Researching holiday hot spots for your family vacation? Here are three of our favourite child-friendly destinations that are sure to meet all the requirements of fun, food and culture.
Spectacular architecture, world-class shopping, luxury hotels and bustling hawker stalls dishing out culinary favourites – these are the things Singapore is known for.
And yet this green metropolis is fast-becoming a favourite for families.
What’s to love? For so long, Singapore has been considered a short stopover destination but with so much to do, you can easily spend five or six nights on the South-East Asian island nation. You will need at least one day to explore Sentosa Island. Touted as Asia’s leading leisure destination, this ‘State of Fun’ is located only 15 minutes from the mainland and easily accessible. Start your day with a cable car ride from Mount Faber to Sentosa’s Merlion Station. From here it’s an easy walk to Universal Studios. It may be smaller than its Los Angeles counterpart, but this popular theme park still packs plenty of punch in the adventure stakes.
Meet Troll characters Poppy and Branch, shake hands with Shrek and take a boat ride through Madagascar.
Other must-see attractions in Singapore include the vibrant and lively Chinatown, the educational and interesting ArtScience Museum and Gardens by the Bay, a beautiful 101-hectare nature park consisting of three waterfront gardens, water play area and the equally magnificent Supertree Grove Skyway and Cloud Forest.
If time permits, head out of the city to the nearby Night Safari wildlife reserve park where you can witness lions, leopards and giraffes in their natural environment.
TIP: Pre-purchase express tram tickets for the Night Safari to avoid long queues.
The necessities: Singapore has everything you need – state-of-the-art hospitals, supermarkets and easy to use public transport.
Eating there: Kids will love a visit to the DC Comics Super Heroes Café. Choose your booth – Superman, Batman and Superwoman are some of the favourites – and dine on food such as The Green Lantern’s Big Dipper Potato. The food is nothing special, but the young ones will love the experience.
Staying there: Regent Singapore, A Four Seasons Hotel perfectly blends luxury with family needs. The rooms are spacious, the staff kind and there are six restaurants to choose from. Plus, the kids will love riding in the atrium glass lift. Splurge on the Four Seasons Executive Suite, which features a balcony, bathroom, powder room and separate living and bedroom. Visit regenthotels.com/regent-singapore.
This popular tourist destination has been a favourite among Australians for many years. Avoid the hustle and bustle of world-famous Patong and base yourself in one of the quieter beach villages such as Karon, Kata or Surin.
What’s to love? Phuket is home to many beaches and tropical islands are just a short boat ride away. Kids will love spending the days trekking between the beaches and hotel pool. The night markets are also an experience they will never forget.
The necessesties: This Thai island caters for westerners. You will find a range of supermarkets selling food and products including baby needs. There are also two major hospitals.
Eating there: Venture outside your hotel and you will find great cafes and restaurants catering to all diets. Our son requires a gluten and dairy free diet and we had no problem finding food for him. Worth a visit is Dino Park in Karon. Dine at Flinstone’s inspired tables and have a game of mini golf with the dinosaurs following your meal.
Staying there: For a quieter hotel, try Horizon Karon Beach Resort and Spa. Only a short walk to the beach, it sits on the border of Karon and Kata and is a 10-minute tuk-tuk ride from Patong. The four-star resort offers superior rooms ideal for families. Visit horizonbeach.com/horizon-karon.
Postcard-perfect beaches of white sand and calm, aqua water, Fiji’s Coral Coast is what tropical holiday dreams are made of. The slow-paced lifestyle makes for a great getaway for busy families.
What’s to love? Days spent within resort grounds – swimming, kayaking, stand-up paddle boarding, surfing, snorkelling – there is plenty to keep littlies and teens active.
Other than relaxing and enjoying the beach, you will also have the chance to get close to the Fijian culture with dancing and fire shows a regular staple on resort calendars.
The necessities: It’s a little harder to access shops in Fiji, but the resorts generally have a minimart on site. Alternatively, if you are staying on the Coral Coast, you can catch a taxi into the neighbouring town of Sigatoka where you will find a supermarket. As for medical needs, the island does have hospitals and doctors are readily available and can be called out to your hotel room if required.
Eating there: When booking your holiday, it is always a good idea to purchase an all-inclusive package, which includes three meals a day.
Staying there: The five-star Warwick Fiji is perfectly positioned along a stretch of beautiful beach. It boasts five restaurants, a large pool with children’s pool, kids club and a range of rooms that can accommodate families. Visit warwickhotels.com/Fiji-resort.