Who wouldn’t love a relaxing time by the beach, enjoying the sun, the sand and pristine waters of Koh Samui? It’s no doubt that the island is a family destination with friendly locals and plenty of accommodation and activity options. However, there are countless holiday homes being termed as “family-friendly” properties – when these homes are sorely lacking in kid-friendly amenities. Here’s a list of features to help you find the right villa for your stay:
- Noise-free environment
Busy roads, bustling neighbourhoods and properties situated too close to tourist hotspots like Chaweng are big no-no’s for a restful family vacation. If you come to Samui, check out Bophut for a more family-friendly environment. Run a quick check with your travel consultant if you’re unsure about a property’s immediate surroundings. Ideally, you should look out for a villa that’s within walking distance or a quick drive to the beach and travel attractions, as well as local amenities and restaurants – but isn’t situated within proximity to busy streets or neighbourhoods.
- Pool fence
Since most private villas come equipped with a swimming pool, a pool fence is an essential you’ll need to have in place before letting your young ones roam free in the garden. While most family-friendly villas provide a pool fence at no additional charges, certain villas may charge a fee for the rental of a pool fence.
- Stair gates
Stairways with tricky entrances – particularly those leading out to a widely accessible common area – are a hazard for young travellers wandering about the home. Ensure that stair gates are provided – and if they aren’t, ask your villa manager for assistance with renting stair gates from external vendors.
- On-site laundry amenities
Spills, stains and dining mishaps are part and parcel of family vacations when you’re travelling with your little ones in tow. The last thing you’d want to stress over while on holiday are laundry issues, so check that the vacation property of your choice provides on-site laundry services or amenities. Do note that an external fee for on-site or external laundry services may apply.
- Food and activity options suitable for travellers across ages
While there’ll be days spent outdoors on day trips, a significant portion of your time will likely be spent indoors lounging in. Keeping your kids entertained for hours on end without additional amenities can be a stretch, so it helps to check that your villa comes with activity options that’ll cater to vacationers across ages. Swimming pools, Wi-Fi access and media rooms are essentials you’d typically find across most villas, but family-friendly properties that stand out offer facilities like kids’ toys, board games, inflatable pool toys, game consoles or a library.
For in-villa dining experiences, check that the property offers kids meals as part of its menu. While most chefs will gladly cater to off-the-menu requests (subject to the availability of ingredients), do note that these dishes may be charged at additional cost.
- Experienced babysitters
A true vacation means giving yourself a break to recharge – even from parental duties. Thankfully, indulging in a romantic, adult-only evening isn’t a stretch as most villas offer babysitting services at additional charges (a select few may include child-minding services as part of your rental).
And even if babysitting services aren’t offered, your villa manager will likely be able to engage external babysitters for your vacation needs. To be sure, make sure to check this with your travel consultant while you’re booking your villa.
- Child-friendly bedding and bedroom layouts
Staying over in a new environment is a fun and exciting experience for kids – unless you’re without child-friendly bedding. If you’re travelling with babies who don’t yet sleep through the night uninterrupted, you’ll need a villa equipped with a portable crib or one with bedrooms laid out close together on a single floor so that your nighttime wakings are made more manageable.
If your child is older, a master bedroom that adjoins to a guest room or kids bedroom offers an ideal configuration. Otherwise, villas featuring kids room equipped with bunk beds and child-friendly furnishings are great options too. If your kids are accustomed to sleeping on low beds or mattresses and have a tendency to roll off the bed, check if the villa is kitted out with hideaway bed rails or has extra blankets that you could use as a floor padding.
With all these boxes ticked, all that’s left is to enjoy a relaxing time with your kids…