It’s a universal traveller’s truth that there are hotels, and then there are hotels. This truth inspires even more meaningful head-nodding when you have a family on board. While self-catering accommodation often becomes the go-to option with kids in tow, sometimes it’s nice to hand over the hard work (and the housekeeping) to someone else for a while.

But there are conditions that must be met. We’re talking the trifecta here: the location must be both scenic and conveniently located for family-friendly activities; amenities must tick the ‘I’m spoiling myself’ box while remaining comfy enough for kids; and service should be warm and welcoming to families with children, but also relaxing enough for parents to feel they’re having some time out. We’ve found three options to help you start your search… Try these

Hayman, Qld

You’re off to a good start with the fact it’s a private Whitsunday island, right on the Great Barrier Reef. Add luxurious amenities and lifesaving services like child-minding, a kids’ club ranger program and junior diving basics courses during school holidays, and you’re laughing (preferably with tropical cocktail in hand). Hayman will close from mid–January til end March before re–opening as One & Only Hayman in April 2014.

Crowne Plaza, Terrigal, NSW

Aesthetic opinions are divided on this pink pyramid-like structure, which dominates the Terrigal foreshore. But there’s no denying its popularity with families. Terrigal has enough to keep everyone entertained, with a great selection of beaches (Avoca, Macmasters, Copacobana) nearby. The hotel has a pool, gym, kids’ club and various dining options, with the beach right in front.

Mantra Lorne, Vic

With hotel rooms or apartments to choose from, a prime beachfront position – not to mention a great base for exploring the Great Ocean Road – and a day spa for mum to enjoy while dad hits the tennis court or beach with the kids, this easy seaside option has ‘happy family’ written all over it.


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