Perched among the treetops, Shangri-La’s Rasa Resort & Spa is perfect for families wanting to get back to nature. The Rasa Ria Reserve is home to over 60 bird species and 100 types of butterflies, as well as indigenous and endangered species. These can be spotted during nature activities including jungle or canopy walks, night walks and a ranger experience where kids help prepare food for the animals and learn basic jungle survival skills. While parents check out the eco-friendly championship golf course, kids aged four to 12 can head to the kids’ club for scavenger hunts and horseback riding and teens can take a jet ski, stand-up paddleboard or an ocean kayak for a spin.
LEGOLAND Hotel Malaysia makes for a quirky family holiday. Choose between pirate adventure, kingdom or NINJAGO themed rooms and discover hidden LEGO® after solving some of the hotel’s puzzles. With kids activities every day, including meet and greets with LEGO® characters and the Super Speedy Building Challenge, this unique stay lets imaginations run wild. Head to the Bricks Family Restaurant for breakfast or taste flavours from around the world at the other hotel restaurants. For those who can’t get enough of LEGO®, LEGOLAND Malaysia Resort is on your doorstep with over 70 rides, slides, shows and attractions for everyone in the family.
Be sure to remember your swimmers for your stay at Golden Sands Resort by Shangri-La; the resort’s very own mini water park, Splash Zone, will ensure hours of water-soaked wonder with two water slides, tipping buckets, spray fountains and a splash pad. Dry off with a stroll through the lush gardens with a freshly cut coconut in hand or head to the restaurant or cafe for a bite to eat. If parents want to sneak off and explore the nearby Batu Ferringhi Night Bazaar there are childcare services available, but you might encounter some trouble trying to drag them away from Adventure Zone, the biggest indoor play park in Penang.
Nestled under the canopy of century old rain trees, Shangri-La’s Rasa Sayang Resort & Spa is an oasis of epic proportions. With 304 rooms, five bars and restaurants, a spa, nail and hair salon, health club and lagoons-style pool, the resort is the perfect place to recharge and have fun. Kids, too, can enjoy the opulent offerings, making the most of the dedicated children’s pool as well an indoor Adventure Zone complete with drop slides and modular play equipment. The Cool Zone Kids’ Club is also there for littlies aged five to 12, and child-minding services are available on request.
Enjoying watercolour sunsets and sparkling coral islands, it’s hard to believe Shangri-La’s Tanjung Aru Resort & Spa is just 10 minutes from the city. You’re spoilt for choice with 492 rooms and suites and six restaurants and bars, and there’s also an extensive roster of activities to keep everyone busy: think water volleyball, stand-up paddleboard lessons, watermelon eating contests and a coconut bowling competition. The kids can cool off in the water play area and the 2,000-square-metre swimming pool with a tapered shoreline for children. There are also waterslides and water battle stations with water balloon launchers.
Calling all budding gymnasts, sailors, archers and professional pool loungers – Club Med Cherating Beach is your ultimate playground among the jungle. Whether trapeze school is to your taste or you prefer a day with the sea and the sand aboard a Hobie Cat 15, there’s a vast array of activities available to entertain every type of holidaymaker. For an extra special holiday experience with a touch of green, head to Cherating Turtle Sanctuary to learn all about turtle conservation and, if you’re lucky, observe turtle hatchings and releases.
Experience the tropics in a cleaner, greener way with a stay at Sea Gypsy Village Resort & Dive Base – the 28 chalets here are constructed using traditional methods and materials, including palm fronds and wood. The eco-friendly endeavours of the resort don’t stop there, with tree planting projects and the build of their own artificial reef. Relax at the beachfront lounge bar with a milkshake for the little ones and a cocktail for you, or visit the Beach Bar for a regular fire show in the evenings. Dan’s Nasty Tadpole courses are also a must-do for the kids, allowing them to dive into a range of water sports.
As one of the three distinct hotels that make up Sunway City, Sunway Resort Hotel & Spa offers a multitude of choices when it comes to eating, playing and shopping your way through your holiday. The hotel is seamlessly connected to the Sunway Pyramid Mall, home to more than 900 outlets, and Sunway Lagoon theme park, which is where you’ll find The Vuvuzela: the world’s largest water ride. Even the fussiest of eaters will be satisfied as there are some 170 restaurants and food outlets to choose from. One thing is for sure – there’s something for everyone at this hotel.
Located in the heart of Batu Ferringhi, Holiday Inn Resort Penang offers the opportunity to sip on sundowners while gazing over the Malacca Straits, your view made all the sweeter by the knowledge kids under 12 stay for free when sharing a room with their parents. The Playlabs provide endless fun for the little ones, with an interactive projector, glow-in-the-dark room and a variety of games. You can also take a walk or cycle to discovery the area’s tropical surrounds. penang.
They say good things come in threes, but The Westin Langkawi Resort & Spa brings extra charms, boasting four pools to suit every aquatic taste. If you can drag yourself away from the stunning views, the resort concierge is on call 24-hours a day to help you plan your stay, be it exploring the lush gardens of Lagenda Park, or flying through tree canopies on the Umgawa Zipline adventure. There are also a range of healthy and family-friendly dining options available, and the Splash swim-up pool bar is perfect for a cool cocktail with a view.
The Four Seasons Resort Langkawi offers exciting experiences for young and old from the serene surrounds of a UNESCO World Geopark. Hang out poolside, where tots can play in the shallows while teens make a splash amid waterfalls, fountains and underwater jets. Or, learn generations-old fishing methods at the resort’s own Rumah Ikan fish house. For daring explorers, rock climbing and archery are up for grabs, while intrepid travellers can jump aboard a floating classroom and journey through the mangroves in search of monkeys and eagles.
It’s a tremendous achievement to have your property recognised by the people who matter most: the families who stay there. We love seeing how many wonderful options there are for travellers with kids in tow all across the world, and every year the list is expanding.
As you can probably imagine, it’s a massive job to compile the Top 10 each year, and the Holidays with Kids team has been hard at work for the last few months compiling all the survey responses and sorting them into categories.
Holidays with Kids was the first travel magazine in Australia to do readers’ choice awards all the way back in 2001, our editors are pretty much certified experts in this field.