By Bek Van Vliet Owen and Jenny Hewett
Jun 11, 2020
Coastal fun in Vietnam
This new resort in the upcoming beach destination of Cam Ranh on Vietnam’s Central Coast is ideal for families with active young children, with features built just for them. The Little Birds Club offers a waterslide and rope park, while various pools provide the means for hours of splashing around. Features parents might like include sea views from all rooms, a private white-sand beach and a massive destination spa where peace and quiet can be had in any of its 23 treatment rooms. Extras like kid-sized pillows, night lights and a children’s menu make a more relaxing stay for all. movenpick.com; doubles from VND3,300,000.
There’s plenty of culture and nature to keep the youngest to the oldest busy at this gem adjacent to Southeast Asia’s first UNESCO Geopark. Think mangrove safaris, traditional fishing at the Rumah Ikan Fish House and hands-on cooking lessons for 12-and-ups… Or batik painting, fish feeding and even rock climbing for smaller kids, offered at the complimentary Lutong Kids Club. For parental downtime while the children are occupied, there are soul-soothing treatments at Geo Spa, plus an adults-only pool that maximizes childfree serenity, no matter how fleeting. To top it all off, Bill Bensley gave his original design a makeover, introducing a bolder, brighter color palette and additional pavilions, plunge pools and beach villas to accommodate families of all configurations. fourseasons.com; doubles from RM4,326.
Malyasia’s newest getaways
Desaru Coast has aspirations of becoming the region’s next go-to beach escape, and with all sorts of family-friendly activities—firefly cruises, the Adventure Waterpark, cultural activities, fruit-farm tours—it’s a worthy contender. Anantara provides upscale beach comfort for the entire family on a pristine 17-kilometer stretch of beach on the South China Sea. Accommodation ranges from ocean-view deluxe rooms to three- and four-bedroom residences that top out at a downright- humongous 597 square meters. Residences come with their own horizon pools, big living and kitchen areas and personal chefs and butlers. Onsite relaxation equates to spa sessions, beach sports and child-centered activities in the kids’ and teens’ clubs. anantara.com; doubles from RM900.
A fancy family stay
Honey, we’ve stunned the kids! This grandiose 475-room resort fronts the shores of Bali’s Nusa Dua and feels more like a utopian tropical city than a hotel. Among its landscaped gardens is a lavish 60-meter lagoon pool with discreetly arranged sun loungers and private nooks, making it easy to keep an eye on your brood while you relax in the shade. The real draw for kids, though, is the adjacent pool, which boasts an array of waterslides, while the hotel’s Family VIP kids’ club offers even more for them to do, with activities in line with the Montessori approach to hands-on learning. Kids three to 12 years of age enjoy things like Balinese leaf and flower art, standup-paddle-board tug-of-war, and cookie decorating. kempinski.com; doubles from Rp3,150,000.
SAii Lagoon Maldives
Fifteen minutes from Malé
Part of the Curio Collection by Hilton, this new 198-room resort on Emma Fushi island is but a footbridge away from the “integrated resort destination” of The Marina@Crossroads. The private island provides a sense of escape for parents, while nearby, The Marina precludes any potential cabin fever in the kiddos. Children aged four to 12 also have at hand the onsite Koimala Maalimi’s Junior Beach Club and Camp, and its expert-designed program of henna art classes, cooking classes, beach volleyball and more. Other all-ages activities around the lagoon and beyond include visits to the Maldives Cultural Centre; snorkeling and diving; dolphin discoveries; local island excursions; and visits to the Marine Discovery Centre with its “edutaining” Junior Coral Curator program. saiiresorts.com; doubles from US$600.
Hua Hin Marriott Resort & Spa
Pools and slides galore
While this newish beachfront resort features family-friendly accommodations aplenty, for kids, it’s all about the pool. Correction: pools. There is a loop pool that encircles the property’s gardens and is accessible from certain ground-level rooms, a teen pool, a family pool, a tots’ “pool” with a water jungle- gym, and an adults’ pool, not to mention waterslides and swings. If the children ever tire of their watery kingdom, there’s a kids’ club with toys and group activities like canvas tote–painting and sandal-making, and Market Village mall just down the road where there is an indoor playground for the younger set. For kid-approved food, head to the seafront Big Fish, or Amber Kitchen for a traditional Sunday roast. marriott.com; doubles from Bt3,800.