One family enjoy the ultimate baby-friendly break on one of Italy’s most beautiful islands
An aerial view of the resort
Who went Heather Turley, 32, from Essex, her husband, Adam, 37, and children Frieda, 3, and Sebastian,1
Sardinia had long been on my and Ad’s bucket list of places we wanted to visit, and having seen some photographs of friends who recently honeymooned there, we were swayed. What’s not to like about crystal clear, azure waters, white sandy beaches and almost guaranteed sunshine. Throw in delicious Italian cuisine and that nation’s renowned love of young children, and it quickly became a no brainer. In our childfree days, we would have probably have winged it, hopping around the island as the mood took us, but with Frieda and Seb in tow we opted to base ourselves in one place. On the recommendation of one of the mums at the children’s nursery, we started browsing Tots Too, a company that specialises in finding holidays that perfectly fit the parenting brief, being both luxurious and stylish yet also very child-centric, meaning a good time is had by all. Resort and Spa Le Dune immediately stood out, being based on the beautifully rugged northwestern corner of the island – far enough away from the glitzy, heaving Costa Smeralda with it’s mega yachts, celebrities and oligarchs, but with just as stunning beaches and countryside. Perfect!
The beach was beautiful and uncrowded
An hour’s drive from Olbia airport, the resort is located just beyond the small town of Badesi, overlooking the Spiaggia Li Junchi, an 8km stretch of white sandy beach (indeed Le Dune has its own private strip, complete with sun loungers). Framed by sand dunes, centuries old juniper trees and rocky cliffs, it truly is a magical spot, and one that immediately lifted our spirits after the long journey. As we pulled up at the resort, a smiling young lady came over to greet us, before showing Ad where to park the car and sending over a porter to collect our bags. Le Dune actually consists of five hotels, set around six swimming pools, with ten restaurants, so as you can imagine, the amount of people it caters for is massive, but thankfully, as we quickly discovered, such is the clever design of the place that you are never really aware of the huge number of guests (and with it being mid-August, it was filled to capacity).
On booking we had been advised that the I Ginepri hotel would be the most suitable for us as its been especially designed with young families in mind. Indeed, upon entering our spacious second floor suite, complete with the cot we’d requested for Seb (we also opted to hire a pushchair for the duration of our stay at the bargain price of 20 Euros), we knew we’d be right at home. A balcony with table and chairs and a handy clothes airer, looked out over the lovely child-friendly pool below, where families could be seen laughing and playing. We were immediately seduced, and in next to no time we were changed into our swimming costumes, heading down to take our spot, armed with the large, fluffy beach towels provided.
A family room with a view
Who could resist a dip in the pool?
What we ate
All the meals we ate at the resort were of such a high standard, we were amazed that catering on such a mass scale could be so fresh and delicious. Of particular note were the wonderful breakfasts we enjoyed at the poolside Romantico restaurant, where every morning we were personally greeted by the charming manager, before loading our plates at the buffet. Frieda became a huge fan of the freshly made omelettes, while Seb preferred to messily chow down on the still warm croissants. A favourite lunchtime haunt was Alla Spiaggia, just a few metres back from the beach, where the children could feast on pasta while Ad and I tried to be good by sticking to the plentiful salads. Of an evening, we were surprised to discover the main restaurants didn’t start serving until 7.30pm, a tad too late for my little ones. That said, however, we soon discovered the Peter Pan restaurant next to the Baby Club (for children aged 18 months to four years), with its special organic children’s menu, with vegetables from the resort’s own garden and eggs from its hens! Once fed, the children were happy to remain at the Baby Club, with its childminding service, freeing Ad and I to enjoy dinner á deux – usually at Il Leccio restaurant that served the most sublime sushi – such a treat to not be fussing over the children, and one that really made our holiday.
The resort even has its own vegetable garden
What we did
I feel almost ashamed to admit this, but not a lot, if the truth be told. Ad and I have such hectic lives that not to be rushing around here, there and everywhere felt like just the holiday we needed. Besides, Le Dune is so well serviced, with everything you could conceivably need on its doorstep, there seemed little point in venturing further afield. Our days passed happily enough splashing around in the pool, sandcastle building on the beach, sun-bathing while Frieda and Seb were at Baby Club and wandering around the Central Piazetta of a balmy summer’s evening enjoying ice cream alongside the various entertainments. Suffice to say we came back totally rested and relaxed, while the children had a brilliant time. Job well done!
There was lots to keep the children entertained...
…while the adults could lay back and relax
Tots Too offers seven nights for a family of four at Resort Le Dune on a half-board basis from £3,009 including return flights from London Gatwick to Olbia. To book call Tots Too on 0207 284 3344 or visit www.totstoo.com
A truly family-friendly resort
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