Let’s face it – as long as there’s a cool pool and a sandy beach, your kids will have a great holiday. NIKKI FUNG highlights family-friendly beach resorts to check out.
LAZE FOR DAYS
Want to venture out of the usual South-east Asian holiday spots? Fly a bit farther west to Seychelles, where you’ll find The H Resort Beau Vallon Beach. It spans 3km of glistening white sand and crystal clear waters, at the heart of Mahe, the archipelago’s largest island.
Of course, there’s no leaving out exploring the Indian Ocean while you’re there. Have a go at game fishing, saltwater fly-fishing and scuba diving. Or spend some time together with dolphins or inquisitive turtles while kayaking, paddle boarding, scuba diving, fishing and other aquatic activities.
You can also drop the young ones off at the kids’ club (for children three to 12 years old) while you spend some well-deserved couple time together. Rates start from 525 euros (S$811).
Find out more www.h-hotel.com/seychelles/en
TIME TO TEE OFF
If you and Hubby love golf, you won’t want to pass up vacationing at Shangri-La’s Villingili Resort & Spa, in the Maldives. Spread across 7.5ha and located at the southern end of the island, the nine-hole golf course has a mix of three- and four-par holes, set against a gorgeous backdrop of coconut palms and other exotic flora, white sandy beaches, turquoise lagoons and the Indian Ocean.
While you spend time on the green, drop your kids off at The Cool Zone. They will receive an Island Safari Handbook, which not only teaches them how to be an eco-conscious islander, but also about the preservation and habits of the island’s Big 5 sea friends and Small 5 land friends.
It also includes an island map to show kids where they can spot these animals. Other fun children’s activities include crab hunting and racing, and coconut tree climbing. Rates for family rooms start from US$1,061 (S$1,432).
Find out more www.shangri-la.com/male/villingiliresort
SEE THE SEAS
How often do you get the chance to swim with fishes? Unwind at Shangri-La’s Mactan Resort and Spa, Cebu, where the family can go on a guided snorkelling safari (pictured above) in the resort’s protected 6ha marine sanctuary. Under the expert guidance of a resident marine biologist, you and the kids will spot several of over 100 marine species, including giant clams.
At the resort, children will have a blast with the giant chess set, mini golf park, swings, hammocks, and the main pool (there are two) with its big water slide and aqua-play area for toddlers, and the three-storey Adventure Zone indoorplayground. Rates for the Family Fun Package begin at 13,700++ Philippine pesos (S$398++).
Find out more www.shangri-la.com/cebu/mactanresort
TAKE A CHILL PILL
If 15km of pristine, private beach isn’t enough to keep you satisfied, then fill the rest of your days island hopping or visiting Emerald Cave, Lay Cave or the Chaomai National Park, which are all easily accessible from Anantara Si Kao Resort and Spa in Krabi, Thailand.
Sign the kids up for the dugong spotting activity, which lets them go on a ride through the mangroves on a long-tail boat to spot the endangered creatures in their natural habitat. Then, take part in the Planting Sea Grasses for Dugongs session, where they’ll learn the importance of ecoresponsibility while getting up close with live star fish, mangrove crabs and more.
Back at the resort, the Dugong Kids Club will also keep them entertained with kayaking, mini golf, cooking lessons, cycling, basketball, football, volleyball and more while you relax at the spa or take a yoga class. Book a Family Fun Package starting from 5,700 baht+++ (S$219+++) per night.
Find out more http://sikao.anantara.com
FEEL THE ALOHA SPIRIT
Imagine tropical bays, whitesand beaches and dramatic lava peninsulas. That’s what you’ll get at The Ritz-Carlton in Kapalua, Maui, Hawaii. Spread across 21.8ha of Maui’s picturesque north-western shore, the resort features five bays and three beaches.
If the sea and sand isn’t enough to keep the family’s attention, venture inland to explore the island’s rainforests or the protected marine life conservation district. Or take the family on a whale-watching ride as part of Jean-Michel Cousteau’s Ambassadors of the Environment programme. Children’s activities include beginners’ snorkelling lessons, shark discovery and turtle tracks programmes, and a cool CSI water investigation activity. Room rates start at US$520 per night.
Find out more www.ritzcarlton.com/kapalua
BOND WITH NATURE
Talk about an ultra-cool holiday experience. Intercontinental Bali Resort’s Turtle Release Programme is a year-round activity that doesn’t just let kids pick up environmental awareness and good conservation habits. They’ll also get to have a unique and heart-warming memory of releasing baby turtles back into Jimbaran Bay.
The resort also recently launched a new mobile app for young guests at its Planet Trekkers kids’ club. Created in partnership with National Geographic Kids, the app (designed for those aged six to 12) works like a treasure hunt game that takes young visitors on an adventure to discover local wildlife and cultural experiences.
Plus, it doubles as a nifty travel journal – kids use the built-in camera to upload photos and document their memories. Get the Planet Trekkers app from the Apple Store. The hotel declined to give a starting rate for its Family Get Together package, but a check on its website for several dates in June had rates from US$248.
Find out more http://bali.intercontinental.com/en