Whether it’s an island full of adventures specially catered to your curious kids, or a secluded escape with top-notch childcare that you’re looking for, Citizen Enfants has the answers.
From quick European breaks, to longer, tropical getaways, these five island getaways are at the top of our family-holiday list.
Shanti Maurice, Mauritius
For a first long haul trip with a baby, Mauritius is ideal. A twelve-hour, overnight night flight (hopefully your little one will sleep for at least a few hours) and no tricky seaplane or speedboat transfers, make it an accessible slice of paradise. There are several properties in Mauritius that cater for babies and The Shanti Maurice on the South coast is one of them. Their Explorers Kids’ Club in collaboration with Scott Dunn will look after your children from dawn till dusk with time to explore the coral reefs to snorkel safaris to mocktail mixology masterclasses; while tiny babies have a dedicated team of nannies and babysitters. Use the time to enjoy the stunning beach, spa, golf course, and restaurants.
The key to a great holiday with children is planning. The Shanti Maurice will help with that, too. Don’t worry about packing all the new-born paraphernalia – the ‘Baby Service Team’ has got it covered. They’ll provide cots, highchairs, nappies, formula, and more or, they offer early check in and late check out. And, if you fancy a day of sightseeing with a baby in tow, they have car seats and buggies. There’s really nothing this hotel hasn’t thought of.
The Dunmore, Harbour Island
Harbour Island isn’t easy to reach, but don’t let that put you off. The journey is worth it. The most stylish of all the Bahamian islands – famous for its stunning pink sand beaches and laid back, welcoming vibe – this tiny little sliver of land is totally individual. Residents use golf buggies to get around (teens will love this) and, because it’s so small, you can whizz from one end of the island to the other in no time at all. Be sure to visit some of the amazing local restaurants as you go. We recommend the Dunmore Deli and Queen Conch.
Stay at the fabulous Dunmore Hotel. It’s been the belle of the island since the 1960s and feels more like a private member’s club from a bygone era. With interiors designed by Amanda Lindroth, the candy-striped umbrellas and smart dining room have a Gatsby-esque feel, but the Dunmore is not in the slightest bit stuffy and welcomes children of all ages – often with a non-alcoholic Shirley Temple cocktail, too. Interconnecting cottages are perfect for families, there’s a gorgeous pool, tennis courts and a beautiful stretch of beach: great for paddle boarding, snorkelling, scuba diving, and even swimming opportunities with stingrays and turtles.
Ritz Carlton Fari Islands, The Maldives
With over 150 resorts set within 26 atolls, choosing where to stay with your family in the Maldives can be overwhelming. Some, like the Jumeirah Vittali and Kurumba, are just a short transfer from the international airport in Male, which can be a welcome relief after a long-haul flight with a toddler. But it’s worth hopping on a seaplane and heading further into the Indian Ocean. The Ritz Carlton Fari Islands, situated in the North Male Atoll, is heaven for kids. The Ritz Kids Club is a futuristic indoor-outdoor space with playgrounds, napping pods, an area for video games and movies, and a pool with slides and jets. The ‘Ritz Kids’ program, designed for those aged 4 to 12 is based around four pillars – land, water, environmental responsibility, and culture – with a schedule of daily activities including sports, arts and crafts, cooking classes, and more.
The truly outstanding feature here is the Jean-Michel Cousteau Ambassadors of the Environment programme, the first in the Asia-Pacific region. Budding marine biologists will love following in the footsteps of the renowned environmentalists, learning about the natural wonders of the Maldives with resident expert Dr. Richard Murphy and the team from the Ocean Futures Society. Snorkelling expeditions, helping with coral regeneration, and exploring the outer edges of the reef with a specialised drone (grown-ups can join in too.) If that wasn’t enough, you can also visit the Bamford spa, play a spot of tennis, or simply soak up the sun. The family-sized two-bedroom villas come with their own pool and you can choose from seven restaurants. This hotel might be just a little dot in the ocean but there’s more than enough on-site to keep all ages entertained.
There’s a reason Barbados is a family favourite – it truly does tick all the boxes. Ease of travel is a big consideration for many families and this is is a direct (nine-hour) flight from London. It also has so much on offer: if you want a tranquil sea for toddlers to potter in, or teens to water ski, head to the west coast. For something more rugged and adventurous, go surfing in the east, or explore the less-developed northern tip. Families with older children will love the range of water sports available at many beaches as well as all the top-notch restaurants to try – we love uber-cool Sea Shed, and the chic Cobblers Cove.
There’s plenty of five-star hotels to choose from here, but a private villa is always great for a family holiday and onefinestay are the people to book with. They specialise in luxury villas and homes away from home, while ensuring guests have all the amenities and facilities they need. Their excellent concierge service will help with requests such as hiring a chef or a babysitter, booking boat trips, and making dinner reservations. They have a number of luxe properties dotted around the island including the spacious Radwood Beach Villa, with a private pathway leading straight onto white sands.
Italians know how to welcome families, and nowhere will you feel this more than at the Forte Village in Sardinia. The resort is set in 116 beach-side acres and has everything you need for a superb holiday with kids. The ‘Kids Wonderland’ club is everything little people could wish for with arts and crafts, a theatre, its own play village, and a nursery for the youngest guests. But it’s the sports academy that is the Village’s standout attraction (and the reason it was voted the world’s leading sports resort in 2019). From tennis, rugby and hockey to swimming and rowing, kids from age five upwards will be coached by professionals. Keen little footballers will love the Fundación Real Madrid Clinic where famous players regularly visit to teach youngsters their skills. Throw in a go-karting track and aqua park, and it’s hard to imagine hearing the dreaded words ‘I’m bored’ during your stay.
There are eight distinct hotels in the Village: the five-star The Dunes best combines a fun family holiday with luxury. Book with Carrier who will help you choose between a deluxe bungalow with private garden or a villa with a private pool, a butler thrown in for good measure. Both are just a stone’s throw from the beach where you’ll find every water sport under the sun as well as dreamy cabanas to lounge the day away. Head to the spa by day and dinner at one of the 21 restaurants by night. While there’s no pressing need to leave the resort, we recommend you do – Sardinia’s white-powder beaches, dramatic, mountainous scenery and unspoilt villages, are well worth venturing out for.