I don’t think I’ve properly relaxed on holiday since becoming a parent. It seems strange but when ever minute of the day is spent thinking about everyone else’s needs even time spent reading a good book is punctuated with thoughts of what to make for supper.
This summer all that changed. Thomson Holidays invited us to Blue Lagoon Village, Kos for a resort family holiday.
The children were in raptures when they saw the size of the swimming pools and nearly keeled over at news of the on-site water park. They set up a countdown to the first Saturday of the summer holidays when we would be taking off for our island break.
Being on a Thomson Holidays flight the plane was packed with other families. Everyone was in the mood for fun and chatting to each other. Betsy made firm friends with the man sat next to her and was giggling all the way through take off. My favourite part was when all the children screamed as we landed. Often you can feel super conscious as a parent on a flight but being in the same boat as everyone else took the pressure off.
There is nothing like seeing something for yourself. I hope you enjoy a peek inside our holiday K x
We arrived just in time to have supper in the main buffet restaurant and settle down for the night. At first light the children were up and eager to explore the resort. Having never been on a resort holiday we were astonished by how spacious the village was. The welcome tour with the Thomson Holidays reps gave us our bearings and provided all the information you needed for booking restaurants and excursions.
The two main beach-front pools were surrounded by loungers. These tended to fill up around the smaller fun pool but we never found ourselves without a spot throughout the week. In fact despite the resort being host to over 1,000 guests we never found any area to be crowded. The pools were never busy, the restaurants always had space and the beach was always delightfully peaceful. I had always expected a package holiday to be alongside large numbers of people but I didn’t realise you wouldn’t notice them.
Our room was a sanctuary with heaps of space (more than we’re used to in our own bedroom). The family room comprised of two bedrooms, a large bathroom with separate bath and shower and a balcony with table and chairs. The children’s room was far enough away from ours that we could enjoy the evening without fear of waking them. It had blissful air conditioning was a welcome relief from the heat of the Greek summer and we regularly came back throughout the day.
Kos was a dream. Rosemary scented hills surrounded the resort and the sea was deliciously warm. At two hours ahead of the UK we were able to enjoy late evenings but also treat our bodies to early nights. The skies were clear and dark, at night we spent our time star gazing and teaching the children to recognise planets and constellations.
We signed up for a day trip to Nisyros, the island we could see from our balcony (it was so good I wrote a whole post and made a second video about it – you have to go!). Listening to the reps talk about the experience of being inside an active volcano really sold us. For me this was the highlight of the holiday and I’ve written a whole post and filmed a video about it.
If you ask the children what they enjoyed the most, Adventure Land, the on-site water park ranks pretty highly. Set away from the main complex, you could walk along the beach or ride the golf buggy to the water park. Once there we barely saw Milla and Monty who were on a permanent loop of the big slides, screaming with delight as they sped towards the water. As there is no time pressure we made a couple of short trips each day. Queues of one or two people were the most we ever encountered here and the life guards were vigilant for unsafe behaviour.
They also tried out Kids Club for the first time. They were reluctant at first but after one session they were happy to join in most days giving us some much needed time as a couple. I’m sure you all know that we rarely go out together without children, there are no date nights in our house so a couple of hours to hang out and talk without the prospect of work looming over us was magical.
The children all went to 611, the club for children aged 6 – 11. The reps working here were all really friendly and would often stop to say hello around the resort. The sessions started out with a name game so children could get to know each other. They had a good range of activities including quieter things to do. The club was mostly held inside which meant they were out of the sun for a couple of hours. The final session of the week culminated in a water fight. All of the children had a hooded t-shirt and water bottle for their specific age group club.
I had been nervous about the food. A whole week of no control over my food is literally my nightmare especially as I have a tomato allergy which can be tricky to eat around. Once I’d found a way around the tomatoes (which garnished everything in the Greek restaurants) I didn’t know what I’d been worried about.
There are seven restaurants on site, five of which were included in the package. Our favourites were Thalassa the fish restaurant near the beach and Green and Grill where you cooked your own food on a barbecue. For the children it was the buffets – who wouldn’t like the opportunity to choose what you please from dozens of dishes?
There were plenty of fresh fruits, salads and vegetables alongside cuisines from around the world. The children could take part in a reward system for eating portions of healthy food. Besides the restaurants there was a pool-side Gelateria where you could pick up ice creams, waffles and crepes, cafes and a snack bar on the beach.
Not wanting to have passed the whole holiday without seeing the island, we ventured out for a day in a hire car. We drove across the island to Kos Town where we could see the coast of Turkey over the sea. We wandered around the old town, through shady city streets and ate souvlaki overlooking the ancient Greek ruins near the harbour. In the afternoon we drove into the mountains passing Asklepieion, the sanctuary where Hippocrates taught and founded a medical school.
We drove on to Zia, windows wound down to enjoy the herby mountain air. Zia had stunning scenery and far-reaching views. The village itself was lined with tourist shops and restaurants. Before heading back to the resort for the night we spent a happy couple of hours on the beach at Paradise Bay where the children built sand castles and played in the warm waves. While we made this trip on our own, all of the places we visited are available as day trips from the resort directly. Having enjoyed our trip to Nisyros so much we would definitely consider sticking to the group excursions in future.
There are so many different aspects to this kind of holiday that it’s hard to do it justice – it’s very much a swan, peaceful and calm on our side while the well-oiled machine worked tirelessly to make it perfect for everyone.
I started to unwind almost as soon as the sun drenched breeze stirred my skirt that first morning on our balcony. Our view across the pool, beach and sea towards the neighboring Greek island of Nisyros was every shade of blue. With no responsibilities for preparing meals, deciding on restaurants, planning outings I could truly sink into the moment and enjoy a break.
How do you know if this is for you? For us relaxation was the true beauty of taking a resort holiday. We spend our days as parents and company directors making decisions and there comes a point where you want to have that taken off your plate. Taking a family holiday where everything is thought out from entertainment to meal times eases the pressure on you as parents and allows you to focus on having fun.
A family room for five at Family Life Blue Lagoon Village Deluxe flying from Gatwick on 29th July 2017 currently costs from £1,078 per person for seven nights including flights and meals.
Our holiday was complimentary thanks to Thomson Holidays. To read more about this kind of post please go here. Thank you for always supporting the brands who support Housewife Confidential.