A hectic start to 2014 was all it took to get us dreaming of a family beach vacation, and with the recent introduction of low-cost airlines to Krabi International Airport, it was easier than ever to book a trip with the brood to southern Thailand. After sorting our wish list with TripAdvisor for guidance, we were won over by Holiday Inn Resort Krabi Ao Nang Beach for a much-needed family getaway. Read on for our 7 reasons why we think the newly remodeled Holiday Inn Resort Krabi Ao Nang Beach is Krabi’s best value, family-friendly beach resort, and why you would never dream of staying anywhere else.
With arguably one of the best Kids Clubs we’ve had the pleasure of having access to, this family resort ticks all the boxes when it comes to kids’ entertainment. Equipped with ball pits, padded climbing walls, brightly colored craft and activity stations, bean bags to watch kid flicks, educational toys (the list goes on), you can safely leave your children in the hands of the super star staff here knowing they will be treated to the likes of clowns, face painting, magic shows, and more. Older kids can enjoy their own teen zone, where they can learn crafts like muay thai boxing or camp out at the games center and computer stations. The Kids Club is packed with hourly activities to satisfy the needs of its junior VIPs, so you can be sure your minions are sorted while you nip out for some alone time.
Those in-the-know about what it takes to make or break a great family vacation insist on stay-to-play accommodation. We were most impressed with the massive pool complex of super slides for every daredevil level, as well as the adjacent playground complete with two trampolines that constantly beckoned us away from our balcony. When prune-like fingers signal a needed respite from the day’s water play action, parents can burn off some extra steam in the resort’s fully equipped fitness center. But let’s face it, we were too busy sipping mai tais (healthy pours, mind you) at the always staffed, swim up pool bar to have a care about pumping iron while on holiday. A three-hour session at onsite Salila Spa catered more to our senses.
Our savvy little adventurers demand a need for structure, and we try our best to avoid the dreaded, “I’m bored” uttering that threatens any vacay. Thankfully, Holiday Inn Resort Krabi understands that there is no reason to be crabby in Krabi. Daily offerings include water aerobics, yoga, cooking classes, muay thai boxing, dance lessons and more to pique even the most fidgety explorer’s interests.
Family vacations don’t need to be logistical nightmares. The Kids Suite is 75 square meters of space complete with a separate kid’s corner, featuring bunk beds and child-appropriate amenities to ensure you have everything you need when you tuck in at night. Or go big with the 88 square meter Family Suite: two connecting rooms with a specialty themed kids’ room (a sanity saving lifesaver), sharing a connecting bathroom with rainforest shower and tub.
Location, location, location
Right, we get that you didn’t fly to Krabi just to stay at the resort. Lucky for its guests, the hotel is located directly across the road from the alighting point for water taxi long tail boat hire to amazing places like Railay Beach, Hong Island, Rok Islands and more. Directly outside the hotel are restaurants, a pharmacy, mini-market for those forgotten supplies, and beach bars for your sundowners. Holiday Inn Resort Krabi Ao Nang Beach is located a cool 10 minute walk from the backpacker, bohemian vibe that Krabi is known for, so families can opt-in (or out) of Ao Nang Beach’s main drag as they please.
Holiday Inn Resort Krabi had us at these three magic words: Kids Eat Free. You’d expect such a claim would render thoughts of over processed, chicken nugget-inspired kids meals, but the quality offerings for InnAsia’s junior diners exceeded our expectations. While the kids chow down, parents can enjoy the nightly international dinner buffet, offering free-flow of beer and wine for a cool 800 baht.
Free WiFi throughout the resort
Although your intention may be to get away and unplug for awhile, the reality is that your nagging kids won’t get to sleep without their nightly Angelina Ballerina iPad marathon. For work-strapped Editors like us, a perk like free, hi-speed WiFi is a definite game changer when it comes to family holidays, providing us a way to stay connected without fearing slow upload time usually found at other holiday beach resorts.
Make it happen: There are always deals running to grab the best price, but generally rooms start at around $80 for two people per night. Bigger rooms and suites for families start at around $150 per night. Head here for more info and to get booked!
Like this? Read more at our travel section.