For a chilled-out coastal break with the kids, set course for Koh Samui. This Gulf of Thailand island is at its best from May to November, with sun-kissed days and surf-lapped shores on tap. Boutique travel experts Mr & Mrs Smith have rounded up a trio of beachy-keen stays.
Style Novel beach hideaway
Setting Swinging Chaweng
Beach-bum teens and young fashionistas will fall for the charms of The Library, a white-hot hotel with a striking blood-red pool at its heart.
Sleeping The 13 ground-floor Suites offer the most family space, as well as safe outdoor patios and a Jacuzzi bath (there are also 13 Studios upstairs). Cots can be added to rooms for free, and extra beds cost THB2,000 a night.
Activities The Library is slap on the sand, with all the sea- and beach-based fun sporty tykes could wish for, including windsurfing, kayaking and volleyball. An assortment of board games is also available. There’s a kids’ pool in addition to the main one, with a handy supply of inflatable toys and a lifeguard on duty until 9pm. Fancy hitting up the bars on Chaweng Beach? Call in the services of a babysitter, for THB250 an hour.
Feasting The Page restaurant sources organic, seasonal ingredients to produce a sophisticated range of Thai and Western dishes, which you can savour alfresco on the deck, or in the high-ceilinged, soft-grey indoor dining area. There’s a crowd-pleasing children’s menu, as well as high chairs, and staff will happily prepare packed lunches or heat milk.
Why now? The Library has a swag of offers to tempt you, including 30 per cent off stays, for bookings made at least 30 days in advance.
Style Tropical terraced villas
Setting Palm-fronded island cove
Near the bright lights and late nights of Chaweng Beach, boutique hotel Karma Samui’s 36 beach-white villas tick the luxury box, with each one offering goose-pimpling sea views, tiger-swinging spaciousness and your own pool to relax in.
Sleeping Villas 1, 4, 27 and 28 are homely three-bedroom affairs, so they’re ideal if you’re travelling with a troop. All villas have spacious pool terraces and ocean-view private balconies attached to the master bedroom. Younglings under 12 can be accommodated for free and extra beds and cots are available for a fee.
Activities Most of Koh Samui’s snorkelling or kayaking trips are suitable for over-eights. There is plenty more to do and see, including the Samui Aquarium and Tiger Zoo (www.samuiaquariumandtigerzoo.com) and the nearby Na Tien Butterfly Garden. The bowling alley and cinema at Tesco Lotus (+66 (0)77 245 400) offer air-conditioned respite and Jungle Minigolf at Choeng Mon is fun for a couple of hours (+66 (0)81 787 9148). If you want to slip out, sans kids, babysitting can be arranged (US$10 an hour).
Feasting Villas feature kitchens, complete with Smeg fridges, so you can easily prepare food for your troops. Don’t fancy getting your hands dirty on holiday? Never fear, as the chef has created a children’s menu of favourites (burgers, spaghetti, etc), with a few Thai twists.
Why now? Book through Smith and you’ll receive a one-hour Thai massage each and breakfast daily.
KC Resort & Over Water Villas
Style Luxury on stilts
Setting Samui Heights
It’s not often you get to walk on water, but staying at KC Resort & Over Water Villas hotel in Koh Samui, it’s an everyday occurrence. Built on stilts over a saltwater pool, your room is a luxury play den – adults will drool over the delectable bed; kids will love lingering in the waters below.
Sleeping All of the 16 Over Water Villas have the same layout and are private and spacious so work well for children. If you’re staying in an Over Water Villa with small children you’re literally over water, so you’ll need to keep an eye on the smalls near your private pool. Free baby cots are available and extra beds for older kids at THB1,500 a night.
Activities Ask the concierge about classes – kite making, soap carving, batik painting – that are suitable for older kids. There are lots of opportunities for adventure, from elephant trekking to snorkelling, on the island. Kayaking trips around Ang Thong National Marine Park are also spectacular. For kid-free forays, staff can be organised to look after the children for THB350 an hour, given a day’s notice.
Feasting The View Restaurant & Wine Lounge is a high-ceilinged, open-door eatery simply furnished with Thai wooden motifs. The balcony is the best spot to enjoy the view and cool breeze. French chef Stephane Fieger has worked his magic on a Mediterranean menu that includes gourmet burgers, seafood, steaks and succulent lamb shanks. Children are welcome in the restaurant and a special menu is available, as are high chairs. If you need a packed lunch for kids, or baby food or milk heated up, just ask.
Why now? A romance-revving bottle of sparkling wine and 45-minute Thai massage for two are on the house, if you book through Mr & Mrs Smith.
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 850 hotels and holiday houses around the world.