Children and families are fast gaining traction to be one of the most important leisure markets around the world as multi-generational travel takes centre stage.
IHG (InterContinental Hotels Group), for instance, launched the Planet Trekkers mobile app, in partnership with National Geographic Kids, designed for children to learn about and explore their travel destination, before, during and after their holiday.
The app is part of the Planet Trekkers family programme, a club of tailored services, cuisine and activities that are specifically created for families. Over the past two years, the programme has seen a number of enhancements including the introduction of the Planet Trekkers Children’s menu and partnership with renowned Norland College.
TTN has curated a bunch of holidays that are bound to be a hit with travellers with family.
The Address Boulevard Dubai, the most anticipated new hotel under The Address Hotels + Resorts, is set to welcome its first guests later this year. The 72-storey curvilinear hotel is the second-tallest building in Downtown Dubai at an impressive height of 368 metres. It will also be the 33rd tallest building in the world.
The central location of The Address Boulevard Dubai provides direct access to The Dubai Mall with various children’s activities, and the food and beverage choices on Mohammed Bin Rashid Boulevard in addition to Dubai Opera, the multi-format performing arts venue to open shortly in Downtown Dubai.
With guest rooms opening to picturesque views of Burj Khalifa, The Dubai Fountain and the Arabian Sea, The Address Boulevard Dubai has 196 rooms including a large number of interconnected rooms with zipped beds for the convenience of large-family visitors.
Apart from a luxurious 700-sqm spa with 10 treatments rooms, one couple’s treatment suite, a spa pool and a private vitality pool, the urban resort features three outdoor swimming pools including a family pool with slides, waterfall and children’s splash pad as well as an adult pool. The Kids Club is an exclusively designed centre that provides a holistic nurturing experience for children aged 3 to 12. Activities range from arts and crafts, games, storytelling, yoga and dynamic exercises. The outlets are operated by a team of youth experts who specialise in educational and participative engagement.
The food and beverage concept at the property promises to be unique.
Jordan’s leading family resort, Mövenpick Resort & Spa Tala Bay Aqaba, has added several new family-oriented activities for both parents and children. It offers treasure hunts and private cooking classes with the resort’s chefs. The resort’s 150-metre stretch of private beach is the location for the ‘Famolympics’, in which a family’s teamwork, agility and coordination are tested at five stations involving mind games, relay, swimming and sandcastle-making.
Treasure hunts play up to the resort’s Red Sea beachfront location, with teams of parents and children edging each other out to search for hidden treasures. Both activities are available on weekends. For families who enjoy cooking together, the resort’s kitchen is a school ground to learn five-star culinary techniques during private midweek cooking classes supervised by professional chefs. Families get to experience hands-on cooking as they create one of three local Jordanian dishes: Maqloobah, Sayadieh and Mansaf, the country’s national dish.
SUMMER CAMPS AT SONEVA
Soneva Resorts and Residences has unveiled its new 2016 summer camp programme for children, offering everything from black-ops survival courses, private island picnic adventures and dolphin cruises, through to astronomy sessions and chocolate making classes at its resorts in Thailand and Maldives.
Young Soneva guests are invited to unleash their inner adventurer with activities including guided snorkelling with a marine biologist, pirate adventure cruises, night time island exploration, and raft building. The more creatively inclined are invited to learn how to make traditional handicrafts, recipes and mocktails, take language classes, make coconut oil, or participate in inventor competitions and glass-blowing.
Budding athletes can participate in mini marathons and Olympics, yoga, aqua fit, tennis, beach games, football challenges, water sports contests, bike riding, kayaking, paddle boarding and much more.
'The majority of our guests are repeaters and we have watched them return to our resorts year after year, first as honeymooners and then with their families. In many cases, we have literally watched their children grow up and now we see these children returning with their own families. With this in mind, we have gone to great lengths to ensure that Soneva is a wonderful place for families,' says Sonu Shivdasani, founder and CEO of Soneva Resorts. 'The summer camps and our children’s Dens are some of the ways in which we create unique and inspiring experiences for guests of all ages, both young and old.'
A new Children’s Den opened at Soneva Fushi late last year, which features two swimming pools, a pirate ship, a DJ corner, a Mocktail Bar, a kitchen, a Lego room, a music room and a teenage lounge. The unique playground was conceptualised and designed as an imaginative playground for the family and is said to be the most elaborate children’s facility of any luxury hotel in the world.
Similarly, Soneva Kiri’s children’s Den is a surreal jungle playground hoisted high up into the forest canopy. A giant moulded bamboo playground shaped like a manta ray, the Den is dedicated to learning, to excitement, and to meaningful experiences.
The summer camp programme runs at both Soneva Fushi and Soneva Kiri from May 15 to August 31. Most activities are complimentary for children of guests staying at the resorts during this period.
What better way to spend quality family time than cruising the ocean with the Harmony of the Seas, the newest addition to Royal Caribbean International’s award-winning Oasis Class fleet.
Royal Caribbean is taking family fun to new heights this month with world’s biggest ship with first-at-sea features: Royal Caribbean’s signature DreamWorks Experience, enhanced entertainment in the complimentary Adventure Ocean youth programme, and the tallest slide at sea – The Ultimate Abyss, The Perfect Storm trio of multilevel water slides and Splashaway Bay interactive aqua park for kids. You can even share every moment with not just family on-board, but friends back home with VOOM - the fastest internet at sea.
Guests can enjoy events and activities based on popular feature-film characters, including a DreamWorks Character breakfast in the main dining room and ‘meet and greet’ experiences throughout the day. Younger guests can even experience ‘opening weekend’ seats of highly anticipated feature films which premiere on board the same day it does in cinemas on land.
New to be offered in Harmony’s Adventure Ocean Theatre is Away We Go! a black light puppet show created by Tony award-nominated actors and imaginative producers John Tartaglia by and Michael Shawn Lewis of Gable Grove Productions.
Additionally, programming by Muffalo Potato – the popular YouTube show, which teaches kids to draw anything in minutes using only letters and numbers – will round out Harmony’s line-up.
ASPEN IN DUBAI
The Aspen Chalets at Kempinski Hotel Mall of the Emirates make a unique choice for a family break in Dubai, bringing to life cosy ski chalets from Aspen.
The newly launched chalets comprise 15 luxurious Aspen Ski Chalets overlooking Ski Dubai and five Aspen Pool Chalets connected directly to the hotel infinity pool. The launch of Aspen Chalets coincides with the 10 year anniversary of the Kempinski Hotel Mall of the Emirates and marks the completion of its refurbishment.
Created as an exclusive hotel within a hotel and overlooking Ski Dubai, the chalets boast all the comforts of a ski lodge with the warmth of world-class personalised service. With a rich colour palette of dark brown and ivory white, each chalet has a stone faux fireplace, presenting an authentic alpine design with accents of natural woods, stone and marble.
What’s included? A dedicated butler service that is exclusive only to chalet guests, an airport meet-and-greet for international travellers and transfer in a luxury car. A host of dining options are available for Aspen Chalets guests. These include seasonal amenities, such as hot chocolate and marshmallows, accompanied by chocolate-dipped berries, fruit meringues and jellies – as well as upgraded amenities for children. A special in-room dining menu is available 24 hours a day, and the executive chef can cater to private dining requests, including full butler and table service.
The Aspen Chalets come at a bargain at $549 per night.
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