FOR A WALK ON THE WILD SIDE
Few things will beat seeing the look of awe on your child’s face when they spot an elephant or lion for the first time. That sense of wonder and awe are at the heart of a stay at Phinda Mountain Lodge, an &Beyond property in the lush Zululand region of Northern KwaZulu Natal, South Africa, where family time is maximised at every turn.
Three family cottages (sleeping five), and a family suite (sleeping eight) allow families to spread out in secluded and safe luxury, and there’s a games-packed kids’ lounge, as well as an infinity pool for them to dip in and out of. The lodge’s WILDchild programme is solely dedicated to bringing alive the magic of Africa for little explorers, gifting each a backpack filled with goodies, and taking them on adventures that include bug collecting, frog safaris, nature walks, animal tracking and cooking.
Depending on the their age, children can join in on a family safari too, spotting the big five, before spending the night swapping tales under the stars.
1. Educational Escapes
Thanks to a new collaboration with the Frost Science Museum, Amanyara, in Turks & Caicos, is offering a new Science Explorers and Environmental Keepers (SEEK) program.
Amidst the crystalline waters of the Atlantic archipelago and the lush nature reserve the hotel resides in, kids can learn about Coastal Conservation, Reef Rescue and Sun, Moon and Stars, with hands-on science activities, as well as kayaking, snorkelling and stargazing.
Amidst the crystalline waters of the Atlantic archipelago and the lush nature reserve the hotel resides in, kids can learn about Coastal Conservation, Reef Rescue and Sun, Moon and Stars, with hands-on science activities, as well as kayaking, snorkelling and stargazing. All the while, you can kick back and relax on your tropical island knowing your children are being edu-tained by the very best.
2. Nature-Fuelled Travel
With its ethos of ‘stay, play, vacay’, school-cations at Four Seasons Resort Langkawi make the most of VIP young guests, with immersive, experiential activities for everyone, big or small.
Just a one-hour flight from Kuala Lumpur, kids can spot flying squirrels, mischevious monkeys and exotic hornbills around the bucolic resort, there’s also a Geopark Discovery Centre, where they can learn about nature, fishing lessons, bike rides, animal treks, cookery classes, arts and crafts and a kiddie spa for some RnR.
3. An Urban Safari
Sat in the foothills of Table Mountain, Mount Nelson Belmond Hotel, Cape Town is a star-studded destination that caters equally for style-conscious parents as it does for fun-loving kids. Taking them on their own ‘hotel safari’, bespoke tents and colourful teepees pop up in the secret garden, with camp beds and lanterns, with each adventurer given a safari map to unearth gems on the property, such as the roaming leopard tortoise, bees by the beehives and the resident family of Egyptian geese.
There’s also BBQs, tennis, cooking and swimming lessons for the kids, as well as two on-site activity centres allowing big and little kids to play from morning through to night.
4. Italian Family Values
A city haven for parents who want to escape with the family, but save some time for themselves, Bulgari Resort Dubai is the epitome of 360-experiences. On arrival, kids will get a Little Gems Club VIP gift, with beach bag and activity passport, and an in-room Little Gems tent set up for kids wanting to sleep somewhere special. There’s a kids pool for keeping cool, everything from gardening to dressing up at the Little Gems kids club, and babysitting on request for when you want an uninterrupted dinner at Il Ristorante - Niko Romito.
5. Tropical Treats
While the oh-so-white walls of the gloriously stylish Cheval Blanc might not look family-friendly, the Maldives resort is renowned for its child-centric sensibilities, letting all ages revel in its tropical island playground. Tailor-made children’s amenities await in the room, a Bugaboo stroller is on hand, there’s also a surf simulator, crab hunting Olympics, beach BBQs, reef shark adventures, island treasure hunts and two kids/teens clubs to keep little people occupied.
6. A Shore Thing
Perched prettily on the shores of Paradise Bay, Mandarin Oriental Bodrum is the ideal location for a city-cum-sea vacation. Renowned as a brand for its style and service expertise, this property doubles down on its family offering, too. Partnering with Gymboree, a world-leader in child development programs, the ‘Play & Kids’ program offers little guests music, yoga, tennis, gymnastics, ceramics and cooking workshops.
There’s also a designated kids club and kids pool, movie nights, art studio and a nature club. The five-bed Melissa and Magnolia villas each have their own pool terrace, complete with idyllic views of the bay.
7. Age-less Luxury
On a mission to reconnect multi-generational families, The Nautilus Maldives – one of the archipelago’s coolest new hideaways – has crafted adventures that speak to all ages. Spanning treasure hunts and den-building, to meditation and Maldivian bowling nights, focus is on the luxury of time well spent.
In-room amenities include colouring books, soft toys, mini bathrobes and a special children’s turndown service. The two-storey, three-bedroom Nautilus Mansion speaks volumes about contemporary luxury, with a huge living space, terrace, freshwater infinity pool and private butler, making it the perfect option for families wanting time together whilst enjoying their tropical spoils.
8. Adventure Bay
Rosewood Little Dix Bay in British Virgin Islands is all about sun, sea, sand and adventure. So much so that the hotel has launched a new Treasure Island package of bespoke itineraries inspired by children’s fiction. There’s sword-fighting, sailing lessons and even a catamaran charter to the Dog Islands for a sailing adventure on the high seas.
The hotel can also provide cribs, baby skincare products, baby monitors, child-size bathrobes and slippers, bed rails, in-room bottle warmers and a baby-proofing service, to put parents’ minds at ease.
9. Back To Nature
For a truly grounded getaway, Sâo Lorenço do Barrocal in Portugal – a 200-year-old family-run estate – has launched new summer activities focused on getting kids back into nature.
Families can embark on birdwatching workshops, fishing excursions, ethnobotanical hikes, horse-riding treks, pottery classes, stargazing and outdoor treasure hunts. Set in 780-hectare grounds, with a brand new children’s vegetable patch to boot, this is unspoilt escapism for the purist in you.