Trips away with toddlers come with a plethora of practical issues: travel time, weather and access to amenities to name a few. So heading to a resort specially equipped for little ones like ROBINSON Club Esquinzo Playa in Fuerteventura is the most sensible option in my books.
Flights from the UK take just four hours, you’re virtually guaranteed vitamin D (being just 100km off the west coast of Africa) and there is zero time difference, so there is no messing with nap-time. Another bonus: this resort is a one-size-fits-all solution for stressed-out parents needing sunshine and some respite from the 24/7 grind.
Eliza is two and a half, so I’m cherishing this time when she is robust and inquisitive enough to try out new activities but still wanting to spend time with her dad and me. It’s the best of both worlds and precisely what the resort caters for very well.
There is a wealth of activities for kids and a toddler-safe beach where we could all hang out and enjoy each other’s company. The large, well-equipped kids’ club and crèche will take babies as young as six months old. Activities stretch from unicycle and an acrobat’s school to pool play, collage-making and painting.
There’s an imaginative children’s menu plus all the pool inflatables, bubbles and glitter they could ever want (and best of all, someone else has to clear it up). The fun is so plentiful, Eliza was begging to stay all day.
There are areas where trellises, punctuated by bursts of pink bougainvillea, divide the lush gardens so the adults get the privacy they crave when the kids are at play.
When the sun is blazing, day beds beckon and complimentary babysitters relieve you of your charges for an hour or two so you can drink rosé and read a sentence of your book before dozing off in the shade.The adults-only zone has a pool, a gym and spa with incredibly soothing treatments.
Our bright, airy room opened up to reveal lush gardens and the ocean. This place has a minimalist aesthetic – there are no cartoon characters here – but is still family-friendly and the rooms can be kitted out for babies, too.
You can leave your whole kit and caboodle at home as the hotel will provide a bouncy chair or bottle steriliser, playmat or potty for free and you can even rent a buggy.
The buffet is a real highlight of ROBINSON Club Esquinzo Playa. It may not be fancy, but sometimes all you want is good food cooked well. There was an array of meat dishes, marinated in herbs, and perfectly grilled seafood as a lighter option. We worked our way through giant swordfish, jumbo shrimps, fresh fennel salads, and a vegan and gluten-free menu, too.
The kid’s restaurant opens earlier, complete with a serving of ice cream every evening, and after supper there’s live entertainment. While Eliza and I were tucked up in bed, the dads loved nothing more than propping up the bar and doing all the moves to YMCA after a glass or two of the local wine.
Pack towels and a picnic and walk around this rugged, uninhabited island with rare flora and fauna. Declared a Unesco Biosphere Reserve, Fuerteventura is surrounded by crystal-clear waters and is home to more than 100 idyllic white sand beaches and enormous sand dunes.
You might want to consider travelling out of season, as temperatures soar during the summer months and it may be too hot for babies and toddlers.
There’s something really heart-warming about spending time with other families – you all club together and at ROBINSON Club Esquinzo Playa and a great deal of thought has gone into keeping parents relaxed. If you’re not content with the ocean on your doorstep, you can visit the spa or try your hand at art classes and windsurfing lessons (after all, Fuerteventura translates as strong winds).
The childcare is overseen by the kid’s club whizz team who are well versed in the challenges of family holidays and we definitely left happy. Working out what to do here isn’t the problem; working out how to pack it all into one holiday is!
Prices start from £520 per person for a 7-night stay, all-inclusive and stays can be booked via Robinson’s website, above