Make the most of your holiday (and have something to show for it!) with the artsy-crafty kids’ clubs at these standout hotels, handpicked by family travel experts Smith & Family
Forget drab rooms and lacklustre board games: when it comes to keeping young brains enthralled, hotels’ kids clubs have really upped their game with inventive arts and crafts. Travel experts Smith & Family have rounded up five child-friendly stays that roll out the red carpet for creative tots.
Constance Le Prince Maurice, Mauritius
Set in fragrant gardens a few steps from a palm-fringed lagoon, this luxurious resort knows a thing or two about keeping families happy. From pedalos and snorkelling to yoga on the beach, there’s plenty here for the whole brood, but the trampoline-boasting free kids club might just clinch the deal for parents in need of an afternoon of tropical pampering. There’s no need to book ahead: children can drop in any time to try their hand at nail art, hair braiding and Mauritian arts and crafts.
Smith extra: A fruit basket, bottle of wine (Champagne for GoldSmiths) and, for GoldSmiths staying five nights or more, a 30-minute back or foot massage each.
Verdura Resort, Sicily, Italy
This Sicilian beauty of a resort has a private sea-view terrace in each room to go with beautifully groomed coast-hugging grounds. Open during school holidays, the sprawling all-ages kids club makes it remarkably family-friendly, too. Artistic pursuits take centre stage here, with painting, pottery, sculpture, dance and drama workshops led by Verdù, the hotel’s hedgehog mascot. That’s not to say budding gourmets and thrill-seekers aren’t catered for: themed activities run the gamut from cookery classes to watersports and biking.
Smith extra: Two drinks in the Granita bar
Chewton Glen, Hampshire, United Kingdom
Amidst 130 acres of pristine parkland, Chewton Glen is a country-house retreat with thoroughly modern credentials. Fabulous treehouse suites, a thalassotherapy spa and plaudit-winning restaurant tick all the right boxes for a stay en famille. The grounds abound with genteel attractions, including a croquet lawn, tennis courts and an outdoor pool, but rainy days needn’t be a wash-out: storytelling, painting and crafts, games and treasure hunts are all on offer in the free kids club.
Smith extra: A half-bottle of Champagne in your room and continental breakfast (usually £20 a head) for the whole family.
The Nam Hai, Hoi An, Vietnam
Perfectly positioned between a pristine stretch of sand and historical Hoi An, The Nam Hai has spacious villas and three tempting pools for indulgent family stays. Housed in a huge garden house, the free kids club offers sports, board games and treasure hunts, but traditional cultural activities are also on the menu: children can try their hand at paper-lantern-making and learn about local herbs and vegetables in the hotel’s gardens.
Smith extra: A private lantern-making class for the family; giant cookies and milk for the kids on arrival day; a bottle of sparkling wine for the grown-ups
Vidago Palace, Douro Valley, Portugal
Don’t be fooled by this historic hideaway’s opulent interiors, glittering modern spa and chic lounger-lined pools: Vidago Palace is fit for royalty of all ages. While the adults make the most of the golf course and invigorating spring waters in the spa, children can be found out in the grounds on supervised nature walks or enjoying fun craft activities thanks to a regularly changing programme of face painting, creative art classes, magic tricks, music sessions, jewellery making workshops, balloon modelling, puppetry and cookery.
Smith extra: Homemade jam or a pack of local teas.
Smith & Family gives you the best price, guaranteed, as well as a little something extra on arrival. Book online at www.smithandfamily.com or by calling the expert Travel Team toll-free at +1 800 321 1098.