Where to Stay on Koh Samui with Kids? Discover Koh Samui's Best Family Resorts

We receive emails nearly every week asking: Which Koh Samui hotels are best for families? Which Samui resorts are the most kid-friendly? Where should I stay on Samui with a baby, a toddler or teenagers? The answer – this post – has been sitting a very long time in the draft phase. Very. long. time. We’ve put it off for years, knowing that it would mean far too long with a spreadsheet 20+ columns wide. We weren’t wrong!

So here – at long last – are Koh Samui’s best hotels for families with kids of all ages (and attention spans). It’s a whopper!

Where to Stay on Koh Samui with Kids?

Which is the BEST Koh Samui hotel for kids?

Where to Stay on Koh Samui with Kids? Discover Koh Samui's Best Family Resorts

Much like there’s no best beach on Koh Samui, there’s no one “best” hotel for children or families. There are, you’ll see below, dozens of worthy options at every budget level – perfectly suiting your your family’s interests and requirements.

If you’d like to start with a ‘Koh Samui 101’ beach-by-beach guide, see where to stay on Koh Samui for options at all price points.

Where’s the water slide?

Where to Stay on Koh Samui with Kids? Discover Koh Samui's Best Family Resorts

We receive a lot of emails asking for resort recommendations with kids’ water-parks and extensive water-slides. If you want the kiddie infrastructure you’d find in Orlando, you won’t find it on Samui – it’s a much more low-key island with old-fashioned, make-sand-castles kids’ entertainment.

For massive family resorts in Thailand, with all the stuff, look to Phuket or Pattaya. Centara Grand Beach Resort Phuket and Centara Grand Mirage Beach Resort Pattaya have enormous water parks – even a lazy river, right at the resort.

Are your children welcome?

Where to Stay on Koh Samui with Kids? Discover Koh Samui's Best Family Resorts

Amongst many notable national characteristics, Thais love children. The fatter your toddler the better – you’ll be fighting off hotel staff and waitresses keen to cuddle and babysit. As such, don’t read “lack of children’s pool” on a hotel’s facility list as “children not allowed”. It’s a very inclusive island.

With the exception of very few places, well-behaved children are welcome everywhere – even in high-end resorts and restaurants. Where’s best? If you’re the (proud) parent of a gold-medal guppy who will complete 500 screeching cannonballs from sunrise daily – perhaps steer clear of the island’s most popular honeymoon/couples’ resorts. Identify them as chic and discreet places who like the word ‘serenity’.

For all your other questions?

Where to Stay on Koh Samui with Kids? Discover Koh Samui's Best Family Resorts

If you find this useful, you’ll find even more helpful detail for all aspects of your trip in The Koh Samui Guide – over 200 pages of island FAQs, things to do and what to eat + rainy day ideas and packing guides. It downloads instantly!

Use The Koh Samui Guide for your island FAQs, things to do and what to eat – plus rainy-day ideas and packing help Get your Koh Samui Guide

What about star ratings?

Where to Stay on Koh Samui with Kids? Discover Koh Samui's Best Family Resorts

Star ratings vary widely on Koh Samui – especially at the 3- and 4-star level. Many of the options that follow might seem equivalent in terms of stars, but offer very different levels of service, amenities and overall experience. Price and a close study of photos and provisions is a better bet.

Yeah, yeah … so where’s best to stay with kids on Samui?

Where to Stay on Koh Samui with Kids? Discover Koh Samui's Best Family Resorts

Do the kids you know fit a strict template? Exactly. Kids and hotels aren’t a one-size-fits-all answer – our recent Samui experiences include:

  • the 5-year-old little boy who couldn’t have cared less that there was a beach or a pool… the hotel cat had just had kittens!!!
  • the world’s pickiest 7 year olds encouraged by germaphobe parents …
  • the sun-sensitive children whose mother needed to keep them entertained out of the sun all day, every day (poor woman!)….

That left it to us to do a lot of legwork! We’ve spent hours scouring not only the depths of our own 13-year Samui mental encyclopaedia, but our “working list” of 100+ particularly note-worthy Samui hotels and resorts – the big guys, the little guys, the do-gooders, the award-winners and total secrets.

Let’s begin!


1. Four Seasons Resort Koh Samui

Where to Stay on Koh Samui with Kids? Discover Koh Samui's Best Family Resorts Where to Stay on Koh Samui with Kids? Discover Koh Samui's Best Family Resorts

Why should you stay at Four Seasons Resort Koh Samui? For the very best, of the best, of the best – staff, service, and kiddie care. It placed 4th for both Top 25 Hotels in Asia and Top 25 Luxury Hotels in Asia in 2015’s TripAdvisor Travellers’ Choice Awards.

  • Location: Bang Po, Koh Samui’s quiet northeast
  • True 5-star, large resort (74 villas and residences)
  • Babysitting? Yes
  • Free WiFi? Yes – even in your airport transfer vehicle!

Beach + location?

Your privacy is utmost at Four Seasons Resort – the property sits on a steep hillside totally hidden from the road. Other than golf buggies you won’t see or hear traffic for your entire stay. Choose to stay here if you want to totally decamp within the resort and never leave – it’s a decent drive of 30-45 minutes to the airport and most island attractions. The resort has its own beach in a small bay with very soft sand (kept perfectly maintained). Unless you’re a mountain goat, plan to explore the resort from the back of a chauffeured golf buggy.

Best room for families?

With small children (under 12), choose a Family Villa. Two adults and up to 3 children have their own sleeping areas (a king bedroom and convertible living room/sleeping space with two twins + an option roll-away twin bed), and share a large bathroom with both a huge soaker tub and an outdoor rain shower. Outdoors, you have an outdoor living room with a 15m²/161ft² private infinity pool. These villas are popular so book well in advance. For easy beach access and shorter ‘commutes’, book a beach villa. They don’t have the views of higher-up villas but you’ll never have to wait for a golf buggy. For even more space or with older children, consider a two-bedroom Residence Villa. In total, the resort has 60 villas and 14 two- to five-bedroom Residences.

Child policy?

Assuming your children are under 18 years old, they can stay in your room at no extra charge – whether you need to add extra beds or a cot.

Kids’ club?

Oh, yes yes yes – and it’s free to participate! The Kids For All Seasons programme runs every day (8:00 am – 5:00 pm) for kids aged 2 to 12 years. Activities change daily and include coconut painting, message in a bottle, umbrella and batik painting, plaster models, cooking class, cookie decorating and traditional Thai games. Typically the morning activities are held outside and, when it’s hotter in the afternoon, in the air-conditioned kids’ club (underneath the fitness centre, if you like to treadmill on vacation). For its totally complimentary, fantastic range of activities, we think Four Seasons offers the best kids’ club on Koh Samui.

Children’s pool?

In addition to your private villa pool, there’s a main resort pool at the beach (82 feet long) where children are more than welcome.

Other fun stuff?

Where to start? On the water, you have free use of a Hobie Catamaran, family kayaks, boogie boards, stand-up paddleboards, plus fishing and snorkelling gear (and the expertise of a beach crew if you need help getting started). Back on the beach, enjoy coconut pétanque, beach soccer, beach table tennis and beach volleyball. Still not tired? Try a kids’ Muay Thai lesson (ages 4-15 years, THB 2,000/approx US$60 per hour for up to 2 children). Play tennis on one of two flood-lit courts. Or book a kiddie spa treatment, including a teen facial or ‘island princess manicure’ (ages 6 to 11 years old with parental accompaniment). To explore further, take a resort garden tour together.

Resort goodies?

In your room there’s a 81-cm (32-inch) LCD flat-screen TV, DVD player, iPod docking station and a Lavazza coffeemaker for early morning excitement. Hypoallergenic pillows are available on request. Kiddies get their own child-sized bath robe and foam bath toys, plus a welcome toy on arrival. Nightly treats are a sweet surprise.

Kids’ food?

Kids’ menus are always available and, on arrival, there’s a special children’s snack platter. Parents will note that there’s a different fresh-squeezed juice daily, plus natural yoghurt and home-made granola. Kids might be distracted by the home-made Magnum chocolate ice creams that appear on the beach.

See more photos and check availability: Four Seasons Resort Koh Samui


2. Banyan Tree Samui

Why should you stay at Banyan Tree Samui? For fantastic service, a big (separate) kids’ pool and stand-up paddling. It won #8 Top 25 Luxury Hotels in Asia and #14 Top 25 Hotels in Asia in 2015’s TripAdvisor Travellers’ Choice Awards.

  • Location: Lamai (on its own bay), Koh Samui’s southeast
  • True 5-star, large resort (88 villas)
  • Babysitting? Yes, with advance notice
  • Free WiFi? Yes

Beach + location?

Tucked on its own bay with a beach only guests can access. As the shore is slightly rocky for a few metres, there are beach shoes available for guest use. As for accessibility, it’s built on a very steep hillside so you can (A) walk around and work up a sweat or (B) call for a golf cart, usually a 5-10 minutes’ wait. To explore outside the resort you’re largely car-dependent, or use the twice-a-day shuttle bus to visit nearby Lamai town and neighbouring Chaweng, slightly north.

Best room for families?

Every Banyan Tree villa has its own private pool. Many are infinity edge. Villas vary in their outlook (you might prefer being higher up for a better view, or closer to the beach, pool and restaurants) but all are 130m²/1399ft².

Kids’ club?

Yes. Ages 4-12. Activities include various games, arts and crafts, with active options like learning traditional Thai dance.

Children’s pool?

Yes. In addition to the main beach pool, the children’s pool is separate in its own secluded garden area. It’s a very decent size (ample space for all sorts of swimming games), with a fish fountain feature and a nice seating area for parents with sun beds, umbrellas and outdoor sofas. For dedicated kids’ pools, removed from the main pool area, Banyan Tree has the biggest on Samui.

Other fun stuff + goodies?

There’s a library and games room (offers Jenga, a cards table, etc). A large lawn at the beach for soccer, running around and other games. Table tennis. For water-sports, there are kayaks, Hobie cats, snorkelling and stand-up paddling – with life jackets provided. A welcome stuffed toy and nightly goodies are nice extras.

Kids’ food?

Range of Thai and Western options, including great pizza.

See more photos and check availability: Banyan Tree Samui


3. Vana Belle, Luxury Collection

Why should you stay at Vana Belle? For a “near, not in” Chaweng location and the privacy of your own family villa (with a private pool and great beach access).

  • Location: Chaweng Noi, a quieter stretch of beach
  • True 5-star, large resort (80 villas)
  • Babysitting? Yes
  • Free WiFi? Yes – but join the Starwood Preferred Guest programme to make sure.

Beach + location?

Just south of Chaweng Noi on a quiet bay. As at Banyan Tree, golf carts help you navigate this steep, hillside resort.

Best room for families?

Beautiful hillside villas with infinity pools will better suit children well past their “climbing” phase. For teenagers ready to sun bathe all day, Vana Belle villas offer tons of space for everyone. Every villa has its own pool and accommodates 3 adults, with the option to add roll-away beds for children and cots for babies. Room sizes range from 86m² to 211m² (925ft² to 2271ft²). Some rooms come with butler service.

Kids’ club?

No.

Children’s pool?

Yes. It connects to the main pool – it’s small but shallow (50cm). Children under 12 must have adult supervision.

Other fun stuff + goodies?

Join in various children’s and family activities available on a rotating monthly schedule: these include snorkelling, soap carving, beach soccer, etc. (Additional fees apply).

Kids’ food?

Kids’ menus available, with the option of an SPG® Kids Pass which gets your child ‘free’ food … at additional daily rate.

See more photos and check availability: Vana Belle


4. Santiburi Beach Resort, Golf & Spa

Why should you stay at Santiburi Beach Resort, Golf & Spa? To enjoy a sporty, active vacation together – on the water and off. It was totally renovated in late 2014 (including all villas and public areas).

  • Location: Maenam, right on the beach
  • 5-star, large resort (71 rooms and villas)
  • Babysitting? Yes, THB 350 (approx US$11) per hour
  • Free WiFi? Yes

Beach + location?

Santiburi sits on a 300-foot frontage directly on Maenam Beach. (They call it a “private” beach which is a slight stretch of the truth, but it is a very quiet area). It’s ideal for the family that needs to be busy, yet is just a short drive to neighbouring Bophut, Fisherman’s Village, as well as Santiburi’s 18-hole golf course in the hills nearby. Unlike many resorts in its class, it’s built on the flat – so you can walk (or bike) around with ease.

Best room for families?

For the most space, book an Equatorial Duplex Suite (91 m²/979ft²). This offers you two bedrooms, plus a living room and a bathroom with a large bath tub and separate shower. Uniquely, the suite is split-level with the master bedroom upstairs for a little more privacy. To enjoy your own private pool, book a Beach Front Villa with plunge pool – it’s perfect paddling size.

Child policy?

To add children’s beds or cribs to your room, it’s free for under 2s and an additional fee per child per night depending on their age. Children 2 to 6 years are THB 600 (approx US$18) each per night. Children 6 to 12 years are THB 1,250 (approx US$38) each per night, which includes breakfast, and a max of two children per room. Children 13+ are THB 2,500 (approx US$77) each per night, which includes breakfast, and a max of one child per room.

Kids’ club?

Yes. Kids’ Club offers various arts and crafts activities – plus cooking classes – for ages 3+. Open daily from 9 am til 6 pm. Additionally, a kids’ activity centre has facilities including a playground, a small petting zoo (hens, chicks, rabbits, turtles), table-tennis, darts, a Sony Playstation, a small library, etc.

Children’s pool?

Yes. In the same pool area as the main resort pool. Both are in the centre of the resort, a 2-minute walk from the beach.

Other fun stuff + goodies?

Kids’ Muay Thai lessons, daily soccer, a squash court, two flood-lit tennis courts, 1.2km jogging track, plus ice cream and fruit delivered to you on the beach twice a day (gratis). On the water there’s a great range of craft available to try, including surfboards (though there’s unlikely to be any surf), windsurfs, sailing dinghies and five Hobie cats, plus life jackets and fishing equipment. Kids can also borrow mountain bikes to explore the resort. Cribs and beach toys are available if needed.

Kids’ food?

Kids’ menus and high chairs are available. Themed restaurant nights include a beach BBQ on Tuesdays and Sundays.

See more photos and check availability: Santiburi Beach Resort & Spa


5. Conrad Koh Samui

Why should you stay at Conrad Koh Samui? For perfect lazy days. Pull up the drawbridge for a private paradise break – with sunsets! Conrad Koh Samui is a non-smoking hotel.

  • Location: Taling Ngam, a very quiet corner of Koh Samui
  • True 5-star, large resort (64 villas)
  • Babysitting? Yes
  • Free WiFi? Yes

Beach + location?

About as far from Koh Samui Airport as you can get – but you earn perfect sunset views for your efforts. Again, Conrad Koh Samui is a very tucked-away, exclusive experience built into a steep hillside. It’s views, views and more views. Travel by golf cart down to the beach and main pool, where watersports and a great poolside bar/grill awaits. The resort likely suits “pool people” more than “beach people”. Though very pretty, the beach isn’t very big and is quite rocky. Hammocks a few metres out in the ocean are an ideal family portrait spot.

Best room for families?

For lots of space, book a 2 Bedroom King Ocean View Pool Villa. It’s split over two levels, with two bedrooms, a living room, kitchenette and – like every villa at Conrad – a private infinity pool (12 metres/40 feet). Have an even larger group? There’s a 3-bedroom villa option too.

Child policy?

Children 12 years old and under stay for free (excluding meals) if using existing villa beds/bedding.

Kids’ club?

Yes, The Turtle Kids Club is open 10 am to 6pm daily (call ahead to make sure) for kids aged 4-12. Complimentary activities include handicrafts and group games (with video games available for older kids).

Children’s pool?

No, but there’s a large main resort pool down by the beach. Expect it to be very quiet given that each villa has such a large private pool.

Other fun stuff + goodies?

For a memorable family excursion, take a complimentary boat ride to a nearby uninhabited island, Koh Tan – with some snorkelling, too. Indoors, each villa has a 46” flat-screen TV plus on-demand movies, video games, the Disney Channel (in English), blackout curtains, and – for jet-lagged parents – an espresso machine. Baby powder, baby shampoo and lotion are nice touches to the bathroom amenity basket. A games chest in each villa offers rainy day or noon-sun entertainment: Scrabble, Monopoly, Jenga, etc.

Kids’ food?

Kids’ menus offer easy options and smaller sized portions (fish fingers and chicken nuggets at Jahn, for example). Restaurants (other than the pool bar and grill) have a smart-casual dress code for dinner – likely children get a free pass on this one. High chairs are available, and – at Zest – kids get kiddie plates and cutlery, and colouring activities. Or, order room service and eat beside your pool. Tuck snacks, ice cream and drinks into a full-sized in-room fridge.

See more photos and check availability: Conrad Koh Samui

Part 2! More Koh Samui family resorts…

Recap

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