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Thailand on your doorstep

A Thai-inspired hotel outside Benidorm? It sounds a bit incongruous, but we’ve tried everything from an Airbnb lakehouse in Italy to a Cotswolds boutique hotel and haven't quite cracked our family holidays yet, so we decided to give Asia Gardens in Alicante a go.

Asia Gardens is a beautiful hotel that caters for kids of all ages. Ours are a seven and five. The swimming pools are so vast that splashing kids don’t seem to annoy the honeymooning couples. Alternatively, the hotel has a separate family pool which isn’t jam-packed or overrun with armbands. If the kids want to take part in fun activities, Asia Gardens has a kids' club which stays open till 11pm! I’ve scoured the websites of nearly every family hotel I've come across and and I can’t find any kids’ club that stays open past about 6.30pm. Like most parents with a guilt complex, you feel bad handing your children to kids’ entertainers during the day or unknown babysitters in the evening, but this kids club is a different story.

The kids were so excited to be able to stay up late, outdoors, playing on the pirate ship with lots of other children. It meant that we could actually have dinner on our own, rather than sharing kids’ tea time at 7pm, arguing about the amount of vegetables the children should be eating, then going back to our room for 8.30pm. And after a day of playing ‘pool tag’ and forcing sun-cream on fussy seven-year olds, returning to the bedroom a dozen times to get goggles, iPads, toys and pens, we actually had some time to ourselves!

Crispin Futrille with her two children

The family soak up some sunshine in Benidorm

Food choices at Asia Gardens are so vast you’ll be spoilt for choice. We particularly loved sitting outside in the evening at the Asian restaurant called ‘Koh Samui’, thanks to the amazing lobster curry. Other restaurant’s included: a typical buffet-style restaurant, perfect for kids’ tea, a Spanish one next to the main swimming pool (go for the black rice) and one called ‘In the Black’, more haute cuisine with a stunning setting.

At night, Asia Gardens is magical with its fountains and exotic plants, all beautifully lit. The rooms are what you would expect for five-star accommodation – gorgeous spacious rooms, large bathrooms and terrace perfect for breakfast. There’s also a wonderful spa, with its own separate pool. Usually I would escape there after non-stop childcare but, at Asia Gardens, there’s actually no need to de-stress and you can go home without needing another holiday!O

Don't miss...

  • Visit Terra Mítica, a massive theme park just five minutes away from the hotel, which has rides for all ages
  • Head to Aqualand. It's a 15 minute drive away and the kids loved the waterslides
  • Swim with dolphins at Mundomar
  • Take a Yoga or Pilates class at the hotel spa

Price: A five night stay for a family of four from £1600 in October (including bed and breakfast)

Find out more: asiagardens.es/en