TOP 10 BEST CITY HOTELS
We are excited to share with you our very first Five Star Kids’ Awards — the ultimate guide for discerning families on a mission to find the pinnacle of holiday perfection. For our inaugural awards we have decided to showcase the ultimate city-based hotels, with our panel of perceptive, well-travelled luxury seekers collating an unparalleled selection of child-friendly sleeps in cities that span Europe, Asia and the USA.
A visit to any hotel in this hand-picked collection
is set to be a treat for young and old.
Each is a standout in the field of family travel,
providing lavish luxury paired with all manner
of play-time activities — from pint-sized sports
cars to unique hands-on classes, cultural excursions,
water wonderlands, soft-play sanctuaries
and more, scattered across some of the
world’s major urban hubs.
Indeed, gone are the days when a five star
family holiday meant a luxury hotel with a
kids’ club, leaving parents with child-free
alone time. Nowadays, these hotels seek to
encourage quality family time, offering specialised
experiences to make all ages feel
pampered and energised.
Starting our whirl-wind tour of the world’s
best city properties in London, at the
Athenaeum Hotel welcome gifts are the
norm, as are kids’ books and games, childsized
bathrobes and slippers. The Kids’
Concierge offers families all sorts of good local
advice, while the chefs are ready to create
dishes exactly to your youngster’s specifications.
Bedtime sees complimentary milk and
cookies materialising on cue and naturally
the Winnie the Pooh playroom is always a
firm favourite — after all, who doesn’t want to
roam 100 Acre Wood?
At times, families will feel as though they are the only inhabitants of remote Yasawa Island, and at others, completely connected with local traditions. Whichever you prefer, this resort delivers, and in style. Perhaps the first day will consist of a private beach picnic with paddleboarding, while the second might see little ones enjoying a local game of rugby. In any case, the Two Bedroom Bure, one of only 18 villas, is the perfect place to begin each day.
From the moment your child’s toes touch
Italy and arrive at the entrance to the Rome
Cavalieri, gladiators, emperors, and all that
splendour will be on their minds. Kids aged
seven and above can don a crimson cloak
and take up arms, re-enacting fearsome battles
under the watchful eye of ‘Nero’. No
Roman holiday is complete without the epicurean
splendour of ice cream, and the Rome
Cavalieri is known to tantalise tastebuds in
the Tiepolo Lounge and Terrace.
Children will love donning the captain’s hat
on each watery journey from Hotel Cipriani on
Venice’s picturesque Giudecca Island. They’ll
make Venetian masks at the Smile Club: Kids’
Club and for the pinnacle of luxury, your bambini
will adore the soothing family spa treatments
at the Casanova Wellness Centre. If it’s
good enough for the Pitt-Jolie brood, it’s sure to
be perfect for a five star family.
Five star families will swoon at the stunning
array of luxury children’s facilities at this city
gem. With a specially designed set of signature
amenities for all and an extensive set
of toys, it’s a definite frontrunner. Even the
older children will enjoy the splendour, with
music download cards and complimentary
high-speed internet access supplementing the
iconic sense of New York chic. Priding itself
on a spectacular kids’ club and a unique children’s
menu, the Loews Regency is a family
force to be reckoned with.
What’s the quick way to get from level three to
level one of the kids’ club at Shangri-La’s Rasa
Sentosa Resort & Spa? Hurtle down the gigantic
treehouse slide into a ball pool, of course.
Kids can also make an explosive entrance at
the children’s pool and splash pad with even
more water slides, or enjoy adventure with the
whole family at the Sea Sports Centre. Soar
high with a lesson on The Flying Trapeze and
clamber to the top of the Rock Wall, both on
Singapore’s favourite lifestyle beach, Siloso.
While in Asia, experience the fast-paced
glamour of Hong Kong knowing that the kids
are as entranced and engrossed as you are.
The new Ritz Kids programme is an exciting
journey of discovery, developed in partnership
with Jean-Michel Cousteau’s Ocean
Futures Society, encouraging little ones aged
from four to 12 to ask questions and interact
with the world around them. Hong Kong’s vibrant
heritage will come to life before their
very eyes, forging a deep appreciation that
will last long after they’ve left.
At Mandarin Oriental, Bangkok kids are VIPs.
With a central location on the Chao Phraya
River in the middle of Thailand’s bustling
capital, MO spoils with the exciting Sanook
Sanook Kids’ Club for kids from three to 14.
A holiday programme will see little ones engaged
for their whole stay. The entire family
can enjoy the two swimming pools and expert
tennis coaches. Dining is a breeze as all
restaurants feature kid-friendly menu choices
and there is plenty of adventure to be had beyond
the hotel; just ask the concierge.
Located in this Shangri-La property is the
fantasy land that is Adventure Zone. Filled
with three exhilarating slides with names
like Hyperglide Astra Slide and Tri-level
Demon Drop Slide, Adventure Zone is nonstop
fun while toddlers can discover the
vibrant world in age-appropriate areas. The
hotel also features a heated indoor pool
with a kiddie splash pool to entertain the
Rising out of the deep blue of the Persian
Gulf, Atlantis, The Palm is everything Plato
would have us believe and more. Although
this ‘lost city’ is very far from lost, there
remains a certain allure around the selfproclaimed
seven-star resort, and nowhere
more so than in the thrilling Aquaventure
Waterpark. Guests can enjoy Aquaventure
for free, riding the world’s largest slide or fly
along the Middle East’s longest zip line, with
a Splashers play area for little ones. If more
contemplative activities are required, swim
with the dolphins or admire the eerie wonder
of the Lost Chambers Aquarium.