Wondering where to send families after a standout hotel room for all the clan to share? Laura French has the lowdown.
Pleasing a family is no mean feat when it comes to booking clients a holiday, with mum, dad and the kids all possessing their own – frequently incongruent – ideas of what makes the perfect trip.
Fortunately there’s a pretty robust array of family-friendly rooms and suites that mean even the most demanding of clients can be catered to, with everything from budget-friendly apartments with sofa bed lounges to ultra-luxe penthouse suites with private pools and butlers available to satisfy every whim and fancy. We’ve spoken to the experts to find some of the best.
1. Disney Animal Kingdom Lodge, Orlando
Clients like the idea of spotting a giraffe from their bedroom window? Look no further than the Savanna View rooms at Walt Disney World’s Animal Kingdom Lodge. Themed around the African savanna (in keeping with the rest of the atmospheric, tree-bedecked hotel), they look directly out onto an expanse of lush-green surrounds, where more than 30 wildlife species – including zebras, giraffes, gazelles and flamingos – roam. The rooms themselves range from bunk bed affairs to two-bedroom suites, with several accessible options that make it ideal for multi-generational trips. The standout is the Royal Asante Presidential Suite, a wood-strewn beauty which sleeps up to six with two queen beds and a sleeper sofa.
Book it: Travel 2 offers seven nights in a Savanna View room from £2,039 per person, based on a family of four sharing and including a 14-day Ultimate Ticket, Disney Dining Plan, return Magical Express transfers and a $300 gift card, with flights from Gatwick on July 20, 2020.
2. Club Med Miches Playa Esmerelda, Dominican Republic
For family rooms with a dose of tropical flair, suggest the Interconnecting Deluxe Rooms – Caribbean Paradise at Club Med’s soon-to-open, eco-friendly outpost in the Dominican Republic. Designed to reflect the island’s exotic flowers, they’re striking in style with contemporary, ultra-colourful décor, plus a private terrace and separate interconnecting areas that make it ideal for kids (and parents) wanting a bit of space. With room for six, they’re a worthy suggestion for bigger families wanting to get active in the wider resort, where four “villages” play host to different themes.
Book it: A week at Club Med Michès Playa Esmeralda costs from £8,770 for a family of four, departing on April 11, 2020, with flights from London and transfers.
3. Esperides Beach Family Resort, Rhodes
Got a family on a budget? Olympic Holidays suggests Esperides Beach Family Resort’s rooms, which sleep up to four. “It’s a great room with a partitioning to provide privacy, with bunk beds for the children,” says Ricky Wason, head of product and purchasing for the operator. “But the whole hotel is a children’s playground, with pools, waterslides, a kids’ club, cinema, soft play area and brand-new children’s food area with lower counters, all right by the beach.” Superior family rooms are also available for those wanting a bit of extra comfort, and the resort owns a water park a 10-minute walk away.
Book it: A week’s all-inclusive costs from £731 per person, based on four sharing a Family Room with flights from Gatwick, departing August 6, 2020.
4. Princesa Yaiza Suite Hotel Resort, Lanzarote
If it’s vast space and excellent facilities families are after, direct them to this all-suite resort, says Joanne Colchester, purchasing manager for Classic Collection Holidays. “It’s difficult to beat. The Royal Kiko Suites are mightily impressive, spanning 88 square metres with huge furnished balconies,” she says. They form part of a dedicated family building, connected to the hotel by a passage filled with tropical aquariums, and each feature two bedrooms, two bathrooms and a living room, plus a children’s kit complete with welcome gift, PlayStation and more. Beyond the rooms there’s plenty going on, not least Kikoland, a sprawling adventure area playing host to a full-on activity schedule.
Book it: Classic Collection offers a week’s B&B in a Royal Kiko Suite from £9,398 for five in half term, including flights and private transfers.
Look for interconnecting rooms for families wanting a half-way house that gives kids privacy while providing parents with peace of mind
For clients after space while still having the benefits of a resort, suggest going self-catered with an apartment set on a resort-style complex
If families are travelling with younger kids, choose resorts that offer in-room baby/toddler packs and kids’ clubs for all ages. Neilson, Mark Warner, Club Med, Tui and First Choice all excel on the latter
Encourage booking early to get the best deals – Jet2holidays and Tui both have kids-go-free places offering free flights and accommodation at certain resorts, so push these to clients after a bargain
5. Prinsotel La Dorada, Majorca
Jet2holidays recommends this four-star plus for families wanting the privacy and seclusion of their own apartment, plus the facilities that come with a hotel – think splash park, kids’ club, lagoon-style pool and more. Accommodation options range from Family Apartments to luxury pads with their own private terrace and plunge pool, and all come with a complimentary baby pack. Among the standouts is the One Bedroom apartment with Royal Terrace, complete with outdoor shower, two TVs, a games console, welcome drinks and access to the “PrinsClub” area.
Book it: Jet2holidays offers a week’s self-catering in a family apartment from £759 per person based on a family of four sharing with flights from Stansted on August 5, 2020.
6. Paradisus Playa del Carmen La Esmerelda, Mexico
Picture swimming straight up to your door and you’ve got Paradisus Playa del Carmen La Esmerelda, whose Family Concierge One Bedroom Master Swim Up Suites hover directly above the pool. Measuring 80 square metres, they fit up to six with two king-size beds, a lounge, kitchenette and dining space, plus a whirlpool bath on the private deck, a games console, and a minibar with kids’ drinks. As part of the Family Concierge service guests also get exclusive access to a private beach, lounge area, pool with swim-up bar, butler service and nightly milk and cookies.
Book it: Kuoni offers a week’s all-inclusive in a Paradisus Junior Suite Swim Up from £7,449 per family, including flights from Gatwick and transfers, for select departures in April 2020.
7. Holiday Village Turkey
For exceptional value Turkey is hard to match, so capitalise on its cluster of child-friendly hotels for families wanting luxury without a whopping price tag. The four-star Holiday Village in Sarigerme dishes up the latter, with various interconnecting rooms available; highlights include the Select Room – featuring a bedroom split into two areas, and a hydro-massage bathtub – and the rather exclusive Jacuzzi Suite, which adds in extra space for those wanting to spread out a little (and minimalise the family disagreements).
Book it: First Choice offers seven nights’ all-inclusive from £812 per person based on two adults and two children sharing, with transfers and flights from Manchester on May 23, 2020.
8. Saint Peter’s Bay, Barbados
For clients looking to push the boat out, let this ultra-luxe retreat oblige, says Caribtours’ head of product, Jenny Peart. “The beachfront residences are beautifully furnished with between one and five bedrooms,” she says. “They’re ideal for independent families as there’s the option to self-cater, but all the facilities of the resort are on hand.” Each features a living area, kitchen, balcony with Jacuzzi and outdoor dining area, while a lift takes guests straight to the pool or beach. If that’s not enough there’s a Five Bedroom Deluxe Penthouse boasting its own rooftop terrace with dining area and pool overlooking the pure, glistening azure.
Book it: A week in a Two Bedroom Premium Beachfront Villa (room-only) costs from £2,145 per adult and £1,929 per child, including flights and private transfers.
Best of the rest
• Ikos Aria: The newest addition to the Ikos family, Aria’s Deluxe One Bedroom Bungalow Suites in Kos are Cyplon’s top pick thanks to panoramic windows, separate bedrooms and spacious balconies, plus other bonuses like free use of a MINI.
• Westin Resort Costa Navarino: The one-bedroom family suites at this five-star spot in the Peloponnese sit atop a hill overlooking the ocean, while gourmet cuisine, an aquapark and sports courses are all on hand.
• The Reef, Atlantis: Atlantis’ recently-refurbished The Reef hotel in the Bahamas has family options which range from studios to three-bedroom penthouse suites, with sizeable living areas and kitchens, all set beside white-sand shores.
• Beaches Turks & Caicos: For luxury seekers, suggest the Key West villas at Beaches’ flagship resort. All come with butler service and the biggest sleeps up to 10, with its own private pool.
• Mark Warner Levante Beach Resort, Rhodes: Private pool suites with views over the sea are the order of the day at this active paradise, with sliding doors separating a sofa-bedded lounge from the parent’s double bedroom.
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