These days, kids’ clubs and crèches come as standard in many luxury hotels. But planning family holidays with a teenager in tow? That’s a different ball game. Teens can be a little harder to please; some may want back-to-back activities, while others just want the Wifi password and an Instagrammable beach. To make things easier, we’ve picked our favourite hotels that offer fantastic teens’ clubs, plus a rave review from a young Sovereign customer…
At Hard Rock Hotel Tenerife, everyone is treated like a rock star – you can borrow Fender guitars and make your own playlists for your room, and there’s rock memorabilia everywhere you turn. For 10 to 16-year-olds, it’s possibly the coolest hotel going.
Teen Spirit is the teens’ club, operating a strict ‘no parents allowed’ policy. You can battle it out on Guitar Hero, learn to DJ, hang out in a gaming booth and have parties every week. Sovereign customer Lucia, 14, visited recently with her family and gave us the lowdown on her favourite bits…
1. Teen club. This place was really cool in the way it was decorated, it has an amazing variation of games such as the Xboxes and other video games. It even had an electric guitar, drum kit and DJ decks that everyone could have a go on. The general theme of the hotel was carried on well in this club too.
2. Swimming pools. All the pools were great, the beach level pool was really cool and the swimming pool where they played sports was such fun. The entertainers encouraged all to take part in the activities and enjoy them. I did water polo and watched my mum attempt water aerobics.
3. Real DJs. There were DJs playing music around the swimming pools, it gave a feeling of being in a club (I think… as I haven’t been in a night club!)
4. Live music. The live music in the evenings was exciting and went well with the hotel vibe.
5. Entertainers. The people who worked at the kids’ club were very nice as they treated us like adults. All the other kids in the teen club were also allowed to go from place to place within the hotel, so as a group we went from pool to pool, to kids’ club to football pitch. After dinner, we all met in the Teen club and when they shut at 10 pm, we sat outside and played cards in a group.
6. Football pitch and sports area. The astro football pitch was where we made our friends as it is a large, shaded space which is idea for sport, but also has areas which are quiet and calm and ideal for kids to hang out there.
7. Food. Every meal I had was delicious. I loved the choice of smoothies at breakfast – little kids could even get a teddy-shaped pancake or a pancake with their name inside. There was so much choice, you could even have a chocolate fountain or a kebab at breakfast!
Set on a sandy beach in Paphos, Olympic Lagoon Resort is amazingly well-thought-out for families, with four huge lagoon pools and a Mayan-themed temple complete with water slides. The X-Perience Arena hosts live music, Broadway shows and discos in the evening, while days are reserved for everything from archery to Zumba.
The Teenz Club takes care of easily bored teenagers with super high-tech gaming booths, an internet café and club with soda bar, as well as extra trips and activities organised throughout the day.
During school holidays, Martinhal Sagres Beach Family Resort Hotel organises teens and tweens by age to give them the chance to hang out and make friends their own age. Ten to 14-year-olds can head to Explorers Club, while the meeting point for 15 to 17s is the Blast Club.
Both are run by an expert leisure team, who arrange cool activity programmes like surfing, diving, cycling and horse riding trips, as well as designing t-shirt and mocktail-making contests. Spots fill up fast, so we recommend booking your teenager in before you go.
The Sani Resorts have always been a brilliant bet for families. For 2017, they’ve extended their (already enormous) kids’ club to offer more for teens. Located in the marina, Ozone is a dedicated hangout for 12 to 17 year olds that presents teens with their own access key to ensure a strictly parent-free zone.
There’s a gaming suite and snack bar, and activities include mountain biking, cooking and mocktail-making classes, canoeing and even spa visits. Like the kids’ club, the whole thing is organised by the Worldwide Kids, so you can breathe easy knowing it’s well supervised.
This summer, Sani is adding a brand new hotel to its collection in Halkidiki. Sani Dunes accepts guests over 12 years old, so it’s a great option for older kids who prefer to be treated like grown-ups. It has a fabulous private beach and a more adult feel, but still has access to Sani’s brilliant line-up of sports, clubs and families.
Porto Elounda keeps teenagers so busy, they won’t even have the time to get stroppy with you. Thirteen to 18-year-olds are welcome at the teenager centre for watersports, fishing trips, gaming and general hangout (Wifi is readily available), or even picking up a new skill with golf, tennis and sailing lessons. Week-long football and dance academies are available for the seriously dedicated, and there’s evening entertainment until 11pm to keep them busy after a family dinner.
Brilliant for families, Gloria Golf Resort Hotel has a massive nine swimming pools and its own waterpark (complete with waterslides), as well as a non-stop line-up of sports classes, watersports, evening theatre and dance shows – and did we mention Turkey’s biggest golf course?
If they want to make some friends their own age, teenagers can head to their own club and get stuck into rock climbing or football tournaments, or for un-sporty types, they can read, play video games or just hang out (supervised) on the beach.
Download the Sovereign Family Guide
At Sovereign, we do family holidays a little differently. Our Travel Experts go the extra mile to help you plan a hassle-free holiday from start to finish, and since many of them have kids and teens themselves, so they really do think of everything. You’ll find a few hints and tips below, but for even more advice and inspiration, we’ve created the Sovereign Family Guide. It’s a gold mine of information for holidays with kids and teens, from packing lists to how to choose the perfect hotel.
“As a mum of two teenagers, my top tip would be to stay in a hotel where older teenagers can walk to local facilities. This gives them a sense of independence, and let’s face it they won’t want to spend the whole holiday by your side.” – Clare Mardell, Travel Expert and mum of two teenagers
“Some of the hotels offer clubs for teenagers where they can relax away from you, but where you know they are nearby. This is a good way for them to make friends their own age.” – Louise Burling, Travel Expert and mum of one boy
“Look at all inclusive options, then you won’t need to think about whether they can have that drink or snack, it will all be taken care of – and we know how much teenagers can eat.” – Sam Grist, Travel Expert and mum of two girls