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Best adult only holidays

Best adult only holidays

By Mark Hodson and David Wickers, Sunday Times Travel writers

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.

Adult only holidays in the Med

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. Book with Sovereign.

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.

Inspired Luxury Escapes has some great deals on luxury adults-only hotels such as the Lango Design Hotel & Spa on the Greek island of Kos. See its latest offers.

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.

If you want to escape the stresses of everyday life, spend a few days at the DDG Retreat, a hip hideaway in the hills of Andalucia only an hour’s drive from Malaga airport. Rent a casita for two with private pool.

Long-haul for grown-ups

If you’re looking further afield, there are a number of tropical resorts which are child-free year-round. Amongst the best known are Sandals Resorts (in Jamaica, Antigua, St Lucia, Barbados and the Bahamas) which are for adult couples only. The latest openings include Grenada and new Over-the-Water Suites in Jamaica.

Almond Beach Club in Barbados is strictly for adults only, while the all-inclusive SoCo is popular with couples. Book with Tropical Sky.

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. Our pick would be between Reethi Beach Island Resort for barefoot romance, and the 4-star-at-3-star-prices Meeru Island Resort where the water villas are for adults only.

Coastal walking holidaysbest walking holidaysYoga by the oceanMan jumping on the beach

Active adults

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. Headwater has some wonderful itineraries; cycling in Gozo in the spring or autumn ticks all the boxes.

You’re guaranteed not to see any children on these adult-only luxury fitness retreats in wonderful locations such as Marrakech and the South of France.

Or how about exploring the backroads of Scotland in a classic car, or taking a steam train from Glasgow along the West Highland Line to the Isle of Skye.

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.

Culture vultures

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 an excellent selection of expert-led small-group tours in Britain such as Turner & The Sea, Churchill and Tudor England.

The Cultural Travel Company offers a range of affordable group trips in Europe and the UK with expert guides in art, music, history and architecture. Options include Archaeology in Pompeii and the Palace of Versailles.

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?

You’ll find very few nippers on these river cruises in Europe. Families tend to prefer the huge floating hotels that cruise the oceans, leaving the adults to enjoy the fascinating cities, beautiful countryside and cultural excursions on the Danube or the Rhine.

Going solo

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: 10 September 2018

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