Five top family-friendly getaways

We take a look at the best places to holiday with your children, from exciting adventures in their very own kasbah, to specialist kids’ concierges and street art tours for teens

Mother and daughter enjoying the garden at Mandarin Oriental, Paris


From bouncing on the trampolines at the southern end of the Jardin des Tuileries to simply choosing between a pistachio or salted caramel macaron, Paris ticks so many ‘perfect family holiday’ boxes. Artistically inclined kids will appreciate a street art tour with Mon Beau Paris on which they get to take Polaroid snaps as keepsakes.

Stay in the fashion-heart of the city on Rue Saint-Honoré at Mandarin Oriental, Paris where everyone will love retreating to the lush inner garden after a hectic day in the city. Children are well catered for with story books, crayons and video games, and the concierge is on hand to advise activities for restless mini-explorers.

Turtle swimming underwater


Turkey’s answer to St Tropez, the seaside town of Bodrum is not only the birthplace of Herodotus, ‘Father of History’, but is home to waterfront promenades, a buzzing bazaar, the mighty St Peter’s Castle and epically impressive beaches. Families have the opportunity to watch nesting sea turtles, let loose at Turkey’s largest waterpark, Bodrum Aqualand, and explore mountains and forests by bike.

Children’s wellbeing is firmly on the agenda at Mandarin Oriental, Bodrum, too. Mornings are off to a promising start with Gymboree yoga classes for kids, which include breathing exercises, games and stories. The luscious green setting of the hotel is ideal for a small person’s introduction to wellbeing and self-care.

The New York skyline at sunset

New York

Must-dos for first-timers still include the Empire State Building and the One World Observatory, the tallest building in the western hemisphere. Or head to Midtown for attractions including Gulliver’s Gate (the world’s largest interactive museum of miniatures), and National Geographic Encounter: Ocean Odyssey – just off Times Square.

At Mandarin Oriental, New York young travellers can tailor their own Manhattan adventure with MO Panda Club children’s programme, featuring Pocket Panda, a NYC-themed character inspired by MiniMO the Panda. Kids aged from four to 16 can take part in a sightseeing and photography quest alongside Pocket Panda and enjoy various welcome amenities, immersive experiences on site plus access to some of New York’s biggest attractions.

Shanghai skyline from the river


No family trip to Shanghai would be complete without a trip to the top of the Oriental Pearl Tower for awesome city views, or the Shanghai Ocean Aquarium with its tunnels that surround you with sea life. Or how about a Huangpu River Cruise to get your bearings? The handy riverside location of Mandarin Oriental Pudong, Shanghai is within walking distance of all these family-friendly activities. Families staying at the hotel can enjoy other amenities, such as use of a crib, baby bath wash, shampoo and talcum powder, and there are also specially designed menus for younger fans’ with smaller appetites.

The donkey in the garden at Mandarin Oriental, Marrakech


For a taste of the exotic, it doesn’t get much better than Marrakech. Children will be slack-jawed at the whirling dervishes and snake charmers in the Jamaa al-Fna (the main square), the real-life carpet sellers, and the labyrinthine bazaar. Go for a camel ride in the Palmeraie or trek up the Atlas Mountains where kids can enjoy donkey rides. Being based at Mandarin Oriental, Marrakech means children can experience the Kids' Kasbah – a children’s club that takes inspiration from the monuments of fortified cities across Morocco. Kids can meet the resident farm animals including Zatounia the donkey, help in the chef’s vegetable garden and learn about local traditions such as Berber carpet weaving, pottery and mosaics. While children are entertained, parents can enjoy a traditional hammam and Moroccan-inspired treatments at the tranquil spa.

A guide to Marrakech for families

Marrakech is a melting pot of different cultures, museums, food, and experiences that make it the ideal destination for the many needs of a family city break