Kid-friendly hotels are the most parent-friendly options for a fuss-free holiday
Some parents start to sweat when school holidays come around, due to the stress of planning holiday activities for the little ones. For less stress, check into these hotels and resorts in Malaysia that minimise hassle for you yet maximise fun for the kids.
Renaissance Hotel, Johor Bahru
For the most part, the Renaissance Johor Bahru is much like any other 4-star establishment. Comfortable and well-appointed rooms, delicious buffet spreads for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and with standard facilities expected of such high-class accomodations such as a gym and swimming pool. However, if all your kids want is to hang out at the swimming pool all day, what’s extra special here is the hotel’s Pool Suite that's situated on the pool floor with rooms that open out directly to the pool. As it’s a quick few steps back to your room and with easy access to the ensuite bathroom, there is no need to shepherd the troop along carpeted hallways in wet swimsuits and borrowed poolside towels anymore.
Club Med, Cherating
If you are not familiar with the Club Med concept, you’ll want to know that you don’t need to leave the resort throughout the duration of your stay as all the fun happens here! From day to night, you (oh, and the kids) may choose to join any of the activities that have been planned and organised by the hosts and staff of the resort. There may be arts and crafts to do in the morning, some archery after lunch, a bit of golfing, acrobatic lessons at the trapeze, video games to play in the recreation room – and that’s just for the kids! Meanwhile, with your progeny enjoying themselves under the watchful eye of the dedicated staff, you may join a salsa-dancing class, aerobics or yoga session, or sneak off to the spa. At night, a different theme each evening dictates the resort’s décor and entertainment – it could be a Western night with everyone dressed as cowboys and cowgirls with square-dancing to boot, a mini Cirque du Soleil performance by the trapeze team, or a pirates-and-gypsies theme. The best part: full international buffet breakfast, lunch and dinner every night is included with your booking. No need to drive around unfamiliar territory looking for food on this holiday.
The Andaman, Langkawi
You have a pristine beach on one side of this resort, and a 10-million-year-old rainforest on the other – and resort staff will absolutely take your kids off your hands for a full day and bring them exploring! You already know that Malaysia has biosystems rich in diversity, but your kids need to see that for themselves. Let them go off exploring and discovering animal species such as the macaques, hornbills, langurs and flying lemur in the forest, while the resort’s Coral Rehabilitation Program at its Coral Nursery will keep them busy learning to respect and protect endangered sealife often found on the ocean floor. With all that free time you now have, spend it at the spas that has earned this resort the title of Best Spa Hotel three years in a row.
Bayou Lagoon Park Resort, Melaka
A water-park in a resort, that provides studio, two- or three-bedroom apartments for accomodation. Perfect for large families with many kids that need to have their Energizer bunny intensity go down a notch or two by bedtime! The waterpark is pretty basic, nothing too fancy, but the two spiraling slides and the main five-slide behemoth should be enough to keep the kids enthralled. There is also a tamer slide for the toddlers and scaredy-cats, and water features such as raining fountains and water cannons to keep everyone sufficiently excited. And with prices starting at around RM169 per night (including water park tickets), you get to relax that wallet as well.
KSL Resort, Johor Bahru
This could very well be the best kid-friendly resort in the city that you’ve never heard of. The resort is located atop KSL City Mall in the middle of Johor Bahru city, so food and shopping for the family is sorted right there. The resort itself offers two-bedroom or three-bedroom apartments, so it’s good for keeping all in the family together behind one locked door. Meanwhile, its mini water-park has a few pools with water slides as well as giant floats and inflatable wheels for extra fun. The kids might particularly enjoy the almost realistic, almost life-size dinosaur animatronic replicas stationed around the pools, each occasionally moving and roaring, adding to a holiday experience that is exciting for the kids and, hopefully, relaxing for the parents.