Families that play together, stay together, and there are several retreats and attractions here in Asia that encourage just that
Alma Resort, Cam Ranh, Vietnam
Opening in 2Q2020 on Cam Ranh’s Long Beach, the Alma Resort is an integrated development that boasts a diverse picking of attractions and activities that everyone in the family can appreciate and enjoy.
To start off, Alma Resort’s accommodation collection seeks to impress. Every one of it 580 oversized suites and pavilions afford sweeping vistas of the ocean. Multigenerational travelling families can check into a three-bedroom oceanfront pavilion, each offering 224m2 of space that takes in a living room, kitchen, four bathrooms and a private pool.
Resort guests will never have to go hungry, as the development features a broad spectrum of restaurants helmed by top chefs, a food court as well as a classical bar, pool bar and beach bar.
For recreation, Alma Resort keeps guests busy with 12 swimming pools cascading down to the beach, the 6,000m2 Splash Water Park, a 13-treatment room spa, a 70-seat private Alma Cinema which airs three films daily, the 400-seat Alma Amphitheater, an art gallery, a science museum, a gym and yoga room, an 18-hole mini golf course, a youth centre outfitted with virtual reality games, a kid’s club, and a water sports centre.
What’s super: Alma Resort provides multigenerational families, especially those with little ones, the convenience of having so much to do, see and savour under one roof.
Foodie Jet ski tour, Langkawi, Malaysia
Conducted by Mega Water Sports in the Malaysian resort destination, Langkawi, the food tour on Jet ski is designed for participants aged five and up. While Jet ski riders must be at least 16 years old, younger tour participants can join as pillion.
Prior to the tour, a safety briefing is carried out and it includes a lesson on how to ride a Jet ski.
The two-hour long guided tour explores Langkawi’s much-loved local cuisine. It starts on Pantai Cenang Beach and goes all the way to Pantai Kok Beach, before returning starting point. On Pantai Kok, guests will get to try dishes such as laksa pulau, pasembor and mee rebus.
Along the way, views of Mt Machinchang can be enjoyed from a distance and the local guide will narrate the legend of the mountain. Participants will also learn what a geopark is, and the significance of Langkawi’s UNESCO Global Geopark status.
What’s super: More than just a food tour, the activity packs in educational, fitness and bonding opportunities. It is also the only food tour on the island which is water based, requiring participants to Jet-ski their way to venues to savour local delights.
The company scores bonus points for its commitment to green practices – it uses a fleet of low emission Jet skis that reduces noise, air and water pollution. It also maintains a high safety standard.
The Great Asia Africa, Lembang, West Java, Indonesia
Opened December 2019, The Great Asia Africa in Indonesia’s Lembang is an interesting family attraction that takes visitors on a whirlwind tour of seven countries in a single day.
Miniature tourist destinations in Asia and Africa – specifically Japan, South Korea, India, Turkey, Egypt, Indonesia and Thailand – are recreated in seven pavilions. Each pavilion displays one or two local landmarks. In the Japan pavilion, for example, one can find a duplicate of Fushimi Inari Taisha, a popular Shinto shrine in Fushimi-ku, Kyoto.
Cooking demonstrations are offered at selected pavilions, providing a real taste of the destination to curious visitors.
The Great Asia Africa promises a great snapshot of the diverse cultures of Asia and Africa, through stories and visuals of local history, arts, ornaments and traditional clothing.
Visitors can choose to rent traditional clothing and dress up for a memorable family portrait against the miniature background, enjoy performances, and participate in cultural workshops that teach traditional dances or kimchi making, among many other things.
Besides the country pavilions, The Great Asia Africa also boasts a chocolate factory where visitors can marvel at the production process of the popular sweet treat, and even try their hand at making some chocolate to bring home.
What’s super: When a real-life world tour is not possible, a day at The Great Asia Africa makes a great alternative. There are plenty of activities to engage everyone in the family. Families can also choose to book a private workshop, which is good for groups of up to 20 people.
Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel
Kingdom Club Themed Suites at the Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel, inspired by popular fairy tales, unveiled last summer a new accommodation offering in the form of four Cinderella Suites.
As its name suggests, each Cinderella Suite takes guests into the realms of Cinderella and Prince Charming where it is romance everywhere and interior decorations convey the famed rags to riches tale. Themed amenities and a complimentary Cinderella refreshment platter round up the experience.
The Cinderella Suite can accommodate up to four guests.
Families staying at the Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel are invited to partake in a variety of recreational activities suitable for all ages, such as a treasure hunt that requires participants to find a hidden Mickey on premises and discovering magic within the architecture.
With recreational activities updated from time to time, returning guests at the hotel are bound to be surprised by fresh experiences.
What’s super: While many hotel club lounges are off-limits to younger guests, the Hong Kong Disneyland Hotel has chosen to welcome all with open arms.
A dedicated section within the club lounge is designed for children, featuring smaller-sized furniture and a collection of Disneyland cartoons and storybooks to keep little ones engaged.
Many activities elsewhere in the hotel have also been designed just for children, so that parents wanting their own relaxation time know that their little ones will be entertained on their own.
Melia Koh Samui, Thailand
Opened on January 10 this year, the luxurious nautical-themed Melia Koh Samui on Koh Samui island’s secluded Choeng Mon Beach charms holidaying families with some outstanding recreational facilities and programmes.
The large lagoon pool that loops like a river through the resort’s lush grounds is bound to fascinate all ages who may desire some impressive Instagram shots if not some splashing good fun in the sun. Ask the hotel for complimentary foam floats.
Multigenerational families can participate in yoga, Muay Thai, and cooking classes that impart the art of whipping up local favourites such as tod man goong and tom kha gai.
Other children-friendly fun facilities include an outdoor playground, a mini-waterpark, and a kid’s club manned by professionals who curate entertaining and educational activities for the little ones.
Melia Koh Samui clearly had holidaying families in mind when it designed its accommodation product. Its 200 keys include spacious family suites that come with complimentary access to board and console games.
For a truly unique stay, opt for the elegant two-story boat suites that were converted from century-old merchant vessels. Boasting sizes 91m2 to 100m2 each, these suites offer either sea views, garden views or direct pool access.
What’s super: The hotel is luxurious and beautiful enough to please grown-ups, and entertaining enough to exhaust high-energy youngsters. And should the grown-ups crave some time alone to enjoy a restful treatment at YHI Spa or a drink at the bar, Melia Koh Samui has a babysitting service on request.
Singapore Rugby Sevens
A unique leg of the Rugby Sevens international tournament, the Singapore Rugby Sevens is catered specially to sporting fans with children from around the region. Besides revelling in the energy of the highly charged matches, fans and their families can enjoy a bevy of fringe activities and live performances.
Last year’s carnival was headlined not only by rugby stars, but also by popular DreamWorks characters from movies such as Trolls, Shrek, Kung Fu Panda and more. The action moved from centre field to centre stage as local and international acts – featuring American rock band Smash Mouth and Broadway musical Rock of Ages – charged up the crowd.
The event returns this year on October 10 and 11 with more spoils for all-round fun, such as a new “Flying Try” foam diving pit; the Singapore Sevens Splash Party with local entertainment as well as a children’s FunZone with stage performances, live shows, art activities and face painting. More activities will be announced at a later date closer to the event, which has been pushed from its initial April run.
What’s super: To entice younger and bigger family groups, the Singapore Rugby Sevens is free to enter for children under four years old. The event also offers a family package that admits two adults and two youths across both days.