Perfect Places with childcare
What makes the perfect place for a family holiday? Whatever the destination, there are some key features which will minimise stress and maximise fun, such as a straightforward journey, easy access to a variety of activities, good places to eat and a genuine welcome. However, for many families, the key to a successful holiday for both grown-ups and children is an element of good quality childcare – whether it's full time or just the occasional evening's babysitting. And if it's important to the success of the holiday, then the childcare has to be of a good standard.
Here, www.babygoes2.com suggests some of their favourite places which offer just this.
There are exclusive offers for babygoes2 visitors at all of these featured destinations which we have negotiated for you. To benefit from them, you must quote babygoes2 confirm any bookings back to us on www.babygoes2.com/booking.html
Offers are under each individual report, and also summarised here.
Mousses, Lefkas, Greece
For many the freedom and flexibility of self-catering is essential to a successful holiday - but it's rare to be able to combine this with a childcare option. Mousses in Lefkas is the ideal solution. Less than 3 hours flight from the UK and a short 30 minute transfer,the 2 bedroomed villas are spacious and are nestled between fairytale-trunked trees which offer welcome shade and great places to explore and play.
The staff love children and make a real fuss of them. Simon, the Simply rep, has a two year old daughter so understands exactly the needs of parents on holiday. Children's menus, free ice cream and being allowed to do exactly what you want is all part of life here. Time can be spent sitting by the pool with a chilled glass of wine, just thinking about starting a book, or getting in the car and exploring the beautiful beaches and cultural sites that fill the island. All of this is possible since your little ones are in the safe hands of Jo, Susie and Kelly (all UK qualified nannies). The air-conditioned Simply Travel Creche and Club (from 6 mths-12yrs) is new as is all the equipment, and there's a lovely shaded garden for outdoor play. The Thomas family loved Mousses because "with the children in the creche we had breakfast on the terrace each morning - a chance to talk and spend time together in a way that we hadn't been able to in nearly 4 years".
The Thomas family travelled to Lefkas in May with Simply Travel.
Prices from £685 per adult for one week in June/Sept. There are also villas with private pools and crèche access available, as well as the Mousses residence.
Read our location report on lefkas by clicking here.
Resorts offering similar crèche care with self catering accommodation:
Aloni Apartments Crete
Tomsan/Okalyptus villas Turkey
Pine Cliffs residence at the Sheraton Algarve
Porto Sani Village (suites with kitchen facilities, kids club from 4 yrs)
Half Moon Club Jamaica (suites with kitchen facilities, childcare from 3 yrs nannies for younger children)
Round Hill, Jamaica (villas and good kids club from 3 yrs, nannies for younger children)
Windjammer Landing St Lucia(1/2/3 bed villas with good kids club from 4 yrs nannies for younger children)
St James Club Antigua (2 bed villas with childrens club from 3 yrs)
Club Perili, Turkey
4 hours from the UK takes you to Dalaman and a 2 hour transfer to the secluded bay of Datca's. Comfortable accommodation set in beautiful, quiet surroundings, good food, first class sailing facilities and superb, professional all-day childcare is what you can expect at Club Perili, or indeed at any of the Sunsail Clubs resorts in Greece or the Caribbean. This was ideal for the Pollock family "We could spend time together and apart (him windsurfing, me reading) knowing that Angus was well cared for and happy in the kids club".
The Childrens' Club (from 4mths)is spacious and air-conditioned. Activities range from painting and simple games, to swimming and playing on rafts and floats at the water's edge. The staff are vigilant about sunscreens, hats, hygiene and safety near water. There's a good variety of children's food at each meal, and the 24 hour kitchenette has microwave, bottle steriliser and fridge. In the evenings the baby-patrol which listens out for children so that you can enjoy the evening.
And while your kids are happy you have access to a vast amount of sailing kit, plus a variety of other activities not to mention lounging-around opportunities!
For the Burton family this was the ideal choice. "Our view of the Perili experience is that it was pretty well faultless. The staff are genuinely friendly and looked for ways to make our experience of the place special."
The Pollock and Burton family travelled with Sunsail Clubs, to Antigua and Turkey.
Turkey prices from £685 per adult for a week in June/Sept incl. flights, transfers, accommodation, half board and sailing equipment.
Resorts offering similar holiday options:
Sunsail Clubs operates clubs in Greece and the Caribbean (Antigua, Club Colonna).
Mark Warner operates high quality beach club style holidays with great activities, childcare and at some clubs a special focus on tennis – see exclusive offer for babygoes2 visitors below.
Arabella Sheraton, Palma, Mallorca
The holiday wish-list for parents of babies or toddlers often includes a relaxing luxury hotel, great food and facilities, plenty to explore nearby and the chance to spend time with their children and with each other. The latter means good childcare for the under 3's is an essential, yet notoriously elusive commodity. Fortunately the Arabella Sheraton with Powder Byrne childcare, ticks all the boxes.
Just under 2 hrs flight from the UK and a 15 min stress-free transfer from the airport, the luxurious hotel offers beautifully decorated rooms and great food. Whether your idea of relaxation involves being active, lazing by the pool or some serious pampering, then the Arabella doesn't disappoint. And you can actually enjoy all of this (rather than just enviously observe), thanks to the excellent childcare facilities run by Powder Byrne. Finding out all they can about your children before you arrive, activities are carefully tailored for babies, active toddlers and older children.
For the Wootton family and their 6 month baby this proved to be the perfect recipe for the relaxing holiday they needed. "The childcare (including babysitting) was good, caring and responsive" which enabled Ian and his wife to have a "very restful and enjoyable holiday".
Travel to the Arabella Sheraton with Powder Byrne.
Prices from £1368 per adult for a week in June.
Similar resorts offering childcare for the under 3's in good quality hotels:
Go to babygoes2's page which summaries all the sources of good quality childcare for the under 3's .
Porto Sani Village and Asterias suites, Halkidiki, Greece
Set in an ecological reserve on the unspoilt Halkidiki peninsula in mainland Greece, the Sani Resort would undoubtedly make the top 5 of any list of perfect places requiring – amazingly – no compromise on either style or grown-up fun in return for happy kids.
Suites at the exclusive Asterias (5 star de luxe boutique hotel) are spacious and supremely stylish with Frette linen and Dr Hauschka products in the huge, contemporary bathrooms. They have either a vast sofa-strewn private terrace or garden and overlook the pool and marina or a private beach and the azure blue of the warmest sea in the Med. The service at the hotel is superb, and there is both in-suite dining and massage. Very chic bar and restaurant, good pool with separate kids pool.
The Porto Sani Village – another 5 star hotel on the same resort – has one bedroom suites with kitchen facilities for the ultimate in flexibility.
On the beach are the unique 'Baby Watch' team, ready to babysit your little ones whilst you take a dip, stoll along the beach, or coffee or cocktail at the beach bar. For longer periods of childcare, there's a very good childrens' club for 4 to 12 year olds or their professional and reliable babysitting service for younger ones.
With your little ones being cared for, you can take advantage of the super-chic restaurant or stroll round the bustling private marina, enjoy the superb sports facilities and wellness centre, or even take in a movie at the open air cinema.
Julian Allason (Financial Times, How to Spend it Supplement) comments that: Porto Sani is one of maybe a dozen resorts in Greece that could be
considered five star. Very few of these manage the Pine Cliffs/Forte Village
trick of catering equally well to parents and children. Porto Sani Hotel
is one of the best - a Greek Costa Smeralda minus the pretension and prices. I would certainly take my children there - and they range from 6 months to 23 years!
The Clydes took their 5 mth old baby for their first family holiday and reported back: "We had a wonderful time. Asterias was superb - great food, lovely suite and superb service- and the location was full of things to do"
The BabyGoes2 location report on the Sani resort (yes, we loved it too – perfect for grown ups and children and supremely relaxing with a genuinely happy, chilled atmosphere) will appear shortly. If you have any queries re the resort in the meantime, just mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Travel with Mediterranean Experience.
Prices from £1146 per adult for one week in June/Sept in the Asterias suits and £914 per adult in the Porto Sani Village(one bed suite)
Other hotels with babysitting:
No other hotel offers the babewatch beach babysitting, but just about all the hotels we recommend on babygoes2 can offer good quality babysitting, just contact us for suggestions in specific destinations.
Half Moon Club, Jamaica
The Caribbean is a superb family destination. The balmy breezes and warm, relaxed atmosphere soon melt away tension. Children are welcomed and there is so much for them to do – from pottering around in the sand to snorkelling and swimming with turtles. Even so, for many families a kids club with some organised activities that children can dip in and out of whenever they like, is the key to a relaxing holiday. In practice however, the standards of kids clubs in hotels varies hugely. One of the best is at the 5 star Half Moon in Jamaica. It offers an inspired programme of activities and fun, from reggae dancing lessons to beach treks or swimming with the dolphins, plus playground and activities for younger children. When the kids are this happily entertained, parents can relax and enjoy the truly magnificent facilities, including a spa, tennis, golf, riding. The Rowland-Jones family found this an ideal option:"This is a stunning destination, with an extraordinary range of facilities in grounds so extensive that it is sometimes hard to believe there are actually other guests staying.We were sad to leave."
Another resort with a really exceptional kids club is Sandy Lane , Barbados: The Treehouse Club (3-12 yr olds) and the Den (teenagers) offers a varied, interesting and exciting programme of activities and fun, from baking to beach treks, from learning to limbo to kite flying. Vanessa Rowland had "an absolutely brilliant time", and confirms the hotel to be genuinely welcoming to children: "even when we were having lunch in the chic "spa cafe" no one minded my son covering his head in his spaghetti sauce". All of this, plus short direct flights, a quick transfer, wonderful beach and superb food makes Sandy Lane very much a perfect place for a family holiday.
Indian Ocean: Legends, Mauritius
Mauritius is one of the most stunning holiday destinations in the world. It's a 12 hr flight from the UK, but well worth it. And overnight flights make the journey pass quickly, and there are often good offers on premium classes. It's a flat bed route on BA, which is a completely stress free way to travel!
Legends is a lovely, newly refurbished 4 star hotel set on a very good beach just outside Grande Gaube in the Northeast of Mauritius. Built according to feng shui principles, harmony is the order of the day, and it has a peaceful yet very friendly atmosphere. Catering equally well to parents and children, the hotel has a wide range of facilities including cinema, gym, watersports, along with a good kids club from 3yrs and a Teen Club for 12-18 yr olds. They are flexible however and will accept younger children where space allows. If not, the norm in Mauritius is to hire a nanny who will accompany younger ones to the Club, giving them the extra one to one attention they need. The Club provides a varied programme on indoor and outdoor activities, and will focus on activities which appeal to the children attending the club at any one time. The hotel, which has a book 7 nights, get 7 nights free offer in the summer, offers outstanding value.
Julia Vorster and her 22 mth old found Legends to be the perfect exotic holiday destination: "Had an absolutely fantastic time at Legends. Easy flights, no delays, lovely welcome at the hotel, and great room. In fact perfect all round".
Other hotels with kids clubs:
There are a huge number of options worldwide. Some can be very basic and simple, others extremely well equipped with a really inspired programme of activities.
This is such an important holiday feature for so many of our visitors, that babygoes2 is preparing in depth information on the most popular hotels and kids clubs, so that our visitors can see exactly what's on offer, in terms of facility, equipment, activities, staff, hours, cost, child menus etc.
Please click here to see our in-depth kids club summary.