independent

Wednesday 23 April 2014

Mini Adventures - Europe's best kids clubs

Make pizza, play football and put on a show at the pick of Europe's kids clubs

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Villa San Michele, Italy

Comprehensive childcare doesn't have to mean a compromise on style.

High on a hillside above Florence, the Villa San Michele couldn't be more appealing for grown-ups. Rooms are indulgent in a classically Italian way, while the Loggia Restaurant serves traditional Tuscan cuisine.

But from May, parents will also be able to relax in the knowledge that the new 'Smile Club' will be on hand to entertain their children, offering pizza-making, Italian lessons and Florentine crafts in a former chapel on the grounds.

Details: Villa San Michele, Via Doccia 4, Fiesole, Italy (00 39 055 567 8200; villasanmichele.com). Family rooms from €543, B&B.

Sani Beach Hotel, Greece

For aspiring David Beckhams, the Sani Resort on the Kassandra peninsula has a new football academy. Launched in partnership with Worldwide Kids Company, it's available from May 25 to September 1.

Children aged five to 14 will be able to join daily coaching sessions, improve their ball skills and even win medals for displaying prowess on the pitch (two hours; €35).

Meanwhile, adults can kick back on the beach, enjoy a long lunch, or indulge in a treatment at the luxurious spa.

Details: Sani Resort, Kassandra, Halkidiki, Greece (00 30 23 7409 9500; sani-resort.com). Family rooms from €877, half board.

Abama, Tenerife

One of the most expansive kids clubs in Europe can be found at Abama in Tenerife. The Club Abami, which was launched last summer, can accommodate up to 100 children at a time, with indoor and outdoor spaces broken down into eight zones. There's an area dedicated to astronomy, another for wildlife, and corners for theatre and crafts. A ball-pit, aquatics area and vegetable patch round off impressive facilities, which are complimentary to resort guests.

Details: Abama, Guia de Isora, Tenerife, Spain (00 34 922 126 000; abamahotelresort.com). Family rooms from €417, B&B.

Conrad Algarve, Portugal

The five-star Conrad opened last summer in the Quinta do Lago area of Portugal's popular tourist enclave. This year, the hotel is keeping things fresh with a new "Little C Palace", for children aged three to 12.

Young guests will be welcomed by two mascots, Adventurer Afonso and Liz the Lizard, who will guide them through such activities as fancy-dress parties, gymnastics, mini golf and face painting – all to encourage their adventurous side.

Details: Conrad Algarve, Quinta do Lago, Algarve, Portugal (00 351 289 350700; conradalgarve.com). Family rooms from €246, B&B.

Anassa, Cyprus

Thanos Hotels has introduced a new "Explorers Club" across three resorts in Cyprus (Anassa, Annabelle and Almyra). Launched in partnership with Scott Dunn and administered by a team of childcare professionals, it includes an activity programme for children aged four months to 13 years with a healthy lunch designed by nutritionist Fiona Faulkner. Of the three resorts, Anassa nudges into the lead, thanks to its Cypriot-village feel, extensive Thalassa Spa and Mediterranean views.

Details: Anassa, 40 Regenas Road, Neo Chorio, Cyprus (00 357 26 888 000; anassa.com.cy). Family rooms from €820, B&B.

Riviera Beach Club, France

Belambra runs 58 children's clubs across France and Corsica. The latest opening is the Riviera Beach Club, which launched last summer on the Giens peninsula between Toulon and Saint Tropez. It has activities run by coaches from the French Athletics Federation, exercise classes, a sailing club, swimming lessons, treasure hunts and puppet shows. Also a supervised "Leo Evening" once a week gives parents a night off.

Details: Riviera Beach Club, 4337 Route de Giens, Hyeres, France (00 33 4 94 58 21 35; belambra.co.uk). Family rooms from €366, half board.

Irish Independent

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