If someone had told me 5 years ago I would be choosing to holiday at a hotel designed specifically for families with kids, I’d have laughed in your face, explaining that nothing was going to change when we had children. We would be travelling in the same way as we did as a couple, exploring local culture, doing our own thing, kids clubs were definitely not for us. HAHA! How naive. So here is our review of TUI Family Life Bahia Feliz – Hotel Orquidea – Our Family Holiday to Gran Canaria.
Now, a little disclaimer, I totally respect parents that travel with their kids, go to far flung corners of the earth, live out of campervans. I would totally love to do that! Maybe one day…
However, at the moment, the kiddiwinks are 2 and 4. They just want fun, and constant entertainment. And if they’re happy, we’re happy.
How did you book it?
Let’s rewind to a Tuesday a couple of weeks ago. We’d been looking at holiday deals for a few days, but nothing had really caught our attention. Then we spotted it! A week in Gran Canaria, at a hotel with a kids club. It had great reviews on tripadvisor, and looked exactly like what we were looking for. After double checking time off work etc, we booked it, we left two days later! This was such a brilliant way of doing it, and it really worked for us. Last year we travelled to France, and booked it months in advance. This time, it was so liberating to do something so spontaneous.
Where we stayed
The resort we stayed in was Bahia Feliz, Gran Canaria. We stayed in the Las Pitas apartment/bungalows, these bungalows are part of the TUI Family Life Bahia Feliz complex. Basically, there are a few different apartment blocks, plus a larger hotel, hotel Orquidea, and wherever you stay, you can use the facilities in all the complex.
Our apartment was great, it looked like it had recently been modernised. It had one separate bedroom, then the kitchen/living room area had a sofa bed, which was more than adequate for the children. We had a lovely balcony overlooking the complex and the sea.
It was set slightly out of the bigger complex, up a rather steep hill! This suited us well though, as trying to get kids to sleep anywhere near any loud music would not have been fun!
We went self catering, which worked well for us, as it meant we had the flexibility to choose our mealtimes, plus we like to eat out of the complex, to get some variety. We would eat breakfast and lunch at the apartment most days, then more often than not we would eat out on an evening. There was a small plaza roughly 5 minutes walk away that had around 7 different restaurants which was perfect for us. The pizza place was brilliant!
You could really tell this hotel and complex was set up for families. The pool area was brilliant, and if you were early enough to get some good sun beds (our little munchkins tended to wake as normal around 7), you could easily see the kids pool without having to leave your sun bed. There was also a splash park which was great for running off steam, and something a little different to the pool.
Also on the hotel grounds were two playparks. These were perfect for somewhere to go if we had any time to kill. They were nicely shaded too so we didn’t have to worry about any little burnt shoulders.
The club for our eldest (suitable for ages 3-5), was called the Bamse club. They ran two sessions a day, 2 hours in the morning, and 2 hours in the afternoon. As well as this, 3 times a week they held an evening session, which was 7 euros a time. The daytime sessions were free for the over 3’s. Our eldest absolutely loved the kids club, and used to ask us every morning whether he would be going or not! Each session had a different theme, the ones R went to were circus, bugs/creepy crawlies, sports day and once upon a time. Having never experienced a holiday with these clubs before, we were so impressed! They were well organised, and all the reps were superb with the kids.For the babies (1-3), the baby club was just as impressive. They also ran morning and afternoon sessions, although you had to pay around €12 per session.On one evening, both the children went to kids clubs and we had an evening meal out on our own, whilst they had a blast running around the clubs. It was brilliant!
With so much going on at the hotel, we didn’t really venture out much. One day we took a taxi (around €15 return) to Playa Del Ingles, a large beach resort. Although we had a nice time, beaches with children aren’t always the most relaxing, and we ended up burning the soles of our feet on the boiling hot sand! Apparently there are loads of gorgeous beaches to explore, and the list of excursions TUI offered was very extensive, however we were happy to chill out around the pool and complex.
Overall, we had a brilliant time at TUI Family Life Bahia Feliz Gran Canaria, and I’d highly recommend you take a look if you fancy a holiday perfect for kids, and parents.