by Ben Groundwater
You have to love a resort. It’s the feeling of freedom, coupled with the sense of luxury. It’s the knowledge that you could do almost anything today – or you could, just as reasonably, do nothing at all.
A good resort fits all of the clichés, with poolside cocktails and breakfast buffets that could feed a small army; with activities and adventures for the whole family; with sunshine and palm trees and plenty of pampering. If you and your family are keen on a resort stay, these are the newest destinations you’ll want to check out.
Jaco Beach, Costa Rica
Jaco is the place for water-borne adventure, with surfing, deep-sea fishing, kayaking, boat rides, rafting and more on offer. For those who don’t quite have their sea legs, there’s also horseback riding, ATV tours, abseiling, zip-lining and hiking. This is a destination for active families who like to get out of their comfort zones.
The resorts in Jaco Beach – the likes of Croc’s Resort, the Amapola Hotel, and Hotel Club Del Mar – offer affordable, comfortable accommodation for families, couples and singles alike.
Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
To steer clear of the party scene, avoid the marina and downtown areas of Cabo San Lucas and instead focus on artsy San Jose del Cabo, as well as the long stretch of beach that connects the two towns, which is dotted with great resorts. These places often have large rooms with pull-out couches, perfect for families, and offer the chance to idle by a pool all day (with the help of baby-sitters), or get into the likes of boating, snorkelling, parasailing and more.
For resort-goers, Krabi has a multitude of options, from the budget-friendly but beautiful Aonang Villa Resort, to the mid-priced Dusit Thani Krabi Beach Resort, to the stunning, luxurious Rayavadee. At all of these locations you’ll find pools, buffets, sun and sand. There will also be the chance to go rock-climbing, to take a boat across to famed Phi Phi island, to do a cooking class, to hike, to swim, or just to hang out and relax.
Malolo Island, Fiji
There are new resorts popping up in Fiji constantly, and one of the new hotspots right now is Malolo Island, in the Mamanuca group. There are several classic properties here, each enjoying stretches of white-sand beach shaded by tall palms: Malolo Island Resort, Tropica Island Resort, and the uber-luxe Likuliku Lagoon. Meanwhile, Six Senses has just opened a stylish new property with its own surf school, yoga classes and meditation program. Relax and enjoy.
Kruger National Park, South Africa
South Africa is the ideal location for your safari adventure. The country has a huge number of family-friendly camps and lodges spread throughout, from Kwandwe Ecca Lodge in the country’s south, to Tswalu Motse Lodge in the Kalahari, to Royal Malewane Africa House in Kruger National Park. At each you can power down the iPads, switch off the mobile phones, and get ready to spot one of the Big 5.