Can’t find a babysitter? Take the little ones with you on a child-friendly retreat.
The new beachfront Nana Princess resort on the north coast of Crete is just a 20-minute drive from the airport, so you can get on with the business of relaxation immediately. Not only does it have a cool, calm and subtly stylish spa but each hotel room has its own private, temperature-adjustable pool with sea views, plus a luxurious shower with built-in chromotherapy. The Royal Wellness Club embraces the latest in hydrotherapy tech with the SPA System by Starpool. The only one of its kind in Greece, it combines steam, colour therapy, aromatherapy baths, tropical storm showers, cool mists and an ice room in an hour-long experience created in collaboration with doctors. Your therapist will recommend one of the four different pathways through the spa system, which have been designed to relax, purify, tone or revitalise, depending on your needs (€30/£26 per person). The spa also offers treatments using the gorgeously pure Germaine de Capuccini products, such as a Minoan carob body scrub, Sea Gold body wrap and hammam-style treatments that take place on a heated water-effect bed. A clever new find.
BOOK IT: Doubles from £135. nanaprincess.gr
Holy Mama, Ibiza
Holy Mama founder Claudia Spahr has been mothering mothers in beautiful locations around the world for over six years. Run mainly in Ibiza, her child-friendly retreats allow overstretched mamas to return to themselves through yoga, relaxation, nature and – most importantly – reliable, heart- centered childcare. Community is the pulse of the retreats, with villa accommodation creating an inclusive village feel, supported by a dedicated team of carers and chefs poised to meet your every need. (In Ibiza, expect clean whitewashed villas with pools and play space aplenty.) In the morning, mamas enjoy daily core-based yoga and a peaceful brunch while their little ones are looked after; afternoons are spent playing by the pool, driving to the beach or visiting the ancient churches before early dinner all together. Special evening workshops (babysitters on hand) allow for personal reflection and sisterly circle time. Should you wish to dive deeper than the complimentary holistic treatment, therapists are available. Alongside the tangibly loving and capable nannies, the highlight has to be the abundant food, which radiates goodness. You’ll both come back glowing.
BOOK IT: From £1,121 for seven nights. holymama.info
Take a short flight to Salzburg, Munich or Innsbruck and drive through fields of wild flower meadows straight into Sound-of-Music mountains. Hide away at this intimate family-owned hotel with a fully-fledged spa and an ethos that includes all the family. Children will splash happily in the numerous pools – indoor and outdoor, hot tubs and a mega waterworld. Watch the little ones unfurl: swimming for England and jumping in haylofts at the kids’ club, where they can also chase long-eared rabbits and feast on ice cream cups as big as their heads. Activities for the older ones include night walks with torches to the bathing lake. Interiors are smart but with fairytale whimsy (two-bedroom suites are ideal for families), and meals are an extravaganza of buffets and barbecues. There are saunas, steam rooms and everything from yoga and pilates classes to ‘bum training’. The spa excels with everything from Lomi Lomi massages to Alpine wraps, honey exfoliant peels, rose petal baths and serious micro-dermabrasion facials. This place walks the tightrope between old fashioned family get-up and a slick template for eco-tourism to come. It’s a winning combo.
BOOK IT: Doubles from £228. stanglwirt.com
Vila Vita Parc, Portugal
This white-washed palatial resort on the clifftops in Alporchinhos has always hit the spot as one of the top all-rounders in the Algarve and they’ve upped the ante with a spanking new Sisley spa. The serene interiors – all natural stone, aquamarine tiles and creamy walls – set the scene. There are 14 treatment rooms plus a fitness studio (try the aerial yoga) with a fabulous coastal vista. The therapies are all about getting results, using Sisley’s delicious botanical oils – book the Slimming and Firming Energising Phyto Aromatic Body Treatment to hit your wobbly bits. To further shed the pounds, there’s a Hypoxi studio, a whopping eight swimming pools and all the usual resort activities. The golden-sand beach is on hand for all-out R&R. The seven restaurants continue the mind-boggling choice, from the candlelit wine cellar to the Whale Restaurant (designed by David Archer of Chiltern Firehouse fame) to the two Michelin-starred Ocean – all washed down with the hotel’s very own (excellent) wine. Afterwards, wind your way through the tropical paradise to one of 162 rooms and villas. Each is sea-inspired with local crafts, contemporary furnishings and original artworks. For the best ocean views, book a suite in the Residence.
BOOK IT: Doubles from £184. vilavitaparc.com