Any excuse for a holiday…
Want to be ahead of the crowd? We’ve kept on top of the latest family-friendly travel offerings around the region. There are exciting new food tours and restaurants in Japan, Vietnam and the Maldives, great offers for an extended family vacation in Bali and eco-initiatives in Cambodia. We can’t wait to try some of these out!
We’ve all been swept up with the opening of Rosewood here in Hong Kong, and you can also enjoy the same high-end hospitality in Bangkok. You can expect cutting edge, creative and contemporary design (by Celia Chu of Celia Chu Design & Associates) that draws on the rich Thai culture and heritage. Make sure you schedule some mama-only time at the Sense Spa!
One of our favourite tour companies, Hello! Tours, is growing. After starting up here in Hong Kong and taking Singapore by storm in 2018, Hello! Tokyo has now launched in Japan. It is offering customised walking tours (available from four to eight hours in length) as well as tours to Yokohama and food tours (our favourite!). You can either join a small group of travellers or opt for a private tour just for your family. We know you will love seeing the sights of buzzing Tokyo, while discovering hidden gems and learning about daily life from your expert local guide.
Hello! Tokyo, www.hellotokyotours.com
If you love the idea of a villa stay (who doesn’t!) but crave the amenities of a luxury resort, then you should definitely consider a stay at REVĪVŌ Wellness Resort in Nusa Dua Bali. The resort has four-suite villas which combine to create space for up to 12 guests (three in each suite), perfect for families or groups travelling together. You can expect all the conveniences of villa life — spacious rooms and ensuite bathrooms, a media room (great for entertaining the kids with an evening movie session), an open-air dining pavilion and, of course, a private pool for everyone to enjoy!
The resort provides great services for families, including complimentary one-hour babysitting per day (hello date nights or spa treatments), as well as gardening for kids, free use of bikes and 24-hour butler service to take care of any additional needs.
Sassy Mama tip: Take advantage of the “Stay 7, Pay 5” offer. Book before Friday, 31 January for a stay before Saturday, 29 February.
REVĪVŌ Wellness Resort Bali, Jalan Desa Sawangan, Kelurahan Benoa, Kec. Kuta Selatan, Badung, Bali, Indonesia, www.revivoresorts.com
We do love a green initiative and it’s so great to see more and more hotels and resorts supporting, and putting into practice, sustainable and ethical tourism. Alila Seminyak is definitely on the right path for both environmentally and community-minded tourism. The latest addition (it already supports two local elementary schools and offers tertiary scholarships for study in the F&B industry) is a hydroponic garden. This keeps its restaurant and bars stocked with quality, organic, home-grown ingredients as well as recycling waste water for use around the resort. With plenty of hotel and resorts to choose from in Bali, it’s nice to have an option that goes that extra mile to protect the local environment.
Alila Seminyak, Jalan Taman Ganesha No. 9, Petitenget, Seminyak, Bali, Indonesia, www.alilahotels.com/seminyak
One of our favourite Hong Kong restaurants has now opened in Hanoi! In December 2019, John Anthony opened its doors in the JW Marriott Hotel, Hanoi and will be dishing up our Cantonese favourites. You can expect the same sustainable attitude as you find in the Hong Kong restaurant, with a Vietnamese twist — coasters and chopstick holders are made from upcycled plastic, menus are made with recycled paper and the ceramics sourced from a local village. Not to stop there, the kitchen staff go out of their way to source ingredients from local suppliers and producers who themselves adopt an ethical business model. If you can’t bring yourself to eat Chinese food with all the fabulous Vietnamese cuisine on offer in Hanoi, drop in for a cocktail instead. The signature Gin Martini infused with Silk Road spices should do the trick!
Speaking of food in Vietnam, the extravagant and luxurious Reverie Saigon has partnered with Hidden Saigon to help travellers discover the diverse Ho Chi Minh City food scene. Take your family off the beaten path to discover the true gems of Vietnamese cuisine, either as a breakfast/lunch tour or an after-dark dinner experience. Not only will you try dishes from family-run street food stalls, but top it all with a meal at Vietnam House (run by Vietnamese/Australian celebrity chef, Luke Nguyen).
Song Saa has been on our radar (or rather resort bucket list!) for a while now. What’s not to love? A luxury resort on a private island with pristine waters and accommodation designed for the ultimate in relaxation. And did we mention that it promotes eco-friendly and ethical tourism? The staff regularly get involved in beach clean-ups and guests are encouraged to play their part by going plastic-free, using locally-made bamboo straws and baskets and water refill stations around the resort. It is certainly trying to do its bit in protecting the surrounding reefs and forests. This little slice of paradise just got a bit more affordable with its Last Minute Winter offers. Save up to 15% on stays from now until Saturday, 29 February (for stays up until Saturday, 28 March, 2020).
A Maldives holiday immediately conjures up images of white sand beaches, turquoise waters and palm trees. While us mamas could lie around all day, sometimes the kids have other plans. We’re sure they’ll love a visit to the Hard Rock Cafe at the newly opened CROSSROADS leisure destination. Just a 15-minute speedboat trip from Male Airport, you will find the largest lifestyle hub in the Maldives. There are two resorts, spas and shopping as well as, of course, the Hard Rock Cafe and its family-friendly menu.
There’s a new option to consider for your next Hong Kong staycation — the Alva Hotel by Royal in Sha Tin. Take in the view of the mountains and greenery, while being only minutes from Sha Tin city centre. There are hotel rooms and serviced apartments (perfect for families needing that extra space) and four restaurants onsite (including the Cantonese Yat Heen headed up by an award-winning chef and a rooftop Japanese dining experience). There’s also complimentary bicycle hire and the ALVA Discovery programme to help guests explore the area’s rich cultural sites – a great option for families wanting to explore a little more of Hong Kong.