From the moment your new little bundle of joy arrives, life changes forever. No longer can you be a spontaneous traveller, no more heading to the airport at a moment’s notice with only hand luggage for a romantic, tropical getaway. Even a day out shopping with your tot in tow requires planning and a bag bursting with diapers, wipes and squeaky toys.
So does having a young family mean the end of luxurious, relaxing holidays? Not if you use our travel guide and head to the right destinations. We give you the best luxe getaways in the region for travellers tall and small.
Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia
Shangri-La, Tanjung Aru Resort & Spa, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah
You’ll love it Crystal-clear waters and lush tropical vegetation will greet you upon arrival. The Shangri-La at Kota Kinabalu provides guests with contemporary luxury and stunning ocean views. Catch beautiful Borneo sunsets on an evening boat cruise before cocktails and seafood on the beach. Enjoy with the kids or use one of the resort’s experienced babysitters and enjoy a well-deserved date night.
They’ll love it Their “Children Come First” check-in policy including special kid’s drinks and welcome packs will impress. Kids will also love a dedicated kid’s breakfast bar, tapered shoreline pool and toddler water play park. Mini daredevils will go crazy for the theme park-quality water slides and water balloon launchers. The kid’s club (with a separate toddler section) has daily activities like pastry making or leaf painting. And we love the kids’ “create your own sundae” ice-cream bar—wish the adults had one too.
How to get there Air Asia flies direct daily from Singapore to Kota Kinabalu. Visit, www.shangri-la.com/kotakinabalu/tanjungaresort
Bali Soul Villas
You’ll love it By staying at one of the breathtaking Bali Soul Villas, you really can travel light. From touchdown, you’ll be whisked through immigration with their VIP service and chauffeur driven—complete with child car-safety seats—to your villa. Savour the in-house spa services or venture out to explore the island while the kids are cared for by your experienced, swim trained, Balinese nanny. Your personal chef will cater for adult palates and create healthy meals for junior gourmands.
They’ll love it The team will arrange quality baby equipment like cots, highchairs, baby baths, strollers and even toys to be ready and waiting at your villa. And there’s no need to stress about safety as they also install stair gates and temporary pool fences. On top of this the team can arrange kids’ activities too, from swimming or arts and crafts lessons or even a pony ride.
How to get there Jetstar flies daily direct to Denpasar from Singapore. Visit, www.balisoulvillas.com
Da Nang, Vietnam
The Nam Hai Resort, Hoi An
You’ll love it If you’re always rushing around after your little ones, let someone run around after you for a change. If you book a villa at the private retreat of Nam Hai you will be treated to your own private butler. Let them book dinner for your brood while you stroll along your private beach or relax in your elegant suite and enjoy a little me time.
They’ll love it Your kids won’t be worried about mom as they will have their own busy schedule to attend to. The resort’s dedicated kids’ activity villa will have children from four years old making traditional paper lanterns or playing a game of Twister with the professional childcare team. And they can also enjoy the great outdoors picking Vietnamese herbs in the resort’s garden or collecting shells from along the beach.
How to get there Vietnam Airlines flies direct to Da Nang from Singapore. Visit, www.thenamhai.com
Thaa Atoll, Maldives
Maalifushi by COMO
You’ll love it The first luxury resort in the pristine Thaa Atoll area of the Maldives, this is the ultimate destination for families really wanting to “get away from it all.” With a choice of dreamy overwater villas or glorious garden suites, the resort is designed to welcome children as well as their parents. And parents can recharge with a range of holistic health options from complimentary yoga classes to a signature facial and enjoy fresh local seafood.
They’ll love it Daily kids’ activities might include drum and dance sessions, kid’s yoga, tie dye workshops or a sandcastle competition. Maalifushi by COMO staff can arrange family friendly activities, from a beach picnic to snorkelling with dolphins. The resort’s gently sloping beaches are perfect for petites and little guests will love healthy meals designed especially for them.
How to get there Singapore Airlines flies direct to Malé, then take a short transfer to Thimarafushi airport. Visit, www.comohotels.com/maalifushi
Luang Prabang, Laos
Luang Say Residence
You’ll love it If you want to get away from it all take your luggage to this five-star luxury hotel set in 14,000sqm of lush tropical gardens. Your colonial-style suite comes with a separate lounge area and outdoor terrace that’s perfect for small families. And for when you want to take in a little culture, you can take a tuk tuk ride to the golden temples or cruise along the Mekong River and enjoy the Kuang Si waterfalls.
They’ll love it While children below the age of six can enjoy free baby cots and breakfasts, older kids can take part in Lao cooking classes, join bamboo weaving workshops or even a visit the mysterious Pak Ou Caves.
How to get there Thai Airways flies to Luang Prabang via Bangkok.Visit, www.luangsayresidence.com
For more family vacation ideas, read on!
By Lucy Cleeve, Harper’s BAZAAR Junior Issue, June 2014