In what will be welcome news for Australia's harried parents desperately in need of a break, HotelsCombined, the world-s leading hotel discovery and price comparison website, has announced the hotels in Australia and around the world boasting the best kids clubs.
'A great kids club is a win-win for parents and their children – kids have a ball and parents can enjoy some much deserved quiet time. When ranking each kids club we considered offerings like type and range of activities, whether the staff are qualified child-care workers, opening hours and age range of children welcome at the club,' said HotelsCombined-s Head of PR and Community Relations, Kristen McKenzie.
'The kids clubs on our list offer activities ranging from camel riding to ice skating, glass bottom boat cruises, cooking lessons, reggae jam sessions and everything in between. Some kids clubs are happy to look after babies and others will keep teens aged up to 18 years amused.
'With both international and Australian resorts offering some of the best kids club programs, Aussie travellers have a wealth of choice – whether it be a glamorous family trip Switzerland or a quick getaway to the Sunshine Coast.'
The best kids clubs were selected based on the age range of children cared for, the range of activities offered, qualification requirements of the staff and opening hours.
Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Resort, Honolulu: The Camp Penguin club offers supervised activities for children aged five to 12 years with a focus on Polynesian life. Every day of the week has a different theme and different activities. Children learn the "Hawaiian Word of the Day" and can enjoy excursions to Honolulu Zoo, the Waikiki Aquarium, Bishop Museum and Children's Discovery Center. A lending library provides books, toys, and games. There's also a children's swimming pool and a large outdoor pool with waterslides.
Beaches Turks and Caicos: The all-inclusive resort offers an infants program, toddlers program, pre-teens and teens program led by certified nannies that are members of the International Nanny Association. To become accredited, nannies at this resort must have met the minimum of 2,000 hours of child care services. Three to five year-olds can enjoy shell collecting, treasure hunts, magic shows and sand castle building. Pre-teens are offered sailing, snorkelling, beach volleyball, glass bottom boat rides and reggae jam sessions. Teens can take part in water sports, boat cruises, karaoke and dance parties. Children with special needs can have a one-to-one coordinator arranged.
Martinhal Beach Resort and Hotel, Portugal: Raposinhos Creche and Kids Club looks after children in segmented age groups aged from six months to 18 years. 'Raposinhos" means 'little fox" and at the club children are encouraged to be the same – active and inquisitive. The Club provides wind-surfing, dolphin watching, junior lifeguard courses and bike trips. There is also a tennis academy and football (soccer) academy. The Club's 'Blue Room" allows older children to absorb themselves in the latest video games or table football. There is also a baby concierge, offering babysitting and baby equipment such as door protectors, baby cots, baby baths and prams.
Badrutt's Palace, St. Moritz, Switzerland: The Kids 'Club Palazzino' offers a slide, a sandpit and swings and two tennis courts, which are converted into a skating rink the winter season. Children are offered cooking classes, horse carriage tours, dogsled excursions, tennis lessons (summer), theme days, painting competitions, craft competitions, dance lessons, children's disco, walking and cycling excursions, gymnastics, swimming and figure skating (winter).
Liss Ard Estate, Cork, Ireland: Liss Ard Country Estate is a haven for family trips, encouraging day long interaction between parents and their children. Parents don't go without a break though, with the Estate's Oisin's Kids Club operating daily from 9.30am – 1pm. Oisin is the club's ambassador, a five foot long dog otter who lives in the Estate's lake. The Kids Club caters for children aged four to 12 years with sports, treasure hunts, creative play, painting, baking and activities such as Ping Pong. Each night the club reopens from 6.30pm – 8.30pm so parents can enjoy dinner together uninterrupted in the Estate's dining room.
Paradise Resort, Gold Coast: Facilities that will appeal to kids include a brand new ice-skating rink, giant Zone 4 Kids Waterpark, Zone 4 Kids Club. The resort-s Z4K holiday care program offers a range of fully supervised sessions daily for babies aged up to 12 years. Z4K is a mini fun park featuring themed play spaces such as Tiny Town with pedal powered cars and working traffic lights, Under Water World with submarines and slides, and the Magic Garden with its colourful ball pit. All staff are qualified.
Novotel Twin Waters Resort, Sunshine Coast: All team members at Kidz Cove are qualified childcare professionals. The kid's club host themed sessions morning and afternoon daily, and an evening session on Friday and Saturday nights. Activities to keep children enthralled include outdoor play centre, Nintendo Game Cube, face painting, a variety of craft, cooking and creative sessions, popcorn and movie nights, disco and party nights. The resort offers entertainment for older children with an on site games room that includes several coin machines, air hockey and pool tables.
Shoal Bay Resort and Spa, Port Stephens: Occies Kids Club offers children aged three to 12 years a detailed schedule of activities from face painting and cake decorating to camel ride excursions. Operating during NSW school holidays, Occies Kids Club provides children with a range of fully supervised activities, games and entertainment. Activities include circus workshops, craft sessions, pirates and fairies disco, cartoon drawing lessons, interactive challenges, face painting, kids club bingo night, noodle art and movie afternoons.
Kingfisher Bay Resort, Fraser Island: Children can feast their senses on all kinds of adventure and educational activities at Kingfisher Bay, such as low ropes course and canoeing, sand sculpture, art and craft, spotlighting for bats, sugar gliders and frogs, stargazing and campfire songs and telling of Aboriginal legends.
Ivory Palms Resort, Noosa: Supervised Kids Club sessions allow parents to book their children aged five to 12 years into a morning or afternoon session of activities, including tennis, air hockey, swimming, walks, face painting, play stations, movies, craft, treasure hunts and a games room.