Tamarind Hotel, Barbados
It's so relaxing after a long flight – especially with children – to arrive at a comfortable hotel with a stylish beach, excellent facilities and guaranteed sunshine. My own immediate choice was a pedicure in the newly-opened spa, followed by a visit to a lounger by the sea!Children of all ages seemed to be really well looked after, as the hotel has everything from babysitting services to "The Flying Fish Kids Club" which covers both artistic and physical daytime activities, usually with a seasonal bent.
However, it's also excellent for children who are a little more adventurous and want to learn a new skill. The Aqua School offers complimentary watersports instruction and equipment, along the hotel's great beach. The activities range from stand up paddle-boarding to snorkelling, water-skiing, wind surfing and (so it seemed to me) most things in between!
Teens benefit from Club Tamarind's "cool" lounge with large screen Wii's, game consoles and arranged disco nights. In order that they can really enjoy themselves, do remember to apply some good mosquito repellent. I found them to be quite active on the island during the early evening!
Apart from the personal baby-sitting services, all of the children's amenities are complimentary and, at the moment with good value re-opening rates, rooms are just £162 a night, bed and breakfast, including the first child.
One of the two new dining options is the adults only, Rilaks Deck where sophisticated small plates and cocktails are available in an outdoor living area. At the same time there are dedicated children's menus throughout the other restaurants, including the ocean front 246 Bar, where the traditional child-friendly dishes often have a Bajan twist. They could try Lollipop Hot Dogs with fried plantain, pickles, parmesan and potato chips.
A plus factor for those on half board – it is possible to eat at any of the Elegant Groups' five hotel restaurants in Barbados. This includes The House, the next door property ideal for parents wanting to slip away on their own, as it is an adults only boutique hotel. The other Elegant west coast hotels are easily accessible by a courtesy water taxi service
For more details and booking visit: www.eleganthotels.com
Lucy flew with British Airways which runs 12 flights a week to Barbados. Return costs from £594, tel 0844 493 0787