The perfect family holiday needs to get the balance just right; that precious time to spend together away from the demands of daily life and work, coupled with a little R&R for the parents, safe in the knowledge that their little ones are well cared for, and having buckets of fun. Thankfully, our Original Travel family have been scouring the globe for years to source a snapshot of our favourite family-friendly hotspots for this summer's travels.
The Anassa, Cyprus
The Anassa is that rare gem that appeals to savvy family travellers, as well as couples looking for a relaxed Euro break, and that's why it features so highly on our list of luxury family resorts - whilst the kids are playing and learning at the Explorers clubs, parents can relax by the pool or in the Thalassa Spa for a little 'us' time and hark, dare I say it, back to pre-baby days.
Those clever folks at Anassa have all bases covered, from their innovative 'Baby Go Lightly' service, which enables parents to pre-order all manner of baby items to be waiting for them upon arrival, to the Explorers Kids Club, which is split into no less than five age groups. Tots will be cared for at the Globetrotters club, where experienced nannies will alter the programme to fit your little ones' usual daily routine. The Adventurers, Voyagers and Pioneers Clubs offer a range of activities to kids from three to twelve, whilst teens can retreat to 'Escape' to hang out with new friends, or learn to scuba at the PADI dive centre (where parents are invited too).
Soneva Fushi, Maldives
What may have started out as more of a luxurious couples retreat has blossomed into a Swiss Family Robinson-esque island, perfect for family escapes. Sprawling timber villas, ranging from one to nine bedrooms, offer all manner of options with the Villa Suite & Tree House a prime choice for families with adventurous little ones, who can hunker down for the night in their own private treehouse bedroom, just a short walk from Mum and Dad's villa.
Soneva Fushi is a resort that offers the usual Maldives experiences - diving in aquarium-like waters, watersports, and of course the obligatory spa, but there are a whole heap of things done a little differently with children in mind, including mini bicycles and tricycles to explore the island, and a menu of over 60 flavours of ice cream to work their way through.
The real winner this year, is the addition of the Den - the ultimate kids club, designed with the imagination and ideas of some of the island's previous mini-guests. The Den features entire rooms dedicated to fancy dress, a kids-only cinema (don't worry parents, you've still got the al fresco Cinema Paradiso), a huge swimming pool with water slide, and even some underground tunnels linking the Den to the organic gardens.
The Sani Resort, Greece
The 1000 acres of the Sani Resort, and 4.5 miles of sandy beach, means there's endless space for the kids to run around and explore. This luxury family resort is made up of four individual hotels - our picks being Sani Asterias Suites and Porto Sani Village - but what they all share is marvellous kids clubs, to keep the young ones busy from dawn to dusk (the real challenge will be fitting in family time).
The Melissa Crèche is an explosion of colourful toys and games to occupy tots from four months to four years, and during the summer months the Pirates of the Swimming Pool team offer baby swimming lessons. Four to eleven year olds can sprint down the beach in the Mini-Olympics, or boogie the night away at a disco with the Melissa Mini Club, while Mum and Dad enjoy a romantic evening meal, and there's something for the teens too, from archery to water sports and even DJ lessons.
Sani also provides the perfect playground for any mini Attenboroughs in the family, with a range of eco-activities from following animal tracks in the Sani forest to sea kayaking to collect sea grass and water samples for real scientific research.
Round Hill, Jamaica
The Caribbean in 'hurricane season' - no, we're not here to plug extreme family adventures, rather to dispel a somewhat unfair dark cloud *ahem* hanging over Jamaica in our summer months. Hurricanes tend to come through later - if at all - in the June to November window, and Jamaica is a better bet than most, with one every ten years on average.
Our pick of the luxury family resorts on the island is Round Hill, perched on Montego Bay. Families can make themselves at home in one of the luxurious private villas, ranging from two to six bedrooms, and most with a private pool. Yes, Round Hill offers some great kids club facilities but more than this, we love their 'family specialists' whose very job it is to personalise your stay with plenty of all-encompassing family treats and experiences. Add to this 110 acres of private peninsula to explore and you've got yourselves the perfect family playground. And maybe a little sunshine too.
The Shangri-La Rasa Ria, Borneo
A lot of countries in Southeast Asia see their 'green' season in our summer months (marketing speak for a bit more rain), but not Borneo. This off-shoot of Malaysia enjoys one of the driest times of the year during our school holidays, as well as offering the perfect family adventure destination for wildlife enthusiasts.
The Shangri-La Rasa Ria sits on the huge stretch of sand known as Pantai Dilit beach, just 45 minutes from the international airport at Kota Kinabalu, making it a less strenuous journey from the UK than you may imagine, and the perfect introduction to Borneo. The resort itself offers a huge range of dining options, and children under 12 get free brekkie each day, as well as a well-established kids club, offering a range of activities including Malay crafts such as Batik painting and mask making.
What sets this apart from your usual luxury family resort, is its location within 400 acres of tropical rainforest, and the on-site nature reserve which is home to troops of macaque monkeys, birdlife, and wait for it - orang-utan. These endearing orange little fellows will always be the poster boys for Borneo, and the chance to see them up close in their natural habitat is one not to be missed. Young guests can even play park ranger, as they spend an hour assisting the rangers with their daily tasks, and learning about the flora and fauna of the island. For the real wildlife adventurers, coupling the Shangri-La Rasa Ria with the incredible Borneo Rainforest Lodge makes the perfect soft adventure break in the tropics.