Words: Georgina Guedes | Images: Supplied
There’s nothing like getting away from it all but when you have kids, “away from it all” can mean a whole new set of challenges, but not so if you check into a family resort, where your needs are met alongside theirs. We’ve picked some of the best family resorts to take the pain out of decision making – just look, book and arrive.
Seasons Golf, Leisure and Spa, North West Province
This resort is situated in the heart of the bushveld, with 120ha of indigenous wilderness on the northern slopes of the Magaliesberg Mountains. If you want to stay within the confines of your luxury resort, treat your kids to a game of putt-putt or supersized chess, or leave them at the playground while Mom relaxes with an award-winning spa treatment and Dad indulges in a round of golf, or head out to nearby Hartbeespoort. The resort’s restaurant caters to all ages or drive down to The Windmill for rustic Dutch food next to the dam.
aha Alpine Heath Resort, KwaZulu-Natal
Surrounded by the majestic Drakensberg range, this four-star mountain village allows families to explore their surroundings with its stunning, self-catering, A-frame accommodation or luxury hotel rooms as a home base. Parents and children alike can enjoy fishing and hiking, or immerse themselves in nature while horse riding, with specific trails for every age. The resort also offers a variety of ball sports including miniature golf, tennis, volleyball and squash.
Monkey Valley Resort, Western Cape
Nestled within the Milkwood forest at the foot of Chapman’s Peak with an unrivalled view, is Monkey Valley Resort. With direct walking access to the beach and lagoons, you can enjoy horse rides along the shore, watch whales from May to November, and walk to a shipwreck where treasure hunts, shipwreck parties and teambuilding events are held. You can also experience the Chapman’s Peak mountains with mountain biking and hiking. While the kids play, parents can unwind in the quaint treetop pub, or indulge in a herbal sauna or in-room massage, aromatherapy or reflexology.
Umngazi River Lodge, Eastern Cape
Tucked away on the Wild Coast, in the heart of Pondoland, and encompassed by a rocky coastline, indigenous forests, secluded coves and breathtaking views of the Indian Ocean, lies this award-winning resort. Spend some family time with games on the grass, fishing expeditions and swimming in the river, or take a boat ride to the opposite bank where you can climb the sand dunes to the main beach. You can also leave your kids with the caretakers, in activity rooms or at the elaborate playground and large splash pool while you immerse yourself in the deep relaxation that the spa has to offer.
The Kingdom Resort, North West Province
Situated next to the Pilanesberg National Park and a stone’s throw away from some of the most spectacular landscapes, is the Kingdom Resort. Make the most of the sunny Pilanesberg climate at the Splash Kingdom Waterpark or explore the beautiful national park with quad bikes. Kids can release all their pent-up energy on the jungle gym and trampoline, while parents experience bliss at the day spa or have a drink at the Acacia Terrace Cafe.
Some quality family time can be spent playing a few rounds of adventure golf, volleyball or watching a movie at the resort’s outdoor cinema. Or take the adrenalin up a notch with the jumping pillow, rock-climbing wall and archery. Sun City is a short drive away, as well as other attractions like the Predator World, Hot Air Balloon Safari and the Pilanesberg National Park itself.
The Willows Holiday Resort, Eastern Cape
Only 15km away from the beachfront in PE, this resort has been a firm favourite among families in the Eastern Cape. It offers three-star graded self-catering units, a large caravan park, as well as private camping sites.
Popular with fishermen due to its rugged, rocky outcrops, The Willows also has rock pools for children. The small private beaches at the resort are perfect for endless days in the sun and playing in the water. The resort offers plenty of other activities to keep adults and kids preoccupied, including putt-putt and a swimming pool.
Other coastal resorts of note:
- San Lameer Resort Hotel & Spa, Southbroom, KwaZulu-Natal
- Fairmont Zimbali Resort, Zimbali, KwaZulu-Natal
- Beacon Island Resort, Plettenberg Bay, Western Cape
- Diaz Strand Hotel & Resort, Mossel Bay, Western Cape
- Club Mykonos, Langebaan, Western Cape
- Salt Rock Hotel Beach Resort, Salt Rock, KwaZulu-Natal
Other inland resorts of note:
- Premier Resort Sani Pass, Himeville, KwaZulu-Natal
- Gooderson Drakensberg Gardens Golf & Spa Resort, Underberg, KwaZulu-Natal
- Vaal River Country Lodge, Vanderbijlpark, Gauteng
- Riverside Sun Resort, Vanderbijlpark, Gauteng
- Berg River Resort, Paarl, Western Cape
- Montagu Springs, Montagu, Western Cape