Family Traveller CEO, Andrew Dent, stays at the Parilio Hotel on the Greek island of Paros, where he discovers glistening swimming pools, glorious food and beautiful architectural design
Is it possible to have a Design Hotels™ that's suitable for kids? It is now thanks to the arrival of the Parilio Hotel on the Greek island of Paros. It has all the touches of the exclusive Aman Resorts, without the price tag. The 33-suite hotel derives its name from ‘Paros’ and the Greek word for sun, ilios. Apt when you consider how many hours of sunshine they enjoy here.
The rooms are a good size and beautifully styled. Families should start with the Halo Suites, which have a sofa bed for youngsters. Each of these suites boasts 40 sqm of interior space with an equally generous outdoors area of some 20 sqm. The next step up is the Uranus Suites, with their own cold water Jacuzzis that provide the perfect place for a cool down. If you really want to splash out (pun intended) there are the two Sun Suites that come with their own decent-sized pools.
Despite how beautiful the rooms are, you will certainly want to spend some time by the main pool. It is perhaps the most tranquil pool I have had the pleasure to lay next to. The styling again is impeccable. The pool is ‘top and tailed’ by two beautiful rock features, half-submerged in the water. I suspect the designer chiefly had aesthetics in mind, but whilst I was there the kids found them a never-ending source of fun to climb and jump off.
The food at the Parilio is local, healthy and delicious. The breakfast menu takes some time to work through –which is fine because breakfast is served till 11.30 am. There are energy bowls full of goodness, Greek salads, superfood salads plus eggs in just about any style you might want. If the kids want the closer-to-home option of cereals, it's all there. The ‘All-Day Menu’ can be enjoyed at the poolside restaurant or in the modern dining room at night. Again, the local seasonal produce is front and centre. It’s all so good, I’m not going to bother to tell you what to have, aside from advising to leave room for the Velvety Chocolate Cream –the name says it all I suppose.
The hotel is a short drive away from the lively town of Nauossa. If you can bear to drag yourself away from the Parilio, (which is no easy feat, I might add) you will find a buzzing port with splendid restaurants, bars and boutiques. It is fun to wander around with the kids during the day or in the early evening. Of the many restaurants, the two to try are Stathero and Si Paros. Stathero has an enviable position right on the beach in the centre of the town, while Si Paros is a little further away, but has some of the best seafood pasta I have ever tasted. Both are good value as is the way in Paros.
Also a short drive from the Parilio is arguably the best kids' beach on the island – Kolympethres. It is a picturesque, sandy beach set between impressive rock formations at either end. It is small though, so be sure to get there early.
Once back at the Parilio and in need of some adult time after entertaining the kids, the Elios Spa is a perfect retreat. There is a broad menu of treatments, so if you have taken too much sun or simply need a relaxation massage you can get fixed up here. The prices are reasonable too, at €100 for an hour massage.
Paros is an altogether more family-friendly island than the nearby Mykonos. Not only is it better value but now, with the Parilio, it offers all the style of its glitzier neighbour. Go - you will love it. I’ll be there on a sun lounger so come and say hi.
How to get there
Flights to Paros depart from London Heathrow and take approximately 6-8 hours. An airport transfer can be arranged from Paros airport to the hotel, which is nine miles away.
Suites are from £240 per night. If you are booking for more than three people, contact the hotel for special rates.
For more information and to book your dream family holiday at Parilio Hotel, visit their website