*Pictured above is Four Seasons Hotel The Westcliff
If you want to create a family-friendly atmosphere at your establishment, it’s super important to keep the kids entertained and happy, letting Mom and Dad relax. We took a look at what some establishments around SA are doing to keep kids occupied and feeling special.
An ingenious idea from the Dream Hotels & Resorts team to keep kids away from their screens and out and about exploring – an activities programme for kids called Dream Xplorers. Launched this Easter, the programme was rolled out to all the hotels in the group (namely, Finfoot Lake Reserve, the Blue Marlin Hotel, Piekenierskloof Mountain Resort, Avalon Springs, Le Franschhoek Hotel and Spa, The Peninsula AllSuite Hotel, Stonehill River Lodge and Jackalberry Ridge). The Dream Xplorers kids journey begins upon arrival at the resort when they pick up their passport from reception. Each hotel has a different passport, but each contain exciting activities the children can do while on holiday under the guidance of an activities champion. Activities are divided into four categories: Active Explorer (ziplining, target shooting, hiking), Family Fun (marshmallow braai, family bingo), Treasure Hunter (exploring the resort’s environment), Kamo Challenge (talent night, trampoline or arts and crafts). Completing each activity earns a participant a sticker, adding up to various prizes depending on the amount of activities and challenges completed.
Kid’s Menus and Play Areas
After kids have had their fill of Allee Bleue wine estate’s jumping castle, they can tuck into the special kiddies picnic that can be ordered within the standard Chicnic. On the menu are items such as pizza and fresh beetroot and sweet potato chips. Over in Ceres, kids don’t need to travel far from the table to experience BOSJES Kombuis’ children’s playground, designed by Leanie van der Vyver. The restaurant has a special kid’s menu that features simple-but-delicious dishes of homemade cheese burgers and fries, fish goujons or BBQ drumstick, with homemade ice cream cones to finish. BOSJES also hosts guided garden tours – a great way for kids to explore and learn more about nature.
Kids on Safari
Shamwari Game Reserve has a special lodge for family – the Riverdene Lodge has a designated children’s coordinator who plans various social, sporting, arts and cultural activities for kids. Upon arrival, each young guest receives an age-appropriate goodie bag, and if the weather’s not great then there are several indoor activities to keep kids entertained. Sanbona Wildlife Reserve has a Kids on Safari package, run from the Gondwana Family Lodge. Outdoor activities focus on both education and fun, with an Interpretive Trail that takes kids through the garden of Gondwana to learn about the flora and fauna of the reserve, and the Sanbona Activity Book encourages them to get involved as they often require the ranger’s assistance to answer questions. Fitzpatrick’s at Jock at the Jock Safari Lodge is a 3-room standalone lodge that offers families personal service. The host will determine activities depending on family size, the children’s age and forecasted weather. Activities include visiting a local museum, junior ranger training while on the kiddies drive, and a night walk within the camp. If the weather keeps everyone indoors, there’s arts and crafts, as well as a mini chef experience.
Four Seasons The Westcliff offers complimentary kids activities at the hotel with a focus on seasonal crafts and games, but they also offer a cultural icon day that’s ideal for teenagers. A wonderful way to get in touch with Joburg’s cultural heart, the day involves a visit to and private consult with Gert-Johan Coetzee, one of South Africa’s most prominent designers. Next stop is a local artist’s studio, where visitors can learn more about the artist’s work and inspirations, and the day is capped off back at the hotel with a private evening concert by a notable South African musician.
Radisson RED Cape Town offers family rooms, including a double bunk which houses a flat screen TV at the foot of each bed – but if families are avoiding screen time, there’s also sufficient space for kiddies to enjoy their colouring-in books, games and toys. The hotel also makes provision for babysitting if guests require this service.
Last but not least…
…Radisson Blu Waterfront offers a wonderful kiddies turn-down, with cookies and milk!