With thousands of hotels advertising their “family-friendliness”, it’s sometimes hard to pinpoint ones that really fit the bill. Our friends at Lightfoot Travel highlight their top properties around the Asia Pacific region that really go the extra mile to provide safe and fun experiences for their littlest guests.
Opening late last year, Soneva Fushi’s brand new kid’s club, The Den, sets the bar for children’s clubs around the world. Designed using input from the property’s littlest guests, the club is decked out with no less than two swimming pools, bar serving up fresh mocktails, pirate ship, Lego room, fancy dress area, cinema, library and an instrument-filled music room. The Tunnel is a 14-meter passage covered in branches, roots and hidden surprises that lead kids through to a garden full of secret nest areas hidden amongst the trees. There are also activities aplenty for families to do together such as cooking classes, dolphin cruises, father and son picnics and mother and daughter spa sessions.
This new fleet was launched in 2015 featuring smaller boats, each with 3-7 cabins sleeping 6-20 guests. The private nature of the cruises means that you can charter the boat as you please, sailing to more remote and less touristy areas of the bay. Kids will love squid fishing at night, on-board barbecues and cooking courses, cycling on the various islands and discovering floating villages by bamboo boat. If travelling with a large family or group of families, this is definitely the best way to experience the unique beauty of Halong Bay.
A tried and tested favorite, the family offerings at this property are amazing with the added benefit of having an in-house conservation point. The Orang Utan sanctuary is one-of-a-kind with guided family walks and lessons on the various care efforts taking place at the resort and in greater Borneo. Ranger courses are available for children aged 5-12 where they can shadow a ranger and assist them with their daily tasks. The property is set on a long stretch of calm beach that is perfect for volleyball, football, watersports and horse riding.
A spectacular private villa in the north of Koh Samui, Praana Residence features 6 en-suite bedrooms sleeping 12 guests. The property has an incredible kid’s play room that is bigger and flashier than a lot of hotels we’ve seen, decked out with Foosball and pool tables as well as a home cinema. There are also two pools, a tennis court and even a boxing ring so kids can take Muay Thai lessons. Baby-sitting services are available on request.
The fact that Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort’s Bula Club is complimentary really sets it apart from other Fijian properties, as does the one-on-one attention it provides – dedicated nannies for children under 5, and buddies assigned to those aged 6-12. While the emphasis really is on providing family experiences, we find parents appreciate having the option of taking a day or two to themselves to enjoy a spa treatment or dive in the spectacular reef that surrounds the resort.
The Outrigger features a fun two-tiered kid’s pool with a waterslide below and shallow pool above where staff organize daily games such as water polo and Goofy. Just beyond the pool is a kid’s playroom as well as a separate games room for those hard-to-please teens. The property is on a lagoon which provides a safe area suitable for watersports such as stand up paddle boarding, kayaking and hobie cating. Rooms conveniently accommodate two adults and two children, and we recommend upgrading to a Club Room – giving kids access to snacks and drinks at the Club lounge all day!