Family Travel: The Best Resorts for Luxury Family Holidays

Think now you're a parent that your days of going on luxury holidays are over? Think again! Because here is my list of...

The World's Best Resorts for Luxury Family Holidays

If you've been following our travels since we became parents you'll know that we're a sucker for a dreamy, potentially budget-blowing luxury family holiday. While we used to love slow travel as a couple (including two years of nomadic life enjoying experiences like snowboarding in Finnish Lapland to road tripping around New Zealand), we quickly learned that as a family we prefer shorter trips and more relaxing travel. Cue our latest mission to discover the world's best resorts for luxury family vacations. And we've had some great successes from the Maldives to Thailand to Greece. However, despite our best efforts it recently dawned on me that we are sadly not going to be able to visit all the best luxury family resorts in the world, at least not while our kids are still young. However, I do know or have access to a lot of people who can help me compile this list here today. Calling on other family travel bloggers and writers with a penchant for luxury family travel I have put together this list of fantastic family-friendly luxury resorts that are perfectly equipped for children of all ages (with wide ranging family facilities from kids club to babysitting services to kids cutlery and meals in restaurants) while also offering (at least!) five-star luxury. I've grouped them by continent and I also hope to update the list with more luxury resorts for families as and when I try another one, or if I spot someone who has visited another good one on a luxury family vacation, so bookmark it and keep on coming back for more inspiration. Just because you have children now doesn't mean you have to miss out on a luxury holiday!

Best luxury family resorts in Europe

Sani Club at Sani Resort, Greece

Our recent family holiday at Sani Club, part of the Sani Resort on mainland Greece (near Thessaloniki) was part-babymoon, part family summer getaway and it served both purposes jolly well! We split our week there between a sea-view double room and a few nights in a private pool villa. While yes, having a private pool was very special and indulgent, I have to say the resort's swimming pools and facilities were so good that we felt it was almost surplus to requirements (almost but not quite!). We loved how friendly the staff were with our toddler son, how there were kids' options on every menu and in the restaurants which served buffets, and you never had to hunt for a high chair.

The kids club was easily among the best we've experienced both in terms of professionalism and the varied activities on offer, and while yes, you do have to pay to put any under-4s into the kids club (for 3 hour morning or afternoon sessions) older children are free to enjoy the kids club at no extra cost. The same staff also offered a special "Babewatch" service on the beach and by the main swimming pool, meaning parents could drop their kids off at the designated spot (where there were toys and activities etc) for up to 30 minutes so they could read a book in peace or go for a swim alone. Genius!

Read my full review of Sani Club at Sani Resort here and remember that there are multiple hotels in this resort and the most family-friendly ones in the resort are Sani Club and Sani Beach.

Grecotel White Palace, Crete, Greece by Sylvia Van Overwelt of Wapiti Travel

As much as we love active vacations it feels good to sometimes spoil ourselves in a luxurious resort. Not having to think of anything. Knowing that we can pick anything from the menu, be it a soft drink or some exquisite bubbles, it’s all included.

Grecotel's Lux Me White Palace lived up to our high expectations and then some.  From the moment we entered the fabulous hotel it was clear that we would enjoy every moment and would regret having to say goodbye at the end of our stay.  Best of all is that the hotel welcomes guests of all ages.  Grecobaby, Grecokids, GrecoJunior and Grecoteens makes sure that children of all ages will have the time of their lives while their parents can relax.  While the children take part in the children activities the parents can go snorkeling, paddling or they can take part in one of the daily fitness and wellness activities.  And it’s all included, just as the food in the six restaurants and all drinks in any of the six bars. The design of the hotel is modern and luxurious, the food was excellent and the polite and smiling service made our stay perfect.

Follow Wapiti Travel on their blog and on Instagram.

Grand Palladium Palace, Ibiza, Spain

While I don't think Grand Palladium Palace resort deserves the same five stars as many on this list, it is considered a five-star resort by Ibizan or Spanish standards. All that said, one thing is for certain, it definitely ticks the family-friendly box.

We spent five days and nights here on an early summer holiday (in mid-June), which is a great time to go with young children as you'll avoid the hottest weather but will still be guaranteed sunshine and warm evenings. We loved that Grand Palladium Palace had a number of places to eat at and they all catered well for kids. The kids club was small but big enough for the kids that loved playing there, and it was located next to a family pool area that was purpose built for children with shallow water, slides and water features. They had regular activities like bouncy castles set up for kids (of all ages!) and there were other organised events like a mini disco every evening which tired our little man out perfectly before bedtime.

All of the resort's staff were very friendly to children and we loved the oval swimming pool which was walk-in around all sides so our little boy could splash around in the shallow depths while we sat next to him and soaked up the sun. There was also a bigger pool for adults or bigger kids, and this was next to a smaller pool which was very popular with families with babies. In addition to babysitting services there was also a sleepover option where kids could basically go to the kids club in the evening but while the kids club was free (if you booked in advance) this evening option cost €10 an hour. 

Read more about what we liked about the Grand Palladium Palace resort here.

Sandos San Blas Nature Resort & Golf, Tenerife, Spain (by Michelle Minnaar of Greedy Gourmet)

In the summer of 2017 my family stayed at the luxurious Sandos San Blas Nature Resort & Golf on the island of Tenerife with my family. The resort has its focus on active holidays with a wide range of activities offered to all family members. It is a perfect place for the parents to enjoy a luxurious time of relaxation. The wellness center of the resort offers finish sauna, massages, beauty treatments, as well as a fully equipped gym to keep fit. There are as many as six swimming pools for adults and two for children. You can even choose between freshwater pools and seawater pools.

The sea itself is only a few minutes’ walk away should you prefer the sandy beach to the poolside. Sandos has a lot to offer the active family, which my kids enjoyed tremendously. There are special programs for the younger children, with fun activities such as treasure hunts, art and crafts shop, and pool games. All supervised by a professional staff of course. Teenagers and adults can embark on any number of sports, such as rifle shooting, football kayaking and trekking through the surrounding country side.

The accommodation at Sandos is excellent; you can choose from standard or deluxe rooms, both available with ocean view. The rooms offer everything you need for a comfortable stay, of course, including air conditioning. On request Sandos will provide you with baby bottle warmers and sterilizers if you are holidaying with infants. As well as a beautiful luxury buffet restaurant, I especially loved the restaurant La Proa, which offers an authentic Mediterranean gourmet experience. The elegant modern building stands on its own little peninsula in a water basin, with the sea only metres away. The design of the building allows you to dine with an ocean view from any table.

Read Michelle's full review of Sandos San Blas Nature Resort here and follow her family's travels on Instagram.

Arctic Treehouse Hotel, in Lapland, Finland - by Kylie Gibbon from Our Overseas Adventures
We’ve just stayed at the incredible Arctic Treehouse Hotel in Lapland, Finland. This hotel located right on the Arctic Circle is a winner of a 2017 Luxury Small Hotel of the World award and has been featured in Paris Vogue magazine. It is the perfect place for a 5-star break with the family. The town of Rovaniemi where the hotel is located is also known as the Santa Claus capital of the world.

Our two bedroom Arctic Glasshouse chalet perched high on a hill overlooking the stunning Lapland forest was decorated in Scandi chic style - think comfortable leather sofas, plush rugs, amazingly comfortable beds, a gorgeous fireplace and incredible private sauna so the whole family can experience the traditional Finnish way of life. Surrounding the chalets is the beautiful forest with many trails where our kids loved exploring and picking wild blueberries.

The star of the show is the stunning views - in summer of forests under the Midnight sun which never sets, and in winter a snowy wonderland where you can lie in bed and watch the Northern Lights!

While us adults enjoyed the hotel, our kids were super excited about the location right next door to SantaPark Arctic World (owned by the same people). SantaPark is a Christmas theme park where you can meet the real Santa Claus, attend and graduate from Elf school, take a spin on the Christmas themed magic train, visit the Ice Princess in her ice cave at minus ten degrees Celsius and post a letter from Santa’s official post office.

The Arctic Treehouse Hotel can also organise other magical Christmas themed experiences in winter - including exclusive private meetings and dinner with Santa in his snowy cabin, a private gingerbread masterclass with Santa, or elf bedtime stories under the Northern Lights!

Read Kylie's full review of the Arctic Treehouse Hotel here and follow their family travels on Instagram.

Best resorts for luxury family holidays in Middle East & Africa

The Selman, Marrakech in Morroco

We stayed at The Selman before we had children and I would say that it was one of the best hotels we'd stayed at, but even back  then it was changing to be more accommodating to families. We were given a tour of the grounds and discovered a new building being built which would house a luxurious kids club. We were also informed that children's activities at The Selman - which is most famous for being designed by architect Jacques Garcia and also for housing the owner's world-famous collection of Arabian horses - would include visiting the horses and helping take care of them - a pretty unique experience for kids! 

The service and warmth of the staff at The Selman was already such that I know it will welcome families with open arms and there are plenty of green space for children to run around in. The swimming pool is also perfect for families as its shallow at both ends of its impressive 80 metres length, and doesn't actually go very deep in the middle. 

And if you were worried that it's gone too much the other way and caters only for families, don't worry. There are places adults can still escape, like the award-winning spa and also in the bar at night. So it's a good thing that there's not only the kids club but also babysitting services. Also we can vouch for all hotel rooms being generous enough in size to easily accommodate a couple and one, maybe even two young children.

Read my full review and see more photos of The Selman.

Atlantis Hotel, Dubai, UAE, by Arzo Nayel of Arzo Travels

It is no secret that Dubai is all about luxury resorts and hotels - and so it doesn't surprise me that our stay in one of the best hotels for families, with children of all ages, was the luxurious 5-star hotel Atlantis Hotel in Dubai. Certainly for families, it is very the best hotel to stay at in Dubai.

The giant hotel located on the man-made Jumeirah Palm Island is like kid´s and teenager's´ heaven (but of course, adults will love it, too). The private beach section is just one reason to love it. Another is the Aquaventure Waterpark, the biggest in the United Arab Emirates, which belongs to the property and hotel guests have free access. This means, water rats can spend hours each day at the water park sliding, swimming, relaxing, and more. But the hotel itself also has several separate pools, including a children´s pool, where the younger ones can cool down and splash around. 

But it is not only about water: There is a Kids Club Play Zone, a play ground, a lot of greenery and even a babysitter service. If kids cannot get enough of water, they will love the Lost Chambers - an underwater aquarium with an interesting myth to find out.

While I did not leave the hotel property for 48 hours, your family easily can if you want to explore further afield. You could rent a bike and ride along the newly paved paths of the Palm, and if your kids want to enjoy more thrilling activities, book an helicopter tour from Atlantis Hotel. What I know for sure: Parents will not have to worry their kids could be bored for a second. And I am sure, adults will also not feel bored at all.

Find out more of Arzo's tips for booking hotels in Dubai here, and follow her travels on Instagram.

The Ritz-Carlton, Dubai, UAE, by Kathryn Burrington of the Boutique Travel Blog

The elegant Ritz-Carlton, on the Arabian Gulf would be my personal first choice of luxury hotels in Dubai for families. And Dubai is such an exciting city for kids of all ages with its many attractions including a superb aquarium, water parks and theme parks galore, not to mention the old souks that are great places to explore.

The Ritz has all the facilities you could desire including a private sandy beach lapped by clear warm water. There’s a choice of five swimming pools including a rooftop pool and an adults’ only pool but we particularly loved the free-form pool surrounded by palm trees with its own waterfall and waterslide. And with a choice of six restaurants, I’ve no doubt the whole family will enjoy dining at the Ritz. We particularly enjoyed the Palm Grill’s snacks in a bucket.

Kids will also love the Ritz Kids’ club and I’m sure they’ll learn something too from the innovative activities incorporating local culture, environmental responsibility, as well as more traditional fun things to do. While their parents will love the fine dining options, sumptuous spa and the elegant surroundings that the hotel offers.

What impressed me most though about the hotel was the attention to detail throughout, from the room facilities and furnishings to the range of hotel facilities and the excellent service. Everyone from the hotel manager to the cleaning staff greeted you with a genuinely friendly smile.

You can read Kathryn's full review of the Ritz-Carlton in Dubai here, and follow her travels on Facebook.


Shangri La Muscat Al-Jissah, Oman by Shobha George of Just Go Places
The Shangri La Muscat is a luxury resort complex located on the outskirts of Muscat, the capital city of Oman. The resort complex has three different types of hotels which caters to a wide variety of guests. The facilities are open to all guests no matter which specific hotel building you stay in (except no children are allowed at the Al Husn). 

The Al Husn hotel caters only to adult guests and the other two hotels are family-friendly. The Al-Waha is an all-suite hotel which is great for families that need connecting rooms. It is connected by the lazy river (or a short walk) to the Al-Bandr hotel which has traditional hotel rooms but open to families as well. 

Both hotels have a series of pools and are directly on a small sandy beach with gentle waves. We were impressed with the variety of the restaurants - everything from Middle Eastern to European. The restaurants serve a good variety of food and include good children’s menus. We sat in the piano bar with our children in the evenings or outside listening to traditional music.

There are water activities, a spa,  a kids club and a cultural center. My daughter and I had mani-pedis and she was thrilled to be so grown up. My husband took my son snorkelling which was arranged through the hotel. 

The hotel has a shuttle bus that takes you into a main shopping mall of Muscat because getting into the resort complex itself is not near anything else. On the other hand, the Shangri La Muscat has so many choices of restaurants and activities that you don’t actually need to leave the complex!


Le Lamantin Beach, Senegal - by Wendy Maes from World Wide Wendy
My husband and I lost our hearts in Africa.

A few years ago we were looking for a luxury family friendly resort to spend a week in February. For us Belgians, Senegal is only a six-hour flight away and there ’s only a time difference of one hour so we ended up in Le Lamantin Beach in Senegal.

Le Lamantin is a beautiful hotel for travellers who like to be spoiled a little. It consists of cosy, round cottages with thatched roofs. There are standard rooms, suites and family rooms with 2 bedrooms. Recently they added a new part that has rooms with a private pool and butler service. We stayed in a spacious family room in one of the orange cottages. It’s decorated in African style.

In the centre of this boutique resort is a 400m² pool that is heated from November till March. Just a few meters further you are on the white sandy beach. The ocean is crystal clear and it makes you feel like you are on a bounty island. The food in the hotel is incredible. Mostly I am not a huge fan of hotel food, but Le Lamantin is the exception. The buffet was stunning. They servered oysters and sea urchins every evening. My kids are still talking about the flamed pancakes. If you walk up to the beach, you will find a beach bar only a few hundred meters to the right where they serve langoustines straight out of the ocean.

The hotel offers lots of activities that are fun for young and old. Our favourite was the buggy trip through the inland and the visit to Mbour to see "L'arrivée des pêcheurs" (the arrival of the fisherman). For the little kids there is a mini beach and a small pool with water games. There are special healthy snacks on offer for them too. For teens there are lots of sporting activities, cooking classes, massage initiation,…. In case you are traveling with a baby, there are babysitters available on request. I have been to many luxury family friendly resorts, but Le Lamantin is my favourite, and my family definitely agree!

Read more about Wendy's adventures in Senegal here, and follow their family travels on Instagram.


Best luxury family vacation resorts in the Caribbean & Americas

The Verandah Resort and Spa, Antigua - by Claudia Tavani from My Adventures Across The World

The Verandah Resort and Spa belongs to the Elite Island Resorts group. It is located on the north east coast of Antigua, right by the famous Devil’s Bridge National Park. It's such a spread place that there's even hiking trails on the resort. Despite being a luxury family resort, Verandah has an easy going atmosphere, to the point that more than a resort this place feels like a small village. Verandah has recently adopted a green policy: everything is recycled and there is an effort to produce less plastic waste. 

Verandah welcomes families with children. They can all enjoy the very large pool as well as the secluded beach (where there's a nice, easy going bar), located in a lovely bay. There is a day care called Kidz Club, with a playground and a splash pool, where children can be left whenever parents need some time off. Babysitting services are offered at an extra cost. 

The rooms are nice and spacious and all have sea views. There are three kinds of rooms: hillside, waterview and waterfront. The two bedroom villas are ideal for families. Each room has showers and a tub, coffee making facilities, safes, and a great balcony to relax. The resort has three restaurants: one is buffet style restaurant; Buccaneer focuses on Caribbean style food, Nicole’s is more elegant. 

There also are tennis courts; a fitness club; snorkeling and kayaking are offered along with paddle boarding, windsurfing and hobbie cat sailing. The tour desk offers tours of the island for an additional price, and there is a rental car agency for guests so families can also explore the island.

Read more about other Antigua resorts here  and follow Claudia's travels on Instagram.

Marriott Crystal Shores in Marco Island, Florida, USA - by Marqie DQ of DQ Family Travel

Marriott Crystal Shores located in Marco Island, Florida is my pick for one of the best luxury family friendly resorts in the world. Accommodations are only two and three bedroom villas (all with balconies, a full kitchen and washer/dryer) which makes it perfect for families. It is located oceanfront and has a boardwalk connecting to the sand where there are chairs and umbrellas for rent as well as watersport options (jetskis, kayaks, and SUP boards). My kids love the three pools on site (two of them are zero entry) and one waterslide pool that includes a basketball hoop for family fun. They often rotate from one pool to the other and in between play a game of giant chess, foosball, ping pong or shuffleboard with other kids. As parents, we feel safe to let them roam around the outdoor grounds with the other children as there are plenty of staff members and families alike. The resort offers family movie nights, nighttime glow in the dark water slide, pool volleyball, bocce ball, corn hole, and ring toss on the lawn, and they have a kids' club where you can drop off your child for a few hours of babysitting. They even have a restaurant on site and private cabanas for rent. We love everything about this hotel, which is why we continue returning year after year. The entire family looks forward to a week of fun, relaxation, activities, and sun every summer at Marriott Crystal Shores, and to us, it is worth the splurge. 

Read Marqie's full review of Marriott Crystal Shores in Marco Island here, and be sure to follow their family travels on Facebook


Rosewoord Mayakoba, in Riviera Maya, Mexico by Christine Knight of Adventure, Baby!

Rosewood Mayakoba is a 1600-acre resort just north of Playa del Carmen in the Riviera Maya. A luxury resort featuring 130 suites with private plunge pools, garden showers, rooftop decks and their own docks to sail up to, the Rosewood Mayakoba is a little piece of heaven in Mexico.

The resort is extremely family friendly, with plenty of food options for the fussy junior jet set, a beachside pool with a shallow area for kids, beach toys for the kids to play with and free poolside snacks like sorbet.

There is also the Rose Buds kids club, a large playroom filled with toys and games, a movie screen and crafts. For a kid-free evening, babysitters can be booked through the resort.

If the pool and beach aren’t entertainment enough, Rosewood Mayakoba offers a wide variety of activities for families to enjoy together, including eco-tours, Mayan storytelling, yoga, scavenger hunts, EcoBingo, pizza class, cookie-making class, themed nights and Spanish and Mayan lessons.

We particularly loved the kids’ welcome pack which included sand toys and frisbee, a teddy, kiddie bath products, colouring in supplies and a kid-sized robe and slippers (sadly the robe and slippers had to stay at the resort).

Kids are very well looked after at the resort with little touches such as complimentary whole milk in the rooms, kiddie cups available throughout the resort and the staff make a big effort to remember the kids’ names and greet them like rock stars throughout their stay.

Read Christine's review of Rosewood Mayakoba in full, and follow their travels on Facebook.


Best resorts for luxury family holidays in Asia

Kandima Maldives, Maldives

Our stay at Kandima Maldives was the best holiday we've taken yet as a family of three, and that's even with three flights to get there each way (with a just-two-year-old!), including a horribly long layover at Dubai airport on the way back.

I should quickly add that because we went to the Maldives slightly out of season (at the end of August, beginning of September), we didn't have the best weather with as many wet and cloudy days as sunny, hot ones. However, the reason this didn't dampen our spirits and our holiday was still a great success was because this resort is perfectly set up for families. They have the biggest kids' club I've seen to date, called Kandiland, and there our boy could enjoy a wide variety of indoor and outdoor activities and was spoiled with plenty of attention from smiling, professional staff. The restaurants happily accommodated him and there too staff would spend more time chatting with him than us. 

As I write in this post which has lots of tips for taking toddlers to the Maldives, we discovered that even with all these activities, sometimes our boy was happiest just playing in the sand on the beach, and of course the warm water of the Indian Ocean was very popular with a little one who wasn't yet quite used to the sea. There was also a surprising abundance of new wildlife to look at from fruit bats to lizards to a jellyfish which washed up onto the shore one day. Kandima prides itself on being "accessible luxury" and more lifestyle than exclusive island resort and it shows in how easy it was to just be there and be ourselves in the middle of paradise.

Read my full review of Kandima Maldives here.

The Padma Ubud Resort, Bali, Indonesia - by Kate Comer from Rolling Along With Kids

Bali has so many accommodation options and the Padma Ubud Resort is a luxury oasis away from the busy tourist areas of the south. The expansive grounds, stunning views, beautiful infinity pool with swim up bar and to top it off a fantastic kids club featuring its very own kids pool with waterfall.

Families are well looked after at this luxury resort. Family club suites include two bedrooms interconnecting, two bathrooms, living area and the most fun of all, a spa bath on the balcony. With club room benefits you get access to your very own club lounge for breakfast and complimentary afternoon tea plus nightly cocktails for parents while the younger kids enjoy being looked after at the kids club.

Located near the main pool, the kids club is a perfect space for the kids to chill out after swimming in the pool all day. The staff are interactive with the kids and supervise activities throughout the day like face painting, yoga, fish feeding and much more. The hotel can also provide babysitting from their highly reputable staff.

There is always something to do at The Padma Ubud and the daily tour for the whole family of the animal garden with rabbits, ducks and many other animals is fun. The kids pool is perfect for toddlers to splash in and they will love the waterfall. One of our favourite things to do as a family at the Padma Ubud was to go for a walk on the jogging track to the river below. This can be done with a pram as track is paved the whole way down until a couple of steps when you reach the river.

Our family enjoys trying out different resorts when we visit Bali but this is one resort that we will definitely return to. 4 nights was not enough to enjoy all that this wonderful family resort has to offer.

You can read Kate's full guide for things to do in Bali with kids here, and follow her family's travels on Instagram.

The Ritz-Carlton, Bali, Indonesia - by Dana Sikand from Adventures With Children
The Ritz-Carlton in Bali is a huge luxury resort. So huge, its difficult to walk around so they send “buggies” (golf carts) to pick you up and take you where you want to go which smaller kids should get a kick out of.

One of the things I appreciated most about the Ritz Carlton was that kids under 3 eat free. Not just when you’re dining out within the complex but when you order room service too. All of the kids' meals included a drink (we always got the freshly squeezed watermelon juice) an appetizer, the main course, and dessert. Restaurants onsite were also really great about catering to kids. They had colouring pages and crayons and always brought the kids meals quickly. Everyone working there seemed to be great with kids. The hotel musician even offered an impromptu gamelan lesson.

The kids club - Ritz Kids was great. You can leave kids over the age of 4. If your kids are younger, however, you can still leave them there but you need to hire a babysitter through the hotel to stay with your kids while there. I personally love this option because I know my toddlers are getting enough attention and there plenty to keep them occupied. The only water slide at the resort is located within the kids club complex. I didn’t like that there were no lounge chairs for adults to relax but I did really like the shallow, shaded water and the fact that we had the whole place all to ourselves! At the main pool, there was a separated area with very shallow water where you could relax while small children played safely. If you are headed to the beach, you can swing by the kids club first to pick up sand toys free of charge.

The babysitter we hired through the hotel was seriously amazing. She had mad toddler wrangling skills. I had been trying to get my kids to go to bed earlier for the last three days but because they were jet lagged it was taking about 2 hours to get them down each night. I decided I needed a break and planned a romantic dinner on-site with my husband fully expecting my kids to be awake when I came back but nope. Everything was quiet and the babysitter was peacefully reading on the couch. Exploring Bali with kids fantastic, but I appreciated that had we wanted to, we could have been kept busy with all of the activities within the resort itself. 

Follow Dana and her family's travels on Instagram.

Shangri-La Mactan, Cebu, Philippines by Cerise Roth-Vinson from Enchanted Vagabond
Shangri-La Mactan Resort and Spa is a 5-star all-inclusive resort near Cebu City with all the luxury, aquamarine waters, and amenities you could want on a family vacation. What makes this resort in the Philippines so incredible is the protected marine sanctuary you can access directly from the sandy beach. Snorkeling from the shore was a terrific way to spend time as a family, get exercise and wonder at the sheer diversity of fish and coral just steps from the beach. Life vests are free to use. One of our kids' favorite activities was feeding the fish that came up close to shore with fish food available from the resort.

Like most Shangri-La resorts, they offer the kids can play under the supervision of staff at Adventure Zone. With slides, ball pits, obstacles courses and organized craft activities, there is plenty to do for kids of all ages while parents enjoy some relaxing time at the spa or beach. If you book a family package, many child-friendly amenities are included like a free scoop of ice cream, snorkeling equipment, kayak and more.

With two pools and six restaurants, plus a full spa and golf course, there is plenty to choose from without having to leave the beautiful resort and beach. Ordering pizza and snacks for poolside delivery thrilled the kids and meant we could keep a fully open schedule to enjoy all the activities. For adventure lovers, there are all kinds of water sports like jet skis and PADI diving that can be arranged right from shore. I recommend booking the Ocean Wing for true luxury, ocean views and access to the evening reception that includes kid-friendly hours.

You won't want to leave the resort, but when you do, it's just a quick free shuttle ride to the airport just a few minutes away. We will be going back again and again to Shangri-La on Cebu!


Shangri-La Tanjung Aru, Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia - by Sally Lucas of Our 3 Kids V The World
I have been lucky enough to stay in some pretty amazing hotels with the kids. One of my favourites was the Shangri-La Tanjung Aru in Kota Kinabalu. There are two Shangri-La Hotels in Kota Kinabalu and both are suitable for kids. The Tanjung Aru is more family friendly and focussed for kids. The outdoor splash park is perfect for kids and the soft fall flooring makes it safe for kids of all ages. 

The breakfast buffet is extensive, as you expect from any Shangri-La, they go the extra mile to keep the kids happy by having some of there staff dressed up as playful characters. The characters helped the kids serve themselves and went around to each table entertaining them while they ate. 

The Shangri-La provide a shuttle bus that travels between both Shangri-La Resort’s allowing customers to spend time at both. The Shangri-La Rasa Ria has a baby orangutan rehabilitation centre attached, its free to enter and open to patrons of both resorts. We took the shuttle bus to the other resort and spent the day at the rehabilitation centre and then spent some time by the pool and had a cocktail to two which was billed back to our account at the other resort. 

It really is a great hotel considering you can access both resorts. There really is something special about Shangri-La resorts, it’s the ‘Shangri-La Way’ and I think they are definitely way above the rest when it comes to welcoming all the family. 


The Pacific Sutera, Kota Kinabalu - by Soumya Nambiar of Travel, Books, Food

It was our mom's 60th birthday in January this year and the whole family had decided to take a luxury vacation to Malaysia. While looking for places to stay in Kota Kinabalu, our only condition was that we needed one with a private beach. Most of the hotels in Kota Kinabalu were only sea facing but did not have access to a beach save for a couple of resorts. That is when we came across Pacific Sutera and decided that it was what we were looking for. When there are seven adults and one toddler in the group, the kid definitely takes priority.

The Pacific Sutera is part of the Sutera Harbour country resort along with the Magellan Sutera hotel. Since they share the same space, the facilities can also be shared by the guests at either of the hotels. In addition to having sea facing rooms, the resort also had a Golf course. With more than 4 pools to choose from including an Olympic pool and a kiddie pool, it was no wonder that we didn't get out of the water. It had a private marina which had private island hopping services to the nearby islands of Sapi, Mamutik and others. They also offered various water activities for the older kids and adults. There was a kid's playroom which we used just once. In addition to all this, they had different activities for the kids based on the day of the week like 'Feeding the fish', Cookie Making, Pottery lessons among many others. The three-year old had a gala time at the Pacific Sutera!

You can follow Soumya's travels and blog on Facebook.

Point Yamu by COMO, Phuket, Thailand

It's basically all Point Yamu's fault that this blog post exists. It was our visit there when my son was 18 months old that first opened my eyes to luxury family travel. Not only is it A THING but it's a whole new world to explore and enjoy. COMO is a brand that definitely nails the win-win nature of stylish, luxury family travel. They have an abundance of facilities set up for children of all ages from huge, well-equipped kids clubs to daily activities for children of all ages (including pizza making, crafts, beach walks, Thai boxing lessons and other outdoor games). 

Restaurants had high chairs and served free (!!) food for babies and young toddlers. The same brilliant staff from the kids club were also the babysitters who stayed with our sleeping son a few times during our stay so we could go out for dinner, and we loved heading to the beach club for a day trip which was also perfectly equipped for kids with sand toys and a kids menu at the beach bar there. It's worth mentioning that COMO offer this free excursion to the beach club on a nearby island (a 20 minute van ride and 15 minute boat transfer away) as Point Yamu is actually sort of on the "wrong" side of Phuket where the beaches aren't so pretty. If your kid is over the age of one they will love the adventure of heading out to the island beach club (or will fall asleep on the boat like ours did) and it's a nice way to spend the day.

Here's my full review of Point Yamu by COMO.

The Anantara Bophut Koh Samui, Thailand - by Marianne of Mum on the Move

The Anantara Bophut Koh Samui Resort is a gorgeous five star hotel located on peaceful Bophut beach in Koh Samui. The hotel is simply stunning, with beautifully landscaped tropical gardens, and elegant southern Thai architecture.

The Anantara has the most amazing infinity pool, which boasts sea views over Bophut beach. Families are very well catered for, with a fun kids club running different activities throughout the day. It has an outdoor area with sandpit and trampoline, and plenty of games and toys to play inside in air-conditioned comfort. There is also a babysitting service. Free-of-charge kayaks and stand-up paddleboards are also available, in addition to a tennis court and fitness centre.

Bophut beach is perfect for families – it is a quiet beach with shallow, calm water, perfect for kids to play in. Despite how peaceful the beach is, the Fisherman’s Village is just a short (5 minute) walk away from the Anantara.

Here you will find a vast selection of bars and restaurants, with cuisines to suit everybody. We particularly loved Coco Tam’s beach bar, where you can sit on a swing at the bar, lounge on cushions on the beach, or play pool with the ocean as a backdrop.

Find out about other family-friendly resorts on Koh Samui here and follow Marianne on Instagram.

Marina Bay Sands, Singapore - by Halef and Michael from The Round The World Guys

Singapore is one of the top destinations in the world for luxury travel and one of the most famous and luxurious places to stay in this tiny island nation is the five star Marina Bay Sands Hotel. While a typical room here offers standard amenities, with perhaps a little dose of upscale treatment, sometimes you're lucky enough to get a room upgrade at the Marina Bay Sands Hotel.

MBS has several rooms, specifically designed for families. They are located on the second and third floors of the three towers. These rooms accommodate the needs of adults, infants and kids: plush sofas for movie nights, bathtubs and diaper changing stations, along with the lush garden views. The helpful staff at this resort will accommodate just about anything a family needs.

Without a doubt, Marina Bay Sands is the place to be for entertainment, especially kids. The highlight is the infinity pool on the 57th floor. Access is strictly limited to hotel guests. As you might imagine, this tropical oasis is a holiday story kids will love to tell when they get home.

There’s a bar next to the infinity pool, and well-behaved children are allowed to come in before 6pm. From here, you have a one of a kind magnificent view of the Singapore skyline.

If the infinity pool is not enough, you and the kids can explore the sampan boat ride on a man-made canal. It takes the whole family through a luxurious shopping center. These beautiful boats are handmade and operated by an experienced and entertaining sailor. Head to the food court, also known as a hawker center, where you'll find a cute ice skating rink.

As a night cap, head out to the promenade of the Marina Bay Sands for the outdoor light show!

You can follow The Round the World Guys on YouTube.


Best luxury resorts for family holidays in Australasia & Oceania

The Four Seasons Resort, Bora Bora - by Bret Love & Mary Gabbett of Green Global Travel

When most people think of the Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora, they probably don't imagine it being the best place for kids. The expansive over-water bungalows, the dreamy scenic views you get of the iconic mountain, and the gorgeous white sand beach practically scream "romantic getaway." And don't even get us started on the couples massage treatments at their ultra-luxurious spa. 

But the truth is that this ultimate slice of Polynesian paradise offers just as much for kids to do as it does their parents (which is to say a lot). Let's start with the main attraction that drew us there, the Ruahatu Lagoon, a marine sanctuary on the resort grounds that features 100+ species of marine life. It was designed and built from scratch by the resort's resident marine biologist, and its calmest, protected waters are perfect for young swimmers. Activities there include guided snorkeling tours, grafting coral nubbins (which provides more safe places for marine life, a pearl farm, and educational discussions on marine life and conservation. 

The resort's Tamari Club also offers an excellent "Kids for All Seasons" program for kids ages 5 to 12 years, while children ages 4 and under are welcome when accompanied by an adults. The club's amenities include an indoor area with a playroom, video games, and a room for resting, as well as an outdoor area featuring a playground and a shallow children’s splash pad. Kids receive a welcome package at check-in, which outlines the complete schedule of activities (all run by accredited instructors). 

Each day is different, offering a mixture of activities that includes lots of exercise, arts and crafts, water-based games, snacks, and creative play. Sample activities might include snorkeling sessions in the Ruahatu Lagoon Sanctuary, an introductory Scuba diving lesson (for kids ages 8 years and over, but only available during high season), beach volleyball or tennis matches, catch & release fishing, food tastings, hermit crab races, painting coconuts, and various Polynesian-style watersports.

This is the rare luxury resort that cares just as much about kids having a great time as it does adults. And for parents who need to "get away" and more ways than one, the Kids For All Seasons program offers an excellent opportunity to appease everyone's interests.

Swoon over more exotic paradise islands in this post and follow Green Global Travel on Pinterest.

Radisson Blu Resort Fiji on Denarau Island, Fiji - by Kirralee from Escape With Kids

Fiji is home to the quintessential tropical family holiday, filled with picture-postcard swaying palm trees, year-round warm weather and sandy beaches. It is my kids’ absolute favourite holiday destination. Endless hours in the water – either ocean or pool – is their idea of heaven. 

Radisson Blu Resort Fiji is a stunning, 5 star resort conveniently located only 20 minutes’ drive from Nadi international airport. After flying for hours this short trip is the first thing that makes the Radisson a winner for families. There are also a number of family-friendly restaurants at the resort, plus many of their spacious rooms have kitchens, which is very handy when travelling with kids.

The main swimming pool has a beach and plenty of shallow water, which is particularly great for little kids. Additional pools include wading areas and water play equipment, and are surrounded with luxurious, round daybeds. Set yourselves up for the day! Older kids come to Radisson for the brilliant waterslide. Suitable for ages 6-12 years, my 6 year old rode this slide endlessly!

Fiji is renowned for its amazing resort kids clubs. The Fijian people adore kids and love playing and hanging out with them. Radisson’s kids club, for ages 3-12 years (babysitters available for younger kids), is unusual in that most of the time the kids are off on guided mini adventures around the resort. Visiting the "secret garden” to play games or even participating in the daily torch-lighting ceremony. Kids have so much fun here and make so many new friends that they are keen to go. And while they are off on their adventures you could enjoy the wonderful day spa, the peaceful adults only pool and relaxation area or have a romantic meal. You will have a truly relaxing Fiji holiday... even with kids!

Read Kirralee's full review of what Fiji is like with kids here, and follow their family travels on Facebook.

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Frances M. Thompson

Londoner turned wanderer, Frankie is an author, freelance writer and blogger. Currently based in Amsterdam, Frankie was nomadic for two years before putting down some roots with her Australian partner and having a baby boy in July 2015. In 2017, she launched WriteNOW Cards, affirmation cards for writers that help build a productive and positive writing practice. When not writing contemporary fiction, Frankie shops for vintage clothes, dances to 70s disco music and chases her son around Amsterdam.
Find Frankie on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and Google+.

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