SD › Thailand › Railay Family Hotels
Updated: October 19, 2020
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The Best Kid-Friendly Hotel in Railay
Railay is one of the best places in Thailand for kids. Great beaches, no cars (sidewalks going every direction), and since there are no roads, you have to take a longtail boat to get here – fun! (Just be prepared to get a little wet getting off in Railay.) Not a lot of hotels for families of 4, 5, or 6, so book early.
Opulence, 3 beaches, mountains and forest; families welcomed. The secluded villas (mostly called pavilions) are dotted among immaculate lawns, coconut groves, and a jungle of squirrels and monkeys – all meters from the ocean and under the looming limestone mountains. The magnificently landscaped grounds which are huge enough for guests to need buggies and staff to ride bicycles, seem endless and front 3 beaches. The main infinity pool, with edges seamlessly merging into the azure sea, is at the sublime Railay West beach. All pavilions are 2-story, hidden behind walls and dense foliage, and separated by at least 20m. They feature lovely outdoor dining rooms and lounge areas, while some also have private pools and/or jacuzzis. Downstairs, the huge sofas are large enough to convert to single beds. Better still, attached to the special Family Pavilion is an extra room with a second bedroom and another bathroom. The Rayavadee actively encourages families with a wide range of engaging activities such as yoga, sand-sculpting, Thai cooking, and self-guided nature walks, and amenities including tennis, squash, and a library. Surprisingly, there’s no Kids Club, but every youngster will adore the setting and space.
I hope this blog is still ON…
We are thinking about 2 weeks travelling with our 3 kids (youngest 2 years old) and our grannie (80 years) this April. A mix of culture and beach including Thai New Year.
What’s your comment on 4-5 days in Chiang Mai and then a beach like Railay another 4-5 days?
thank you! Rainer
That sounds great. Try to book a direct flight from Chiang Mai to Krabi asap as there are only a few a day and they sell out quickly. Songkran will be much more fun and interesting in Chiang Mai than in Railay.
Love your blogs, absolutely great from parents! we are a couple with a very active 26 Month old girl.
Planing for a short break from Singapore life – 4-5 days in Krabi in mid December.
We would love to just relax at the beach and pool, and have some local food. What location would you recommend we spend these 5 night? Ao Nang or Railey? We are looking to spend around 1000 Singapore $ for 4-5 nights accommodation.
Thanks a lot!
Ao Nang has better food. Railay has much better beaches and a relaxing vibe. With a young child I would go for Railay – it doesn’t get much more family friendly than there.
Love your blog! Any thoughts on the Railay Princess Resort & Spa?
Nice 4 star hotel. But the beach it’s located on turns to mud flats at low tide and is not suitable for swimming. Need to walk 3 minutes to get to good beach.
We are a family of 5 and have left booking accommodation for Xmas a little late. We would like somewhere close to the beach with a pool on Krabi’s nicer beaches. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. 3 – 4 star would be great, clean and comfortable :)
It might be hard to find one room that will fit all of you. I love the Sunrise Tropical Resort (though not right on a swimmable beach the good beach is a short walk away). They have some of the largest rooms on Railay but even still you might be forced to get two rooms.
Hi David, great info! Quick question: we are planning to go to Krabi for 12 days in February, 4 adults, 2 kids. My preference would be to jump from Phi Phi to Ao Nang and possibly Ko Lanta – not sure if it’s worth it though? Our budget is quite limited so we won’t be probably affording a 5 star hotel but we would prefer to be it on/close to the beach. Appreciate your opinion! Thanks, Oana
Not sure exactly what you’re asking, but with 12 days I would definitely stay at 2 or 3 different places.
Hi David. Great blog.
Currently living in Myanmar and planning two week trip with my wife, 5yo daughter and 2yo son for the first two weeks in April. The first half will be in and around Luang Prabang in Laos before heading to a Thai beach for 5 or 6 days during Songkran. For me it’s a toss up between Railay and Bophut. We just want to relax on the beach with nice safe swimming and paddling for the kids with a few half decent places to eat and drink. My head says Bophut as there appears to be a lot more to do but my heart (and inner backpacker) says Railay. Any help, guidance or views would be greatly appreciated. I’m guessing the weather will be ok in Railay at this time of year but slightly drier in Samui.
Bophut has more cultural life (and nightlife) and better food. Railay has a better beach and more active pursuits (rock climbing, kayaking, day trips to other islands).
We are planning a RTW trip w our 3 kids (10, 8, 6) and plan to hit Thailand as our first destination in Dec. I know it’s high season but we’re hoping to spend a week just getting our bearings and letting the reality of an extended trip sink in…on a beach w a nice vibe. Haven’t been to Railay in 20 years. Troubled because all hotels or resorts online appear to have a max 4 person occupancy. Given that we have a moderate budget that needs to last up to 12 months, booking 2 rooms everywhere isn’t feasible. Besides, my kids are young and I’d like us all together. Any ideas or suggestions for family rooms in the area (or any beachy spot) that accommodates 5 greatly appreciated.
You’re right, there aren’t many large suites in Railay and it might not be the best spot for a family of 5. Ao Nang should have more options. Or beach towns like Kata or Karon on Phuket. Koh Samui (on the other side of the country) has many large suites perfect for families.
After doing research, I really want to stay in Railay with my husband and 2 year old. I have been sifting through reviews and hotel sites. I am leaning towards Sand Sea Resort. My concerns about Railay in general based on reviews are…
1. Is there a place to buy milk, snacks, diapers etc for a 2 year old?
2. I’ve read if you stay on West side (my preference), you have to wade with luggage and luggage gets wet. This would be part of a longer trip and although I try to pack light we will have 2 large bags, carry-ons and a small child with us.
Any feedback, tips etc would be great!
You can get milk and snacks in Railay but I don’t think diapers. I’d get them before arriving. You can buy diapers in Ao Nang before getting on the boat to Railay. Where you stay (east or west) does not necessarily dictate where you arrive. Sometimes it is possible to get a (more expensive) boat to the east beach from Ao Nang. At the east beach they’ll either pull up to a dock or have a tractor meet the boat and get you and your luggage to dry land without getting wet. (If you book at a 5 star hotel you can arrange this a few days in advance.) But even for west beach arrivals it’s rare for luggage to get wet. Your feet and pants will get a bit wet though.
any opinion on the Sand Sea Resort in Railay or how it compares with the Railay Bay Resort?
thanks in advance for any guidance.
They are right beside each other on Railay West Beach (very nice). The Sand Sea Resort is slightly more luxurious but the one-bedroom cottages at Railay Bay Resort are bigger and better for a family.
David, thank you for the prompt and thoughtful reply. We’re headed over to Thailand in March. Plan to spend a few days in Chiang Mai and wanted to do a few beach days also. Generally the reviews of Railay are rhapsodic but occasionally people comment on the garbage and the crowds. Any thoughts or perspective you have on that would be most appreciated. Great site(s) by the way. Huge public service!
I love Railay. It’s busiest during the Christmas, New Years time when it can get very busy. Outside of that it’s pretty peaceful. I’ve never seen any garbage there myself, but I’m sure it happens. Lots of great beaches nearby that you can take a long tail boat to and have the whole place to yourself.
I’m a single mom living in Italy and planning a trip to Thailand next month, 30th November til 21 December. I’m travelling with three kids (7, 3 and 8 months) and a baby sitter. please, any tips are welcome!
Krabi/Railay for three weeks?
Krabi/Railay for two weeks and the other week some where else? where?
Or Ko Samet with the same variables?
Please help me plan this trip. There are so many variables and decisions to make. But I want to go!
Also, do you know any self-catering places to stay in these locations with pool?
Thank you so much for your advice.
3 weeks in Railay would be a long time. I’d do half your time in Railay and 1/2 in Phuket (for something busier), Koh Lanta (something quieter), or Khao Lak (in between). Self catering places are non-existent in Railay but possible in Phuket and the other places – though usually not with the best location like the hotels.
Thank you very much for the tips about the quiet side versus the more noisy side with the longtails coming and going. We’ve heard that Railay has built up a lot since we were there almost 15 years ago. Maybe we’ll try it again. But you’ve said, “Thailand has many phenomenal beaches but perhaps my favorites are found at Railay in Krabi Province on the east coast of the country,” and I remember Krabi as being on the west coast of Thailand, on the Andaman Sea side, not on the Gulf of Thailand side. Still, we’ll check it out for a family trip. This time maybe with the grandkids.
You’re absolutely right. Thanks for catching that. Fixed it.
Hi! We are going to be taking trip to thailand. We arrive Sept 18th, will spend a week in Chiang Mai, then head down to Bangkok for four nights and then to Koh Samui from the 1st – 10th. Is that too long? What other beaches would you recommend hitting while in Koh Samui. I have a 3 year old and 8 year old we will be traveling with..so am nervous about the ferry situation. Are they safe, do you get sea sick, etc!
Thanks in advance!
Ferries are fine as long as there isn’t a storm. I probably wouldn’t get on if I saw the skies were dark and the seas rough. But that’s rare and they’re mostly fine. Choeng Mon, Bophut (where I’m typing this from), and Chaweng are the best beaches for kids on Koh Samui.
Hi David, excellent blog!!!
We will be this eastern in Phuket area for 9 days … following your advice we plan to spend some days in Phuket and some days in Railay. We are travelling with 2 kids (5 and 2 years old). Our plan:
2-3 days in Phuket (for recovering from our long flight from Spain)
4-5 days Railay –> too much? what about 1-2 days in Ko Yao?
2 days Phuket (before flying back home)
What do you think about the plan?
Regards from spain!
Sounds great. With a 2 and a 5 year old I don’t think I’d add a 4th destination to the trip.
We are planning to visit a beach in Thailand in June for 6-8 days, traveling with 2 kids (6 and 2)… What would it be the best option… Railey, Samui, other or any recommendations?
I think the weather will likely be better and the sea calmer on the east coast (Samui) in June. But no guarantees.
What are some budget hotels in Railay you would recommend for a family of 4?
The Railay Phutawan Resort is great value. A little bit of a walk from the main beaches (and boats – so call for help with your bags when you arrive) but a nice peaceful location.
The eastside is very noisy with the roar of the longtail’s motors in the early morning. Everything is replenished by longtails. Noisier than some airports. Much quieter on the westside. Still a must see, though.
Hi Bob. I’ve stayed on the eastside and never noticed the noise. Thanks for your input though. It’s good to have another perspective. Cheers.
WE LOVE all that you have done here on the web for traveling families. Thank you. We are just in the beginning stages of planning a SE Asian trip with our 2 and 5 yr old. It will be my 8th time to the region– your info is spot on. Railay looks awesome, but I am having a hard time finding a place that has good reviews but at a good price. Is there a place that you would recommend particularly for a family with young kids? How long would you recommend staying (after 2-3 wks, would kids of this age get bored?)? Another recommended “Bottle Beach.” Have you been there? Thanks so much, Lyndel (Boulder)
I think 2 or 3 weeks would be a bit much for Railay. It’s fantastic but has a bit of a resort feel that I don’t think suits an extended stay. Bottle Beach would be better for a longer stay like that.
For hotels, search here for good priced accommodations in the Krabi/Railay area.