If your family time is often stretched to a bare minimum, a luxury holiday often offers a much cherished respite from the demands of everyday life. What many of us crave, is a place to really make the most of our time together, to feel as though we can let our hair down and cast aside worries and stresses, where we simply relax in the company of our loved ones — and, of course, soak up a little sun in the process!
This, we suspect, is why more and more families are opting to spend their down-time in a luxury villa. With convenience and privacy just part of the attraction, there is only one dilemma – do you chose a private villa or a villa resort? While for many, crashing onto a sun lounger and watching on as the children contentedly frolic in your private pool is an idea of heaven, there are also a growing number of villa resorts that offer extra facilities and assistance that can be spot on for families. Take a look at our global selection of top ten villa holidays we think your family simply can’t afford to miss this year...
1. Villa Leonor, Algarve, Portugal
For a good old fashioned break in the sun, you can’t do much better than Portugal. Set within the renowned Vale do Lobo resort, Villa Leonor offers access to two of Europe’s finest golf courses, along with two kilometres of stunning golden beach, fifteen restaurants, and the bustling complex of Praça nearby, offering a social hub with live music and a relaxed atmosphere. Days can easily be passed by in Villa Leonor itself though, with a games room, home cinema and spacious terrace boasting the all-important private swimming pool.
2. Porto Zante Villas and Spa, Zakynthos, Greece
Recently named as one of the best hotels for families in 2016 by Condé Nast Traveller, these stylish villas, boasting private pools and stunning sea views, have an array of activities and excursions to keep families on their toes. Spend a day at the water park next door, take on one of the many water sports on offer, head out to Turtle Island to meet the unique Caretta-Caretta turtles or seek out the much photographed cove of Navagio Beach, where you can snorkel down to the notorious shipwreck of a sunken Greek smuggler ship!
3. Elounda Gulf Villas & Suites, Crete, Greece
Boasting a luxurious selection of exclusive pool villas, some featuring pampering private spa facilities, Elounda Gulf Villas & Suites offers the essential family holiday formula of giving parents time to unwind and children chance to play. The Cool Creche takes care of babies aged from four months to four years of age, while children aged up to twelve years can let off steam in the Kids Club. Allow the hotel concierge to make reservations for a special family dinner at one of the resort’s two exceptional restaurants, or enjoy one of the theme nights, complete with lively Greek dances and delicious delicacies.
4. Samujana, Koh Samui, Thailand
Not only are these villas devastatingly stylish – with some offering private gyms, cinemas, rooftop dining areas and private DJs – they are also a perfect way to introduce children to the wonders of the beautiful island of Koh Samui. Take a tour and watch eyes open with wonder at the sight of breathtaking waterfalls and temples or taste local culture by heading to a vibrant local market. Beaches in Koh Samui are simply stunning, and perfectly safe for children of all ages, though with two water parks and a private yacht available for charter, there’s plenty to do if you begin to tire of the sand.
5. Jumby Bay Island, Antigua
Set on a delightful three-hundred acre private island off the coast of Antigua, Jumby Bay Island, is as cheerful as its name sounds. Boasting an extensive list of sprawling private villas and estate homes, Jumby Bay promises unforgettable days spent cycling along the peaceful coastline and rocking in hammocks on the pristine beach, where a friendly beach assistant will more than likely appear to offer you a much welcome frozen treat. It also features the fantastic Rose Buds® children’s programme, where a host of opportunities are offered for little ones to delve into the fascinating natural environment, meet Hawksbill turtles, unleash their creativity and make their own scientific discoveries.
6. The Landings, St Lucia
Holidays that please children of all ages can be tricky. If you have both teenagers and toddlers in tow, The Landings in St Lucia offers a fantastic solution. While the selection of villas, available with between one and three bedrooms, offer the space and privacy required by all family members in the party, the wealth of activities and experiences on offer promises to please all. The children’s club is complimentary for children aged four to twelve years of age, while teenagers and adventurous types will love exploring the fascinating terrain and sparkling waters by Jeep or Catamaran, as well as taking a trip into the Caribbean’s only drive-in volcano or hiking through the iconic Piton Mountains.
7. Saint Peter's Bay Luxury Resort & Residences, Barbados
Comprising fifty-seven immaculately styled beachfront homes and apartments, Saint Peter's Bay Luxury Resort & Residences offers guests a number of dedicated services and helpful amenities, making it an ideal option for families wishing to keep busy when in Barbados. Set directly on St Peter’s beach, take a water taxi direct from the resort to go searching for Hawksbill turtles, jump into a kayak and explore the coastline or pick up some snorkelling equipment to venture below the Caribbean waters. When you’re feeling hungry, just head out to The Gazebo Bar & Grill for a plate of delicious cuisine, making breakfast, lunch and dinner plans blissfully simple.
8. Half Century House, Barbados
Exclusivity is the key to the draw of Half Century House. Set within the prestigious Sugar Hill Resort overlooking the famed ‘Platinum Coast’ of St James, guests of this immaculate property will have full use of the facilities of the Sugar Hill Club House, with helpful staff on hand to provided assistance. And, while guests will no doubt already feel spoilt with their beautifully landscaped terrace and swimming pool, there would be no harm in making the most of the beach club at the nearby Fairmont Royal Pavilion.
9. Paradise Beach, Nevis
The only villa resort on the isles of St Kitts and Nevis, this enclave of pristine sands is home to just seven enviable Balinese style villas nestled among lush tropical gardens. Boasting an exclusive tiki bar to keep refreshments flowing while you relax on the beachfront, the beautiful interior of this charming island has plenty to offer to tempt families away from their sun loungers. Laden with historical sites tucked away among the velvety foliage, explore abandoned sugar plantations and immaculate botanical gardens before deciding whether to take a horse ride along the beach, an adventure out in a kayak or a dive into the crystalline waters to meet giant Leatherback and Hawksbill turtles.
10. Anahita the Resort, Mauritius
Reopening for October 2016, following anticipated renovations, Anahita the Resort is a perfect pick for half term or Christmas breaks. An ideal destination for budding adventurers and teenagers who refuse to sit still, the surrounding area is packed full of places to explore. Domaine de l’Etoile is a stunning expanse of indigenous forest and lush pastures, where adrenaline junkies can whizz around on buggy rides, quad bikes and horseback, while young children can have their own adventures at the children’s village. The resort also offers a free boat shuttle to Ile aux Cerfs Adventure Park, while wildlife lovers will be fascinated with Vallee de Ferney, one of the last nature sanctuaries on the island.
For more information on our collection of villa holidays perfect for a luxury family holiday this year, please call our expert Travel Consultants on 01244 897 441.