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What’s your family’s idea of paradise? For us, it’s sparkling waters to frolic in, a beach with swaying palm-trees and as much (or as little) playing and lazing as you can fit into tranquil, sun-kissed days. This month, we’ve pried ourselves off our sunloungers and dug up an Aladdin’s cave of child-friendly hotels for Smith & Family: two breezy retreats in Bali, a hill-perched bolthole in Phuket, a sleek retreat in Mexico, a stylish sporty escape in Anguilla and the ultimate kids’ playground in the Maldives. Phew. Pass the coconuts.

WORDS first appeared on Smith & Family blog

Karma Kandara
- Bali, Indonesia

Just for them: Dedicated kids’ pool and endless Monkey-Club fun
Just for you: Clifftop views and buzzy beach club

Kids who like to duck and dive will fall in love with Karma Kandara, a smattering of whitewashed pool villas perched on a hill above the Indian Ocean. Little legs can run about on golden sands and happily (and safely) splash, snorkel and kayak in the reef-fringed lagoon. Mini Smiths will be kept busy in the free kids’ club, where treasure hunts, dressing-up games, junior cookery classes and Balinese puppet- and mask-making leave adults with plenty of time for parent-pleasing pampering in the wow-worthy Karma spa.

More about Karma Kandara

Kayumanis Jimbaran - Bali, Indonesia

Just for them: Hair braiding and pool toys
Just for you: Chocolate-flavoured pampering and Seminyak shopping

Having the young ’uns in tow is no reason to sacrifice on luxury: at Kayumanis Jimbaran’s thatch-roof villas are nestled within lushly manicured gardens, amongst frangipani-dotted foliage and coconut palms. With enough space to make you feel like you’ve got your own house and a butler service, villas have an alluring timber-decked pool (staff can easily set up a safety barriers for straying toddlers) and a private garden. If you tire of your private escape (highly unlikely), freewheel through Jimbaran’s fishing village or seek out the hotel’s dedicated stretch of sand on the free shuttle.

More about Kayumanis Jimbaran


Main image: Poolside at Viceroy Anguilla
Above: Karma Kandara sands


Viceroy Anguilla 
- Caribbean

Just for them: Action-packed resort with clubs for teens and kids alike
Just for you: Sophisticated design and sports mecca

Ever bounced on a giant ocean trampoline? Neither had we until we’d visited this impressive family-friendly resort. Yes, it ticks all the Big Smith boxes with soft white sands, cosseting cabanas and a spectacular oceanfront spa, but the activities read like an ankle-biter’s Christmas list. Aquatic adventurers can snorkel, paddle and boogie board at the watersports centre, or blow off steam with tennis, rock-climbing or basketball. At Viceroy Anguilla, a sophisticated fun-packed stay is very possible – even with the sippy-cup set in town.

More about Viceroy Anguilla

Above: Viceroy Anguilla room


From above: Exterior of Viceroy Anguilla
Luxurious room at Trisara

- Riveria Maya, Mexico

Just for them: Chocolate baths and scuba lessons
Just for you: Free babysitting and yoga classes

Perched on a peaceful stretch of Mexico’s Caribbean coastline, this former estancia has colourful Spanish and Mayan interiors and awe-inspiring views of come-hither turquoise waters. Fringed by gorgeous exotic gardens, the two-storey private cottages are perfect for families seeking a secluded luxury retreat. Try the temazcal steam ritual or treat your sweet-toothed tots to a chocolate massage treatment at the Riviera Maya’s first organic spa. Add free babysitting, yoga, cooking lessons and on-site scuba diving – we might just have found the perfect Caribbean getaway.

More about Esencia

- Phuket, Thailand

Just for them: Beachside kite-flying and coconut bowling
Just for you: Six-handed massage and private plunge pools

Take all the comforts of a family home, combine with an idyllic tropical headland, then add an inviting private plunge pool and emerald-sea views, and you’ve arrived at Trisara. Set along Phuket’s less-developed north-west coast, mini-mes can do as the adults with pint-sized massages and swimming lessons in the beachfront lap pool. A free kids’ club has activities to keep inquisitive minds and nimble fingers busy all day; alternatively, venture beyond the resort’s walls to sample the thrills of dramatic Phan Nga Bay or an elephant ride through lush rainforest – but with tennis courts, luxurious spa, kite-flying and watersports at fingers reach, we suspect you won’t stray far.

More about Trisara


From above: Over water bungalows at Six Senses Laamu
Aerial of Six Senses Laamu

Six Senses Laamu
- Maldives

Just for them: Chocolate and ice-cream rooms 
Just for you:  Glass-bottomed tubs and over-water villas

Have a budding Wonka on your hands? Watch as their eyes widen at the dedicated chocolate and ice-cream rooms at Six Sense Laamu (best not to tell dentists about that one). Young fun is at the forefront of this resort’s mind: a jungle-nestled cinema, bottlenose dolphins as neighbours, night snorkelling and a postcard-perfect lagoon locale. Follow bleached-wood jetties to rustic-chic thatched huts that hover over crystalline waters. After dropping the kids off at the dreamy Den, it’s time to take some time out; choose between a massage therapy class, napping in a netted hammock or diving in the kaleidoscope of underwater life.

More about Six Senses Laamu

"Smith & Family is a hand-picked, anonymously reviewed collection of the world’s very best child-friendly hotels and family stays, every one of them selected and approved by parents. For more parent approved hotels or to make a booking visit

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