Family travel gurus Smith & Family let you know the best places around the world for kids to take the plunge
Family travel experts Smith and Family have handpicked the five best hotels for parents and their little Smiths to enjoy the underwater world together. From protective reef-fringed lagoon snorkelling to starter-level scuba diving, these hotels – some just a short flight away – are perfectly poised for a whole-family aquatic escape.
Kids who like to duck and dive – in the water, of course – will be completely in love with Karma Kandara. There’s your private villa pool, the two-level main infinity pool below Di Mare restaurant, the kids’ club pool, and the private beach, where a protective reef-fringed lagoon makes for safe snorkelling and splashing. Blissful spa treatments, private villas, delicious dining and a hip, after-dark beach bar are available for the parents in need of some quiet time.
Smith extra: A mocktail-making class with the resident mixologist for Smith junior(s)
As well as its romantic rooms, plentiful pools and paradise palms, this remote Koh Samui retreat is a haven for watersports, catering to divers, snorkellers, kayakers, anglers, sailors and windsurfers (there’s even an ex-Olympian on hand to coach the latter). Over-12s can also try their hand at parasailing, windsurfing and other water-based adventures; smaller ones will enjoy going snorkelling or sightseeing. On shore, a comprehensive kids’ club keeps little Smiths entertained and a diverse menu caters to even the fussiest eaters.
Smith extra: Welcome drink; fruit basket; 15-minute head and shoulder massage (half-hour foot massage for kids); 10% off at the spa, restaurants and bars. Guests in an Anantara Suite/Royal Anantara Suite/Royal Anantara Garden Suite with Plunge Pool also get free WiFi
This cluster of oceanfront cottages artfully arranged on a former sugar and coconut plantation was built as a getaway for glam guests in the 1950s. And soaking up the watery outdoors is what this place is all about: there’s a vast array of watersports on offer, including tubing, water-skiing, windsurfing, kayaks and catamaran-sailing. Everything you need to go snorkelling is provided; you can take a boat out sport fishing, sailing or on a sunset cruise, and tennis and golf are readily accessible back on dry land.
Smith extra: Cookies from the pastry chef for the kids, a bottle of house wine for parents, and a $100 spa credit for stays of five or more nights
Up here, at these cliffside bay-view villas on Crete’s rugged northeast coast, you’ve got more pools than you’ll know what to do with, spacious rooms and a raft of aquatic activities, including baby swimming sessions, waterskiing for juniors, diving lessons for over-8s and organised snorkelling and sailing trips. There’s a sweeping sandy beach for sunbathing and cooling sea swims, a trio of tempting restaurants to try, an indulgent spa to unwind in and a fitness suite if you’re feeling in a particularly active mood.
Smith extra: Free access to the spa’s wet area. For stays of seven nights plus: families on B&B basis get free kids’ buffet dinners at 6pm at Pangea, on half-board basis, free daily kids’ lunch at Taverna or the Pool Bar, Silver/Goldsmiths also get a one-hour massage
Pack light: buckets, spades, footballs, frisbees, boogie boards and snorkel gear are all on hand for guests to borrow, and over-12s (adults, too) can take the plunge and work towards their scuba certification with lessons from the resort’s scuba instructor. A secluded stretch of white-sand Caribbean coast is your playground, and the restful resort has an ocean-facing spa, two pools and cooking classes from in-house chefs to provide healthy distractions.
Smith extra: Complimentary cocktail for each parent and a 30-minute chocolate massage for each child
Smith & Family gives you the best price, guaranteed, as well as a little something extra on arrival. Book online at smithandfamily.com, or call the Smith24 team toll-free at +1 800 905 326.