Updated: May 6, 2018
Quiet, family-friendly and facing a sublime beach. The location is perfect: between dramatic limestone cliffs, the main road with its ample supply of shops and cafés, and a truly magnificent beach. The welcoming lobby is 150m from the busy road, while most of the hotel grounds face the path alongside the golden sands and turquoise waters. Each room is modern and expansive, with plenty of space for luggage, as well as abundant seating and a sizeable balcony offering views (mostly) of the lush tropical gardens. A youngster could easily sleep on the sofa, while an extra single bed is available for a second child. Sparkling-blue children’s pools are attached to both of the main pools, which are all surrounded by shady palms. Extras, such as a library and check-out lounge for late flights, are also welcome. Some facilities may please the toddlers: e.g. the (undersized) playground and colourful Kids’ Club – although the latter is indoors, dark and more of a baby-sitting service. Older children would appreciate the games room, with ping pong and billiards, and of course, the superb beach.
Spacious gardens, beach frontage and ideal for families. This long-established resort is the only one in Ao Nang to directly face the sea, so the noisy road doesn’t affect the general views or serenity. It doesn’t feel overbuilt or crowded either, with so much space among the gardens and beach, which is virtually private and not lined with thunderous boats. There are many categories of rooms, suites, bungalows and villas, but most don’t face the sea. They do, however, feature a gorgeous contemporary Thai décor and lovely views of the gardens or pool from several windows and the sizeable balcony. Some rooms have connecting doors, others are large enough for two double beds, and the suites contain two bedrooms and a separate living area. Plenty of games and activities are on offer, such as canoeing, snorkelling and bird-watching, and the massive pool with its appealing ‘pirate’ theme has an attached kids’ pool. The mini-golf, badminton and playground are modest, so the giant chessboard and futsal ground might be more inviting. The indoors Junior Explorer Club is more suitable for toddlers, while parents may appreciate the reading lounge and ample car parking.
Nature-loving and family-friendly. The Pakasai is not a beach resort, but beautifully set among pristine hillside gardens that almost feel like a national park. The Infinity-style pool on the third floor allows the grounds to be completely smothered with trees, plants and ponds appreciated by the abundant birdlife. The colourful and secluded one-bedroom chalets can fit in an extra single bed, while some feature a separate living area and kitchenette as well. The Deluxe Chalets also have an extra bedroom and living room, and some of the spacious standard rooms have connecting doors. But be warned: most rooms are only accessible via steep paths and numerous steps, and any promised ‘sea views’ are distant and not uninterrupted. Families are actively encouraged, with a range of engaging activities included in the rates, e.g. lessons in Thai cooking, boxing, handicrafts and dance. There are also a children’s pool, modest playground and bicycles for rent. It’s in Noppharat Thara, where facilities are more limited than in Ao Nang (15 minutes away on foot), but barely 500m from an uncrowded beach.