The beaches in Phuket, Thailand are some of the best beaches anywhere in the world. White sand, crystal blue waters… and a lot of people!
Yes, all that beauty has attracted sun worshippers from all over the world, who arrive in their thousands in search of some fun in the sun.
But don’t let that put you off coming to Phuket with kids – there is plenty of fun to be had on a family holiday in Phuket, and here we track down the best beaches in Phuket for families, and give you some tips on the best Phuket family-friendly hotels in each location.
Kamala Beach is my personal favourite Phuket beach, especially if you are travelling with kids. It is just a 10-15 minute drive north of infamous party-beach Patong, but a world away in atmosphere.
Originally a small Muslim fishing village, Kamala Beach has maintained some of the laid-back vibe of its former life, offering a relaxed pace of life, perfect for family fun. This beautiful 2-kilometre stretch of white sand has shallow waters for splashing around in, sunloungers for kicking back on – and a good selection of bars and restaurants serving up local Thai and western food, with fresh juices, coconuts, cocktails and beers served to your sunlounger.
If you’re looking to stay right on the beach – the surprisingly stylish Novotel Phuket Kamala Beach on the northern tip of Kamala Beach is probably your best bet, but make sure you get a sea-facing room. Their two-bedroom pool villas are perfect for families and offer direct beach access. We also love their family-friendly rooftop bar for sunset cocktails.
Two other hotels close to the beach are the Kamala Beach Resort and Sunwing Kamala Beach, both of which boast multiple swimming pools amongst their huge range of facilities. Just across the road from the beach you will also find the family-friendly Swissotel Phuket Kamala Beach, with its swimming pool with slide and kids club.
Other family-friendly hotels in Kamala Beach include the beautiful Hyatt Regency Phuket Resort, with its fabulous kids club, which is just a 5-minute shuttle bus drive away, or splash some cash at the uber-fabulous Ayara Kamala Hotel Resort and Spa, set in a remote hillside location not far from Kamala Beach.
Bangtao Beach is a stunning 8-kilometre stretch of white sand and home to the famous Laguna Phuket – one of the largest resort complexes in Asia. Laguna Phuket boasts seven hotels and resorts and a golf course, all conveniently located a walk away from beautiful Bang Tao beach.
For a family holiday in Phuket, a good option would be the Angsana Laguna Phuket – with its massive grounds, beautiful swimming pool and fabulous Tree House Kids Club. The Outrigger Laguna Phuket Beach Resort offers similar facilities in a super family-friendly environment, while The Dusit Thani Laguna Phuket also boasts kids club and playground and pitch & putt course. Other options within Laguna include the beautiful Banyan Tree Phuket and Cassia Phuket.
But my favourite feature of Laguna Phuket, is Xana Beach Club, with its beachfront swimming pool, bar and restaurant. Here you can laze around on a sunlounger, listen to chilled out club tunes, sip on a cocktail and pretend you are still cool and trendy, even though you are holidaying with the kids in tow. And if you are staying in the Laguna complex, you can hire a babysitter and head back here after dark to really let your hair down.
Beyond the Laguna complex, there is plenty of beach to explore at Bangtao. The further north you go along the beach, the less developed it is, so if you are looking for secluded family time, this is where to head.
Further south along Bangtao Beach you will find another fun and family-friendly beach club – Bliss Beach Club. Bliss has a more relaxed vibe than Xana, and is a great place to hang out for the afternoon. The kids will love its grassy lawn, small playground, large beanbags and swimming pool (which was looking a little green when we visited).
Mai Khao Beach
Mai Khao Beach is completely different to every other beach I have visited in Phuket. The main thing you will notice is – there is hardly anyone there! Amazing. When the majority of Phuket beaches are swarming with sun worshippers, Mai Khao beach is blissfully quiet.
Phuket’s longest beach is part of the Sirinat National Park, and is a protected nesting ground for turtles, and as such is noticeably underdeveloped. No sunloungers, no juice stalls, no bars… just 11-kilometres of sand stretching into the distance. If you’re looking to party, or you like a good selection of beachfront bars and restaurants, then Mai Khao isn’t for you.
One of Phuket’s best family-friendly resorts is right here on Mai Khao Beach – the JW Marriott Phuket Resort & Spa, and its adjoining Marriott’s Phuket Beach Club, with its 2-bedroom apartments. The JW Marriott is constantly being named as one of the best family-friendly resorts in Asia, thanks to its three swimming pools, 11 restaurants and bars, kids club and numerous other family-friendly facilities. The JW Marriott Phuket Resort & Spa was recently featured in our Family Friendly Resorts around the World article.
Nearby to the Marriott, you will also find the beautiful Anantara Mai Khao Phuket Villas, the stylish Sala Phuket Resort & Spa, the Renaissance Phuket Resort, and the Holiday Inn Resort Phuket Mai Khao Beach.
The other advantage to staying in Mai Khao beach, is it is just a 15-minute drive from the aiport, making it ideal for a weekend getaway.
Have you been to Phuket? What is your favourite beach to visit with the family?
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