JC Stays: Sani Dunes, Halkidiki, Greece

Can a new hotel designed for families with older kids keep teens happy on holiday?


Resort holidays with teenagers can be tricky. They (and you) have outgrown the family-friendly all-inclusive scenario and the more adult-oriented places are too… well, adult.

The Sani resort in Halkidiki, Greece promises the answer in the shape of its new Sani Dunes hotel — the resort’s fifth hotel, opening this month.

A sophisticated, cool, beachfront hotel exclusively for adults and children over 12, this has been brilliantly designed with older kids in mind.

From the contemporary accommodation to the infinity pool with a bar in the middle of it and the three restaurants — elegant Italian at Fresco, Mediterranean at Dunes and relaxed snacks at The Beach House — it’s a place where your teenagers might actually want to hang out with you.

If they don’t, they can head to the new adult-free teen house, Ozone, for group console gaming, air hockey, table football tournaments, a snack bar with milkshakes and frozen yogurt and more. Teens get their own access key too, ensuring a parent-free experience — a great touch.

There’s plenty more to entertain too, including archery, mountain biking, night trekking, cooking classes and cocktail competitions along with a teen spa. Plus the wifi is really good throughout the resort, even on the beach and at the Sani Marina.

And the rooms at the 136-room hotel are five-star luxury at its best: spacious open-plan suites, wonderfully soft bedlinen and every modern amenity you could ask for including Nespresso machines and 24-hour room service.

Just a few steps away is the private beach; luxury sunbeds have sink-into-me mattresses plus continuous food and drink service. Or the onsite D-Spa has six treatment rooms and a couples’ cabin with private steam bath.

As with the other resorts, you can make the most of the Dine Around programme, using your meal allowance in the 22 restaurants. Sani Club, the refurbished original, has two new restaurants along with an adults-only infinity pool. At the centre is the glamorous new Pines restaurant, which has a farm-to-table concept, using local produce to create the best Greek cuisine, while traditional tavern-style Ouzerie serves classic Greek dishes and a selection of fine Greek wines.

Evenings at Sani revolve around the Marina, home to several restaurants, bars and upmarket shops, plus some rather spectacular boats. There is a (free) nightly sunset cruise — just book your place and enjoy a 30-minute trip around the bay with a glass of bubbly.

We had cocktails at Cabana — an Ibiza-style bar where everything is white, including the staff uniforms — and dined at Asian, where accomplished chef Thiou took all our allergies/intolerances/dislikes on board.

In between, the days rolled gently by in a sunny haze of morning power walks, lazy afternoons by the water, cocktails at sundown, a visit to pretty local village Atithos, and fantastic deep-tissue massage at the Club Spa.

My more energetic companions went paddle boarding, running and cycling (there are suggested routes), and morning yoga on Sani Hill, with its spectacular views across the bay.

There are plenty of evening activities too — but I could rarely wait to retire to my beautiful room, soak in my huge freestanding bath and slide between the luxurious sheets for the sort of blissful sleep you only get when you are in paradise.

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