So you probably can’t make it to The Algarve or South Africa in a long weekend, but get ready for some major family travel wanderlust, mama!
Trying to decide where to holiday with the family this year? Look no further. Travel experts Mr & Mrs Smith have curated a list of 2017’s most sought-after family-friendly hotspots. From big-game spotting on safari in South Africa to Robinson Crusoe-style adventures in Sri Lanka, these on-everyone’s-lips destinations are set to thrill adventurers of all ages…
Bauhaus-meets-the-beach at this sleek, contemporary retreat, where the concept of barefoot luxury is a core philosophy. Perfect for families, the glass-enhanced Martinhal Sagres neighbours both the beach and a national park. There’s a spa with a treatment that involves being wrapped in seaweed and the hotel’s main restaurant, O Terraço, surveys the sea through impressive floor-to-ceiling windows. Its menu is tailored to tots, and hotel staff can babysit by arrangement. Extra beds (€60 a night) can be added to the Luxury Villas and Villa Mimosa.
Smith extra: A glass of Portuguese sparkling wine for each adult and one mocktail for each child, plus a 10% discount on one massage.
With Canada in the festive spirit (the country is celebrating its 150th birthday this year), perhaps now is the time to visit one of its modern-day frontier lodges. The Wickaninnish Inn in Tofino on Vancouver Island perches dramatically at the edge of nature, with the wild waters of the north Pacific churning against its rugged cliff face. Each room has a giant soaking tub, fireplace and balcony for ocean views, and you’ll find rain gear and binoculars in your wardrobe if you’re feeling intrepid. The restaurant, serving hyper-local cuisine, has a spectacular vantage over the beach, and there are games, babysitting services, kids’ menus and endless activities for those old enough to explore the natural environs.
Smith Extra: Half-bottle of sparkling wine.
You’re faced with an intriguing choice at Sabi Sands Game Reserve, set in thousands of acres of Kruger National Park: will you choose the conical-roofed houses on a local koppie (hill), or a treehouse-style suite reached by rope bridges and raised walkways? There’s a watering-hole for hippopotami on-site, a spa, a cellar showcasing the best of the country’s wine, and rangers on hand after dark to untangle the southern sky’s constellations. Little ones will be kept busy with tailored activities and an educational backpack at the Cub’s Club at Rock Lodge.
Smith extra: A personalised Ulusaba Encountered book – a picture-laden guide to the reserve.
Set in fertile shrubland near the remote rural village of Kuchchaveli, Sri Lanka’s Jungle Beach Resort is a tropical pad in the vein of Robinson Crusoe, but with design credentials that are bang up-to-date. The hotel has a near-deserted beach, a treehouse-style restaurant and bar threaded through with exotic foliage, and castaway-chic villas cloaked by mangroves – perfect for adventure-seeking families. There’s kids’ yoga, toys and bikes to borrow, water polo and crab hunting for the little ones, while adults can indulge in meditation and spa sessions at the beach-side Uga Spa.
Smith extra: A 30-minute jet-lag massage for two.
The electric blue of Lake Wakatipu, the majestic Remarkables range and the soaring Cecil and Walter Peaks are the knockout backdrop of Azur Lodge, two miles west of Queenstown. These nine stone and silver beechwood villas command stunning, uninterrupted views of the scenery through floor-to-ceiling windows and glass doors that open onto a spacious deck, and even your spa bath has the feel of being outside. High chairs, toys, microwaves and patio safety features are all in place, and babysitting can be arranged for NZ$20 an hour.
Smith extra: Arcadia sparkling wine on ice and handmade chocolates in your villa upon arrival
With Mr & Mrs Smith you’ll enjoy our best-price guarantee, as well as a little something extra on arrival at every hotel. To book, call toll free at 800 905 326 or visit mrandmrssmith.com.
Lead image: Azur Lodge, Queensland, New Zealand