Fresh, warm currents of sea air, sports and games galore, delicious, wholesome food and supervised entertainment in secure, luxurious surroundings: it’s a recipe made in heaven for family holiday success and it can be found for real at The Rocco Forte Hotels’ Verdura Golf & Spa Resort on the Mediterranean south-west coast of Sicily.
The five-star resort loves families as much as the native Sicilians do, and has put the details in place to ensure a fantastic family holiday experience, as energetic or relaxing as individual family members want it to be.
Facilities at the resort include three golf courses (including a nine-hole par-3, perfect for juniors), a huge two-tiered swimming pool with a separate children’s pool for novice swimmers, a spa and fitness center with quiet lap pool, six floodlit tennis courts, a private beach with sailing and windsurfing, and bicycles and other games, such as Sony Playstations, to pick up for free. There’s also a children’s DVD library.
To make optimum use of all these ‘toys’, and to help parents grab some relaxation time of their own, Verdura will have a professionally-managed Kids’ Club for children aged 4-12 where exciting, age-appropriate activities are laid on (the ages of the children are taken before the holiday). The Kid’s Club is free of charge and is open seven days a week, 10am-10pm, and welcomes children for full or half days.
A private babysitting service is available if parents feel like a quiet evening (or day) à deux.
For mealtimes – which can be tricky to get right for everyone – the resort adopts an inclusive, Mediterranean approach. All but one of the four restaurants welcomes children, and the Buon Giorno restaurant is open between 5.30 and 7.30pm exclusively for children’s dinners. High chairs and booster seats come as standard, as do unbreakable, colourful plates, mugs and cutlery. There is also 24-hour room service, so children who get the munchies at odd times of the day or night need never go hungry.
As well as menus specially designed to introduce Sicilian and Italian food and different styles of pasta and pizza to the children, there will also be burgers, grills, beachside barbecues, salads and sandwiches – just what’s needed after a busy morning spent in the pool or junior golf clinic or tennis tournament.
At the end of the day there is a milk-and-cookies moment, and a storyteller will read or speak to the children at sundown – a magical end to a fun-packed day. With safety paramount, all children under four are given identity bracelets and personally escorted to their rooms, which will have been ‘childproofed’ with safety plugs and night lights. Cots, baby shampoo, potties, step stools, baby baths, colouring books and crayons are all available on request.
Verdura is well-situated for exploratory outings into and around Sicily. Sciacca is the nearest, picturesque town, still a working fishing port; Agrigento is 30 kms away with its Valley of the Temples; and riding, deep-sea fishing, boat trips to the Aeolian islands and helicopter tours can all be arranged.
Verdura Golf & Spa Resort , www.roccofortehotels.com