Phuket is the largest of Thailand’s many islands. It lies off the west coast of the country in the Andaman Sea and is connected to the mainland by a narrow causeway. The island’s west coast is made up of a long line of holiday resorts running from the largely deserted Mai Khao Beach in the north to Kata Beach in the south. The best-known resort is Patong which is responsible for giving Phuket a reputation as a party destination which attracts revellers from all over the world.
Whilst Patong’s many go-go bars, drinking dens, adult entertainment and cabaret shows keep this reputation intact there’s another side to tourism in Phuket which the authorities are keen to promote. Away from the nightlife capital of the island there are a number of attractive resorts with beautiful beaches, first-class accommodation and excellent restaurants which make them popular destinations for family holidays. Choosing the right resort for your family is the key to enjoying the holiday of a lifetime in Thailand.
Getting Around in Phuket
On arrival at Phuket International Airport in the north of the island visitors can choose to travel to their holiday resort by airport bus, taxi or shared minivan. Highly recommended for family groups are the private transfers from Phuket Airport offered by Shuttledirect. These can be booked online and are available to destinations all over the island.
Once in your resort it’s usually easy to get around on foot or by means of tuk-tuks which are widely available for short journeys. For longer trips around the island you can travel on local buses known ‘Song Taews’ or take taxis.
Family Holidays in Phuket
Our top recommended family resorts in Phuket are as follows:
Lying just 27km south of Phuket Airport in the middle of the island’s west coast is the tranquil resort of Kamala. Its glorious beach with shallow water, laid-back nightlife and availability of attractive hotels and beachfront restaurants makes it an ideal choice for family holidays. Popular resort-style accommodation which is ideal for families with children include the luxurious Ayara Kamala Resort and Spa and the Bell Pool Villa Resort together with the more affordable Novotel Phuket and Sunwing Resort. On the outskirts of Kamala Beach is the Phuket FantaSea cultural theme park which offers a great day out for children of all ages.
Some 4km north of Kamala Beach this is a glorious stretch of coastline with white sands and palm trees where a long line of beach clubs and restaurants used to ply their trade. Today these are no more and Surin Beach has been reborn as an exclusive holiday destination which attracts many celebrities and wealthy travellers. Whilst some of the most prestigious accommodation in Surin Beach is privately owned there are numerous family-friendly resorts such as the Chava Resort, the Manathai Surin Phuket and the Ayara Hilltops Resort. Perhaps the best choice for location and affordability is the Surin Beach Resort which lies on the southern tip of the resort’s main beach. The main attraction for families is the beach itself which has crystal-clear waters and is safe for young children during the high season. The resort’s nightlife is very relaxed and often restricted to bars and restaurants attached to hotels.
Just 6km north of Surin Beach and a mere 16km from the island’s airport is another family-friendly place to consider. The resort isn’t as scenically beautiful as its neighbour to the south and is very quiet with little in the way of nightlife. However, it has a long sandy beach which is never overcrowded and some excellent restaurants around the upmarket Laguna Complex. Accommodation is plentiful and affordable, especially to the south of the resort. A number of upmarket resorts such as the Banyan Tree Spa Sanctuary, the Mövenpick Resort and the Angsana Laguna are available in the central beach area near the lagoons. Properties with Kids’ Clubs are recommended for parents who’d like to make the most of local spa facilities or escape for a quick 18-holes at the nearby Laguna Phuket Golf Club.
Karon and Kata Beaches
Further south along the west coast just 6km beyond Patong are the small towns of Karon and Kata. For families with older children these beach resorts provide the best of both worlds. They have excellent beaches, sufficient accommodation to suit any budget and a lively enough nightlife to keep everyone entertained without coming face to face with the excesses of Patong. Of the two, Kata Beach is particularly attractive and has become a popular haunt of divers and surfers whilst not forgetting the snorkelers who can observe some fascinating marine life closer to shore. The resort offers a good selection of bars and restaurants as well as a wide range of shopping opportunities, spa facilities and proximity to nearby tourist attractions such as the iconic Big Buddha to the east. Top notch accommodation for families is available at the Katathani Phuket Beach Resort whilst more affordable places to stay include the Centara Kata Resort and the Kata Sea Breeze Resort.
Mai Khao Beach
Finally, a place that’s particularly recommended for honeymooners and people who want to get away from it all is Mai Khao Beach. This is Phuket’s longest beach which is part of the Sirinath National Park on the north-west coast of the island beyond the airport. It is largely deserted allowing visitors to take long, romantic strolls under its palm trees. There’s little in the way of nightlife although a handful of luxury resort hotels such as the Maikhao Dream Villa Resort and Spa are well equipped to look after their guests by day and night.
About Shuttle Direct
Shuttle Direct is one of the world’s most established and respected airport transfer providers. Our services are available throughout Europe as well as in North Africa, the Middle East, Southeast Asia and South America. Our friendly local drivers will ensure your safe, economical and convenient passage to and from the airport, cruise terminal or major train station of your choice with a minimum of fuss. Book your transfer with our easy to use online booking system and leave the rest up to us!