Spa Breaks for the Whole Family
There’s nothing like stepping out of a soothing session in the Jacuzzi and surrendering yourself to the safe hands of the Indian head masseur. Suddenly, the real world seems a million miles away; well, that is until your cheeky six-year-old pops their head around the door to enquire when you’ll be ready to join the rest of the family for a spot of lunch.
In some people’s minds, the idea of a spa break with children is just, well, wrong really. Toddlers, especially, are hardly synonymous with relaxation, which makes winding down for anything more than half an hour here or there almost impossible. So does this mean than parents can simply forget about pampering until the young ones are safely tucked up in the halls of residence of their chosen university? Not at all. In fact, there is plenty of choice in terms of destinations and package options on the market. With everyone’s pockets being squeezed during the current economic downturn, operators may be more amenable than usual to cut you and the family a rather attractive deal.
From Italian Palazzi to Purpose-built Golf ResortsThere are all manner of different mainland European resorts to choose, from Italian palazzi to Bavarian mountain retreats and purpose-built Spanish golf resorts. But bearing in mind the needs of the young ones, an island-based spa – the Canaries or Sardinia, for example - may be the best idea because it is more than likely to have a beach in close proximity, allowing the children ample space to let off steam without attracting disapproving glances from other spa uses.
Failing that, on-site kids’ clubs as well as in-room facilities such as DVD players or games consoles can go along way to keeping the children happy. And that’s the key: keep the children happy and you’ll have more freedom to plan your own itinerary.It is best to structure your day as you would at home, so breakfast, lunch and dine with the children before putting them to bed. After that, it’s a case of mixing and matching sessions in the gym, steam room and Jacuzzi as well as utilising the services of the staff in the treatment rooms.
Choose a Destination Closer to HomeIf the idea of packing the suitcases, remembering the passports and squeezing everyone into the airport taxi is likely to leave you with too much stress to try and unburden during the course of a short break, it may be better to choose a destination closer to home. British spa lovers, for example, will find a great deal of choice available online. Taking a break in your own country may mean the children find it easier to find holiday friends, thereby making your life a whole lot easier for the duration of your stay.
Ultimately, given that you’ll be getting the run around from the children at the spa, and burning plenty of calories in the process, it may be sensible simply to concentrate on the pampering. Aim to try a few treatments you have never experienced before, and pre-plan so that none of your kid-free time is wasted looking at the brochure. This probably won’t be an option anyway, because pre-booking masseurs or classes is likely to be essential during busy periods such as the school-holiday season.
It may sound like mission impossible, but some families do drive away from the spa feeling thoroughly chilled by the experience. If in the process, you have also picked up some useful advice or discovered the benefits of a particular treatment, then everyone will be a winner.