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After years of self-catering we want to try all-inclusive with teens

(48 Posts)
CurlyhairedAssassin Mon 11-Jun-18 19:42:47

We like the Dordogne, particularly Le Banquet in Les Eyzies (thanks, Portofino, for the recommendation a while back!).

We like Puerto Pollensa and Pollensa itself (have booked a villa in the countryside for this year)

In England we like St Ives.

But DH and I now both work fulltime and we want a sodding break from all the shopping and cooking so are considering an all-inclusive for hollow-legged teens (14 and 12). I think their eyes will be on stalks at an all-inclusive buffet. Just for 10 nights plus. August next year. Ideally £6k or under. (May consider slightly over if very nice)
Don’t want to spend £££ on Sani Resort as we are not posh but just want somewhere where kids do not run feral till11pm and families load up in the all-inc booze.

We don’t want Turkey, Sharm, Mexico or Dom Rep but will consider anywhere else within 4 hr flight.

Absolute priorities are:

Nice food
No fighting for a sun bed.
Stuff to do for teens (eg table tennis, WiFi, not necessarily kids club for that age)
Maybe a gym.

We don’t need little kids entertainment/club anymore.

Any ideas, anyone?

Sevendown Mon 11-Jun-18 19:45:09

Watching for interest.

Spidermansthong Mon 11-Jun-18 19:48:13

I can't recommend particular hotels as my dd is much younger so my hotel requirements are different, but it might be worthwhile looking at Cambrils near Salou. It's a 'nice' resort and it's close to Port Adventura theme park which could keep your dcs entertained and simple to get to Barcelona if you want a day trip.

There's also some hotels in Tui website in Tenerife which have free (but sometimes limited) access to Siam Water Park.

BlueKittens Mon 11-Jun-18 21:09:03

Go on a cruise. Try it once, you might enjoy it. But I can guarantee the teens will love it.

You can get off every day and see everything from natural parks, arts, culture, cities, beaches, all in one trip.

I would suggest Royal Caribbean Oasis, or voyager class. Or Norwegian Cruise Line. International crowd, will be lots of teens.

I wouldn’t recommend P&O or the Italian lines for a first cruise for various reasons.

Book with vacations to go or direct with company. Not through a high street agent and never pay brochure prices.

mummymeister Tue 12-Jun-18 09:38:54

I felt like this a few years ago but the thought of all inclusive and the possibilities of people drinking all the time didn't appeal. so we went for a week to Vassiliki and stayed in Ocean Elements. there is windsurfing and sailing there plus it includes breakfast and most evenings an event type meal. I felt this was a good compromise with teens as I didn't want to do the jump from self catering to AI. might be worth considering.

catandpanda Tue 12-Jun-18 10:58:28

First Choice have a SplashWorld range with waterparks which are good for teens and easy. Should be within budget, AI. We've been to Estival Park and Marina Park of these and Magic Natura, Estival Park is the most grown up in terms of entertainment but was a longer walk to park though 5-10 minutes. We probably liked Magic Natura best but kids a bit younger then. Didn't find alcohol issues at these, ferel kids at 11pm possibly but in the nighttime entertainment with parents which is in a separate area.

www.firstchoice.co.uk/holiday/inventory/SplashWorld

Ricekrispie22 Tue 12-Jun-18 17:36:52

This may help www.travelweekly.co.uk/articles/33210/families-teen-friendly-hotels-and-resorts

StereophonicallyChallenged Tue 12-Jun-18 17:46:32

I've not heard good reports from European AI resorts tbh. The best ones are in Turkey, went to one last year as a large mixed age group and it was great, just what we needed. A few years ago I went AI with my dc on my own in Spain and it was awful, but I don't know if some of that was being on my own with 2 young dc. The food was bad though and everything overcrowded even in low season.

Spain put me off AI (first time) but I've now been on a few more recently, further afield and I am fully converted for a relaxing holiday either with or without the teens smile
My ds went to Egypt with his dad and loved it, lots of exciting stuff like dune buggys and parasailing, nd with all the benefits of excellent AI so it might be worth reconsidering?

Ragwort Tue 12-Jun-18 17:47:07

We went to a Neilsson resort with our teenager - we all enjoyed it, DH and DS are very 'active' so there was plenty to do and the teenager club was really well run, by a 20 year old who was sufficiently 'cool' to appeal to the teens and they more or less decided what they wanted to do amongst themselves. No pressure to 'join in' if you didn't want to - originally our teen sneered at the idea of a 'kid's club' but he could see they were a great crowd and he became the life and soul of the club blush - still in touch with some of the friends he met there.

I had a great time lazing around by the pool and beach - the food was great, and it was a very civilised resort so no late nights or riotous behaviour grin.

Ragwort Tue 12-Jun-18 17:49:17

PS: Booze isn't AI at the Neilsson resorts so you avoid the 'boozed up behaviour'. Just to reiterate the food was excellent put on half a stone in a week.

exLtEveDallas Tue 12-Jun-18 18:02:56

You say you don't want Sharm, but what about Hurghada?

Very safe, 5hr flight into a new and overly secure airport. Large resort complexes that mean no fighting for sunbeds. Water parks and trips out: Jeep Safari, Quad Safari, Boat/Catamaran, Dolphin House Safari (not enclosed, wild dolphins), Pyramids, Luxor etc.

Lots of 'Genuine Fakes' for teens with champagne tastes - my DD has a wardrobe full of Adidas, Converse, Superdry and Hollister hoodies that are indestinguishable from the real thing - but cost around a tenner each!

I'd recommend the Jungle Aqua Park, Jaz Aquamarine and Sindbad Club in Hurghada itself and the Jaz Aquaviva, Sunrise Royal Makadi and Steinburger Makadi in Makadi Bay. All have multiple restaurants, water parks, lots of room and facilities.

Moonflower12 Tue 12-Jun-18 19:58:28

Do not go to Bulgaria! I'm still traumatised.

Tenko Wed 13-Jun-18 15:13:48

I second a cruise. I never imagined I would like cruises, we are not posh but tried it when DC were 15/17 and we all loved it. I like Thomsons as they are not as hung up on formality as some and yet still naice enough.

In general I would avoid AI in Greece (though I love Greece, just not AI) and choose a big hotel with more than one restaurant.

Go for four stars or above and you will find gyms and organised activities in all.

Costa Adeje in Tenerife has plenty of decent AI hotels in a busy resort with lots going on, including Siam Park a fantastic water park.

Cyprus has some good AI hotels, look at Paphos or Nissi Beach.
I would never go to Turkey or Egypt.

dingit Wed 13-Jun-18 15:18:58

I second a thomson cruise, and the Adriatic itinerary.

A bit random, but if they like walking, white water rafting, canyoning, high ropes, you might like a catered chalet in the alps. ( Austria)

donajimena Wed 13-Jun-18 15:27:18

We are going to Tui Family Life Islantilla on the Costa de la luz this year.
I've been on a few All Inclusive. I've never been on a bad one and certainly haven't seen any bad behaviour. I'm sure it goes on but we pick our resorts carefully.
We went AI to Salou last year. I don't rate Salou for ambience and character but we had a fantastic holiday because of Portaventura.

BlueKittens Wed 13-Jun-18 15:37:39

Thomson cruises no longer exist (not a loss in my opinion as they weren’t great compared to the competition). There are lots of casual cruise lines to choose from in Europe actually - Norwegian (despite the name nothing to do with Norway), Royal Caribbean, Princess, MSC, Costa. Pullmantur are a basic bargain but the food is very good and cocktails are all free! I would recommend NCL or RCL most.

Avoid P&O if you don’t want to dress up on formal night. Cunard is the poshest. Celebrity is sophisticated and smart casual but more expensive. Then you have the luxury expensive lines which tend to be fairly casual.

BlueKittens Wed 13-Jun-18 15:40:53

Everyone I know who has been to an AI resort has been disappointed. I’m sure there are good ones out there, but there’s a lot of rubbish ones so check reviews carefully before booking I’d say. Also take reviews with a pinch of salt- they may have different tastes/ expectations to you. That’s what we found with P&O - the passengers had less sophisticated tastes than we are used to on cruises (food, entertainment, service) not for us blush

dingit Wed 13-Jun-18 15:44:56

Thomson cruises do still exist but have been rebranded Marella, for some strange reason. We did one this winter to the Caribbean, nothing had changed but the name.

HemanOrSheRa Wed 13-Jun-18 15:47:06

We stayed at the Ikos Oceania in Halkidiki a couple of years ago which was amazing. They've opened a new resort in Corfu this year. We also stayed at the Iberostar Playa De Muro Village hotel on Mallorca last year which was excellent too.

CurlyhairedAssassin Wed 13-Jun-18 18:13:57

Wow, lots of ideas, thanks.

Ikos Oceania looks amazing. It’s an amazing price too, £9,900 for 10 nights in August for the 4 of us, so quite a bit over the £6k I wanted to pay.

The Royal Caribbean cruises were also coming up too expensive for more than a week for the 4 of us In August. But they look great.

Definitely don’t want anywhere at all in Egypt, Turkey, Sharm or Tunisia please, although I know decent AI tend to be cheaper.

The places I’ve been recommended eg Princess Yaiza in Lanzarote are also mega expensive in August (person who recommended it was going in term-time, don’t think she realised the price ikncrease in August school holidays)

Playa de muro looks good but we’ve done Majorca a few times now so fancy a change.

Maybe we should carry on self-catering and save up for a decent AI in a couple of years.

Tenko Wed 13-Jun-18 19:13:44

You really don't need to spend £9k to get a decent AI holiday.
Ten days for 4 adults at the 5* Costa Adeje Gran in August with Jet2 comes out at £6400 and there are plenty good hotels cheaper.

Princess Yaiza is nice but more popular with families with small children rather than teens.
14 and 12 are the perfect age for AI .
Have a look at this thread for ideas for holidays with teens.
www.mumsnet.com/Talk/shorthaul/3268784-i-ve-never-been-to-the-canary-islands-where-would-you-suggest-for-october

BlueKittens Wed 13-Jun-18 20:15:14

7 day cruise on Norwegian Epic from Barcelona is £2.4k (Inside) or £4k (Balcony) for 4 people in 2 cabins (will be less if you share- yes it is possible!).

Add on flights (£200 each?) 3 nights before (or after) in Barcelona (Airbnb or Booking.com £500?) that will take you under £6k when you factor in ship tips, taxis and food.

I’ve been on Epic and it’s lovely ship with a great itinerary - it even has water slides- big kid me grin It’s goes to a good mix of places (history, culture, scenery, beaches)

See here:

www.vacationstogo.com/fastdeal.cfm?deal=35966&cc=gb

sm40 Wed 13-Jun-18 20:19:29

If ikos is your thing, try booking direct and flying via Germany (see Skyscanner). We went to sani (nearby, recommended, and owned by same people) and only way we could afford it!

BlueKittens Wed 13-Jun-18 20:24:35

Thanks dingit had no idea they’d changed name

hendricksy Wed 13-Jun-18 20:24:50

I know you want AI but we have been quite a few times to a place in Spain in which the hotel is right next to Portaventura theme park and a big water park . The hotel itself is lovely and the food is great . We don't drink a massive amount so it suits us . There is evening entertainment and as I say the theme park is right on the doorstep ( but strangely the hotel is quiet ) so the kids could go without you . It's also near a town with a nice beach and it's probably around your budget .

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