At Sassy Mama, we’re all for family getaways, but every now and then we want to balance that all-in ‘we’ time with some ‘all-about-me’ time. Always eager to assist, boutique travel experts Mr & Mrs Smith have sourced a trio of stays that temper child-friendly fun with indulgent day spas and adult distractions.
Anantara Kihavah Villas, Maldives
Style Breezy seaside retreat
Setting Blissful Baa Atoll
Powder-white sands and piercing-blue seas: Anantara Kihavah Villas is the stuff of desert-island dreams. This boutique hotel in the Maldives purposefully panders to kids and adults alike, with whim-catering butlers, aquatic adventures and a seriously seductive day spa. Oh, and did we mention the underwater wine cellar for champagne sipping à deux?
Sleeping All of the ultra-luxe, spacious villas come with ocean-ogling beds, walk-in dressing rooms, expansive bathrooms and pearly mosaic-tiled pools. Beach Pool Villas open onto their own stretch of silky sand, making them the best pick for families. Under 15s can share their parents’ digs for free, but since no villas interconnect, larger families might prefer the Two-bedroom Residences, which sleep six.
Activities Open from 10am until 9pm daily, the Thiththi Boli Kids Club offers kids aged between three and 12 an action-packed programme. Beach sports, cooking classes and craft sessions all hold sway on dry land. Out on the sea, canoeing, snorkelling, diving and windsurfing await.
Feasting Kids are welcome in all restaurants except Sea, which is an adults-only zone during dinner (bliss if you’re seeking one-on-one time). Highchairs and children’s menus in the other eateries make mealtimes a breeze.
Me time Get thee to the day spa – this six-suite overwater spa is one of the sexiest we’ve seen, offering mood-soothing treatments that draw on local ingredients, such as coconut, seaweed and salt, in everything from simple massages to seven-day programmes. Babysitting’s free in the kids’ club, but in-villa child-minding costs from US$20 an hour (book at least 24 hours in advance).
Sassy savings Book a stay through Smith and you’ll get four nights for the price of three or seven nights for the price of five for stays until 22 December 2012.
Hôtel de la Paix Cha-Am Beach, Hua Hin, Thailand
Style Asian elegance
Setting Seaside serenity
Hua Hin has long been the playground for Bangkok’s elite, but now you and your brood can also chill out in this cool coastal enclave. Hôtel de la Paix Cha-Am Beach may appear to be a temple to Thai modernity, but these sleek surrounds are surprisingly child-friendly. Throw in a spoil-you day spa modelled on Roman baths, and you have a beach escape with a whole lot of class.
Sleeping With private alfresco areas, the Garden Terrace Studios are ideal if you’re travelling with toddlers. Older families might prefer the flexibility of the Pool Villas, which feature a master bedroom and a living space that transforms into a second sleeping nook. Baby cots are provided free, and extra beds for older kids cost THB1,925.
Activities The aptly named Active Pool is the go-to splash zone for families, offering direct access to the beach and shaded cabanas. The hotel’s handy Leisure Concierge can help organise outings, from kite surfing lessons on the beach to trips to Khao Luang Cave, the Summer Palace, Cha-Am Forest Park or serene temples. Elephant trekking and horse riding are also up for grabs.
Feasting Motion is a relaxed, poolside retreat, with local tastes served at tables on the deck and in air-conditioned comfort. In rooftop restaurant Clouds Loft, pizza, pasta and other Italian classics are best for bambini. Highchairs are available in both eateries.
Me time Built like a Roman bath complex, Spa Indochine provides a cool respite from the tropical heat. The rejuvenating signature massage blends Thai, Balinese and Swedish styles or opt for a soothing Coconut Bath. Post-treatment, the kid-free Chill Pool is the perfect place to kick back with a cocktail. Babysitting costs THB300 an hour.
Sassy savings For a limited time, you can score 25 per cent off room rates if you book more than 14 days in advance.
Evason Ana Mandara, Nha Trang, Vietnam
Style Village-style villas
Setting Beachside boulevard
A serious contender for the best-located resort in Vietnam, Evason Ana Mandara hotel delivers the perfect balance of seaside bliss and local life. Set on a buzzy Nha Trang , this laid-back lodge offers seclusion by day and socialising by night, pleasing privacy-seekers, family posses and party-people alike.
Sleeping Private terraces in all rooms, and a private walled garden in Ana Mandara Suites, means you’ve got your own off-beach area for lounging or regrouping. Deluxe Sea View and Garden View Rooms offer interconnecting doors, baby cots are free, and extra beds cost US$30 a child a night.
Activities The Just Kids! club caters to four to 12-year olds, open 9am–12pm and 2pm–5pm daily (US$15 for a half day; US$25 for a full day, excluding meals). Activities embrace everything from arts, crafts and cooking indoors to beach games and outdoor fun. Teens are spoilt for choice, with speedboat trips, parasailing, jetskiing, waterskiing, snorkelling and diving upping the action ante.
Feasting Kids are welcome in the hotel’s airy Ana Pavilion Restaurant and poolside Beach Restaurant, and there are children’s menus to boot. A 24-hour room service menu makes in-villa dining an attractive option, too.
Me time There’s no doubt about it: Six Senses Resorts give good spa. At Evason’s own romantic retreat, indulge in a hot-stone massage, Vietnamese herbal bath or an invigorating green-tea scrub. Babysitting costs just US$3.50 an hour, making that three-hour pampering package even more appealing.
Sassy savings Book at least 45 days in advance to save 10 per cent on your stay.
To book a child-friendly Smith stay visit www.mrandmrssmith.com or call the expert Travel Team on 800 905 326. What’s more, BlackSmith membership is now free for life, so book through Smith to receive life-enhancing extras and exclusive offers at more than 900 hotels and holiday houses around the world.