With a flying time of just two and a half hours, it won’t be long before you are enjoying the sunshine on the Adriatic Riviera in Croatia.
Sun Gardens Dubrovnik, which has recently become a member of the prestigious Leading Hotels of the World collection, has a beautiful beachfront setting and is only a 40-minute transfer from the airport.
Built over six floors, this wonderful hotel features three outdoor family pools, an indoor adult only pool, both a spa and sports centre and a host of activities to keep everyone happy.
For the active, a fully equipped gym will keep workouts focused, or for something less solitary, aerobic sessions take place, either in or out of the water, and yoga is available.
Other on-site sports include basketball, five-a-side football, three clay tennis courts, squash courts and a full-size climbing wall. Sessions with professional sports coaches and personal trainers can be booked and the superb facilities also comprise luxurious changing rooms and a dedicated sports bar showing televised events.
If your preference is more water based, then jet skis or kayaking are accessible and go-pro cameras can be rented to capture your adventures. Not all activities are included and may be subject to local charges.
During the popular summer season from mid-May to September, the younger family members are well provided for with 3-10-year olds able to partake in arts and crafts, small team games, movie nights and lots of other stimulating activities in their own clubs.
And lest we forget the older children, the 11-18-year olds have their own clubs between July and August and the children’s sports academies operate from the end of May to the end of September, where for a local cost, you can pre-book basketball, football run by ex-Premier League players, sports camps, squash, swimming and tennis. I will ensure your preferred dates are available before booking.
Whilst the young’uns are honing their skills in the sporting academies, how about partaking in a gourmet cooking class, taking simple, fresh ingredients and learning how to blend all the different flavours to make delicious, traditional Dalmatian cuisine?
Spend some time with the in-house mixologists where you may learn a trick or two discovering how to mix some of the most famous cocktails or perhaps you might prefer to join the wine academy and expand your knowledge of some of the best Croatian wines there are to sample.
If this is simply just too energetic and more tranquil times are the order of the day, then head for the spa where you can choose a specially tailored treatment and feel the tension melt away in the relaxation zone complete with stunning views, a relaxing 18-metre lagoon pool, Thalassotherapy spa bath, thermal area and two exclusive suites for couples’ spa treatments if you want to share the experience.
Showcasing no less than fifteen different room types, the hotel offers accommodation from two up to seven people all of which feature a private balcony or terrace.
All rooms have a minibar, safe and designer Ferragamo toiletries plus Sun Gardens Dubrovnik offers interconnecting rooms guaranteed prior to arrival.
You’ve earned it! Why not treat yourself? Stay in one of the stunning club suites and receive access to the club lounge as well as other additional features such as personalised check-in, rooftop à la carte breakfast and a bottle of wine, flowers and canapés delivered to your room upon arrival.
Perfect for families or friends travelling together, “The Residences” are a wonderful home away from home offering more space than a hotel room and stunning panoramic views of the Adriatic.
Offered in a choice of one, two or three bedrooms, fully equipped with kitchenettes, comfortable lounges, modern interiors and en suite facilities with all bedrooms, they are perfectly designed for practicality and comfort.
However, if like me, the idea of cooking on holiday just doesn’t feel right, there is a fabulous array of 16 restaurants and bars, including rich buffets, gourmet breakfasts, boutique eateries, poolside venues and bars that cater for all tastes.
My family's favourites include the Butcher’s Grill, serving quality meats from all over the world, The Market, featuring seafood specialities, La Pasta restaurant where the freshly made pasta and pizzas are delightful, and the poolside Sunset Grill with its stunning water features and dedicated kids’ pool, which serves seafood salads and grilled specialities, without having to wander too far.
Evenings are as hassle-free as the rest of your holiday with fantastic entertainment put on by the hotel daily, enabling you to just relax together and know that you get to do it all again the very next day.
Outside of the hotel, Dubrovnik itself is stunning and boasts an unbelievable cultural heritage as a city of poets, writers, festivals and arts.
Sun Gardens Dubrovnik has managed to replicate the ambience of a traditional Mediterranean village, and with the short flight from UK regional airports, it's a fantastic choice for a celebratory holiday for couples, families and groups of friends alike.