Family fortunes in Kos

By Liz Stout, TravelMail

Last updated at 15:04 07 July 2006


The Neptune Hotel was great for the whole family

Halfway through our stay at the Neptune Hotel in Kos my husband confesses that he was dreading the thought of a whole week at a 'family-friendly' hotel.

Enveloped by his poolside sun lounger, iced coffee in hand, he looks pretty relaxed to me.

Meanwhile our 20 month-old daughter,  Tallulah, is having the time of her little life in one of the hotel's three children's' pools. We both had suspicions that travelling abroad with our excessively active toddler was going to be tantamount to a week at boot camp. But how wrong we were.

The Neptune Hotel and Spa is a heavenly haven for kids of all ages and a few luxurious touches make it the perfect getaway for weary mums and dads too. Set in its own 37-acre estate on the outskirts of Mastihari and only a 20-minute journey from the airport, the Neptune feels more like a village than a hotel.

The 569 whitewashed rooms are built in blocks that look like individual houses, connected by winding pathways, lined with brightly coloured geraniums and wild roses. Our home for the week is a one-bedroom family apartment with two bathrooms, a living area with kitchenette and two balconies, both offering superb views out over the inky blue Aegean.

We arrive somewhat wilted after a 7am flight from Gatwick and immediately head out for a spot of lunch. There are three restaurants in addition to the main area where breakfast and evening buffets are served, with a further eight bars dotted around the estate serving drinks and snacks.


There's plenty for all
the kids to enjoy at
the Neptune Hotel

The Taverna serves traditional Greek food, while the Proteas gourmet restaurant is the perfect place for a romantic meal once baby has gone to bed (babysitting available on request). But it's the superb Italian down by the beach that soon became our regular haunt, where both food and service were excellent. All the Neptune's eateries are reasonably priced - a hearty lunch with a glass of wine for two adults and a hungry child at the Italian will set you back around €40 - a good job because sadly what the hotel lacks is any good restaurants and bars within walking distance.

The nearest town, Mastihari, is a 10-minute taxi ride away. Famous for its fish restaurants, it's worth a visit if you fancy a change of atmosphere. If you want to sample more island life, hiring a car is essential. Home of Hippocrates and the birthplace of modern medicine, Kos is the third largest of the Dodecanese chain of islands. There is a wealth of fascinating places to visit, including the Asklepion, an ancient hospital founded by disciples of Hippocrates over 2,300 years ago. Kos Town is the buzzing capital of the island, with an array of shops and restaurants to explore, if the children allow.

There was no way Lula was going to allow us drag her around the shops without a fight, so for the majority of our stay we remained within the comfortable confines of the Neptune, where she made the most of the superb children's facilities on offer and we revelled in heavenly tantrum-free days. At the end of a very enjoyable break we were whisked away by air-con taxi and strolled straight past the lengthy queue of fellow holidaymakers waiting to check in at Kos airport. Sovereign's concierge service includes priority check in at both airports, so spared the horror of queuing with a very hot toddler we head straight for the airport café for an ice cold drink.

What better way to round off a truly relaxing break? Family holidays really don't get much better than this.

Travel facts

Packages at the Neptune Hotel start from £2,555 based on a family of four (two children under 14 years) sharing a family apartment on a bed and breakfast basis - including a free child place. Price includes flights and transfers and is valid for departures from London Gatwick on 23 August.

A similar offer during the October half term costs from £2,089. Contact Sovereign at, or call 0870 366 1626.

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