Do five-star hotels and children really mix?
I tend to run a mile from "luxury" establishments when I have the kids in tow – after all, who would want me and my noisy crew turning up and ruining their posh holiday?
But then I saw some of the offers available at the new Elite Suites at the Amathus Beach Hotel in Rhodes (00 30 22 41 08 99 00; amathus-hotels .com) – up to 30 per cent off at the height of the summer holidays – and decided it was worth the risk.
The 32 recently opened lodgings are designed for anyone – including families – looking for a high-calibre holiday: I'm talking top-notch service, gourmet food and designer bedrooms. Could it really work with the kids?
We arrived to a champagne/ fresh orange juice reception and a personal greeting by the "quality manager". It was clear that Elite Suites – which are set apart from the main Amathus Hotel – take their five stars very seriously.
At first, I felt slight trepidation: it was hard to see how a boisterous, bickering brood like mine would fit in. But the welcoming staff didn't seem to bat an eyelid at my gang, and it wasn't long before we all started to feel at home.
Within minutes, the white fluffy bathrobes were on, the complimentary treats and chocolates had been noisily consumed, and the plethora of electronic switches for mood lighting and curtains and the plasma television were being put to full use to squeaky cries of delight. And that was just me.
And the Elite Suites' crowning glory – a private infinity pool-cum-Jacuzzi out on the deck, with uninterrupted views across the sea to Turkey – even made the kids speechless. I've heard of hotels where you never feel the need to leave your room, now I'd actually found one.
With facilities like the ones offered here, it would be hard not to have a good time. But it was the relaxed atmosphere and friendliness of the staff that made our stay so enjoyable – and changed my view that you can't have a relaxed posh holiday with kids.
This summer, there are lots of great deals to be snapped up here, so if you fancy a bit of five-star pampering family style, check them out.
Sovereign Luxury Travel (0844 415 1936; sovereign.com), for example, is offering a free night, free half-board and an online booking discount on a week's holiday, including flights and transfers. Total price for two adults and one child, departing in August, is £2,899 – a saving of £1,270.
Of course, I'm not saying the five-star-with-kids combination is completely risk-free. Sitting in the Jacuzzi watching the sun go down, mocktail in hand, my eldest said: "Mum, can all our holidays be like this?"