If you’re travelling to Phuket with children, it’s important to pick the right beach to ensure that everyone has a fantastic holiday. Each of the main resort destinations has a unique atmosphere, with its own special attractions and advantages. The challenge comes in picking the one that best suits your needs, particularly if you are in the process of planning your first time in Phuket.

    We’ve come up with this simple beginner’s guide on where to stay for families in Phuket, detailing the pros and cons of each beach from the perspective of those planning a trip with children. In each of these top destinations, we’ve also picked out 3 of the best family hotels – a budget option, a luxury option and something in between.

    Karon Beach is sometimes thought of as ‘Patong Lite’. It has a much larger, arguably nicer beach with a great range of activities available from parasailing to volleyball. It also has a modest selection of shops, bars and restaurants, mostly clustered around the main part of town close to Karon Circle. All that it lacks is the hedonistic nightlife of Bangla Road, making it more family-friendly than its neighbour.

    Being a much larger beach than Patong, there's a greater selection of hotels within easy reach of the sand, many of which have excellent facilities for those travelling with children. You will also find a good choice of beachfront restaurants at the northern end. Top accommodation options here include Mövenpick Resort Karon, Centara Karon Resort and Karon Sea Sands Resort & Spa.

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    The beach at Kamala is one of very few in Phuket with a selection of beachfront restaurants, allowing you to enjoy delicious Thai and international dishes (at a reasonable price) without having to leave the sand. The seafront is also home to at least one beach club and a number of hotels from varying price ranges. While the town has extremely limited shopping options, it has a good number of spas and a modest nightlife.

    Families looking for a quiet and safe setting for their holiday will certainly find it in Kamala. Among the great stays here are Ayara Kamala Resort, Sunwing Resort Kamala and Kamala Beachfront Apartment.

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    Patong Beach

    While it's perhaps best known for its nightlife – particularly around the famous Soi Bangla – Patong has an impressive range of other attractions and attributes that can make it a good family destination. Being the most popular tourist destination of the island, there's a great deal of choice and variety in the accommodation options, which range from the city centre to isolated bays and high-end to budget.

    While Patong after dark is not what you would call family-friendly, as a central location for taking advantages of the nearby attractions and activities, there are few places better for those travelling with kids. Add a lively and pleasant beach into the mix and there's no reason why anyone in your group should even be bored. Phuket Marriott Resort & Spa, Merlin Beach, Phuket Graceland Resort and Novotel Phuket Vintage Park are among the popular hotels in Patong.

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    At the heart of Bangtao Beach is the Laguna Complex – a group of some of the best hotels in Phuket, all located around a beautiful lagoon. The resorts each share their facilities with one another, giving guests of any resort easy access to a fantastic choice of restaurants, activities and amenities. The beach – the 2nd-longest on Phuket – also offers a great choice of attractions including horse rides and beach clubs.

    With complimentary access to kayaks, pedalos and some of the best swimming pools in Phuket, there's a lot to keep the kids entertained while the grown-ups relax and enjoy the peaceful surroundings. Even if you are not staying in the Laguna Complex, the beach itself has a great mix of facilities to entertain parents and children alike. Among the recommended hotels in Bangtao Beach are the Dusit Thani Laguna Pool Villa, Angsana Laguna Phuket and Sunwing Bangtao Beach.

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    Kata Beach is arguably the finest stretch of coastline on Phuket, being very large, with soft white sand and a beautiful blue sea. In the high season, it's calm and perfect for swimming, snorkelling and other beach activities. During the low season, it's one of the best surfing beaches on the island. A good all-rounder of a destination, Kata has a good (if modest) choice of shopping and nightlife. The choice of restaurants is excellent, with a huge range of local and international eateries.

    Families will love the range of activities available in Kata Beach, with the star attractions (other than the beach itself) being mostly sports-oriented. The impressive range of hotels, including a very varied selection of affordable options, is also a major plus. Great stays in Kata Beach include Katathani Phuket, Centara Kata Resort Phuket, and The Beach Heights Resort.

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    Ben Reeves | Compulsive Traveller

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