Kids clubs don’t have to be a poky windowless room squeezed into the back of a resort. Our fantastic family-friendly retreats offer outstanding childcare, really imaginative activities, and wonderful facilities for kids of all ages. Here are a few favourites.
1 Villas Martinhal Sagres, Portugal
Villas Martinhal Sagres is a chic resort above a long golden beach with a myriad of self-catering villas sleeping up to 10. It boasts 3 restaurants, poolside cafes, a playground and 4 swimming pools, plus an excellent spa
The Kids Club: A former winner of i-escape’s Best for Kids Award, Martinhal’s facilities are beyond impressive. The creche covers toddlers from 6-24 months, and there’s are a further four age categories up to 16 (three of which are only open in the holidays). Activities include a cycling track for tweens and teens, tennis and football academies, a video-game room, a party zone for 4-8-year-olds for dressing up and balloon-modelling, pillow fights and a mini disco, and a dedicated pool with water toys.
Rates: From £141 for a family of 4 in a 1-bed apartment
2 Nikoi Island, Nr Singapore
A 2-hour journey from Singapore (by ferry, taxi and private launch), Nikoi Island on Indonesia’s Bintan island, is a serene private reserve with just 15 Zen-like beachfront houses for 2-6 apiece, plus a pair of swimming pools and a clubhouse restaurant. Surrounded by crystal-clear water and coral reefs and ringed by white sandy beaches, this is barefoot eco-luxury exemplified.
The Kids Club: Activities include making bows and arrows and shell necklaces, dressing up as pirates, exploring the jungle interior via nature trails and treasure hunts, rock-pooling and snorkeling
Rates: From £222 for a family of 4 (with kids under 4) in a 1-bedroom beachhouse
3 Haus Hirt, Austria
A welcoming boutique hotel with a magical Alpine setting, Haus Hirt has stylish rooms and a romantic dining room, plus an entire floor dedicated to rejuvenating treatments in pretty spa town Bad Gastein, just under 100km from Salzburg
The Kids Club: There’s a free supervised programme for ages 3-12 daily, which includes ‘Splash-Time’ in the pool, a kids dinner at 6pm followed by movie or disco nights, plus a full range of games and crafts that includes face-painting and jewellery-making. Ski shuttles in the winter.
Rates: From £202 full board for a family of 3 including daily family hikes
4 Samara, South Africa
Located in the Eastern Cape in the magnificent plains and mountain wilderness that is the Great Karoo, luxurious Samara comprises family-friendly suites in a former homestead turned safari lodge in a vast tract of 27,000 privately owned acres. Only 2.5 hours north of Port Elizabeth
The Kids Club: The Samara children’s programme caters for all ages who could be creating their own Bushman paintings, learning to stargaze, and the basics of orienteering and tracking, as well as planting native species and crafting with African beads. Under 8s get their own dedicated game drives (older kids go with their parents. There’s also a reed enclosure with sandpit and playground for safe playtime.
Rates: From £584 in a Lodge Suite for a family of 3 on an all-inclusive basis
5 Columbia Beach Resort, Cyprus
All-suite Columbia Beach Resort is on a golden cliff-backed bay less than an hour from Paphos airport. It has excellent food in several eateries, superb service, lush lawns, a choice of vast swimming pools (each with a toddler splash pool and swim-up bar) and watersports. All suites have a private balcony or terrace.
The Kids Club: Facing the beach, the complimentary Den Kids Club (holidays only) has an inventive weekly programme that includes mini-Olympics, pool races, pebble painting, Wednesday pirate days, maze and scrapheap challenges, talent shows and even pizza-making. The Cub Life Club is beside the manicured garden with its own gated mini-playground, plus dedicated baby and toddler play zones.
Rates: From £143 for a family of 3 in a Junior Suite Pool or Side Sea View
6 Another Place – The Lake, the Lake District
A contemporary-styled country house hotel on the shore of Ullswater with an indoor pool (with a view) and two restaurants, spa area and kitchen garden, Another Placecomes with 40 rooms and cottages, plus a playground.
The Kids Club: Ofsted-registered, the club has sessions divided by age morning and afternoon in the holidays (weekends otherwise), and has inspirational bushcraft/outdoor activities – think rock climbing, archery, wildlife walks, raft-building, SUP, sailing and kayaking. There’s also a games room for rainy days with a pool table and air hockey.
Rates: From £212.50 for a family of 3 in a Better Room including breakfast
7 Jakes, Jamaica
A shabby-chic coastal charmer, Jakes has a delightfully colourful jumble of rooms, cottages and villas in its garden and along the seafront, plus a saltwater pool, sun decks, a spa and friendly mellow restaurants. Located on Treasure Beach on Jamaica’s on the rugged south coast, this is authentic Jamaica with bells on.
The Kids Club: Montessori-influenced, the kids club has a beachcomber vibe with mosaic lessons, beach walks to collect driftwood and shells, arts and crafts and hair braiding. There’s both a playground and a playroom too.
Rates: From £155 for a family of 3 in a Deluxe One-Bedroom Garden View room