I find that it is now, as kids start school again and the tan starts to fade, that our minds wonder what holidays we’re going to book next year – it gives us something to look forward to. When I had my first son Max eight years ago there was very little in the way of resorts or spas that catered for both children and a good dollop of luxury wellness for me. Having been a spa and wellness retreat devotee for much of my adult life – my holidays had to change… fast. However, I am delighted to say that this just isn’t the case anymore with incredible, renowned resorts offering an exciting holiday for the kids whilst also ensuring that the spa and wellness facilities are top-notch for parents too. Here is my list of the best wellness holidays to book for families this half term…
Harnessing their picturesque beachside setting, Marbella Club Hotel’s wellness philosophy is one in unison with the healing ocean waters. It has state-of-the-art fitness facilities, a comprehensive list of wellbeing programmes and some of the most holistically innovative spa treatments. Whilst you find yourself happily ensconced in one of their beautiful treatment rooms, you can relax knowing that the kids will be having an absolute blast in the kids club, which caters for kids aged 4-14. With everything from cookery club to water balloon wars, aroma lab to school of rock, kids can gleefully while away the time making friends and memories that will keep them wanting to come back for more each day.
When it comes to wellbeing there are few places that match Daios Cove with its pioneering wellness hub, Kepos by Goco. Recently renovated to allow for an unparalleled sensory experience, wellness rituals include cryotherapy, hyperbaric oxygen therapy, infrared sauna, vitamin infusions and a host of luxurious beauty treatments that feature renowned brands 111Skin and [comfort zone]. The mind and body studio offers things like aerial yoga classes and sound healing with visiting masters, and the BXR gym will satisfy even the most experienced of fitness junkies. You can enjoy all this whilst your kids tear it up in the kids club (ages 4-14) or creche (4 months – 4 years). Although the creche does come at an extra charge – it will be well worth it for some time to yourself to explore what Kepos by Goco has to offer. Plus, the staff are UK childcare experts Worldwide Kids Co, with qualified nursery staff meeting UK standards and regulations.
On the bucket list of most of my friends with kids who also enjoy a bit of self-care, Borgo Egnazia is a wellness lover’s dream. Its well-known Happiness Break programme now has an option for the whole family to do it together, it includes a bike ride, cooking class, family workout, laughter art workshop, flotation tank experience and many other joyful activities. As well as this their Vair Spa also offers a multitude of other holistic and totally decadent therapies that will nourish both body and soul including massages, thermal baths and scrubs. The fitness classes are like nothing I’ve ever experienced before, with things like their Walk Of Trust class, but they also offer Personal Training, Yoga and meditation.
Spa devotees will have heard of (and most likely tried) a Six Senses spa somewhere in the world. Across the bay from Bodrum with spectacular sea views is Six Senses Kaplankaya. Best times to visit are from October to November making it an ideal Autumn Term Half-Term Break. Spa facilities are state-of-the-art and include an Alchemy Bar and vast hydrothermal areas to the Watsu pool, hammams, meditation cave, beauty salon and of course – high-tech fitness facilities. The resort also caters brilliantly for kids between the ages of 4 and 12 in their kids club, expect lots of art, kid’s yoga, tennis, cooking classes and gymnastics. For kids over 13 there is kick-boxing plus kids of all ages can also get involved with the Alchemy Bar Workshops as well as a host of watersports.
Awarded “Best Family Resort in Europe” by World Luxury Hotel Awards, it is safe to say that Pine Cliffs knows what makes kids (and parents) tick when it comes to holidays. Activities for kids include mini golf, basketball, football, tennis, face painting and even a bouncy castle. There are plenty of great accommodation options for families too. When it comes to wellness, Pine Cliffs’ Serenity SPA – The art of wellbeing has a multitude of options. Fitness activities range from use of the state-of-the-art gym to PT sessions, yoga to watersports. Or if you’re looking for a deeper dive into your wellness they also have retreats, which go that one step further to restoring your health and helping you feel your best self.
This resort is so popular that unless you have booked it by January you will unlikely be going in June. It is built for families and can feel a little overwhelming at first as there is a lot to take in – Sani Resorts is made up of four separate hotels but all built next to one another and each comes with its own set of kids clubs, pools and restaurants. The opinion is split as to which hotel to book – however, I would wholeheartedly suggest booking The Sani Club. Slightly removed from the rest of them this part of the resort feels slightly more exclusive and quiet than the other parts. It also boasts a FAB spa that will cater for all manner of things wellbeing, and we even managed to book manicures for the little ones that wanted them too. The kids club is great – and the staff is excellent, friendly and speak fantastic English – which helps when you’re trying to explain that one of the kids needs a special cream applied twice on their infected mosquitos! The running trails are spectacular and boast incredible sea views, plus the yoga pavilion is a must-try. Both you and the kids will easily spend a week here and leave feeling like there is so much more to do. And trust me, once you’ve had a taste of what Sani has to offer, you will want to return again and again.
With the entire spa experience totally dedicated to your wellbeing you can rest assured that you will come home feeling your best self. You can choose from uber natural therapies that use ingredients from the Almyra Spa’s own kitchen garden or marine-based brand OSEA to more medical-grade treatments that will also have you looking your best. But as every parent knows – there’s no relaxing unless your kids are happily occupied and this is where Almyra really comes into its own. Use their Baby Go Lightly service and you don’t even need to bring the many (MANY) items that baby will need for their stay as Almyra sorts it all for you – from bottles and sterilisers to prams! Babysitters are also on hand to help when needed. For slightly older kids there is of course the revered Kids’ Club where they can enjoy pottery, treasure hunts and even local excursions.
Gleneagles has remained as one of the UK’s top hotels for many years and for a good reason. Not only is there so much to do for the whole family but everything is delivered at such a high standard. Let’s start with the kids club – with over 50 outdoor activities, a superb children’s programme and a breathtaking 850-acre estate to explore, Gleneagles is equipped to have all members of the family – including the four-legged variety. The kids club is fabulous and even comes with a games room for older children who just want to hang out. And it’s not just for the kids and activities that the grounds come in handy for, but Gleneagles also makes full use of its astonishing surroundings for its Resident Spa too. From the wild heather to the flowers, trees and herbs that grow in abundance in the gardens, the flora and fauna make its way into the spa treatments each chosen for their relaxing, anti-inflammatory and healing qualities.
From yoga to a detox menu to restorative treatments, Andronis’ Concept Kallos Spa is almost a destination in itself. Dedicated to looking at the whole self, guests can enjoy the state-of-the-art fitness facilities alongside reviving holistic therapies that will leave you feeling refreshed and relaxed. Kallos Spa certainly goes that extra mile with their Haire Profiling Test – a unique screening programme using a piece of hair, supervised by Dr Zulia Frost that provides a full wellness proﬁle in 20 minutes and thereby able to personalise wellness programs for each individual guest. Kids can also get in on the action at the spa, as well as family cooking lessons, yoga classes, tennis lessons and much more.
words by Sadie Reid