Over the years, we’ve had the pleasure of organising some fantastic holidays to celebrate a “milestone birthday” – what better way to celebrate a 40th, 50th, 60th, 70th, 80th or 90th than to gather the family together, share some amazing experiences and spend some “quality” time together – that’s what life’s all about isn’t it?
“Multi-generational family holidays”, has become a huge growth area in our industry, with accommodation to suit large family groups becoming much more common. We detail some of our favourites below.
A week or two with your nearest and dearest is the most special way to celebrate a landmark occasion. Yes a party is great fun, but it’s over in a flash.
Whether it’s a safari, a ski holiday, a beautiful villa, a boat, a weekend in a city or a visit to an old favourite – we can advise on the best options and put together the perfect trip for you.
Here are some of our top suggestions for that special family celebration.
An African Safari
A safari will generate no end of magical memories to cherish. The timeless wonders of nature, brought to life by a great guide, will captivate young, old and those in the middle.
There are now many camps and lodges that can be taken exclusively for “multi-generational” groups, making the whole experience incredibly special. Aside from game drives, there’s plenty of time for long breakfasts and lunches, games of cards, snoozes in hammocks, spectacular sundowners and dinners under the deep tapestry of stars.
You could stay in a game-dense reserve like the Madikwe, Serengeti or Kruger where, especially with children, you’ll spend more time in vehicles with the occasional walk. Morokuru have 3 fabulous safari houses in the Malaria Free Madikwe Game Reserve, or the private lodge at Lamai Serengeti has four suites and a swimming pool in a prime location to view the migration. For something really special Africa House in the Greater Kruger will blow away even the most discerning traveller.
These can be combined with predator free game ranches, giving you the opportunity to walk, ride, swim in rivers or camp out. Leobo Private Reserve in South Africa’s Waterberg or the family run Ol Malo private ranch in Laikipia stand out as two highlights. If the children are older, you could have a real adventure with a walking safari route between remote bush camps in Zambia’s South Luangwa or an epic walk through the Serengeti. We have extensive experience traveling and organising safaris in Africa and we’d be delighted to discuss all the options with you.
Sri Lanka lends itself perfectly to a multi-generational holiday. Aside from the natural beauty, history and spirituality that will appeal to young and old, the island is littered with utterly charming boutique hotels and villas that are screaming out to be taken by a large family.
The Tea Country offers some exceptional Planters Bungalows, in some staggering locations. The pioneers of this bungalow concept Ceylon Tea Trails operate 5 amazing bungalows overlooking the Castlereagh Lake, with 5 to 6 rooms each. The Tea Trails experience is opulently Colonial, with beautiful bungalows, faultless cuisine and service from the dedicated staff – be warned – bungalows tend to get booked up fast so early booking is essential. Alternatively, Teardrop Hotels have recently opened 3 slightly more contemporary bungalows in breathtaking locations near to Ella, Nuwara Eliya and Castlereagh Lake.
On the South Coast, there are a plethora of boutique hotels and serviced villas perfect for large family groups. The Last House outside Tangalle stands out as somewhere very special to stay. This 6 bedroom beach house is operated as a boutique hotel or a private villa. The house is the late, great Geoffrey Bawa’s last piece of work (hence the name) and is teeming with his style references now replicated across the world. It sits on a beautiful stretch of beach, isolated but with village life visible in the distance. Day trips to Yala and Tangalle are also possible. Aside from The Last House, the coast from Galle to Tangalle has a host of beautiful fully serviced villas to suit all sizes and budgets.
Being able to all pile into a large villa together and have a wonderful amount of space all to yourselves, including private swimming pool, gardens and the services of your own chef is another key element to a special large family holiday. Meaning that everyone can truly relax and enjoy themselves without anyone having to feel ‘in charge’ or concerned about which restaurant to eat in each day! How about something extra special and taking a beautiful villa in the Far East and particularly on either the island of Bali in Indonesia or on Koh Samui in Thailand? Both destinations offer some fantastic options for day trips, such as the Ang Thong Marine Park from Samui (where filming took place for ‘The Beach’), or from Bali the laid-back Gili Islands and the idyllic Nusa Lembongan with it’s pristine waters rich with marine life.
If you’d prefer not to have to deal with the long flight or jet lag though, we work with some fantastic private owners and agents who really do have a spectacular selection of properties that they look after in Europe, to suit all tastes and budgets! Be it the Loire Valley in France, the dramatic Andalucian countryside in Southern Spain, a small hidden Greek Island or a converted Masseria in Italy’s Puglia, each destination offers not only a fantastic selection of properties but a wide range of delicious cuisines, wines and fascinating sites for day trips.
European City Break
Perhaps time is short and you’re struggling to find a week that the whole family can do? How about a weekend in one of Europe’s prime cities, filling your time with unique experiences for both young and old. Perhaps the Eternal city of Rome may be top of your list? Take a tour by private vintage vespas and explore the city like a local, visit the famous Colosseum and treat the children to a morning in the life of a gladiator or for something really special, take the whole family to the Sistine chapel after hours and have it all to yourselves!
Alternatively Lisbon, the city of Seven Hills, is full of fascinating sites such as the Belem Tower, the Sao Jorge Castle and the famous city trams. Lisbon is also a perfect base for exploring the picturesque towns of Sintra inland and Cascais or Guincho on the Atlantic coast. Activities can range from guided tours of the area’s historical sites, to windsurfing lessons and even dolphin spotting in Sado Bay.
Whichever city you choose, we will take the time to plan your itinerary, tailoring the activities that are just right for you and picking out particularly special restaurants which can offer private rooms or perhaps a more authentic atmosphere if that’s what you would prefer? As your base we can recommend either a charming boutique hotel which can be taken on an exclusive basis; or alternatively larger hotels with luxurious apartments that give you the advantage of more space to be together as a family as well as still enjoying the facilities and services of a hotel.
All-Inclusive Beach Resort
Many of you will shudder at the words “all-inclusive”, conjuring up images of swim-up bars and wristbands. However there are some beautiful, refined, all-inclusive hotels. For large groups all-inclusive makes a resort holiday so much easier. People can order what they like, when they like, without worrying about racking up a faint-inducing extras bill.
Jumby Bay a private island off the coast of Antigua, is perfect for such a holiday, with everything included. They have individual suites, private Villas with up to 4 rooms and palatial Residences. The fully staffed Residences ranging from 4 to 9 rooms, are out of this world, with style, comfort, space and privacy in abundance. They come with golf buggies so you can enjoy all the amazing all-inclusive facilities, though there is little reason to leave one of the Residence’s epic confines.
Other resorts that offer a great all-inclusive,are Belle Mare Plage Villas in Mauritius, the Ikos resorts in the Med, Lux South Ari Atoll in the Maldives, and Soneva Kiri in Thailand.
For those looking for more modest accommodation with a vast array of activities to keep everyone busy, Neilson active holidays in the Med always gets fantastic feedback from clients.