After months of home-school, parents will need some serious rest and relaxation on their first, post-lockdown family escape
Adults at these hotels and resorts can relax in the knowledge their children are entertained and inspired with world-class learning escapes: from surf school and ballet lessons from world-class professionals, to child-friendly yoga and a masterclass in Italian cuisine.
When I grow up, I want to be…
A Marine Biologist
While adults relax in the spa or laze on the beach, children can release their inner explorer and join Fairmont Maldives’ resident marine biologist on a variety of educational excursions, from coral planting and underwater art, to snorkelling with turtles.
Fairmont Maldives is making waves in marine conservation with its ‘Coralarium’ – an underwater art gallery and coral regeneration project. Families can snorkel the Coralarium, which acts as an artificial reef to attract marine life, on daily complimentary tours with the marine biologist, rubbing shoulders with tropical schooling fish, manta rays and even turtles. Snorkel to the manta ray cleaning stations, peppered across the 9km lagoon, to marvel at rays being cleaned by small fish, before planting a piece of coral that can be re-visited in years to come. Back on land, the art studio provides a creative space for children to create marine-inspired artwork under the watchful eye of the resident artist – creating a unique souvenir with natural island materials.
There’s no better place to learn the secrets of surfing than one of Bali’s best breaks – Canggu. Steps from the sea is COMO Uma Canggu, a luxury bolthole and surfer’s paradise, offering an exclusive experience specially designed for younger travellers – Tropicsurf Turtle Club at Play by COMO. Learning escapes don’t come better than this: Tropicsurf educate children on marine life, the importance of conservation and the safety and physics of surfing in an ocean awareness session, before taking to the Lagoon Pool for a hands-on 30-minute lesson – teaching the basic techniques needed to balance on the board. Budding surfers then take to the beach in search of any hazards, before putting their newfound skills into practice with body surfing in the shallows.
When they’re not riding the waves, children can cook Balinese dishes with COMO Uma Canggu’s chefs, create boats on the beach from natural materials, make kites or learn about the traditional Balinese arts at Play by COMO, a creative space dedicated to encourage sensory development, curiosity and imagination.
Set within a quaint seaside village on the south-eastern coast of Rhodes, Gennadi Grand Resort is a family-friendly paradise with experiences rooted in learning, culture and adventure. Having recently released their new Mini Club programme for 2021 – with activities suitable for children and teenagers from 4-14 years old – parents can relax knowing that their little ones are not only being taken care of, but learning and having fun at the same time.
For a learning escapes with a difference, aspiring chefs can take immersive cooking classes and learn the art of Greek recipes such as Dolmades (Mediterranean stuffed vine leaves) and Galaktoboureko (a tasty Greek custard pie), while those looking for something quirky can try ‘zoo yoga’ or a guided treasure hunt around the resort. As part of the Mini Club programme, children will also be taught valuable lessons in recycling, gardening and even the history of the Greek gods. Older children can get active with Aqua gym, water volleyball and water polo in one of Gennadi’s three freshwater swimming pools, before enjoying a range of fun teen nights such as Gennadi’s ‘Teen Choice Awards’ and the farewell ‘Prom Night’ every Saturday. Outside the resort, adventurous families can try mountain biking, horse-riding lessons and guided hiking trips to areas rich in natural beauty, such as Seven Springs or the 600-acre nature reserve of Butterfly Valley.
For months, families have been cooped up together inside, quarantined and isolated. Looking ahead to summer, Emerald Maldives Resort & SPA is launching new activities for children: from pizza making and gelato classes, to meditation and yoga lessons, there are a range of opportunities for learning escapes while parents to finally relax – at no extra cost. Thanks to the Deluxe All-Inclusive formula, everything from unlimited dining to the children’s activities available at the Dolphin Kids Club – one of the most extensive and well-equipped children’s facilities in the destination – is included.
Leveraging Emerald’s Italian heritage, children can learn to master mouth-watering Italian classics with the help of the resort’s Italian, Chef Aldo. Aldo will teach young chefs how to prepare the perfect pizza from scratch, from dough to toppings. For dessert, learn how to make real-deal Italian gelato, using island ingredients such as fresh coconut and papaya.
With the belief that one is never too young to adopt mindfulness and reconnect with nature, Emerald has also developed a yoga series for little ones. Young yogis are invited to have fun while increasing their flexibility and coordination. Taking place in the lush garden of the Dolphin Kids’ Club, the classes are hosted by seasoned professionals, who design each session with age-appropriate games, animal sounds and creative names for poses.
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