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Sunwing Kamala Beach review: Family-friendly resort

Sunwing Kamala Beach in Phuket, Thailand, is a resort built from the ground up for family holidays, but does it hit the mark?

Sunwing Kamala Beach details

  • Where: 96/66 Moo 3, Tambon Kamala, Amphoe Kathu, Chang Wat Phuket, 83150, Thailand
  • When: November 2023
  • Room type: 2-dedroom family suite
  • Guests: 2 adults, 3 kids (12, 10 and 7)
  • Cost: $300–$600 per night
  • Hotel star rating: 4 stars

My review, in short:

  • My star rating: ★★★★
  • Cost: Varies greatly depending on season, but the most common rooms start as low as $150 per night
  • Location: Perfect for families, with a lovely beach, relaxed crowd and easily accessible village lifestyle nearby
  • Decor: Keeps its simple and functional, like IKEA
  • Staff: We had a few requests during our stay which were handled quickly and the kids' club staff were great
  • The room: The odd design worked well for our big family and it was comfortable, spacious and functional, but a little noisy on lower floors
  • Food: Very nice buffet breakfast and kids eat free with paying adults for other meals
  • Facilities: Fantastic pools, a gym, good kids' clubs and cheap massages
Phuket has long been a popular destination for Australian families and for good reason. We've fallen in love with the Thai culture, climate and food. Phuket delivers the lot in a landscape dominated by long beautiful beaches, tropical rainforests and endless activities for all age groups, day or night. All with a welcoming climate.

Similar to Bali, Phuket is an island that offers a range of experiences depending on the location in which you stay. Kamala Beach takes a step back from the craziness of the popular party hub of Patong Beach, while still being just a hop, skip and jump away for those who are curious.

One of the big resorts you'll find on Kamala Beach is Sunwing, a Swedish chain well-known in Europe, but not so recognised by Australians. Sunwing specialises in family-friendly resort experiences and I was able to test it out with my wife and 3 kids (aged 12, 10 and 7) in tow.

Sunwing Kamala Beach 1


A 4-star hotel, Sunwing Kamala Beach offers good value for money given its facilities and spacious rooms. We stayed in a 2-bedroom family suite, which in peak times (think January) can go for around $600 per night. However, rooms can more commonly be found for under $300 per night. This room, as you will discover, very comfortably sleeps 5.

The studio rooms are the most common, sleeping 4 and looking down on the many pools. They can go from around $170 per night or even better if you get the right deal.

Note, I've given you the prices with breakfast included here, but you can shave about $30 off by ditching a feed.

There's quite a range of other room types, too. This includes beachfront terraces, royal studios with pool access and even spaces themed for very small kids. The latter are also placed in very handy places for the youngest families and provisioned with bonus perks like prams, highchairs and protective fencing.

Sunwing Kamala Beach 3

Sunwing Kamala Beach location

Kamala Beach is the next beach north of the popular Patong Beach, approximately 10km over hilly terrain. It's about 25km south of Phuket International Airport, although the drive can take up an hour, so be prepared for that.

Sunwing itself is centrally located on the beach, making it easy to walk out onto the sand and stroll in either direction. Kamala Beach is quite lovely, with rock shelfs that reveal themselves at either end during low tide and gentle waves. There's no shortage of water activities on offer.

What's particularly nice about the location of the Sunwing Kamala Beach is that you're not isolated from the local village. A short walk south gives you access to nightly markets, restaurants, pubs, tailors, laundries, massage parlours, bike hire (don't forget your travel insurance) and more.

I appreciated the freedom to be able to subsidise the resort expenses by being able to walk to the Big C Market and grab basics like bread, peanut butter, snacks and water. There is a minimart in the resort itself, so you don't have to leave, but it's a fair bit pricier. I also got plenty of clothes tailor-made in the village.

If you're after some nightlife or fancy something more up-tempo, Sunwing Kamala Beach does provide a shuttle bus to Patong Beach, dropping you off near the Bangla walking street. It's an eye-opening experience. Disappointingly, this shuttle isn't free and only marginally cheaper than a taxi.

Sunwing Kamala Beach 8


Sunwing Kamala Beach is built from the ground up for families and as a result, it keeps things simple. Ornate finishes and cluttered "character" experience don't mix well with thrown toys and vomit. Indeed, they're often a cause for anxiety.

As such, Sunwing Kamala Beach keeps everything super functional and basic. Perhaps it shouldn't be a surprise that this Swedish resort looks like it may have come out of an IKEA warehouse.

Sunwing Kamala instead lets its pools do the talking, of which there are an extraordinary amount. 9 by my count. Almost all the accommodation options look down on their aqua blue hue.


We had a little hiccup in the check-in process, but the friendly staff were quick to help rectify the concern. Namely, we ended up in a different room to what we were expecting. A quick visit to the check-in desk was it all it took to get some new keys and the room we were after.

Later we had problems with the shower door not closing properly. I mentioned it to reception on the way down to the pool and it was fixed before we got back.

I appreciated the fruit platter that was available on arrival. After a long plane trip and lengthy taxi, just being able to shove something in the kids' mouths on entry is a value-add that can't be underestimated.

I had read some online commentary about internet being an issue. The dialogue suggested that it was spotty in accessibility, unless you paid an additional fee for a premium experience in your room. Ours connected without issue across the resort at no additional cost.

Sunwing Kamala Beach 7

Sunwing Kamala Beach room

The 2-bedroom suites have a very unusual design. There are a few different shapes, but our room seemed to be the most common variant. A long rectangle, with a balcony at the end overlooking the central pool area.

As you walk in, cabinets and benches run the length of one wall. It provides lots of space for a family to unload bags and equipment, as well as all the other random stuff that accumulates (goggles, towels, bottles). It's a super handy approach. As are the hooks everywhere for hanging up wet towels and clothes.

One side of the hall opens up into a bathroom, which has separate shower and toilet sections. Again, this is quite handy, as one kid can be brushing their teeth while another showers and a third goes to the toilet. However, there is no bath, which is a bit annoying for families with younger kids.

Past the bathroom, a door leads off to the only true bedroom. It only just about fits a king bed, with a TV on the wall. We used this as our parent retreat. Unfortunately, the TV isn't a smart TV, so just basic channels with average reception, but the room does have its own aircon.

Sunwing Kamala Beach 9

Plenty of space

Beyond this room the entry hall ends and there's a massive living space. It's really big. Enough room for another king bed (or 2 singles) and a decent sized L-shaped couch. Part of this couch can be turned into a bed for an extra child and it's surprisingly comfortable. Definitely good enough to feel like a bed.

A smart TV adorns the wall. There's enough room for a coffee table and the space is serviced by its own aircon. Beyond this living area, the sizeable balcony features a family-sized outdoor table and a large drying rack.

The peculiarity here is that the 2-bedroom family suite is really a 1-bedroom, with an overly-generous living space that includes beds. Initially I was worried that this was effectively letting the inmates run the asylum, with the parents in the side room and the kids free outside. But the system actually worked quite well. At least with our ages.

More of a drama is the sound that comes through from upstairs. The floors are tiled, which is functional given the kids, but means every footstep makes an audible thud. If you were unlucky with upstairs neighbours, it could be a very trying experience. If you like the quiet you may want to request a top-floor abode.

There was some noise from the hallway as well, but it was sporadic and didn't impact our stay.

Sunwing Kamala Beach 2

Sunwing Kamala Beach facilities

Despite being a 4-star resort, Sunwing Kamala Beach has plenty going on and as you may expect, it's mostly about serving families.

The highlights are the pools. Within the main complex there are 9 pools, offering different depths and functions. There are kiddie pools, multiple waterslides, basketball hoops and a permeant volleyball net. There's no shortage of seating around the pools and one is home to a swim-up bar.

One of the pools can also be found down in front of the beach. It's smaller and more crowded, but does allow you to swim and see the waves at the same time.

My kids quite enjoyed the kids' club. It's small, but home to a mini-theatre that shows off movies, has board games, craft activities and video games. It's also near a couple of table tennis tables. The staff lead the various activities that happen through the day around the resort. These occurred mostly in the pools, but there is a basketball/futsal court as well.

There's a toddler club, too, where you can leave your child for a while if you need a break. This is well provisioned and the staff seemed really friendly.

There is no spa, but there are 2 separate areas where you can get massages on public-facing beds. It required a bit of self-confidence, but allows you to feel the breeze and hear the waves. These massages are priced very competitively and I ended up having 3 during my 5-day stay as a result.

Sunwing Kamala Beach 5


Younger kids get treated to an indoor play centre just near the main restaurant, which is handy for parents as they eat. There are also 2 mascots, Lollo and Bernie, that do shows and interact with kids on a nearby stage.

Later in the night, entertainment experiences can be found here, too. From trivia to full productions, they're a little low-rent, but somehow it makes them all the more entertaining. Watching one chap mimic Anthony Kiedis' rapping style in Swedish was a highlight.

The lobby area is your only real bet for having some space outside of your room to work or hang out. It's not great for either to be honest, with plenty of traffic and sound. There is a single pool table nearby, but it's not free. As well as the aforementioned minimart, which is lovely to have so close by, if relatively expensive.

I wasn't overly thrilled by the number of smoking areas. I realise it's a European chain, but the smell of cigarettes wasn't too far away from the kids or even the food.

Sunwing Kamala Beach 4

Food and drink

The Sunwing Kamala Beach has a very solid buffet breakfast experience. As well as all the classics you expect from any Western-themed buffet, there was plenty of local fruit, salad and savoury options. The easy-access coffee machines are handy and the existence of chocolate milk thrilled the kids.

There wasn't an over-abundance of Asian food on offer, but enough that you could experiment and try a few bits and pieces. The intriguing buffet design, where much of the food is sealed away in a glass room, keeps bugs and humidity at bay.

Drink prices weren't too bad by Aussie standards, but relative to the outside markets, I found them disappointingly high. This was accentuated by the lack of a happy hour, which I strongly urge the resort to adopt in the future.


The Sunwing Kamala Beach is a lovely stay for young families. My 12-year-old was probably nearing its limit, but definitely, families with kids under 10 and in particular very little kids, will find a lot to love. It's easy, rich with things to do and in a location that offers a Phuket experience without having to suffer through drunken hordes and ping pong shows.

As an Australian travelling outside of school holidays, there weren't too many kids around that spoke English. So that's one thing to keep in mind. And it's not a "luxury" stay in regard to quality of finishes and experiences. But with kids like ours, that was perfectly fine.

Is Sunwing Kamala Beach good for couples or singles?

Sunwing Kamala Beach is every bit a family resort. Not only is it designed for children and those surrounding them (parents and grandparents), but there are lots of kids around. As such, I would not recommend it for couple getaways, groups of friends or singles. Kids running down hallways, splashing in the pool and shouting at each other are core to the experience.

However, you could consider Sunprime Kamala Beach, which is a sister resort that adjoins the Sunwing, but is its own space. Sunprime is adults only. And it's kind of cool that parents and kids can be on one side, with extended family who want a child-free space on the other.

Disclaimer: Chris Stead and his family were invited as guests of Sunwing.

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