Railay with Kids – The Best Family Hotels

Updated: October 17, 2015

Railay Beach for Families

The 3 Best Kid-Friendly Hotels in Railay

Railay is one of the best places in Thailand for kids. Great beaches, no cars (footpaths going every direction), and since there are no roads you have to take a boat to get here – fun!

Rayavadee Resort

Best Luxury Hotels for Kids: Rayavadee
One of the best luxury hotels in Thailand – but still has a relaxed family-friendly vibe. Stunning location, incredible pool, and the restaurants serve the best food in Railay. The hotel has easy access to 3 different beaches. Hotel phone: +66 75 620 740

Railay Bay Resort & Spa

Kid-Friendly Hotel on Railay Beach: Railay Bay Resort – Krabi

Awesome location right on Railay’s west beach (the nice one). Beautiful pool, free breakfast buffet, and restaurant has great pizza and seafood. Hotel phone: +66 75 819 401

Sunrise Tropical Resort

Best Kid-Friendly Hotels in Railay: Sunrise Tropical
Well-kept grounds with beautifully furnished rooms. This hotel is great value as it’s on Railay’s east beach which isn’t good for swimming. But beautiful west beach is only a 2 minute walk, it’s quieter over here, and best of all, much cheaper. Buffet breakfast included. Hotel doesn’t serve alcohol but many places steps away will quench your thirst. Hotel phone: +66 75 819 418

34 questions and comments

  1. Hotel for Family of 5 in Railay

    Hi
    We are a family of 5 and have left booking accommodation for Xmas a little late. We would like somewhere close to the beach with a pool on Krabi’s nicer beaches. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. 3 – 4 star would be great, clean and comfortable 🙂
    Regards
    Kathryn

    Reply
    1. DavidDavid Post author

      It might be hard to find one room that will fit all of you. I love the Sunrise Tropical Resort (though not right on a swimmable beach the good beach is a short walk away). They have some of the largest rooms on Railay but even still you might be forced to get two rooms.

      Reply
  2. Krabi in February

    Hi David, great info! Quick question: we are planning to go to Krabi for 12 days in February, 4 adults, 2 kids. My preference would be to jump from Phi Phi to Ao Nang and possibly Ko Lanta – not sure if it’s worth it though? Our budget is quite limited so we won’t be probably affording a 5 star hotel but we would prefer to be it on/close to the beach. Appreciate your opinion! Thanks, Oana

    Reply
  3. Railay or Bophut

    Hi David. Great blog.

    Currently living in Myanmar and planning two week trip with my wife, 5yo daughter and 2yo son for the first two weeks in April. The first half will be in and around Luang Prabang in Laos before heading to a Thai beach for 5 or 6 days during Songkran. For me it’s a toss up between Railay and Bophut. We just want to relax on the beach with nice safe swimming and paddling for the kids with a few half decent places to eat and drink. My head says Bophut as there appears to be a lot more to do but my heart (and inner backpacker) says Railay. Any help, guidance or views would be greatly appreciated. I’m guessing the weather will be ok in Railay at this time of year but slightly drier in Samui.

    Cheers

    Martyn Brown

    Reply
    1. DavidDavid Post author

      Bophut has more cultural life (and nightlife) and better food. Railay has a better beach and more active pursuits (rock climbing, kayaking, day trips to other islands).

      Reply
  4. Railay for a Family of 5

    We are planning a RTW trip w our 3 kids (10, 8, 6) and plan to hit Thailand as our first destination in Dec. I know it’s high season but we’re hoping to spend a week just getting our bearings and letting the reality of an extended trip sink in…on a beach w a nice vibe. Haven’t been to Railay in 20 years. Troubled because all hotels or resorts online appear to have a max 4 person occupancy. Given that we have a moderate budget that needs to last up to 12 months, booking 2 rooms everywhere isn’t feasible. Besides, my kids are young and I’d like us all together. Any ideas or suggestions for family rooms in the area (or any beachy spot) that accommodates 5 greatly appreciated.

    Jean

    Reply
    1. DavidDavid Post author

      You’re right, there aren’t many large suites in Railay and it might not be the best spot for a family of 5. Ao Nang should have more options. Or beach towns like Kata or Karon on Phuket. Koh Samui (on the other side of the country) has many large suites perfect for families.

      Reply
  5. Shops on Railay / Luggage

    After doing research, I really want to stay in Railay with my husband and 2 year old. I have been sifting through reviews and hotel sites. I am leaning towards Sand Sea Resort. My concerns about Railay in general based on reviews are…
    1. Is there a place to buy milk, snacks, diapers etc for a 2 year old?
    2. I’ve read if you stay on West side (my preference), you have to wade with luggage and luggage gets wet. This would be part of a longer trip and although I try to pack light we will have 2 large bags, carry-ons and a small child with us.
    Thank you!
    Any feedback, tips etc would be great!
    Ginger

    Reply
    1. DavidDavid Post author

      You can get milk and snacks in Railay but I don’t think diapers. I’d get them before arriving. You can buy diapers in Ao Nang before getting on the boat to Railay. Where you stay (east or west) does not necessarily dictate where you arrive. Sometimes it is possible to get a (more expensive) boat to the east beach from Ao Nang. At the east beach they’ll either pull up to a dock or have a tractor meet the boat and get you and your luggage to dry land without getting wet. (If you book at a 5 star hotel you can arrange this a few days in advance.) But even for west beach arrivals it’s rare for luggage to get wet. Your feet and pants will get a bit wet though.

      Reply
  6. Sand Sea Resort or Railay Bay Resort?

    hi, David
    any opinion on the Sand Sea Resort in Railay or how it compares with the Railay Bay Resort?
    thanks in advance for any guidance.
    Matthew

    Reply
    1. DavidDavid Post author

      They are right beside each other on Railay West Beach (very nice). The Sand Sea Resort is slightly more luxurious but the one-bedroom cottages at Railay Bay Resort are bigger and better for a family.

      Reply
    2. Matthew

      David, thank you for the prompt and thoughtful reply. We’re headed over to Thailand in March. Plan to spend a few days in Chiang Mai and wanted to do a few beach days also. Generally the reviews of Railay are rhapsodic but occasionally people comment on the garbage and the crowds. Any thoughts or perspective you have on that would be most appreciated. Great site(s) by the way. Huge public service!
      thanks,
      Matthew

      Reply
      1. DavidDavid Post author

        I love Railay. It’s busiest during the Christmas, New Years time when it can get very busy. Outside of that it’s pretty peaceful. I’ve never seen any garbage there myself, but I’m sure it happens. Lots of great beaches nearby that you can take a long tail boat to and have the whole place to yourself.

        Reply
  7. Stephanie Daddi

    My doubts about Railay for two/three weeks arise concerning its accessibility only by boat. For day trips or emergencies loading and unloading is a problem. So I’m looking to more compact Ko Samui. Do you have any tips on beaches and places to stay for three weeks?
    Would you suggest renting a car for exploring the island?
    Thanks,
    Stephanie

    Reply
  8. 3 Weeks in Thailand and Self Catering Hotels

    Hello,
    I’m a single mom living in Italy and planning a trip to Thailand next month, 30th November til 21 December. I’m travelling with three kids (7, 3 and 8 months) and a baby sitter. please, any tips are welcome!
    Krabi/Railay for three weeks?
    Krabi/Railay for two weeks and the other week some where else? where?
    Or Ko Samet with the same variables?
    Please help me plan this trip. There are so many variables and decisions to make. But I want to go!
    Also, do you know any self-catering places to stay in these locations with pool?
    Thank you so much for your advice.
    Stephanie Daddi

    Reply
    1. DavidDavid Post author

      3 weeks in Railay would be a long time. I’d do half your time in Railay and 1/2 in Phuket (for something busier), Koh Lanta (something quieter), or Khao Lak (in between). Self catering places are non-existent in Railay but possible in Phuket and the other places – though usually not with the best location like the hotels.

      Reply
  9. Railay

    Thank you very much for the tips about the quiet side versus the more noisy side with the longtails coming and going. We’ve heard that Railay has built up a lot since we were there almost 15 years ago. Maybe we’ll try it again. But you’ve said, “Thailand has many phenomenal beaches but perhaps my favorites are found at Railay in Krabi Province on the east coast of the country,” and I remember Krabi as being on the west coast of Thailand, on the Andaman Sea side, not on the Gulf of Thailand side. Still, we’ll check it out for a family trip. This time maybe with the grandkids.
    Anne Thompson

    Reply
  10. Koh Samui with Kids

    Hi! We are going to be taking trip to thailand. We arrive Sept 18th, will spend a week in Chiang Mai, then head down to Bangkok for four nights and then to Koh Samui from the 1st – 10th. Is that too long? What other beaches would you recommend hitting while in Koh Samui. I have a 3 year old and 8 year old we will be traveling with..so am nervous about the ferry situation. Are they safe, do you get sea sick, etc!

    Thanks in advance!

    Jennifer

    Reply
    1. DavidDavid Post author

      Ferries are fine as long as there isn’t a storm. I probably wouldn’t get on if I saw the skies were dark and the seas rough. But that’s rare and they’re mostly fine. Choeng Mon, Bophut (where I’m typing this from), and Chaweng are the best beaches for kids on Koh Samui.

      Reply
  11. Phuket to Railay to Phuket

    Hi David, excellent blog!!!
    We will be this eastern in Phuket area for 9 days … following your advice we plan to spend some days in Phuket and some days in Railay. We are travelling with 2 kids (5 and 2 years old). Our plan:

    2-3 days in Phuket (for recovering from our long flight from Spain)
    4-5 days Railay –> too much? what about 1-2 days in Ko Yao?
    2 days Phuket (before flying back home)

    What do you think about the plan?
    Regards from spain!

    Reply
  12. Railay or koh Samui?

    Hello,
    We are planning to visit a beach in Thailand in June for 6-8 days, traveling with 2 kids (6 and 2)… What would it be the best option… Railey, Samui, other or any recommendations?

    Thank you!

    Reply
    1. DavidDavid Post author

      I think the weather will likely be better and the sea calmer on the east coast (Samui) in June. But no guarantees.

      Reply
  13. bob

    The eastside is very noisy with the roar of the longtail’s motors in the early morning. Everything is replenished by longtails. Noiser than some airports. Much quieter on the westside. Still a must see, though ,

    Reply
    1. DavidDavid Post author

      Hi Bob. I’ve stayed on the eastside and never noticed the noise. Thanks for your input though. It’s good to have another perspective. Cheers.

      Reply
  14. Lyndel

    WE LOVE all that you have done here on the web for traveling families. Thank you. We are just in the beginning stages of planning a SE Asian trip with our 2 and 5 yr old. It will be my 8th time to the region– your info is spot on. Railay looks awesome, but I am having a hard time finding a place that has good reviews but at a good price. Is there a place that you would recommend particularly for a family with young kids? How long would you recommend staying (after 2-3 wks, would kids of this age get bored?)? Another recommended “Bottle Beach.” Have you been there? Thanks so much, Lyndel (Boulder)

    Reply
    1. DavidDavid Post author

      I think 2 or 3 weeks would be a bit much for Railay. It’s fantastic but has a bit of a resort feel that I don’t think suits an extended stay. Bottle Beach would be better for a longer stay like that.

      For hotels, search here for good priced accommodations in the Krabi/Railay area.

      Good luck.

      Reply
  15. leura Ky

    Thailand was the first place we travelling to after we had our first child and i have to say Railay was the highlight of the trip. Our son had turned 1 the week before we got there and learnt to walk on the beaches of railay. It was a carefree, relaxing time and your photos reminded me of that great first trip as a family. Couldn’t recommend a better place for time away with kids.

    Reply

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