Enjoy Family Fun at Top Properties From Across the Globe
After not being able to travel for over a year, families are itching to get out and about. From visiting bears in Switzerland to learning about conservation in the Seychelles, taking a road trip across Patagonia and more, here are a number of experiences for families to enjoy at top properties across the globe:
Learn About Conservation in the Seychelles Located in the Seychelles, Fregate Island is one of the most revered hideaways, offering families privacy and seclusion with 16 beautifully crafted villas throughout pristine nature. The island is home to seven beaches including the only privatizable beach in the Indian Ocean. Guests of all ages can enjoy a variety of activities including hiking through the jungle, snorkeling in the sea and fishing, where chefs from the kitchen turn the catches into sushi-right on the boat. During their stay, children are invited to become Little Conservationists, and can encounter the wonders of pristine nature holds in a three-day individually tailored program. During the program, kids can enjoy activities such as monitoring Fregate Island's populations of nesting sea turtles, exploring the historic pirate ruins and going on a treasure hunt, meeting the littlest of the Aldabra giant tortoises and taking care of them in the island’s tortoise nursery, learning about endemic land birds and plants of Fregate Island, how an ecosystem works, meeting Fregate Island’s orphaned fruit bat Baloo, and taking a little lesson in sustainability. Little Conservationists will also snorkel in the warm waters around the island and visit the coral restoration sites, explore the underwater world and learn more about the ecosystem beneath the surface.
Visit Bears in Switzerland
Nestled in the Alpine region of Arosa at 5,900 feet is the Valsana Hotel the first hotel in Switzerland to be powered by an Ice Battery. Inspired by nature and the surrounding Alps, the property boasts 49 rooms and apartments, a spa and a lobby, lounge and restaurant that seamlessly bend together to create a rustic, open concept giving the stunning fall Alpine backdrop center stage throughout the hotel. With a central location in the middle of town, the hotel is the perfect fit for family travelers. Visitors can hike and bike the area’s Alpine trails, take a boat out on one of the many lakes, enjoy yoga on the mountains, and visit the Arosa Bear Sanctuary.
A collaboration between the destination of Arosa and international animal welfare organization Four Paws, The Arosa Bear Sanctuary provides a safe forever home for bears coming from poor living conditions. The sanctuary currently houses three bears, formerly used for entertainment, and is open year round for visitors of all ages to learn about the animals, giving them a sort of purpose and making a connection with the species. And, with the addition of the Adventure Trail, similar to a treetop path, families now have even more opportunities to view and learn about the bears.
Experience Disney with THIRDHOME Available through luxury travel club THIRDHOME, this 7,000-square-foot Magic Villa in Reunion, Florida offers hidden magical surprises around every corner. There are seven stunning master suites, along with two children’s bedrooms designed with entertainment in mind. One features a Harry Potter theme, while the other is a princess theme. Kids can head back and forth between the themed rooms and even enjoy their very own secret kid’s zone, which are equipped with motion-activated talking pictures that truly bring the magic to life. The property also boasts 12 bathrooms, a fully-equipped kitchen, dining room with seating for 16, two state of the art game rooms, private theater room, wet bar, private pool, spillover spa, lazy river, water cannon, lounge area, and fire bit. The Magic Villa is located 15 minutes away from Disney, Universal, Island of Adventures, and more, making for a fantastic family trip.
Become a ‘Mini-Game Ranger” in the Serengeti Singita Serengeti House is the perfect home away from home for families traveling together with breathtaking views of the Serengeti plains and wildlife as they visit the nearby watering hole. Up to eight guests can feel at home at Serengeti House, with two suites in the main house and two garden suites situated on either side, connected through a central pool deck. With plenty of space and both indoor and outdoor dining, day beds, a private tennis court and a dedicated house team, families will delight in the wide range of activities available at Serengeti House including private game drives and walking safaris, hot air balloon rides, star gazing, mountain biking on Sasakwa Hill. Meanwhile, Singita’s ‘Mini-game Rangers’ Course offers a variety of activities for young explorers, from board games, arts and crafts that are custom tailored to suit the interests of each family. The course covers animal tracking, bird watching, learning bush survival, frogging, butterfly capture and release, astronomy and a fun guide’s test. Through this program, children and teens are challenged in different ways and have opportunities to connect with nature and different cultures. Kids can also partake in Singita’s Mini-game rangers course from home with a coloring book, and games and puzzles to spot differences in illustrations.
Get Immersed in Thai Culture
Located on the Gulf of Thailand and nestled within a private bay on a former coconut plantation, the Ritz-Carlton, Koh Samui features 175 suites and pool villas that are perfect for a luxury family getaway. Families can enjoy experiences such as salt water snorkeling in the property’s Swim Reef with over 50 species of fish, sailing, kayaking, tennis, surfing, hiking, mini golf, and private beach barbecues. The property also boasts the unique Ritz Kids program, where even the most curious of kids can enjoy a range of adventurous and immersive activities. Should guests wish to venture outside of the property, the Ritz-Carlton, Koh Samui offers immersive Thai experiences, including guided visits to the Big Buddha Temple, the traditional Fisherman’s Village and Angthong National Marine Park.
Explore Urban Johannesburg For parents who want to enrich their kids with art, culture, and history, the multifaceted city of Johannesburg is an excellent destination. With so many neighborhoods to explore, there are a variety of exciting and fun activities in Johannesburg just waiting to be discovered. The Saxon Hotel, Villas and Spa features a family itinerary to help urban explorers of all ages discover the city’s range of activities and South Africa’s cultural diversity and rich heritage. A tour of the inner city is recommended to trace the impressionable footsteps of two of South Africa’s most treasured legacy-makers, with a visit to the Nelson Mandela Museum, the original Soweto home of Nelson Mandela, as well as the former home of Desmond Tutu in Vilakazi Street, Orlando West. Some visits that can be added include the Apartheid Museum to witness the triumph of the human spirit over adversity and a studio of a local clothes designer to have a unique outfit made specifically for guests. For thrill-seekers, the Soweto Towers features a one-of-a-kind bungee jump and power slide between the cooling towers of what was once considered the most advanced power stations in the Southern Hemisphere. Educational experiences for youngsters include Johannesburg Military Museum, Sci-Bono Discovery Center and Johannesburg Botanical Gardens to learn more about the area’s unique flora and fauna while also being a lovely space for a quaint picnic. Other highlights of Johannesburg for families include graffiti and street art that can be found throughout the city, African Craft Market of Rosebank, Harties Cableway, and Parkwood Art Galleries. Families can take advantage of discovering this cultural city by staying at the Saxon Hotel, Villas and Spa, a secluded retreat in the city. Located in the tranquil, tree-lined suburb of Sandhurst, the Saxon Hotel is an all-luxury, 53-suite hotel and home to the nature-inspired Saxon Spa, onsite gourmet restaurants. Enjoy Luxury in Cape Town The concierge team at Ellerman House has recently outlined some of the best experiences for families in and around Cape Town. A top favorite and highly recommended space is Hazendal Wine Estate, a farm full of fun for all ages. Hazendal includes Wonderdal, a one-of-a-kind, fully supervised edutainment center that combines learning with play, magic with innovation and allows children to journey through the worlds of science and nature while building life skills. For adventure, the Acrobranch zipline park in Constantia is great for mini-thrill seekers and afterwards, Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden is pleasant to have an open aired picnic and park stroll. Family-friendly Cape Town restaurant experiences include Mariners Wharf which offers fresh seafood and a photo with the seals, the Lawns at the Round House, The Clay Cafe in Hout Bay and The Food Barn. Other great areas for kids in Cape Town include Two Oceans Aquarium, the Spice Route, and for the weekends there’s Oranjezicht Farmers Market and the Old Biscuit Mil Market. On the slopes of Lions Head with panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean, the Ellerman House Villas epitomize the glamorous beach lifestyle Cape Town is famous for. Exclusive and privately staffed, each villa offers all the benefits of hotel living with the advantage of complete privacy and flexibility, perfect for families. With multiple levels, spacious entertainment and relaxation areas, deck overlooking the Atlantic and dining room there is enough space for little guests to enjoy their surroundings. The infinity pool is safe for children who would like to splash around the pool and enjoy the deck area while grown ups can soak up the sun on the loungers with a cocktail or glass of wine. The villas also include a private chef, private housekeeping team, and a nanny can be arranged for extra supervision if parents would like.
Road Trip Across Patagonia
Patagonia is a frontier ripe for exploration and perfect for putting an exciting trip on a classic family roadtrip. Quasar Expeditions offers customizable Overland Jeep Safaris throughout the region, giving loved ones the opportunity to disconnect from their phones and reconnect with each other. The tours are completely independent of a guide or leader, allowing guests to pilot their own Jeep and rely on the state of the art navigation systems in their vehicle, giving them the freedom to stop and go as they please.
In addition to hitting the road, explorers can take in the beauty of Patagonia with an action-packed hiking or kayaking tour and access to top highlights in both the Torres del Paine National Park in Chile and Los Glaciares National Park in Argentina. Guests can expect to see an abundance of wildlife throughout their trip, including armadillos, foxes, pumas, and deer as they drive on the open roads. Plus, travelers stay at some of the top hotels and lodges in all of South America along their route, allowing them to experience the best of both worlds. Take a Bush Walk Through the Kalahari In Setswana, Tswalu means a “new beginning” and will leave guests of all ages feeling refreshed after days spent exploring all that the Kalahari has to offer. Tswalu is a place for those who value access to South Africa’s last remaining wilderness - a privilege that far outweighs more conventional notions of luxury. As the largest, privately owned reserve in South Africa, its wide, open spaces have long drawn travelers seeking a deeply layered, immersive experiences. From the ancient quartzite Korannaberg mountains to the southern Kalahari’s grassy, red sand dunes rippling away to the horizon, Tswalu offers what travelers crave most - space. For younger travelers, Tswalu offers the Junior Ranger Program, which has been carefully designed to meet the enthusiasms of a broad age range. Upon arrival, every child is welcomed with a backpack full of guides and tools and have their own opportunity to chat with the Tswalu hospitality staff about what they would like to do. Activities include archery (beginning by making their own bow and arrow), spoor identification and casting as well as tracking on foot. Children’s bush walks are hugely educational and often end with a fantastic picnic – parents can come too. Younger children are also more than welcome on private game drives.