We've had many brilliant trips with the kids, but our most enjoyable family holiday so far consisted of 10 days at the fabulous Vila Vita Parc Hotel in the Algarve region of Portugal, with direct access to two private beaches. It can be hit and miss with many 'child-friendly' resorts, but this one ticked all the right boxes.
My kids, then aged two and three, were restless travellers, so the three-hour flight to Faro airport followed by the 20-minute transfer time to the resort were short enough for them (and us!) to cope with. Not old enough to appreciate the stunning grounds that surround the hotel, the boys were far more excited by the golf buggy that greeted us on arrival to whisk us to our family apartment. While we took in the breathtaking décor, they screeched in delight at their fabulous children's welcome pack, along with their own mini-slippers and dressing gowns.
Being a five-star hotel, Vila Vita bends over backwards to keep little ones entertained and allow stressed-out parents to have some much-needed ‘us’ time. It boasts the best kids’ club I have ever experienced, with its own vast playground, where our boys were very well cared for. They also had fun on the football pitch and massive trampoline, and spent a huge amount of time in and out of the freshwater swimming pools (there are five of them to enjoy).
This is the kind of hotel that has thought of everything. Forget lugging your own beach toys along with you: the lovely beach we visited was laden with toys and buckets and spades. Even the sunloungers had shields to protect from the burning heat. It provided the perfect holiday break for the four of us. Such quality doesn't come cheap, but then 10 days without any toddler tantrums or squabbles is priceless.
Read more about Algarve family holidays, including things to do and places to stay and eat with kids.