Swim with whale sharks, take in an outdoor movie under the stars, check into rooms with miniature bathrobes and special kids’ toiletries or let the kids loose on a floating adventure park. With endless islands and palm fringed beaches, Southeast Asia has long been our go to destination for a tropical holiday. These 10 island and beach resorts from Vietnam to Cambodia, nail family friendly too.
Four Seasons Resort Nam Hai, Vietnam
Fronting the chalk white sand of Vietnam’s Ha My Beach fringed by swaying coconut palms, – a shuttle ride away from the UNESCO World Heritage listed town of Hoi An – this 100-villa resort is considered one of Vietnam’s finest. Yes, it’s pricey, but seriously luxurious for families with everything from miniature bathrobes and kid’s toiletries, a cooking academy, kid’s club, onsite concierge and spacious multi-room villa compounds, the largest of which sleeps up to 15 guests. Kids will love cycling through the manicured grounds and the tiered infinity pools; parents will love the Earth Spa. See fourseasons.com/hoian
The Westin Siray Bay Resort and Spa, Phuket
The Horizon pool at the Westin Siray Bay Resort and Spa, Phuket.
Designed with families in mind this upscale Thai resort offers 257 contemporary rooms, suites and pool villas (adjoining rooms available) and cute kids club with yoga, Thai dance, craft and nature walks. Teenagers can enjoy windsurfing lessons, beach soccer, volleyball and snorkelling or kayaking in Siray Bay. There are three pools, six restaurants (offering Westin’s Eat Well Menu for kids), spa (parent-child treatments available) and 24-hour gym. See westinsiraybay.com
So Hua Hin, Thailand
The tranquil seaside town of Hua Hin, a few hours’ drive from Bangkok, is home to this five-star beachfront resort. Poolside ice cream parlor, 60 meter pool with floating adventure course, dedicated bicycle track and purpose-built kids’ club are but a few of the attractions for families. There are 99 rooms and nine villas but the 68sqm SO Family Kids House is the pick for families with adjacent annex off the master bedroom (with in-room connecting door) featuring bunk beds, dedicated LED TV with cartoon channel opt-in, beanbags and toys. See so-sofitel-huahin.com
Photo: Mario Wibowo
Located between rice fields and the spectacular wild black sand of the island’s less visited southwest coastline, Soori Bali somehow manages to be family friendly but grown up too. There are 48 pool villas and residences, two restaurants, a main pool, swish spa and library. Underpinned by a sustainability ethos, the resort’s ‘Childhood Wanderlust’ program aims to inspire children to become ‘changemakers’ with experiences ranging from trekking in rice fields, baby turtle release through to Balinese dance classes. See sooribali.com
Intercontinental Phu Quoc, Vietnam
Located on Vietnam’s largest island (designated a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve) this sprawling 459-room beachfront resort offers four pools (including family pool with slide), rooftop bar, bamboo spa with overwater treatment rooms, Planet Trekkers kids club, five restaurants and a cooking school. Dine at the signature LAVA restaurant or tuck into lobster rolls at the toes-in-the-sand Sea Shack. Rooms range from 49sqm to palatial four-bedroom villas complete with lap pools opening onto the beach. Many offer kitchens while family suite reservations come with private resort orientation and personal welcome by a Planet Trekkers host for children under 12. See phuquoc.intercontinental.com
LUX* South Ari Atoll, Maldives
Overwater villas at Lux South Ari Atoll.
Sparkling lagoons, a lavish tropical spa, swimming with whale sharks and off grid luxury make this Maldivian resort ideal for five-star families. Ocean-facing beach pavilions, some with private pools, four kilometers of beach, a tropical fish filled lagoon, two swimming pools, seven restaurants, five bars, world class PADI dive center, water sports and more will keep everyone entertained. There’s also two impressive kids clubs – one designed specifically for under 12’s; the other where teens (12 to 17) can spin the decks in the DJ Zone. Sink into a beanbag on the beach and take in an outdoor movie with a treat from the roving gelato cart, play boardgames at sunset with an aperitivo for the grown-ups and much more. See luxresorts.com/en/maldives/hotel/luxsouthariatoll
Shangri-La Rasa Sentosa Resort and Spa, Singapore
Singapore’s only beachfront resort knows how to cater to families. Its kids club spans two stores and features ball pits, slides, a craft zone and a giant treehouse. Nestopia, an outdoor play space located on Siloso Beach, offers 17 sections of netted obstacle courses and two of Sentosa’s longest slides. There’s also a kid’s pool with splash pad, poolside movies, water sports, family friendly rooms and dining options along with easy access to Sentosa’s attractions including Universal Studios and SEA Aquarium – if you can drag the kids away that is. See shangri-la.com
Avani+ Khao Lak
Sidestep Phuket for this brand new resort on Thailand’s Andaman Sea. Ninety minutes north of Phuket International Airport, the resort offers its own white-sand beach, four pools including a waterpark, kids club with three age zones (one-12 years), refined dining and spectacular ocean vistas. Hone your climbing skills on AvaniFit gym’s own climbing wall before exploring the Andaman coast (famous for its climbing) or stay put for Thai Boxing classes, beachside skate park, cooking classes and poolside relaxation. See avanihotels.com
Shangri-La Boracay, Philippines
Oozing barefoot luxury this 219-room resort overlooking a sheltered bay on Boracay’s pristine northern coastline offers ocean vistas at every turn. All rooms and suites overlook the resort’s exclusive white-sand beach while most villas offer pools and direct access to the shoreline. A kids club with fun waterslides, adults only pool, warm Filipino hospitality along with adult and kid’s scuba diving and snorkelling programs make it one of the island’s best picks for families. See shangri-la.com
Six Senses Krabey Island, Cambodia
Ocean pool villa suite at Six Senses Krabey Island, Cambodia. Photo: Kiattipong Panchee
This sustainable island getaway – flanked by dense jungle and sapphire waters – offers 40 luxe pool villas with green living roofs, blissful rain showers, expansive gulf vistas and an impressive family offering. Along with fishing, snorkelling and speedboat excursions to neighboring islands, families can take an organic farm visit with cooking classes, watch a movie at the open-air Cinema Paradiso and choose from a selection of 15 flavored house made ice creams served daily. Kids up to 11 years old enjoy complimentary stays, daily meals from the kid’s menu, and return airport transfers. See sixsenses.com