Location, location, location, has always been the main criteria when choosing hotels. We would suggest you take more into consideration: Room and services are critical for a good night’s sleep; facilities such as swimming pool, kids club and babysit services, are not a must but always good to have; on-site restaurants become important when you don’t feel like going out for dinner after a long day.
Lissy Syoo, a destination expert and mother of a 4-year old, has been traveling in Asia and some European countries for over 10 years. Along with feedback from our previous customers, this article will help you make the right decision for your family trip to Asia.
Location is still certainly a major criteria. In most Asian countries you will find hotels, ranging from 20-buck guesthouses to high-end hotels within a 10 mile radius in the town centers. Some luxurious hotels and resorts even sell themselves for unbeatable view of a certain major attraction, such as the sunset view of Taj Mahal. However, an absolutely centrally-located hotel might not necessarily be ideal for families.
Instead of hotels at the very heart of the city, families with small children should go for hotels at short distance to downtown, yet away from the hustle and bustle. Less traffic and less noise, so your family can get a good night’s sleep (you know how kids can get very cranky if they are sleepy). Sometimes you can save a lot with such hotels. It is also important that you can find ATMs, restaurants, pharmacies and grocery stores within walking distance.
One heads-up: there are still some red-light districts in some Asian countries, so try to avoid them (despite the fact that hotel prices may look VERY GOOD in those neighborhoods). Examples: Kabukicho in Tokyo, Chow Kit in Kuala Lumpur, Nana in Bangkok, Tilawala in Jaipur, Grastin in Delhi, and Svay Pak in Phnom Penh.
98.8% positive customer reviews among 10,000+
I have never hear of this company…
I have never hear of this company before , and after reading all these reviews ,I decided to give it a try . The professionalism and communicative skill received by one of the agent , Sharon of Asia Highlights , convince me that She was the right travel agent for my trip in Asia . Very quickly she communicated with me and got all the detail of my desire vacation . Sharon made me a great itinerary with great experiences that I am dreaming to experience and I am looking forward to it . Thanks Sharon for been so great and crafting me a dream vacation with great suggestions.More
orge alvarez, May 2023
Coco Yang worked tirelessly to…
From the moment I landed in Bangkok, Ms Noi Ying was there to welcome me and get me settled into my hotel. We enjoyed several days together touring Bangkok and Kanchanaburi. In Chiang Mai, Mr Ekachai took my son snd I on an amazing trip to the Elephant Jungle Sanctuary and to visit a community Lanna home, gardens and a hands-on cooking class preparing an authentic Thai meal. Lisa arranged a last-minute speedboat tour of 5 breathtaking islands in Phuket. From start to finish, the guides exceeded my expectations!! Thank you, Asia Highlight!! Debbie WoodsMore
Debbie Woods, May 2023
Sharon from Asia highlights has been…
Sharon from Asia highlights has been amazing. She offered her amazing ideas to other tours I wanted. We have planned the perfect 9 day itinerary to Thailand. She worked in my budget and was very flexible when I had to change my flights. Thank you sharon. Can’t wait for the trip.More
Heather Stern Wilensky, Apr 2023
Ms. Ning first review 4-2023
Ms. Albee Ning has been doing a great job accommodating my requests and itinerary changes. Remember the first itinerary is a rough draft and you may modify it to suit your tastes. Remember you can not do it all and see everything in 3 weeks. If the flight wasn't so long I would visit Southeast Asia more often. I will update my review in a few months. We don't leave for 9 more months. Asia Highlights is working well for me so far!More
Chiefray, Apr 2023
Perfect Trip To Thailand…
We had so much fun in Bangkok with Tanni and Tom as they kept laughing at all of our silly jokes. Paul, our guide and Chiang Mai was really thoughtful, fun and full of great information about the temples and sights. Thanks so much! Brian and MichelleMore
Scott Orchard, Mar 2023
I highly recommend Asia Highlights
I highly recommend Asia Highlights. I worked with Alisa and she is fantastic! I was planning my honeymoon trip, and I changed the destination multiple times. Each time, Alisa provided me an updated itinerary with activities that matched my interests. Whether I had a small change to an activity, a question about one of the arrangements, or a change or destination, Alisa was helpful, thoughtful, and knowledgeable, providing me with updated options in an extremely timely manner. In the end, despite the fact that I changed my mind on location multiple times, I ended up booking a 17 day trip to Thailand for this upcoming November. I am extremely excited to experience everything that Alisa planned for us. I recommend Asia Highlights to everyone and look forward to using them again on any other trips to Asia in the future. Thank you Alisa and Asia Highlights!More
Britt Rosen, Mar 2023
Three weeks encompassing Vietnam
A special shoutout to our last guide in Bangkok - Ms. Ka-Noon who spoiled us with her kindness and then got us through check in and security for our flight home in record time at that huge Bangkok airport.More
Deby, Feb 2023
Over the last 5 years we've used Asia…
Over the last 5 years we've used Asia highlights twice. And both times we've had fantastic vacations. Would not want to do it any different when we travel to Asia from now on. Sharon was fantastic. She was a wonderful agent who helped us nail down our trip and make everything go as smooth as possible.More
Todd Atwell, Feb 2023
Family Trip to Thailand
Our trip to Thailand comprised three generations of the family , ten people and an age range of 4 to 70 so a potentially difficult brief.Our itinerary over two weeks involved four locations, and a number of different trips and tours.From out arrival at an extremely busy Bangkok airport Asia Highlights were terrific.In each location we were met by a smiling , knowledgeable and professional guide who simply made everything easy and stress free for everyone.Our transportation was clean and comfortable . Transport was always ready for us at the agreed time and the drivers were excellent.There were so many highlights enjoyed by all the age groups. The floating houses , railway market and elephant sanctuary were particular favourites.We had one minor glitch with the accommodation in Phuket which was immediately dealt with by Tip. I think we would have struggled to resolve the problem by ourselves. So, thank you Asia Highlights , Cathy, Tip and tour guides Tanny, Sam and Lisa. It was a memorable holiday and we will be back.More
Roger Pyle, Feb 2023
Trip of a lifetime from Asia Highlights!
I recommend highly Asia Highlights as a travel company. Our travel consultant Albee took the time to connect with us during the planning process to make sure we were comfortable with our itinerary. When we arrived, we were met by our guide and all the details were attended to. They picked great hotels and tours. I often describe our trip as the trip of a lifetime! Would definitely use them again when we come back to AsiaMore
Nancy Parker, Feb 2023
Asia Highlights and Albee - highly recommended
Asia Highlights is very reliable agency and Albee is an amazing representative of the company. From the moment when we contacted her until our departure, the whole support we received was 6* level. She prepared our trip offer within few hours and afterwards she was extremely flexible to adjust as per our needs. In the period between the offer and the trip, Albee was always available for all our questions and supported us on the best possible way. During the trip she was again flexible to add new activities/transfers and this went on the smoothest possible way. Thank you, Albee and Asia Highlights. Definitely we will approach you again for our next Asian tripMore
AZ, Feb 2023
5 STAR CUSTOMER SERVICE BY MONICA
Monica is a very sweet young lady who speaks excellent English via email/WhatsApp, and knows the importance of excellent customer service.More
Trent, Jan 2023
We had an awesome experience with Asia Highlights
We started our trip in Bangkok, where Mr. Prassert our tour guide, met us. He was on time and the van was clean and well-maintained. Mr. Prassert was our guide for the 4 days we spent in Bangkok. He was helpful, kind, and willing to accommodate our pee and coffee breaks. The driver was safe and punctual. Next, we went to Chiang Mai.Gemma exceeded every expectation we had for our tour of Chiang Mai! She had a great attitude that made exploring the city fun and exciting, as well as an abundance of knowledge and experience. She was always spot on with figuring out logistics and coming up with unique ideas that suited our interests and schedules. Gemma was incredibly generous with her time and even walked us to security at the airport to make sure we could carry all of our luggage. That’s just one example of how far out of her way she went to make our trip easier and more enjoyable. Gemma was sincerely interested in making every minute of our trip count. We’re very grateful to have met her and feel like we have found a friend in Gemma! Our driver in Chiang Mai was also great and very accommodating to our changes in schedules.More
Lois Paskow, Dec 2022
Thailand & Cambodia 2022
Albee went above and beyond to make our trip perfect. She rearranged flights due to a mistake of mine. She made sure we were still picked up and escorted to the airport. I felt comfortable and safe with all our reps. She did an excellent job and I highly recommend her booking your next trip. Thank you, Albee.More
Karen Brooks, Dec 2022
Perfect vacation thanks to Albee we…
I can’t say enough about how much we appreciate all the efforts, attention to details and immediate responses to all questions that Albee and her team provided. The Asia Highlights team deserves more stars than the maximum allowed because of continually going above and beyond all expectations. Thanks Albee for making our vacation through south east Asia absolutely perfect!!!More
Michael Sharp, Dec 2022
2023 Chiang Mai CAD Yipeng Festival
We got early bird ticket and Bella was assisting us through whatsapp. Easy, competitive price, front row tickets. Thanks Bella, for being patient explaining everything to me. Highly recommended.More
lily hartati, Dec 2022
Bella has been an outstanding customer service rep
Bella has been an outstanding customer service rep. She was responsive and knowledgeable. Buying tickets from their website was super easy and the whole process was straightforward. Highly recommended.More
Khai, Nov 2022
I was ever so grateful to have a point…
I was ever so grateful to have a point of contact while in a foreign country for the first time, alone, that helped me through the Ins and outs of getting to and from my destination. Albee was readily available which brought me much comfort and feeling of safety. If in this part of the world again, I will not hesitate to use your services..More
Omega, Nov 2022
I booked tickets to the Chiang Mai Yi Peng Lantern Festival in Nov 2022. Bella was extremely responsive and helpful!!More
Bowen, Nov 2022
It is the attention to detail and what we specifically wanted to see that made the reservation experience so exciting.More
Peter Bongiovanni, Nov 2022
Rooms and Amenities
A great hotel can be your temporary home. You will see a long list of facilities of a hotel but remember, not all of them are important to you. For example, as a mother of a 10-month old, you might care more about if they have an electric kettle for formula, rather than if they have a daily fruit basket. Pick a few things that are the most important to your family. Those little details are what make you “feel at home”.
According to Lissy’s experience, she will pay special attention to these features:
Room: Ample for Everybody
No matter how many people you are traveling with, one room for a family should not be less than 25sqm. In some particular countries or regions, it is very common to have rooms of 20 to 25sqm, namely Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong and some parts in India. In those scenarios, get a twin room instead of a double as it is always slightly bigger than the latter; one child is allowed to share the bed with the parents free of charge (however, policies differ in different hotels). Connecting rooms deserve prior attention.
Most hotels partition 3 to 10sqm for bathroom and western-style toilet, and stand-up shower are basic standard. Although not a must, it will be nice to have two sinks (for kids and adults to use at the same time), separated bathroom, bathtub (good for a dip for small children), and a DIY laundry (you will need it badly on the 3rd day of your trip).
Traveling with a big family, just look for all-suite hotels and you will be granted a big room, ample living space and well-equipped bathrooms. Vacation rental is also a good option, especially for families of more than five. The home features of a kitchen and a laundry facilities, make it as enjoyable and comparable as a mid-priced hotel.
Amenities: Essential is the Key
Sure, a welcome candy bar or free drinks kick some extra scores. However, it is often easy to overlook some amenities that can really solve problems: Think of turn-down service, and 24-hour receptionist if you are arriving late.
Extra beds are the top concern for family trips. Most hotels don’t charge anything for one child under 6 years, sharing the bed with the parents. For children between 6 and 12, rollout beds or sofa beds can be added at extra cost, mostly 20% to 50% of the room price. Children above 12 are likely to be charged as adults. Extra bed policy is detailed on the hotel website or booking agent.
If your children are hooked on iPad and Xbox or you bring a lot of electronics, make sure the room has more than 3 power sockets. Two bottles of complimentary water is not enough for a family so make sure they have an electric kettle. Free in-room Wifi comes in handy when you need to check next day’s weather and stay online.
Most hotels offer free toiletries including toothbrush, tooth paste, shampoo, shower gel, and after-shave for men. This means you don’t need to pack these things. Towels are changed daily. However, out of respect for the environment, we suggest you bring your own towels. They don’t usually offer kid-size slippers, shower caps or bath robes, so bring your own or purchase at a close-by store.
Services and Facilities
Besides all the common features of a hotel, some special services can actually improve your experience. Room service, free instant food or mini bar might rank high as desirable offers, yet a hotel’s generous service is what makes a family trip memorable. For example, in-room babysitting service gives you a couple of free hours for a romantic spa treatment. Kids club for bigger children and free activities (banana boat, flying kite, pottery making and so on, are great touch.
With certain service details, some hotels win by a nose. For small children and babies, hotels with stroller rental or delivery gets picked easily. Teen and kid concierge is introduced into more and more hotels, such as Omni, Ritz and Marriott. It provides great ideas to explore the city with a family-friendly itinerary or customer map. Some hotels allow late check-out till 18:00 for families.
As for facilities, without doubt, a swimming pool might be the only facility that your children care for. Especially so for your family trip to Asia. It doesn’t have to be big but it can be a good distraction or “reward” for good behavior during the day. With parental permission, hotel staff will play kids movies on a PS4 for your children free of charge. Elevators and lifts are a must, since families always travel with big suitcases.
Dining: included breakfast and more dining options for dinner
Check the “Breakfast Included” box without thinking twice, as you know kids always love buffet breakfast, and eating in saves you a lot of time in the morning. For hotels in Asia, buffet breakfast is oftentimes continental with a good variety, plus options for local delicacies. Many have made-to-order hot stands, such as for omelet, waffles, scrambled eggs or, in Asia’s case, Pho (rice noodle soup).
Based on our survey, most kids love fresh fruit, yogurt and made-to-order infant menu, and take-out services can be a bonus. As for the food itself, better pay attention or get more information if you have some special dietary requirements such as gluten-free, none-dairy or none-seafood. Sometimes you will want to dine at the restaurant. Choose those hotels with more than 2 dining venues, catering for both, children and adults. One important heads-up is: some hotels require dinner reservation during Christmas Eve, Christmas and New Year.
Well-being: stay happy and healthy
Don’t get frazzled during your trip. Get yourself some free time while your kids are playing in the pool. Think about enjoying a spa, high tea at the executive lounge or hitting the gym. Fitness centers at some mid-priced or international chain hotels are actually pretty good; some come along with sauna or Onsen bath (Hyatt Regency Hakone Resort and Spa in Hakone, for instance).
A doctor on call will keep your mind at ease. Such a warm and fuzzy fad has been brought to some up-market hotels and resorts, such as Trident in Jaipur, Peninsula Excelsior Hotel in Singapore, InterContinental Saigon Hotel in Ho Chi Minh City and Ramada Khao Lak Resort in Phuket. Aligned with local hospitals, most hotels provide emergency transport to the local medical center.
“Instead of searching with a fine-toothed comb,” said Lissy, “it would be nice if somebody can do the ‘dirty work’ for you. Somebody who knows your needs.” Take a shortcut and look at our list of Top Hotels for Family Trips in Asia. Or email us with your ideas.
Plan your Family Trip to Asia with Asia Highlights
Asia Highlights welcomes the chance to help you achieve your travel plans. See our itinerary below and let us do the work for you.
15-Day Family Trip to Mongolia, China and Thailand
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Why Travel with Asia Highlights (98.8% positive customer reviews among 10,000+)
- Unique experiences tailored to your interests: Enjoy a premium trip that goes beyond the typical tourist attractions.
- Hassle-free travel and peace of mind: Every aspect of your trip will be carefully planned and organized by your 1:1 travel consultant.
- Experienced and knowledgeable guides: Your guides will be local and love to work for travelers' smiles.
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