Our favourite stays for families and couples

18 March 2019

Whether you’re looking for family fun or somewhere you get away from it all with your partner, we’ve got you covered with some of our favourite holiday destinations.

For families

Orlando, USA

With a winning line-up of theme parks, water parks and the chance to meet your favourite Disney characters in the Magic Kingdom, it’s no wonder that Walt Disney World is the most visited vacation resort in the world, attracting an average of more than 52 million visitors every year.

Of course, there’s more to Orlando than just Disney. Dotted around the state of Florida is Universal Studios, the Kennedy Space Center and Legoland – not to mention some amazing beaches such as Vero, Cocoa and Port Canaveral along almost 8,500 miles of shoreline.

Families looking for accommodation here would do well to stay at Reunion A Salamander Golf & Spa Resort in Orlando.

Fun is packed into every inch of this 2,200-acre luxury resort, with 10 pools, a water park, flume slide, splash bucket and lazy river. The kids crew club caters for four- to 10-year-olds with pool games and scavenger hunts, while the Hideaway Spot looks after tweens and teens with video games. As Disney World is only six miles away, you’re also close enough to enjoy the firework displays.

Canary Islands, Spain

Families looking to the Canary Islands are spoilt for choice, with the likes of Tenerife’s Costa Adeje, Gran Canaria’s Maspalomas and Fuerteventura’s Corralejo all well equipped to deliver a fantastic family break.

Costa Adeje may be something of an old favourite, but fun-seeking families will never get tired of the fact that it is home to some of the island’s finest beaches (Playa del Duque and Playa Fañabé), two of the island’s best water parks (Siam Park and Aqualand) and a range of hotels capable of catering for the grandest or most modest of budgets.

Maspalomas is another hugely popular family resort, with its Holiday World theme park and Aqualand Maspalomas water park on hand to break up the long days on the resort’s even longer beaches.

Fuerteventura’s Corralejo – the island’s largest resort town – continues to attract families with little ones thanks to attractions like the closed circuit Minnybuggy Safari Park and Acuawaterpark, complementing the town’s sandy beach.

For a quieter, calmer Canary Island break, there’s Costa Teguise on Lanzarote, which has been the go-to resort for families visiting the island, not just due to its tranquillity, but also its array of lodgings and accessible beaches. Improvements to the resort’s infrastructure also support its appeal, with new highways, better signage and tourist facilities. 

Dubai, UAE

In recent weeks, we’ve felt compelled to wax lyrical at length about two Dubai hotels –  Jumeirah Beach Hotel and Atlantis The Palm, Dubai – and both properties pack in plenty for families.

As Dubai's leading family resort destination, Jumeirah Beach Hotel has tons of stuff to keep the little ones entertained. It has a brand-new kids’ club with an amazing play space for two- to 10-year-olds, exciting activities like aqua fun, face painting, crafts and sports for the bigger kids, and complimentary access to the action-packed Wild Wadi Waterpark, home to more than 30 thrilling rides and attractions.

Meanwhile, Atlantis The Palm, Dubai is one of the city’s most opulent contemporary hotels – which isn’t easy considering Dubai’s lavish nature. Set on the beautiful Palm Island, this hotel goes all out with a range of kids' activities and endless entertainment in its kids’ club.

Here, children will be inspired to unleash their imagination to become a pirate, a mad scientist or even an Olympic champion. The adrenaline-inducing Aquaventure Waterpark is also mere minutes away from the hotel, offering 42 tropical acres of waterfalls, tidal rivers, and slides, plus a newly renovated small children's area called Splashers Island.

“Any family would be wowed by the Burj Khalifa, an 830m-tall tower and the tallest building in the world. We went to the top and wow, this is a view not to be missed – you can see pretty much the whole city.”

Sandi, Travel Counsellor

Phuket, Thailand

Phuket has become increasingly appealing to families because they often cost the same as a short-haul trip to Europe and accommodation like Centara Kata Resort and the Katathani Phuket Beach Resort with its six swimming pools have everything any fun-seeking family could need.

Families after something out of the ordinary though could look to Elephant Hills - Thailand's first luxury tented camp. Located just two hours’ drive from Phuket International Airport, it merges the camp aspect of African national parks with the Thai tropical forest environment to offer soft adventure tours that last up to four days and take in kayaking, lake explorations, mangrove expeditions and jungle treks. There’s also the unique Elephant Hills elephant experience, where you’ll get the chance to wash, feed and interact with Asia's largest land animal in a sustainable, fun and respectful way.

or couples

Amalfi Coast, Italy

The Amalfi Coast – a UNESCO World Heritage site with 30 miles of coastline along the southern edge of Italy’s Sorrento Peninsula – is an inspired choice for couples. Limoncello tasting, sunset watching on Positano Beach, and a day trip around Capri Island – a playground for the rich and famous and a holiday spot for the likes of Beyonce and Mariah Carey – are just some of the options. You’re also well-placed to enjoy some of the freshest fish and finest pizza and pasta you’re ever likely to taste.

Luxury accommodation you could consider in the region includes Monastero Santa Rosa Hotel & Spa, Santa Caterina Hotel and Palazzo Avino, which dates back to the 12th century as a villa for Italian nobles and is home to a restaurant with two Michelin stars.

Barbados

No couple should need an explanation of why the idea of jetting to a Caribbean island is appealing and Barbados boasts plenty of appeal. From a moonlit catamaran cruise or a rejuvenating spa day to simply lazing the day away on the pink and white sands of more than 70 miles of beach, Barbados has everything you need for a relaxing and romantic break.

Sandy Lane is often referred to as one of the most romantic hotels in the world, let alone the island. With an award-winning spa, unbeatable beachfront location and immaculate suites, Sandy Lane is without a doubt one of the Caribbean’s most prestigious resorts.

“Barbados is an island of contrast, suited to anyone and any budget. We spent days lazing on the public beaches mixing with locals, sharing bottles of rum with chickens running around our feet, outside ramshackle homes and wonderful loud Afro Caribbean music, blaring out beats from large speakers.”

Helen, Travel Counsellor

Santorini, Greece

Couples are spoilt for choice when it comes to Greek islands, but our favourite is the honeymoon hotspot of Santorini.

Fabulous sunsets, incredible panoramic views, delicious Greek food, gorgeous buildings and friendly locals await. Santorini Heights Luxury Suites, Santorini Princess Spa Hotel and Honeymoon Petra Villas are just some of the high-end accommodations on offer.

Canada

Rather than stay in one place, how about touring around and sampling several parts of a country during your trip? That’s what we’re proposing with our final suggestion, and few places are more suited to a touring holiday than Canada.

In between visiting the Olympic cities of Montreal, Calgary and Vancouver, you and yours could travel along the famous Icefields Parkway through the Canadian Rockies from Lake Louise to Banff. Then, there’s eternally mesmerising Niagara Falls - one of the wonders of the world which lies on the fabulous Great Lakes. Hop a boat trip into the mist or fly above the falls in a helicopter for a never to be forgotten experience.

You won’t struggle to find remarkable accommodation in Canada but some of the names worth noting include The Ritz-Carlton and Sofitel in Montreal, the Four Season and Shangri-La in Toronto and Fairmont Pacific Rim and Rosewood Hotel Georgia in Vancouver.

 

Wherever you want to go and whatever you want to do, book your trip away this spring by contacting your Travel Counsellor today to take advantage of exclusive benefits such as full financial protection and a 24-hour duty office ready to assist you before, during and after your stay.

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