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Many of Bangkok’s huge downtown hotels are excellent bases from which to explore the city with children. Safe, clean and calm worlds of their own, some offer kids’ pools, clubs, menus and activities ranging from painting to boxing lessons, plus babysitting services. Extra beds in rooms or suites are rarely an issue and hotel staff are genuinely enamoured by younger guests. The city’s main sights suitable for younger visitors, as well as cinemas and shopping opportunities, are usually within close reach by sky train. Here's our pick of the best family-friendly resorts in Bangkok.
The sprawling family-friendly resort is a little off the beaten track, located on the Thonburi side of the Chao Phraya river a few miles south of Bangkok’s main tourist sites. All of the contemporary style rooms feature small balconies with views of the river and the pool and suites come with a selection of video games for younger members of the family (and older!). Extra beds and cots can be provided and childcare services are available. Children at the resort have the use of their own pool, there’s a kids' club, and plenty of restaurants.
• The best hotels in Bangkok
Just off Sukhumvit Road, this quiet garden property with its well-sized pool is a welcome change from the usual couple-oriented accommodations in downtown Bangkok. It borders on a canal and regular river boats can whisk adventurous tourists away to the Jim Thompson House or all the way to Golden Mount near the Chao Praya River and the city’s main historic sites. The standard rooms are a good size and furnished with antiques. Some have connecting doors, and extra beds and cots can be provided. Babysitters can be arranged.
The Park Hyatt roosts between the ninth and 35th floors above the Central Embassy Mall in Phleon Chit. In sharp contrast to the colour and chaos of the city, the hotel has opted for pale pared-back interiors, hushed service and enough leisure facilities to ensure that even the most frazzled of guests will unwind. Staff are keen on personalising the guest experience and can arrange all sorts of activities and tours. Rooms are spacious and roll-out beds are provided free for children aged under 12. Welcome packs for little ones include mini robes and slippers, and a cuddly toy.
The Akyra has a prime position in the thumping heart of Thonglor, Bangkok's coolest quarter. The hotel itself is a lesson in style: the delightful interiors successfully marry Art Deco flourishes with contemporary Thai touches, featuring zig-zagging wooden floors, smoked mirrors and geometric prints. One-bedroom suites or above come with balconies, bathtubs and proper kitchens with fridges, cooking facilities and washing machines; they're not much more expensive than the standard rooms and are ideal for families.
This family-friendly hotel in downtown Bangkok offers excellent facilities and a couple of good restaurants. The compact rooms come with great views, but it’s the spacious suites, some with two bedrooms and small but functional kitchenettes (with washing machines and and comfortable seating areas clustered around round tables), that are among the city’s best for long-stay guests with children. There’s a kids' area (no dedicated staff so parents need to remain present), the pool is adjoined by a smaller kids’ pool, and babysitters can be arranged.
The InterContinental sits next to the Chit Lom skytrain station, accessible via its own walkway, amidst Bangkok’s best downtown dining and shopping options. The city’s main historical sites are a little further afield and best reached by taxi, though the well known Jim Thompson House is nearby. Expect good service, modern rooms with connecting doors, extra beds, baby cots, a child-minding service and a kids’ corner during the weekly Sunday brunch. There are four restaurants including a pub-style space popular with locals and ex-pats.
• The best hostels in Bangkok
Though the Eastin is located in the heart of Bangkok’s Sathorn business district, the hotel has its own entrance to the Surasak sky train station and is just one stop away from the Chao Praya River. This puts the Eastin within easy reach of historical tourist attractions along the river – the Royal Palace, Wat Po and Wat Aroon are a short boat ride away. On site, children will love the kids’ pool, and the Glass House has a children’s menu. Some rooms, all with floor-to-ceiling windows, have connecting doors. Extra beds and childcare can be arranged.
Contributions by Lee Cobaj