Whether you’re travelling with a baby, a toddler, a tearaway or a hard-to-please teen, these kids’ clubs will guarantee that relaxing holiday you all so need…
For most families, the annual holiday is usually centred around creating maximum happiness for the children. Yet it’s almost guaranteed that the parents themselves will be long overdue some R&R.
With this in mind, we searched through our 800-strong Kids Collection* and picked out these gorgeous places, all of which allow frazzled mums and dads to decompress while providing plenty of fun in some seriously cool kids’ clubs.
The Ultra-Luxe Beachside Spa Resort
Where:Anassa – a top-notch resort on Cyprus’ northeast coast, with a wealth of facilities and elegant Med-meets-colonial rooms spread over the hillside.
For the children: Anassa’s superb kids’ clubs (run by NVQ Level 3 qualified staff) come in 5 age groups, from 4 months (the well-stocked ‘Globetrotters’ crèche, which also has a nap room) to teens (movie nights, kayaking, air hockey and Wii). The ‘Adventurers’, ‘Voyagers’ and ‘Pioneers’ clubs have a choice of daily changing activities such as water polo, origami, stone painting and shell and sand pictures, and there’s also a playground, a kids’ pool and every kind of watersport you can think of on site.
For the adults: The award-winning Roman-style Thalassa Spa has 18 treatment rooms, a gym, a heated indoor pool, a seawater exercise pool, a steam bath, a squash court, even a hair and beauty salon.
The Country House Hotel
Where:Liss Ard Estate – a welcoming hotel in West Cork, Ireland, with stylish rooms in converted stables, a separate lakeside lodge and 200 acres of grounds.
Children: Perfect for 4-12 year olds (and divided into 2 age groups), the Oisin Kids’ Club, run by qualified child minders and named after the lake’s resident otter, operates every morning and all day on Thursdays throughout the summer holidays. Activities include crafts, baking, treasure hunts, creative play, ping pong, PlayStations and Wii. There are also adventures galore in the protected natural park (with bikes and helmets to borrow, plus watersports on the lake), and even a GPS tracking trail to explore.
Adults: After the kids have tucked into their specially prepared meal, book a babysitter and enjoy a convivial Slow Food-inspired dinner in the dining room. Liss Ard prides itself on measuring its food in minutes not miles, so expect a feast of local and organic meat and veg, fish caught in the Irish Sea that day, and house-baked breads and pastries.
The Boutique Resort
Where:Borgo Egnazia – a well-equipped resort with flawless interior design and 180 rooms and villas, set near Fasano in the southern Italian region of Puglia.
Children: The kids’ club is split into 2 age groups and caters for those as young as 8 months. It’s open all year round and is free for all kids over 3; lunch is also provided. Younger ones can try drawing, crafts and soft play; older kids can have a go at painting, cooking and treasure hunts. There’s also a playground and a huge kids’ pool, plus a games room for teens.
Adults: Book a tennis session (there are 3 courts on the property, as well as a summer tennis academy), choose between 3 pools reserved just for grown-ups (including a heated indoor one), or practice your golf on the 18-hole course nearby. There are also free bikes to borrow for exploring the countryside and coastline. And if you’d prefer something less active, there’s a great spa to indulge in.
The Chic Self-Catering Villa Complex
Where:Villas Martinhal – an ultra-chic resort with 153 villas (all with terraces and swanky kitchens), heaps of facilities, 2 restaurants and an on-site shop, in Sagres, Portugal.
Children: Both the crèche (6-24 months) and kids’ club (2-4 years) are open all year round, and during school holidays there are another 3 clubs catering for kids aged 5-16. You’ll also find a video-game room, a play space for children over 8, a playground, a football academy, tennis courts and a tennis academy.
Adults: The resort is set in a beautiful bay with heaps of wind- and water-related activities on offer, from windsurfing to body-boarding, parasailing to land-yachting, even surfing lessons and deep-sea fishing. Or you can take the other extreme and laze by one of the 4 pools on beanbags or loungers. And there’s a bar by the main pool (just sayin’…)
The Coastal Family Haven
Where:Polurrian Bay Hotel – a west-facing boutique hotel on the lovely Lizard Peninsula in Cornwall, with indoor and outdoor pools, a Med-influenced restaurant and an Elemis spa.
Children: The Den is a crèche/ club for kids aged 3 months to 8 years, and a 2-hour session per day is included in your room rate. There’s also a sandpit, a playground, a cinema room, a shallow section of the indoor heated pool, and board games, DVDs and crafts to try out. Older kids can have a go at table football or play on the Wii and PlayStation. An in summer, there’s a weekly guests-v-staff football game on the lawn.
Adults: Take the opportunity to potter around Porthleven (the pretty local fishing village), explore the Poldark tin mines or hike the South West Coastal path with its incomparable coves and headlands. You can also kayak or cruise up the Helford River, sail a skippered yacht for the day, go crabbing with local fishermen, or just sprawl out in the hotel’s spa.