Here’s a challenge for you.
Imagine you’re in your late 50s and you’re given the task of entertaining a couple in their 30s, two children under five, and a woman who is also in her 50s. All at the same time. And you have to enjoy yourself too.
Not for one day though… for two weeks.
Terrified? I’m not surprised! The important thing to remember if you are facing this sort of challenge is you’re not alone: there is a huge rise in holidaying as a big family and everyone I know who has tried it absolutely loves it. I can’t think of anything more fun. You see the not quite 60 year old is me, the couple in their 30s are my son and his wife and the children are my grandchildren. We decided to create an annual tradition and spend two weeks holidaying as a gang. Well I decided and then hoped everyone else would be keen.
My son certainly didn’t take much persuading. I think the thought of free babysitters and the chance to fall asleep in the sun knowing somebody else is watching the little ones was more than enough to get him excited.
Once you’ve decided to take the plunge into a multi-generational holiday the only real question is where to go? The key for me was being somewhere where everyone can have fun together but also making sure there were plenty of opportunities to do things separately. No matter how much your kids enjoy your company they are going to want to escape now and then!
The venue therefore needs to be a good size. Too small and you’ll be on top of each other and, of course, the smaller the unit the fewer (on the whole) facilities there are. My tick list included tennis courts, watersports galore, horse-riding (my daughter in law loves it) and golf (for me).
The two little ones love nature at the moment, they can’t get enough of being outside and seeing birds and flowers. So that was also important when choosing where to stay.
And arguably the most vital element of them all was a range of restaurants. We are all food-obsessed so sitting down to incredible fresh fish at lunchtime was a must.
The number of hotels offering all this is surprisingly limited. But you only need to find one and it just so happens that Four Seasons Fairways has all of this and plenty more besides. Quinta do Lago is a golfers paradise, next to the Ria Formosa Nature Reserve, the resort and area is packed with decent places to eat, there’s a riding stables and tennis courts. Plus the beach is beautiful and there’s a lake for windsurfing and sailing.
All of our boxes ticked and I think this is a tradition that’ll stick with us for many years to come. For my wife there’s nothing on this earth she enjoys more than spending time with the family so she is over the moon. And won’t mind in the slightest if I disappear off a few times to play 18 holes!
If you’re thinking about taking your whole family away but not quite got round to it I cannot recommend it enough. Get going with your tick list and find that perfect place – you won’t regret it.