Got a water baby on your hands? Family travel gurus Smith & Family weigh in with their list of the best swimming pools around
Make a splash at these five family-friendly hotels with brilliant pools, where water babies of all ages will think they’ve dived and gone to heaven. Warning: you won’t be able to look your local leisure centre in the same way following a dip in one of these swish Smith & Family swimming pools.
At playful InterContinental Danang Sun Peninsula Resort, adults will be spoiled by the Michel Roux restaurant and blissful spa; little Smiths will be smitten with the kids’ club and beach. Spend your days idling by the pool, gamboling on the beach or trying out watersports. The pool by the bar is adults-only, but there’s a family-friendly freeform pool close to the beach, surrounded by loungers and shady palm trees, with a kids’ pool attached. A lifeguard keeps watch over the main pool between 6am and 6pm.
Smith Extra: Afternoon tea for two at Citron, plus free babysitting throughout your stay
On Phuket’s sleepy northern shores you’ll find Indigo Pearl, inspired by the island’s tin-mining heritage, designed by Bill Bensley, and offering plenty of fun for the whole family. Amazing diving, a free kids’ club, kid-friendly pool, an indulgent spa and delicious dining will keep you coming back for more. Indigo Pearl has three different pools, but two are adults-only. The stunning family pool has a non-smoking, children-only section, so it’s ideal for all ages. It’s supervised by a lifeguard from 8am to 7pm and has a shallow end with Roman steps for hesitant water babies.
Smith Extra: Return airport transfers for the whole family
A fantastic free kids’ club, freshwater pool with water slides, and round-the clock nanny service ensure families flock to coastal Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort on Fiji’s tropical Vanua Levu island. Adults-only dining, private beach picnics, morning yoga and a seductive spa add a touch of romance; guests of all ages will love the watersports, snorkelling and thrill-packed diving. The adults-only oceanfront Serenity Pool by the bar is a sleek, infinity-edge number flanked by orange day-beds and a shady pergola for a sociable scene. It only welcomes teens, but younger kids can choose between three dedicated pools near the Bula Club, including the freshwater Family Pool with a 20-foot water slide, the Junior Pool and the cascading Water Mushroom Pool for toddlers. Lifeguards are on duty from 8am–9pm, and pools are secured out of hours. Pool toys, flotation devices and beach towels are provided.
Smith Extra: A private island picnic for two, and free breakfast and lunch prior to 2pm check-in if arriving earlier
Set on a stretch of private golden sand, child-friendly Anantara The Palm Dubai Resort’s rooms and villas are decked out in sleek Siam style. With three lagoon pools and a kids’ club, there’s plenty here for little splashers; a watersports centre, superlative spa and tennis courts will keep the whole family happy, too. Look out for the small Thai boats criss-crossing the lagoon pools, from which staff hand out cold towels, fruit and water – a blissful treat in the Dubai sun. Aquaphobics, look away now: 10,000 square metres of azure, temperature-controlled pools take centre stage here. With its pagoda-roofed swim-up bar and a crescent of sea-facing sunloungers, the main infinity pool is a lively affair. Tots can play in the sandy patches and shallow waters giving access to the pools, and older children can happily go exploring on their own: open from 7am to 8pm, the pools are supervised by lifeguards.
Smith Extra: A bottle of wine and fresh fruit on arrival
Huddled between rugged coast, desert hills and the bustle of Essaouira, family-friendly hotel Jardin des Douars feels like a stylish discovery. Savour the bohemian vibe and French laissez-faire: children are free to explore the nooks and exuberant grounds of this laid-back Moroccan palace with two jade-green pools, tantalising seasonal menus and a child-welcoming hammam. The family-friendly pool is heated all year round, with a very shallow end within the main pool perfect for small children, and some changing rooms nearby. It’s not supervised, but there are plenty of sunloungers from which to keep an eye on little ones.
Smith Extra: A 30-minute hammam session and black-soap exfoliation for each adult guest, and a 30-minute massage for each child
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.
Lead image is of the Anantara The Palm Dubai Resort, Dubai.