A resort holiday can be the proper break a frazzled parent needs, especially when you have young children. By Suzie Skipper and Emily Turner
Old School Luxury in Montego Bay
Emily’s kids still talk about the Half Moon in Jamaica as the most perfect resort in the world so she was delighted when Louise’s brother-in-law chose it for their first holiday with baby Jack. Nanny service available for tinies and children of 3+ can take advantage of the programme of activities in Anancy Children’s Village, modelled on a typical Jamaican village. If you can, book one of the original villas on the beach.
From £1,600 p/p for 7 nights incl flights and t/fs. scottdunn.com
For families that don’t like resorts
Just a year old, the Elivi Skiathos, perched on a hilltop looking over the azure blue of the Aegean Sea, is a dreamy place for a family-friendly, yet grown-up holiday in Greece. Children aged 4 + can take part in a range of activities from sports to arts & crafts in the complimentary Kids’ Club opening later this month. Top tip: the Nest area of the hotel is best for families as there is lots of green grass round the rooms for children to play on.
From €310 per night B&B for a family of 4. elivihotels.com
Back to Nature in France
Country Kids in the Languedoc, south west France, is set in 30 acres of farmland with a creche and kids’ club for ages 3 months to 12. You’ll be surrounded by green and little ones will love learning about all the animals at the onsite petting farm. Parents can try activities such as yoga and wine tasting and, new for 2019, is a circus show. Two night’s baby-sitting is included in the price, plus a pyjama party on Friday mornings to give parents a lie in!
From €3,950 for a family of 4 self-catering for 7 nights and from €7,550 for full-board and absolutely everything. country-kids.fr
Garden delights in Crete
We reckon that Powder Byrne run the best kids’ creches around. And at selected summer resorts they operate them out of school holidays too, so if you are travelling with a pre-schooler you are not tied to term times. One such resort is the gorgeous Porto Elounda in Crete. The Kids’ Ark takes kids from 4 months and PB are operating it from 29 June–14 Sept. Designed around the theme of an animal park, there are indoor and outdoor playgrounds, a vegetable garden, shallow pools and an exciting water slide. Plus the whole beach area has been re-vamped for the summer season and now has the largest seaside pool on the island.
From £3,720 for a family of 4 for 7 nights dinner, B&B. powderbyrne.com
Open Air in sunny Spain
The problem with a lot of kids’ clubs is that they are situated in soul-less, internal rooms. Not so the fabulous all-singing, all-dancing kids’ club at the iconic Marbella Club. Think Daylesford Organic in the Med: white-washed stone buildings open onto a central space of bleached wood, lots of dappled sunlight. VERY expensive and an utter delight.
The Tiny Tots programme, with lots of great extras, costs from €2,624 for 4 nights. marbellaclub.com
New on the menu in Greece
Sani Resort in Halkidiki is surely Europe’s ultimate beach resort. Their Babewatch service (beach babysitting while you enjoy a swim) is legendary and there is a fantastic range of sports and activities in the Worldwide Kids’ clubs (a by-word for quality). This year, babyfood guru Annabel Karmel has created new baby and children’s menus. (We tasted, they are yum!) You can even book a cook-along, tasting menus and baby/toddler feeding talks.
From €340/£298 per night in a family suite (sleeps up to 6), half-board. saniresort.gr
Paradise without the Jet Lag
Mauritius may be long haul but when you get there it is only a 3-hour time difference, essential if you want to maintain hard-won sleep patterns. The Heritage Le Telfair sits on the site of a former sugar estate looking out over a beautiful lagoon, beach and tropical gardens. And kids under 12 stay free.
From £3,850 for a family of 4 (including two children under 12) for 7 nights in a Garden View Suite, including breakfast, flights and private transfers. turquoiseholidays.co.uk