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Best kids club resorts in Europe 2023: Where to stay for family-friendly fun

Want to take the kids on holiday and still get a break yourself? Here are the perfect places to stay

Kate Hilpern,Joanna Whitehead
Thursday 06 July 2023 10:37 BST
<p>Covering safe beaches and guaranteed sunshine, look no further than our round-up</p>

Covering safe beaches and guaranteed sunshine, look no further than our round-up

A Mediterranean beach break has long been a stalwart of family holidays – and for good reason. Travelling with kids isn’t always easy but a European jaunt can deliver a getaway for all the fam, in just two hours, with safe, sandy beaches; shallow, aquamarine waters; and guaranteed sunshine.

Nothing beats knowing your kids are having a brilliant time while you kick back and relax. Fortunately, whether your child’s a tiny baby or a discerning teenager, there’s an entire wealth of activities out there to keep them occupied and entertained while you lounge pool-side with a glass of something cool.

But, of course, grown-ups can get in on the action, too, with games, excursions, water parks and more for parents and offspring to enjoy together.

From surfing and ziplining, to performing and DJ-ing, here’s our edit of the hotels with the best clubs for kids that will guarantee they have as much fun as you do (probably even more) on your next holiday. Keep scrolling to see our top family-friendly European hotel picks.

The best kids club resorts in Europe for 2023 are:

Best for play: Le Dune Resort & Spa

Location: Badesi Marina, Sardinia

Expect sports galore – plus beaches with water as clear as the Caribbean

The medal-deserving, endlessly enthusiastic staff at this award-winning kids’ club caters for children aged 18 months to 17 years, who can join in with or without their parents. The 10,000sq m “Fantasy Village” play area is just one of the standout features, with a pool, Native American reservation and cowboy fort amid sand dunes, while Duneland is an enchanted castle for kids with creative workshops, a play area, cinema, nap room and Peter Pan restaurant.

Expect sports galore – tennis, mini-golf, trampolines, a riding school, kayaking, archery and a climbing wall, to name a few – while the resort itself has 500 rooms, six pools, 10 restaurants and beaches with water as clear as the Caribbean.

Price: Family suites from €244 per night (£200)

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Best for watersports: Peligoni Club

Location: Zakynthos, Greece

Take your pick from one of the incredibly chic, family-sized villas with private pool

Who says teenagers are too old for kids’ clubs? Located on an unspoilt coastline, this resort is adored by older kids, who can do practically every adrenalin-seeking watersport you can think of – sailing, windsurfing, water-skiing and more. Other activities include volleyball, mocktail making and parent-free boat trips. There’s even a teen-only hangout with its own music and tailored drinks menu.

For babies and toddlers, there’s an on-site crèche, while the under-12s get a programme that includes activities such as treasure hunts and raft-making.

Staff are mainly university students, who excel in raising the confidence of even the shyest youngsters. Regular kids’ barbecues enable parents to dine in the restaurant à deux.

Price: Villas from €1,700 (£1,410) per week

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Best for breathtaking sea views: Sani Beach

Location: Sani Beach, Greece

This luxurious resort’s mini kids’ club makes full use of the beach, including a “babewatch” service

The on-beach “babewatch” service (the first 30 minutes are included in the price of your room) is a genius invention at this luxurious resort, which has five hotels filled with baby-friendly facilities, several pools and 18 restaurants. The British-run crèche takes children from four months to four years old, with high staff ratios.

The “mini club” gets kids aged four to 11 playing games on the beach, going on short excursions and having picnics and parties, as well as doing treasure hunts, cookie-making and more.

The teenage club for 12- to 17-year-olds runs activities such as DJ-ing, archery, beach volleyball, dancing and football and sailing academies – all supported by Ozone, a hang-out venue specifically for teens. There are swimming lessons available for the under-fours and there’s even a junior and teenage spa, with dedicated treatments.

Best for indoor and outdoor action: Hotel Club Le Crêt

Location: Morzine, France

One for active families, the hotel’s surrounding area offers mountain peaks, pine forests and lakes aplenty

This is a favourite among more active families, as the resort has its own mini farm, an indoor and outdoor swimming complex, fishing, white-water activities, paragliding, cycling, golf and horse-riding.

The kids’ club packs in entertainment throughout July and August for four- to 12-year-olds, including creative workshops, Olympic games, theatrical activities, swimming pool games, discos and sports. This serves as a reminder that you don’t always have to go to the posh, five-star resorts to find good kids clubs.

Meanwhile, the surrounding area of Morzine offers mountain peaks, pine forests and lakes with great footpaths and walking trails. In summer, the town also has a water park and tobogganing.

Best for active kids: Sun Gardens Dubrovnik

Location: Dubrovnik, Croatia

Perched on a hillside with a seafront position, this resort offers all kinds of fun for all ages

With its hillside setting outside Dubrovnik and seafront position, this resort – which features hotel and private residences – includes the imaginative Explorers’ kids’ club, offering children aged four months to 11 years fun-filled and action-packed days, ranging from treasure hunts to making dough animals.

Meanwhile, the Crew programme gives teens at least 18 hours of water and land-based activities (including the likes of paddleboarding, sea scooting, sailing, zip-wiring and zorbing) split over six days and all pre-arranged once you arrive. If this won’t get them away from their screens, nothing will. The hotel also runs training programmes in football, squash, swimming and basketball, helping your little one to hone their technique to perfection.

Rooms themselves are specially equipped for your children’s age range, including plenty of toys and games. But no evening activities or group meals are offered here.

Best for luxury: The Ritz-Carlton, Abama

Location: Tenerife

This super-luxe resort has one of the largest kids’ clubs in Europe, including a club for 12- to 18-year-olds

This five-star resort has one of the largest kids’ clubs in Europe, with zones for four- to 12-year-olds dedicated to astronomy, wildlife, sustainability, technology, theatre, and arts and crafts across its 305sq m of indoor space and private outdoor area. There’s also a teenagers’ programme for 12- to 18-year-olds during the summer holidays.

Families go for the world-class tennis and golf facilities, as well as the positioning of the hotel right on a cliff top, providing spectacular views. The M.B restaurant is another lure, as it holds two Michelin stars, while Abama Kabuki has secured one. There’s also a fabulous spa and private beach with beach bar and restaurant.

Location: Cascais, Portugal

Kids will have over 2,300sq m of playground to explore, complete with zipline, plus three pools

With more than 2,300sq m of well-designed kids’ playgrounds, complete with 20m zipline, bouncing area and sandpit – and a kids’ club with 700sq m of play space – this beach resort is a real hit with families.

The kids’ club comprises the baby room for 6-12 months, with age-appropriate toys and a sleeping area; Little Foxes is for 13 months to two years, with a story-telling corner, puppetry area and ball pool; Fox Club is for ages six to nine years, with arts and crafts, Lego and Xbox; and Explorer (age 10 to 14) and Blast (age 15 to 17) offers surfing, biking, horse riding and pool parties.

There are also three pools (one covered for added UV protection) and baby concierge. Plus, the three on-site restaurants have full ranges of baby purees and an extensive kids’ menu.

Best for budding acrobats: Club Med

Location: Opio en Provence, France

The resort’s playground, designed by Cirque du Soleil, includes a flying trapeze for kids and grown-ups alike

Located in the south of France, in the hinterland behind Cannes, the stand-out point of this resort is the “Creactive” playground designed by Cirque du Soleil, where adults and kids can enjoy up to 30 acrobatic and artistic activities, including flying trapeze lessons.

The playground is regularly used by the petit club, mini club and junior club (there’s also a baby club), all of which are open daily from 9.30am to 5.30pm and again in the evenings.

The multinational staff are enthusiastic and the food and evening shows are great too.

Price: From €1,534 (£1,270) per week per person, based on two adults and two children sharing on an all-inclusive basis

Book now

Best for ex-clubbers: Nobu Hotel Ibiza Bay

Location: Talamanca, Ibiza

With kid-friendly facilities but still with that chic Ibiza vibe for parents, everyone’s happy

If the ’rents aren’t quite ready to let go of their clubbing days, check out this 152-room hotel, which opened in 2017 on Talamanca beach, five minutes by car from Ibiza town.

The kids’ club, aimed at four- to 14-year-olds, is one of the few dedicated clubs for children in a five-star hotel in Ibiza, and offers activities from cooking to DJ workshops, bohemian foraging sessions to swimming lessons.

There’s also plenty of opportunity for arts and crafts, sports and chill-out sessions (this is Ibiza, after all). For mums and dads, there’s a Six Senses spa and the restaurant, of course, is Nobu.

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