This year’s family vacation had to not only please two parents in desperate need of some rest and relaxation, an over enthusiastic toddler who needs exercising regularly (similar to a race horse), but also a set of grandparents who are used to the ‘finer things in life’.
Having decided that January would be the best time to escape the winter blues, the Caribbean seemed the most suitable option. It transpires that we did in fact miss all the snow that hit Haslemere, so couldn’t have chosen our time to travel any better.
I’d heard a rumour of a fairly new all-inclusive resort on the West coast of Antigua that sounded perfect. A spacious property that wasn’t vast, superb children’s facilities, a number of dining options, couple of beaches, pools, spa and great accommodation – all junior suites, in a bungalow style setting – oh and great value too. What often sounds too good to be true, usually is, but this holiday didn’t disappoint. Whilst it wouldn’t be my first choice to send couples, our ‘multi-generation’ family found all our needs were met.
I usually find that on a family vacation, if the children are happy, the parents tend to be happy too. The Kids Club was open from 9am to 10pm at night and took children, free of charge, from as young as 2 (if potty trained). Not only was the club extremely well equipped with toys and creative activities, it also had its own ‘mushroom’ swimming pool and enormous jungle gym that replicated a pirate ship – all completely enclosed and only accessible from the front entrance of the club, so super safe. There was even a nap room if youngsters wished to take a break. Although there were daily organised activities, it was also relaxed enough if you just wanted to pop in for an hour.
Two lovely beaches with bar service and water sports were an addition to the gorgeous family pool located in the centre of the property. For couples staying at the resort or parents whose children were pre-occupied, there is an Adults Only area (over 18’s) with a pool, plenty of sun loungers and reading gazebos, waterfall, shuffle board, table tennis and a bar.
The food offering catered for all tastes, with the main buffet style restaurant being open every day for breakfast lunch and dinner – plenty to choose from and we never ate the same thing twice in two weeks. Additionally there is a fabulous beach bar and grill that is open until 10pm and served the best swordfish and chips we’d had in a long time – not just limp burgers and hot dogs. Every other night the a la carte restaurant was open and this was included in the all-inclusive package (book able 24 hours in advance) and for those special occasions, a fine dining restaurant that served a beautiful 5 course menu including lobster for just a $25 supplement per person.
One of my favourite aspects of the resort was the rooms. Being all junior suites, there was no worry of having a shoe box sized room with a roll away bed stuffed in, for our daughter. Each suite has a large bedroom and living room, with a sofa, that converts into a bed, all the technical mod cons but also a kitchenette with fridge, microwave, sink, toaster, coffee maker and crockery – all very useful when travelling with children. All rooms are in sets of two and interconnect on the balcony, so perfect for larger families or travelling parties together.
Being fortunate enough to sample so many wonderful hotels all over the world, it is rare to find yourself enthusing about one in particular, but I would have no hesitation in recommending this property to families of all ages looking for a friendly property that provides something for everyone and is great value for money too.
If you would like to know more please call Gemma on 01428 658 777