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Best ever family holiday destinations from Singapore Inquiry

Best ever family holiday destinations from Singapore

Sitting pretty, smack bang on the equator, Singapore is the perfect launching pad for family holidays. Sure Singapore has some of the best things for kids to do on the planet, but we like to jet away for an island escape every now and then. At HoneyKids HQ we are always on the hunt for the next family vacay (with plans being hatched for the next trip the moment we return from one). We’ve done all the go-to short getaways from Singapore, because everybody loves a one-stop holiday in Asia, especially when kids are involved. But if you’ve done Bintan more times than you can count, get some #holidayinspo from the HoneyKids crew. We’ve shared our BEST EVER family holidays. And now we’ve all got a serious case of wanderlust… 

 

best kid-friendly holidays

Bali is the ultimate location to chillax with the family


BALI, INDONESIA
Tips from our resident insider Lindene, associate editor, mum to Edie and Frankie
Why we loved it:
We’ve been to Bali a few times, but only once so far bearing the official title of ‘family’. We decided to go the whole hog by taking my parents along for the ride, and it didn’t disappoint. For me, the best part about a family getaway in Bali is that it’s so easy to find an affordable but beautiful villa to fit everyone in. There’s no need to pay for expensive hotel rooms, and you can spend your days lounging by your own private pool, jumping in with the little ones whenever it takes your fancy, and just kicking back relaxing. Everyone has privacy with their own bedroom, and can come together over the outdoor dining table for meals (a daily banana pancake breakfast is the key to a perfect life, in my book).

The best thing we did:
On our recent trip our daughter had only just turned one, so she was still a little young for a lot of the great activities Bali has to offer. So, we took the opportunity to just relax (which was made easier by having her grandparents on tap!). We ate, swam, read, enjoyed massages, and recharged after an adventurous first year of parenthood. My mum and I also escaped for a morning of shopping in Seminyak, which has plenty of cool, affordable fashion that’s perfect for the Singapore climate.

The best thing we ate:
We hired a driver to take us on a little half-day trip to Padang Padang and indulged in lunch at Suarga resort. The view here is what Bali is all about – blue, blue ocean as far as the eye can see, and the food is stunning. Modern Indonesian, the menu is inventive, fresh, and lip-smackingly delicious. If I had to choose, I’d say the sautéed duck with pumpkin and coconut was the highlight, closely followed by the broccoli edamame with cucumber and coconut. Sisterfields cafe in Seminyak is also a big favourite for brunch or lunch. But really, you can’t go too far wrong in Bali, there’s always amazing food within arm’s reach!

best ever holidays for kids

Imagine your kids running free on the white sands of magical Batu Batu…

BATU BATU, MALAYSIA
Tips from our resident insider Chris,
Founder and mum to Evie, Louis & Darcy
I don’t want to count how many times we have been to Batu Batu (maybe six?) but we can’t stop. We go every year. We all just love it.

Why we loved it:
Honestly it feels like you are on some remote island in the Maldives, but you are just a short drive and 20 minute ferry away from Singapore. The kids get to go Robinson Crusoe for the long weekend, and we spend time with them just hanging on the beach, collecting shells, making twig swords – it feels like life as it should be. We often go with a group of friends, and it’s so nice to just hang out and see the kids play and enjoy the beautiful beaches, stunning scenery, jungle walks and great outdoor life.

The best thing we did:
There is not a lot to do on Batu Batu (could be another reason why I love it so much), but honestly I really enjoy the beach, snorkelling with the kids and the simple sand castle action. Oh, and swimming in the crystal clear aqua water. Amazing.

The best thing we ate:
Another secret about Batu Batu is that the food is pretty darn good for island life. Every meal here is three courses, and we usually travel with a bunch of foodies (including an ex-chef) – we were all absolutely impressed with the quality of the food on the island. Of course we pack Champagne, gin, tonic and some cheese and nibbles and start the sunset with a little pre-dinner tipple, so it sets us up for the night.

Best family holidays from Singapore Nikoi Island HoneyKids Asia

Divine Nikoi island: we could get into the swing of this.


NIKOI, INDONESIA
Tips from our resident insider Elissa, account manager and mum to Angela, Hugo and Jack
We recently went on a short break to Nikoi Island in Indonesia. I had heard so many fabulous things about Nikoi, so decided to book a last-minute getaway for our family.

Why we loved it:
From the moment the boat pulled into the jetty, I could tell this was our kinda place! We were greeted by a large group of friendly staff, which took the kids by hand and gave them an island tour. The kids’ club was incredible; the staff made countless timber swords, racing cars and all manner of things for the kids. It’s an ideal set-up as parents can grab a few moments alone knowing the kids are safe any time of the day (or evening). The villas are stunning (and as luxurious as they are spacious), with private day beds, beautiful lawns for the kids to kick a ball around, and beach access.

The best thing we did
There were so many highlights! It was such a fun experience for the kids to fish (for the first time!) from a bamboo stick, the traditional way it’s done in the villages. And yes, they actually caught fish each afternoon! Every night there was a bonfire on the beach where the kids could toast marshmallows, followed by a movie screening back in the kids’ club. Old-school holidaying at it’s best!

The best thing we ate
The food was exceptional, and coming from a bit of a foodie that says a lot. The kids were served super-healthy and top-notch food – not once did they receive standard kids’ meals like fish and chips or spaghetti bolognese. They gobbled up quality fillet steak, freshly caught fish and fresher-than-fresh veggies. And we were more than impressed with the adult fare.

best ever family holidays

Enjoy the laid-back Aussie lifestyle while on holiday in the Margaret River. Did someone say winery?


MARGARET RIVER, AUSTRALIA
Tips from our resident insider Ania, account manager and mum of and Lucia and Oliver

Why we loved it:
This is one holiday that caters to both the adults and the kids. The scenery, the wine, the awesome Australian produce and the boutique stores were fantastic! We stayed at Eight Willows Retreat (formerly Willy Bay Resort) – a fully serviced apartment with all the modern luxuries including a kitchen, BBQ and spa. Situated in the middle of nowhere, this holiday made me realise just how restful and relaxing being back in nature can be. 

The best thing we did
The best part about the trip was having a taste of nature again – it was great for the kids to actually experience that milk (and ice-cream) comes from cows! We loved wandering further afield on bush walks, seeing kangaroos in the wild, and spotting chickens roaming around a farm. The kids went wild playing on a jungle gym made of wooden logs, and climbed trees. So much fun! 

The best thing we ate
We drove to all the local attractions including gorgeous wineries, a dairy farm and a chocolate factory. The wineries were very diverse, from more refined establishments to the type of places you can kick off your shoes in the backyard and play cricket bare-foot while waiting for your oven-fired pizza to arrive. And all the wineries have play areas for kids, which gave us a moment to sample the wonderful local wines.

kid-friendly holidays in Asia

Go a little off the beaten track with a colourful and intrepid trip to Sri Lanka

SRI LANKA
Tips from our resident insider Tracy, writer and mum to Jack, Angelica and Rafferty

Why we loved it:
Sri Lanka was always one of the Big Ones from our family travel bucket list, so we were all super excited to finally get there. What did we love about it? Everything! The people, the culture, the beaches, the food and, of course, the tea! It was all amazing. We spent 10 happy days soaking it all up, but we could have easily spent that again and still not experienced enough. This place is jam-packed with seriously cool things to do, and we will definitely be heading back one day to explore some more.

The best thing we did:
Easy peasy: the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage! It was a bit of a mammoth (get it?) journey, but so worth it. The orphanage comprises acres of sanctuary for Nelly, Dumbo and friends, where these beautiful beasts get to live their lives peacefully without being touted out for rides and tricks like so many elephants in captivity do. Never have we had a lunch with quite such an extraordinary view as the one we had overlooking the ‘elephant river’, where the herd is taken to chill out and relax in the water while visitors look on and take one billion photos.

The best thing we ate
We were incredibly lucky to find a little gem of a rustic beach hotel, The Thaproban Beach House in Unawatuna, where with the sand between our toes each night we were served up endless delicious dishes of Sri Lankan curry and seafood. Nothing was too much trouble for these guys (which comes in handy when you have a toddler who will only eat cheese sandwiches) and every evening came with the promise of some fabulous gastronomic delight – cheap as chips too!

awesome trips with kids in Asia

Re-laaaaax, you’re in Boracay!

BORACAY, PHILIPPINES
Tips from our resident insider Kate, account manager and mum to Harrison and Vivienne

Why we loved it:
Our family enjoyed an amazing trip to Boracay Island, made even better by our choice to stay at the Shangri-La. The property is incredible and so well suited to an enjoyable family break that we hardly felt the need to leave! There was amazing kids’ club and entertainment zone, daily activities from fish feeding to crafts, and even a super-sized flying fox character who hung about to play with the littlies. We were able to relax by the pool and easily access two pristine private beaches.

The best thing we did:
My favourite hangout? The amazing CHI Spa! Soooo relaxing. My husband would probably say his highlight (aside from the watersports) was the band that set up on the beach each night and played mellow tunes. The kiddo was happy alternating between swimming, watching hermit crabs, and collecting seashells.

The best thing we ate:
We were absolutely spoilt for choice with several excellent international restaurants to choose from on site. The enormous buffet breakfast was not only delicious, but also set us up for days jam-packed with adventures like as snorkelling, kayaking, scuba diving and paddle boarding. We also made the most of the Shangri-La poolside happy hour (two-for-one drinks!). We loved watching the sunset over the beach’s beautiful clear, calm water and fine white sand with a tropical drink in hand. Bliss!

Hoi An best family holiday destinations from Singapore HoneyKids Asia

Colourful markets, beautiful beaches and charming local culture makes Hoi An a fave…


HOI AN, VIETNAM
Tips from our resident insider Georgina, writer and mum to Minnie, Willa and Ted

Why we loved it:
Honestly, hands down, Vietnam is our all-time favourite family holiday spot. And what makes Danang the perfect location is the fact that you can spend days lazing at the beach and nights exploring historical Hoi An town. The combo of relaxation and culture makes you feel chilled out and intrepid all at once.

The best thing we ate:
Vietnamese is one of the world’s best cuisines! It’s just so clean, spicy and moreish. The markets are absolutely overflowing with vibrant, fresh produce, so it’s little wonder we didn’t have one bad meal the entire sojourn. For the adults, we couldn’t go past the beef pho, papaya salad and Hoi An signature white rose dumplings. Delish. And the kids are still talking about the baguettes.

The best thing we did:
Experience wise, the kids loved cruising the Thu Bon River aboard a traditional wooden boat, and releasing bright paper lanterns on the banks of the river afterwards. The entire family enjoyed being measured-up for bespoke clothing and leather shoes by the oh-so-talented local artisans. I just wish I’d taken a few more of my go-to-dresses for copying. Next time (yes, there will be a next time) for sure. Check out our full guide to Hoi An, Vietnam and start planning your trip!

Maldives snorkelling best family holidays from Singapore HoneyKids Asia

That water! The Maldives is one to-die-for holiday destination.

THE MALDIVES
Tips from our resident insider Selina, editor and mum to Maxton and Grayson

Why we loved it:
Come on, did you see that water? If The Maldives was the honeymoon that got away, it’s time to tick it off the bucket list and bring the kids. We stayed at Per Aquum Niyama resort, which involved a sea plane ride over the most amazing atolls – it’s an amazing journey that’s worth the extra leg of the trip (and the noise). Stepping onto the powdery white sand and gazing out at the endless blue sea never gets old here. We were pinching ourselves every morning. And I know you’re supposed to bring the little guys to the kids’ club and make a run for the spa, but the Explorer’s Kids’ Club was so cool (it has its own splash pad) I *may* have hit the trampolines. You really don’t need an excuse to go, but check out my reasons to make The Maldives your next family holiday. Trust me on this.

The best thing we ate:
Our resort had eight restaurants serving African-fusion to Mediterranean and Asian cuisine in some pretty stunning settings – including a treehouse! Memorable meals included a feast of paella and pizza with the sand between our toes, but my favourite, hands down, had to be the fresh coconuts prepped on the spot by Imran, the resort’s Coconut Guru. Catch him as he roves the island on his bike loaded with baby coconuts!

The best thing we did:
Join a snorkelling trip to that spot above: the water was crystal clear, and the coral gardens were stunning. These waters are warm and calm – perfect for adventurous older kids who want to join in. But the icing on the cake? A pod of dolphins decided to race our speedboat back to the resort. Absolutely magical.

Photography (top image): Selina Altomonte

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Georgina Hockley

Georgina Hockley

Georgina is a mum of two gorgeous girls and one cheeky little chappy. She's a writer, ex- lawyer and wild bedtime story teller. Lured back to Singapore for a second stint by its delicious laksa and close-by travel destinations, she's experiencing the city anew and telling the tale.