A good hotel kids’ club is absolutely essential for a fab family holiday! From pirate ships to pony rides, here are the best of the best for your next family getaway in the region
Rejoice for the return of travel! If you’re itching to start planning your next family holiday with summer coming up, we’ve rounded up the creme de la creme of hotel kids’ clubs across Southeast Asia (and beyond). We’re not just talking about board games or arts and crafts; these are spots that go the extra mile with activities like pony rides and flying trapeze, adventurous facilities like outdoor pirate ships and rock climbing walls, with a fair few waterslides thrown in for good measure. We’ve focused on nearby hotspots like Bali and Phuket, along with some particularly amazing resorts that are worth the extra distance.
Bali: Club Med Bali
Club Med is synonymous with awesome family holidays, and their gorgeous resort in Nusa Dua, Bali is no exception, with everything from a beautiful white sand beach to heaps of complimentary water sports, along with their famous Flying Trapeze School. Club Med Bali offers four separate hotel kids’ clubs, including the complimentary Mini Club Med for kids ages 4-10 and Junior Club Med for 11-to-17-year-olds. For an additional cost there’s also Baby Club Med (4 to 23 months) and Petit Club Med (ages 2 to 3). Throw in all-inclusive food and beverage, and that’s just about as fuss-free as it gets!
Bali: Courtyard by Marriott Bali Nusa Dua
This beautiful beachfront resort in Nusa Dua is a hit with kiddos thanks to its four swimming pools – including a Kids’ Pool and a Lazy River – and a spacious kids’ club that features a soft play area with ball pit, video games, toys, and heaps of fun daily activities.
Bali: Ritz-Carlton Mandapa
The Mini Explorers program for kids 5 and up at this Ubud resort is like an immersive eco day camp, where kiddos can learn all about Balinese culture, food, healing traditions, and environmental sustainability. Who wouldn’t want to start their day with a Jungle Gym hike? And munchkins of all ages will love the open-air hotel kids’ club, which has its own chickens and bunny rabbits, along with all sorts of art activities.
Batam: Holiday Inn Batam
If you simply want a change of scenery, make a quick escape to Batam and this all-suites resort, which is perfect for families. You’ll find four swimming pools (one indoor and three outdoor, including one with a waterslide); a kids’ club with lots of fun daily activities; a nice playground for children of all ages, and even paintball for the older ones (or adventurous parents who aren’t afraid of bruising!).
Bintan: Angsana Bintan
If you’re after a quick no-flights beach getaway, this family-friendly brand on Bintan is just the ticket! While mama and dad kick back by the pool or nip off for a massage, kids of all ages will love the Ranger Kids’ Club, which offers complimentary activities like nature walks, sea turtle feeding, painting, sand castle building and more.
Indonesia: Nikoi Island
This back-to-nature kids’ club (generally recommended for children 4 and up) is all about encouraging kiddos to jump, swing, climb, and explore! Resort staff will organise everything from pirate treasure hunts to craft workshops, fishing expeditions and jetty jumping. On a recent trip our kiddos learned how to carve their own bows and arrows and ride ponies, and were delighted to cap every night off with marshmallows around the bonfire. Sounds heavenly!
Malaysia: The Datai
One of our all-time favourite getaways was to this amazing resort in the middle of UNESCO World Heritage jungle with its world class beach and dedicated children’s pool. The Datai will be a huge hit with budding naturalists thanks to its Nature Centre, which is adjacent to nature trails, a canopy walk, a butterfly garden and more.
Malaysia: Westin Langkawi Resort & Spa
At the hotel Kids’ Club (geared towards children ages 4 to 12), littlies can learn about the local flora and fauna via nature walks and birdwatching, and partake in daily themed activities like batik painting. Of course you’ve also got your requisite video games, a kids’ pool and kids’ menus in each of the resort’s many restaurants.
Malaysia: Rawa Island Resort
Rawa Island is every bit as amazing as the photos. While it doesn’t really have its own resort kids’ club, Rawa Island Resort has two waterslides that send you shooting right into the seawater – enough to keep kids occupied for days, we think! There’s also snorkelling, kayaking and jungle walks that you can do as a family! Read our full review of Rawa Island here.
Malaysia: Shangri-La Rasa Ria Resort & Spa Kota Kinabalu
This gorgeous 5-star resort in Borneo features a fab kids’ pool, while all families get complimentary access to the hotel Kids’ Club (for ages 5 and up). The resort offers all sorts of fun daily activities for kiddos, including messy play, sand castle building, movie time, treasure hunts, tribal dancing, pony rides, and much more. On top of all that, the resort abuts a 64-acre nature reserve with scenic walking trails, a canopy walkway, a waterfall garden area and – best of all for kids – an adventure playground and climbing wall for children! Finally, Shangri-La Rasa Ria is making every effort to go green by eliminating plastic straws and even introducing its own reusable water bottles, so you can feel good about your stay!
Maldives: Soneva Fushi
At this absolutely stunning island hideaway of spacious luxury villas, kiddos can rock out to their hearts’ content at The Den, one of the largest hotel kids’ clubs in the world at 1,300 square metres. Designed for children 4 and up and totally free for all guests, the Den features not one but two swimming pools (one for toddlers and one for older kids, with a waterslide, of course), an outdoor pirate ship, a cinema room, a LEGO room, a music room, a dress-up room, a library, and so much more. One thing The Den doesn’t have: Wi-Fi, because nowadays even kiddos need to take a digital detox on vacay! On top of all that, Soneva Fushi offers all sorts of amazing family activities, including outdoor movie screenings, sunset dolphin cruises, ice cream tastings, and stargazing at the resort’s own observatory.
If your kiddos love the beach, look no further than this stunning gem of a private island in the Sulu Sea. Kid-friendly highlights include a daily cruise for fish feeding, snorkelling and turtle viewing, along with fun activities ranging from shell collecting to pizza making. The fab hotel kids’ club, meanwhile, has its own playground, and is stocked with art supplies, books, toys, games and, most important of all, a fantastic staff.
Philippines: Shangri La’s Boracay Resort & Spa
Kiddos looking to escape the heat will adore the resort’s Adventure Zone indoor playground that includes a super cool drop slide and ball pit, along with all manner of video games, ping pong, karaoke rooms and even billiards. Of course you’ll also find multiple swimming pools, an eco centre, and heaps of daily activities just for kids.
Singapore: Shangri-La Singapore
Shangri-La Singapore has gotta be one of the most family-friendly city hotels on Earth. With family-focused rooms and suites, a well-stocked family pantry filled with everything from diapers to strollers (with 24/7 access during your stay) and kid-friendly restaurants, it’s one of the best kid-friendly hotels in Singapore! And then of course you’ve got access to kids’ club Buds, the amazing indoor/outdoor playground that includes a pirate ship, splash pad, music space, art studio and more.
Thailand: Holiday Inn Vana Nava Hua Hin
Holiday Inn Vana Nava Hua Hin is Asia’s first integrated water park resort. The beautiful and spacious kids’ club features different zones geared toward various age groups (so teens can do their thang apart from pesky younger siblings in the ball pit, for example), not to mention the adjacent Vana Nava water jungle, which features 19 different rides and slides!
Thailand: Le Meridien Suvarnabhumi and Le Meridien Phuket
We’re so impressed by the Le Meridien Family initiative, which is all about sparking kids’ imaginations and encourages them to explore their destination at hand. Outside Bangkok (Suvarnabhumi) that means you’ll find an indoor/outdoor kids’ club where kiddos can get creative through hands-on play, cooking, and even excursions to the nearby KidZania. We hear equally great things about the sister resort in Phuket, which has its own ball pit!
Thailand: Four Seasons Koh Samui
Priding itself on its family-friendliness, this luxe spot features the rad Kids for All Seasons program for children aged 4 to 12, including a beautiful beachfront resort kids’ club and super cool daily activities like Thai cooking classes, fishing excursions, and even kids Muay Thai classes! Of course little ones will also be pampered with child-sized slippers and robes, along with beach toys and inflatables. They’ll even give you pool fencing for safety if you’re staying in a pool villa!
Thailand: Rosewood Phuket
The Rosewood Explorers program is notable not only because it’s free for children from the age of 3 (instead of the usual 4), but also for its thoughtful themed experiences, including eco-awareness (they’ve got their own children’s garden!), Great Outdoors (kid-sized pool loungers and cabanas!), and Indoor Fun (look out for an indoor rope maze!). The resort also offers personalised nutrition for toddlers (parents can actually jump in the kitchen to provide chef with instructions for food preparation) and certified Napping Nannies!
Thailand: Santiburi Koh Samui
This resort’s kids’ facilities include a huge kids’ club with a trampoline, children’s bikes, table tennis, and video games. They’ve also got a dedicated children’s pool, and offer heaps of kid-friendly activities, including Thai cooking classes for kids from the age of 3!
Thailand: The Slate Phuket
With a theme based on Phuket’s mining past, the hotel’s kids’ club is imaginatively called The Tin Box, and young guests are referred to as ‘Little Miners’. With drop off available for kiddos 4 and up, the beautiful space offers a bevy of creative fun, including origami, mask making, and all manner of toys and games. Kiddos can also partake in Muay Thai kickboxing along with ‘petit sommelier’ and cooking classes.
Vietnam: InterContinental Da Nang Sun Peninsula Resort
We’ve long heard raves about the family-friendliness of this beachfront resort, which offers two distinct (and complimentary!) Planet Trekkers kids’ clubs (for 4-to-7-year-olds and for 8-to-12-year-olds). Children can explore with a mini jungle adventure, learn traditional Vietnamese songs and games, fly kites on the beach, chill out with some yoga, or get hands on with arts and crafts.
Penang: Golden Sands Resort by Shangri-La
This family-friendly resort has a host of fun activities for kids, before you even reach the Kids Club. Called the Cool Zone, it’s housed in the Adventure Zone, a fun indoor play centre separate to the main resort building. Kids can enjoy a range of fun games, activities, arts and crafts as well as trips to the swimming pool with the Kids Club staff. Mobile phones are available on loan for parents who wish to be in contact with their children, a useful feature! The Cool Zone operates from 9:30am – 9pm daily, and kids are advised to bring along sunblock and swimsuits for outdoor activities.