If you thought long-haul holidays and families were mutually exclusive, think again. From Sri Lanka to the Maldives, there are child-friendly destinations all over the world offering something for every member of the family – think kids’ club at luxury resorts and spas with on-site water parks. We spoke to SL contributor Jeannette Arnold to get her recommendations for the best best long-haul family trips; if you can manage the flight with children in tow, the destination on the other side is well worth it.
Angsana Lang Co, Vietnam
If you thought Vietnam was off limits with children, think again. Angsana Lang Co, in central Vietnam caters for kids of all ages, from little ones right up to teens. The resort offers hundreds of activities from kayaking to cookery courses, a children's club to fishing days out in a nearby village. There's no shortage of luxe for parents either; head to the spa for some R&R and reserve date night for the stunning, Bond-style Rice Bowl restaurant. The location itself is nothing short of breathtaking, nestled between the Truong Son mountain range and the endless South China Sea, embrace your jet lag and wake up to the most spectacular sunrise you'll ever witness.
The Holiday Place has a wide range of holidays to Vietnam, from just £949 per adult & £599 per child, you can discover Lang Co. Staying six nights at Angsana Lang Co, sharing a Garden Balcony Twin room, including flights with Vietnam Airlines, accommodation, and breakfast.
To book call 020 7644 1770 or visit HolidayPlace.co.uk
The Crane Resort, Barbados
With a ‘Calypso Kids’ Club’ offering younger guests the opportunity to learn about Bajan heritage and culture, immerse yourself and your family in the music, food and local wildlife of this Caribbean island. Just a short walk from the white sands of Crane beach, enjoy spectacular sunset and ocean views after relaxing in the spa or taking a dip in one of the resort’s pools – you can opt for a private pool for all-out luxury. The resort’s excellent chefs are on hand to teach food-loving children how to prepare authentic Caribbean food, whilst adventurous kids can take part in music lessons, sightseeing and treasure hunts.
Prices start from around £200 per night based on a family of four, get 35% OFF one to three night stays or 40% OFF four nights or more using booking code SISM17.
Santiburi Beach Resort & Spa, Koh Samui, Thailand
Perched on Koh Samui’s stunning north shore, Santiburi Beach Resort & Spa has a range of activities to keep the family entertained. Encompassing wellness, culture, sports and food, you’ll have the opportunity to learn a range of new skills and discover more about the rich local culture. Thrill seekers can make the most of the dazzling beach location with a range of water sports – try surfing or explore the stunning coral reefs whilst scuba diving or snorkelling. Foodies will love the on-site herb garden and the chance to prepare traditional Thai dishes – children have the chance to prepare a meal for the family with guidance from the resort’s chefs. From guided temple tours to tennis, yoga and more, the experiences available at this luxurious resort will have you eager to book your next stay before you’ve even left.
Prices start at £425 based on a family of four sharing a duplex two-bedroom suite, including breakfast.
Shangri-La’s Hambantota Resort & Spa, Sri Lanka
Boasting unrivalled proximity to some of the country’s most spectacular nature and wildlife reserves, there’s plenty to get excited about at Hambantota. Framed by coconut trees and white beaches, the resort promises an unforgettable getaway. There’s a dedicated kids’ clubs as well as an on-site water park to keep the kids busy whilst you take full advantage of the bespoke wellness facilities including a spa and sunset pool, before tucking into the outstanding cuisine – think international buffets and Hawker-style stalls featuring Southeast Asian street food.
Prices start at £240 per night, based on two people sharing.
Taylor River Lodge, Colorado
Committed to providing a unique holiday experience, Taylor River Lodge comes from the brains behind Scarp Ridge Lodge in Crested Butte. You’ll wake up in an authentic log cabin – there are seven available sleeping up to 30 guests – set in a scenic canyon and perched above the Golden River. A truly authentic retreat, choose between fishing, archery, rock climbing, horseback riding or an afternoon lounging on the river-front terrace before tucking into a freshly prepared meal at the communal dining table and finishing the day by roasting marshmallows on the bonfire.
Prices available on enquiry.
Al Baleed Resort Salalah by Anantara, Oman
For a holiday with a difference, discover the charm of southern Oman at this luxurious resort, situated between a beach, a lagoon and the historic Al Baleed UNESCO archaeological site. Just 15km from Salalah International Airport, get your culture fix at the wealth of ancient ruins, heritage sites and inviting souks in the area. Wander round the luscious gardens or visit the Anantara spa for a holistic approach to wellness – the resort offers personalised wellness schemes with weight management, relaxation and rejuvenation packages tailored to your lifestyle. Foodies will enjoy the three dining venues – there’s an all-day restaurant serving world flavours; an Asian restaurant cooking up vibrant Thai, Chinese and Vietnamese cuisine; and a relaxed Mediterranean beach bar for delicious cocktails and barbecue delights. Kids are covered too, with a kids and teens club, a water sports centre and tennis and beach volleyball courts providing ample entertainment.
Nightly rates start from £264 on a bed & breakfast basis in a Premier Sea View Room.
The Saxon and Shambala Private Game Reserve, South Africa
One for older kids, this private game reserve caters for children aged 12 and above. For an intimate and bespoke safari experience, this exclusive reserve is set in 12,000 hectacres of wilderness. From spotting the big five and stargazing to guided bush walks, sundownder cruises, bush picnics and more, this is a destination unlike any other. Children will love connecting with nature – a highlight of the trip is breakfast in the bush, where guests are driven to a breath-taking spot to enjoy breakfast whilst watching the sun come up.
Scott Dunn offers seven nights at The Saxon and Shambala from £4,700 per person based on a family of four sharing, including return international flights, airport transfers, bed and breakfast, game drives and a sunset cruise.
Recently opened, share the experience of the Maldives with your family at Kandima resort. Parents can enjoy the idyllic getaway they’ve been dreaming of whilst ‘Kandiland’, the resorts children’s club, keeps the kids busy. Watch them play at the water zone, try trampolining or learn to cook in the al fresco mini kitchen. With a focus on teaching guests about the culture of the Maldives – from traditional songs and dances to protecting the local environment – this destination promise everything from romantic and relaxing evenings to fun-filled, adventurous days. And if that’s not enough, children can be collected from your villa in the morning and dropped off to the Breeze Bar in the evening, leaving you free to enjoy your day.
A family of four stays for seven nights for £3,330 in the Sky Studio, half board, inclusive of domestic transfers.
Sugar Beach, A Viceroy Resort, St. Lucia
Set in lush rainforest on the site of a former sugar mill, with dramatic views of the Pitons and the whitest of white sandy beaches, Sugar Beach is a luxurious getaway for parents that also provides a range of fun facilities for children. The resort's children's club, Generation V, is a learning centre for four to 12-year-olds and – handily – is open daily from 9am to 5pm, free of charge. There’s an extensive programme of activities, including sandcastle building, dance classes, miniature golf and shell collecting. Want to venture off-site? Enjoy a glass bottom boat tour or a visit to the volcano, which the resort staff will be happy to arrange.
Prices start from £1,086 per night based on two adults and two children staying in a Superior Luxury Cottage. Receive up to 25% OFF room rates until 18th December 2017 with on-site ‘Caribbean Escape’ offers.
The Datai, Langkawi, Malaysia
On the northwest tip of Malaysia’s Langkawi island, The Datai is a stunning and secluded hideaway. Ideal for a family getaway, the hotel has recently introduced complimentary marine activities for the whole family – located in a rainforest, children will learn all about the fascinating life that surrounds the resort with resident marine biologist, Jonathan Chandrasakaran. The hotel is set amongst the treetops so you’ll wake up to breath-taking views before relaxing on the beach or at one of The Datai’s two swimming pools and then indulging at the award-winning restaurant.
Prices start from £3,200 per person for a seven-night stay based on two people sharing a deluxe room on a bed and breakfast basis including flights and transfers.