Best adult only holidays
If your kids have fled the nest, or you just want to enjoy some peace and quiet without children around – yours or other people’s – it’s a good idea to focus on adult only holidays. These may be individual hotels that don’t allow children under a certain age, or activity holidays aimed squarely at grown-ups. Do your homework though – we know of some “adult-only” hotels which welcome the little darlings during school holidays. Here, we highlight some of the world’s best adult only holidays.
Couples celebrating a special occasion might want to see our anniversary holiday ideas.
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Summer in the Mediterranean
Although most resorts on the Med are open to all comers, you can always find individual adult-only hotels offering an oasis of maturity.
Rather than turning the whole joint into an exclusive grown up domain, some hotels prefer to allocate just a corner of their property as a child-free haven. The Royal Spa wing and its pool at the five-star Le Meridien in Cyprus, for example, is exclusively reserved for ages 16 and up. Paphos has a great selection of adult-only hotels.
The five-star Lindos Blu Hotel & Suites on Rhodes was the first (and remains the only) hotel on Rhodes for adults only. It’s close to charming Lindos town and is a tranquil and contemporary hideaway with a reputation for great food.
The island of Hvar – a short ferry ride from Split in Croatia – has wonderful beaches and stylish hotels. It’s less well known than Ibiza and Mykonos and much better value. We love The Riva for boutique chic and the luxurious Adriana.
If you like to pace yourselves and really get under the skin of a destination, take a look at Inntravel’s Journeys in SlowMotion which take you deep behind the scenes by train, boat or car.
Long-haul for grown-ups
If you’re looking further afield, there are a number of tropical resorts which are child-free year-round. The Club Barbados Resort & Spa is strictly for adults only, while the all-inclusive SoCo is popular with couples.
In the Dominican Republic, Secrets Royal Punta Cana is an all-inclusive adults-only resort; the beach is sublime and the value for money hard to beat.
Thailand isn’t all about beaches – Experience Travel Group has a great selection of luxury tailor-made holidays in Thailand, everything from a street food tour in Bangkok to a cruise in a traditional Siamese junk boat.
So many of the new resorts in the Maldives are offering family-friendly holidays now to the point it’s become a popular family destination – and no resorts categorically state they are for adults only. My picks include Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu which offers barefoot romance on a budget, and the spectacular OZEN by Atmosphere at Maadhoo with spa treatments included in the price.
All sorts of active holidays, from dancing to golf, deep sea fishing to yoga, would be a turn off for young children even if they were allowed to book. Little legs would also barely be able to cope with a walking holiday.
In some instances – on the classic and challenging Alpine High Route through the Bernese Oberland, for example, which passes beneath the peaks of the Eiger, Monch and Jungfrau – those under 14 would be ‘positively discouraged’ in the words of its organiser, Inntravel.
A hotel-to-hotel cycling holiday is another good option; you will generally stay in smaller, characterful hotels chosen for their great food rather than kids’ facilities. Inntravel has some wonderful itineraries; cycling in Gozo in the spring or autumn ticks all the boxes.
If you’re looking for a personal challenge and you don’t mind roughing it, how about an overland truck adventure exploring untamed regions of Africa, South America or Central Asia. You’ll share amazing experiences with your fellow passengers and help out with cooking and setting up camp. Some trips are as long as 40 weeks, others just five days.
Few children would share their parents’ enthusiasm for learned lectures on the finer points of Bernini’s grand design for Papal Rome, the significance of a few shards of Greek urns or the interpretation of Egyptian hieroglyphics. Children more or less exclude themselves. Martin Randall Travel offers a selection of expert-led small-group tours in Britain such as Turner & The Sea, Churchill and Tudor England.
This selection of escorted tours to Italy is great value.
Kirker Holidays has an inspiring selection of opera holidays in some of the world’s most magnificent cities. It recommends New York but if you don’t want to fly long-haul, how about Berlin, Venice or Vienna?
If you’re travelling alone, check out our sister site, 101 Singles Holidays, which has 101 different ideas, including hotels with no single supplement, tours specially created for solos, life-changing courses, activity holidays and fun house parties. It’s the perfect way to meet likeminded people, or just to enjoy your own company.
If you have a large group then one of the most enjoyable holidays is renting a large house. For a superb selection of properties in the UK and overseas, go to The Big Domain.
Last updated: 14 October 2019