A review of Sani Resort Greece - a gem of a family destination
In my life as a mum and a family photographer in Berkhamsted, this is a debate that often comes up. It's a frequent discussion I have with clients - how life changes after children and the biggest bugbear is losing any hope of relaxation ever again.
In a previous life I was a magazine journalist and one of the many hats I wore was "Travel Writer". So what better place than here to share my finds with my lovely clients - and boy is this a find!
Every year, since my own two monkeys arrived, we have scoured the internet for a holiday destination that might help us have that mystical and elusive relaxing family holiday. We've tried hotels, self-catering, villas - with and without long-suffering grandparents (aka take-along babysitters) - but this year we struck gold.
In June we jetted off to the Greek resort of Sani (http://www.sani-resort.com). It's basically a five-star baby heaven, where they cater for your baby's every whim. This kind of place that would have had us running for the hills five years ago (pre-children) when we favoured five-star, adult-only, boutique style hotels in exotic and far flung locations. But hey, things change.
It's not cheap, but it's worth it. Our boys were just four and almost two, so pretty full on, but I literally can't fault this resort. They have four accommodations - Sani Beach Hotel (where we stayed), The Sani Beach Club, Porto Sani Village and Sani Asterias Suites. We had a beautiful ground floor suite - my youngest slept in a cot in our room and my oldest had a bed in the living room area.
A travel cot was waiting for O when we arrived and a bed guard and blackout curtains were delivered within an hour or two of us enquiring. Literally nothing is too much trouble. The hotel's restaurants includes a toddler menu, with seven or eight options - which can be served whole or pureed. Something I have never seen before which seems a fantastic idea if you're travelling with a weaning baby.
From the beach hotel there are two beautiful white sand beaches which are raked to stepford-standard perfection every morning. They have super-comfy loungers, with food and drink service and a fabulous service called "Babe Watch" where they watch your children for you. Yup, you read that right, there are two lovely Greek ladies who genuinely seem to love children and sit there all day, under an umbrella willing to share their beach toys with your little ones.
When it comes to food time they have a system called "dine around". The resort is set around a pretty harbour and most of the restaurants are included in this scheme whereby you have an allowance to spend on a meal, instead of staying in your hotel every night. There is a fabulous selection of restaurants and we had some delicious meals. We particularly enjoyed Ergon which served Greek tapas, and the boys especially loved tucking into all the shared dishes.
There are dozens of activities to entertain children too, there is a nursery and a kids club from age 4. We didn't try either of these as we felt our oldest was a little young for the kids club having not yet started school - but the kids there seemed to love it. There is also a packed sports timetable, evening entrainment and a bike and scooter hire shop who hire out adult scooters as well as children's (so. much. fun.)
Amazingly, on a holiday with a four and almost two-year-old I read three books! To me that's a sign of a very successful holiday. The boys also had a blast and there is no doubt we'll be heading back again soon.
Rachel Powell is a family and newborn photographer based in Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire. To find out more click here.