We totally understand it: the “happiest place on earth” (read: Disneyland) is probably the easiest solution when it comes to planning for a family vacation. 

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Yet, this year, why don’t you change things and take your children to some different destinations?

These suggested properties actually lay out a welcome mat for them, and offer plenty of perks and activities that the entire family can enjoy together. 

We guarantee your little ones will be begging for a longer stay when it’s time to go. 

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1. Shangri-La Hotel, Singapore 

Family amenities and themed suites aside, this property is actually the first hotel on Orchard Road to design and build an interactive play space for children and toddlers (younger than four years old). 

Officially opened last January to both hotel guests and the public, the 2,150-square-metre (23,140-sq ft) play space is divided into an 850 square-metre indoor, zone complete with a music studio, and a 1,300 square-metre outdoor playground with a gigantic pirate ship as the centrepiece.

2. Hard Rock Hotel Penang, Malaysia 

If you’ve got a mini rock star with you, then you shouldn’t pass up the chance to stay at this hip and trendy resort. 

Here, you can treat your children to the ultimate superstar experience with suites that are decked out with game consoles, soft toys and a mini playground. 

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There are also the Lil’ Rockers Infants Club, and Tabu Teens Club where they can hang out during their free time and make new friends. 

That’s not all – children under 12 can enjoy a good pampering at the on-site Rock Spa (Chocolate Sundae Body Mask, anybody?)

3. The Andaman Langkawi, Malaysia 

With lush rainforest on one side and the turquoise Andaman Sea on the other, this five-star hotel is definitely the place to escape the city’s hustle and bustle. 

Mini nature lovers will appreciate The Andaman’s Young Explorers’ Club, where they can participate in educational excursions to learn more about Mother Nature, as well as the property’s lagoon-style swimming pool with thrilling water slides.

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4. Six Senses Laamu, Maldives 

While it requires a domestic flight and boat transfer to get here, the benefits of the 97-room resort’s remoteness – it is the only resort in the Laamu atoll – definitely outweigh its inconvenience. 

Here, children can either divide their time between the modest kids club and cycling around the island with a bicycle that bears a wooden tag carved with their initials. 

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They can also learn about composting, recycling, the colourful sea life and go on a dolphin cruise with the “sustainability officer” and marine biologist on duty. 

At night, the minimal light pollution in the area ensures the perfect stargazing experience so don’t head back to your villa without watching the stars with your children.

5. Shangri-La’s Mactan Resort & Spa, Philippines 

Cebu is popular among the adventurous adults for its stunning waterfalls and thrilling whale shark-watching, but you’ll be happy to know that there’s something for the children, too, specifically at this hotel. 

A three-level indoor playground will have them occupied all day long while an E-Space zone, complete with arcade games and table soccer ramps up the fun factor for the teens. 

There’s also a Toddler’s Zone, which is a cushioned play space dedicated to smaller children.

6. Fairmont Kea Lani, Hawaii 

When it comes to this luxury oceanfront resort on Maui’s Wailea coast, calling it paradise on the Pacific may be an understatement. 

First, its three pools interconnected with a 140-foot water slide will have both adults and children buzzing with excitement. 

There’s also the culture-focused Kids Club where the youngsters can try making Polynesian garlands of flowers, hula dancing and coconut painting, while fearless teenagers can fill up their day hiking, sailing, canoeing and even mountain-biking down a volcano.

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