Planning a family friendly holiday in Phuket? If you’re looking for a luxury family vacation in a gorgeous tropical location then you need to check out Banyan Tree Phuket, Laguna From the moment we checked in, until the moment we checked out we had no stress, just pure relaxation. Well…that’s until the children found the massive swimming pool!
All of the staff were incredibly attentive and extremely helpful. Everyone you walked past said hello and greeted you with a massive smile.
Getting To The Resort
Banyan Tree is about 15km from Phuket International Airport (HKT) which took us 30 minute drive in our rented car. You could obviously arrange a private transfer. This would be the less stressful option and slightly more relaxing way to start off your holiday. However, the cost of the transfer was similar price to hiring a car for the entire trip. Hiring a car also meant that we could explore more of Phuket and be less reliant on taxis.
Banyan Tree is definitely a family friendly resort in Phuket. On arrival, we were immediately greeted with a fresh platter of fruit and a cold towel – which was nice and refreshing!
The resort happens to be Phuket’s longest established luxury hotel. It’s part of a complex with seven resorts, golf courses, lakes and most importantly a beach. They have a fleet of golf buggies to escort you between the villas, restaurants and beach. You simply give them a call and within 5 minutes some is at the door. The girls absolutely loved this mode of transport!
Our villa (a Signature Pool Villa) was incredible. It comes with a private pool which lies right outside the bedroom door. Seriously, you could nearly dive out of the bed and land inside the pool. It came with a king sized bed, en suite bathroom, tea/coffee making facilities, was cleaned daily, had air con, an outside bath & had plenty of storage. There was plenty of bottled drinking water which was refilled daily. For the children, we just to convert a sofa into a bed.
The décor was very traditional Thai and tasteful. I really loved looking at the roofs as they looked like a mini Thai temples.
But even the most basic villa still came with its own pool!
The Swimming Pool
Our girls couldn’t quite touch the floor in our villa pool. Which meant we spent most of our time in the larger 40m pool. At that pool there was a special children’s pool, a pool bar, some rapids, plenty of sun lounges and a large space to swim around. We certainly made the most of it and spent quite a bit of time there! Although, by the pool we found out that the sunscreen is water-resistant, not waterproof. It’s important to remember that it should be reapplied every two hours. When we went swimming (even if we were wearing water-resistant sunscreen) the suncream came off even faster. So make sure you apply every hour! The sun definitely hits differently in Thailand compare to Europe.
There’s also a great variety of restaurants on site. We spent a couple of nights at the Saffron which is Banyan Tree’s signature restaurant which served some gorgeous Thai cuisine. One evening, we had an in-villa BBQ experience with our personal chef and the food was amazing! The BBQ meat super tender and simply cooked to perfection. For us, as a family, we really enjoyed breakfast where we were spoilt for choice. There was a range of different stations, from local Thai inspired food to one serving fresh pancakes. All of our food was washed with some really fresh and tasty juices. Whilst all the time we sat outside with a very pretty view of the lake.
Discovering The Sea
If you need some time by the sea, then there’s a ten-minute walk (or a short shuttle ride) and you get to a sandy beach with sun loungers and umbrellas. Unfortunately, the ocean was a bit too rough for swimming. But we spent one evening enjoying the sunset & grabbing a bite to eat at a nearby shack.
Family Friendly Activities On Site
On the site there is also plenty of daily activities like yoga, cooking lessons, a kids’ club with supervised activities & the opportunity to have a bit of quiet adult time! We spent one afternoon doing a Batik painting workshop where we created some beautiful paintings using wax and dyes. If you have never tried it before, don’t worry! Their workshop was ideal for beginners. We were taken through the stages step by step by an experienced teacher.
They also had a kids’ club which was free for children aged four to 12 and was open from 8am until 6pm every day.
Family Friendly Activities We Did On Phuket
When we weren’t splashing around in the pool, we also explored quite a bit of Phuket. We hired a car, but there are plenty of opportunities to grab a taxi or join an organised tour. Here are a couple of things which our entire family enjoyed doing;
No visit to Phuket would be complete without visiting this great advantage point. One of our first adventures was a visit to see Big Budda. It is located on the top of the hill, so it was relatively steep drive to get to the top. It took us about 40 minutes to get there. However be aware that parking is very limited so would advice to arrive early in the morning. The site is not too big, so it doesn’t take long to explore. The Buddha itself is still in construction mode. When we visited there wasn’t anything to see inside, so we would recommend to join this with some other local activities. There are some available meditation rooms. If you have time, definitely worth to join in. Overall we did really enjoy it. Great way to spend an hour and take in some fantastic views.
Canoe Trip to James Bond Island
We were really keen to explore the area from the different perspective. We booked with Amazing Canoeing a boat day trip to explore the islands of Phang Nga Bay. If you haven’t heard about it beforehand, Phang Nga Bay is a UNESCO World Heritage and it is definitely like a dream come true for adventurers and nature lovers. We personally loved Hong Island which is one of Thailand’s most beautiful islands, but still an insider’s tip. The hidden lagoon was just breathtaking. The entire trip was well planned and all the staff were very friendly. They picked us up from the hotel reception and took us to the other side of Phuket. We then swam and kayaked around some of the most beautiful islands we had ever seen. All the time being refreshed with soft drinks, water, and a tasty Thai buffet lunch.
Green Elephant Sanctuary Park
Not only do you get a really close experience with the elephants, but you also learn about their own unique story and how they arrive at the Sanctuary. The photos were taken by some professional on site photographers which means we could fully enjoy the experience. Once we finished bathing the elephants, we showered and enjoyed delicious home cooked Thai lunch. On the site you will find changing rooms, lockers, toilets and shower facilities.
Overall, we had a fantastic time staying at family friendly Banyan Tree Phuket. The children loved the swimming pools, beach and food and us adult enjoyed our activities! I’d thoroughly recommend booking a stay.