The secret to a relaxing family holiday in Tenerife, with four kids

Last updated 19th March 2024

A Tenerife holiday with four kids might not sound relaxing, but Gavin & Stacey star, Joanna Page, and her family of four found complete relaxation at Iberostar Selection Anthelia recently. What’s the secret?


Sea view pool, Iberostar Selection Anthelia

Our recent Tenerife holiday also involved our first flight with all four kids, including Boe our 20-month year old. So naturally we brought tons of toys and games, though she ended up happily playing with a wooden fork the whole time, and the four-hour flight literally flew by.

As soon as we arrived in Tenerife, the kids – Eva, 10; Kit, eight and Noah, six – loved the dry heat and enjoyed spotting all the cacti on the ride to our hotel.

As we drove up to the all-inclusive Iberostar Selection Anthelia, it was such a beautiful and grand Iberostar five-star resort, I wasn’t expecting it to be fantastically family-friendly too. We had a whale of time; in fact, it was so perfect we didn’t want to leave!

How to make me time into us time on a Tenerife holiday

You can’t usually say to your husband on holiday, “you look after the kids while I go to the spa”. However, at Iberostar Selection Anthelia we didn’t have to, because the whole family could go.

Spa time for kids? That’s a first for our four

I’ve never taken the kids to a resort spa before, but there was such a lovely inclusive atmosphere we had a fabulous time. We came out of the lovely warm sauna and held hands to plunge into the ice pool together. Although Kit was especially fascinated by the dark, black sensory pool, and adored floating around in it surrounded by bobbing lemons.

Of course, everyone loved having the choice of five swimming pools. Boe was straight into the little pool, and busy making new friends. The older kids enjoyed having a bigger pool complete with pirate ship to play on. Plus, it was so handy to have food huts nearby so we could swim up for snacks without having to dry off the kids and get them dressed to eat.


Spa pool, Iberostar Selection Anthelia

Leave children’s entertainment to the professionals

I loved the poolside disco by the bigger children’s pool. Originally I thought it would be just for kids, but in fact we ended up having an amazing time dancing to 90’s bangers. The gold mirror outfits worn by the staff fascinated Kit. Me? I just loved seeing kids and adults of all ages raving it up and really getting into the Tenerife holiday spirit.

Sit back, relax and watch your kids dance the night away

Then, in the evenings it was time for the theatre, where the staff once again gave it their all, dancing and singing. It felt like such a safe and secure space to sit back and relax with my husband James while Boe ran around dancing to Tina Turner songs and having the time of her life. Kit was enchanted by the magician, and we enjoyed the bar singer later in the evening, too.

All of us enjoyed the afternoon activities, too. We tried things like making soap together and really got into the regular games of bingo. In fact, one day I was managing to watch Kit in the pool, feeding Boe, eating a hot dog, doing mine and the kids’ bingo cards, and drinking a pina colada at the same time: talk about multi-tasking!


Children’s pool, Iberostar Selection Anthelia

Star Camps were the Tenerife holiday stand out for our kids

The kids loved Iberostar Star Camps, which were thoughtfully split up into three different age groups, because what 10- year-old wants to do the same things as a six year old? So while Noah was colouring, Eva and Kit were taking part in a Mission Impossible style rope course. Although all our over-twos also appreciated the pool tables and darts, not least as we’ve just moved to a small village which has a pub with a dart board, so they’ve just started playing at home too.

Plus, when it got too hot outside, it was nice to enjoy activities inside together as well.


Iberostar Selection Anthelia, Costa Adeje

Safe and sustainable are Iberostar signatures

The kids’ bedrooms were also brilliant. Not only did they have an incredible amount of space, the balconies felt safe and secure as they were all enclosed glass with no gap at the bottom: I’m usually terrified one of the kids will slip through! Plus, the addition of their little balcony and a dining table made the room so homely, while also giving us loads of space.

I’ve never stayed in a hotel that worked so hard to be sustainable

I’ve never stayed in a hotel that works so hard to be sustainable. For a start, I thought the recycled paper room keys were brilliant, as the usual ones use so much plastic. It was easy to opt for not changing sheets and towels every day and to put all our rubbish in the room bins so the team could sort it for recycling. Also, we really liked being able to use the water machines to fill up the glass bottles supplied in our room. No surprise, we got through a lot of water in Tenerife’s heat, so that would have been a lot of plastic otherwise.


Costa Adeje beach views from Iberostar Selection Anthelia

It’s easy to hit the beach on this Tenerife holiday

Iberostar believe in the power of water, so on our second day we ventured down to Fañabe Beach, straight outside the hotel, and we had a fantastic day there playing in the gorgeous warm sea. Boe had a baby doll that got buried in the sand multiple times and the whole family had fun jumping through the waves. Then we walked around to another cove where the beach had beautiful sand, imported from the Sahara!

Whale watching and snorkelling with fish were life-changing experiences for my kids

We also took a beautiful boat trip, where the crew were so kind and informative, right down to having pictures of all the animals to show the children. I can honestly say, this was a life-changing experience for my kids as they saw small whales and even got to jump into the water and go snorkelling with the fish.

As we sailed out to sea, we had incredible views of the bay too and when we anchored to enjoy gorgeous food and drinks, the kids simply jumped off the back of the boat with the crew. Admittedly I was a little nervous about big fish, but went into the water with Noah for a snorkel to give him some reassurance: no, the fish won’t eat you.

Iberostar Selection Anthelia also feeds your soul

We certainly did our share of eating local fish though, and we tried all the food options at the hotel.

Usually, we just opt for the buffet with kids, and the buffet here was amazing – the children loved the nightly chocolate fountain. But on this holiday, we also tried Anthelia’s amazing à la carte restaurants too.

It was such a lovely, accommodating atmosphere, and we were incredibly relaxed and felt truly taken care of as we tucked into gourmet, locally-sourced food like the calamari and fresh prawns  on the seafront at SeaSoul Restaurant & Lounge.

The kids had their own à la carte menu at Portofino

We also loved Portofino Italian restaurant as, OMG, the food and wine were amazing. Plus, we didn’t even need to look at the wine list, we just asked the lovely staff for recommendations. The kids had their own à la carte menu,  but we could also order them simple pizza and pasta: ideal for fussy eaters and keeps it stress-free.

We spent most of our time in the hotel and at the nearby beaches on our Tenerife holiday. Easy to do, as the hotel is big, yet feels so intimate, and has so much space we always managed to find sun loungers.

As I sipped a pina colada by the pool, with Boe sleeping and the other three enjoying the water, I realised it was the first time in 10 years I’ve managed to relax on a sun lounger with the kids on holiday. We didn’t want to leave!

Find out more about Iberostar Selection Anthelia and how to book a relaxing Tenerife holiday for your family