I am a real fan of spas which offer children’s facilities – after all – who is more in need of some R&R than a frazzled parent? The first time I went to this kind of place was back when Livi was 18 months or so, Toby would have been three and Alex had a broken leg. I was exhausted. We went to Moonfleet Manor, which is part of the Luxury Family Hotel Group which I can’t recommend highly enough if you’ve got children under five.
The hotels all have a luxury, country house feel while offering all the kids’ facilities you need – high tea, baby listening in the evening, a creche in the day time and all the changing mats, bottle warmers etc you could want. Spa facilities vary – at Moonfleet Manor it was just a couple of treatment rooms while at The Elms, which I visited a few years later to review for The Times, there is a full-blown spa.
Granted, there are lots of kids so you wouldn’t want to go for a romantic weekend a deux, but somehow they manage not to feel too over-run.
There are loads of spas now which offer kids facilities – in the UK these include Celtic Manor, Calcot Manor and even Butlins! There are also many which offer teen treatments – I reviewed Seaham Hall with a friend’s daughter Daisy (although the sub decided to give me my own teenage daughter, it seems.)
Below are some Europe-wise which I have recommended in my book. Let me know if you have any favourites I’ve missed out.
Aquacity Poprad, Slovakia – A myriad of naturally-heated thermal pools including one with a swim-up bar. It also offers massages and cryotherapy – a treatment which involves spending minutes in a chamber at minus 120 degrees centigrade! (This terrified the life out of me, BTW, but then I am very claustrophobic.) For children there is a waterpark and a supervised playroom.
Out of the Blue – Agia Pelegia, Heraklion – while you enjoy a chocolate or honey massage at the Euphoria Spa, your children can have the time of their lives at the resort’s very own Minoan Amusement Park.
Hotel Schwarz – Tyrol, Austria – A full programme of kids’ activities including a petting zoo, magic lessons, swimming lessons and a youth theatre. The spa has a huge array of saunas and steam rooms including an outdoor sauna an traditional Turkish hammam – plus beauty treatments and even plastic surgery. I also loved Hotel Kroller which I visited with Toby when he was five.
Azia Resort – Paphos – Mothers and daughters can sit side by side for manicures with extra flowers and sparkles for the little girls or parents can watch through a glass wall as their children have shoulder massages in a special glass-walled area of the spa.
La Manga Resort, Murcia – A huge resort covering an area the size of Monaco. As well as a large spa there are also three golf courses, five swimming pools and the option to go go-karting, quad-biking, kayaking or kite surfing. There is a kids club for younger children while older children can enjoy a similar range of activities.