There are a number of factors that make some hotels more child friendly than others. Basic facilities most parents might look for are family rooms, baby cots, a play area and kid-friendly meals. However, some hotels are sincerely designed with babies or children in mind. These are the ones that not only take care of the basics, they also offer special facilities for kids in the form of happy and vibrant kids clubs. Parents can relax and enjoy themselves, while knowing that their kids are well looked after and are having the time of their lives.
Here we list sixteen South African hotels with super cool kids clubs.
1. African Pride Mount Grace Country House & Spa, Magaliesburg
The Kids Club caters to children aged between 3 and 8 years, and 9 and 16 years in two, separate but inter-leading areas, where dedicated child minders are in charge at all times. The club features a large, shady outdoor play garden with a jungle gym, push-bike track, bicycles, jumping castle and a sparkling splash pool.
The Tots club (3 to 8 years old) offers a wide array of plush toys, puzzles, paints, chalkboards and games to play with. The colourful playroom also features a climbing wall and a play den. Supervised activities take place every day at 10am and 4pm during school holidays, with group games including egg racing, musical chairs, feeding ducks and treasure hunts.
In the Teens club (8 to 16 years old) teens can chill out on comfy bean bags while playing the latest PlayStation 4 games. Supervised activities take place every day at 10am and 4pm during school holidays, with group games including pottery lessons, coin diving, nature walks, soccer and tennis.
They will be running a Christmas Activity Programme from 9 – 27 December 2016, and a Summer Activity Programme will run from 28 December 2016 till 11 January 2017.
Contact: Tel: +27 14 577 5600, www.marriott.com/hotels
2. Alpine Heath Resort, Northern Drakensberg
Alpine Heath’s Kids Entertainment Programme offers a large variety of things to do on a daily basis, from arts & crafts to nature-related, brain-stimulating activities. The WOW Kids Zone offers a brightly coloured WOW Kids Lounge where kids are kept busy with great activities, including Ping Pong, Play Station 4 and the interactive camera-operated gaming console Play Station Eye.
The Fun Crew delivers a full 7-day-a-week entertainment programme, which is seasonally tailored and caters for kids, teens and adults alike. From the moment of arrival, kids are swooped away to the Little VIP Club, which offers activities like bug hunting, bush collage-making, biscuit decorating, treasure hunts and other fun filled games.
Contact: Tel: +27 87 740 9292, aha.co.za/alpineheath
3. Arabella Country Estate, Kleinmond
The Arabella’s Kid’s Club at Balou’s Adventure Centre offers a fun-filled environment where children can enjoy stimulating and creative activities.
Age appropriate activities include arts and crafts, board games, puzzles, books, Lego, a jungle gym, DVD’s, Sony Playstation and plenty of facilitated play. Other activities include horse riding, tennis, golf, mini cricket, putt-putt, scavenger hunts, volleyball, competitions and fun outings.
The Balou Kid’s Club is open from 09:00 to 17:00 on Saturdays, Sundays and during school holidays, and caters for children aged four and up.
The hotel also offers babysitters that can look after younger children in the comfort of your room.
Contact: Tel +27 28 284 0000, arabellacountryestate.co.za
4. Arniston Spa Hotel, Arniston
This child friendly hotel has a selection of board games, volleyball kits, soccer balls and boogie boards, as well as mountain bikes to explore the area.
During school holidays the conference room on the first floor is converted into a playroom (subject to availability of the room), where kids can play table tennis or pool- and air hockey. There are various toys for smaller children and a big screen TV with DVDs and child friendly TV channels.
During the holidays, they organise fun and educational Arts and Crafts programs, as well as snacks and drinks. Programs and prices are available before each school holiday.
Child minders are available on request and charged at R20,00 per hour.
Contact: Tel : +27 28 445 9000, www.arnistonhotel.com
5. Club Mykonos, Langebaan
Club Onos is a fun-filled clubhouse for children of all ages. Chester the Donkey and the friendly staff at Onos will make your children’s stay memorable and enjoyable. Facilities include Playstation, an arts and crafts area, pool tables, a story book corner and an indoor jungle gym.
Club Onos is open Monday to Thursday 9am to 6pm, Friday 9am to 9pm, Saturday 8am to 10pm and Sunday 9am to 3pm. The day visitors fee is R50 per child for the first two hours and R20 per hour per child thereafter. Children under 4yrs must be accompanied by a guardian or parent.
Contact: Tel: +27 22 707 7898, www.clubmykonos.co.za
6. Conrad Pezula, Knysna
Experienced child minders offer a number of supervised activities, where the emphasis is on fun in a healthy, natural environment. Wherever possible, children are encouraged to play outdoors, interact with other children and learn about nature. Food and refreshments are provided at meal times, and mid-morning and afternoon.
The indoor Puppy Club caters for children from three years of age and offers painting, colouring, finger puppets and DVDs.
Outdoor activities include horse riding, hiking and canoeing, beach activities and volleyball.
For kids aged 12 and under, the ‘Princess and Prince Spa Menu’ offers 100% natural speciality treatments for your little ones.
Contact: Tel: +27 44 302 3333, conradhotels3.hilton.com
7. Crawfords Beach Lodge, Wild Coast
The lodge offers a jungle gym and trampoline area, as well as a supervised kiddies pool. The games room has more than enough to keep kids entertained and families can enjoy playing a wide variety of popular board games. Daytime activities include some Wild Coast beach cricket to work up a healthy appetite.
During the school holidays Crawfords also offers a holiday club where kids can enjoy activities such as beach games, treasure hunts, sand boarding, face painting, crafts and more.
Contact: Tel: +27 43 738 5000, www.crawfordsbeachlodge.co.za
8. Fairmont Zimbali Resort, Ballito
Zimbali’s Y-Univers Kids Club is a fun, interactive social club for children between the ages of 5 to 12. Children under 5 are welcome but have to be accompanied by a parent or guardian.
Under supervision by professionally trained staff, the club offers a myriad of activities including indoor and outdoor games, crafts, sports, swimming and storytelling. Children also learn about the different animals that live on the property and the conservation of animal life, and they are also exposed to traditional South African games, crafts, music and dancing.
Children can have their lunch at Y-Univers, with food ordered from the exciting Y-Univers kids menu.
The club is open from 2 December 2016 – 8 January 2017, as well as during peak periods and long weekends. Babysitting services are available year-round.
The cost is R50 per child, per activity or R150 per child for a full day.
Contact: Tel: +27 32 538 5000, www.fairmont.com/zimbali-resort
9. Fancourt Hotel, George
Fancourt offers a trendy, laidback, unsupervised Teen Lounge, equipped with gaming facilities, table tennis, table football, and a pool table.
For children aged 3-10, the Fancourt Kidz Club offers fully supervised activities including arts and crafts, nature walks and board games. Children under the age of 3 must be supervised by an adult/babysitter in order to participate in Kids Club activities.
Kidz Club facilities include an indoor, heated swimming pool, fully-fenced outdoor jungle gym, baby pool and a big-screen cinema showing child-appropriate movies.
The hotel also offers bicycle rental and tennis courts. Racquets are for hire and coaching is available. The Golf Academy offers lessons to children from age 7 years old and up. Golf clubs are also available.
Contact: Tel: +27 44 804 0000, www.fancourt.co.za
10. Kurland Hotel, Plettenberg Bay
The Hotel offers a private playroom and an array of activities tailored to children of all ages. Their extensive young guest’s facilities are cleverly designed away from main areas to also offer them their very own space. Children can dine in their own Children’s Dining Conservatory, The Playroom or in the convenience of their own room.
Special children’s menus and a babysitting service are also available.
Contact: +27 44 534 8082, www.kurland.co.za
11. One&Only, Cape Town
The fully-supervised KidsOnly programme for children 4 – 11 years of age offers an abundance of enriching activities. The 100m² clubhouse offers a movie and game lounge, reading area, computer room and exclusive garden.
Activities are centred on themed days – safari, ocean, greenwise environment, birds and bugs – that draw upon the unique cultural and geographical attributes of the area.
Art and Action activities are built around resort experiences with entertainment, discovery, sports and leisure, culinary and social events.
Kids can also enjoy supervised excursions including eagle and cheetah encounters, visits to Butterfly World, Two Oceans Aquarium, World of Birds, Penguin Colony, the Planetarium and more.
KidsOnly runs from 10.00am to 7.00pm daily and is complimentary with your stay.
For Teens Only is a club where experienced staff organises dedicated activities for teenagers 12 – 17 years.
In addition to the ever-popular Wii, Xbox and Playstation games offered at the Club, teens enjoy excursions to City Rock, the Cool Runnings toboggan tracks, sandboarding on dunes, indoor karting and rock climbing, ice skating and bowling. Big screen movies are also enjoyed at the Victoria & Alfred Waterfront.
Contact: +27 21 431 5888, www.oneandonlyresorts.com/one-and-only-cape-town
12. Pumula Beach Hotel, KwaZulu Natal
Pumula Beach Hotel offers a daily entertainment schedule for children during peak periods. The hotel boasts an outside play area, 9 hole adventure golf course, jungle gym, trampolines, slides & swings, a tree-house, toddlers’ paddling pool, and a volleyball court.
Kids can enjoy activities such as marbles, hopscotch and twister. The indoor games room offers table tennis, board games and activities, Sony Playstation, a big screen TV and library of DVD’s,
For those more interested in nature, there is a tidal pool, wave-riding of all sorts, fishing, beautiful rock pools and long beach walks.
The separate children’s dining area offers a kids menu at dinner time and moms are welcome to use the special Tiny Tots kitchen. A babysitting service is also available.
Contact: +27 39 684 6717, www.pumulabeachhotel.com
13. Sparkling Waters Hotel & Spa, Rustenburg
On most weekends and during school holidays the hotel offers separate kids dining with big screen movies and pop corn. After dinner there is normally a Marshmallow or Stokbread BBQ around the bonfire. All kids activities are supervised.
Activities on-site include target shooting by appointment, outdoor action cricket, volleyball, mini golf hiking and cycling. The Health Spa also recently introduced kids treatments in their own salon.
Resort facilities include a swimming pool, tennis courts a games room, heated splash pool and a play park with a trampoline and a toddlers sand pit.
Babysitting services are also available.
Contact: Tel: +27 14 535 0000, www.sparklingwaters.co.za
14. Spier Wine Estate, Stellenbosch
The Kids’ Clubhouse offers an imaginative variety of developmentally appropriate activities for children, from age 2-12. From biscuit icing and pizza-making to feather arts and farm walks.
Clubhouse facilities include two indoor play rooms, two undercover outdoor porches and an outdoor play area. Parents can order lunch from the restaurant menu, or leave a packed lunch.
The clubhouse is open during weekends and school holidays from 08:00 to 17:00 but can also be opened on request. Evening babysitting services are also available.
Contact: Tel: +27 21 809 1100, www.spier.co.za
15. The Oyster Box, Umhlanga
The supervised Holiday Club caters for children between the ages of 4 and 12 years and offers special programmes during school holidays. The playroom offers a range of games, activities and facilities, including X-Box, Play Station, DVD’s and a selection of board games.
Other activities include story-telling, face painting, art and craft activities, pizza-making and movie screenings.
The Holiday Club is open daily from 10am to 7pm and an outsourced babysitting service is also available.
Contact: Telephone: +27 31 514 5000, www.oysterboxhotel.com
16. Umngazi River Bungalows & Spa, Wild Coast
Umngazi’s creative corner is a colourful and bright area, designed to stimulate the creativity and imagination of youngsters and the children’s TV lounge is a cozy and relaxed area for kids to enjoy some scheduled screenings of their favourite programmes.
The resort offers activities such as dune surfing, mullet cruises and a slippery slide, as well as a trampoline and playground. An enthusiastic entertainment team is also on hand to ensure you and your kids get the most out of your holiday.
Children 5 years and under can be fed in the special kids’ dining room outside of dining times, to fit in with your usual feeding routines.
The wonderful local Pondo ladies also offer their child-caring services at an hourly or daily rate.
Contact: Tel: +27 47 564 1115, www.umngazi.co.za