Travelling is often the first luxury to disappear when couples become parents. Baby gear, fidgety toddlers and overactive older children can turn a holiday into hard work. The solution? Try our roundup of family-friendly resorts that promise the best for both you and your kids.
Flanked by a tropical rainforest and its own private white sandy beach, Angsana Bintan is a family playground. With the “Live for Family Fun” package, kids get to eat for free and enjoy amazing complementary activities such as snorkelling, kayaking and guided nature walks. The young ones will also be kept entertained by the Kids’ Club’s hourly workshops, while mums and dads can take a dip in the pool or recharge with a refreshing 90-minute spa treatment. Angsana Bintan has 113 chic and contemporary suites and rooms with expansive views of the South China Sea.
Listed by Traveller (Australia) as one of the “10 Best Villas in Bali”, Bali Dream Villas consists of two properties, Villa Kedidi and Villa Kakatua, which have three and four bedrooms respectively. Located within the same compound, the villas are 100 metres from Sunset Beach in Canggu and 40 minutes from Denpasar International Airport.
Both villas are equipped with child-friendly features like US-approved pool fencing with safety gates, car-seats, baby monitors, cots with linen and mosquito-nets, highchairs, infant tubs, changing mats, toddler bedrails, toys, games and swimming aids. Experienced babysitters are available at reasonable rates.
Bali Dream Villas is an easy walk from some great, family-friendly restaurants and plenty of spas; in-villa spa services can be arranged too.
Villa rates start from US$388, including airport transfers, full-time housekeeping staff, a chef who can whip up fresh Asian, Western, vegetarian and kids’ meals, and a villa manager-concierge. Rent a car and driver (US$25 per day or eight hours) to experience all that Bali has to offer, including sightseeing, cultural shows, Tanah Lot temple or shopping, or enjoy a fun day out at Canggu Club.
Villa holidays work brilliantly for families as they offer the space, privacy and independence of a home-from-home, and staff on tap to allow everyone to relax. In a crowded and mass-managed market, however, it’s tricky to sort the good from the mediocre, which is why Kemah Tinggi focuses on being family-friendly and owner-managed to guarantee a flexible and highly tailored approach to every stay. Returning guests love knowing that they’ll be welcomed by the same friendly and experienced Balinese team and that the pool fence, stair gates, baby cots, football field, table tennis and infinity pool are waiting for them. Nearly everything is included in the villa rate here (with only lunch, dinner, drinks, childcare and spa treatments charged at cost) and kids will adore the Kemah Tinggi nannies so there’s no need to bring your helper.
Special offer: Expat Living readers who book by Chinese New Year will enjoy a 10 percent discount (terms and conditions apply).
View from the Top
The Semara Luxury Resort is perched on a cliff at Uluwatu, with endless views of white sand and aqua-blue water below. The villas come complete with a private chef, butler, car and driver, to help provide an unforgettable holiday experience. Specially equipped for families, each of the five-bedroom villas combines space, luxury and entertainment for everyone. Resort facilities include the cliff-top Selatan Restaurant, a gym, a putting green, two tennis courts, the Body Temple Spa and the renowned Finn’s Beach Club.
Special offer: Expat Living readers receive a further 10 percent off bookings made via semarauluwatu.com or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Valid for bookings made before 30 March 2015 and for stays until 31 May 2015. Enter the promo code “Expat10” online.
Experience traditional Javanese friendliness, spirituality and hospitality in any of Villa Borobudur’s six luxury villas. Each villa has its own large pool and boasts breathtaking views of the Borobudur temple, its surroundings and the three volcanoes: Merapi, Merbabu and Sumbing. Explore the area with the entire family through elephant tours, jeep safaris or horseback riding. For those with a creative bent, there are pottery classes and other activities.
Special offer: Stay four nights for the price of three when you book the “Family Friendly” package, which includes all meals and snacks, non-alcoholic beverages (except coffee Luwak), Yogyakarta or Solo round-trip transfers, a daytime visit to Borobudur with transport, VIP entrance and guide, a 60-minute Javanese massage, Wi-Fi and laundry services. Only applicable via bookings made through email@example.com; valid till 1 June 2015.
Koggala, Sri Lanka
The Fortress is a modern, luxury 53-room boutique resort located on the southern shores of Sri Lanka, 17 kilometres from the historic city of Galle and two kilometres from the Koggala Airstrip. It’s a convenient connection for air taxi services or private air transfer to and from Colombo International Airport.
The resort is styled after Galle’s powerful and ancient Dutch Fort and incorporates Dutch and Portuguese influences in its design, with Sri Lankan motifs and indigenous furnishings echoing the historic days of old Ceylon. There are six distinct styles of guest rooms and residences, each with either a private courtyard or a balcony, and a sea or garden view. Rooms are fitted with super-king-size beds, open plan bathrooms, LCD screens, Bose DVD players and more.
A variety of cuisine is available at three restaurants, including international and local favourites at Pepper and Heat, and fine dining at Duo. Notably, the resort’s Spa Naturel features an Ayurveda Centre.