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Family Luxury in the Autumn Sun

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By Kerene Barefield on 3rd November 2022

"The smell of jasmine fills the air as we walk through the lush and plentiful grounds; it is hard to comprehend that there are over a hundred beautiful rooms hidden away in this captivating Greek resort."

The balance between a fun-filled, family holiday and a relaxing, luxury resort is often quite hard to find... but our luxury lifestyle expert, Kerene Barefield, has found the perfect, child-friendly place to whiz away to on the off-season!

Having decided to treat the family to a little autumn sun, I booked five nights at Parga Beach Resort on the idyllic west coast of Greece - and I was not disappointed! After booking an early flight from London and dragging the kids out of bed at 3:45am; we arrived at Preveza airport by nine o’clock GMT. Greeted by our friendly chauffeur from the resort, he drove us along the beautiful coastline for a 45 minute journey to the hotel. On arrival we received a very warm welcome from Katerina and her team, and were shown promptly to our room. The extensive grounds of the hotel are stunning, all the rooms and suites are scattered between vibrantly blooming flora and centuries old olive trees. The smell of jasmine fills the air as we walk through the lush and plentiful grounds; it is hard to comprehend that there are over a hundred beautiful rooms hidden away in this captivating Greek resort

Having booked a garden room, we had an additional living area which made a perfect bedroom for the kids. The room was very spacious, with patio doors leading out onto a private terrace and lush green gardens. Before we had even had a chance to unpack the cases, the kids had found a beach ball and were playing together in the garden outside our room - the thoughts of having been woken in the middle of the night a distant memory! Rather than one big pool, Parga Beach resort has four smaller pools nestled within their verdant gardens, which are all well maintained. 

We were booked on the Authentic Ultra All Inclusive Experience, which meant that all our food & beverages were included (perfect for a family getaway!). Having unpacked, we headed down to the hotel's restaurants, which all sit beautifully on the beachfront. For our first taste of the local cuisine we dined at the Thalasso restaurant; I particularly enjoyed the shrimp spaghetti & a cheeky cocktail. I normally avoid all inclusive resorts, but because this resort is a mixture of those on B&B, half board and Ultra All Inclusive, the food is of a very high quality and the service top notch - plus there is no buffet at lunchtime, just al la carte, (or you can choose to dine in the beach bar when it is a little more casual). 

The afternoon was a little rainy, but this didn’t stop the kids from enjoying the heated outdoor pool closest to our room as I relaxed on a sun lounger, sipping on an iced coffee (or a Greek frappé).  After freshening up for dinner, we then headed back to Thalasso restaurants for the weekly BBQ buffet, which the kids thoroughly enjoyed as they could choose their own meals, as well as trying lots of new Greek foods. Each evening in the restaurant we enjoyed live music by a local musician, which really added to the overall ambience! 

The hotel sits directly on the desirable blue flag awarded Valtos beach, where you’ll find comfortable sun loungers, crystal clear waters and golden sands. Each day after breakfast, we headed to the beach where the children built sandcastles, went on their own little adventures and swam in the sea. The sky was blue and the sun was warm - I was actually surprised just how good the weather was so late in the year, the temperature in the day never dropped below 23 degrees, and after our first day of drizzle, I don’t think we saw a cloud!

The hotel also has its own app, where you can order food and drinks directly to wherever you are within the resort, making the whole experience stress free! And the resort is not shy of things to do with your little ones - my children, who are just 4 and 7, felt a sense of freedom and absolutely loved taking themselves off to the playground, kids club and games room where they made friends and enjoyed time without the prying eyes of mum and dad. 

The other great thing about this resort is it’s very close to the town and old castle on the hill! Parga is beautifully quaint, with a treasure trove of craft shops hidden along cobbled streets. Plus, there’s a plethora of tavernas in the harbour for those who don’t take up the all inclusive offering! You can also book tourist excursions up into the mountains or take a boat trip from the harbour. One of our favourite moments during the holiday was visiting the castle which is only about a 20 minute walk from the hotel. The kids adored exploring all the different rooms of the old ruin - and the picturesque views from the top are stunning, soaring across the bay and melting into the sea.

The resort also has a beautiful wellbeing spa where my husband and I both enjoyed a back massage (included in our ultra inclusive booking). Inspired by the serene, fragrant gardens of the resort and by the region’s long, rich history, the Blossom Wellness Centre was created for people who wish to attain the perfect mind-body balance. My therapist was very knowledgeable and experienced, noting straight away that I was having a little trouble with my shoulder, so naturally following the treatment the muscles felt more relaxed, and so did I. 

During our stay we also enjoyed two nights at the beach front restaurant Alselea, with an a la carte menu focusing on premium modern Greek cuisine. The food here was a step up from the buffet, with the lobster and tuna ceviche really invigorating my tastebuds!  It truly was a lovely setting, and as the evening temperatures dropped, the attentive staff brought over blankets for the children. 

This was the perfect family holiday with no compromise on luxury. The staff were friendly, always remembering our names and second guessing what drinks we wanted to start each meal with (for me this was normally a Mia Tai as they were totally gorgeous). The grounds of the hotel are dazzlingly beautiful, and the food was of a very high standard. Parga Beach Resort is the quintessential place to relax & enjoy sun-drenched days on the beach. I would definitely recommend this hotel to anyone who fancies a little trip with the family out of season. For me the hotel, which was only half full, was at perfect occupancy, and the autumn sun was such a treat. It was five days of incredible family memories, and I loved every moment. I can't wait to return when it reopens in February next year!

https://www.pargabeachresort.gr/ 

@pargabeachresort (instagram) 

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