The five-star Skiathos Princess Hotel is most famous for playing host to A-listers starring in the 2009 hit movie, Mamma Mia! Situated on the Greek island of Skiathos, the hotel is family-run and its owners are passionate about creating special experiences for guests of all ages.
Skiathos is in the Sporades group of islands within the Aegean Sea and it is a classic fly-and-flop destination; its compact size, 60-plus lovely beaches and relaxed atmosphere means you can choose to do as much or as little as you like.
During 2013, the Skiathos Princess Hotel invested around one million Euros to upgrade its family accommodation and childcare services.My husband and I stayed in a deluxe suite with our two-year-old son on a bed-and-breakfast basis and we had a truly memorable stay.
Our suite had panoramic sea views, a family-sized bedroom, a spacious lounge, a bathroom, a separate shower room and a party-sized sun terrace. These suites are perfect for families. The hotel is situated on a private part of the sandy bay of Aghia Paraskevi, which offers safe shallow waters for children, plus a watersports centre.
There’s spectacular poolside area, plus the Princess Ammos beachside restaurant and bar and a waterside spot for weddings. Also near the beach is the outdoor children’s playground, which can be used by the hotel’s crèche groups or by individual children, and is shaded by tall eucalyptus trees for sun protection.
Children are catered for by the Little Seals Creche for those aged six months to four years and the Little Seals Mini Club for four years-12yrs, and both are run to Ofsted standards. Morning and afternoon sessions are available Mondays to Saturdays.
On Sundays and evenings, babysitting is bookable, so frazzled parents can go out, or enjoy precious me-time in the hotel’s Harmony Spa, which offers everything from hot stone massage to hamman treatments, plus sauna, steam and a well-equipped gym. There is also a programme of evening activities for older children, including pyjama parties.
Dining is great at the Skiathos Princess. Nobody minded when our 2-year-old ran round during breakfast and the buffet had everything from a full English breakfast or freshly-cooked omelettes and crepes, to cereals and continental pastries, to cheeses, cold meats and fresh fruits.
By night, the hotel restaurant is a live cooking/dining venue and home to three individually-themed restaurants.
The Skiathos Princess Hotel has received numerous awards and for the perfect family holiday, there is no reason to leave the grounds of the hotel — but there is plenty to enjoy if you do and the hotel staff are willing to help you with all types of excursions.
Skiathos is easy to get around. There is a regular, reliable bus service which travels the length of the south coast, or you can easily rent a vehicle. Small 4x4s are popular, as many roads on the north of the island are unpaved.
Skiathos Town: The island’s capital, Skiathos Town, is packed with lively tavernas and shops sporting olive wood products, paintings and ceramics. It has a wide range of restaurants, such as the highly-regarded Windmill Restaurant and Nikos Cafe Bar in Papadiamanti Street, which has a good children’s menu.
Kolios: Slightly further along the coast at Kolios, the Infinity Blue restaurant is popular with seafood lovers, while there are many small family-run restaurants close to the Skiathos Princess Hotel. We liked the large child-friendly garden at the Taverna-Bar Pegasus.
Skopelos: The harbour at Skiathos Town has various boat trip operators and is also the starting point for travel to nearby Skopelos, via the Hellenic Seaways fast-cat to Glossa or Skopelos Town. We took the fast-cat to Glossa, then a taxi to the chapel of Aghia Ioannis, the wedding location in Mamma Mia. It’s a long haul up the 200-plus steep steps, but worth the climb to enjoy this beautiful chapel and views to the nearby island of Alonnisos, famous for its rare seals.
Kastro: Culture fans should head for the ghostly ruins of Kastro, the old capital of Skiathos, to catch a boat or enjoy the Skiathos Princess Hotel’s walk, which will take you through the island’s green interior. Beach-lovers are also spoiled here. Skiathos boasts more than 60 mostly sandy beaches and we can thoroughly recommend Koukounaries, which is simply stunning and is widely regarded as one of the best beaches in the Aegean.
There are also waterborne day trips from Skiathos Town harbour to Mamma Mia locations, nearby islands or gorgeous inaccessible beaches such as Lalaria, with its iconic rock arch.
The Skiathos Princess Hotel is in the CB! Hotel Collection, which means we can help you book your holiday here. Our accommodation booking service is free. Use the Check Availability button on the Skiathos Princess Hotel family-friendly review and a Family Vacation Consultant will follow up with you.
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Kate Young has been a journalist for 20 years and is based on the Isle of Wight in southern England. She has travelled to many places in Europe, North Africa and Asia and is the author of the book Trans-Siberian Odyssey, which charts her 5,000-mile journey from post-Olympic Beijing, through Mongolia and Siberia and on to Moscow. Photos by Kate Young.
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