When it comes to family hotels, 2023 sees quite a few brands pushing the boundaries for original design, not to mention hospitality and service. Here are new openings we think you should be getting excited about right now.
Anantara Koh Yao Yai: a reset for luxury family hotels in Thailand
Set in the middle of Phang Nga Bay, just 35 minutes by boat from Phuket and 20 minutes from Krabi, Anantara Koh Yao Yai opens in November 2023. The 148-room resort sits right on the water’s edge, against a backdrop of limestone formations that rise out of the waters of Phang Nga Bay. The one and two-bedroom beachfront villas each have grass roofing, as well as direct access to the resorts long, sandy beach, complimentary bicycles and private butler service.
Huge family suites with built-in bunk beds and in-room slides are particularly loveable here. Although the resort also features one of Thailand’s largest kids’ clubs with bubble pool, waterslides, dance studio and dedicated nap room. Supervised kids activities include recycling projects, mangrove seedling planting, cooking classes and nature walks make this one an education for its younger guests: baby yoga is available too, and teens have their own activity building and restaurant.
Intercontinental Khao Yai: vintage rail travel vibes in Thailand
Three hours north of Bangkok, tucked off the main road and hidden behind tall trees, is the Intercontinental Khao Yai, designed by award-winning architect and interior designer Bill Bensley. Featuring upcycled train carriages converted into luxury suites, the lobby is built like a traditional ticketing booth, and even two of the restaurants are also in carriages.
One of the most original new family hotels, younger guests will love the train-themed spaces – the kids club is, naturally, in a carriage! Plus, there’s an outdoor pool, as well as a spa and fitness centre on site. Nearby Khao Yai National Park is the place for elephant-spotting in the jungle, along with golf on several world-class courses. And if you want to explore further, you’ll find a night market in nearby Pak Chong Old Town and a Buddhist monastery.
Regent Phu Quoc, Vietnam: one of the new family hotels for island hoppers
Nestled on the white sands of Phu Quoc island’s west coast, at Regent Phu Quoc untouched tropical landscapes are interwoven with the rustic charm of an idyllic island life. From the expansive terrace, the calm blue waters of the Gulf of Thailand stretch before you, an ideal position for taking in sunsets. When it comes to the rooms, sunlight radiates through floor-to-ceiling glass windows, opening to the sweeping scenery of the sea and the skies.
There’s a dedicated Regent Kids programme, with activities ranging from arts and crafts to sports and ocean exploration, encouraging young guests to learn and have fun. Inside, kids will find a variety of stations, including swings, climbing structures, a treehouse, napping area and a theatre for movies. The reading nook contains Time’s 100 Children’s Books of All Time in many languages, and there are also plenty of board games, toys and puzzle games to keep kids busy too.
Alila Kothaifaru, Maldives: active kids love this new resort
Alila Kothaifaru lies in the peaceful and unspoilt Raa Atoll, home to few inhabited islands and an abundance of marine life: you can even go snorkelling with hawksbill turtles, green turtles and manta rays here. If you prefer to stay out of the water, a sunset cruise brings you close as can be to spinner and bottlenose dolphins. Alternatively, there’s also the spectacular “Sea of Stars” phenomenon: an extraordinary sight to behold at nearby Vaadhoo Island.
In fact, this family-friendly resort has experiences and activities aplenty, most of which can be tailored to suit guests. The kids club is a buzzy place and the specially trained team is always ready to make sure even the youngest guests feel at home.
Andaz Pattaya Jomtien Beach: the new family haven in Thailand
A charming coastal resort in a peaceful sanctuary, just a short drive from many of the attractions and tourism hotspots of Pattaya, Thailand, Andaz Pattaya Jomtien Beach is a family-friendly resort with 204 spacious rooms arranged in intimate clusters amid the tropical landscape. Choose from beachfront suites and indulgent pool villas, contemporary in style and featuring spacious balconies that immerse you in nature with stunning views.
There are three different pools here, including the Lagoon Pool, a tropical paradise for kids and families. Fish Club is the beachside restaurant and bar serving locally caught and freshly grilled seafood. And families can enjoy sundowners by the pool with a laidback beach club vibe and live music. Children will like making new friends while being immersed in fun, learning and exploration at Sanuk Sanuk Kids’ Club, next to the kids’ pool, where activities range from locally inspired arts and crafts to games and storytelling.
Jumeirah Bali: inspired by traditional Javanese temples
Describing a new family hotel as ‘inspired by a tranquil Javanese-Hindu water palace’ might sound a little esoteric, but we’re forgiving Jumeirah Bali everything because the resort is simply exquisite.
There’s a whisper of quiet luxury through everything here from the elegant, traditionally designed suites to the discreet personal butler service. Naturally kids will be more excited about the cuteness and sheer fun of the Peafowl Kids Club which does Balinese dress up for younger clubbers as easily as it delivers yoga for teens.
Cap Karoso, Indonesia: the most authentic of new family hotels
A 30-minute flight from Bali, Sumba is a largely undeveloped island paradise, with white sand beaches and wild horses. Sitting on the shores of a coral reef and surrounded by turquoise lagoons and traditional villages, Cap Karoso is a new luxe resort with 47 rooms and 20 villas, as well as an organic farm that also acts as a farming school for the Sumbese community. Covering three hectares of rehabilitated land, the farm produces nearly all the fruits and vegetables used in the restaurant and bar.
The resort is also home to the kids’ club where everything from discovering the constellations with the telescope to learning to grow crops on the organic farm, make children feel like explorers. All family villas have private swimming pools, open-air kitchens and barbecues, so you can prepare unforgettable family meals with fresh produce delivered to your door.
Four Seasons Suzhou: new luxury just 30 minutes from Shanghai
Suzhou is one of China’s famous canal cities, just a half-hour by train from Shanghai. With UNESCO-listed classical gardens and ancient stone bridges over waterways, when he visited Venetian explorer Marco Polo is said to have called it ‘the Venice of the East’.
New Four Seasons Suzhou sits on a 22-acre private island in the heart of Jinji Lake looking towards the city skyline. There are 210 rooms here, including penthouse suites and stand-alone villas. As well as two swimming pools – a lake-view outdoor infinity pool and a glass-enclosed indoor pool – guests can also enjoy the jogging track that runs along the island’s shoreline, lakeside gardens and outdoor terraces. Plus, the always amazing Kids For All Seasons programme, features an indoor playroom and an outdoor kids’ zone.
Innit, Lombok: the beachiest of new family hotels for 2023
Perched on the secluded white-sand shores of Ekas Bay, surrounded by sparkling waters, soaring cliffs and traditional fishing villages, Innit Lombok is an intimate haven. At the moment there are seven beach houses, each designed for families with two bedrooms and private ensuite bathrooms, as well as a central open-plan living/dining/kitchen area, although future plans include hillside residences and a Bridge Hotel.
This may feel like a downtime destination, but you’ll find activities nearby from visiting a local lobster farm to exploring volcanos and waterfalls, kayaking, surfing, snorkelling and paddleboarding. Alternatively, lazy bones can simply lie by the infinity pool or enjoy the hotel’s 300-metre long stretch of soft white sand beach.
Janu, Tokyo: new opening for winter 2023
The sister brand to Aman, Janu (the Sanskrit word for ‘soul’) is launching its first property in Japan. A fitting flagship, Janu Tokyo, opens its doors this winter in the city’s much anticipated Azabudai Hills: a newly built urban village in the heart of the capital, with views of iconic Tokyo Tower.
An urban oasis with 122 guest rooms and suites, many of which are interconnecting for families, one of the capital’s largest spa and wellness centres, and eight distinctive dining venues, Janu Tokyo promises a unique and soul-enriching stay for its guests. There will be six restaurants, a bar, a lounge, and a garden terrace, including a patisserie, an Italian food emporium and a grill with an open kitchen and bar. This new addition will also feature one of the largest wellness facilities of any luxury family hotels in Tokyo: spanning over 4,000 sqm and including a 25m lap pool.
Banyan Tree Higashiyama Kyoto, Japan (opening spring 2024)
Located in the Gion and Higashiyama district, Banyan Tree Higashiyama Kyoto will open in spring 2024 as a 52-key luxury, hilltop urban resort boasting spectacular views of Kyoto city. It’s set to become the first and only hotel in Kyoto city to have a Noh stage, a traditional Japanese performance space specifically designed for Noh, a classical Japanese theatrical art form that has been performed for over 600 years.
YOTEL Tokyo Japan (opening spring 2024)
A great budget option for family travellers, YOTEL Tokyo is steps away from Ginza, the city’s most popular dining and shopping destination, featuring flagship stores for many of the world’s best-known brands. Japan’s first YOTEL is also only a fifteen-minute walk from Tokyo station, home to the city’s main Shinkansen high-speed rail terminal providing access to most parts of Japan as well as the Narita express, the city’s main gateway to Narita International Airport.
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