By Smitha Menon
Want to vacation with the clan and can’t figure out how to please everyone? Condé Nast Traveller India’s Smitha Menon shares the answers in the magazine’s August-September 2016 issue, out on stands now
Given below an excerpt:
JW Marriott Mussoorie Walnut Grove Resort & Spa UttarakhandSet against the magnificent backdrop of the Himalayas, this gorgeous resort offers a whole calendar of activities dedicated to its young guests. Some of these include farm walks, salsa lessons and cooking demos. The property features a heated indoor splash pool and a bicycling track with bikes for rent. The wheelchair-friendly hotel is a great option if you’re traveling with elderly people. It can arrange for connecting rooms for your family—just make sure to mention this at the time of making your reservation. (www.marriott.com; doubles from 16,000; complimentary stay for two children below six years)
CNT TIP: Author Ruskin Bond’s hometown, Landour, is less than an hour’s drive away from the property. If your kids have a literary bent of mind, a visit to the place that inspired many of his delightful tales would be a lovely way to spend a day.
Poetree Sarovar Portico, Thekkady KeralaYour #famjam will morph into a pachyderm party at this ecoresort that overlooks Periyar Lake. Located just outside Periyar National Park, which is known for its large population of elephants, Poetree offers a number of activities for outdoor enthusiasts, such as bamboo rafting, forest treks and elephant rides and baths. Once the charm of the outdoors starts to wane, youngsters can retreat to the in-house children’s activity room while grown-ups can head to SVA, the ayurvedic spa, for an evening of calm. Get a taste of local culture—cooking demos, Kathakali and Kalari performances are sure to be a hit with both your kids and your parents. (www.poetreeresort.com; doubles from 8,000; complimentary stay for one child below six years)
CNT TIP: Let the youngsters make use of the telescopes and binoculars, available on request.
ITC Rajputana Rajasthan
Teach your little prince and princess the basics of croquet and horse riding, and give your parents the chance to enjoy folk dance and ghazal performances in the majestic environs of this Jaipur stay. You can also take a hot-air balloon ride over the Pink City. (www.itchotels.in; doubles from 5,700; complimentary stay for kids below 12 years)
CNT TIP: The hotel can organise a guided food trail—a great way to explore the city.
The Ritz-Carlton, Bangalore KarnatakaTending to business in Bengaluru? Take the little ones, who’ll like the Ritz Kids® Night Safari, a camping experience complete with tent, flashlight, compass and activity pack, within the safety and comfort of their own room. Be prepared, though— you may be forced to repeat it at home. (www.ritzcarlton.com; doubles from 10,500; complimentary stay for two children below 12 years)
CNT TIP: Ask for a treasure hunt to be arranged during your stay.
PARK HYATT GOA RESORT AND SPAStorytelling, giant chessboards, kiddie pools, beach toys and educational activities at Camp Hyatt—this South Goa haven pulls out all the stops for little ones. The wheelchair-friendly hotel also offers a lovely horticulture tour that your parents might enjoy. (www.goa.park.hyatt.com; doubles from 7,500; complimentary stay for two children below six years)
CNT TIP: Ask the hotel to organize activities like customised food tours, heritage walks and boat rides.
Maison Perumal PuducherryIf you’re the kind of parent who likes their kids to get a healthy dose of history while on holiday, a stay at this heritage property is in order. Blending the best of Tamil and French cultures, Maison Perumal offers activities like kolam (rangoli) making and mylanchi (henna) sessions. (www.cghearth.com; doubles from 6,800; complimentary stay for children below five years)
CNT TIP: Sign up for Life of Pondy on Wheels, the hotel’s cycle tour through town. If that’s too strenuous, sign up for INTACH’s architecture walk that’ll take you through the picturesque French and Tamil Quarters.
Adventure & Wildlife
Wild Mahseer Lodge AssamThere isn’t a Mad Hatter here, but you and your clan can definitely have a fun tea party at this 22-acre tea estate. Parents (and their parents) will love the tea-tasting at the in-house tea bar, while kids will enjoy biking across the plantation to explore the local tea gardens. Venture into the wild with expeditions to the national parks in Kaziranga and Nameri, nearby. (www.wildmahseer.com; doubles from 6,900; complimentary stay for children below five years)
CNT TIP: This is a great place for everyone to learn the basics of angling.
Acres Wild Tamil NaduAt this scenic farmstay in Coonoor, family time is bound to get cheesy (#dadjoke). The owners make gourmet cheese and grow veggies, fruit and herbs. Apart from learning how to make Gouda and Parmesan, your little ones can feed fish, milk cows and help in the fields. (www.acres-wild.com; doubles from 3,000; complimentary stay for children below 10 years)
CNT TIP: Take a break from farming duties and explore the region: it’s home to a variety of wild animals, including gaur, leopards and deer.
To read more, grab your copy of Condé Nast Traveller India’s August-September 2016 issue, out on stands