You might be immeasurably happy with simply gazing at the turquoise ocean for hours on end, but kids might be in want of other activities. These resorts in Bali, Thailand, Malaysia, and the Philippines offer diversions like jungle-style playgrounds, kids’ pools, rock-climbing walls, pony rides, kite-making classes, and more. See our picks for the most kid-friendly hotels in Southeast Asia.
Hilton Bali Resort is a luxury property with a scenic clifftop location overlooking the sea in the sought-after Nusa Dua resort zone. It stands out among island resorts, though, for its attention to families with kids. The excellent kids' club (with an indoor/outdoor jungle-style playground, tree houses, and a trampoline) and variety of kid amenities (rock-climbing wall, kids' pool, game room with video games) are particularly impressive. Among the high-end features here are a private beach with water sports, tennis courts, several restaurants (including a dinner amphitheater with live Balinese dance), and a huge swimming pool complex with sea-facing lagoon. The 408 spacious rooms have marble bathrooms with deep-soaking tubs, as well as balconies or terraces, some with sea views.
JW Marriott Phuket Resort & Spa is one of the most luxurious resorts (with a price tag to match) in Phuket. The tropical grounds and friendly service are almost impeccable. A location near Phuket International Airport is convenient for flights, but less so for those who want to explore Phuket. There are three upscale swimming pools, a kids' club (with trampoline, video games, and a pool table), and 12 distinct restaurants and bars. Contemporary rooms include balconies and mini-fridges, while the Villa has a private pool. A downside, though, is that the beach isn't suitable for swimming.
The Four Seasons Resort Langkawi, Malaysia is an unrivaled five-pearl property, an exclusive beachfront getaway on the north side of the island, which offers tours through the Kilim Karst Geoforest Park mangroves. Luxurious Malayan beachfront villas feature lovely wooden designs, outdoor terrazzo bathtubs, verandas, and private pools. The vibe here is harmoniously balanced between romantic and family-friendly -- there are intimate beach dinners, spa pampering in waterside cabanas, and an adult-only pool but also kids' pools, pony rides, rock climbing, and an educational discovery center. The resort is isolated and not near Langkawi attractions, but it is self-contained, with restaurants, bars, pools, and a private beach, and it should appeal to travelers seeking a luxury getaway.
On a prime seaside location along a quiet stretch of Kata Noi Beach, this 479-room luxury resort looms large, with six pools, bars, and restaurants across the grounds. As a family-focused resort, Katathani has a stunning amount of kids' activities. The kids' club hosts supervised classes in beading, cooking, and Thai-kite making, among others; and it provides a ball-pit, playground, and a small mountain of toys. There are also four shallow kiddy pools and on-site games for all-ages, like billiards, table tennis, a putting green, and pentaque. Spacious suites in the Thani Wing face the Andaman Sea, but other rooms in the Bhuri Wing are looking tired and need renovation.
One of the best resorts in Nusa Dua, The St. Regis Bali Resort is a luxury property with a lot to love. The classically elegant atmosphere is set by a style that blends Old World and contemporary accents, while luxe amenities include private butler service and a private beach with water sports. The children's education center and a lovely spa make this property as pleasurable for kids as it is for their parents, and dining and drinking are all top notch. The 123 spacious suites and villas include marble bathrooms, plush beds, large flat-screen TVs, and balconies -- some even have private pools and ocean views.
The five-pearl Karma Jimbaran is a glamorous boutique resort with lots of Balinese character, situated a minutes' walk from the beach. The property is super family-friendly, with an adorable, huge (and free) kids' club and playground, as well as a day spa offering massage, beauty, and body treatments for all ages. There are cooking and yoga classes (for a fee), a sophisticated wine and tapas bar, and plenty of space to sunbathe, relax, and recharge. Each of the 40 spacious villas has a private pool, romantic canopy beds, a full-size kitchen, and beautiful bathrooms.
Centara Grand West Sands Resort & Villas Phuket is a massive beachfront resort located near Phuket International Airport. The hotel's most popular feature is definitely its Splash Jungle water park, which has 12 waterslides, a lazy river, a wave pool, and swimming pools. For rainy days, there's an indoor kids' club with toys, video games, a Nintendo Wii, and an air-hockey table. Accommodations range from family-friendly rooms with bunk beds to a villa with a gorgeous private pool. Past guests have complained about crowding at the breakfast buffet and cleanliness issues in the room. Freebies include Wi-Fi, parking, a welcome fruit plate, and a shuttle.
Centara Grand Beach Resort Phuket is a luxury property geared towards families with kids. The highlights here are water-related: guests can borrow kayaks to explore the wide stretch of Karon Beach, or spend an entire day at the waterslides, lazy river, and enormous outdoor pool. The location isn't the most convenient, but there are several dining and bar options on-site, along with a kids' club and fitness center. Rooms and suites are on the cramped side, though they all have large, furnished balconies. Villas with private pools, Club level access, and ocean views are available for a hefty price.
Right by the beach in the center of Karon, this luxury resort is an enormous complex with enough on-site activities to keep the average guest content within its boundaries, including five pools, one of which is for kids. The 196 rooms range from simple Superiors with uninspiring views to a huge three-bedroom Presidential Suite suitable for a large family. While all the rooms have plenty of features, including furnished balconies, rainfall showers, and teak furnishings, it's the huge array of facilities that make this property worth considering. Compared to other resorts, there's a huge array of restaurants on-site serving buffets and a la carte menus. Along with traditional Thai dishes, guests can dine on pizzas, Chinese food, and even Mexican -- complete with mariachi entertainment. A kids' club and babysitting are available for a fee.
The 150-room Bali Tropic is a family-friendly, upscale all-inclusive with gorgeous traditional Balinese architecture and beautiful tropical gardens. Rooms are spacious and charming, with four-poster beds, lots of ornate wood and stone carvings, and amenities such as flat-screen TVs, free Wi-Fi and lightly stocked minibars. All units have furnished terraces and large bathrooms with walk-in showers and separate stone tubs. The property has a kids' club with daily activities and three restaurants, including one by the beach open 24/7. There is also a decent fitness center, a relaxing spa, and a large pool with a swim-up bar and a kiddy section.
Located on the northern tip of gorgeous White Beach, the 87-room Discovery Shores Boracay is one of the most luxurious resorts in the area. With spacious rooms, a pleasant pool with a kids' area and swim-up bar, and beach and pool butlers, this property provides a high-end yet relaxing experience. The kids’ club offers tons of indoor and outdoor activities for kids under 12, and kid-friendly menus are available at the restaurants and bars. All this luxury comes with a high price tag, but freebies such as roundtrip airport transfers, shuttle service to other parts of the island, Wi-Fi, and breakfast buffet add value. Additionally, service is consistently outstanding, with great attention to detail and lots of thoughtful extras, including welcome foot baths, turndown service with personalized treats, and face mist service by the pool.
This 432-room, luxury hotel is nestled near the beach on 6.8 acres of landscaped tropical gardens. Family-friendly -- with a kids' club and three huge swimming pools -- the resort is about a 10-minute drive to the traditional art and fashion markets, and showcases artwork throughout the property. In addition to the three outdoor pools, there are six restaurants, a full-service spa (with sauna and steam room), a fitness center, and tennis courts. Rooms are large and clean, and have comfortable beds and balconies, minibars, flat-screen TVs, free Wi-Fi, and air-conditioning. Kid-friendly activities include fish-feeding and contests in the family pool, which has two water slides. The S.K.A.I. Beach Club serves cocktails and light fare, and is a lovely spot to watch the sun go down. However, there are numerous complaints of mosquitoes.
The Nusa Dua Beach Hotel & Spa is a luxury family-friendly property located right on a quiet sandy beach in the Nusa Dua Peninsula, an area home to many other high-end resorts. Its 382 rooms are spacious, sunny and upscale, with plenty of traditional Balinese touches such as delicate wood carvings and flower designs, and furnished terraces, some with direct access to the lagoon pool. One of the best on-site perks is free access to a lovely spa complete with a serene outdoor pool, saunas, whirlpools, and steam rooms. There are also tennis and squash courts, two large pools, a playground, a game room, and a diving center with free scuba diving lessons. The kids’ club offers daily activities, including arts and crafts, sports, and family-friendly cultural excursions. Varied dining options range from casual Italian to Balinese fine dining, but food gets mixed reviews.
The 127-room Sol Beach House Benoa Bali is an upscale all-inclusive situated on a beautiful sandy beach in the Tanjung Benoa area. Large rooms have contemporary decor with a few traditional Balinese details, as well as private balconies, spacious bathrooms with rain showers, and free Wi-Fi. The outdoor areas are particularly appealing, and include a freeform pool with a swim-up bar and a kiddy section, several drinking and dining options, and manicured lawns with hammocks and beanbags. The kids’ club features daily activities and a games room. Some areas and rooms are a bit worn, but renovations are ongoing.
The sprawling, 278-room Pan Pacific Nirwana Bali Resort is a luxury property that sits on over 250 acres of land along the coast of the Indian Ocean. With a celebrated 18-hole golf course, six bars and restaurants, and several pools -- including a four-tiered lagoon-style pool with a kids' wading area, waterfalls, and slides -- the hotel has a lot to offer guests looking to get away from the bustle of the more populated towns of Kuta or Seminyak. The remote location means that there are few restaurants and shops nearby. A variety of rooms are on offer, including spacious suites and villas with private plunge pools and gardens, all featuring a simple, modern style with tasteful decor and an array of amenities.
The four-and-a-half-pearl Kayumanis Jimbaran Private Estate & Spa is an elegant, family-friendly spa resort in Jimbaran, a short three-minute walk to the beach. The 19 villas, which come in one- and two-bedroom configurations, include kitchenettes and their own swimming pool. Unlike many of the more couples-centric luxury villa properties on the island, Kayumanis Jimbaran offers plenty of kid-friendly amenities, including children's spa treatments, kid-size robes and slippers in the rooms, and PlayStations and age-appropriate DVDs on request. Be aware that most of the room facilities are outdoors -- including the bathrooms -- and the property is full of dense jungle and all the creatures that come with that.
The 78-unit Villas at AYANA Resort is a huge, opulent property on a private beach looking out over the sea. Villas are large and luxurious, with gorgeous bathrooms, garden terraces, and private plunge pools, but no kitchens. The property shares a plethora of amenities with the AYANA Resort and Spa, including a private beach, 11 pools, an 18-hole putting course, a spa, and 15 restaurants serving a variety of cuisine types. The kids' club features a playground, video games, arts and crafts, and cultural activities. This resort is definitely a showstopper, with rates that reflect this.
The Courtyard by Marriott Bali Nusa Dua is a contemporary uspcale resort in central Nusa Dua's tourist area with a restaurant, spa, fitness center, and a huge lagoon swimming pool with poolside bar. The 246 rooms are spacious, and include minibars, flat-screen TVs, and balconies or terraces. There's a distinct family-friendly vibe here -- the hotel has a kids' club and kids' pool -- and while the grounds are quite lovely, the rooms feel a bit cookie-cutter modern. The Courtyard is not right on the beach, but its beach club is accessible via a free shuttle.
The 301-room Grand Mirage is an upscale all-inclusive beach resort in the quiet Tanjung Benoa area. It caters to families and couples with a wide array of daily activities for all ages, free non-motorized water sports, a pool, a kids’ club and outdoor playground with slides, and an excellent spa with a large hydrotherapy area and treatments also for kids. Spacious rooms have flat-screen TVs, free Wi-Fi, and free minibars (replenished daily), and all have furnished balconies, some overlooking the ocean. But the property is starting to show its age, and some rooms have maintenance issues.
The family-friendly, 313-room Bali Dynasty Resort is upper-middle-range property within a 15-minute walk of shops, attractions, and restaurants. Stylish, modern rooms have modern tile bathrooms, minibars, coffeemakers, and free bottled water, while some have balconies or patios and can fit families up to five people. There are three outdoor pools -- including a kids' pool with a waterslide -- and several on-site restaurants and bars (plus a great breakfast is included with room rates). There are also a kids' club, teen club, and trapeze school.