There’s a trick to really enjoying a night or two away with the little ones. Two words: kids’ club. If you’ve never booked them in for a day at one of these havens of happiness while you actually read a book or get some shut-eye on the beach, why on Earth not? They keep the kids safe, you know they’re close by (but not too close) and, best of all, they’re completely FREE if you’re staying the night. With so many new five-star contenders in the mix, you’ll actually be glad this summer’s a long one. (Well, sort of…)
Marriott Hotel Al Forsan
It might feel like a bit of a trek to get to the Al Forsan International Sports Resort, but then isn’t that half the attraction if you’re looking to get away from it all without actually leaving the emirates? If the Olympic-length pool (one of only a few in the UAE) and equestrian centre and polo field don’t tempt you over, we bet the brilliant kids’ club will.
Kids’ club: Kids Zone features a cool gaming and interaction area, boasting the latest videogame gadgets, as well as an outdoor playground complete with swing sets, slides and a zip line. There’s a kids’ pool with a water play area featuring themed waterfalls and multiple water sprays. Although there are trained staff on-site, this isn’t strictly a supervised kids’ club, though, so children under 12 should be accompanied by a parent.
Rates: Dhs720 per night for a family room for two adults and two children (under 12), including breakfast and taxes.
Marriott Al Forsan, Al Forsan International Sports Resort, Khalifa City A, Street 12, www.marriott.com (02 201 4000).
Jumeirah Al Naseem
Madinat Jumeirah’s latest, stylish addition opened at the end of last year. We love the location, the range of food and beverage options (it is home to Time Out Kids’ favourite, Black Tap), the fact guests gain free entry into neighbouring Wild Wadi – and that they’re going all out with their new kids’ club facility.
Kids’ club: KiDS at Jumeirah Al Naseem caters for children aged between two and 12 and is open daily from 9am to 8pm. It offers games, activities and crafts, and the spacious outdoor playground features a splash pad, swing sets and a jungle gym.
Rates: From Dhs1,100, excluding taxes and breakfast. However, UAE residents can enjoy a special rate of just Dhs1,400 per night until Wednesday June 14, for a family of four (with children under 12), half-board, including taxes.
Summer staycation deal: Get ten percent off the best available room rate for UAE residents, which also includes complimentary access to Wild Wadi water park and traditional abra boat rides.
Jumeirah Al Naseem, Madinat Jumeirah, www.jumeirah.com (04 366 8888).
Viceroy Palm Jumeirah
Destined to be another iconic landmark on the Palm, the newly opened Viceroy Palm Jumeirah has glitz and glamour in abundance – but it’s family-friendly, too. There are three outdoor swimming pools, including a 55-metre long option and a stunning beach club.
Kids’ club: Generation V Club is a fun and friendly place for children aged two to 12. From water play to treasure hunting, cooking classes to arts and crafts and yoga games, it’s open for fun from 9am to 8pm daily. There’s also a theatre area, with a wide selection of movies, Xbox and Wii games, an outdoor water feature and pool, chalk walls for creative graffiti and absolutely no plastic toys. The spacious family cabanas to relax on are a really nice touch, too.
Rates: Dhs4,000 per night for a family of four in a stunning two-bedroom suite, including taxes and breakfast.
Summer staycation deals: Get 15 percent off the best available room rate, late check-out and 50 percent off your first spa treatment, until September 30.
Viceroy Palm Jumeirah, www.viceroyhotelsandresorts.com/en/dubai (04 455 9999).
Opened in December 2016, Fairmont Fujairah has the Fairmont signature family welcome stamped all over it. Nestled amid the stunning Al Hajar Mountains, the backdrop is ruggedly beautiful.
Kids’ club: Little Kids Sailor Club will be operated by Seven Oaks Nursery for a more educational approach to your regular hotel facility. The club will run from 10am to 6pm for kids aged four to 12, offering messy play, outdoor sports and traditional games, and there’s even a climbing wall to scramble up if they dare.
Rates: Dhs760 for a family room for two adults and two children (under 12), including breakfast and taxes.
Summer staycation deal: Bag 20 percent off the best available rate and a 20 percent on-site dining discount until September 30.
Fairmont Fujairah, Mina Al Fajer, Dibba, www.fairmont.com/fujairah (09 204 1111).