It’s the lucky kid who gets to while away a family holiday at a luxury hotel or resort. It’s an unlucky kid who lands in a place where all the fun is about Happy Hour, champagne brunches and upscale boutique shopportunities on property.
But there are other places in Asia that haven’t forgot what it’s like to be a kid. And who are trumpeting amenities and activities that ensure kids are happy campers.
If your kids are bugging you for s’mores and campfire stories, but the idea of sleeping out in the wilderness gives you the heebie-jeebies, check out Grand Hyatt Taipei’s new luxe indoor camping experience. Perfect for little campers, the hotel’s new Family Adventure package includes a pop-up tent, featherbeds, plush toys, a picnic table, and a planetarium projector which brings the twinkling stars of the night sky inside. Tents can be set up in the living room of any 893 sq. ft. Grand Executive Suite where kids can play or spend the night snuggling in the tent, while parents can get some privacy (and sleep!) in the adjoining bedroom. Best of all? It’s temperature-controlled, there’s room service and housekeeping can help set it up and take it all away in the morning.
With the proliferation of technology affording non-stop stimuli in the forms of iPhones, iPads, and all sorts of wondrous gadgets, it’s no easy feat to capture the youngsters’ attention these days, let alone impress them. Yet the Anam’s got that covered with the first 3-D movie theatre in a Vietnamese resort. Seating up to 60 people donning futuristic looking glasses, the cutting-edge space screens a wide selection of movies to keep children entertained for hours. The kid’s club and its host of activities including (but not limited to) creating art such as painting statues, tug of war, building sand castles, and participating in a mini fashion show, as well as water gymnastics in the pool and futsal, round out the excitement.
Kids don’t check into Vietnam’s most legendary hotel; little princes do. At least, that’s how the Metropole bends the knee for its small fry. The gestures that started with a Sofitel-wide hospitality program, Magnifique Family, are now de rigueur for all children who check in. The bellmen starts by tagging pint-sized luggage with kid-friendly tags. Housekeeping one-ups the appeal by stocking kid rooms with gifts that include the French classic, Le Petit Prince. On Sundays, the chef cordons off a corner of Le Beaulieu restaurant for a children’s only buffet, available to guest-kids who come down for breakfast or walk-ins who come in for brunch.
The old maxim that “Children learn through play” certainly applies at Banyan Tree Samui where the Octopus Club offers 4- 12 year olds a daily itinerary that includes Thai cooking lessons, traditional Thai dancing, Thai boxing, and CRS-related topics to help them learn about nature and the environment. One standout activity is a “coral regeneration” project, conducted by the resort’s CSR manager: broken coral is retrieved from Banyan Tree’s private bay, attached to fresh blocks with help from the kids, and then replaced in the reef. The children can witness their work on group snorkelling lessons. The resort also offers Family Suites which have adjoining villas that can accommodate 2 children and also provides an in-house babysitting service.
When the resort re-launched with a new wellness concept kids weren't forgotten. The new fitness schedule includes daily kids yoga sessions. The kids club, which caters to children from 1-12 years old, runs from 9-11am and 2-4pm, with indoor and outdoor activities for the children so parents can make use of the spa. Spa treatments after all are included in the nightly rate. The activities align with the property's wellness pillars such as "Be active" or "Eat well" and include pursuits like building sandcastles, learning Vietnamese, and taking part in ball games. There is also a dedicated kids pool and outdoor play area complete with swings, slides, and tunnels.
For kids who are fans of palaces and moats and mythical lore they might be impressed to know that Palace Hotel Tokyo shares a canal with the Imperial Palace Gardens, a sprawling East Asian complex. Although they’ll only spot swans, not dragons, when they sit down for an alfresco breakfast on the moat-side terrace at the Grand Kitchen. The hotel also offers the young ones a taste of Japanese culture with an in-house origami session each Wednesday. At check-in children will feel special with their own check-in cards and souvenirs like an original Palace Hotel Tokyo sticker and a Palace Hotel Tokyo Rubik’s cube. Once in the room they’ll find pyjamas, slippers, and bathrobes all in their size and, upon request, cribs, diaper pails, baby bathtubs and baby shampoo can be ready and waiting for the youngest family member.
In Imperial Vietnam, it’s been said that easily bored emperor required a different meal for breakfast, lunch and dinner every day of the year. The same might be said for the diversity of options across the river from the Palace at La Residence Hotel & Spa. The choices include diversions in the arts, sports and culinary pursuits and can accommodate kids on their own or kids in groups of 2 to 5. Some of the activities are specific to Hue, and help kids turn out such crafts as incense sticks and paper lotus. A culinary arts class delves into some of the emperor’s favorite dishes. Other activities indulge table tennis, origami and kite-making.