MEDITERRANEAN FAMILY SUMMER
Choosing a resort in Europe which can keep the whole family happy is no mean feat.
Read on for our recommendations in gorgeous pine-scented Mediterranean enclaves where top-notch resorts know how to give you the holiday you need.
The Danai - Halkidiki, Greece
Arriving at The Danai, located on Halkidiki’s Sithonia Peninsula, you’ll be struck by the refined and elegant atmosphere, welcoming you to a high level of sophisticated charm. As a family you can choose two spacious adjoining suites or – our recommendation – go for one of The Danai’s villas – hidden by greenery with interiors graced by marble furnishings, Persian rugs, original artwork, private pools, sea views and expansive dining areas. Luxurious yet comfortable, they feel very private.
Life at The Danai is relaxed and yet your every whim catered for. Expect champagne breakfasts with smoked salmon and pastries while on the beach an army of attendants provide towels, cocktails and al-fresco snacks. Kids can try the kids’ club or head out on kayaks on the calm waters or as a family you can enjoy a day on the hotel’s own yacht The Bird. We recommend visiting the cave-like wine cellar, one of Greece’s oldest to pick wine for your stay including gold-flecked champagne and unusual Greek appellations.
If you’re looking for a smart, beautifully furnished villa, you’ll find it at The Danai. And with excellent dining, a private beach, vast wine cellar and spa, it’s the perfect meeting point between the privacy of a villa holiday and the convenience of a hotel.
Don’t miss dining at The Danai’s upmarket restaurant The Squirrel. Worth booking a babysitter for, the restaurant has enviable views over the calm, mirror-like water, framed by ancient pine trees with a perfected melange of fine food: lobster, fillet steak, crab and seabass.
CHIC & STYLISH
Domes Zeen - Crete, Greece
The definition of bohemian luxe, Domes Zeen, found on Chania in Crete is the choice for style-seekers and those that like a modern aesthetic. Set against a backdrop of earthy hues, natural materials and contemporary furnishings, Domes Zeen gives families time and space without having to compromise on style. Choose from waterfront pavilions that open out onto the beach or suites with gardens and private pools which benefit from extras we can arrange for you.
With its vast swimming pool area which leads straight onto the beach, Domes Zeen is ideal for families looking for a low-key beach holiday. But what makes Zeen stand out is its opportunity for interesting experiences in the local area. Try a ceramic workshop, tour Chania’s old town or hike the Samaria Gorge. Kids will love the kids’ club with its own pool and Beach House kitchen; little ones can join cookery classes or have a sleepover in a Bedouin tent, leaving parents free to enjoy time at the spa or sample a fine-dining tasting menu of Greek-fusion food at the smart Gastronomy Restaurant.
It’s hard not to see evidence everywhere of Domes namesake - Ef Zeen - which means the art of living well. You’ll find that in abundance at this Cretan gem.
To get into relaxation mode, let us book you into the spa for your first day at Domes Zeen. The Jungle Spa is a temple to wellness and its open-air ambience with a soundtrack of lapping waves will lull you into serenity in no time.
Porto Zante - Zakynthos, Greece
Billed as ‘Europe’s most private beach resort’, and one of the World’s Best Hotels & Resorts for 2024 by Conde Nast’s Gold List as well as winner of Conde Nast Traveller’s World’s Best Family Hotel, Porto Zante, located on Zakynthos, is the one to plump for if you’re looking for a seriously high-quality holiday experience. It’s a resort made up of villas, and it prides itself on the bespoke services offered, as well as the location. Each villa owns a prime slice of beach frontage, as well as lush gardens, a private pool and Ionian Sea views, where privacy is maintained at all times. Inside, expect a smart yet classic design with original Greek artwork, marble bathrooms, Bang & Olufsen entertainment systems and whirlpool bathtubs.
With delicious in-villa dining and personal chef services it’s hard to leave the peaceful enclave of your villa but we do recommend enjoying the rest of the resort as well as further afield in Zakynthos. Close by, you can join yoga or Pilates and play tennis or take the kids to the waterpark, mini-golf or spend time on the beach, snorkelling or kayaking or enjoying motorised watersports. For switch-off time, there is a handy kids’ club for when you want to head to the Waterfront Spa. Zakynthos offers opportunity for incredible and memorable day trips – why not take the yacht to searingly white Navagio beach, lapped by the kind of clear blue water you’ve been longing for? For mini archaeologists, explore the crumbling remains of Ancient Olympia, built in 8th century B.C and home to the first Olympic games.
The combination of uber private, smartly furnished villas and excellent service means that you can sit back and enjoy your holiday in the pristine environment of Porto Zante.
As lovely as your villa is, especially the in-room dining and chef services, make sure you head to the Maya restaurant for dinner. Overlooking the azure Ionian Sea from a raised platform, the restaurant serves sensational sushi and sashimi plus steaks and lobster from the charcoal grill, accompanied by fine wines and freshly made cocktails. For a taste of the locale, The Club House restaurant serves Greek and Mediterranean cuisine and the Club House bar is the perfect spot for drinks, accompanied by the tinkle of a live pianist.
Borgo Egnazia - Puglia, Italy
Reflecting a microcosm of Puglian life, Borgo Egnazia, located in the Itria Valley and bordered by the Adriatic, has been created as a replica Italian village built in honey-coloured stone that gleams golden in the evening sun. It’s a place of lofty beauty – stroll along cobbled streets that open out onto the airy piazza and clock tower and you’ll find it hard to believe it was only constructed in 2009. Details are paramount here, from vast flickering lanterns to rope-strung room keys, sprigs of dried herbs and rustic ceramic on the walls; everything has a tactile, timeworn feel.
Aside from enjoying the spaciousness of your stylish casetta, you and your family will find plenty to occupy yourselves from the beach club to the pools, the Vair Spa and adjoining golf course and cultural activities like pasta making, oil tasting in ancient olive groves and hiking to villages. In the evenings, Borgo Egnazia comes alive as families throng to dinner – Due Camini (adults-only) is sublime with its tempting Puglian specialities such as grilled octopus, homemade gnocchi and herby meats and the A Pizzeri restaurant lets kids create their own toppings. Afterwards enjoy the light and sound show in the piazza – a tasteful and magical way to round off the evening, and kids love to stay up late for extra gelato.
Lose yourself in the magic of Borgo Egnazia from its authentic Puglian welcome to the bougainvillea-adorned casettas housing rustic-luxe furnishings and cool, airy interiors. A truly special place for a memorable family holiday
You can’t fault the perfection of Borgo Egnazia but don’t forget to get a feel for the rest of Puglia too – explore hilltop Baroque towns like Ostuni, get up close to the original trulli towns of Alberobello, or drop into quaint fishing villages for fresh seafood lunches.
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