From beach resorts to fairytale destinations, we’ve got you covered.
The school holidays are here and what better way to spend time as a family than with a trip. Whether you’re heading overseas or keeping it simple and planning a nearby vacation, there’s plenty to see and do. Want some ideas? Read on.
To the Land of the Long White Cloud
The lodge at Kauri Cliffs, Northland
Think breathtaking landscapes, snow-covered mountains and amazing coastlines – that’s what comes to mind when one mentions New Zealand. To top it off, this country which is truly clean and green is perfect for a family holiday with activities to keep every member of the family happy. Looking for luxury accommodation? Book a stay at Treetops Lodge & Estate, Rotorua and you won’t be disappointed. Set on a 2500-hectare estate with a primordial native forest, the lodge which is known for its “Five Star Kids” programme includes everything from horse treks to high-tech treasure hunts using GPS equipment, but the most popular activity is the Junior Master Chef session. Mums and dads will also love the simmering geysers and bubbling hot mud pools. Not quite what you’re looking for? How about staying at The Lodge at Kauri Cliffs, Northland instead? While dad practices his golf swing at one of the top golf courses in the world, mum and kids can enjoy a 4WD tour of the property with the farm manager. With three private beaches, including one made of minute pale-pink shells, children and teens can revel in simple pleasures such as swimming, beachcombing and using a rope swing hanging from a magnificent native tree while the adults kick back with a gourmet picnic hamper. Are your bags packed yet?
We’re Off to the Land of Smiles
If you’re a parent of young kids, chances are Phuket is one of your top choices when looking for a resort destination. Located just a 90-minute plane ride away from Singapore, Phuket has all the comforts of home but with some of the most beautiful beaches. Recently re-launched, The Slate, located next to a pristine and secluded beach is one accommodation to consider. Perfect for families, the villas and suites have more than enough space for the entire family as well as activities to keep the kids happy. From junior cooking classes to an exploratory night safari, the adults will have plenty of time to reconnect at the Pulley Bar or at the Coqoon spa, which is set against a luscious rainforest and tropical garden. Located just a stone’s throw away from Patong, Holiday Inn Resort Phuket is another perfect choice for families. Over at the KidSuites, there’s a separate kids’ area featuring bunk beds, a well-stocked toy box and flat-screen TV complete with DVD player, DVD library and Xbox 360 game console while the Family Suites connect a spacious parents’ room with a ‘pirate’ or ‘under the sea’ themed kids room complete with beds shaped like ships or turtles, gaming consoles and more. Don’t forget to let your kids try their hand at the art of henna tattooing, umbrella painting or a spot of Muay Thai over at the Kids’ Club.
Pack Your Bags! We’re going Down Under
Fremantle, Western Australia
If you have yet to set your sights on Perth, it’s time you did. With pristine beaches, ancient landscapes, towering forests, secluded waterfalls and the world’s largest wildflower collection, you’ll certainly be in for a treat. Take your pick from some of the most luxurious hotels. For a truly memorable experience, treat the family to a stay at Crown Towers Perth and watch the little ones’ faces light up in glee as they enjoy their in-room movie, dinner from a special in-room menu and even teddy bears to accompany them on their trip. Want something a little more convenient? The Quest Fremantle – a service apartment hotel might just be what you need. Situated in the historic port city of Fremantle, you’ll be within walking distance to local restaurants, cafes, art galleries and retail outlets. Want to explore even more? Check out the Fremantle Arts Centre, Fremantle Prison and Weekend Markets. If your accommodation of choice is COMO at the Treasury, family time just got a little more exciting. With complimentary in-room movies, children’s refreshments and more, the little ones will be pampered from the moment they enter the hotel. Located in the central business district, you won’t be too far from all WA has to offer. Pack your picnic baskets and head to King’s Park and feast your eyes on the spectacular views or head to Caversham Wildlife Park for a truly unique experience.
Let’s Head to Asia’s Cultural Melting Pot
Gaya Island Resort
With a heritage of diverse influences, Malaysia is no doubt one of the most multicultural nations in this part of Asia. But that’s not all it’s known for. Its tropical island resorts surrounded by sandy beaches and awe-inspiring views give you yet another reason to cross the causeway and appreciate the beauty of nature. And over at Kota Kinabalu, the Gaya Island Resort allows you to do just that. Over at the resort’s Marine Centre, both you and the kids will get to discover how sea turtles are rescued, treated and cared for, while at the Wildlife Centre experience the 7 Wonders of Gaya where you’ll be able to see wildlife, Proboscis Monkeys, go on a mangrove kayak tour and so much more. Further immerse yourself into what Malaysia has to offer at the Tanjong Jara Resort at Terengganu. Hop on a Marang Eco River Cruise and discover the beauty and wildlife of the river. You’ll get to wander through a traditional Malay village and witness ancient traditions still being practised. The kids are sure to enjoy the outdoor games such as Gasing and Sepak Takraw. If you want to learn some traditional handicraft, sign yourself up for a class and pick up some unique local skills.
One to Remember
Le Château Aubenas
Le Château Aubenas
Have a little one who dreams of becoming a prince or princess? Make their dreams come true in this enchanting chateau! A former luxury Villa of French royalty, you’ll be treated to impressive galleries and reception rooms as you make your way around this massive chateau. The kids will be pleased to know that their bedroom is split over three levels with the sitting and playing areas on the first and second while the sleeping area is on the third ‘tower’ level. And did we mention that there’s a private olive grove and a chef? Now, what more could one ask for?
Hands up if you’ve always wanted to live in a treehouse? At Canopy Treehouse you can! Set in 100 acres of ancient rainforest, this is one for the nature lover. Perched high in the rainforest canopy on the banks of the flowing Ithaca River, take your pick from the treehouses on offer and get ready to be greeted by cassowaries, green possums and of course, the famous Australian wallabies. If you and the kids are seeking out an adventure, be sure to go hot air ballooning or make your way to Atherton Tablelands where waterfalls and geological wonders await.