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The Best Family Beach Holiday Destinations of 2023


From island exploration to wildlife safaris, family holidays can take many forms. Above all, family vacations should be fun. Embark on an exciting adventure as you explore authentic and unique experiences with your loved ones against the mesmeric backdrop of natural beauty that each of our beach destinations has to offer. 

Blue Bay - Mauritius 

This Indian Ocean nation brims with plenty of things to see and do. Known for sapphire seas, white sand and heavenly beach holidays, the Catamaran Cruise to Ille aux Cerfs is not-to-be-missed as the island is home to the largest and arguably the most stunning lagoon Mauritius has to offer. Witness the natural wonder that is the seven-coloured earth in the village of Chamarel. Delve into the island’s rich history of Port Louis and visit the Eureka plantation house and the Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam Botanical Gardens. Breathe in the fresh mountain air at Black River Gorges National Park, take a dip in the waterfall and hike along the lush trails with the chance of spotting a flying fox. 

Sir Bani Yas Island – United Arab Emirates 

The rugged wonderland that is Sir Bani Yas Island is the Middle East's first and only cruise beach destination which is home to over 13,000 indigenous animals, including endangered and vulnerable species from across the Arabian Peninsula. In fact, herds of Arabian oryx, giraffe and gazelle roam free on the salt-domed savannahs. Visit the Arabian Wildlife Park which makes up half the island and witness all sorts of beautiful animals, from hyenas and ostriches to cheetahs and Egyptian jerboas in their natural habitat. Guests of any of the three Anantara hotels on the island can enjoy a wide range of experiences, including but not limited to guided walks through ancient wadis and archaeological ruins dating back to the 7th century, sea kayaking expeditions, shipwreck dives and horseback riding.  

South Malé Atoll – Maldives 

The archipelagic country of Maldives is revered for its pristine beaches, sprawling greenery and vibrant culture. For those seeking breathtaking beauty without the complications of domestic flights and seaplane connections, South Malé Atoll is only a 30-minute speedboat ride from Velana International Airport. Sink your feet in white, powder-soft sands, embrace the endless views and serenity of the Indian Ocean, swim and dive among some of the most beautiful and vivid reefs in the world and witness the fascinating sea life that flourishes beneath the surface. Visit Maafushi island and snorkel with whale sharks and manta rays or quench your adrenaline with wind and kite surfing. Head to Gulhi beach for crystal-clear, warm water that changes colour during the day, reminding you that the simple beauty is too good to pass up. 

Desaru – Malaysia 

Easy to access yet worlds away from urban distractions, the seaside town of Desaru provides untouched shores perfect for families seeking sand, sun and tranquility you’d expect from a remote beach. Lounge by the scenic beach and have a picnic with the family as the blissful waves wash your stress away. Take a pleasant stroll at Desaru Fruit Farm where you can taste fresh, locally grown fruits and vegetables while enjoying a range of activities such as the petting zoo, the mangrove forest and the firefly farm after dark. Head to Desaru Coast Adventure Waterpark which is home to thrilling water slides, a roller coaster ride that ends with a splash and one of the biggest wave pools in the world. 

Phuket – Thailand 

Miles and miles of white-sand beaches, turquoise waters and a myriad of things to do on the sea and inland make Phuket an idyllic island getaway destination for fun-loving families. Set sail for the stunning shores of Koh Phi Phi and snorkel with colourful fish that welcome you. Sunbathe and swim at the seaside sanctuary that is Freedom Beach, a haven blessed with incredibly soft white sand and clear blue waters. Explore the karst cliffs of Phang Nga Bay and kayak through the aquatic and magical landscape with the sound of birds and cicadas as your company. Visit the old town, an eccentric architectural legacy with unique art galleries, decades-old restaurants and quaint cafes. 

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Retreat to a luxury coastal sanctuary on the undiscovered southeast shores of Mauritius. Laze on golden beaches or at the resort’s infinity pool. Taste exotic Creole flavours. Salute the sun with yoga, meditation and Tai Chi. Explore local culture and uncover natural wonders. Rejuvenate with hammam spa rituals or snorkel in Blue Bay Marine Park, a trove of marine biodiversity.

Anantara Sir Bani Yas Island Al Sahel Villa Resort

Al Sahel brings the rugged beauty of lush savannah to the desert. Wake up to the sight of gazelle grazing in front of one of only 30 safari-style villas. Drive into the nature reserve for up-close encounters with wild giraffes and Arabian oryxes. Refresh with a traditional afternoon tea out in the grasslands. Dine by bonfire light on African tribal cuisine.

Anantara Sir Bani Yas Island Al Yamm Villa Resort

A rustic beachfront escape in the middle of the Arabian Gulf. Inspired by a traditional Emirati fishing village, 30 barasti-style villas line the beach of the eastern side of Sir Bani Yas Island. A tranquil lagoon teems with migratory birds, and is ripe for exploration by kayak. Indulge in pool villa romance. Dine on a shoreline reserved for two. Unwind with spa treatments overlooking the ocean.

Desert Islands Resort & Spa by Anantara 

A unique blend of desert, beach and wildlife attractions accentuate this luxurious island retreat, located just off the Abu Dhabi coast in the sparkling Arabian Gulf. Wake at sunrise to bike along rugged terrain and trek across desert hinterlands. Encounter endangered wildlife on a leisurely drive through the private nature reserve, following rare Arabian Oryx and cheetahs as they roam the plains. Savour exotic Arab specialities and freshly caught seafood back at the resort, and revel in indigenous spa treatments.

Anantara Dhigu Maldives Resort

Explore the beauty of the Maldives, with unforgettable experiences both above and below the Indian Ocean surface. Surf the waves. Freedive the deep blue. Spa over water with baby reef sharks swimming peacefully below. With three sister islands to explore for dining, recreation and relaxation, and the ocean a few steps from your luxury villa or over water suite, Anantara Dhigu offers the perfect setting for adventurous family escapes.

Anantara Layan Phuket Resort

Hide away in a peaceful cove overlooking the Andaman, or head out in search of adventure. Dive some of the most pristine sites in the world. Island hop by private yacht or speedboat. Experience Thailand’s rich culture with authentic cuisine, spa journeys and the art of Muay Thai. Located on Phuket’s western coast, just a 20-minute drive from the airport, Anantara Layan Phuket Resort is ideal for honeymoons, romantic escapes, family getaways and spectacular weddings, with a unique chapel setting overlooking the ocean.

Anantara Mai Khao Phuket Villas

An all-villa oasis on Phuket's northern tip invites island unwinding in luxurious Anantara style. Laze in your private pool. Dine in your sala perched over the lagoon. Wander long stretches of golden beach at sunset. Charter a yacht to explore the iconic limestone cliffs of Phang Nga or the world-class reefs of the Similans.