Thailand for Families
Thailand is a complex and alluring country packed with fascinating culture, warm people, white sandy beaches and legendary landscapes. Families will never be bored here. Every region offers something unique and exciting, no matter how your family likes to travel. Expect an overload to the senses, in the best way possible, with an eclectic mix of glistening temples, chaotic cities and delicious fresh Thai food.
At Scott Dunn we are specialists in bringing Thailand to life, using a range of unique family-friendly experiences that go beyond the obvious. Think of aromatic local markets, that perfect out-of-the-way restaurant serving the best Pad Thai, spending a day at an elephant sanctuary, walking through tribal villages - the list of experiences is endless. We use the best possible private guides who showcase the best of Thailand. If your family wants that picture-perfect idyllic beach resort, we’ve been to them all and know how to choose the hotel that suits the needs and tastes of every member. Whether you want a relaxing beach holiday, or something a little bit more adventurous, we are on hand to provide you with a trip to Thailand that fits your family perfectly.
Take your youngest to the east coast for calm, shallow seas, perfect for new swimmers or to the range of glimmering temples to marvel at playful monkeys and cave shrines. Many temples also have fortune-telling areas, which is an especially fun hands-on experience for children.
Aside from the gorgeous coastlines and glittering temples, the cities offer bustling markets where your kids will love bartering with local shop owners, as well as a multitude of shopping malls (great for tweens and teens) with every store imaginable. Make sure to zip around the city in a tuk tuk, this is sure to be a highlight of every family adventure in Thailand.
And your family can’t go to Thailand without encountering elephants. Special camps have fantastic educational programs that specialise in elephant conservation, where your family can feed, wash and trek with adorable elephants.
Thailand is fantastic for families because there is so much to see and do. Just walking around, your children will be in awe. It’s the perfect destination for your next family holiday.
At a Glance
Nestled in the Andaman Sea, the Gulf of Thailand and the Indian Ocean, Thailand is a mecca for divers.
Take part in a diverse range of interesting activities - cycle through side streets and rice paddies, sample street food and trek through jungles.
Explore the multitude of beautiful world-famous temples like Wat Rong Khun, Wat Phra Kaew and Wat Arun.
Get up close and personal with the country's symbol, the elephant, at camps and parks.
Unleash your inner fashionista. Shop in Bangkok, which offers an impressive range of markets, malls and stores.
Bangkok is one of the world's most visited cities.
Carrying water to stay hydrated in the heat and bug spray to repel mosquitoes.
Buddhism is practiced by about 90% of the population in Thailand.
Travel with a shawl. It packs light and can be used for conservative experiences like visiting temples.
Muay Thai boxing Thailand's national sport.
Thailand is an excellent option for younger children. We know the resorts that offer top-notch kids clubs, sure to entertain any of your children’s interests. We also make sure that the amenities cater to children, specialised menus, transportation with car seats, babysitting and even spas that offer complimentary kid themed massages. Almost all of the resorts have relaxing pools to cool off in the midday heat (getting your little ones to swim is also a fabulous way to tucker them out in time for a nap). The coast’s white-sand beaches are also a perfect stop for the youngest members of your family. Shallow, calm seas are gentle on inexperienced swimmers, and low-evening tides make for great beach-combing. Thailand is incredibly welcoming to children, if you make a stop at one of the food stalls dotting the streets of cities and villages, food vendors will often insist on holding your child while you eat, so you can fully enjoy every minute of culinary delight.
This stunning resort is designed like a traditional Thai Village, laid out around working rice terraces and surrounded by mountains, a stay here feels like stepping into another world. From the hotel, your family can explore the rich culture of the local area, visit elephant sanctuaries or take part in cookery classes. The Four Seasons also has a two-level infinity pool, an award winning spa, fitness centre, tennis courts and a library. For the younger members of the family there is a complimentary children’s Gecko Club (4-12 years) with a daily activity program, children’s menus, DVDs and toys. This resort is well equipped for all ages, and has something to suit every pace of holiday.
The spectacular views and the fun-filled children’s programs are highlights at the Peninsula Bangkok. This unique, elegant hotel features sprawling, uninterrupted views of the city skyline and the river below. Flexibility is paramount here, making a convenient stay for your family. The Peninsula offers numerous and varied restaurants to dine at, suiting every palate, and the Spa is a tranquil respite from the buzzing city. The hotel also has a luxury fleet of chauffer driven limousines for guests to use. One of the best features of this hotel is the excellent facilities for children. They are gladly welcomed with special bathrobes, activity kits, equipment such as cots, and special room service menus. Babysitting can also be provided. The Peninsula Kids’ Academy provides hours of fun for 4-12 year olds with cultural and culinary activities. The hotel also offers an à la carte program to allow guests to experience the best of Thai culture including cuisine, arts and crafts, dance and massage, at their discretion.
Anantara Mai Kaho Phuket Villas boast a tranquil location, away from the crowds. The décor is inspired by Thai architecture, with spacious indoor/outdoor areas, and facilities include an excellent spa, bicycles, tennis courts, and gym with Muay Thai, yoga and aerobics classes. Families are well catered for here, with tailored activities and a great kids club. The Turtle Club will get your children involved with arts and crafts, nature activities and games. Babysitting is also available upon request. And while your little ones are being thoroughly entertained, you can participate in sailing, windsurfing, kayaking, Thai cooking classes and mountain biking trips ranging from short routes to full day tours with a picnic.
Older kids thrive in Thailand, there are so many enthralling activities available for tweens and teens. They can explore the jungle, kayak among the mangroves, interact with elephants, or take advantage of the fabulous shopping in Bangkok. There is so much for the entire family to explore in Thailand, that older children can’t help but be inspired by the culture, the food, the people, the wildlife and the diverse ecosystems.
This camp is a stunning place to stay whilst exploring this fascinating historical, cultural and adventurous region. Perfect for older kids, the resort prides itself on its private elephant camp. This is a wonderful place to experience these great animals first-hand by walking with them through the bamboo jungle, and helping bathe them, or your family can even spend a full day learning how to master the art of being a mahout. There is also an abundance of other family-friendly activities on offer during your stay here, including visits to Chaing Rai and the neighboring countries by longtail boat, mountain biking, tree planting, yoga, trekking and a wonderful Thai cookery school where the chef will personally take you to visit the local market. After a day full of exciting experiences, your family can cool off in the free form infinity-edged swimming pool, which looks down over the tree canopy towards the Mekong River.
The Floathouse is such a unique and exciting property that floats directly on the River Kwai. You can even jump into the river from your deck and float down to the end of the jetty before climbing back up! There are so many exciting activities here, no member of your family will be bored. There are orchards to the back of the hotel to stroll through, bamboo rafts to cruise down the river in and WWII history explore at the War Cemetery, the Thailand-Burma Railway Museum, and the dauntingly titled Hellfire Pass. A stay at The Floathouse River Kwai isn’t complete without a visit to the impressive Lawa Cave. Inside there are a number of chambers with dramatic stalagmites and stalactites. It’s also home to the smallest bat species in the world, the Kitti bat.
Rayavadee is luxurious and elegantly furnished in a Thai style with polished woods, richly colored fabrics and hand crafted details. Each of the 98 pavilions even has its own little garden. For active members of your family, the resort offers excellent snorkelling, rock climbing, exploring the uninhabited islands in the marine reserve and treks in the lush forested interior. For those looking to relax, the luxurious Rayavadee spa has an extensive range of holistic therapies and there is also a lovely swimming pool. We seriously recommend dining at the Grotto, a restaurant which is nestled under an ancient limestone cliff, where you can enjoy a lazy lunch or a magical sunset cocktail.
There’s truly something for every member of the family in Thailand, from quiet beaches and golf courses, to scenic nature trails, majestic rainforests and paddy fields to explore. Snorkel, tour temples, museums and plantations, help prepare and sample delicious, authentic cuisine, relax with generations old spa treatment, or hop on a bike and discover the villages and jungles that surround you. No matter your family member’s interests Thailand offers it. Many villas can also be taken exclusively, and offer private butler services, providing a worry-free, luxurious and secluded place for the whole family to bond.
Samujana is an amazing option for the family looking for something different than the typical resort. The villas offer a huge amount of privacy and a wonderfully personalised experience. Perched on a hillside, each of the 27 villas at Samujana is truly luxurious. Some of the villas even come with their own gym, a private cinema and large infinity pools, ensuring a magical stay for your entire family. Villa holidays are the perfect alternative to staying in a hotel, especially when travelling with your entire family. These villas can cater to families with both younger and older children, so everyone’s need are well met. One of the standouts of Samujana is the service, your family can choose from the type of service you want from super attentive to one that’s more discreet.
Your family will have an unforgettable stay at Soneva Kiri, this resort feels like a tropical, hidden retreat, blending beautifully into its surroundings. Each villa comes with a personal butler and the dining here is spectacular. The property includes menus created by a three Michelin Star chef and offers unique tree pod dining with service on a zip wire, and an ice cream parlor. Allowing the older family members to relax and enjoy their stay, Soneva offers the Eco Den, a revolutionary kids' area that appears to hang over the forest canopy, as well as a magical giant bamboo playground in the shape of a manta. The exciting and innovative children’s program here includes fishing, land and water excursions, cookery and chocolate making, science experiments and crafts.
Thailand is ideal for the active family. Head to the north for the country’s tallest mountains, where there are endless things to do, from trekking and encountering elephants, to interacting with local hill tribes and shopping at markets for authentic handmade goods. There are so many nature activities to enjoy, like rock climbing, hiking, kayaking, zip lining, bamboo rafting, snorkeling, surfing, horseback riding and biking. There’s never a dull moment for active families in Thailand.
Elephant Hills Tented Camp is comprised of two separate camps, and perfect for social families. The main camp has 30 rustic tents surrounding a communal dining area where guests can mingle after their adventures. The second camp has 10 en-suite tents floating on the Cheow-Lan Lake, powered by solar and wind energy. The second camp is the more adventurous option and better suited to families with older children. Elephant Hills offers a light wildlife experience, and has expert guides who are extremely knowledgeable about the flora and fauna. While here, you might spot lizards, frogs, exotic birds or even the odd Gibbon monkey. During your stay, your family must try the elephant interaction experience. All activities are conducted as part of a small group, which is fun because you’ll get to know the other families staying at the camp.
The Pimalai prides itself on being in a natural environment and peaceful setting while maintaining high standards of luxury and friendly service. This resort is perfect for on-the-go families. It has an activity centre that offers mountain bikes, trekking, tennis, canoes, kayaks, sailing, windsurfing, boat cruises and snorkelling. The surrounding waters of the Lanta Marine National Park are pristine for diving, and the Pimalai has its own PADI dive center. After a day packed with adventurous activities, pop into the relaxing spa for aromatherapy massages, scrubs and wraps.
Time To unwind
Thailand is home to more than 3000 miles of tropical coastline, these pristine and unspoilt beaches are the perfect place to unwind. Many resorts offer pools that feature breathtaking views and spas with every treatment imaginable to pamper yourself in. Indulging in the country's famous food and drink is the perfect way to cap off your relaxing family escape to Thailand.
A stay at Santiburi will be a relaxing, bonding experience for the whole family. The one and two-bedroom suites are great for families, offering plenty of space at fantastic value. For more active members of the family there are watersports, cycling, a superb golf club and professional course, as well as tennis and squash. For those in need of pampering, the spa’s natural treatment rooms with Jacuzzi gardens are a sanctuary for indulgent treatments and holistic therapies that will leave every member of the family refreshed (the spa even provides specialist treatments for children and teens!). There is a whole host of other activities for your children to enjoy here, like a kids' activity centre, and a movie and music library. While your children are being entertained, treat yourselves to a torch lit seafood barbecue on the beach.
The 56 spacious villas at Six Senses Yao Noi have been designed with a modern, elegant style and have their own private infinity pool with large sundeck, open-air bathrooms and personal villa team trained to anticipate every whim. You can guarantee that your family’s stay here will be a relaxing one. The Six Senses Spa has been designed in the style of a Thai longhouse with separate treatment salas and a gym. Other facilities include a library, main pool with stunning views, wine cellar and tennis court. Your butler can arrange a multitude of exceptional dining choices including private picnics, champagne breakfasts and beach barbecues.
The villas at the Four Seasons are cleverly built into the hillside and offer unparalleled views of the oceans the secluded beach below. Each villa has chic alfresco living spaces and is accompanied by its own private infinity pool. There are tons of activities for both adults and children here, with swimming, tennis, watersports and boat trips, as well as a fantastic children’s club with a range of fun activities that would make any adult jealous. While your young ones are playing away at the children’s club, visit Cocorum, a tropical and laid-back rum bar, then hit the pool. With inviting lounge beds and idyllic views, the 50m long pool makes for the perfect place to unwind with a cocktail or even a shoulder massage in the shade of the palms.
Thailand is a destination where you can easily combine an element of adventure and a spot of culture with some downtime on one of the beautiful Thai beaches - or even a visit to a neighbouring country.
For active teenagers who want to burn some adrenaline, we have just the answer. First head north to Chiang Mai, Thailand’s adventure capital, where all the family can enjoy a dazzling array of experiential activities including bamboo rafting, elephant treks and trekking to remote hill tribes for a day. Think local markets, cycling past ancient temples, cooking classes and night bazaars - all the activity a teenager could wish for. Finish in Koh Samui. Explore remote inlets by kayak or maybe try zip-lining. Of course, after all this entertainment they might just like to put their feet up with a big grin on their faces!
If you want to really impress the children, then we have an itinerary that really doesn’t hold back. Begin in Bangkok, using our specialist guides to make the city come alive. Fly to Chiang Mai for a stay at Dhara Devi from where the children can have their own elephant for a day. Spend your days seeing ancient temples, cycling through villages or walking to remote hill tribes. Finally end on the beach in Koh Kood at Soneva Kiri – quite simply the best beach hotel in Thailand.
Our guide to Thailand