Nurturing a love for nature in kids
Renowned conservationist Jane Goodall attributes much of her success in conservation to her mother, who recognized her passion early on and exposed her to local insects and animals, and encouraged her trip to Africa where her career began.
At Gnomad we've compiled the best destinations where kids can really immerse themselves in nature and you can trust that you're putting them in good hands with guides and adventures focused on kids.
Heron Island Resort, (Queensland)
For diving and snorkeling, Heron Island, located on a natural coral cay off Queensland on the Great Barrier Reef, cannot be beat. Families can swim right off the beach and have immediate access to coral teeming with colorful fish and marine life. From November through February, wildlife is abundant on the island, with turtles coming ashore to lay their eggs along the beach and thousands of black noddies and mutton birds nesting in the trees. An ecotourism and research station is located on-site. Plus, Heron Island Resort is relaxed and low on frills: you get lodging in low-rise buildings or family-friendly cabins, with three meals included daily. A Junior Rangers Program is available, too!
Borei Angkor Resort & Spa (Krong Siem Reap)
Borei Angkor Resort & Spa as one of the best places to stay in Siem Reap, kids will enjoy their educational tour in this ancient ruins. Whether it’s in the spa, at one of our restaurants or bars or while visiting a temple, the Borei Angkor offers a nanny to assist you when you need a break. The management at Borei Angkor Resort and Spa has designed their hotel to be environmentally friendly, preserving our natural resources by implementing energy efficient practices and using only environmentally friendly detergents. The dedicated local management team is passionate about 'going green' as well as providing distinguished Khmer hospitality. Borei Angkor also supports local community initiatives.
Shinta Mani Resort (Krong Siem Reap)
The Shinta Mani Resort is a newly renovated boutique property the courtyard-style resort’s 62 rooms & Junior Suite enjoys a surprisingly different “Bensley twist” with direct access or first floor balcony views to the stunning swimming pool and flourishing tropical gardens. Shinta Mani Resort with its “Open Doors, Open Hearts” reflects our commitment to responsible tourism.
Tortuga Lodge (Tortuguero)
Set on 50 private acres in Tortuguero, Tortuga is a river-front lodge perfect for wildlife viewing. During summer, thousands of Atlantic Green Sea Turtles come to lay their eggs at night along the beaches of Tortuguero. Turtle watching tours can be booked by families nightly from June to October, making for a very fun adventure. During the day, kids can see monkeys, macaws, toucans, iguanas, sloths, and a variety of other wildlife on guided boat tours along the rivers and back water ways. The Caribbean Conservation Corporation’s center and turtle museum is located in the nearby town. Here kids can adopt and name their very own sea turtle. Rooms are simple but comfortable, and meals are kid-friendly.
Lapa Rios Ecolodge & Wildlife Reserve (Puerto Jiménez)
Since its inception, sustainability has been a core value at Lapa Rios Eco Lodge. They have been committed to conserving this incredible region and creating a sustainable property for nearly two decades. In 2003 Lapa Rios became the first hotel in Costa Rica to receive five-leaf status from the Costa Rica Tourism Board’s (ICT) Certification for Sustainable Tourism, an organization that evaluates a property’s sustainability. With Their guided tours guests can hike up through virgin rainforest to pristine waterfalls, splash back along the Carbonera River, share the cool early morning air with the 319 bird species that inhabit the reserve or surf and kayak among a rainbow of tropical fish. And all guided tours in the Lapa Rios Reserve help to support the ongoing maintenance and pay back the land acquisition of the reserve. By choosing to hike and learn about the area with a knowledgeable local guide, guests help support the community economy and play a vital role in helping to preserve a rainforest while enjoying all the area has to offer.
Bosque del Cabo (Puerto Jimenez)
Comprised of independent cabanas and villas on the gorgeous and remoteOsa Peninsula. There are beautiful ocean and jungle views from all areas of the property. A long list of adventure activities is available including guided hikes through the rainforest, dolphin and whale watching, and surf lessons. The Osa Peninsula is an important sea turtle conservation area and at certain times of year, families can help get just-hatched turtles safely to the sea. Villas have kitchens, although the food offered is excellent. This remote part of Costa Rica is filled with incredible wildlife. Bosque del Cabo has been active in supporting and promoting Friends of the Osa since its inception. We have donated time, money and equipment to FOO(Friends of the Osa is a non-profit organization committed to preserving the biodiversity of the Osa Peninsula.), to help in many of their eendeavors Bosque also hosts an annual Science Meeting which gives the students researchers and biologists, place where they can dialogue and debate- creating a greater connectivity in the knowledge with the sea turtle project and other conservation efforts in this area.
Finca Rosa Blanca (Central Valley)
Accommodations are comprised of rooms, suites and villas all set on a working coffee plantation. The kids loved this small, eco-inn with its natural pool and huge bathrooms. It has interesting artwork and a unique character and the staff was wonderful with the children. Finca Rosa Blanca Coffee Plantation and Inn, sustainability has been a key feature since the planning and construction phase. Solar panels, Underground electrical systemsOrganic shade grown certified coffee, Recycling of the coffee “pulp” to be used as fertilizer, Philanthropic donation programs to help the schools and community, employees are from the local, A greenhouse where organic vegetables and herbs are grown for their restaurant.
Laguna Lodge (Tortuguero)
Tortuguero, population just 1200, is in the middle of the Costa Rica jungle. A two hour boat ride from the regular hustle and bustle of daily Costa Rican life, the Laguna Lodge’s location is one of its most celebrated features. Laguna Lodge offers comfortable, rustic rooms in an incredible jungle setting. The rooms are simple but well thought out. All rooms have a porch area with rocking chairs. A ceiling fan takes the place of air-conditioning, but you won’t miss it. Room windows are covered with screens and movable privacy shutters but no glass, allowing the evening breeze and sounds of the jungle to lure you to sleep. There are no televisions or phones in the rooms, so your morning wake-up call will come in the form of a good morning knock on your door. But my guess is the birds and monkeys will have already gotten you out of bed. The tours are educational in sustainability.
Si Como No (Manuel Antonio)
Tucked into a pocket of the Costa Rican jungle, Si Como No seems to have grown from the hillsides as organically as the lush greenery that envelops it, eco-friendly boutique resort featuring solar panels, energy-efficient air conditioners, farm-grown wood design elements, and a water management system. The hotel is perfectly positioned for exploring the beaches, Rooms and bathrooms are nicely appointed and comfortable, with a bright, open feel; most have private balconies to take advantage of jungle and ocean views. After a day of sightseeing and adventure, kids will make a beeline for the family pool and water slide, while parents can wind down at the more tranquil adult pool or the spa. A butterfly garden and wildlife refuge onsite offers a taste of Costa Rica’s fascinating animal life. They have Family Tropical Adventures kids can stay and eat for free. Si Como No has employed sustainable conservation policies and operational practices since the day they opened 20 years ago. From construction, to equipment, to hiring practices and community support, they earned the resort its CST Five Green Leaf Certification and the Responsible Practices award from the Rainforest Alliance so you can travel well and travel righ.
Kempinski Hotel URBN Hotel (Shanghai)
The URBN hotel is China’s first carbon neutral hotel and it has plans in store to reduce its carbon footprint even further in the future. The decor of the hotel is made from recycled or locally sourced materials and they also make use of energy efficient lighting and cooling systems. offering activities beyond the traditional hotel experience so they become part of the urban lifestyle of their surroundings.
InterContinental Sanya Resort (Haitang Bay, Sanya)
Is a decent choice for families. It is an eco-friendly retreat with fun aplenty both in and out of the resort. Expect indoor and outdoor pools, live entertainment, water park and a dedicated Day Care & Children’s Activities Centre providing two streams of entertainment for kids aged four to seven and eight to 12. Those willing to venture out will find an immaculate beach only minutes away. The variety of food is quite expansive, with nine restaurants and lounges providing everything from succulent Chinese seafood to light Mediterranean fare.
Naked Stables (Moganshan)
Asia’s first LEED platinum–certified resort , is the result of $31 million and two years of painstakingly green construction. Since motor vehicles aren’t allowed inside the secluded valley reserve, the owners have managed to preserve a striking environmental milieu—while creating Shanghai’s most exciting new weekend scene. This place is perfect for kids because of these a hilariously expansive array of activities: tea-picking, bike tours, yoga, calligraphy, fishing, archery, kite flying, canyoneering, boating, and bamboo-shoot hunting. History buffs can visit a whitewashed room containing an iron bed where Mao Zedong once napped, now called the Mao Museum (no phone), and White Cloud Castle, where political powerhouses Chiang Kai-shek and Zhou Enlai plotted against the Japanese.
Burj Al Arab (Dubai)
Don’t let the opulence discourage you from taking the toddlers. Sinbad’s Kid’s Club, on the eighteenth floor of the hotel, caters for children aged from one to 12 years, and offers board games, soft toys, computers, and the Disney channel on a plasma screen TV. A short walk or a complimentary buggy ride away is the Wild Wadi Waterpark, where the kids can be turned loose to enjoy a fun-filled day under the sun. The hotel excelled in water usage reduction, grey water recycling, as well as in managing its energy output by regulating room temperature in the suites and carbon footprint. The hotel’s environmental efforts were also praised. Its Dubai Turtle Rehabilitation Project – launched in 2004 has helped to return hundreds of sea turtles back into the wild, with many fitted with satellite tags to allow marine biologists further insight into their migratory patterns. Burj Al Arab awarded Green Globe Certification for outstanding efforts in sustainability.
Al Maha Resort (Dubai)
A nestled in a verdant palm oasis, deep within Dubai’s magical dune and desert landscape in the Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve and plays a vital role in its conservation. Al Maha showcases the heritage and architecture of the Bedouins and also offers a sense of desert adventure. The Arabian Oryx & the Gazelles are the star attractions in the reserve. The indigenous Arabian wildlife can also be viewed from the temperature-controlled infinity pool or sundeck seating area of all Villas. Enjoy two different complimentary desert activities every day as part of the stay.
Outrigger Guam Resort (Tamuning)
(www.outrigger.com) is also sited on Guam’s historic Tumon Bay beach strip with all rooms offering sea views. Expect a spa and a Ko Ko Kids Club with arts and crafts activities, shell collecting, and expeditions to the zoo and Underwater World. A full day from 9am to 5pm will set you back US$50 per child, and a half day is US$25. Children are welcomed between the ages of five to 12. This is an old world escape and a car with tail fins would work admirably.
Westin Resort Guam(Tamuning)
Expect a childcare facility, the inclusive dining SPG Kids Pass and an “eat well menu” designed by the group’s ‘SuperChefs’ – a compilation of dieticians, chefs, and doctors – who advise on food to ensure your kids get the right mix of calories. It may sound dull. It isn’t. And a jogging stroller is available should young dads and mums decide to burn off their own calories.
Surjivan (New Delhim, Gurgaon)
A luxurious retreat near the business hub Gurgaon, is an excellent spot for visitors to soak in the village culture as you sip a tea and watch villagers making some beautiful art. At Surjivan, you can book a stay at any of the 14 spacious air-conditioned cottage, adorned with aesthetically decorated with Vedic Yantra’ motifs. All the cottages are made of mud and Jarokhas, which provide the natural cooling. For kids, there are a variety of activities to choose from like traditional Indian games, outdoor games, village safari on the tractor, camel ride and farm routes. Here, adventure junkies can indulge in rappelling, zorbing, river crossing, wall climbing, to name a few. A large number of birds are seen fluttering through the property.
The Park (Hyderabad)
This relatively new building was created with the aim of encouraging sustainability. To aid the green aspect of the architecture, a unique metal screen cladding was used around the exterior of the building. This gives the structure a modern look and also maximizes the use of natural light for both lighting and heating, reducing the need for electricity. kids can enjooy complete entertainment and leisure facilities with the best of recreation, leisure and indulging experiences
Our Native Village (Hessarghatta)
Take a break from your busy life to tread a winding path along a farmland, relish a jump in to a natural pond or go wild playing traditional Indian games like gilli-danda, lagori, spinning tops and flying kites. Experience life on a farm, meet our pets and bring yours along for we understand the meaning of a family. The resort maintains a 100% eco-friendly approach based on the five basic pillars of environmental conservation - earthly architecture, nutritious food, energy and water conservation and proper waste management. Come join us at Our Native Village, where we celebrate the blend of nature's beauty and human simplicity through our commitments to gentle and gracious hospitality.
Mountaintrail Resort (Sargakhet, Mukteshwar)
The only green resort in Mukteshwar, it has spectacular Himalayan views, can also spot wildlife and enjoy bird watching. There are several trekking routes around Mukteshwar and families can easily hire guides and go for day treks to neighboring forests. The adventurous few can indulge in some adventure activities like rock climbing, rappelling etc. Monsoon is the ideal time to book a stay in the mountain trail as this is when you can see flowers blooming in the area, and there is lush greenery as far as your eyes can see. The hotel uses cultural tourism to preserve biodiversity, puts local traditions in the spotlight and creates employment opportunities for locals. Plastic bags are strictly not allowed in the hotel; there are no televisions in the rooms, and even wasted water from the bathroom is used water the gardens.
Banasura Hill Resort (Wayanad)
Calmly nestled in a part of one of the richest biodiversity in the world, Western Ghats, Banasura Hill is a treat for the nature-lovers. This 35-acre resort, dotted with tea, coffee, pepper, and cashew plantations, is located at an altitude of 3200 feet. If seen from a distance, the resort looks like a riot of colors with dull orange mud walls of the huts, framed by the riotous green of the forest, and the Banasura Hill right behind it. Since the region is a biodiversity hotspot, here one can find a beautiful waterfall, birdwatching spots, numerous streams, and jungle trails, all are a short hike away. One of the most interesting aspects of the resort is its architecture; the cottages are built using rammed earth technique and have elephant grass thatched roofs and bamboo furnishings while the fences are created by planting thousands of bamboos of different varieties around its perimeter. A rainwater harvesting system fulfills the entire resort water requirements.
Sarinbuana Eco Lodge (Bali)
Pioneering Eco Tourism in Bali, this is a haven for Nature lovers. Children’s will enjoy the Orangutan treks in the Sumatran Jungle and bird watching, visitors can rent a nanny for $1.50 per hour the lodge has many toys and book, they are respecting local culture and supporting local development by supporting the local area by giving donation from trekking income to improve and develop the rainforest treks, activities utilize local services only they also practice responsible waste management and energy efficient consumption.
The Kelimutu Crater Lakes Ecolodge
Kids can explore the magnificent three color lake and the preserved forest, Kelimutu Crater Lakes Ecolodge is powered by solar energy and is set in valley beside a burbling river with excellent views of Kelimutu, near the village of Moni in Eastern Flores. This unique lodge, built by Meryl Wilson and Putu Febri, provides an ideal haven of peace for the trans Flores traveler. The lakes lie at 1,400m. above sea level in the volcanic craters of Kelimutu and the water in the lakes is known to change colour suddenly. A few years ago they were white, turquoise and red. In November 2009 they were black, turquoise and coca-cola coloured. In July 2010 the smallest , Tiwu Ata Mbupu, was clear bottle green, Tiwu Nuwa Muri Koo Fai, the largest, was turquoise from the copper below, Tiwu Ata Polo was moss green. The changing of colours iscontinuous process withoutclear explanation. The climate is cool and fresh and a dawn experience at the Kelimutu lakes is a must. The village of Moni with its traditional Chief’s house, is only a 15 minute walk awayand the lodge is a great base for bird watching and hiking, and visiting local weavers.
Rimba Project (Ecolodge & Association)
Everything here is in harmony with the nature and do not intend to have a negative impact on the environment. Thie Eco-Lodge is linked to a charity: each time you stay in Rimba you actually contribute to the charity helping the children of Sungai Pisang and Sungai Pinang to go to school. Families can Sharks, monkeys and turtles watch, Waterfall trekking and snorkeling or sunbathing in each ecolodge.
The Rimba Orangutan Ecolodge (Sungai Sekonyer)
Rimba Orangutan Ecolodge provides a unique base to explore the lush surrounding rainforest and encounter orangutans and eight other primate species and rich bird life. Over 70% of their profits are ploughed back into company eco-tourism development. the Lodge is 90% solar powered
Alpine Lodge (Minakami)
Alpine Lodge is situated in the mountain township of Minakami, one of Japan's premiere hot spring and ski resorts in the North of Gunma Prefecture. The lodge is primely located in the Yubiso area (valley of the hidden hot springs), which lies in the center ofMinakami's10 ski fields, with the closest field just 200 meters from the back door.
Guests have a variety of activities and adventures to choose from while staying at the lodge. In Winter, on-piste skiing and snowboard lessons, snowshoe tours and some of Japan's best backcountry riding. In Summer, worldclass whitewater rafting and canyoning, moutainbiking and a huge variety of other adventures. The lodge is committed in sustaining the natural environment they use and inspiring the implementation of solutions to the environmental crisis by creating a positive work environment that facilitates personal growth.
Solar Cafe & Farm (Minamitsuru-gun, Narusawa-mura)
A natural experience, they have a tree house and an area for camping. They welcome families with children, pets, groups and events the lodge aims to be self-sufficient and our only source of water is gathering rainfall so our facilities are quite rustic with a solar shower (in season) and composting toilet. They also have Farm Volunteer program lets you get your hands in the dirt and learn a little about our farming methods. Volunteer for a morning or afternoon in our fields and we provide lunch or dinner at no charge. The Solar Cafe Farm grows fruit, berries, herbs and vegetables for our cafe menu and the Mt Fuji Natural Teas. We combine their own sustainable agriculture methods with Permaculture, Natural Farming and Bio-dynamics.
Dusuntara Jungle Retreat
For some visitors who love the peaceful environment of the jungle the lodge has Jungle Trekking, Fresh water fishing pond , BBQ & Self-cooking facilities, Forest living environment – outdoors. Dusuntara embraces the concept of sustainable living and respect for Mother Nature with great zeal. This can be noticed by its eco-friendly buildings, facilities and the luxuriant verdant surroundings.
The Dusun (Seremban)
Sitting 800 feet above sea level, The Dusun is rich in birds and plant life of all kinds. Apart from cozying up to the view of the Malaysia’s rainforest and hills, you can also go jungle-trekking to the waterfall, get a massage, or explore the bird life nearby. For adventurous little guys Jungle trek to a waterfall (with local jungle guide) they have this very exciting programme by MyCat called Citizen Action for Tigers (CAT) allows everyone to contribute towards saving Malayan Tigers. They sponsored a camera and some of their team camped in the jungle to help for set up. They are prioritizing the Orang Asli (Original People) villages, where employment opportunities are few.
The Belum Rainforest Resort (Gerik)
The resort is one of Malaysia's premier ecotourism holiday destinations. Set in the midst of a tropical paradise, Pulau Banding, the Belum Rainforest Resort, is everything nature-lovers and holiday-goers expect in a getaway destination: complete relaxation and serenity, stunning views and surroundings, adventure, and the chance to get close to nature. They also have an indoor playroom for the young ones. With the Belum-Temengor Rainforest literally at our doorstep, guests at the resort will have a rare opportunity to experience the soothing beauty and mystery of the vast jungle, which has remained untouched for centuries. Nature lovers will revel at the chance to observe the beauty of plants and scenery that can be found only rarely elsewhere. Meanwhile, thrilling outdoor activities await adventure seekers who crave for adrenaline-pumping experiences.
Mutiara Resort Taman Negara (Kuala Tahan)
Overlooking the Tembeling and Tahan rivers, the Mutiara Resort in Taman Negara is a slice of heaven embraced by lush greenery and meandering valleys. Loaded with tropical heritage, flora and fauna, it’s the perfect getaway with a variety of outdoor activities for you to choose from. Families can do a lots of fun activities provided by the resort such as Jungle Trekking at Bukit Teresek and Canopy Walkway, Fishing, Wildlife observation hide (Jungle hide) and many more.
Six Senses Laamu
The hotel is committed to reducing the ecological and carbon footprint from activities associated with the resort and the spa, which are the result of providing accommodations, dining, excursions, spa treatments, sports and aquatic activities. the only resort in the Laamu Atoll, deep in the Indian Ocean. Just an inter-island plane trip from Malé International Airport and a short boat ride brings you to a place where dolphins swim.
The Barefoot Eco Hotel (Hanimaadhoo)
The hotel follows the Ecotourism principles of uniting Sustainability and Conservation, involving local community within its activities. The Barefoot has maximized its Sustainability, intended to have minimal impact on the local environment and reduce its carbon footprint. It is a Natural Health Retreat where body and spirit are nurtured and restored. There is a stunning house reef which can be easily reached by boat and kayak. Daily the Resort organizes complimentary snorkeling tour guided by the resident marine biologist.
Soneva Fushi (Eydhafushi)
The resort’s taken the acronym SLOW LIFE (sustainable, local, organic, wellness, learning, inspiring, fun, experiences) as its mantra – the slogan refers not only to the resort’s eco-focus but also to the “no news, no shoes” policy they’ve adapted on Kunfunadhoo island. Drawing inspiration from their childlike wonder, The Den is a playground for the imagination. Children explore a pirate ship, two swimming pools, a children’s mocktail bar, lego room, dress-up area, cinema, library, learning area, music room filled with instruments. During family time, parents can even head over to The Den with their little ones to enjoy their very own shallow pool. The entire island and surrounding sea is a wonderland for families to enjoy together. Watch for dolphins on our traditional dhoni sailboat. Let our astronomer share star-gazing secrets before bedtime.
Cuixmala (Purerto Vallarta)
Cuixmala is the coastal estate of Sir James Goldsmith. Part of a 25,000-acre nature reserve, this is a wonderful place for a family eco-adventure. Surrounded by a jungle and private beaches, you will find crocodiles and turtles, and even open land with zebras, gazelles, and antelope. Brightly colored guest accommodations featuring Oaxacan fabrics and furniture crafted by Mexican artisans include one to two bedroom casitas and fully staffed (cook and butler) three to eleven bedroom villas. All villa units have private dining terraces and spacious outdoor living areas. Although the casita units are inland with a jungle view, the setting is stunning. Everyone on property eats from Cuixmala’s organic farm with locally sourced (and delicious) cheeses, and dairy and meats from a nearby ranch. The calm, swimmable cove is a magical place to relax, plus there are plenty of activity options for those that want to explore the estate’s natural wonders on land (hiking, biking, horseback riding) or sea (sailing, kayaking, snorkeling).
Boutique Hotel El Pez (Yucatan Peninsula)
El Pez welcomes adventurous families who want to unplug and unwind in the colorful village of Tulum. This 18-room boutique hotel is located on a lovely little cove just steps from the Caribbean. The atmosphere of this eco-chic property is laid back and relaxed. The oceanfront rooms have amazing views; they are simple but spacious and well-appointed. A fresh and delicious complimentary American breakfast is served daily in the onsite Gran Palapa Restaurant, with a kids’ menu that goes beyond the usual kids’ fare. It’s a great space for enjoying a meal or simply soaking in Caribbean sights and sounds. The beach is fantastic for kids as it’s semi-private and the waves tend to be small and gentle. Lucky families who visit during turtle season, May through September, may experience sea turtle nesting, as the property is located on Turtle Cove, a popular nesting site; the hightlight of our trip was helping the turtle wrangler relocate a freshly laid nest of turtle eggs to a safer location. El Pez is a convenient home-base for exploring Tulum and the surrounding area and it’s close to a variety of compelling outdoor activities.
Sea Horse Ranch (Cabarete and Sosua, Dominican Republic)
Sea Horse Ranch, designed by award-winning architects Edward Durrell Stone & Associates, was developed with a master plan that preserves the natural environment with over 250 acres of inspiring lush terrain. Sea Horse Ranch has a wide range of amenities that make it convenient for families as well as older couples looking for a tranquil, pampering stay in the DR. Aside from the Tennis Academy and Beach Club Restaurant (which are open to the public), the rest of the ranch is strictly available to resort guests only. That plus the tennis courts, two swimming pools and horse stables ensure plenty of activities for teens as well as adults.
Dreams La Romana (Bayahibe, Dominican Republic)
Set upon a pristine, eco-friendly beach on the southeast coast of the Dominican Republic, Dreams La Romana is the perfect resort for couples and couples with children. Located only 45 minutes from Punta Cana and surrounded by lush tropical jungle, Dreams La Romana offers a picture-perfect Unlimited-Luxury® vacation, where everything is included. Experience four nearby championship golf courses, an on-site adults-only casino and disco, the Explorer’s Club for kids and the Core Zone Teens Club! This expansive and spacious resort is also located within close proximity to Punta Cana, Saona Island, Catalina Island and Altos de Chavon.The lodge has participation in “Green Week”: Environmental awareness, recycling contest, tree planning, environmental talks amongst staff and guests.
Two Seasons Island Resort & Spa (Coron, Palawan)
Coron, is perched on a forelock of hill and white sand, its tip connecting with a picture-postcard island and sandbar for endless photo-ops and selfies. With 42 smart bungalows, and a chapel for dreamy weddings, this is in the main, a family-friendly Palawan getaway. Children will have a ball here and staff is welcoming of the young set. There is a gym, a spa, and a free-form pool. The island's eco-friendly approach will appeal to many and among its numerous green features is the emphasis on private generators and desalination plants that make the complex self-sufficient but not in a too Robinson Crusoe way. If the 600sq m pool and turquoise see-through waters are not sufficient for your kids, try board games, beach volleyball, snorkelling, diving, and a submersible "scooter" with sealed head bubble for an eye-popping acquaintance with marine life. Two Seasons is in Malaroyroy, a 40-minute speedboat ride from Coron town.
Miniloc Island Resort (El Nido, Palawan)
(www.elnidoresorts.com/elnido/), located in Palawan’s Northern enclave of El Nido, offers a blissful retreat for families adventurous enough to seek out Eden. Requiring a 75 minute flight from Manila to El Nido, and a 45 minute boat excursion to Miniloc Island Resort, visitors are rewarded with a view of limestone cliffs and translucent waters. With spectacular scenery and marine life on offer, Miniloc Island Resort is a family resort in the lap of Mother Nature.
Lagen Island Resort (El Nido, Palawan)
(www.elnidoresorts.com/elnido/). This peaceful retreat offers a more laidback experience for families looking to soak up the sun and peruse local wildlife in the surrounding forests. Like Miniloc Island, Lagen offers a variety of water sports for teens, plus a Kid’s Activity Centre for younger kids.
The Goodwood Park Hotel
(www.goodwoodparkhotel.com) is colonial, grand, yet understated, an unabashedly luxurious hotel in an oasis of green just off the shopping drag of Orchard Road. Yet it manages to pull off a double act as a child-friendly Singapore hotel with aplomb, serving up a refreshing courtyard pool, poolside rooms, and attentive service.As part of its corporate sustainability initiative, Goodwood Park Hotel is offering reusable carrier bags to customers to pack its rectangular-shaped mooncake boxes, decorated a vibrant yellow with pretty flowers dotting the box covers.
Marina Bay Sands Singapore (Bayfront Ave)
Is all about razzle-dazzle. Whether you’re educating your kids on the laws of physics at the onsite Art Science Museum, or breaking them into the amazing falsettos of the late Freddy Mercury, there’s enough in this multiplex extravaganza to keep everyone entertained. Later, pop upstairs to the coolest pool in Singapore with its vertiginous views. Designer shopping galore awaits in the neighboring The Shoppes at Marina Bay. A pretentious name, but fun, and a good leg stretch anyway. At the core of Marina Bay Sands’ green initiatives is a $25 million Intelligent Building Management System which automates lighting, heating and water supplies for the entire integrated resort to conserve precious resources. Over 5,500,000kWh per year saved
Jetwing Blue (Porutota Road, Ethukale)
(www.jetwinghotels.com/jetwingblue), boasting 111 rooms and suites – decorated in shades of its namesake colour – and conveniently located right on the beach. If the sand is not for you, take your tots to the kids’ pool for a splash. Parents can also drop off their kids at the professional child care centre onsite while indulging in a spa treatment or two, or bond with the family over a DVD from the hotel’s collection. Babysitting is also available for a fee, and baby cots are available on request. Hotel is nearly 40% solar powered, the largest privately owned solar park is currently located at Jetwing Yala, Vapour Absorption Chiller, Biomass boilers, Solar hot water generation, Energy efficient lighting – CFL & LED these are cutting edge commercial technology inside the hotel to help save natural resources and prevent damage to the environment.
Heritance Ahungalla (Ahungalla)
(www.heritancehotels.com/ahungalla), another great Sri Lanka child-friendly resort. The staff is happy to accommodate small children with special children’s menus and high chairs at restaurants, as well as provide babysitting services. At the Kids Club, those aged three to 12 can partake in activities like face painting, kite making, and magic shows, or get their groove on at the dance competitions. The resort also offers a comprehensive list of sports like horse riding, water polo, tennis, golf, beach volleyball, and more. The hotel committed to sustainable practices has been recognized both locally and internationally for service excellence, culinary expertise as well as its sustainability initiatives. The Heritance Ahungalla Team consciously makes efforts to conserve energy and preserve the ecological balance around its stunning property. To minimise social risk in the environment the hotel operates, Heritance Ahungalla offers internships that also helps to build community relations. The hotel donates generously to the local community particularly to help children and elder care programmes.
Jejueco Suites (Jeju Island)
This property provides accommodation in the middle of tangerine farms, a subtropical forest and lava streams. With only 10 rooms, they aim to bring guests in close contact with nature with minimum impact on the environment. Jeju is a volcanic island, so even with some sandy beaches the most unique thing is a combination of sandy parts with black lava rocks. Hiking is the key activity in the island kids can also enjoy the submarine tour at a depth of 30metres and a course of around 2.8km long Submarine tour is a great way to see below the surface of Jeju's splendid seas and Shooting Contest & Hunting Place.
Limeleaf Eco-Lodge (Chiang Mai)
A eco lodge that perched high above a valley, on the fringe of a temperate, virgin forest at 1100 meters above sea level they are ideally situated to act as a base camp for trekking, bird watching and enjoying the local flora and fauna whether in a group or alone. They offer trekking and camping opportunities in the surrounding jungle, guided by experienced Sherpas and cooking with only bamboo as utensils. Families can also learn about the different herbs, medicines and foods that can be gathered in the forest, take a workshop in organic mountain cooking or visit the local villages. There are also Thai boxing, yoga and dance meditation workshops held nearby. Their aim on the hill is to create a lifestyle for ourselves that is open to friends and visitors who share our love and respect of nature. As a result our highest priority is to follow sound, ecological practices that have the minimum impact on the environment. There are limitations set on the number of visitors to Limeleaf so as to reduce the impact on the local area and the Lahu community.
28 and a half acres of lush green natural landscape wrap around our hillside overlooking the bay that welcomes over 66 different species of birds. We truly strive to be more ‘green’ and follow a green policy that covers 6 major areas and even produce our own effective microorganism (EM) from fruits that we use as natural cleaning agents in our rooms. Families can have a cooking class, yoga class, movie night on the beach under the stars, leather and fruit carving class.
Zeavola Resort (Phi phi Island)
situated within the Phi Phi National Marine Park offers an easy access to nearby paradise coves and beaches where one can experience a great day snorkeling, swimming in warm tropical waters, scuba diving among the massive schools of fish, visiting turtles' home and admiring the walls of soft corals. Whether you're a beginner or an experienced scuba diver, or even a non-diver and you simply want to join one of our day trips to soak up some sun, take some amazing photos, relax and recharge. They strive to protect our precious island home with a self-sufficient lifestyle that will bring benefits for generations to come, an ethos that has been recognized with the World's Best Sustainable Boutique Hotel Award.
MAHO Bay Camps (St. John, US Virgin Islands)
An eco-resort located in the heart of Virgin Islands National Park, Maho Bay Camps was conceived long before anyone had heard of ‘going green.’ Families choose from two types of accommodations. There are the Maho Tent Cottages or Harmony Studios. The tent cabins are elevated over the white sand beach by extensive walkways, and feature porches and balconies. (Most have shared bathrooms.) There’s an on-site restaurant, as well as a store stocked with necessities. The studios are mores similar to hotel rooms, but include bathrooms and full kitchens. This makes it a lot easier to eat green on the road and the way to go if you’re traveling with small children. Activities at Maho Bay range from water sports to art classes for kids in their sustainable ‘trash to treasure’ studio. Nightly stays are really affordable for families, with tent cabins starting at under $100 a night.
Out ‘n About Treesort (Cave Junction Oregon )
For a truly unique eco-tourism experience, spend the night in a tree! Kids love Out ‘n About Treesort, a funky eco-lodge located adjacent to Oregon Caves National Monument in rural Southern Oregon. Despite being located outside a tiny town, travelers come from all over the world to see Out ‘n About’s amazing tree house architecture, and stay the night in one of the dozens of tree house overnight accommodations. During our stay, we slept in the ‘Swiss Family’ tree house, which featured two cabin sheltered nestled into one large tree, connected by ladders, rope bridges, and even a fireman’s pole. Tree houses feature beds and blankets and have shared bathrooms and kitchens (on the ground). A large communal fire pit and a cozy breakfast in the main lodge (included) make for a very fun, communal atmosphere. During the day, kids can explore the many above-ground bridges connecting the tree houses (with adult supervision), swing on tree tires and rope swings, and swim in the completely natural swimming hole. Adventurous families will want to book a horseback ride or a session on one of the many zip lines.
North Country Farm (Kuai , Hawaii)
For an authentic Hawaiian experience in a world, removed from the touristy hotels dotting the islands, book a few days at a tropical farm. My east coast editor and her young family enjoyed a recent ecotourism stay at North Country Farms, and declared it perfect for a relaxing vacation with preschoolers and babies. Families stay in cottages on this working organic farm, where kids get the run of the place, and can eat all the fruit off the trees they desire. Book early, because they only have two cottages available. This means you’ll never feel crowded during your stay. Located on Kauai’s North Shore, there is lots of beach-side hiking. Swimming is located within just a few miles. Be sure to visit the Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge.
Coco Beach Resort (Phan Thiết, Bình Thuận)
Quite rightly describes its wide beach with soft sand as its “biggest playground for kids”, but there’s also a constructed version with swings, seesaw, slide and climbing ladder, and a wading pool for tiny tots. A kids playground, table tennis, and football are also nearby. The resort is in Mui Ne (near Phan Thiet) a couple of hours drive from Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City). All of Coco Beach’s rooms are bungalows or two-bedroom villas on stilts. Protection nets are available to keep the balconies safe. Nice touch. In the villas, each bedroom has its own bathroom, and there’s a living room and big terrace with sofa and armchairs to wallow in. Staff will gladly wash and sterilise baby bottles and heat up baby food. Family meals are easy at the Paradise Beach Club restaurant, where kids can play on the beach once they’ve eaten (there’s a kiddies’ menu) while parents linger, watching them from the table. Babysitters speak only Vietnamese (around US$2 per hour).
Palm Garden Resort Hoi An (Hội An, Quảng Nam)
(www.palmgardenresort.com.vn), is a modern getaway which offers spectacular beaches, UNESCO world treasures, and family friendly fun, with its private, lifeguard surveyed beach, hosting water sports, beach volleyball, soccer competitions, and much more. There are several, appetizing suite’s for big families seeking their own private paradise with three secluded junior suites and one palm garden suite all on offer. For those fooling enough to leave the confines of this resort, and all of its opulent spa services, five star dining, entertainment (you get the point), the hotel plans several tour packages to nearby UNESCO heritage sites, Hoi An Ancient city and My Son, and several other stellar historical sites.