Aah, the Dubai summer. Don’t you just love it? Endless cries of ‘I’m bored!’, kids squawking because they’ve fried their feet on the hot sand, ice cream melting before you’ve taken a single lick, and attempts to cool off in the ocean as pleasant as a salty jacuzzi. For those of us facing the prospect of a long, hot and sticky few months – with grumpy kids in tow – it would be easy to get a little hot under the collar. Of course, a luxury break to an idyllic beach in Mauritius, the Seychelles or the Maldives, balmy temperatures, cooling sea breeze, umbrella’d drink in hand, may go some way to making the summer more palatable.
The beauty of the Indian Ocean is that, in around six hours you can be in temperatures of 30°C or less which, let’s face it, is positively nippy compared to the high 40s here at home. Of course, such lavishness doesn’t come cheap, but while it may be tempting to dump the kids with their grandparents and zip off on your own, there are some great five-star, family-friendly breaks where kids go free. So there’s really no excuse…
Beautiful lagoons are perfect for snorkelling and diving or, for younger water babies, a trip on a glass-bottomed boat. The Sheraton Maldives Full Moon Resort & Spa has a great watersports centre with windsurfing and sailing lessons for youngsters, as well as banana boats and ski rides. A kids’ club is due to open this summer too.
What’s the deal: Two kids under 12 stay free. Book four nights for the price of three in an Island Cottage, with breakfast, from Dhs5,240 per adult, Dhs1,970 per child, including return economy class flights and breakfast. Kids get lunch and dinner too.
Valid until July 26, 2010.
Dubbed the best family destination in the Indian Ocean, this little volcanic island is, quite simply, paradise, with its white, uncrowded beaches, dramatic landscape and unusual wildlife in abundance. Great child-friendly hotels include the One&Only Le Saint Géran, where swimming pools, private beach, all sorts of water and land sports will keep everyone happy. The shipwreck-style kids’ facility is bursting with daily activities for ages four to 11, and there’s plenty going on for teens too, including excursions, sports, discos and theme evenings.
What’s the deal: Kids under 12 staying with mum and dad in a junior suite pay nothing. Five nights (for the price of three) cost from Dhs8,230 per adult, Dhs3,710 per child, including breakfast, dinner, return economy class flights and transfers.
Valid until September 30, 2010.
White sand, clear oceans, blue sky, the Seychelles is probably one of the few destinations that looks even better than the brochure. The Four Seasons Resort will delight little nippers with its tree-house villas perched on a jungle hillside, as will the massive beach-side swimming pool. If you can prise yourself off your sun lounger, take them snorkelling or paddle boating, try one of the many sports available at the watersports pavilion, or ask the concierge about other family activities such as island hopping, deep sea fishing or turtle spotting. A wonderful base for all ages, this hotel goes out of its way to make young guests feel welcome, providing mini bathrobes, bedtime juice, books, toys and movies.
What’s the deal: One child under 12 stays free. Get four nights for the price of three in a Garden View villa, including breakfast from Dhs8,620 per adult, Dhs2,670 per child, including return economy flights and airport transfers.
Valid until June 30, 2010.