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Livingetc picks three of the best hotels to book for your family holiday
As any parent will tell you, travelling en-famille can be a stressful affair. Once you’ve reached your destination, you’ll want some grown-up time to relax, activities to keep the kids busy and a hotel that won’t raise an eyebrow at those requests for heating up milk bottles, high chairs, night lights, baby monitors – the list goes on… So with this in mind, we’ve selected three of the best family hotels that have ranked highly with both kids and adults for thinking of all those little extras – and they’re stylish to boot. They’re guaranteed to make your family holiday one to remember – for the right reasons.
The Idle Rocks, Cornwall, UK
The lowdown: A super-relaxing beach-side retreat Best for: Families shattered by the work-life/school-life balance
The Idle Rocks is one of the grande dames of the British seaside, having been in business since 1913. But its re-launch in 2013, following a total revamp by savvy new owners, brought it to the attention of the boutique-hotel-hopping crowd. And while it’s now a must-visit for cool couples, it also has all the ingredients for the perfect family holiday. Nineteen coastal inspired bedrooms are decked out in an ocean of blues and soft creams, (nearly) all with amazing water views and some jolly nautical styling for the kids:
There’s a magical kids’ playroom, children’s high tea at the ‘chef’s table’, plus a baby-listening service. Food-wise, think local, seasonal fare such as pan-seared sea bream and old school puds like baked Alaska. Max out on the fun by booking interconnecting rooms – you can always lock the door! Or catch up with some reading in the sitting room:
After a few days of this relaxed bliss, the school run will be a breeze.
Book it: Family rooms from £325, including breakfast (idlerocks.com)
Sani Asterias Suites, Halkidiki, Greece
The lowdown: Laid-back, but elegant beach-front boutique hotel Best for: Crechès and kids clubs for all ages
Part of the Sani Resort, the Sani Asterias Suites have long been a favourite of families in-the-know. After an extensive refurbishment, the suites open this season better set-up than ever to cater to broods of all sizes, thanks to six types of spacious suite, three of which are designed specifically for families.
One of the main draws here is the resort’s Babewatch – no, not a swimsuit pageant, but a complimentary childcare service on the beach where parents can escape for a dip or stroll along the sand for up to 30 minutes a day while staff take charge of the little ones. There’s no danger of anyone being bored thanks to Sani’s crèches and kids’ clubs, which have a place for four-month olds to 17 year olds and offer an impressive repertoire of indoor and outdoor classes, from DJing and hip-hop dancing to volleyball, mini-Olympics and archery – alas no adults allowed. But then you’ll be supping champagne in your suite:
Book it: Family suites from approx £370 (sani-resort.com)
Le Jardin des Douars, Morocco
The lowdown: A sun-filled paradise hidden among luscious gardens Best for: Rustic relaxation and pampering for every age
Sitting in the Essaouira hills and shrouded by botanical gardens, Le Jardin des Douars is dedicated to simple, yet luxurious pleasures. Families can choose from accommodation in the main house with separate bunk-bed rooms, or self-contained domed houses and villas with plenty of space for larger clans:
Younger family members will love the Moroccan pancakes at breakfast, fuel for a day of swimming in the deep blue (heated) pool, mastering the art of pétanque and exploring the leafy grounds. Take advantage of the hotel’s babysitting service and head to the adult-only infinity pool with day beds and rustic straw parasols. The spa welcomes all ages, offering 30-minute mini massages, manis and pedis for the under-12s – plus the kids can end the day with a mocktail or sweet sirop from the pool bar. Bring all your mates and stay in the villa:
Book it: from approx £120 for a family room (smithandfamily.co.uk)