Planning your next family break? You know what the kids want on holiday – a great pool! Take a look at these amazing hotels with the coolest splash factor!
If you want a short break
THE POOL – As if on cue, my seven-year-old chimes, “Where’s the pool?” every time we enter a hotel lobby. At Angsana Lang Co in central Vietnam, however, her first question instead was: “Can we swim now?” She had spotted the turquoise water already. And who could miss the free-form pool, which seemed to go on and on around the beachfront resort? It was the low season during our five-day stay in September, so my family was lucky to have almost the entire 300m-long stretch to ourselves. In fact, we could even hear the swish of soothing sea waves when the kids weren’t splashing around.
This isn’t a pool for swimming laps or diving in – the deepest end measures only 1.3m. But it’s fantastic for frolicking with the children and floating on your back. In fact, you can even rent a big float tube or mattress on an hourly basis. Or how about a giant water walking ball that fits two adults? There’s also an area equipped with bubbling jets to soothe your tired muscles. Not a competent swimmer? Take advantage of the free hour-long swimming lessons three times a week.
THE ROOM – My energetic kids still wanted to take a dip after dinner. No problem – we headed back to our suite that came with, you guessed it, a private pool. This is a feature in all one- and two-room apartments at the resort. Guests were probably using their private facilities, which explained why the main pool was always quiet when we were there. We switched on the underwater lights, transforming our big pool, measuring 8m by 3m, into a dazzling sight. Hubby and I kept watch on the cushy lounge chairs while the children entertained themselves in the shallow end.
THE KIDS’ CLUB – Eat, play, nap! The little ones are well taken care of at this spacious centre, which is free to use. There are three beds where they can get some shut-eye, a craft corner and an Xbox game room. The outdoor area offers a playground, a sandpit and a 0.4m-deep waddling pool as well (more water play!). Hubby and I contemplated leaving our cheeky monkeys here all day when we booked the resort’s free shuttle service to Hoi An, a two-hour ride away. But the club closes at 7pm daily and we wouldn’t have arrived back by then. Pity. Before departing for Singapore, the friendly staff also snapped a souvenir photo for my daughter – dressed in an ao dai, a Vietnamese national costume, no less.
If want a staycation
THE POOL – You know you’re in a hotel fi t for a rock star when you don’t need to make a trip down to the beach. At the Hard Rock Hotel Singapore, it comes to you in the form of a 970 sq m beach pool – that’s almost the size of nine five-room flats, by the way. The pool area was packed during our September school holiday staycation and we found out why: it’s open to guests of the other hotels in Resorts World Sentosa, too. Still, we had a great time despite the crowd. My kids loved the fact that they had so many options, from building sandcastles and playing volleyball on the beach court (bring your own ball), to going down the small water slide. The water-play area was also a big hit among all ages – even adults like me had a go with the water guns there. There’s a 50m lap pool for more serious swimmers, and you can rent the poolside cabanas to host birthday parties as well. I spotted two kids’ bashes that Saturday, one of them Frozen-themed (but of course), and it looked like a wonderful way to celebrate with a difference.
THE ROOM – I was surprised at how popular the Hard Rock is with families – there were kids everywhere in the lobby. I guess it helps that all rooms come with a pull-out bed, although my tween and teen had to squash together for a night on it even though we stayed in a suite. If you have two kids, the Deluxe Suite, which has a connecting twin bedroom, is probably a better option.
THE KIDS’ CLUB – RWS’ Kids Club is situated within the hotel. It’s spacious, although there were just a handful of children there when I checked it out. Open to ages three to 11, it conducts activities like face-painting, arts and crafts, storytelling and balloon-sculpting. There are also game stations and meals are provided on request.
By Elisa Chia & Stephanie Yeo, Young Parents, November 2014