Hotels to Take Your Teens To
When a kids’ club just won’t do anymore.
Read on for the best chic hotels that keep boredom at bay, with an exciting range of activities that crucially doesn't mean compromising on luxury.
Greece, Maldives, Caribbean, Portugal
F ZEEN, KEFALONIA, GREECE
F Zeen in Kefalonia is the perfect choice for parents with older children looking for a mindful getaway. Alongside an indulgent spa, breezy outdoor gym, tennis courts and golf simulator, there are three beautiful terraces where you can indulge in yoga or meditation. Kefalonia’s scented pine forests are great for hikes and the aquamarine, calm Ionian Sea is ideal for paddleboarding and snorkelling.
We’d recommend staying in one of F Zeen’s three-bedroomed villas, which are cradled into the hillside with wonderful sea views. Each comes complete with a living room, kitchen, outdoor pizza oven, expansive garden and pool surrounded by herbs and shaded by olive trees. With masses of private space, families can relax at the villa, on the beach or out at sea, then come together for evening cinema screenings on giant beanbags under a starry sky.
"Chic Kefalonia is a winner with its tasty cuisine, sunny summer climate and exquisite beaches.”
Need to Know
‘Zen’ is the vibe at this adults-only property (16yrs+) and the daily yoga and meditation classes are a treat – great for melting away post-exam stress. Food is also a highlight with exquisite Greek mezze plates and detox smoothies served poolside, and cocktails served directly to your lounger.
Think again if you believe that the Maldives is just for honeymooners. At Joali, holiday activities for smaller kids include kite festivals, kayaking on see-through canoes and foam parties while older kids have the freedom to choose classes in pottery and sushi-making as well as yoga and snorkelling with a marine biologist.
Meanwhile, adults can luxuriate in the sheer indulgence of Joali. Family Villas have two pools, a sandy track to the beach and plenty of spots for relaxation including hammocks, loungers and swing chairs. Wellness is also of an extremely high standard – there’s even a family spa package where you can share in experiences such as clean juice making classes, superfood lunches, family workouts and treatments and even a photoshoot at the end when you’re all glowing with health.
“There’s nothing better than knowing your children are happily absorbed in a fulfilling activity, allowing you time to completely relax and let go.”
Need to Know
From street food to Japanese fine dining, eastern Mediterranean platters to Malay foodie experiences, the restaurants at Joali will fuel the family with innovative, zingy cuisine.
GRENADINE HILLS VILLAS AT BEQUIA BEACH HOTEL, ST VINCENT & THE GRENADINES
If you value your privacy, but appreciate the convenience of a top resort, then Grenadine Hills, a pair of ultra-luxe, standalone villas set above the hills of the resort of Bequia Beach Hotel in the Caribbean are the perfect solution. With five ensuite bedrooms in each, this could work well as a multi-generational holiday or big family group.
Not only are the villas spacious, breezy and surrounded by a colourful garden with sea views and pools, but they also come with a high level of service. Breakfast is served daily in your villa and a full array of staff including a butler, housekeeper and cook will take care of every need.
As for the children, they can be busily entertained with water sports, kayaking safaris, pizza-making and yoga at the kids’ club. Older children will enjoy the villa’s games room and gym or relish the independence of walking down to the beach where they can join in with staff versus guests’ volleyball games or head out on a paddleboard. All together, you might enjoy a visit to the turtle sanctuary, a plantation tour or if your teens are old enough – a trip to the rum distillery.
“With a secluded villa just minutes away from a gorgeous beach resort, staying at Grenadine Hills really is the best of both worlds.”
Need to Know
Fancy adding in some adventure after your villa holiday in the Caribbean? Bequia Beach Hotel has its own super yacht ‘Star of the Sea’ available to guests – imagine drifting around islands such as Mustique, Tobago Cays and Canouan for a few days or even a week. Bliss.
Sport & Surf
For a short-haul option, Martinhal is an all-singing, all-dancing resort guaranteed to please the whole family. If you’ve got sporty kids, then the sport academies (football and tennis) are excellent – and are grouped by age, so your child will be challenged and hopefully make friends too. There’s also a special kids’ club for 10–17-year-olds, that has a bespoke program including diving, horse riding and biking.
A great draw to the region is surfing. Cascais has perfect waves for beginners and the hotel’s surf school can provide boards and lessons to get you going – a great experience for the whole family to enjoy together. Afterwards, refuel at the all-day dining restaurant which features both Portuguese and international food – don’t forget to sample Portuguese wine too with wines from the Douro and Alentejo both great choices.
“Martinhal has something for all the family with plenty of activities for active teens. Even better – the deluxe villas are generously spacious with two bedrooms, two bathrooms and a kitchenette for rustling up snacks and drinks.”
Need to Know
The great thing about Martinhal’s location is that it’s just half an hour to cultural Lisbon. Spend the day exploring cobbled streets and spotting ornate azulejo tiles, taking the tram, admiring the beautiful view from the castello and enjoying the cool interior of Lisbon’s cathedral.
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