Dunno about you, but to us, the summer holidays already feel looong gone. Roll on, summer 2016. We all know that the best (and most talked-about) resorts get snaffled well in advance – if you’re canny, you’ll beat the crowds and make huge savings by booking early. Here’s our insider guide to the hotels you need to book now for 2016’s luxury family holiday…
Smith members can save up to 45 per cent off on 2016 holidays by booking before the end of September; and some of the best deals cover the late May bank holiday, too. (No need to thank us now. You can do it later, when you’re supine and smug in a heavenly resort somewhere, calculating the massive savings you’ve made.) Ready. Set. BOOK!
This perennial Puglian favourite provides the perfect family-holiday package, and wraps it up in a stylish Italian bow (one probably made of beautifully understated linen). There are well-separated areas for grown-ups and families, so when you do carve out some quiet couples’ time, it can be just that. The Borgo and its villas are justifiably popular – thanks in part to knockout facilities, including a spa, two beach clubs and a golf course.
Insider trading Book with Smith & Family before 29 February 2016 and you’ll get 20% off Borgo Egnazia stays between 7 January and 30 June 2016.
DAIOS COVE LUXURY RESORT & VILLAS
Overlooking a serenely quiet cove on Crete, each of the 39 villas here has its own saltwater pool – as well as access to the resort’s private sandy bay, where miniSmiths can try their hand at an overwhelming array of aquatic activities: there’s waterskiing (for kids in young as four), sailing, scuba diving and more beach-based fun than you’d have time to shake a cocktail stick at.
Insider trading Book by the end of next week (22 September) and you can get a fantastic 45% off stays at Daios Cove between 22 April and 30 June 2016
Akamas Peninsula, Cyprus
With luxe credentials including an award-garnering thalasso spa, a made-to-measure kids’ club and baby crèche, and one of the island’s best restaurants, Anassa is a surprisingly secluded and grown-up family resort in Cyprus. Set on the remote and rocky Akamas Peninsula, its two-kilometre pebble-and-sand beach and family-friendly infinity pools are perfect for parents of babies and school-age children.
Insider trading Book by 30 September and save 20% at Anassa on stays between 14 March and 13 November 2016 – you’ll also get a €50 spa voucher with this exclusive-to-Smith deal.
PARAISO DE LOS PINOS
Formentera, Balearic Islands
This budget Balearics bolthole is perfect for independence-craving families who want the trimmings of a resort without all the, ahem, trappings. Low-key self-catering apartments set around a pool – just a 10-minute walk from one of the island’s prettiest beaches – and bikes to borrow free make for an easy-going holiday on an island that still has a few relatively undiscovered spots.
Insider trading Book by the end of this month for 20% off Formentera holidays any time between 1 May and 31 October 2016.
CASTELLO DI CASOLE
Lord it up and embrace family life like a true Italian at this picture-perfect Tuscan wine estate: yomp around the green and gold countryside, dabble in dough-making at the sweet little pizzeria, play croquet or unwind in spa, housed in the former wine cellar. Beyond, the Renaissance glories of Siena and San Gimignano beckon.
Insider trading Book four nights or more, and save 25%; or save 30% on seven-night stays.
This modern Olga Polizzi-designed palace on the southern shores of Sicily blends beautifully with its surroundings and offers an Italian-style slice of minimalist calm. Get away from the clutter of inboxes and toyboxes and shut out the noise of the world – here is a spa-enhanced golf resort to retreat to.
Insider trading Snag 25% off stays of four nights or more in June 2016, when you book by 31 October 2015.
DOMES OF ELOUNDA
This lap-of-luxury family holiday resort is cut-above Crete: the grounds are manicured, the menus Michelin-starred, and the kids’ clubs Ofsted-rated. There are even Disney-themed bedrooms for your petite princesses and mini misters.
Insider trading Book by 3 October, and you can get 30% off Domes of Elounda between 25 March and 31 October 2016 when you book by 3 October 2015 – you’ll get a free upgrade to half-board, too.
PUENTE ROMANO BEACH RESORT & SPA
We won’t lie, this is a fairly big resort, but it’s villagey layout and friendly atmosphere lend it a surprisingly cosy feel. The kids club is colourful, fun and free; the restaurants are plentiful; the swimming pool overlooks the beach club; and the new Six Senses spa is the therapeutic centre of your dreams.
Insider trading Book ahead and save 20% off Puente Romano next summer.
MARTINHAL BEACH RESORT
Actions speak louder than words: if you’ve been saying you’d like to stay here, go ahead and book it. It’s a beloved return stay for many families (thanks to its lovely safe beach, brilliant childcare and contemporary design) and if you don’t book early, you’ll be struggling to find availability in the school holidays.
Insider trading The sooner you book, the more chance you have of securing the room type or villa (and price) that suits you best. Check out Martinhal rooms and villas here.