1. Niyama, Maldives
Those in the know travel to Niyama specifically for its famed Explorers Kids Club and its luxury haven for little VIPs. Explorers caters to four age categories – Globetrotter (12-35 months), Adventurers (3-4 years), Voyagers (5-7 years) and Pioneers (over eights) – with huge and beautifully designed indoor and outdoor spaces, featuring a playground, trampoline, splash park, stage and Munch, a gourmet kitchen. Located in the Isle of Play on Niyama, there is oodles to do at Explorers: culinary masterclasses, scout for dolphins, mini olympics, treasure hunts, tots tennis, snorkelling safaris, simulator games, kayaking, island adventures... Really, the sky’s the limit. Parents seeking a little light social distancing from their mini-mes can also take advantage of the Babysitting Club and Private Nanny Service, for some all-about-you down-time.
2. Six Senses Hotels & Resorts
An eco-friendly sanctuary for travellers seeking a combination of style, substance and sustainability in their vaycay, Six Senses is world-renowned for its family-focused approach to hospitality. Each of its 16 hotels around the world follows in the family-first footsteps, and stop at nothing to keep kids engaged, educated and entertained. For example, Six Senses Laamu (above) in the Maldives, launched a Junior Marine Biologist Programme back in March, where budding conservationists get one-on-one mentoring from the Maldives’ Underwater Initiative’s team of marine biologists, to help ongoing research projects or help expand the resort’s turtle database or join the coral biologist in restoring the coral nursery. Or, at Six Senses Yao Noi in Thailand (below), kids can join its Junior Eco Warrior Programme on a three-day secret mission to help save the environment, collecting eggs from the island’s ducks, spreading seeds to grow trees and turning beach trash into treasure with a DIY project. Truly enriching ways for kids to learn amidst the luxury of Six Senses.
3. One&Only Reethi Rah, Maldives
Fans of One&Only Resorts will know the effort that goes into making sure families come first. One&Only Reethi Rah Maldives is no different, and its ‘Kids Buddy’ programme gives children (from 6 months to 12 years) one-on-one supervision, from check-in to departure, from one of the KidsOnly team, providing dedicated care and personality-curated itineraries tailored to each child’s age and interests. There’s also One&Only’s signature KidsOnly and One Tribe programmes, as well as teen activities at ClubOne. From in-villa activities to around-the-island adventures, kids definitely won’t be bored, as they can sign up to everything from beach scavenger hunts to mini golf to movie nights and island cycle races.
4. Rome Cavalieri, Italy
With arts and culture peppering every inch of the hotel, it stands to reason that Rome Cavalieri’s Kid’s It Club would have a focus on creativity. Culture learnings come in the form of gladiator training and arts and craft, while picnics, mini car races, a ‘myths and heroes’ tour of Rome, treasure hunts and an outdoor kids pool take advantage of Italy’s heady summers. Here, families will want for nothing, as everything from strollers to mini bathrobes to baby wipes can be provided.
5. The Residence Mauritius
Removing any stress that comes along with a holiday en masse, the Family Concierge at The Residence Mauritius steps in to do everything for you – from organising tailor-made itineraries to arranging late-night babysitters to helping unpack your bags or run the kids’ bath. Along with the excellent Planters Kids Club (with treasure hunts, picnics and pony rides), your little ones can indulge in mini-massages at the spa, snorkel in the Indian Ocean or trek through Black River Gorges National Park to see its famous waterfalls.
6. Bvlgari Resort Dubai
Holidaying in the lap of luxury goes hand-in-hand with a stay at a Bvlgari hotel, and those with little ones in tow will love the world-first Little Gems Club at Bvlgari Hotel Dubai. The Two-bedroom Beach Villa or three-bedroom Skyline Villa are perfect for families (each with a pool), and there’s also a designated kids pool and two Little Gems clubs – one at the resort Beach Club and one at The Yacht Club – that will treat little guests like VIPs.
In addition, Bvlgari Hotels & Resorts has launched a B.Family Staycation offer across some of its properties, that include a stay alongside special kid-friendly amenities, classes and activities, and late check-out, in order to let parents relax, families reconnect and kids make new magical memories.
7. Nobu Hotels
The best eco-educational kids club comes courtesy of Nobu Hotels in Ibiza, Marbella and Los Cabos, with their focus on sustainability, eco-centric adventures and environmentally-driven activities – ideal for little eco-warriors. Each club is designed to reflect their locality, as well as the activities each one hosts. At the eternally chic Nobu Hotel Ibiza Bay, the kids club is all pared back luxury, rustic interiors and beachy island vibes. For 4-12 year olds, there’s jewellery making at the Hippy Market, Balearic craft lessons on upcycling repurposed beach materials, bespoke DJ workshops, yoga, beach plyometrics and fancy dress parties and sushi -making masterclasses in Nobu restaurant, all complimentary to kids staying at the hotel.
8. Emerald Resort & Spa, Maldives
The Maldives’ largest kids club opened this spring at Emerald Maldives Resort & Spa, with an achingly-cool all-inclusive offering for kids. The Dolphin Club sprawls over 1,500 square metres, where little ones from 4-12 years old can go wild with a splash park, mini pool, trampoline, slides, climbing walls and... a zip wire. There’s also cupcake making, cinema nights, zumba lessons and interactive cookery classes to keep kids busy whilst you sink into your overwater infinity pool.
9. COMO Hotels
Play by COMO has to be one of the best kids’ programmes on the planet, with some of the best staff running it, too. The kids club at COMO Point Yamu in Phuket has oodles of indoor space and a truly dedicated team to engage, entertain, educate – and even babysit – your kids. Play at Parrot Cay in Turks & Caicos (below) is one of the brand’s strongest offerings with a roster of cool activities to lure children away from the screen, such as a mocktail-making class, wilderness camp, fishing lessons, hobie cat sailing, yoga, nature rambles and treasure hunts. It’s much easier to relax into your own holiday when you know your kids are in such brilliant hands.
10. Qasr Al Sarab, Abu Dhabi
When you’re staying in a hotel on the outskirts of the world’s largest sand desert – the Empty Quarter – you’ve got to make sure there’s enough to keep all ages entertained. Worry not, as Anantara is renowned for its family focus and Qasr Al Sarab is no different. The hotel has recently upgraded its Kids and Teens Club and there’s a new dedicated kids area at the pool too, with sunloungers, matching towels and splash pad.
Little hotel guests will receive a passport to collect stamps from activities across the resort, such as encounters with camels, yoga or cooking classes. There’s also a kids turndown service with special amenities and new mother/daughter or father/son treatments at the Spa.
11. London Marriott Hotel Park Lane, UK
A rather fabulous partnership between London Marriott Hotel Park Lane and world-renowned toy store Hamleys has resulted in a teddy bear butler service to offer little guests the opportunity to handpick and adopt their own British bear from the hotel’s in-room Teddy Bear menu. With 11 themed bears to choose from, including great British favourites such as the Beefeater Bear to the contemporary Pilot, the ‘menu’ explains each bear’s name, their unique characteristics and what type of owner they’re looking for, along with an in-suite Teddy Bear’s picnic and teddy turndown service too. Little guests can also enjoy a VIP tour of Hamleys or a private shopping trip in the store before its doors open to the public.