited by locals or visitors to Phuket. This beach reminds me of the northeast coast of Oahu, Hawaii. Very laid back, and calm waves during high season, this is one of the best beaches on Phuket for kids and anyone who is looking to avoid the crowds at a picture-perfect beach. Beach visitors here are usually staying at the resorts right on the beach, not many make the drive up from Patong Beach, so you won’t have crowded conditions – it’s unheard of here.

Mai Khao Beach is so expansive, there’s just so much room, that you never need to be too close to anyone, and you won’t be bothered by other people. The water is shallow and calm, and ideal for kids swimming – with supervision. During the rainy season from May through October, the water can be rough, and swimming is not usually advised. Having a good resort which provides plenty to do, is essential during this time.

Where to Stay in Mai Khao Beach?

The best place to stay at Mai Khao Beach as a family, is in a great family-friendly resort. The J W Marriott Phuket Resort & Spa, is located right on the beach. This resort has some splendid features that will pull you in.

  • 6 restaurants (including a sushi bar)
  • 3 swimming pools (1 kids pool), and 3 wet bars!
  • Children’s club (free)
  • Activities for kids (and free bicycles)
  • In-room supervision for kids
  • Beachfront
  • Tree covered picnic area on beach, and grass yard for kids to play
  • Muay Thai lessons, yoga, massage

Mai Khao Beach connects with other beaches from the northeast tip of Phuket down to just past the Phuket International Airport (HKT) for an uninterrupted stretch of sand covering more than 13 kilometers. If you’re into beach running or walking, this could be a perfect place for you to bring the family.

Though you never have to leave the resort and beach, you’ll be happy to know there are two fun attractions close-by. Sirinat National Park is just past the airport, and Splash Jungle Water Park is under 8 kilometers away. The water park is a kids’ favorite, and you’ll make their whole vacation if you take them there for a day.

There are things to do for kids of all ages at this water park, and if you go during low season, there are very few people at the park. Kathu Waterfall is a bit longer drive, but you can reach it in around 30-minutes by car or taxi. If parents need to get out of the resort for a bit, a shopping center is a short walk from the resort.

The J W Marriott Phuket Resort & Spa has received super ratings from families with kids for rooms, food, service, and amenities. You can’t go wrong. The rate here is very reasonable considering all you have at this resort. Starting rates in 2018? Just 4,000 Thai Baht per night! Rooms are minimum 47m2 (506 ft2) in size – plenty big for a family of three or four, and all rooms have a balcony for looking out over scenic beach landscape and breaking waves.

The numerous swimming and wading pools make this a great place for kids – there are lots of sea turtle statues, and other figures, which shows the great lengths the Marriott went to designing this hotel to make kids feel right at home.

Kamala is an old Muslim village, which has recently (last 10 yrs.) been developed into a nice beach resort area. The beach here is calm and great for kids for swimming and playing in the sand during the high season months of May through November. During the low-season, when the waves are rough, it’s a good idea to avoid swimming and stay in a resort close to the beach like the Sunwing Kamala we cover below.

There is some shopping, and for some visitors it may be enough, but probably most of you will want to head into Patong Beach to Jungceylon or Phuket Town to Central Festival Phuket for a day or two of shopping.

Kamala is a very low-key area, and it attracts a crowd of visitors who don’t need the craziness of Patong Beach. Of course, you’re close enough for a short 10-minute tuk-tuk ride to get there if you need to.

Where to Stay in Kamala Beach?

It’s wise to stay close-by, and luckily for you there is one awesome family-friendly resort you’ll want to check-into, it’s the Sunwing Kamala Beach Resort on the beach. This is a massive estate, sprawling hundreds of meters from front to back, and with 7 huge swimming pools (one is 80 meters long!) and a wet bar – this is a great location for families with young kids.

Their smaller rooms are 40 m2 (431 ft2) and can go up to 56m2 (603 ft2) There is a special Happy Baby Studio room for parents with infants, that is 44 m2 (474 ft2). These rooms are at ground level, and are well planned with safety in mind, they have locking patio doors and gate to the terrace.

Located in the southern part of Kamala Beach, the Sunwing resort is next to the Tsunami Memorial park.

We list some of the highlights of this modern resort below.

  • 7 Swimming pools, including very shallow areas for toddlers and other small children
  • In-room childcare and babysitting available (extra)
  • Kids’ activities
  • Children’s pool
  • Children’s club (free)
  • Playground for kids on site
  • 2 Restaurants and 2 Bars

Rates start around 3,400 THB.

Located just down the highway from Patong Beach, the atmosphere at this beach is a different world from Patong. If you’re looking to relax a bit, you’ll find this beach more to your liking.
Just over three kilometers long, this is a very large beach that gets a lot of local traffic, but not much of the crowd comes down from Patong Beach to visit Karon most days. The sand is nice and fine to layout on – bring a towel and beach mat.

Karon Beach is close to shopping, you’ll just have to walk a hundred meters or so to get into the thick of it. Not a huge price to pay – right?! For kids, the Dino Park Mini-golf at the south end of the beach is a good place to spend hours with a day pass while mom and dad shop or sleep.

Where to Stay in Karon Beach?

Since you’re coming with kids, and this is a nice beach you’ll enjoy coming to day after day, you can stay at one of the best kid-friendly resorts on the island – Centara Grand Phuket Resort in Karon.

This well-designed resort focuses on families and kids, as do all the Centara Resorts in Thailand. At this beach resort, you’re going to be surprised at the effort they went to in order to cater to visitors with children!

The real mind-blowing feature that makes this a perfect spot for young kids?

The pool area! That’s what kids want, right? An awesome place to play in the water and do their own thing. The Centara Grand has an amazing swimming pool layout for kids, in the form of a massive water theme park! They actually charge the public 1,000 THB to come and use the park, but you’ll have access for free as you stay at the resort. All the pools were designed with kids in mind. They have water slides, tunnels over the water, artificial beaches, and some little coves and even themed props to make playing in the channels of water fun for kids.

Some other highlights of this beachfront property…

  • Camp Safari Kid’s Club
  • Toddler pools
  • Playground
  • Free snorkeling gear rental
  • Babysitting and childcare – in and out of room
  • Asian and Italian restaurants – upscale dining and very modern
  • Jacuzzi upgrades
  • Wet bar and rooftop bar
  • Fitness center, and Spa

Rates start around 6,000 THB.

At the other end of the spectrum from the quiet and easy-going nature of Mai Khao Beach, is the most famous beach in Thailand – Patong Beach! Though not the perfect family beach, there are plenty of things to do – and staying at a family-friendly resort is the best way to go about it! More about the resort below. Let’s cover the beach!

Patong Beach is on Phuket Island’s west coast between Kamala in the north, and Karon / Kata beaches in the south. Patong is a large beach, stretching almost 3 kilometers long from north to south, and with plenty of deep sand for kids to play in. Along most of the beach are shade trees, and if you’re staying at a resort on the beach, they have beach chairs and umbrellas available to block the sometimes harsh and scorching sun.

Patong Beach is the most crowded beach and area that you could find on Phuket. The traffic can be bad, and there can be too many people during high or low season for some visitors to feel relaxed enough to enjoy themselves. Others thrive on the action, so you’ll want to decide what sort of vacation you want to have before booking a room or resort.

Patong Beach ticks all of our requirements in the checklist above for a fantastic family-friendly beach, and then offers so much more when you take into account the nightlife and beaches and other attractions close by like Paradise Beach, Kathu Waterfall, Splash Jungle Waterpark, and proximity to shopping at the beach and the major shopping mall Central Festival Phuket and other shopping in Phuket Town.

Best place to stay in Patong Beach?

There is a fantastic children-friendly resort in Patong Beach that you may have already heard of, it has acquired quite a reputation as “The Place” to stay with kids in Patong. I am of course referring to the Holiday Inn Resort Phuket.

The Holiday Inn Resort meets all the needs families have for a great resort at the beach, and is located in the south-central area of Patong Beach (beachfront) just a ten-minute walk from party central, Soi Bangla and five-minutes from the OTOP open-air shopping district.

Best dinner in Patong? If steak is one of your requirements for dinner at least once while you’re in town, you will be pleased to know that Sam’s Steakhouse, the number one (out of 521 restaurants in Patong) restaurant in Patong Beach at TripAdvisor, is part of the Holiday Inn Resort! This steakhouse gets stellar reviews, with fully 95% of reviewers rating it very good to excellent in terms of food, service, and dining environment.

The Holiday Inn Resort is well-suited to families with kids! Here are some of the highlights.

  • Kids under 12 stay and eat free!
  • Outdoor pool and children’s pool
  • Children’s club (free)
  • Playground!
  • In-room child care
  • Fitness center
  • Flatscreen TVs and DVD players
  • Bunk-beds in some rooms for kids!
  • 4 Restaurants

Besides this great resort, Patong Beach has endless shopping available at outlets, OTOP, and small shops on nearly every street in the entire town. The beach has gentle waves during high season, and there is paddle-boarding, some snorkeling on the northern end, and bodyboards (foam boards) can be rented for kids to play in the calm surf. Adult supervision of all kids under 12 is strongly recommended at this, and all Phuket beaches.

Rates in 2018 are affordable, starting around 3,800 THB.

Saving what we think is the best for last, this one is probably where you should start.

The beach just north of Surin Beach, Bangtao Beach, is a really nice family beach with wide expanses of sand and trees, and a group of lakes bordering the beach. There are a few nice family-style resorts here catering to kids, and the same guests tend to return year after year to this beach after they find it the first time. The local area has little around to do except you could play golf at the Laguna Golf Course. Bangtao has a lot of restaurants to eat at – spread throughout the area.

This resort is beachfront, and you can walk from your room to the sandy beach in just a couple minutes. Sunsets are lovely, with a great view. The sun goes down at 6:30 pm. in Thailand, so plan for it nightly. There is little within easy walking distance except other resorts. You’ll want to either rent a car or take a taxi to get to shopping in Phuket Town, Patong Beach, or to see some of the other sites.

Where to Stay in Bangtao Beach with Kids?

One of the best resorts to consider staying at is the Outrigger Laguna Phuket Beach Resort on the south side of Bangtao Beach. This is a quiet, private, and classy resort. Rooms are nice size – 43 m2 (463 ft2) is the size of the smaller room.

Some guests in their reviews of the Outrigger Laguna mentioned the ‘extras’ staff gave which were a nice touch. Some of them were: a flower brooch on the bed, beach bag and towels, slippers, and a lemongrass welcome towel. The large daybed by the window was mentioned a couple of times as a great place to read a book or take a nap.

Food got great reviews, and there are many restaurants and bars to choose from. Great breakfast choices are offered in the buffet. You’ll find Asian, American, and European cuisine selections.

This resort was one of the first in Phuket to focus on kids and families, and it still shows today. The water slides are fun for all ages, and this property borders a large lake where kids (and adults) can learn how to paddleboard, windsurf, or sail when there’s a little wind. Quite ideal for kids who love the water.

Some of the highlights of this property…

  • 3 Swimming pools including a large children’s pool
  • Children’s club
  • Long water slide!
  • Playground
  • Lake access for sailing, windsurfing, paddleboards
  • 30 Restaurants and bars in the Laguna complex
  • 18-hole Golf course is minutes away
  • Wake up to sound of waves on the beach

Rates start around 3,000 THB.

Sure, there are some other family-oriented beaches and resorts on Phuket Island, and you may find another that is worth going to, but if you start with this list you cannot go wrong!

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About Sepp Hatzl

This Phuket Beaches Blog and most of the published articles have been researched, written and compiled by Sepp Hatzl. Sepp started visiting Phuket in 1975, felt in love with the island, and in 1997 decided to spend most of his time in Nai Thon Beach Phuket. Sepp is happy to provide you with more specific information about all kind of Phuket topics, just drop him an email (email see in the footer).

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