Palm trees, sun loungers and stretches of golden sand – those are all the ingredients adults need for the beach holiday of their dreams.
But if there are children in tow – the recipe for a great seaside break becomes less straightforward. But help is at hand.
In a bid to ensure holidaying as a household is hassle-free, experts from Conde Nast Traveller have picked out the best beach holidays for all ages, from a dreamy One&Only resort in Mauritius that lets under-fives stay half board for free to a Greek beachside retreat that has a creche (and stellar coriander-infused G&Ts). Read on for the full list of top notch, family-friendly beach getaways, with descriptions drawn from the magazine.
Best for all ages – GoldenEye, Jamaica
Paradise found: Experts at Conde Nast Traveller checked into the island’s luxury GoldenEye resort, which Bob Marley apparently rejected for being ‘too posh’
If you go down to the woods today: The hotel features swanky dark wood chalets, with outdoor rain showers and deep-bottomed bathtubs
GoldenEye, Jamaica, has a licence to seriously impress.
Set among the surrounds that James Bond writer Ian Fleming made his home in 1946, it’s so swanky that when Bob Marley checked in, he rejected it for being ‘too posh’, says Conde Nast Traveller.
While the children will no doubt be content collecting shells on the beach and splashing in the ocean-fronting pool, there are rum-loaded daiquiris on offer after a spot of kayaking for the older travellers. The hatching hawksbill sea turtles are also not to be missed. ‘The kids can hardly believe it as miniature heads emerge,’ says Conde Nast Traveller’s writer. ‘It’s like something out of Planet Earth.’
ITC Luxury Travel offers seven nights at GoldenEye from £7,299 per family, based on two adults and two children sharing a two-bedroom Beach Hut, including flights to Kingston, transfers and breakfast. +44 1244 355527; itcluxurytravel.co.uk.
Best for toddlers – One&Only Le Saint Geran, Mauritius
Family deals: The lure with the One&Only resort Le Saint Geran in Mauritius is that under-fives can stay half board for free
Getting into the swing of things: Roomy villas with light breezy interiors look out on to the ocean
The big lure with the One&Only resort Le Saint Geran in Mauritius is that under-fives can stay half board for free.
There are also direct overnight flights with a four-hour time difference, to reduce jet lag woes, and islanders ‘who love children’.
To keep tiny tots happy, food can be ordered to the beach at anytime, with menu items to suit all tastes. Burgers, salads and ice cream will quickly quash those hunger pangs – tantrums too.
There is an assortment of child-orientated activities on offer, adds Conde Nast Traveller, with highlights including sunken trampolines, a mini golf putting course, an after-dark crab hunt and zooming across the sea on an inflatable aquaplane (suitable for kids as young as three).
Elegant Resorts offers seven nights from £3,480 per person, based on two adults and one child sharing, including breakfast, flights and transfers. +44 1244 897515; elegantresorts.co.uk.
Best for babies – Sani Beach, Halkidiki, Greece
Unwind and relax: Sani Beach has everything to hand, so you barely have to move an inch. Above, a restaurant at the Greek resort looks out to the ocean
Golden glow: The family-owned ecological reserve stretches across 1,000 acres, with endless golden beaches framed by the crystal clear waters of the Aegean
Day and night: The resort, nestled on the Greek mainland, is set-up with an array of amenities including a creche, spa and a bar where you can order refreshing coriander-infused G&Ts
Pick your spot: Sani Beach promises ‘a five-star experience for all the family’, and holidaymakers can choose from seven kilometres of immaculate pine-fringed beach
Sani Beach has everything to hand, so you barely have to move an inch. The perfect thing if you’ve got a small baby to tend to while topping up your tan, says Conde Nast Traveller.
The resort, nestled on the Greek mainland, is set-up with an array of amenities including a creche; beach-side baby-sitting service; a teen club with frozen yoghurts on offer, plus air hockey and snooker; a spa and a bar where you can order refreshing coriander-infused G&Ts.
In total, there are five hotels on the 1,000 acre family-owned ecological reserve, each offering something a little different. Sani Beach promises ‘a five star experience for all the family’. One of the main pluses experts at Conde Nast Traveller say, is the ‘amazingly attentive’ team of staff, who embrace a ‘nothing-is-too-much-trouble attitude’.
Scott Dunn offers seven nights at Sani Asterias from £830 per person, based on two adults and one child sharing, half board, including flights and transfers. +44 20 8682 5040; scottdunn.com.
Best for teenagers – Thanda Island
Action-packed adventure: Thanda Island in Tanzania has all the tools to keep teenagers on their toes. The tiny desert island resort features nine bedrooms suitable for large parties of adventure-hungry travellers
From jet skis to wakeboards and snorkeling equipment, dreamy Thanda Island in Tanzania has all the tools to keep teenagers on their toes, says Conde Nast Traveller.
The crystal clear waters there are brimming with wildlife, including majestic whale sharks and hawksbill turtles, and it’s deemed the perfect place to ‘take a crowd’, because there are nine bedrooms.
You can even relocate your teenagers to cabin areas on the other side of the island, where the sea breeze will ‘carry away their loud music’.
Turquoise Holidays offers seven nights’ exclusive use from £6,459 per adult and £630 per child, full board, including all flights. +44 1494 678400; turquoiseholidays.co.uk.
Best for pre-teens – One&Only Ocean Club, Bahamas
Cool, calm and collected: The One&Only Ocean Club in the Bahamas has a multitude of activities fit for all the family – including tennis courts and a pool area all ages will enjoy and a games room for the youngsters
Beach holidays can prove difficult when it comes to keeping children occupied, but the One&Only Ocean Club in the Bahamas promises a multitude of activities fit for all the family.
Set in almost 40 acres of palm trees and golden sands, the luxury resort boasts tennis courts, a family pool area, a KidsOnly club for holidaymakers ages four to 12 and a games room. A concierge can also magic up one-off experiences tailored to your needs.
Conde Nast Traveller pegs it as the perfect place for ‘families who don’t want to feel they’re staying in a family hotel’, with adult luxuries including a Martini Bar and villas equipped with private chefs and butlers.
Carrier offers seven nights from £7,230 per family, based on two adults and one child sharing, including breakfast, flights and transfers. +44 161 492 1358; carrier.co.uk.
The World’s Best Family Holidays supplement accompanies the June issue of Condé Nast Traveller, on sale now and downloadable from here