The Sassy Mama crew is already eyeing the next long weekend, with HKSAR day and the holiday on Monday 2 July firmly in our sights. To help plot an easy escape, boutique travel experts Mr & Mrs Smith have unearthed a trio of family-friendly holidays, all just a short hop from Hong Kong, including pool-toting villas in Phuket, a beach house in Bali and a luxury stay in Singapore.
The Bell Pool Villa Resort, Phuket, Thailand
Style Indochine-chic retreat
Setting Chilled Kamala Beach
Dive into Phuket boutique hotel The Bell Pool Villa Resort where 16 Indo-chic villas flaunt airy alfresco spaces and slinky ink-black pools. Home-from-home comforts, neat kitchens and round-the-clock butlers make holidaying with your family a breeze.
Sleeping With a choice of one to four bedrooms, the Bell’s villas offer flexibility aplenty. The two-, three- and four-bedroom villas all come with a mix of king and twin beds. Baby cots can be supplied for free and an extra bed for older kids can be added to any of the rooms, including the one-bedroom Honeymoon Pool Villas, for THB1,000 a night.
Activities Kids can borrow bicycles and tootle around town or tap into the jam-packed activities directory for a seemingly endless list of distractions. Elephant treks, go-karting, rafting and horse-riding sessions can all be arranged, as well as trips to Splash Jungle Water Park and Phuket Fantasea Show where theatrical elephants, tigers and dancers star. If the sun’s not playing ball, raid the hotel’s DVD library. Babysitting is available, given 24 hours’ notice, from THB300 a child an hour.
Feasting The in-villa dining menu has a host of kid-catering dishes, including spaghetti bolognese, pizza and chicken sandwiches, or Pad Thai and sweet-and-sour pork for more adventurous palates. And who’s going to argue with banana fritters or Nutella crepes for dessert?
Luna2 Private Hotel, Bali, Indonesia
Style Pop Art party pad
Setting Full-frontal Seminyak Beach
Swish beyond belief, decadently designed Luna2 Private Hotel on Seminyak Beach would be more at home in Miami than Bali, but we’re not complaining! Custom-made furniture sits cheek-by-jowl with iconic chairs by Harry Bertoia and Philippe Starck in this five-bedroom, retro-radical beach house with quirky Pop Art touches. Stir in a cool pool, 24 pampering staff and use of two chauffeur-driven cars, and you and your crew will be confirmed Lunatics.
Sleeping This exclusive-hire hotel is home to five rainbow-bright bedrooms with four en suite bathrooms. The red room has twin beds, so is ideal for children. Parents should bag the adjoining yellow double room, as the two share a bathroom. Baby cots, additional beds, a bunk bed or extra mattresses can be added to rooms at no extra cost if you have more kids in your posse.
Activities The hotel is flush to the beach, so swimming and sandy larks are a must (just take advice on the safest spots to avoid Seminyak’s sometimes tricky currents or head for a strip where lifeguards are in evidence). The pool and garden are also handy distractions, with pool games and soccer, badminton and croquet up for grabs. Come nightfall, movies can be projected outdoors, with popcorn and treats served up under the stars. Luna2’s staff can arrange surfing or boogie-boarding classes or horse-riding on the beach, as well as trips to monkey forests, elephant camps and water parks. Plus, there’s an in-house babysitter whose services are free any time, so both quality time and time out are easy to come by.
Feasting Food can be honed around children’s tastes whenever they’re peckish. Junior gourmets can also take part in cooking classes and throw a cool kids’ dinner party, meeting with the chef to discuss matching non-alcoholic drinks and dishes. TV dinners are a more mellow option.
The Fullerton Bay Hotel, Singapore
Style Panoramic glam
Setting Marina Bay waterfront
Super-centrally located in Singapore’s cultural district, The Fullerton Bay Hotel is a must for luxe lounging, offering elegant rooms, fine dining and boho Lantern rooftop bar and pool, all with bay-side views to die for. The sleek public areas designed by Andre Fu and bedrooms that doff their cap to the Lion City’s colonial and pan-Asian roots make this a seriously sexy place to stay, but family-minded extras add multi-gen appeal.
Sleeping All of the indulgently appointed rooms can accommodate a baby cot and an extra bed for under-12s, which are provided free of charge. Lavish bathrooms with separate baths and showers are divided from the sleeping area by the flick of a shutter. Safe private balconies assure a stress-free stay on all levels.
Activities There’s a lifeguard on duty at the pool from 9am to 5pm. A shallow end makes for kid-friendly splashing and inflatables are also on hand. Smiths of all ages will enjoy taking a spin on the Singapore Flyer, just across Marina Bay. For aquatic thrills, hightail it to Sentosa Island in the south, home to theme parks, theatres and pulse-racing pursuits. Babysitting with hotel staff can be arranged for SG$100 an hour, with 24 hours’ notice, giving you the perfect excuse to linger in the Lantern bar.
Feasting Children are welcome in French brasserie Clifford, but they may prefer the laid-back grazing on offer in the Landing Point lounge near the lobby. Neither restaurant has a kids’ menu, but staff are happy to heat up milk and baby food on request.
To book a child-friendly Smith stay, visit www.mrandmrssmith.com or call the expert Travel Team on 800 905 326. What’s more, BlackSmith membership is now free for life, so book through Smith to receive life-enhancing extras and exclusive offers at more than 850 hotels and holiday houses around the world.