Phuket is world famous for its beautiful beaches and tropical beach resorts but when travelling there for the first time, choosing the perfect area to stay in can be a bit of a dilemma. Travelling with kids makes the correct decision even more imperative. After a lengthy research process, I discovered that the Kamala Beach area appealed to our family the most. Sunwing Resort Kamala Beach was rated as one of the best family resorts in the area and that is where we spent our first three nights in Phuket.
We arrived in Phuket after a short flight from Bangkok. The hotel's driver was waiting for us at the airport with a name board - definitely my favourite way to be welcomed at a foreign airport. We drove through Phuket’s lush, tropical scenery to the resort in comfort, marvelling at the local sights and sounds – buffaloes grazing on green grass, street vendors selling local delicacies from makeshift stalls, kids playing outside brightly painted houses and motorbikes everywhere.
The drive to the resort was so enjoyable that it seemed to pass quite quickly. Soon we were at the resort and friendly staff welcomed us in the bright and colourful lobby with garlands and refreshing roselle (a variety of hibiscus) juice. After being briefed on the hotel’s layout and the entertainment activities, we were led to our room.
There are over 317 rooms and suites at Sunwing, catering for different requirements. Our en-suite family room had a king-sized bed and two single beds for the kids. It even had a microwave and a fridge. A generous bowl of fresh fruit including dragonfruit and mangoes, awaited us.
Huge sliding doors led onto the balcony with a table and chairs. We opened them and that's when we discovered the 7 - yes, seven- huge swimming pools with waterslides. Kids and parents were having a blast there and sounds of laughter tinkled up to our balcony. It was the perfect picture of a family resort. My kids loved it.
Facilities were in abundance here. Apart from the pools, there was a fitness centre, an aerobics studio, a Kids Club, an outdoor spa, a library area, a minimarket and a laundromat on the premises. The help desk assisted with tours, transfers and car hire and the staff were friendly and helpful with advice on the area.
An activity program containing a timetable of structured activities for kids, teens and adults, including family shows and sports activities, was handed out on arrival. The hotel had an amazing holiday resort vibe and characters in costumes would come out periodically to entertain the kids. At night, it was lit up with festive lights.
We indulged in a huge buffet breakfast at La Tasca Restaurant everyday. There was a special children’s section with kid-friendly goodies too. Other meals were also served here and could be eaten indoors or outdoors near the pool. The resort also has an a-la-carte restaurant, Fino Restaurant & Grill, which serves Thai specialties and international cuisine.
To our delight, we discovered that the resort was even better located than we had anticipated. A short walk through the back took us to Kamala's main sandy beach. Next to the hotel was a park with a Tsunami Memorial monument, a tribute to the thousands of people who lost their lives in the 2004 disaster. A short walk from the front took us to the main shopping area, the night market which had delicious food and bargain clothing for sale, as well as Fantasea, considered Phuket's main cultural attraction for families.
All this was great but my kids wanted to spend every available moment at the pool. We even had to have dinner at the poolside while they swam. And when my husband and I wanted to explore Phuket, they’d nag us until we got back to the resort.
Although my kids are not babies anymore, it is worth mentioning that if you’re travelling with babies, then the Happy Baby Studio at Sunwing Resort Kamala Beach is a parent’s dream. Regarded as the ultimate in baby-friendly accommodation, they are specially equipped with baby cots, high chairs, strollers, and baby bathtubs. Babysitting services are available too.
It was quite clear that the focus here was on the kids and happy kids make for happy parents. Sunwing Resort Kamala Beach is one of the most child-friendly resorts I’ve ever been to and I would happily recommend it.
For things to do in Phuket, click here.
For the best flight deals to Phuket, click here.
Disclosure level: 7
In Africa and Beyond has been nominated for an SA Tourism Award. Vote and you can win a holiday worth R100 000. You will also receive a travel voucher worth R1000. To vote, click here.
Things you must do in South Africa
Join 50,000+ Fans