Atlantis The Palm is one of the best resorts in Dubai for families and is magical for kids. This iconic castle-like building sits in the centre of The Palm, Dubai’s man-made island. It’s huge, even by Dubai standards, and filled with many attractions, award-winning restaurants, bars and nightclubs, spas and sporting facilities. The two main draws to Atlantis are the 65,000 marine animals that live at The Lost Chambers Aquarium and mega waterpark Aquaventure. There’s also the chance for families to swim with dolphins at Dolphin Bay, learn to scuba dive and swim with sharks at the Atlantis Dive Centre. New to Atlantis is the Wavehouse, with further dining options, a wave machine, bowling alley and a live entertainment venue. Should you want some time to relax alone, the Atlantis Kids Club (ages three to 12) and The Zone (for teens) are bursting with imaginative games for kids of all ages and there’s babysitting for younger guests. Kids and teens can also join one of six summer camps filled with non-stop adventure, plus gain access to the Aquaventure Waterpark, Royal Pool and Zero Entry Pool.
Mitsis Laguna Exclusive Resort & Spa has 183 bungalows and 79 rooms, many family sized. Upgrade for a bungalow surrounded by the Laguna Lake. Rooms are calming and bright with whitewashed walls and distressed furniture. Guests have their pick of seven restaurants including Mexican, Asian and Sushi. There’s also a delicious creperie and gelateria for desserts, popcorn and ice cream cart for snacks plus drinks at champagne and pool bar. Little ones can burn off energy in the playground, playroom, children’s pool with slides or on the beach of Anissaras, just metres away from the hotel. A kids’ animation team will look after youngsters in morning or afternoon sessions and there’s a disco every night too which is supervised. Adults aren’t forgotten either. There are four outdoor pools at Mitsis Laguna, including a whirlpool and complex of three pools with waterfalls and plenty of activities to try like canoeing, art lessons and water polo.
Ikos Aria sits on the southwest coast of Kos Island in Greece by sandy Kefalos Beach. This Dodecanese resort has 370 contemporary suites and rooms, some with private pools and gardens. Plenty of rooms are large enough for families. Baby phones and equipment such as toilet seats and bathtubs are available upon request. Ikos Aria offers eight distinct restaurants for guests from Michelin-starred menus to Mediterranean buffet overlooking the beach. All offer a child-friendly menu or freshly prepared baby food. As well as the beach and pools there’s much to entertain including tennis, yoga and fitness classes, canoeing, giant chess, water polo, windsurfing and mountain biking. There’s a crèche (from four months), mini club (from four years) and teen club (13 plus) to keep kids entertained. All are run by UK qualified staff, with plenty of outdoor play in the playground, children and baby pools, beach and gardens plus arts and crafts, sports, cooking and games.
Sani Dunes is one of five luxury hotels based at the 1,000 acre eco-paradise Sani Resort in Halkidiki. High-end Sani Dunes is the newest of the resorts, and each bedroom has direct access either to the beach or one of the pools. As well as the range of gorgeous pools, exclusive beaches and spa to chill out in, there’s also an amazing choice of activities to try such as tennis and water skiing. The Melissa Mini Club for four to 12 year olds puts on short excursions to explore the forests and wetlands, pool games, picnics and parties. Older kids can have a go at hip hop or mountain biking, or just chill in their own ‘Ozone’ teen area. There are also many summer camps for kids including the Sani Football Academy in association with Chelsea FC (four to 16 years), Sailing Academy (six to 17 years), Sani Adventurers (13 to 17) for kids interested in the natural world and Dance Academy (18 months upwards). New parents can use the crèche at Sani Beach. Baby swimming lessons and babysitting are also on hand, plus rooms can be set up with baby equipment including cots and monitors.
Port Aventura El Paso is a Mexican-themed four-star resort with unlimited entry to PortAventura theme park plus a one day pass to Ferrari Land. The hotel is also just one hour from family-friendly Barcelona with its many attractions. Port Aventura El Paso has 501 rooms. Some are brightly decorated with murals of Woody, the PortAventura mascot, adorning the walls. On site there are two huge pools, one for adults with a poolside bar, and one for children with a pirate ship. Port Aventura El Paso has two restaurants to choose from, a buffet option plus Tex-Mex. Other perks for families during a stay here include a children’s maze, fireworks during high season, mini disco and games zone with ping pong and pool.