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Insider Tips for a Family Holiday in Thailand [Q&A]

Tom Thrussell has been lucky to spend lots of time exploring Thailand with his wife Carla and children Maggie, 3, and Sonny, 1, in his role as Centara Hotels & Resorts’ vice-president of marketing. He shares his top tips for a great family holiday.

An aerial view of Centara Grand Beach Resort Phuket
An aerial view of Centara Grand Beach Resort Phuket

Why is Thailand a great destination for families?

Lazy river water jets at Centara Grand Mirage Pattaya
Lazy river water jets at Centara Grand Mirage Pattaya

Thailand is wonderfully diverse, with a wealth of varied destinations and offerings to cater to all family holiday types and budgets. Thai service is warm and genuine, and children really seem to come first. 

A family on a waterslide at Centara Grand Beach Resort Phuket
A family on a waterslide at Centara Grand Beach Resort Phuket

Resorts are designed around families, with extensive kids’ facilities, clubs, entertainment and activities, something Centara specialises in, whilst the innate love and care that Thai people have for children really creates a special bond with them that makes them never want to leave.

Which parts of Thailand are best for families and why?

Phuket Elephant Sanctuary in Thailand
Phuket Elephant Sanctuary in Thailand

There are too many to name, but all the beach destinations offer an exotic and safe paradise for families. Phuket is a top pick for its wide selection of family resorts, which includes Centara Grand Beach Resort Phuket and features kids’ clubs, water slides, lazy river and ample family-centric experiences, such as cooking master classes and games and sports for all age groups. 

Outside of the resort there are numerous must-do and see attractions too such as visiting the local elephant sanctuary and learning about the history of the magnificent, rescued animals.

What are the best things to do in Thailand with kids?

Monsoon Island at Centara Grand Mirage Pattaya
Monsoon Island at Centara Grand Mirage Pattaya

In my experience, when the kids are happy, everything is easier, and everyone is happy. Born and thus far raised in Thailand, my two are already real water babies, and taking them to resorts where there are water parks and slides is always a big hit. Centara Grand Mirage Beach Resort in Pattaya and Centara Karon Resort in Phuket are consistently in the country’s top 10 family resorts, and both provide diverse water attractions.

Where would you recommend staying and why?

Sun lounges at the luxurious Centara Reserve Samui on Chaweng Beach
Sun lounges at the luxurious Centara Reserve Samui on Chaweng Beach

As well as the previously mentioned resorts, my current favourite place to be with my family is Centara Reserve Samui. Our first luxury hotel, this resort offers unique experiences and endless entertainment for my little ones. When not bathing or kayaking in the turquoise waters off the pristine Chaweng Beach, the kids are lost in arts and crafts at the sustainable and tech-free children’s zone, splashing around at the wet playground or resting in their rooms in their special kids’ dressing gowns and slippers whilst excitedly ordering their much anticipated and complimentary “daily surprise of the day” from a special call button.

Can you recommend any restaurants that are really family-friendly?

Coast Beach Club and Bistro at Centara Grand Resort Pattaya in Thailand
Coast Beach Club and Bistro at Centara Grand Resort Pattaya in Thailand

Coast Beach Club & Bistro is our casual Beach bar concept found in all resort-based Centara Grands. There are so many great options, extensive kids’ menus, and plenty of space for the kids to be playing in the sand or close by while you enjoy sundowners and a great meal. The kids salmon teriyaki with rice and broccoli is always a sure-fire winner!

When is the best time to visit?

Tom and his family at Centara Grand Beach Resort and Villas Huahin
Tom and his family at Centara Grand Beach Resort and Villas Huahin

Head over in December or January for a festive visit with guaranteed glorious weather and a climate that is not too humid. This is the peak period in Thailand, but if you want to visit during the Australian winter instead then visit Koh Samui in July or August. It’s my favourite island and one which enjoys its own weather system and is simply perfect at that time of year.  

Any other tips?

Fun kids activities at Centara Karon Resort in Phuket
Fun kids activities at Centara Karon Resort in Phuket

If you’re looking to have a romantic evening once you’ve put the kids to bed, or you’d like a rejuvenating massage or to be pampered after an exhausting day’s parenting, take advantage of Centara’s babysitting service or drop the kids at the supervised kids’ clubs for an hour or two to get a bit of “you time”.

More information

Coast Beach Club and Bistroy at Centara Grand Mirage Pattaya
Coast Beach Club and Bistroy at Centara Grand Mirage Pattaya

For more information on Centara Hotels & Resorts visit centarahotelsresorts.com

In partnership with Centara Hotels & Resorts

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