A beach holiday with the kids is always a good idea. Parents get to unwind in the sun while the little ones get to play in the sand. When it gets too warm, the entire family can take to the water for a nice, refreshing dip. You can already see yourself there, right?
But to make this a fool-proof plan, we’ve shared four of our favourite beaches that are safe for little ones, exciting for older kids, and idyllic for parents. Dive in for the details of the best family friendly resorts where you can stay right on the beach.
You might have heard about the powder-fine sands and clear blue waters of the Philippine islands, but you really do need to see it to believe it. Boracay is a good place to start. One of the most famous holiday destinations in The Philippines thanks to its gorgeous beaches, this hotspot underwent a rejuvenation period and the island is now a model for sustainable tourism. Its iconic beaches are immaculate, making it even more perfect for visiting families.
Those famous soft white sands make for a great day of running around barefoot and building sandcastles. No need for water shoes here. If you have adventurous older kids and teens, Boracay is also a great place for snorkelling together as its waters are generally calm, and free from jellyfish. While there are various snorkelling points around the island for spotting tropical fish and coral gardens, children and less confident swimmers will want to swim closer to Angol point where the currents and winds are more gentle.
October is the best time to visit, when the warmer tropical climate starts to cool. For your island sanctuary, the upscale Mövenpick Resort & Spa Boracay welcomes you with a private beach, multi-level pool, wellness spa, kids’ club and playground. Away from the buzz of the main strip, this is the ultimate family retreat.
Phuket is a perennial favourite with families in Asia looking for a quick escape with the kids, and Panwa Beach, located on the east coast, is exemplary of Thailand’s stunning beaches. Also known as Khao Kad Beach, this secluded beachfront is an idyllic haven and generally free from large crowds, unlike tourist magnets such as the busier Patong Beach situated along the west coast. Even better, its calm and shallow waters also make it ideal for kids to wade in.
You will find a handful of bamboo huts along the Panwa coastline — offering drinks, food and even a massage. Grab a bite with the kids or while the afternoon away with your favourite book and a refreshing drink. And if you want to get in full holiday mode, then a rejuvenating massage is definitely in order! Further south lies the kid-friendly Phuket Aquarium featuring local marine species, a short underwater tunnel and a touch pool.
There’s nothing worse than flying the kids around the world only to gaze at the beach from your resort while it rains. Visit Panwa between January and March when rainfall is low, and you can expect plenty of sunshine. Just 40m away from Panwa Beach is the family friendly Pullman Phuket Panwa Beach Resort Hotel. Younger ones will love it here, especially when they discover the giant chessboard, fun pool and cool kids’ club programme that includes batik painting, kite making and treasure hunts.
If you’re ready to take the luxury level up a notch, set your sights on the Shaviyani Atoll in the Maldives. The journey to this spectacular tropical paradise involves a 55-minute seaplane ride from Hanimaadhoo airport: the birds-eye view as you fly over atolls is one unforgettable sight, so expect a fight for the window seat! Teeming with marine life including magnificent manta rays, the pristine waters surrounding its 9km long reef is a sweet spot for an exploratory dive or a relaxing snorkelling adventure.
Connected to this atoll is Fairmont Maldives, Sirru Fen Fushi, which boasts overwater villas and an extraordinarily long infinity pool. If you think this is a spot made for honeymooners, think again. There are the stunning Water Villas, of course, but you can also go glamping in a Jungle Tented Villa to add a safari-style twist to your island escape. The resort has a pretty cool Teen Town, and for younger ones, there’s the kids’ club and Toddler’s Play Garden. Plus, there are Thai boxing and yoga classes if you’re keen. But what makes this place so memorable is the Coralarium, an art installation at sea by by sculptor Jason deCaires Taylor. Designed to act as an artificial reef, snorkellers can explore the sculptures from a sea-scaped coral pathway, where schools of fish and an abundance of marine life now thrive. This picturesque destination is no ordinary Maldives beach!
Time to take a look at Indonesia’s beaches. Tanjung Benoa is a tiny peninsula located at the southern tip of Bali. Flanked by the Indian Ocean, this vibrant beachfront is a popular spot for divers as well as water sports aficionados who flock here to jet ski or parasail — thrill-seeking teens will want in on this, and littler ones will enjoy spotting the colourful parachutes of parasailers as they go by. The coastline gets less busy as you head south. The gentler waves and powdery sands here make it ideal for children to swim or play in, if you’re after a more low-key beach experience.
Bali is mostly warm all year round with bouts of seasonal monsoon. April to June is an ideal time to swing by as it’s still fairly dry and less humid. For a beachside base, Novotel Bali Benoa Hotel has multiple pools and highly rated restaurants. It also has a great kids’ club for ages four to 12, with inspiring activities for children revolving around music, art and the environment. And if you’re a member of ALL – Accor Live Limitless, you can take advantage of the MyResorts Programme here, including MyKids benefits — your little one will enjoy a welcome gift, a special menu and daily treats too.