x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Clubs won't keep kids at bay

What is it about kids and kids' clubs? Is it just my kids or do other children also run from them kicking and screaming, call them "boring" and refuse to go?

What is it about kids and kids' clubs? Is it just my kids or do other children also run from them kicking and screaming, call them "boring" and refuse to go? We planned a quiet weekend at the fabulous Zighy Bay Six Senses Hideaway. We travelled with another family who have three children, similar in age to the ferals. We were all very excited by the special offer it has on whereby children under the age of 12 eat and stay for free, as well as two nights for the price of one.

It is a magnificent resort, with splendid views and a rolling ocean. After a hard week's work we felt we had arrived at something close to paradise as we drove down the small mountain road. The villa with pool was beautiful, the outside shower romantic and the intimate feel to the resort reminiscent of a small Spanish village from another era. "This is the kids' club timetable," said our butler, Surya, as he showed us around our temporary home. "It is free and runs all day."

Pleasant visions of lounging around reading a book, sleeping all afternoon, enjoying a massage at the spa and possibly a spot of tennis wafted through my mind. On Friday morning they woke early. But thankfully "Zighy Time" is an hour later than Abu Dhabi time. So we were already an hour closer to the kids' club opening at 10am, when my life would once more become my own. Breakfast at Zighy Bay can be time-consuming. There is much to choose from and also, as it's so hot outside, the cool dimly-lit restaurant with its stone floors is as good a place as any to while away an hour or so.

At 9am we headed back to the villa, the six children on their bikes. "Only an hour to go," I said smugly, secretly planning a mid-morning snooze. At 10am sharp we were at the door of the kids' club with all six children. By 10.15am we were snoozing on a sun-lounger. At 10.30 we heard an ominous voice. "Will you play monster with us?" Olivia, lead feral, was back. "What happened to the kids' club? Has it burnt down?"

"It was boring," she said. Five other heads nodded in agreement. "Kids' clubs are always boring, they never do anything. Will you play monster with us?" I had started to heave myself off my sunlounger and ask what being a monster entailed when Jamie, the father of the other three children, offered to take them all crab chasing. So my top tip for travelling with children is don't rely on the kids' club, take Jamie instead. hfrithpowell@thenational.ae

Six Senses Hideaway Zighy Bay is offering a 30 per cent discount on daily room rates with its "Summer Spectacular" package. From US$590 (Dh2,167) per night in a pool villa, including taxes and the services of a personal butler. Valid for bookings made by August 16. Visit www.sixsenses.com/Six-Senses-Hideaway-Zighy-Bay