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Portugal’s Algarve is probably one of the few places in Europe where families are happy to go on golfing holidays.

The region’s an experienced operator when it comes to holidays where everyone gets to play. But even here, it takes a particular type of skill to design resorts with exactly the right balance of tee time and family time in the mix.

If you don’t believe that’s possible, read on and see how it’s done when two of the world’s leading luxury brands are in charge of play.

1/2  Anantara Vilamoura, Oceanico Victoria

Anantara’s first ever European resort has exactly the same atmosphere of effortless luxury and warm authentic charm that they’re known for on more exotic continents. Of course, it definitely helps to be surrounded by the sweeping greens, lakes and the gently rounded hills of Victoria Golf Course.

The glamorous town of Vilamoura is only five minutes away and when it comes to beaches, there are few as spectacular as Praia da Falésia or Praia da Oura.

But, inspired location aside, why does Anantara Vilamoura’s mix of golf and great looks work so well for families?

Worldwide Kids, global leaders in childcare, manage and operate Anantara Vilamoura’s range of children’s clubs so standards are high.

The Hub’s an innovative idea for over 12s, with supervised activities and just the right hint of independence. Wannabe athletes and dancers can sign up for Worldwide Kids Football or Dance Academies. There’s Adventurers Kids Club for under 12s, and teens can also take advantage of Oceanico Victoria’s golf clinic, and the golf course too.

Anantara Vilamoura also has a choice of four lovely swimming pools, three if which are outdoors, the family pool, an adult pool and the pool for kids. The adult-only retreat is definitely one for downtime, when kids are off kicking balls and throwing shapes. The family pools are cleverly designed to let you keep parental watch from strategically placed sun loungers.

Fresh, local ingredients and Executive Chef Bruno Viega’s creativity are an irresistible combination in all Anantara Vilamoura restaurants.

The Algarve’s legendary fish markets and organic farms, even feature on the resort’s imaginative children’s menus.

If you want to eat on grown-up time occasionally, Anantara Vilamoura aims to assign the same babysitter to families during their stay, and Restaurant Emo alone is worth a night off, for its exceptional wine list, and panoramic sunset views.

Anantara have always been famously good at giving guests the luxury of space, and designing suites with stunning views, terraces, garden areas or balconies, and they’re continuing that tradition beautifully in the Algarve.



2/2  Tivoli Carvoeiro Algarve Resort

The Algarve isn’t short of beach hotels, but very few are quite as breathtakingly beachfront as Tivoli Carvoeiro, which stands, perched on the cliffs above Vale Covo, overlooking the Atlantic, and one of the best views on the entire western Algarve coast.

Recently reopened after extensive refurbishment, the luxurious resort now more than matches its iconic location.

The design’s sleek and very contemporary; flooded with clear, southern light.

But if you’re imagining a sharp-edged attitude to go with all that, think again. One of the biggest changes at Carvoeiro over the past year has been the addition of spacious new rooms created just for families. All with views over the pretty resort gardens or out to sea with private balconies.

Between the sheltered beach and gorgeous grounds, Carvoeiro is pretty much a natural playground for kids.

So it won’t come as much of a surprise to find that the approach to fun here focuses firmly on adventure.

Fresh activities every day are organised by the qualified and professional Tivoli team.

There’s plenty of creative play, cultural experiences and learning in the mix, and more than enough space for quiet time too.

If the ever-present Atlantic doesn’t completely satisfy your soul, Tivoli Spa cleverly takes the ocean as its theme for a range of intriguing and soothing treatments: best enjoyed when the kids are off being boisterous and beautifully cared for.

There’s golf here too, and Carvoeiro’s Golf Desk can book play at any one of the Algarve’s 40 championship courses. Depending on your passion for the game, you might be happy to travel, but it’s good to know several excellent courses are just minutes away from the resort.

Great rooftop bars are very much Portugal’s thing, but even lovely Lisbon can’t do views like Sky Bar Carvoeiro. Known for its chilled atmosphere and cool soundtrack, it’s the perfect excuse to arrange a babysitter and take the night off.

The resort’s restaurants have a typically warm, friendly Algarve family atmosphere. So you might be happy to stick with local tradition and let older kids eat late. But early mealtimes and carefully planned children’s menus are always an option too.

The lowdown

Anantara Vilamoura

Where: 8125-309 Vilamoura, Portugal

Find out more about booking your family holiday at Anantara Vilamoura

Tivoli Carvoeiro

Where: 8401-911 Carvoeiro, Lagoa, Portugal

Find out more about booking your family holiday at Tivoli Carvoeiro

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