Relaxing in the sun during a vacation with kids may sound impossible. Fortunately, Le Meridien Phuket and JW Marriott Phuket are two family friendly resorts that strive to make “adulting” easier while on vacation. These two resorts are the most sought out properties in Thailand, and are specifically geared with families in mind. I was lucky enough to try them both. Happily, I can report that both are well equipped with entertaining activities to engage and distract kids as you unwind. The difficult part is choosing which property is right for you:
The Le Meridien is a large, self-contained complex, bordered by a lush and green jungle that looks over a sandy beach. The property is perfectly laid out, with the lobby and public areas situated in the middle. Restaurants, shops and venues stretch out to each wing. If available, book a Junior Suite that sits ocean front. These rooms offer a large ocean facing balcony, a beautiful bathroom with sunken tub, and a side seating area.
Kid Friendly Activities
Once checked in, relax poolside as your kids play. The Penguin Club offers fun activities including tennis, basketball, games, flower making, and Thai dancing. If you want your family to spend beach some time together, the cove is calm for swimming, with jet skis, paddle boards, and snorkeling equipment for rent. A toddler playhouse and slide with toys for sand digging are on the beach, and each chair is padded with umbrellas for shade. If the beach isn’t your thing, the grassy lawn is available to lounge, savor a beach barbecue, play lawn games or simply nap your cares away. I sat here most of the time. With this little guy jumping in the water on repeat.
Apart from in-room babysitting services screened by property (which is phenomenal, so watch for my separate post on child care services in Thailand) the resort also allows kids 12 and under to eat free, with a nice selection of dining options on the special kid’s menu. My son really enjoyed the character themed plates and cups and silverware. If he’s happy, momma’s happy!
The resort is in a wonderful location for families to venture out and explore Phuket, with ample transportation to and from town, and car seats are available upon request at the transportation desk. The staff is personable and incredible. They remembered us by name, we hugged (and cried) goodbye… yes, I cried saying goodbye to the nanny named Gift. She was fantastic. Le Meridien did everything in their power to make sure that we were comfortable and enjoying our vacation. I highly recommend the Le Meridien Phuket for your next family vacation to Thailand.
This Phuket resort is considered a deluxe, 5 star property in Phuket, and does not disappoint! Service is exceptionally friendly and tropical grounds are manicured impeccably. If you want to get to your resort quickly, the JW Marriott is located near the Phuket International Airport, making it convenient for arrival and departures, but less for venturing out and exploring what Phuket has to offer. If you are able to book this resort for either the beginning or the tail end of your trip, it works out perfectly because the close airport location is a more of a benefit.
This family-friendly property includes 4 swimming pools, one with a water slide for kids, 12 distinct bars and restaurant, a lux spa and a robust kids club. The grounds have large wooden swings for swaying on the beach, and hammocks hang throughout, with grassy areas to play. The rooms are impeccably designed, with marble bathrooms, and premium amenities. The deluxe family terrace room had an Asian inspired seating nook for reading or napping. I know I mentioned the dining before, but the food here was incredible. The JW Marriott had fresh smoothie bars, cooked to order omelet stations, and an entire section dedicated to fresh pastries. I ate, a lot.
Activities for Kids
The kid’s club is much busier than that of the Le Meridien. The hours last until 8pm, giving ample time to rejuvenate as the kids hunt for treasure during the pirate themed scavenger hunts. Each day there is a theme activity. When I visited, the kids learned simple science experiments, and kid’s yoga. While the resort is quite well-known for its huge swimming pools, it also has a kid’s pool with a water slide, turtles, statues as well as a bubble pool where your kids can slide for hours. The kids even get free popsicles! This resort literally thought of every detail, and executed the experience perfectly. Overall, I would stay at either property again, for various different reasons. They were both so beautiful, and I truly enjoyed my stay at both the Le Meridien and the JW Marriott with my toddler in tow.