Whether it’s sunbathing by the pool, strolling through the landscaped gardens, the chance to get active or the opportunity to learn something new with cooking classes or turtle conservation sessions at the Eco Centre, Golden Sands Resort by Shangri-La offers guests everything fathomable for a chance to relax. Kids will love Adventure Zone, the biggest indoor play park in Penang, not to mention the mini water park and two swimming pools with water slides. While the kids enjoy activities like art and craft at the kids’ club, parents can escape to the resort’s spa and Jacuzzi, in-house restaurants or the nearby Batu Ferringhi Night Bazaar.
Immerse yourself in nature at Shangri-La’s Rasa Ria Resort. Set amid 160 hectares of tropical forest, this resort gives you the opportunity to see Borneo’s famous wildlife at the Nature Interpretation Centre. There’s an endless amount of outdoor activities to enjoy, from horse riding and fly fishing to banana boat rides and wakeboarding. Kids aged five to 11 can head to the kids’ club, while teens can enjoy jetskiing, stand-up paddleboarding, bicycle tours and cooking demonstrations. For parents, we recommend you try out the eco-friendly championship golf course or Spa at Dalit Bay.
LEGOLAND Malaysia Resort offers over 70 rides, slides, shows and attractions for the family to enjoy. The LEGOLAND Hotel is just as exciting, with a dragon-guarded entrance, LEGO® pirate ship in the lobby, themed lifts and bedrooms in either pirate, adventure, kingdom or NINJAGO themes. Elsewhere in the hotel, there is a LEGO play area, Xbox 360 Kinect and swimming pool to entertain littlies. Enjoy a buffet breakfast at the Bricks Family Restaurant, and a choice of cuisines at the hotel’s various international restaurants.
Shangri-La’s Rasa Sayang Resort offers plenty for families. The resort’s Adventure Zone has fun drop slides, as well as a toddler zone and kids’ club. The Cool Zone Kids Club, for five- to 12-year-olds, has activities like cooking, arts and craft and board games. The resort also has organised activities on offer like jungle walks, golf competitions at the on-site Pitch and Putt Golf Course and cooking demonstrations. There’s a complimentary daily shuttle to George Town for family expeditions, and the Batu Ferringhi Night Markets and Tropical Spice Garden are within 10 minutes of the resort. There is a main pool and separate kids’ pool, three tennis courts and poolside table tennis. Choose from five restaurants and bars, either as a family or make use of the hotel’s babysitting services to go solo.
Just 10 minutes from the city, this resort is a getaway on the island of Borneo offers 492 contemporary rooms and suites, some even with connecting rooms perfect for families. It’s the perfect gateway to a whole host of fun: trek 10 minutes to Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park to delight little animal lovers, or take a walk through beautiful Kinabalu National Park. On resort grounds, a water play area has a dedicated toddler and teenage section and a water battle zone, and the water slides measure a thrilling 100 metres in length, total. For the youngest guests, potties, cribs and baby products are available, and babysitting services care for kids aged four and up.
This eco-friendly jungle beach resort is the ultimate in family-friendly and all-inclusive, too. Its location is nigh unbeatable, perched on the edge of the Malaysian jungle overlooking the ocean and inviting you to enjoy treetop adventures and wildlife discoveries, including the resident monkeys. At the resort’s centre, you’ll find a treetop course offering fun for all ages, where you can zipline through the trees and see the jungle from above. Age-grouped kids’ clubs cater for everybody from four months to 17 years, and three different on-site dining venues offer plenty of variety, with special kids’ menus available.
This resort is connected to all the thrills and chills of Sunway Lagoon theme park, with more than 80 attractions for wet and wild fun in the Malaysian sun, including the world’s largest surf pool. Just 35 minutes from Kuala Lumpur International Airport, the resort offers 468 guest rooms, suites and pool villas, and loves to welcome little guests. The fussiest eaters will have nothing to complain about here, either, with more than 170 restaurants and outlets at your doorstep, and babysitting and childcare services are available.
The traditional Malaysian chalets at this resort make for a super-cute and authentic experience, with thatched roofs and timber construction. They also make the perfect base (as the name suggests) for avid scuba diving families, with a safe private beach and PADI dive courses and activities on site. With crystal-clear waters on one side and the jungle on the other, it’s a blissful tropical getaway and a complete digital detox. Kids’ and toddlers’ life vests are available along with cots with mosquito nets, baby baths and high chairs, baby food and and monitors for your bub. A range of supervised kids’ activities are also on offer four-to-12s (and younger, if accompanied by a parent).
Coconut trees and white sand beaches beckon at this expansive resort, with dedicated kids’ suites offering twin- and bunk-beds alongside in-room PlayStation games. We’re betting these will be used sparingly, though, considering the resort’s proximity to Escape theme park (which has been called Malaysia’s best), moving away from technology thrill-rides to instead encourage self-driven play with activities like trapeze acrobatics or bungee-jumping. On resort grounds, a pool beckons and scheduled kids’ activities are on offer. Bonus points are awarded for nanny services and the resort’s ‘Kids stay free’ policy for anyone under 19 years when sharing their parent’s room.
This five-star resort overlooks the Andaman Sea and an abundance of tropical foliage, with rooms and villas available to fit all shapes and sizes. There is a kids’ club in addition to a range of dedicated amenities and activities specially made for young holidayers, and the famous shopping of Kuah town is nearby for a great family expedition. Water sports and refreshing walks through the tropical rainforests get kids away from those screens with ease, and an airport shuttle means less stress and more bonding time.
The overwater villas at Berjaya Langkawi Resort are nothing less than enchanting, and the setting alone allows for a blissful family retreat. A plethora of recreational opportunities include a children’s playground, swimming pool, gym, archery, cycling, mangrove tours and island hopping, and a relaxing sunset yacht cruise makes for the perfect end to the perfect day. Parents needing a little ‘me’ time can count on a kids’ club and babysitting services available, and five-star accommodation offerings include rooms and suites with private balconies, air conditioning and Wi-Fi.
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.