The Independent Parent: 'Where can we take our baby on a beach holiday in Greece or Italy?'


Q. Having read an article in
The Independent Traveller about staying in hotels in the UK with a young baby, we were wondering whether hotels with good food, baby-listening services and close proximity to lovely beaches exist in Greece or Italy?

Q. Having read an article in The Independent Traveller about staying in hotels in the UK with a young baby, we were wondering whether hotels with good food, baby-listening services and close proximity to lovely beaches exist in Greece or Italy? We're thinking of going somewhere in May or June this year and can afford to spend about £100 per night on accommodation for the three of us, but if there are some "wow" places we would love to know about these too.
L Sutton, via e-mail

A. Greece and Italy are both excellent choices for a family holiday and I have found two hotels that might fit the bill. Early summer is an ideal time to go as it will not be too hot for your baby but I would suggest you avoid the half-term week of 28 May, when prices shoot up.

You might like to consider the often-overlooked island of Elba off the coast of Tuscany, with its charming hillside villages, excellent restaurants and lovely beaches. The Hotel del Golfo (00 39 0565 90 21) is five minutes' walk from the village of Procchio with its gelaterias, pizzerias and shops. The hotel is in low-rise terracotta buildings and has a terrace and gardens that give direct access to its private beach, which has gently shelving sand that is perfect for a paddling toddler.

Cots, kettles and baby baths are available, along with high chairs and children's menus in the restaurants. A baby-listening service is also provided, but you will need to ask for this when you book. Babysitters can be arranged for €10 (£7) per hour.

Book before 15 March with Powder Byrne (020-8246 5300; www.powderbyrne.co.uk) and a week's holiday for the three of you in May will cost £1,072. This includes return scheduled flights on GB Airways from Gatwick to Pisa and seven nights' half-board accommodation in a double room with a cot. Powder Byrne can also arrange a week's fully-comprehensive car-hire for around £252.

Having the car will enable you to explore the hillside villages and make the most of some of the excellent restaurants on the island. These include Capo Nord (00 39 0565 996983) in Marcianna Marina, the best fish restaurant on Elba, which is set by a rocky beach and has excellent views over to Corsica on a clear night.

For affordable "wow" factor I would recommend the Sani Resort ( www.saniresort.gr; 00 30 237 409 9400) in Halkidiki on the Greek mainland. The resort is situated on the magnificent Kassandra peninsula, across the bay from Mount Olympus and about 45 minutes' drive from Thessaloniki. The resort is in a private ecological reserve that features white-sand beaches, pine forests and olive groves.

The five-star Sani Village is designed to be a more contemporary take on Greek architectural style and features beautifully handcrafted stone, marble and wood. Baby-listening devices are available to borrow free of charge, and for extra peace of mind, babysitters can be arranged for €25 (£18) for the first hour and €5 (£3.60) for each additional hour.

In addition, guests of the Porto Sani Village also have access to the Sani Asterias Suites beach, which features the novel "Babe Watch" beach babysitting programme. For 30 minutes each day a member of staff will look after your child while you have a quick swim or a drink together. A week in May will cost £1,270 for the three of you if booked through Sovereign (08705 768 373; www.sovereign.com). This includes return charter flights from Gatwick, seven nights' B&B accommodation and private transfers.

Send your family travel questions to The Independent Parent, Travel Desk, The Independent, 191 Marsh Wall, London E14 9RS or e-mail crusoe@independent.co.uk

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