Private villas are always an appealing option when you are travelling with a family. Whether within a resort or out in the African bush, a villa holiday maximises that home-from-home feel. Get up when you want, eat what you want and laze by your pool in peace. Here are some of the best that are sure to keep the whole brood happy.
Morukuru Farmhouse – South Africa
The malaria-free Madikwe Game Reserve is ideal for those with kids looking to go on safari, and family owned Morukuru Farm House know’s just how to host them.
Available on an exclusive basis, this chicly-appointed African homestead on the banks of the peaceful Marico River has five equally proportioned suites, linked to the main area by a covered walkway. Surrounded by 100-hectares of fenced private land, children are free to safely explore its lush green gardens and wild natural beauty. More reminiscent of Cape Town’s smart architecture than a rugged safari camp, you feel welcome to kick off your shoes and relax on inviting sofas, enjoying drinks with friends and family, when not out and about spotting the big 5.
There’s also an inviting pool on the lawn in which to take a midday dip or to recline beside and soak up the glorious warmth of the African sun. Game drives, bush walks, fishing or bird-watching can be done at your own pace while adults have the option to sleep-out at a romantic double story hide. For kids there are interactive drives and walks with patient rangers who expertly balance fun and learning, as well as a chance to hop aboard Morukuru’s own boat based at Molatedi Dam for tubing and water-skiing.
Amilla Fushi – Maldives
If you thought the Maldives was the premise of Honeymooners, think again. Family gatherings and group get togethers are welcomed at Amilla Fushi, where the four to eight bedroom Villa Residences are entirely fit for purpose. With its flexible approach, you can really let your hair down and get into that island vibe.
Striking a balance between laidback and luxurious, there’s pretty much everything you need at Amilla to keep the whole crew entertained. A complimentary kids’ club with nanny service leave you guilt-free to enjoy the beach club or spa. Those wanting to burn a bit of energy will be happy with a gym, pro tennis plus a watersports and dive centre where boats come in a variety of sizes, from kayaks to catamarans – perfect for exploring the UNESCO Baa Atoll Biosphere Reserve’s pristine turquoise waters.
Tastefully furnished without being ostentatious, the villas have a modernist Miami-esque feel with big sofas, splashes of colour and sumptuous pools. They really are spaces you want to hang out, and with the resort’s in-room dining, which they have dubbed ‘home delivery’, it’s a struggle to leave. But venture out and you will find Bazaar, the island’s lively social hub with a collection of restaurants from fine gourmet dining, to fish and chips or tapas.
Four Seasons Resort Langkawi – Malaysia
Their palatial new 3 bedroom family villas are great for those looking for villa living combined with the ease of a resort lifestyle. Capturing the sympathetic form of Malay pavilions, each villa comes with a lap pool and studio-style living areas. Every inch is constructed with the
beauty of the surrounding environment in mind – their airy verandas take in views of lotus filled gardens and the sparkling Andaman Sea. Styled with tropical woods and marble accents, the two main bedrooms each have their own hammam, while a third children’s room provides space to sleep a large family, or two smaller ones travelling together.
There are TVs and consoles to keep the kids busy, but with so much to do in the surrounding Langkawi UNESCO Geopark, this is one place where you won’t have a problem coaxing teens away from screens. Eco-experiences and adrenalin meet via activities such as rock-climbing in the rainforest, kayaking in search of wildlife, zip lining through the tropical canopy and X-Jetblade adventures.
Wander through the cobbled pathways en route to an array of places to eat, as mischievous dusty monkeys search for fruit in the trees. Or for something more personal, opt for private barbecues on your large wrap around deck, or lantern lit family dinners on the beach