Best Beach Resorts in Malaysia for a Family Vacation


Holidays at the seaside resort were amazing experiences to have as children. As young, imaginative and incredibly energetic little people, spending the day playing in a larger-than-life pool and staying up late on vacation are some of our favorite memories. As parents, or on a family vacation with kids, you can relive the excitement – except now bedtime isn’t a problem.

Malaysia hosted many of the most memorable family beach vacations of our childhood. In the 90s, resorts like Golden Sands in Penang and Grand Hyatt Kuantan were 3D2N havens (or higher, if you were luckier). Unfortunately, the economic crisis of the pandemic has caused the closure of more than a hundred hotels and resorts in Malaysia, including beloved hotels like the Holiday Inn Resort Hotel Penang and the Berjaya Tioman Resort.

With travel reopening, your vacation days invite you to get out of work and enjoy the beautiful beaches right here in Malaysia. And if you’re already on the hunt for the best family-friendly resorts in Malaysia, look no further.

Best Beach Resorts in Malaysia for Families in 2021:

The Ritz-Carlton Langkawi, Kedah

The Ritz-Carlton Langkawi has one of Malaysia’s finest private white sand beaches and a rich surrounding rainforest. If you are looking for a truly luxurious family vacation on the West Coast, you will find it here in one of the resort’s family villas combining modern comfort with traditional design. The world-renowned Ritz-Carlton Spa in Langkawi with six overwater spa pavilions is a must visit for a relaxing afternoon.

For kids: The Ritz Kids program includes a fun registration area, check-in, welcome pack, and scavenger hunt. They will also discover the four pillars of the discovery of the Ritz Kids: water, land, environmental responsibility and culture through activities such as kite-painting.

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Four Seasons Resort Langkawi, Kedah

Another great beachfront accommodation in Langkawi is the Four Seasons Resort Langkawi, nestled amid tropical rainforest, limestone cliffs, and sandy shores by the Andaman Sea. The Malaysian-style lodges and villas are ideal for couples and families, with enough privacy for a relaxing and peaceful stay. Parents, head to Rhu Bar sipping sunset cocktails alongside an unforgettable Langkawi sunset.

For Kids: The resort provides activities for kids to integrate experiential learning into playtime, which includes guided explorations by naturalists at Four Seasons Langkawi, learning to traditional fishing at Rumah Ikan Fish House respectful of the environment and artistic activities at Lutong Kids Club. At the spa, kids can enjoy a children’s manicure and learn how to do an all-natural scrub.

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Club Med Cherating Beach, Kuantan, Pahang

Opened in 1979, Club Med Cherating Beach remains one of Malaysia’s top beach resorts for families due to its all-inclusive guest packages. The resort is in a forest, making it ideal for jungle adventures and all kinds of water sports. The all-inclusive formula entitles you to full-board gourmet cuisine, daytime and nighttime entertainment, as well as activities organized at the complex. Just for adults there is also the Zen Zone pool, while babysitting is also offered.

For kids: The Club Med Baby Welcome Kit takes care of everything your baby needs on vacation, waiting in your room upon arrival. Young and old can have fun by participating in sports, creative activities and team games at Petit Club Med and Mini Club Med up to 10 years old, while teens can get the adrenaline pumping by climbing or trapeze .

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One & Only Desaru Coast, Johor

A newer resort which is also one of the most exclusive and luxurious resorts in Malaysia One & Only Desaru Coast, a beach destination in Johor named one of Time “The most beautiful places in the world in 2021” from the magazine. The resort is surrounded by lush greenery and a long, powdery white sand beach. Notably, One & Only worked with world-renowned Australian architect Kerry Hill to design the resort’s Dream One Villa suites.

For kids: One Tribe welcomes teens ages 12 to 17 in its relaxed, no-frills relaxation area. Here, they will be able to participate in complementary activities and mingle with other younger ones, under the discreetly attentive eye of the One Tribe advisers.

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The Taaras Beach & Spa Resort, Redang Island, Terrenganu

The Taaras Beach & Spa Resort on Redang Island is located on the northeast coast of Malaysia. The island is the largest in the Redang Archipelago and is considered home to many of the best local dive sites. There are also designated conservation sites including a protected marine park and turtle sanctuary, making this resort a nature escape for the whole family. Large families will find that the five-bedroom Taaras Villa exceeds all luxury expectations.

For children: The SEATRU Turtle Lab is an education and conservation center run by the Taara’s own team of marine biologists, and guests can even observe hatchlings released into the sea during hatching season. Children can also enjoy a supervised playtime in the Jojo playroom open daily.

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Shangri-La Tanjung Aru, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah

In East Malaysia, Shangri-La Tanjung Aru is one of the two Shangri-La in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah. Both accommodations are suitable for families, however, you may find that the resort is Tanjung Aru to be slightly more luxurious. Sunset Bar is recognized as one of the best places in the world to watch the sunset. Located just 10 minutes from town, the resort has six restaurants and bars and the private STAR Marina.

For kids: With its Borneo murals and cozy atmosphere, The Cool Zone is like a chic member club for kids. There’s a toddler section with padded walls and plush toys, a creativity section, as well as a computer and TV room with PlayStations.

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(Main image credit: Four Seasons Resort Langkawi)

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