Now that we have small people, there are 2 words which ring like music to our ears when planning a holiday. Kids and Club. Because while we love our littles to bits, we want to get home from a vacation feeling like we’ve actually had a break – and while we’re all for good old-fashioned activities like sand castle building en famille, these aren’t going to satisfy the kiddos lust for fun and adventure. We’ve had our eye on the Scott Dunn collection of Explorers Kids Clubs for a while now – from the Med to the Maldives (and pretty much everywhere in between), these guys seriously know how to give the kids (and in turn us parents) the best possible holiday.
And guess what… kiddies from as young as 4 months are eligible (hallelujah – SO many kids clubs are only open to the over 4’s, leaving us mamas with teeny tinies unable to get that much needed vacay time). Littlest guests are offered sleep rooms, freshly made purees for lunch and complimentary nappies plus an amazing program of age appropriate activities and facilities all under the care of highly trained and super lovely nannies and rangers. Kiddos up to the age of 13 are divided into groups that cater exactly for their ages and interests – from baking to building, surfing to sand sculpting plus off-site trips to water-parks and all sorts of cool excursions, we’re frankly a little miffed that we can ‘t join in too. Oh and we should also mention that lunch, high tea and snacks are all freshly made and provided each day – and we’re not talking junk food mamas. Children’s food expert Fiona Faulkner has created special healthy (but delicious) menus for the littles with a magic touch that’s renowned for tempting even the fussiest of eaters, so much so that she has been dubbed the ‘Harry Potter of Vegetables’. We love.
Oh and if skiing is your thing the Scott Dunn kids clubs in Val d’Isère and Courchevel allow you to ski all day while your little snow angels are entertained or taken to and from ski school until you return from the slopes. Heaven.
We want to press the ‘book now’ button – here are a few of our Scott Dunn faves…
Located in the South of Portugal (doesn’t that sound lush already), Pine Cliffs is a dream getaway from Dubai that’s super family-friendly. Set upon crimson cliffs and with the the endlessly blue Atlantic Ocean in the background, they have well equipped rooms for families, water sports galore, grassy grounds and of course the kids club on offer. (They’re also a stone’s throw from the golf course, so there’s that too for all you golf mad mamas and dads!)
7 days B&B at Pine Cliffs from 8,757AED per person based on a family of four staying in a two bedroom comfort residence, including flights from the Dubai, private transfers from Lisbon and two Explorers places.
Who said you couldn’t have a pampering holiday with the kiddos? This 5 star spa hotel is tucked away in Cyprus and boasts an award-winning organic spa that’ll have your beauty senses tingling. With a range of amazing international cuisine and all overlooking the Mediterannean, the kiddos will be able to rough and tumble at the kids club or enjoy the surf with their water sports.
7 days B&B at Anassa from 15,057 AED per person based on a family of four staying in two garden studio suites, including flights from the Dubai, private transfers from Larnaca and two Explorers places.
So we’ve touched on Cyprus, but we’re returning again for a more cultural stay. The Almyra is located in the heart of Paphos with a number of stunning heritage sites within walking distance. Located on the seafront, you’ll be able to dine on your own private terrace or one of their four restaurants – and if you’re really stuck on that spa, there’s an amazing one here too.
7 days B&B at Almyra from 5,631 AED per person based on a family of four staying in interconnecting superior sea view rooms, including flights from the Dubai, private transfers from Larnaca and two Explorers places.
How about a holiday in Thailand? A little further afield, Soneva Kiri not only boasts the best of holiday luxury but also one of the coolest kids’ clubs around. It’s built entirely of bamboo with a number of programmes for tots of all ranges, including indoor and outdoor entertainment to water and land based sports. Perfect for children aged 12 months to 13 years old, it’s open seven days a week and offers a number of authentic Thai experiences for littles.
7 days half board at Soneva Kiri 39,646 AED total based on a family of 2 adults and 2 children, sharing a Cliff Villa Suite, including flights from Dubai.
The Maldives always sends a little shiver down our spines, recalling gorgeous images of crystal waters and enviable tan lines. Your children have a reason to get excited now as well with the Explorer Kids Club at Niyama, where everything’s circus-themed and with a number of age-oriented activity programmes. With activities like dolphin watching and snorkelling on the cards, we’re just sad we can’t register ourselves.
7 nights B&B at NIYAMA from 43,965 AED based on a family of four staying in a Beach Studio, including flights from Dubai, seaplane transfers and two Explorers places. Price includes pay 5 stay 7 and family fun offer.