Style: Refined, rustic, relaxed
Setting: Turtle-filled lagoon. Weaving around a lily-padded lagoon beside Phuket’s longest beach, Anantara Phuket Villas offers a box-ticking blend of home-from-home villas and chic and child-friendly communal spaces. Along with a host of all-in family activities, little ones will love the kids’ club and turtle sanctuary, teens will go mad over the adrenaline-charged pursuits, you can beat a retreat to Anantara Spa, and hubby can tee off at a nearby golf course, ensuring smiles all round.
Rooms: 83 pool villas, including the two-bedroom Similan Suite, which would work a treat for families.
Facilities: Spa, gym, tennis courts, library with books and DVDs, boutique, gardens. In rooms: flatscreen TV, DVD player, preloaded iPod, espresso machine, wine fridge, minibar.
Sleeping: Most of the villas have space for extra beds, available for an additional THB3,600 a night. If you’re travelling with older children and want room to spread out, opt for two pool villas (one with twin beds), or seek out the two-bedroom Similan Suite, which sleeps two adults and two kids.
Playing: The Turtle Club, open 8am–6pm, provides entertainment for juniors aged three and over. They can take part in batik classes, glass painting and candle making, or play computer games and various sports. During February, they’ll relish the chance to release baby turtles into the sea at Mai Khao Beach. For bigger kids, there are plenty of opportunities to get active and explore the area. Windsurfing, sailing and kayaking are available at the beach, and island excursions include snorkelling, elephant trekking and nature hikes in the forested Sirinath National Park. The cool-title-toting Director of Discovery can organise trips to the Gibbon Rehabilitation Project, which aims to stop these wild creatures being used as tourist attractions and return them to their natural environment. Visitors can observe the ones being prepared for release up close. And let’s face it, who doesn’t love a monkey?
Splashing: There’s no dedicated kids’ pool, but the main pool has several shallow areas. A lifeguard oversees swimmers, young and old, between 9am and 8pm. All rooms come with a small private pool, too, so infants will need watching.
Feasting: Children are welcome at the restaurants, Sea.Fire.Salt and La Sala, whenever they are open, and kids’ menus are available. The pizzas and pastas at La Sala are guaranteed crowd-pleasers. High chairs are supplied, and staff are happy to warm up milk and food for babies. If you’re going on an excursion, ask ahead to have lunches packed.
No need to pack: Baby cots, high chairs and buggies.
Give the resort staff two hours’ notice and they can organize child-minding for THB250 an hour. On-site adult distractions include cooking classes, meditation and yoga lessons, tennis, windsurfing and kayaking. For all-out indulgence, slip into Anantara Spa, where seven luxe treatment rooms, including a plush spa suite with a pool, offer up a soul-soothing mix of Thai massage, scrubs, body wraps and Ayurvedic therapies. Plus, Smith members get an hour’s unlimited Anantara signature cocktails. We’ll say cheers to that!
To book a child-friendly Smith stay visit www.mrandmrssmith.com or call the expert Travel Team on 800 905 326. What’s more, if you sign up as a Smith member, you can enjoy exclusive offers at more than 850 hand-picked hotels around the world.