This beach house in the southeast corner of Sri Lanka, a popular spot for summer escapes, is a new addition to our collection of hotels. We chose it for its boutique character and fantastic setting – off the beaten track but not too far from the chilled-out surfer’s paradise of Arugam Bay. It was seemingly made for family getaways and you can easily book each of the two rooms and two chalets which sit within a two-acre former coconut plantation. We love that the relaxed atmosphere at Kottukal Beach House by Jetwing means you can dine when you please, a welcome detail if you’re travelling with children. Different members of your group could even choose to dine separately if they wanted to. And while your meals are generally à la carte or a set menu, created using fresh and local in-season produce, meal times are wonderfully flexible; if you give the chef enough notice, they’ll be able to cater for the tastes of everyone you’re travelling with.
Ever dreamed of travelling by private yacht? This one is a little different from the other places on this list and one you’ll need your sea legs for. The Floating Resort, a 50-metre ‘safari yacht’ which hops from paradise island to paradise island in the Maldives, has 19 cabins which you can take over entirely with your group. You don’t have to skimp on those luxuries and activities this string of Indian Ocean atolls is famous for either. This high-end yacht has PADI 5 Star Dive Resort status and therapy rooms where the spa treatments of dreams are carried out by four live-aboard therapists. There are even four chefs onboard who create mouthwatering meals. The three full board packages mean that those with different tastes will be happy. There’s one with eight spa treatments included, one with 15 dives per week (for certified divers) and one with four of the former and six of the latter.
Somalisa Acacia, Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe
This stylish family-focused safari camp sits in a private concession in the heart of game-rich Hwange National Park, which is known for having one of the largest elephant populations in the world. There are just four spacious canvas tents, including two family tents, all with a private deck that has panoramic views of the surrounding bush. You can sleep up to 12 people here, but the main camp is right next door so there’s plenty of room for a larger group. Incredible safari adventures can be shared with the whole family, as guests of all ages can head out on game drives; just imagine those shared moments as you spot lions, leopards and buffalo roaming the savannah. Back at the camp, the opportunity for wildlife encounters is never-ending. After a morning out on the dusty plains, you can lounge on the deck by the camp’s small swimming pool, just feet away from herds of wild elephants as they wander down in waves to the camp’s waterhole. Children will feel especially welcome here as every family is assigned a dedicated child specialist guide. They will keep the young ones entertained with creative activities – while you enjoy a siesta between game drives. In the evening, you can enjoy delicious meals paired with quality South African wine, before ending the day sipping a G&T and sharing stories around the roaring fire.
Tucked away on a cove that could have been lifted straight from the cover of a magazine, and wrapped in a cloak of verdant forest, this boutique hotel is one of our favourite hideaways on Praslin Island in the Seychelles. The Black Parrot Suites are the focus for an exclusive-use holiday and are a great choice for large groups of guests over the age of 14. There are 12 of these ocean-view suites set on a rocky headland a few steps away from the main hotel – you have all the benefits of a spot to call your own (as well as a private bar and swimming pool), but with the added social vibe of a small hotel.
Governors’ Camp, which sits at the heart of Kenya's Maasai Mara, has been a favourite with Kuoni customers for as long as we can remember. You can’t really get closer to the action – this original safari camp is hidden away in the forest within the national reserve. It’s also a stone’s throw from the banks of the Mara River where, between July and August each year, vast herds of wildebeest and zebra attempt that iconic crossing as they journey north towards greener pastures. Governors’ Private Camp is located downstream from the main camp and can be reserved by just one group. There are seven tents so you can bring the whole family together and spend your time between epic game drives catching up in the exclusive bar while hippos wallow and animals catch their breath as they pause for a drink.
Set back from one of those swoon-worthy Indian Ocean beaches is the luxe Zuri Zanzibar, a resort that is something to write home about in itself. And while you may not have a group big enough to have exclusive use of the entire resort (there are 55 rooms, suites and villas), you could definitely have your own piece of luxury if you reserve the Oceanfront Three Bedroom Luxury Villa. This jaw-dropping building has three bedrooms, extensive living areas with shuttered walls that open out onto al fresco terraces, and the obligatory private plunge pool. The pièce de résistance is the private stretch of talcum-soft sand; you can take a dip in the glass-clear Indian Ocean and then be sipping a cocktail by the infinity pool in no time at all.
Blue Waters is a real eye catcher; it has rocky headlands, a couple of Antigua’s world famous beaches, swaying palms and tropical forest surroundings. And best of all, there are three villas within its grounds that you can set aside for your whole family. The six-bedroom Pelican House and four-bedroom Turtle Cottage are just steps away from one of the beaches and a short stroll through landscaped gardens to the resort’s main restaurants and bar. The most private of the three is Rock Cottage where the clue is in the name. This two-storey villa sits on a picturesque headland and is surrounded on three sides by the turquoise Caribbean Sea. It has five huge bedrooms, a commercial kitchen for those times you want a chef to head round and prepare your meals, and an infinity edge pool that overlooks a untouched cove… it’s pure paradise.