Category Archives: Phuket

Phuket with Kids

Phuket With Kids

Family Fun in Phuket with Kids

Travelling to Phuket in Thailand with kids really can be a lot of fun. With many beautiful beaches as well as a huge range of activities to choose from, there’s plenty to do to keep kids of all ages happy. We thought we would share some of favourite things to do here as well as some that we want to try out on our next visit to Phuket.

One of the most popular family attractions is Phuket FantaSea (see full review here) which is a Cultural Fun Park set out on 140 acres providing plenty of entertainment for the kids. The theatre show features Thai dancers, acrobatics, magical illusions, pyrotechnics, special effects, stunts and animal performances. The kids will love the entertainment centre here which has loads of games where they can try to win prizes. Phuket FantaSea also provides the opportunity to ride or feed the elephants. There is the Festival Village featuring handicraft stalls, souvenirs, street performers and a mini-zoo. Phuket FantaSea is situated at the north end of Kamala Beach, which is about a 20 minute drive from Patong Beach.

We were staying in-between the towns of Karon and Kata and found another fun place for the whole family to visit  – Dino Park Mini Golf Course situated on the main road into Kata. Open from 10.00am until 11.00pm and with a Flintstones inspired Restaurant & Bar, this is a great attraction to visit when you have a spare couple of hours to fill in. Our kids loved the mini golf course which was surrounded by many Dinosaurs. It was great to then sit down in the restaurant afterwards and enjoy a nice refreshing cool down drink and a bite to eat. We had no problems getting a tuk-tuk outside once we were finished.

Street markets are always fun to visit and our kids love to get into the spirit of bartering with the vendors. We tried out the Karon Temple Night Market which is situated on temple grounds and has a good variety of products as well as many food stalls. The Karon market is open on Tuesdays and Saturdays from 4.00pm to 10.00pm. Another popular market is the Phuket Weekend Market held on Saturdays and Sundays in old Phuket Town from 4.00pm – 9.00pm.

The beaches in Phuket are quite clean and the number of vendors and hawkers on the beaches has decreased. We were mainly at Kata and Karon beaches and there were a few people selling items but we didn’t feel hassled at all. There are life guards on duty, so be sure to swim between the red/yellow flags to stay safe. There were cheap massages on offer as well as other various activities such as para-sailing and jet ski hire.  (Note: be aware of some jet ski scams in Thailand).

Around all the towns of Phuket are a lot of Massage Shops that offer good priced beauty and massage prices. As we have two boys, the only thing they were interested in was having a fish spa. If you have daughters however they will love getting their hair braided or even a nice manicure or pedicure. The fish spas are great fun to have with your kids, their reactions are priceless!

Other ideas for family travellers to Phuket are;

Suite Balcony View at the Hilton Phuket Arcadia Resort & Spa

Hilton Phuket Arcadia Resort

Hotel Review of the Hilton Phuket Arcadia Resort & Spa

The Hilton Phuket Arcadia Resort & Spa is set on a huge tropical 75 acre property, so this is going to be quite a long review to cover all aspects of the resort. It is about an hours drive from Phuket International Airport, depending on traffic. We organised an airport transfer through the hotel, which is helpful when staying here as the Hilton cars get access to drop you off right at the lobby. If you arrive independently, you will probably have to get dropped off at the main gates and then you have to get the Hilton Shuttle Trolley to the lobby area.

Check-in was smooth and efficient and we were greeted with some very delicious welcome drinks on arrival. Travelling as a family of two adults and two children, we were allocated two inter-connecting ocean view rooms (one king and one twin) on the 10th floor in the Andaman B Wing. As they were unavailable to upgrade us at the time (we are Hilton HHonors Diamond), they sent a bottle of wine to our room as compensation. The rooms were a good size and had wonderful views, but are starting to show a bit of age. This became evident after our first shower in one of the bathrooms where the drainage was not working properly and was unusable. We reported this fault and the next day maintenance came to try to sort it out but it was unrepairable without moving us out.

We were then moved down the hallway on the same level to a lovely suite with an inter-connecting twin room. We had no complaints with these rooms and were even treated to a bottle of sparkling wine for the inconvenience. The suite had a nice living area, great sized bathroom and a huge balcony which wrapped right around the room. House keeping here was a bit hit and miss, with the amenities not always getting replaced every day. We were always left with plenty of bottles of water however which we appreciated in the hot and humid weather.

There are five different pools here at the Hilton Phuket Arcadia Resort & Spa – the main two are the Garden Pools closest to the lobby. The two pools are split over two levels (upper and lower) and have a waterslide between them. One end of the Garden Lower Pool is designed for younger toddlers and has a little kiddy slide for them as well. There were plenty of sun lounges around the pools, with cheerful poolside staff who are only too happy to take your for order for food and drinks. There is also an eating area with tables and chairs if that is preferable. Happy hour drinks are available by all the resort pools between 4.00pm and 6.00pm (buy 2 get 1 free).

There are another two pools closer to the Saitong Wing of the Hilton Phuket Arcadia Resort & Spa which are the Seafarer upper and lower pools. These are again separated by a waterslide but note that this waterslide is not as good as the Garden Pool slide. These pools are definitely a lot quieter than the Garden Pools. The upper pool here turns into the Tranquility Pool Zone which is a quiet zone for those 14 years and older.

The last pool here at the Hilton Phuket Arcadia Resort & Spa is the Ocean Beach Club. There is a Bar & Restaurant here as well which is open for lunch and dinner.

The main dining restaurant here is the Sails Restaurant where you can enjoy a nice buffet breakfast or dinner. We only ate here for breakfast and it had a good variety of Asian and Western foods. Sails is located just below the lobby and next to the Garden Pool. For those that are staying in the Saitong Wing of the Hilton Phuket Arcadia Resort & Spa, they do have an additional buffet breakfast available at Buon Appetito which is over that side of the resort.  

For more casual dining, there is also the Caffe Cino available for snacks from 7.00am to 9.00pm. If it is local flavours and culture you are after then there is the Thai Thai Restaurant which is open from 6.00pm until 11.00pm.

As Diamond Hilton HHonors members we had access to the executive lounge which is called the Panorama Lounge. Located on the 12th floor of the Lotus Wing, this lounge is open from 7.00am until 9.00pm daily. Breakfast is available here as well as all day refreshments. From 5.00pm to 6.30pm you can enjoy complimentary alcoholic beverages as well as hot and cold canapés. This lounge is quite small so would suggest arriving right on 5.00pm to get seating. The canapé options were very nice, we especially loved the banana chips here. The drinks are not self serve but the staff here are very generous with their pouring and provided excellent service.

The main bar here at the Hilton Phuket Arcadia Resort & Spa is the Andaman Lounge which is situated next to the lobby area. They have live nightly entertainment and happy hour is between 6.00pm and 8.00pm (buy 2 get 1 free). Snacks are available to purchase here as well. The lounge is open until 1.00am.

There are certainly enough facilities at this resort to keep you occupied, including a 24hr Fitness Centre, Squash Courts, Tennis Courts, Steam Room, Games Room and Putting Green.

Our kids especially loved the kids club here – known as Kidz Paradise. Suitable for under 12’s this is free of charge but if they participate in any of the arts and craft activities there is a small fee. Our boys stayed for lunch on a few of the days so they just picked a meal from the room service menu and it was charged to our room.

With the kids off at the kids club, it was a good chance to check out the day spa here, just called The Spa. It is located by the beautiful lagoon and features private individual treatment villas. There is an extensive treatment menu which is of course more expensive than out on the Thai streets, but it was nice to indulge in a little bit of pampering in such a beautiful lush atmosphere. After the massage it was so relaxing to just sit out on the verandah and enjoy a nice cup of ginger tea and to enjoy the peaceful surroundings.

Now onto the location of the Hilton Phuket Arcadia Resort & Spa – it is situated between the two towns of Karon and Kata. We easily walked along the beach to both towns, taking about 15 mins each way. While the resort is not right on the beach, you only have to cross one road and then you are there. The resort even has a security guard outside the beach entrance who escorts you across the road. Outside the beach entrance to the resort, there are plenty of taxis and tuk tuks waiting if walking is not your thing or if you want to travel into Patong (about 15 minutes) or around Phuket. Just outside the resort and at the nearby towns are plenty of eateries, bars, shops and mini-marts. The beach area is quite clean with jet skis and parasailing available for hire as well.

If you do want to get out and about to see the sights around Phuket, there is a tour desk in the lobby but it is run independently of the hotel so you can’t charge tours to your room. Next to the tour desk however is a computer room if you prefer to go online and book tours.

We really enjoyed our stay here at the Hilton Phuket Arcadia Resort & Spa as it was perfect for families travelling with young kids. If you do stay here, make sure you walk right around the resort from the start of your stay so you realise what there is to offer – and don’t forget to look out for the peacocks, chickens and other animals that roam this huge resort.

We would also like to say a big thank you to the Hilton Phuket Arcadia Resort & Spa for the birthday surprises left in our room for Craig’s birthday and also for the late check out of 6.00pm which came in very handy for our late flight!

For more information on the Hilton Phuket Arcadia Resort & Spa go to

We have also posted blogs about Things to do in Phuket with kids as well as our review of the popular Phuket FantaSea.

Phuket FantaSea Entrance

Phuket FantaSea

Phuket FantaSea Review

Phuket FantaSea is advertised as one of Phuket’s most popular tourist attractions, so we decided to try it out on our recent trip there. Located at the north end of Kamala Beach which is about a 20 minute drive from Patong, this proved to be a fun evening out with the kids.

While on the brochures it is called a Cultural Theme Park, do not expect any theme park thrill rides. We would describe it as more of a Cultural Fun Park, set out on 140 acres providing plenty of entertainment for the kids. We had booked tickets that included the buffet dinner (this is an optional extra) and arrived about 6.00pm (park is open daily except Thursdays from 5.30pm until 11.30pm).

Once inside you wander through the Festival Village where there are handicraft stalls, retail stores, souvenirs and street performers.

There is also the Tiger Jungle mini zoo with animal exhibits (operating from 5.30pm-9.00pm) with the highlight being the white tiger enclosure.

Another part of the Phuket FantaSea village that our kids really loved was the Similan Entertainment Centre which features quite a lot of carnival type games where you can win prizes (you do need to purchase tokens for these though). This kept the kids entertained for quite a while!

While we wouldn’t usually take photos in the toilets, the ones here in the Festival Village at Phuket FantaSea are something else so don’t miss them!

From here we walked along and down to the Palace of the Elephants where before the show begins, the elephants are available for feeding or riding (additional costs apply). Our kids opted to just do the feeding and loved it!

After all that fun it was time to check out the buffet dinner at the Golden Kinnaree restaurant. When you book the buffet with your ticket there is no set time, you can just turn up whenever you feel like between the hours of 6.00pm and 9.00pm. This restaurant is huge so you will never have the problem there not being enough room. We quite enjoyed our meals there, with a good selection of both Thai and International foods. Drinks are available at additional costs.

The Golden Kinnaree is located just across from the Palace of the Elephants so after our meal we headed past the floating markets and made our way over for the Legends of Kamala theatre show that was starting at 9.00pm.

The theatre show is the main feature of Phuket FantaSea and not to be missed. Set in a 3000 seat theatre this cultural show features dancers, acrobatics, magical illusions, pyrotechnics, special effects, stunts and animal performances. Please note however that photos or videos are strictly prohibited and upon entry of the theatre you have to hand in all cameras and phones to be held in storage until after the show.

While walking to your seats there are photo opportunities with baby tigers which you can purchase for an additional cost.

The actual show goes for just over an hour and our kids found it truly magical – full of colour, music, dancing and a good chance to witness a part of Thailand’s cultural past. They especially loved the animal performances (chickens, goats, bulls, elephants) and although us adults would probably prefer not to see the elephants do their little trick performance at the end, the kids did love it.

There were queues after the show to retrieve cameras from storage and it was quite time consuming. If you want to save time and avoid frustration after the show, we would suggest to just leave the cameras at home.

Phuket FantaSea is a great night out with kids, just wish we could have taken some photos of the show though!

For more information on Phuket FantaSea go to