This holiday season, head out for a family getaway packed with fun and adventure with our selection of six luxury hotels and resorts offering a range of memorable experiences!
BY SATARUPA PAUL
A family vacation can be one of the most fulfilling ways to travel and see the world, especially during the festive season when the air is filled with a sense of celebration and joy. And it becomes even more special when you don’t have to deal with tedious logistics and endless planning. That is precisely what some of the best luxury hotels and resorts at the world’s most beautiful destinations offer— tailor-made family getaways with gorgeous environs and experiences. We’ve compiled a list of six places you must consider for your next holiday. After all, a family that travels together not only stays together but also creates lifelong memories together.
Fodele Beach & Water Park Holiday Resort, Greece
Awarded as one of the world’s best hotels with its own waterpark, this family retreat sits perched on a glistening cliffside on Greece’s stunning Cretan coast. The 400-odd guest rooms here have been designed for families with a variety of bedroom options, including two-storey maisonettes, family suites with private terraces, and more. Their special, all-inclusive package includes dining at any of their five restaurants serving a delicious variety of international cuisines, such as Asian, Mediterranean, Italian, and Greek. The most remarkable feature at Fodele, however, is its amazing waterpark. Set against a backdrop of the scenic Cretan Sea, it features adrenaline-pumping water slides for children and adults alike. Sure to get the heart racing in excitement! The resort also offers a range of water and beach sports, and an engaging kids club for children from 4-12 years of age, besides six swimming pools with simply breathtaking views, and the in-house Smart Spa.
Tip: Hire a mountain bike from the resort or head out on a trek to explore the surrounding natural beauty. fodelebeach.gr
Fly to Heraklion with Vistara’s codeshare partners British Airways, Lufthansa and Swiss.
Kandima Maldives, Maldives
Hailed as a game-changing resort on everybody’s favourite island-nation, Kandima Maldives, located on Dhaalu Atoll, offers an adventure-packed holiday unlike any other. Besides 264 stylish studios and villas on the beach or over water, and 10 dining destinations, the resort also features one of the longest outdoor pools in the Maldives, a football field, tennis and volleyball courts, the versatile Aquaholics water sports centre, and Kandiland, a super-fun kids club packed with entertaining activities for children aged 4-12. An uber-cool snorkelling platform on the edge of the Kandima Lagoon allows you to see the marine life up-close, and the crystal-clear waters are perfect for those who wish to try scuba diving. Last year, Kandima also launched a skydiving programme in partnership with Skydive Maldives—a must-try for thrill-seekers. Their ‘Oh-so Fun Family Break’ package comes with a complimentary family beach picnic, movie night, dolphin cruise, and free ice-cream for the kids every day!
Tip: The Seabob ride is a must! Halfway between a jet ski and an underwater scooter, this water toy can be used while snorkelling or diving to experience the underwater world with ease. kandima.com
Vistara offers daily direct flights between Mumbai and the Maldives.
Raffles Udaipur, Rajasthan
The City of Lakes may be extremely popular as a romantic destination, but Udaipur makes for an ideal family vacation, as well. Sprawled on a 21-acre private island in the middle of the serene Udai Sagar Lake, with the Aravalli hills standing guard all around, Raffles Udaipur is a secluded escape for some special bonding time with your loved ones. The luxury factor at the first Raffles outpost in India begins right from your arrival—on a tranquil boat ride, escorted by the legendary Raffles butler service. Elegantly designed, the luxuriously appointed rooms and suites offer uninterrupted lake views, private gardens and plunge pools, while the Indian speciality restaurant, Sawai Kitchen, serves lost recipes from the region’s royal households. Besides personalised wellness regimes at the Raffles Spa, families can also enjoy archery, roller skating, croquet, mini golf, tennis, and many other sports. Bird watching is highly recommended for a chance to spot several indigenous and migratory species, as is the Mahadev Temple trek with a naturalist.
Tip: The property offers several interesting, curated excursions, whether it’s a heritage sightseeing tour of the city’s palaces and temples or adventurous forays into the Sajjangarh Wildlife Sanctuary and the Dera Baghdarrah Nature Park. raffles.com
Vistara offers daily direct flights from Delhi and Mumbai to Udaipur.
Disney’s Animal Kingdom Villas, Florida
One of four theme parks at the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, Disney’s Animal Kingdom is the largest theme park in the world. Home to hundreds of species of animals, the park features traditional Disney attractions as well, making it a cherished holiday for every family. While there are accommodations aplenty in this awe-inspiringly expansive setting, Disney’s Animal Kingdom Villas in Kidani Village come with a slew of luxury offerings. Quieter and more intimate than the other resorts in the park, it offers multi-bedroom villas, a themed pool and splash zone, an arcade, tennis and basketball courts, and Sanaa, one of the best restaurants at Walt Disney World. The horseshoe-curved design is inspired by the African kraal and offers spectacular views of the lush savannas, where over 30 species of wild animals, including zebras, giraffes, gazelles, flamingos, and more, roam free.
Tip: With four theme and two water parks to explore with your family, time is bound to fly here. For a relaxing night, enjoy a movie under the stars or listen to enthralling stories around the campfire in a savanna setting. disneyworld.disney.go.com
Fly to Orlando with Vistara’s codeshare partners Air Canada, British Airways, and Lufthansa
Yas Island Rotana, Abu Dhabi
One of the most popular, family-friendly entertainment destinations
in the world today, Yas Island in Abu Dhabi features some amazing attractions—Ferrari World, Yas Waterworld, and Warner Bros. World™ Abu Dhabi to name a few. It’s also home to the Yas Marina Circuit for various motorsport events, and the Etihad Arena for concerts. In fact, there’s something for everyone here! And located within a stone’s throw of several of these theme parks, Yas Island Rotana makes for
a highly convenient stay with 308 spacious rooms and suites, and a choice of six dining experiences, including a steakhouse and an Indian fine dining restaurant. The hotel offers complimentary access to Yas Beach, and features an in-house spa and sauna, a swim-up bar alongside its sparkling pool, and a play zone for the little ones with a soft play area and a children’s pool. Their family-friendly ‘Kids Go Free’ package includes special-rate accommodation along with access to three theme parks.
Tip: Play a round of golf at Yas Links, try thrilling indoor skydiving and rock climbing at CLYMB Abu Dhabi, or book tickets for the spectacular Lion King or Disney on Ice musicals. rotana.com
Vistara offers daily direct flights between Abu Dhabi and Mumbai.
Sea World Resort, Gold Coast
Famed for its long, sandy beaches, world-class surfing spots, exciting theme parks, and rainforest hinterland, the mesmerising Gold Coast city of Australia needs no introduction. A favourite go-to destination for families, Sea World features a marine mammal park, oceanarium, thrilling rides, as well as a conservation and rescue programme for injured or orphaned wildlife. And Australia’s only theme park retreat, Sea World Resort offers a selection of modern rooms and suites, with various packages for a fun-filled vacation— entry to all the Gold Coast theme parks, a three-course dinner and show at the rustic Australian Outback, and more. Besides getting up-close and personal with the many aquatic creatures of Sea World, kids can also enjoy the rides
and exhibits at Sea World Spooky Nights throughout October, and
a SpongeBob Light Show and meet-and-greet with Nickelodeon characters through the year.
Tip: May to November is whale-watching season in Gold Coast, and Sea World Cruises offers special packages aboard premium vessels. The experience of spotting the world’s largest marine mammals in their natural habitat is unparalleled! seaworld.com.au
Vistara offers a daily flight to Brisbane from Delhi and Mumbai via Singapore, through a codeshare partnership with Singapore Airlines.