As parents of three young children, my husband and I were unbelievably excited about our visit to Four Seasons Resort Sharm El Sheikh in Egypt. It’s not often we get to enjoy pure, unadulterated family time in guaranteed sunshine (we live in England, after all…), with fabulous child-minding facilities.
I did have one niggling concern, of course: as a mother, I really am only ever as happy as my least-happy child. And I couldn’t help but worry, what if the kids (aged three, five and six) were bored, or whined all day, or—heaven forbid—wouldn’t ever leave our side?
I needn’t have worried. From the moment we entered the hotel’s beautiful compound, it felt as if our feet never touched the ground. Throughout the resort, the staff quickly learned the children’s names, greeting them wherever they went. We felt so welcome at all times, the children particularly feeling like VIPs.
Our six-year old even learned to spell the word “magical” just so she could write about the trip for her teacher when we got home. She insisted that no other word could describe the fountains by night.
The real beauty of this hotel is its location: overlooking the sparkling Red Sea. Our children could not get enough of it, and days passed in a haze of them spotting incredible fish and running about with their buckets and spades. A trip out on a glass-bottomed boat was suggested to us, which we all loved so much, that we did it again and again.
For us, the highlight was the superb child-care, which lived up to its reputation. The children were whisked away whenever we wanted by the friendliest, kindest nannies imaginable. The children literally ran to each time they saw them! In addition, there was a great kids’ club (Kids For All Seasons*), where the girls met marine biologists and learned about all the local sea creatures.
My husband and I also took advantage of the amazing reef—and the amazing nannies—by regularly slipping on our masks and getting up close to the astonishing array of marine life. On every dive we saw exotic species, which made my heart race, from puffer to lion fish. On one occasion, I was stunned to see a five-foot grouper swimming below us, so close I could have touched it. The ever-present marine biologists assured us it was a regular to the reef. It was like holidaying in an aquarium.
Any time we fancied a change of scenery from the water, or a break from the midday sun, we headed off to the idyllic gardens, where we lounged (and snoozed) under trees, surround by colourful flowers. Whoever thought that family holidays could be so relaxing!
Read more about Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt in Four Seasons Magazine.
*Kids For All Seasons (KFAS) is a Four Seasons complimentary recreational and educational program for children of resort guests. Most KFAS clubs are designed for youth four to 12 years old, and open daily from 9 to 5. (Younger children can often join KFAS with a nanny or parent, or resorts can arrange for babysitting.) But details vary from property to property, so check the resort’s website for more information.
Kids can go all day or just for an hour or two. Activities inside and out include games, sports, music, treasure hunts, swimming, arts and crafts, cultural education, environmental preservation work and yoga. Not your average camp, the VIP offerings are pretty extraordinary—for example, at Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora, kids can help the resort’s marine biologist graft coral in the lagoon sanctuary.
Jennifer Irvine considers herself a “food revolutionary” who has used her love of food and passion for the freshest quality ingredients to change the lives of thousands of people, including many celebrities. Through her food delivery company, The Pure Package, and recipe book, The Diet for Food Lovers, Jennifer’s delicious, nutritious and balanced meals help her clients to look and feel like the people they’ve always wanted to be. Jennifer is also Mummy to three young children, three, five and six. She lives in Virginia Water, England.
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