Children who go on a Scott Dunn holiday to Sicily’s beautiful Verdura Golf & Spa Resort are so well looked after there that they may never recover from the experience. I don’t think that my two will ever want to go anywhere else after our trip there in July: my son actually asked me if we could live there permanently. Here are some of the reasons why this is such a great place for families.
Scott Dunn kids club
If your children like going to kids clubs (mine always prefer staying with us for some reason!) then the one provided for Scott Dunn guests at Verdura looks superb. The Scott Dunn Explorers Club is open to children from four months to 13 years old and runs every day except for Saturday. There’s an impressive schedule of activities and trips on offer and children can dip in and out as they like – they don’t have to stay all day. There are trips for those who are five years and over to places such as a local water park, go-karting and to nearby Sciacca. The children are divided up into different age groups and all of the staff are experienced and qualified childcare professionals.
Scott Dunn Explorers Club Manager Nicola Robinson is at Verdura for her third season and showed us around the airy and welcoming purpose-built club house. Nicola is friendly and professional and clearly loves her job and the resort. I liked the lovely wooden toys which the younger children were playing with while the older group looked like they’d enjoyed designing the T-shirts which were hanging up to dry next door. Outside is a lush, green enclosed garden area with views to the sea.
Besides the Scott Dunn kids club the resort also has its own kids club, Verdúland. It’s for children age four to 12 years old and has a playground and a small children’s pool near the main pool.
Verdura is around an hour’s drive from Palermo airport and is on the South coast of the fabulous Italian island of Sicily. The resort is part of the luxurious Rocco Forte group of hotels. It stretches over 230 hectares along 1.8 km of beautiful coastline. Verdura is a great base for exploring this part of Sicily. The nearest town is medieval Sciacca, renowned for its thermal waters since Roman times and today also for its ceramics and its seafood. Agrigento’s Valley of the Temples is a UNESCO World Heritage site with some of the best preserved ancient buildings outside of Greece and is around a 40-minute drive away along the coast.
At the centre of the resort there’s a gorgeous 60-metre (yes, 60, that’s not a typo) infinity pool on two levels with comfortable sun loungers dotted around it. It’s wonderful to swim in and a great place to relax. We seemed to gravitate there during the day, meeting up after various activities.
A short stroll from the pool across landscaped lawns takes you to the resort’s sandy beach where there are all sorts of water sports on offer. It was unusually windy when we visited so we couldn’t go in the sea but there are lots of other things to do.
My son was thrilled to find that the Italian football club Juventus were running summer training sessions for kids at the resort when we were there and he jumped at the chance to take part one afternoon. My husband tried his hand at golf for the first time with a lesson with the Verdura golf pro. There are also lessons on offer for children age six to 16 years old. There are six clay tennis courts for Verdura guests to use and a tennis academy offering lessons.
On a more relaxing note the teen and I enjoyed the wonderful spa and its hammam and four outdoor thalassotherapy pools on her sixteenth birthday. You have to be 16 years old to use the spa so the timing of our trip was perfect.
The children can have lunch and dinner at the Scott Dunn kids club if their parents want them to. The menu is designed by children’s food expert Fiona Faulkner and includes dishes such as pesto chicken dippers and wedges, chilli con Verdura and jacket potatoes.
Of course children are also very welcome to eat with their parents at any of Verdura’s four restaurants, as ours did. There’s an excellent kids’ menu on offer at all of the restaurants or they can choose to eat from the main menu. My eleven year-old opted for dishes such as grilled turkey breast, pasta with tomato sauce and tomato and mozzarella salad from the kids’ menu while the teen went for more sophisticated options such as sea bass with artichokes from the main menu.
It’s easy to get around the resort as there are communal bikes available for guests to use, including various different sizes for children. Whenever you need to go anywhere you just look for a bike to use and then leave it where you like. We really enjoyed using the bikes and cycling around the resort, especially in the early mornings before it got too hot. If you don’t want to walk or cycle you can call reception and ask for a lift in a Verdura golf buggy.
The rooms at Verdura are spacious, luxurious and beautifully designed in an understated, modern way but with definite Sicilian touches such as tables topped with reclaimed local tiles. We had lovely adjoining rooms which each opened on to a terrace with views across the golf course to the sea. The kids were delighted with the free, unlimited WiFi on offer and the teen fell in love with the fragrant Ortygia toiletries in the bathroom and the walk-in shower.
My kids, my husband and I all loved our stay at Verdura resort with Scott Dunn and would definitely recommend it for families. The only downside to a visit to Verdura that I can think of is that it could never be long enough.
Family travel lowdown
Thank you to Scott Dunn for arranging our two-night stay at Verdura Golf & Spa Resort in Sicily. We stayed in two connecting deluxe rooms. Scott Dunn offers seven nights at Verdura from £1,679 per person based on a family of 2 adults and 2 children sharing 2 deluxe rooms on a half board basis. This price includes flights and private transfers.