FAMILY FUN IN THE MALDIVES
Even kids need to decompress sometimes and where better to do it than at Jumeirah Vittaveli? Not only is it located a mere 20-minute luxury catamaran ride away from Malé’s international airport (meaning you could feasibly be snorkelling the house reef less than two hours after touching down) it’s also home to a Teen Lounge and the Kuda Koli Kids Club, one of the largest children’s clubs in the Maldives where kiddies have an enormous outdoor pool to themselves and young-at-heart staff orchestrating activities aplenty. With the island as their playground, kids can even take part in a Junior Coral Ranger session, learning about the importance of conservation and planting their own coral with the help of the resident marine biologist. To tempt parents further, the resort has launched a Family Fun Offer with rates from US$6,900, which comprises a four-night stay in a Two Bedroom Beach Villa with Pool, exclusive access to a private beach or lagoon and three hours of babysitting per stay. To stave off those inevitable “I’m hungry” wails, children under 17 will enjoy complimentary food on a full-board basis, with a fruit basket on arrival, daily buffet breakfast, a beach barbecue with the family, in-villa afternoon tea and evening meals at Samsara, Fenesse or MU Grill. All in all, it’s a fun-filled stay with all the trimmings for adults and little ones alike. www.jumeirah.com/jumeirahvittaveli
With a job title like this, it’s pretty obvious a stay at Brown’s Hotel is going to be brimming with fun for the little ones. The London hotel has partnered with world-renowned toy shop, Hamleys, to deck rooms out with individually designed treats, from teddy bears and Monopoly sets to a Star Wars Base Station with walkie talkies – or how about a Hamleys Porsche 911 for your little boy racer? The “Hamleys for You Suite” from £4,290 (US$5,620), includes a two-night stay in a Classic Suite for two adults and up to two children with a full English breakfast and… wait for it…an after-hours private-shopping experience at Hamleys. Every little kid’s fantasy. www.roccofortehotels.com/promotions/promotion/fun-makers-in-residence/browns-hotel
KIDS GO WILD
Some safari camps prohibit little travellers but at Elewana Collection’s properties, families are welcomed with everything from flexible dining times to stimulating activities to help them fall in love with the wonders of Africa, and we can’t think of a better place to get acquainted with Mama Africa than Loisaba, a tented camp on a 56,000-acre wildlife conservancy in Laikipia, northern Kenya. Along with game drives and Saburu warrior training, kids can visit local schools and even the Loisaba Conservancy headquarters to see anti-poaching sniffer dogs in action. Then there are the supercalifragilistic Loisaba Star Beds: handcrafted four-poster beds for a bedtime under the stars your kids will never forget. Rates (including airstrip transfers, safari, full board and beverages), in high season start at US$470 per person, with up to two children under 12 staying free with two paying adults.
A MID-SUMMER DREAM
With the mercury driving most of the GCC indoors in August, Alila Jabal Akhdar is offering much-needed respite for heat-stricken families with a newly unveiled, (and totally free) activity called the “Butterfly Trail”. Armed with a scavenger map, you and your little explorers can set out on a three-kilometre trek around the resort, discovering some 11 species of butterfly and over 40 species of bird along the way. Afterwards, retreat to the stunning, LEED-accredited, design-forward hotel, built in the style of traditional style of old Omani stone dwellings on a jaw-dropping mountain landscape. Rates start from US$532 for a Mountain View Suite including breakfast, but for more space (some 361 square metres of it), a private pool and expansive terrace, the resort’s two exclusive Jabal Villas are the cream of the crop. www.alilahotels.com/jabalakhdar