The Zulal Wellness Resort in Qatar aims to strengthen the bonds between parents and children through shared experiences and play. Olivia Palamountain reports

The Middle East’s largest and first full immersion wellness destination, Zulal Wellness Resort by Chiva-Som, has launched a two-night “Family Bonding Retreat”, designed to encourage parents and kids to connect through quality time spent together (something that wealthy families with a lot of childcare support can be lacking).

The inclusive two-night wellness journey focuses on mental, physical and nutritional wellbeing, while fostering stronger connections between adults and offspring, and encouraging younger guests to establish positive lifestyle habits.

Rather than parents just dropping their children off at the kids’ club, Zulal offers some 200 shared family “edutainment” activities crafted around fun, communication and problem-solving. Assistance will also be provided by child development and family specialist Joelle El Khoury.Zulal Wellness ResortFamilies will stay in one of  Zulal Discovery’s 120 guestrooms and suites, each with interconnected rooms for easy access to one another.

The bonding retreat costs US$2,239 for two adults and two children up to the age of 16, and includes two daily meals, a health and wellness consultation, age-appropriate spa treatments, access to the hydrothermal suite and a free in-room minibar.

“Family wellness is about fostering strong connections and communication between family members through spending quality time together,” says El Khoury. “In Zulal we build a unique experience for families around joyful activities built on play and wellness, while keeping in mind the formation of strong life skills within the children.”Zulal Wellness ResortSports such as aerobics, swimming and circuit training will form part of the programme, amplified by mindfulness activities such as tai chi, meditation and stretching which reduce stress levels in both adults and children and improve quality of sleep.

These daily age-appropriate activities and group experiences are all about reinvigorating growth as a family unit and encompass rewarding community initiatives such as mangrove planting.

Elsewhere, a variety of relaxed dining venues serving kid’s menus will ensure families are well-fed, while exciting age-appropriate spa-style treatments will be available in the Child Wellness Centre.Zulal Wellness ResortZulal Wellness Resort’s family counsellors will be on-hand to provide guidance and the tools needed for families to replicate and incorporate new healthy habits into their daily routines upon returning home, from sharing meals together – without distractions – and supporting each other to stay fit, to shopping for healthy, nutritious foods together or introducing mindfulness breathing as part of bedtime routines.

Itineraries designed to make the most of the precious one-on-one time are on the rise, a trend that can be attributed to a promises that were made in lockdown, now coming to fruition.

Connecting over a shared interest or having a joint learning experience and discovering something new together are two common factors in these types of trips, as exemplified by the likes of Original Travel relaunching its “Bonding Holidays Collection“.

This series of multigenerational getaways includes family ranching holidays in the American West, snowy adventures in Swedish Lapland and a family road trip through Canada.