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Great family holidays build memories that you’ll treasure for years to come, but deciding on a destination can be tricky. You need to find somewhere that has sun, sea and sand, as well as a resort that caters to kids and adults in equal measure. To help you decide, we’ve highlighted some of our top family-friendly destinations to inspire your next family getaway.
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Great family holidays in the Caribbean
The Caribbean is a truly inspired choice for holidays with children. Barbados is a friendly island where the people have a reputation for being laid back. Taking life easy is a huge part of Bajan culture, it seems, and it’s hard not to agree on this beautiful island. For some of the finest and cleanest white sandy beaches you could ever wish for, try Ju Ju’s beach. The reef just offshore provides turtle spotting opportunities and is a great site for scuba diving to spot other marine life. Ju Ju’s Beach Bar is the perfect place to enjoy a cocktail or rent a sun lounger so that you can keep an eye on the kids in style.
Older children will enjoy trying out some of the great watersports on offer, here and all along the Platinum Coast. See Blackman’s Gully with its bridge which dates back to 1682 on the east coast or Harrison’s Cave – one of the best known landmarks in the Caribbean located in the central uplands. This naturally-formed cave is more than three miles in length and filled with amazing rock formations which will delight young and old alike.
There are other great Caribbean destinations to choose from, each with its own distinctive character, such as the Pitons of St. Lucia or the soca music of Tobago, and all are ideal for holidays with children. Many have kids’ clubs which provide all kinds of activities and entertainment to keep youngsters occupied and happy. As the sun sets over the shimmering Caribbean waters, enjoy a fabulous meal by candlelight, and just relax. It’s what the Bajans would do.
For your family holiday in St Lucia, a stay at Smugglers Cove or Coconut Bay Resort & Spa ticks all the right boxes. The first child travelling with you stays free at Smugglers Cove and the various kids clubs cater to babies right through to teens. There are two worlds in one at Coconut Bay. ‘Harmony’ is the adults-only wing and ‘Splash’ is the family orientated side to the hotel. (If travelling without children please confirm your chosen section of the hotel at the time of booking). And the 3rd/4th child stays free when you book a family interconnecting room! Beaches Negril in Jamaica has kids clubs and teen programmes, so whatever age your kids are they’re sure to have a great time. If you fancy a tropical holiday in Turks and Caicos, we recommend a stay at the Beaches Turks and Caicos resort which offers kids and teens clubs, spacious rooms and an all-inclusive programme.
Family-friendly hotels in the Maldives
With beautiful sugary beaches and crystal clear water, the Maldives offers the perfect setting for a family holiday. And while most people think honeymoons when they picture this exotic destination, the Maldives is becoming increasingly popular as a family-friendly spot. Barefoot luxury is readily available here and many resorts now cater to youngsters with kids clubs and family-friendly rooms. If you’re looking for somewhere peaceful and uncrowded where little ones can play on the soft sand and you can relax in the sunshine or explore the exotic marine life, there are few places offering up such a tantalising smorgasbord of options.
If you have older children, water villas are a great option for accommodation that’s a bit more unique – it also offers you a little more privacy during your stay. The water-based surroundings also mean that there’s a wealth of watersports to choose from which is great if you’re looking for activities the whole family can enjoy together, such as snorkelling, scuba diving and boat trips. Of course, the real draw of the Maldives is the peace and quiet gained from being in such a remote part of the world, so it’s perfect for making memories and spending some quality time with each other.
Unlike many paradise island resorts, LUX* Maldives makes sure that there is something your whole family can enjoy. The PLAY Kids Club caters for children aged 3 to 12 offering a range of sports, outdoor activities, art classes, treasure hunts and much more. Studio 17 is the complimentary teens’ club offering those aged 12 to 17 a broad range of activities including dance and language classes, beach sports and adventure trips around the island.
Magical family holidays to Mauritius
2,000 miles off the southeast coast of Africa lies the Indian Ocean paradise of Mauritius, a fantastic choice for family getaways. The clear blue seas and white sand beaches are the perfect setting for water sports and kids clubs, while parents can lie back and enjoy the sunshine which is year-round in this sub-tropical retreat. You can expect unabashed luxury and great nightly entertainment, as top hotels are abundant. And Mauritius has won the World’s Leading Island Destination accolade at least three times to date, and is considered to be one of the most welcoming destinations you could wish for.
Kids will adore the The Waterpark Leisure Village on the Belle Mare coastal road. With enough slides to keep them occupied all afternoon, mum can leave dad to keep an eye on things, and wander around the Flacq open-air market, the largest market in Mauritius and as popular with locals as it is with visitors. Try deep sea fishing off the island’s coast or enjoy a round of golf at one of the fabulous courses.
The west coast of Mauritius is astounding, take in the fantastic coloured earth - derived from volcanic ash and a melange or reds, greens and blues - or the salt pans at Tamarin. The whole family will love the Casela Bird Park, where not only can you spot some of the 140 species of bird, there are fish ponds, deer, monkeys and even tigers among the beautiful foliage and orchid gardens.
Shandrani Resort & Spa is a fantastic choice for families expecting luxury at great value. In addition to the resort’s facilities that include a mini club for children aged 3-12 years and babysitter services, the beaches are fabulous, the National Park is nearby and you can explore the island’s coastline by catamaran. Maritim provides a kids club and dedicated play area, as well as child-friendly pool. And Heritage Awali has a kid’s pool, a nursery for children aged 1 to 3yrs, a children’s club for youngsters and a teen activity programme.
Unforgettable Dubai family holidays
Family holidays need to be fun, exciting and memorable, as well as remaining luxurious, and Dubai ticks all of these boxes. Far more than just a shopping haven, this city of extremes caters to the kind of family trip you’ll talk about for years to come. One of the major highlights of Dubai in terms of family trips is the inclusion of the beaches overlooking the Arabian Gulf, which mean you don’t have to lose those sun-filled moments on the coast just because you want a city break. There are countless beaches to take advantage of, and many of the luxury resorts also offer their own private stretch for uninterrupted sun-worshipping.
Just a seven-hour flight, Dubai is ideal for those exotic trips that don’t require an entire day’s worth of travelling with restless little ones. This city is also easy to navigate so you and your family can enjoy the sights and attractions without any problems. For many families, the Aquaventure and Wild Wadi water parks are major highlights – sprawling parks of towering slides and imaginative features that will keep the whole family entertained all day long.
If you’re travelling with teens, watersports will no doubt rank high on the list of things to do – the azure waters are incredibly enticing and perfect for practising a new skill. Excursions on the outskirts will also appeal, such as 4x4 jeep rides over the sand dunes, sand boarding and camel rides along the beach. And food-wise, families will be overwhelmed with choice – restaurants are ubiquitous and offer a multitude of family-friendly dining options, from authentic Arabic food to western specialities. Dubai is a city crammed with family fun and offers the perfect blend of tropical scenery and cityscape.
Atlantis The Palm is the place to stay if you plan to head to Dubai this year. The hotel offers award-winning restaurants, spa, kids club, aquarium and Water Park. Families comprising two adults and two children are catered for in all room categories and guests receive unlimited complimentary access to Aquaventure - Dubai’s largest waterpark. Family facilities include kids’ club and Club Rush for teenagers, Dolphin Bay - an interactive experience with the world’s most charismatic animals and Splashers – a children’s play area with pools, water games and slides. Jumeirah Beach Hotel gives free access to the Wild Wadi Water Park and kids stay free – a great option for fun-filled family holidays.
More family-friendly destinations
Two of the ultimate family holiday experiences are the fascinating safari in the heart of Africa and the relaxing break at the beach. So why not combine the two? Plan the ultimate trip of a safari and beach combo – spend time on safari exploring Lake Nakuru and the Masai Mara National Park then fly to Mombasa for some luxury by the beach. You and your kids will love seeing the breath-taking wildlife, and then just as you’re beginning to think you might enjoy a few days of relaxation you’ll be getting on a plane to all the fun of the beach. Or maybe you'd rather enjoy a classic safari experience that caters to kids and adults alike, exploring the beautiful Kenyan landscape and seeking out the amazing wildlife.
In light of recent events and the advice from the FCO, please contact us for information regarding Kenyan safaris.
Thailand twin-centre holidays
Thailand is an ideal destination if you’re travelling with your family. Bangkok is the natural entry point, but don’t worry, it’s far more family-friendly than it is often made out to be. This cauldron of culture is a truly awe-inspiring place, and best of all it’s only a short journey to a number of wonderful beaches. Phuket has a huge range of beautiful beachside resorts perfect for relaxing all day and night. And from here it’s just an hour’s transfer to Krabi, one of the most stunning areas of natural beauty in the country.
Family getaways to Florida
Think of the best action-packed holiday for the family, and no doubt a holiday to Florida will instantly spring to mind. Families often find that Orlando villas are the perfect option when choosing accommodation in Orlando due to the fact that they offer a unique ‘home-away-from-home’ feel. With Disney area homes located approximately ten minutes from the Walt Disney World Resort, families have the benefit of easy access to the magic of the theme parks as well as a space to chill out in if a lazy day by the pool is required.