Our Holiday At TUI Family Life Islantilla

- This is not an AD. We paid for the holiday ourselves.

You may, or may not have noticed that I've been AWOL the past couple of weeks, hence the three Sunday Photo's in a row. The reason for that is that we've been on holiday and just got back this weekend. We spent 11 glorious nights in southern Spain and the weather has totally spoilt us, coming back to the dreary British weather has been torturous! I'm hoping that we get a real summer this year because I'm missing the sun so much already.

We stayed at a four-star hotel in Islantilla called TUI Family Life Islantilla. We paid for it all ourselves, so this isn't an ad by the way. It's a beautiful hotel, situated in a quiet, non-tourist area in Spain. It's so far south that TUI actually fly guests to Portugal/Faro airport rather than Spain/Malaga as it's nearer. It was a 2 and a half hour flight, then a 1-hour transfer to the hotel. All in all, with transfers to and from, and airport time we were traveling for a good 9 hours which is long enough with two little ones.

As mentioned previously the hotel was stunning, full of palm trees, bright flowers, and greenery. The grounds are maintained to a high standard and it really pays off. It has numerous pools, all with a different feel. We found a nice spot near a quieter pool that we favoured and tended to visit every day. Noah and Ava loved dipping into the shallow pool, then cuddling up on the sunbeds together to warm up, usually with an ice cream in hand. Sometimes Nick would take them back to the room for a break from the sun, or to the play park, or games room and I would have some time to myself. It was total bliss to lay beside the pool, with a book and Pina Colada in hand! It made me remember what holidays were like before children.

The hotel is right on the beach too which makes a nice change from being around the pool. The sand contains lots of shells so thankfully I packed suitable footwear so we didn't hurt our feet. The kids liked collecting the shells and making sand castles and I swam in the ocean a couple of times.

The entertainment team, TUI kids club staff, and reps were amazing during our stay and are a credit to the hotel. They were upbeat, friendly, approachable, yet professional. Noah has always suffered from separation anxiety yet he felt comfortable enough with them to attend their Kids Club on a few occasions and even made a friend or two. The hotels Captain T and Bamse mascots were very popular with all the children at the hotel and it was lovely to be able to buy teddies of them to take home with us, real souvenirs to remember the holiday by.

We've only been home for a couple of days and we are already longing for another holiday! I've been thinking of trying to book a last-minute deal during the summer holidays, perhaps find a bargain? Has anyone had any luck doing this before? I'd love to hear about it!

My Sunday Photo - 24/52

Little Tikes Spiralin Seas Water Table - Review

AD - I received this product for the purpose of this review.

As a family, we are huge Little Tikes fans. We love their products, especially their extensive range of outdoor toys. In fact, we recently reviewed the Little Tikes Fairy Cozy Coupe and are delighted to be collaborating with them again, this time with one of their water tables! I was given the option of four different water tables, all of which looked fantastic, however, I opted for the Spiralin Sea's Waterpark as I thought it would be suitable for both Noah and Ava.
It arrived a few days later, in a huge box, with a dozen plastic pieces ready to be assembled. I decided to tackle this my own, in the blazing heat, and didn't realise that there would be screws involved. Due to my presumption, it took a lot longer than it would if I'd had been prepared. So, my friends, preparation is key! Get those screwdrivers at the ready! 

Features: Children develop “put and take” and early motor skills with this engaging water table. Drop character balls down spiral, watching them go round and round and down into the lazy river. Turn the Ferris wheel to scoop up and drops off balls. Fill the cup and pour into the funnel to power twin water wheels. Turn the spinner that powers the “lazy river”. Holds 7 gallons of water. Accessories included; 5 character squirt balls and a scooping cup.

Once assembled I was really impressed with it, from both an aesthetic and functional standpoint. It looked entertaining, engaging and exciting, and Ava must have thought the same because she ran over to investigate it as soon as she set eyes on it.

It's so much more than a bog-standard water table with the different activity stations it has to offer. There's a spinning Ferris wheel, a spiraling ball drop, a lazy river, twin water wheels, and 6 accessories. Ava went straight to the wheel first and placed the character balls into the "seats". She didn't need any direction with this, she knew what to do and they were spinning around in no time. The character-themed balls are a great addition, Ava adores them. She enjoys pointing out the different characters or their colours and squirting water out of them too.

It's described as just the right size for toddlers and I agree, it's ideal for Ava. Noah, on the other hand, is a tall 5-year-old but has no problem bending down to it, or playing on his knees which makes me feel confident that they will have years of fun with it. It's also worth mentioning how robust and solid the table is. Both kids tend to lean on it when playing and it's never budged. It's definitely made to high-quality specifications like most Little Tikes toys are.

Not only is this water table so much fun but it's designed to develop fine motor skills and imaginative play, whilst teaching things like sharing, and cause and effect. Noah and Ava have had hours of fun with it already, both in the sun and in the rain. I know that it'll be used for years to come.

The Little Tikes Spiralin Seas Water Park is suitable for children from 2 years of age, has an RRP of £54.99 but can be found on offer online at places like Smyths Toys.