Tom Ot­ley rounds up luxury fam­ily-friendly hol­i­day op­tions, from kayak­ing with seals to jeep sa­faris and Aztec tem­ple tours

Business Traveller - - CONTENTS -


This self-drive sa­fari is tailored to fam­i­lies with chil­dren. Wisely, the itin­er­ary in­cor­po­rates plenty of swim­ming pools - start­ing with a guest­house with a pool in Wind­hoek, then a drive via the Nauk­luft Moun­tains to Sos­susvlei. High­lights in­clude a coastal walk to Swakop­mund, kayak­ing with seals (or boat trips to view the seals, as well as dol­phins), and trips into the sand dunes to catch lizards and geckos. Older chil­dren can try dune board­ing or quad-bik­ing; younger ones can head to the aquar­ium or beach. The fi­nal stop is Etosha and a fenced rest camp in the heart of the park.

Aud­ley Travel’s Namibia self-drive fam­ily sa­fari costs from £1,875 per per­son for 15 nights, based on a fam­ily of two adults and two chil­dren un­der the age of 16 trav­el­ling in May or Novem­ber. Flights not in­cluded.


On the famed island where The Beach was filmed, the Phi Phi Island Vil­lage Re­sort has an eco an­gle mixed with activities. Kids can learn about sus­tain­abil­ity while tak­ing part in a “Young Sur­vivor” course that teaches fishing, shel­ter build­ing and water col­lec­tion tech­niques, as well as how to light a camp­fire. Al­ter­na­tively, fam­i­lies can ex­plore the man­groves by kayak and learn about the life they sup­port on the island from an ex­pert guide.

Other at­trac­tions in­clude a craft work­shop, where chil­dren can help tend the re­sort’s coral reef nurs­ery, and ju­nior cook­ing classes teach­ing fam­i­lies to pre­pare nu­tri­tious Thai food.

If that all sounds a lit­tle wor­thy, there is the Phi Phi Island Vil­lage mini triathlon and sea­side boot camp. Set on the re­sort’s 800-me­tre beach­front strip, each con­test fea­tures a va­ri­ety of activities such as swim­ming, run­ning, aer­o­bics and Muay Thai box­ing.

Rooms from £370 per night in Au­gust based on a fam­ily of four shar­ing a two-bed­room bun­ga­low with breakfast and a wel­come drink on ar­rival.


A year-round des­ti­na­tion, Ice­land is only a three-hour flight from the UK and of­fers plenty of out­door fam­ily ac­tivites. Reyk­javik is an ideal base from which to ex­plore both the city sights and the coun­try’s nat­u­ral won­ders, in­clud­ing Gull­foss wa­ter­fall, Geysir hot springs and Thingvel­lir Na­tional Park. With the Reyk­javik and Golden Cir­cle Fam­ily Ad­ven­ture tour, stay at the Ho­tel Reyk­javik Natura, which fea­tures stylish Scandinavian dé­cor and a restau­rant serv­ing Ice­landic spe­cial­i­ties.

Cox and Kings’ five-day, fournight tour costs from £695 per per­son and in­cludes flights, ac­com­mo­da­tion, a Golden Cir­cle coach tour, en­trance to the Fon­tana Geother­mal Baths and a 24-hour Reyk­javik card, pro­vid­ing free ac­cess to mu­se­ums and city buses. coxand­kings.co.uk


With a va­ri­ety of direct flights to choose from, Mex­ico of­fers plenty of cul­ture and his­tory for all the fam­ily, with the rich lega­cies of the Mayan and

Span­ish em­pires to draw on. The tour in­cludes Mex­ico City, pre-Colom­bian sites in the jun­gle, pyra­mids and the tem­ples of Ux­mal, as well as the su­perb Ball Court, where com­pe­ti­tions were held and the losers be­headed.

The tour fin­ishes on the beaches of the Mayan Riviera at the Rose­wood Mayakoba, which or­gan­ises yoga classes, scav­enger hunts and Span­ish lessons for chil­dren. Ad­di­tional op­tions in­clude vis­its to the Mayan vil­lage of Tixkokob and colo­nial city of Iza­mal, horse rid­ing on the beach, snorkelling with turtles, zip-lin­ing through the jun­gle and a meal with a Mayan fam­ily.

Aber­crom­bie and Kent pack­ages from £2,889 per per­son, based on a fam­ily of four. In­cludes three nights in Merida, a night at Chichen Itza and three nights on the Riviera Maya; flights not in­cluded. aber­crom­biekent.co.uk


This 11-night open-jaw trip (into Delhi, out of Mum­bai) starts with five-star ac­com­mo­da­tion at the Oberoi Delhi (Gur­gaon) and a cy­cle rick­shaw ride through Old Delhi. It con­tin­ues with a train ride to Agra with pri­vate guide (stay­ing at the Oberoi Amar­vi­las) and the Taj Ma­hal, then a jeep sa­fari in Ran­thamb­hore Na­tional Park (stay­ing in an Oberoi Vanyav­i­las luxury tent). Five nights at the Alila Diwa ho­tel in Goa are also in­cluded – it has three restau­rants, a pool bar and lounge plus the Spa Alila, of­fer­ing Ayurvedic heal­ing treat­ments.

An 11-night tour for a fam­ily of four with two chil­dren un­der 12 costs £9,800 with Greaves In­dia. In­cludes do­mes­tic flights be­tween Jaipur and Goa and a re­turn from Goa to Mum­bai.


For a beach break in Oman, try the Shangri-La Barr Al Jis­sah Re­sort and Spa. It com­prises three in­ter­linked ho­tels, of which the Al Waha is child­friendly, with fam­ily rooms with DVD play­ers and Playsta­tions, and a kids’ club. The Surf Café, aimed at teenagers, has in­ter­net-en­abled com­put­ers and a menu of healthy fast food. The Splash­pad water play area is open daily from 9am to 6pm, of­fer­ing aquatic activities in a shaded area for the whole fam­ily. Babysit­ting ser­vices are avail­able upon re­quest.

Bri­tish Air­ways Hol­i­days is of­fer­ing seven nights at the Shangri-La Al Waha from £499 per per­son in Au­gust, based on a fam­ily of two adults and two chil­dren shar­ing a onebed­room suite. Flights not in­cluded. ba.com/mus­cat

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