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Children love a holiday at the coast. There’s minimal need for clothes and shoes, and plenty of sand and swimming time, or take a dhow with a picnic for a spot of snorkelling.

There are lots of great places at the coast where parents can sit back and relax, too, whether it’s all-inclusive that’s your bag, or a little hideaway on the beach. Here are our five picks.

Turtle Bay, Watamu

This all-inclusive resort in Watamu, one of Kenya’s most picturesque beaches, is great for parents who need someone to keep tabs on their tearaways, and don’t want to worry about the rising bar bill.

For kids, this place has it all. Supervised activities for 4-12 year old children include swimming, arts and crafts, cookery classes and beach games. Children can vie for mega points, which are converted into donations to local charities. It’s not the most luxurious of the coastal resorts, but it’s pocket-friendly, and definitely comfortable enough. Starts from 7,400 pp on an all-inclusive basis. www.turtlebaykenya.com

Voyager Beach Resort, Nyali

This is another beachfront favourite with families. The attractive, nautically-themed hotel (think blues and stripes), is all-inclusive and offers a kids’ club, Adventurers, from four years and up, with an animation team and energetic supervisors. For older kids, there is the Young Rangers’ club, with activities such as canoeing and windsurfing.

The resort has three pools, including a whirlpool, to choose from. Meanwhile, historic Mombasa city is on Voyager’s doorstep for those looking for a more cultural experience. Starts from Ksh12,200 per person. www.heritage-eastafrica.com  

Lantana Galu, Galu Beach

If all-inclusive doesn’t do it for you, try Lantana Galu apartments on Galu Beach, the quieter sister beach to Diani. The resort offers family-sized apartments with lots of privacy, and the kids can paddle and potter on the sand or take a dip in a choice of pools.

Apartments are taken on a self-catering basis, but the resort also has its own coffee shop and good restaurant. Prices start from Ksh26,900 for a two-bedroom suite, and Ksh20,900 for a penthouse. www.lantana-galu-beach.com

Kinondo Kwetu, Galu Beach

This Swedish-owned boutique hotel offers a more luxurious family-friendly experience, with two houses, perfect for big families looking to be under one roof, and five cottages. It has additional rooms within the main house itself.

 

Activities include snorkelling, sea kayaking, and dhow sailing, and the hotel has its own tennis court, and riding stables. It’s an altogether more upmarket place than the other hotels named here, with its price reflective of that. Resident rates start from Ksh13,000 per person on half-board basis. www.kinondo-kwetu.com

Sands Island Beach, Tiwi

If you’re looking for something very affordable and a little low-key, then head to Sands Island Beach in Tiwi. This cluster of rustic cottages, sleeping between two and eight, is ideal for those just wanting to potter about from the comfort of their cottage or explore the nearby reef for starfish, crabs and other sea life.

It has its own private beach, a big draw for those looking for some privacy. They are self-catering (cooks provided on request) and there are places to eat out close by. The smallest cottages start at Ksh6,000. www.sandislandbeach.com

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