If you’re yet to book a family holiday, don’t panic. From spa hotels and kids’ clubs in Portugal to adventurous escapes off the Italian coastline, there are plenty of destinations all reachable within a few hours offering something for every member of the family. Plus, a shorter trip means no lengthy flights or battling disturbed sleep patterns when you arrive. We spoke with SL contributor Jeannette Arnold for her top short-haul family holiday recommendations; treat yourself and your children and book one of these in the diary…
Nobu Hotel Ibiza Bay, Ibiza
Nobu Hotel Ibiza Bay is a new addition to the area and a treat for parents and children alike. Offering unparalleled fun, the Kids’ Club isn’t your standard arts and crafts programme – there’s everything from bohemian foraging sessions to a cookery school and Ibizan inspired activities for children of all ages to get involved in.
Rates start at €490 (approx. £425) per night, based on double occupancy.
Verdura Resort, Sicily
A stylish resort complete with private beach, world-class spa, infinity pool and plenty of food and drink options, Verdura is both expansive and intimate. For the little ones, the Verduland kid’s club – which boasts newly opened facilities – offers water sports, horse riding, tennis, golf, arts and crafts, and spa treatments especially for children.
A Deluxe Room at Verdura Resort starts at £284.
Chia Laguna Resort, Sardinia
This stylish hotel and spa boasts football academies with Premier League players acting as coaches for any sports fans. Travelling with a baby? Children aged four to 35 months receive a complimentary baby kit and stroller, so you needn’t pack that bulky buggy.
Prices start from £139 per person per night on a half-board basis, based on double occupancy. Children under 12 years go free. For further information, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Longueville Manor, Jersey
Bridging the gap between a staycation and a trip abroad, Longueville Manor in Jersey is a 14th-century manor house set in a beautiful 18-acre estate close to St Helier. As well as the tennis court and swimming pool, kids will love the newly launched ‘Bushcraft for Kids’ programme. The luxury hotel has partnered with local experts Wild Adventures to create a range of activities – think learning how to make a fire or build a den – to encourage children to explore nature.
Nightly rates at Longueville Manor start from £195, based on two sharing on a bed & breakfast basis. A family package including the ‘Bushcraft for Kids’ starts from £395 per room per night, including breakfast, three hours’ bushcraft activity and table d’hôte dinner.
Sun Gardens, Dubrovnik, Croatia
With the Marco Polo Kids’ Club catering for three- to six-year-olds (they’ll enjoy everything from creative activities and scavenger hunts to Croatian dancing games, mini discos and parties), you know the little ones are in good hands at Sun Gardens. Teenagers are also catered for with the Hideaway, for 12- to 17-year-olds, which includes swimming pools, a sports centre, basketball, water skiing, archery, snorkelling and wall climbing.
Eagle Villas, Halkidiki, Greece
Located above one of the finest family friendly beach hotels in the Mediterranean, if the setting isn’t enough to encourage a visit to these luxury sea view villas, the private heated pools, outdoor terraces and state-of-the-art facilities will be.
Scott Dunn offers seven nights at Eagles Villas from £1,850 per person, based on a family of four sharing an Ocean One Bedroom Pool Villa on a Half Board basis and includes flights, transfers and two spaces in the Scott Dunn Explorers kids’ club.
Huus Hotel, Gstaad, Switzerland
This Scandi-style alpine hotel opened in one of Switzerland’s smartest mountain resorts late last year. Gstaad is best known for traditional five-star palaces, but Huus Hotel is offering something a bit different; the vibe is laid-back and charming with splashes of industrial-chic furniture. Plus, there are play areas, a teenagers' lounge with PlayStations, Xbox, Wii and Nintendo, an outdoor adventure garden and a dedicated kids’ spa area with a cave shower. The hotel also offers caretakers for little ones and a host of activities including river rafting, trekking and climbing.
Prices from £218 per night for a double room with two rollaway beds, or from £363 for a suite, based on a family of four sharing and including breakfast, access to the spa, gym and most activities (such as mountain biking, river rafting, canyoning and climbing lessons).
Hotel Camiral, Catalonia, Spain
Hotel Camiral is set in the breath-taking Catalonian countryside less than an hour from Barcelona and is within easy reach of the beaches of the Costa Brava and the historic town of Girona. The hotel’s Kids’ Club organises games, activities and workshops often centred on local fauna and flora for children aged two to 12 years, and the resort is also home to the world’s first Sergio Garcia Academy for Junior Golf – teaching young golfers from the age of four.
Rates start from £172 and reservations can be made via LHW.com
Anantara Vilamoura, Algarve, Portugal
Recently opened and with a roster of children’s activities, Portugal’s first Anantara hotel caters for everyone. Whilst parents enjoy wellbeing classes and healing spa treatments, little ones can pitch up to one of three kids’ clubs (depending on age) and enjoy arts and crafts, mini discos, outdoor sports and swimming competitions. Babysitters are also available for daytime or evening and the resort’s five outstanding restaurants come with family-friendly menus, so even fussy eaters aren’t a problem.
Nightly rates start at €255 in a Deluxe Double room for two people on a B&B basis.
Pine Cliffs, Algarve, Portugal
As well as enjoying the glorious weather and stunning sea views, kids will appreciate the range of activities on offer at Pine Cliffs, one of Europe’s leading family destinations. There’s everything from nine-hole golf, tennis and water sports to the Children’s Village with pirate ships, basketball and daily activities to keep them entertained, whilst you relax at this luxurious hidden jewel.