Kids and spa aren’t usually two words you associate with each other, but at the Elounda resort in Crete, your children can experience the Six Senses Kids package while you soak up the sun or have some spa time of your own.
Nestled between the Bay of Mirabello and olive grove covered hills, Elounda is the ultimate in luxury. Families can choose between the Porto Elounda Golf & Spa Resort, the Elounda Mare Hotel or the Elounda Peninsula All Suite Resort – all three sit on the site of an old fishing village, with much of the original charm retained (imagine turning a corner to find a beautiful old Greek chapel with pink flowers outside).
Our stay started in the most relaxing way ever – after a brilliant buffet breakfast (fruit and croissants for me, Nutella on toast for her) I dropped off the five-year-old at the Kids’ Ark. There, she took part in the Six Senses Kids session, while I went to the Six Senses Spa for a treatment and chill out time.
The Six Senses Kids experience aims to teach children about wellness and health, in an interactive and fun way. They started off with a yoga class (“There were even SOME poses that I couldn’t do!” laughed my incredulous – and super flexible – daughter). This was followed by a mini spa treatment, where the kids had their feet washed and then used an olive oil and sugar scrub on their feet and legs. Lastly, they went out to the Kids’ Ark garden to do a botanical treasure hunt and pick some fresh herbs before making some bread, with their herbs in it.
Meanwhile…. not too far away, in the Six Senses Spa, some grown ups were being pampered to within an inch of their lives. The two-level spa has waterfalls, glass sculptures, floating crystals and lots of beds to relax on, drinking tea. After my facial and massage, I sat outside on a balcony overlooking the vast resort and out to sea.
But it’s not just all-age spa treatments that make Elounda special. The accommodation is beautiful, yet practical for families, with separate rooms for kids, adjoining rooms and cots, bottle warmers and stairgates available. We were lucky enough to have a two bedroom suite with a private pool – the five-year-old’s face when she realised we had our own pool was a picture. Luxurious touches like bathrobes, slippers (including mini versions for kids) and a daily turn-down service tell you that you’re staying somewhere special, where attention to detail matters.
The restaurants vary from the family-friendly Oddysseas (perfect for a Greek lunch next to the water, while the kids watch the fish swim below) to The Old Mill, a fine dining restaurant serving mouth-watering Cretan cuisine. So whether you’re looking for a quick pizza by the pool or a beautiful gourmet dinner, the food at Elounda is top-notch.
Still need convincing? Here are 10 reasons to take your kids to Elounda…
- The brilliant kids’ club – We don’t tend to use kids’ clubs much on holiday these days, but the five-year-old loved the Kids’ Ark so much, she begged to go back the following day. As well as the wellness experience, they have a pool with two waterslides and loads of games and activities, both inside and under a covered area by the pool.
- There are plenty of quiet spots – Even though you’re on holiday with your kids, there’s often nothing worse than other people’s kids. Elounda, brilliantly, has numerous little beaches and coves that you can escape too, if things get too crowded.
- The Arsenal Soccer School Camp – if you’ve got a child between 5 and 16 who loves a bit of footie, they can attend the camp and learn new ball skills, regardless of their playing ability. The five-year-old loved it, especially when the coach helped her score a goal!
- It’s easy to get around – being built into the hills, makes for a beautiful setting but it also means getting from one part of the resort to another can give your glutes a good work out and result in tired children asking to be carried. Elounda are one step ahead though, and they have a number of golf buggies which ferry guests around. Some are on a timetable, so it’s just a case of waiting for them to come along, but you can also just request a buggy in any shop, restaurant or reception area.
- The kids can learn to dance – whether they fancy learning some ballroom or hip hop dancing, they can take lessons with the internationally-acclaimed choreographer Fokas Evaggelinos who leads the judging panel on the Greek Dancing With The Stars!
- The fun continues in the evening – Elounda has various evening activities for kids, from a mini disco to a cinema night complete with popcorn. There’s also a Cretan Night you can enjoy as a whole family (we loved the traditional music and dancing!).
- Fuzzy eaters will find something they like here – While you gorge on Greek salad, tzatziki and more feta cheese than you can possibly imagine, there’s a great children’s menu which covers off traditional Greek food for the adventurous and things like pasta and fish goujons for those who want to play it safe. You can even order fresh baby food too.
- It’s fun for teenagers too – older kids can book tennis and golf lessons, try water skiing and sailing, while in the evenings, there’s a dedicated teenage area where they can play board games and video games.
- No need to bring a buggy or car seat – along with the cot, steriliser, bottle-warmer and other equipment you can request for your stay, Elounda also has a number of strollers available for guests’ use, meaning you don’t have to lug yours from home. You can also request taxis with car seats too.
- The sunsets are worth going for alone – whether you get a babysitter and watch the sun set from a romantic table for two, or you snuggle up in bathrobes as a family on your balcony to watch the sky turn pink, purple and finally dark, it’s not to be missed and will give you some pretty special holiday memories.
Sovereign (01293 762 003, www.sovereign.com) is offering a week at the five star Elounda Peninsula All Suite Hotel – part of Sovereign’s Family Collection – with prices from £4,599 per family of three – saving up to £935 per family. Departing on 27 May 2017, the offer includes a seven night stay on a B&B basis, a child stays for free offer, UK airport lounge access, private airport transfers and return international flights from London Gatwick with British Airways. Book here.
We sent lifestyle and travel blogger Alison Perry (and her five-year-old daughter) along to Elounda resort in Crete to road-test their wellness package for children. You can read more from Alison at http://notanothermummyblog.com and http://spaceinyourcase.com or catch her on Twitter @IamAlisonPerry