Luxury Family Holidays Handpicked for Parents

Holiday ideas


The half-term holidays are heaven in this house. Everyone is shattered, overworked and the kids are usually snotty (let’s be honest) with the ever-changing outdoor temperatures. Lola sleeps late and I revel in not doing the school run. But if we aren’t jetting off it’s lovely to inject a little culture amidst the sleepy, sofa-filled afternoons and blustery beach walks we all so love. And this half term that’s easier than ever. Best of England, which launched with the aim of providing a carefully curated portfolio of independent businesses throughout the country (think pubs, restaurants, vineyards, places to stay, antique treasure troves and family days out), have come up with their top English favourite family-friendly museums, which we thought we’d share in case you need a little inspiration……

The Jerwood Gallery, Hastings

Jerwood Gallery Hastings

The Jerwood Gallery is a modern building located in the utterly charming and historic old town of Hastings. Home to the Jerwood Collection of modern British art, the gallery is fabulous for art fanatics, but it is also suitable for less experienced visitors and families visiting with younger children. There’s even a children’s trail to help you explore the gallery, its collection and exhibitions so they won’t feel they’re being dragged around a grown up exhibition and are much more likely to get involved with what they’re seeing.

The Towner Art Gallery, Eastbourne

The Towner Art Gallery Eastbourne

The Towner Art Gallery is an award winning contemporary art gallery and museum in Eastbourne. Every summer, they present a major exhibition, with recent shows including Eric Ravilios, John Piper and Peggy Angus. Open since 1923, The Towner collection now numbers over 4,000 art objects including oil paintings, watercolours, works on paper, etchings, prints, sculpture, wood cuts and ceramic objects and is one of the most significant public art collections in the South East. The museum is very welcoming to kids and families with regular activities and workshops to keep the little ones busy. There is a cafe on the top floor with views over Eastbourne and entry is free. (Note the gallery is closed on Mondays).
Pallant House Gallery, Chichester

 Pallant House Gallery, Chichester

Pallant House Gallery is located in the historic town of Chichester, tucked away behind East and South street. It may not have the reputation of The Tate but this gallery holds one of the most significant collections of Modern British Art in the country. Aside from its exhibition programme, it also offers an array of talks, workshops for both children and adults, tours, a specialist on-site bookshop and an on-site restaurant with courtyard garden.

The Ditchling Museum of Art + Craft, Ditchling

The Ditchling Museum of Art + Craft, Ditchling

Situated in the attractive town of Ditchling, The Ditchling Museum of Art + Craft is an unmissable stop for those on the art trail in Sussex. The Museum has a fantastic collection of local artwork and artifacts that focus on showcasing Ditchling’s finest artist’s work. In 2012 the buildings were part of a massive renovation project and have been beautifully finished. The Museum also has a large open café and shop, serving delicious locally sourced cakes and drinks. As well as exhibitions and galleries the Museum also hold a variety of workshops and events including regular art clubs for young people.

The De La Warr Pavillion, Bexhill

The De La Warr Pavillion, Bexhill

The De La Warr Pavilion in Bexhill-on-Sea has become a modernist icon on the South Coast and provides a fantastic program of contemporary arts, renowned musicians and learning activities. The building was the result of an architectural competition held in 1934 and, as well as browsing through the art work or watching live music, you can enjoy some delicious food in the Café Bar, which overlooks the beautiful coastline. A large veranda is gorgeous on summery days and, as family days out go, this is a fabulous option.


If your children are of a certain age, you may feel a break away over the May half term break is out the question, thanks to the hours they’re expected to revise for upcoming exams. Surely studying by the pool or expecting any reading to be done beachside is out the question? Well, maybe not.

The Peligoni Club Assimi villa

Thanks to its new partnership with innovative mentoring and private tuition company Oppidan Education, The Peligoni Club’s stunning Greek surroundings will serve as a classroom so you can enjoy some much-needed sun and a family holiday totally guilt-free.  Oppidan’s team of mentors will provide fun group seminars and one-to-one tutoring sessions to students preparing for common entrance and summer exams, so you can read by the pool knowing your children are, in fact, studying. They’ll, in turn, thank you for their new found friends and a break from the confines of their bedroom.

The Peligoni Club living room

The Peligoni Club itself is on the Greek island of Zakynthos, where it has established itself as a leading lifestyle club. It’s a small, family-owned place and the accommodation is villa-based rather than defined by hotel rooms, but that only makes it more inviting for family holidays somehow. With everything from a kids’ club to a creche, endless water sports activities to a spa, gym and on-site restaurants, there’s also plenty of reason to book in when not on studying, too.

The Peligoni Club Figari decking

So, how does all this work exactly? Well, though their ‘invisible learning’ approach, Oppidan will swap desks for sun loungers, hone trigonometry formulas around the tennis court, refine ebb and flow understanding on the beach and challenge students to scrabble by the pool. And this does, before you scoff, yield impress results. Oppidan boast an impressive 95% success rate at placing children in their first choice of school, so even the most panicked of parents will be able to relax and take a break themselves.

The Peligoni Club Assmi pool

And once the studying is done, what better way to celebrate than with London’s infamous, pint-sized party goers, Sharky and George, who will also be taking up residence at The Peligoni Club for the first time this summer. Guests aged 4 – 14 will be able to enjoy activities including treasure hunts upon the club’s Odyssey boat, building a lookout tower, Sharky & George’s own version of Battleships with boats, raft making and water sports which, for those who have been studying with Oppidan, will be particularly appreciated.

The Peligoni Club Figari villa

 

And where will you be? Relaxing in the sunshine, congratulation yourself on having achieved the ultimate in multi-tasking – holidaying and studying all in one hit.
http://www.peligoni.com/
http://www.oppidaneducation.com/


It’s only round the corner but there are some fabulous hotels, both near and far from home, that offer lashings of luxury for both you and your children that are still available. So, if you’re in need of some last minute half-term ideas, look no further…

The Royal Mansour Marrakech, Morocco

Why Go? Made by and fit for a King, this stunning hotel is welcoming families this half-term to ‘holiday like royalty’ for less. Experience an authentic way of Moroccan living by staying with your family in a spacious and opulent riad in the heart of one of the world’s most exotic cities. The kid’s clubs offers an array of unique activities including mosaic painting, bead workshops, mask painting, arts & crafts, discos and dance classes, promising to delight all the little ones.

Family Offer: 50% Saving (available until 31st March 2016):

  • 2 Adults and 2 or 3 Children
  • Book a Premier One Bedroom Riad for the parents and a second Premier one bedroom Riad for the children at 50% and receive an upgrade to a Privilege Two Bedroom Riad including breakfast.

Bookings: reservation@royalmansour.ma, +212 529 80 80 80

For other family-friendly holiday ideas in Marrakech, click here.

The Royal Mansour spaThe Royal Mansour, MarrakechThe Royal Mansour terrace

Loews Regency, New York

Why Go? Situated in Midtown Manhattan, the Loews Regency is conveniently located within walking distance of Central Park, iconic attractions and some of the city’s finest dining and shopping experiences, making it the perfect place for families to stay and explore this half-term. Featuring 379 renovated guest rooms including 58 suites, Loews Regency offers the perfect combination of luxury, comfort and style. There is a kid in all of us and Loews Regency New York celebrates this with their Loews Loves Kids initiative offering little ones a kid’s closet on arrival filled with toys and treasures to keep them entertained throughout their stay

Loews Regency New York Hotel is offering 15% off room rates when you stay 2 nights and 20% when you stay three nights or more. Even better, the offer is valid for any day of the week (based on availability).

Bookings: loewshotels.com/regency-hotel, +212 759 4100

For other family-friendly holiday ideas in New York, click here.

Loews Hotel Vogue roof terrace by nightLoews Hotel Vogue regency bed

The Nam Hai, Vietnam

Why Go? Older children (seven and above) will relish the opportunity to learn about Vietnamese culture with one of The Nam Hai’s experiential adventures including a Minority Village Tour deep into the Central Vietnamese Highlands and A Day in The Life of a Farmer or Fisherman learning all about ancient Vietnamese fishing and farming methods as well as the opportunity to catch their own fish.

The Nam Hai is situated on the picturesque 1 kilometre stretch of pristine white sand beach of Ha My, near the historic town of Hoi An, and successfully combines the unique and gracious culture of Central Vietnam with innovative design, state-of-the-art technology, first class facilities and impeccable service. The Nam Hai boasts sixty one-bedroom villas as well as forty one-to-five bedroom pool villas, each enjoying a serene beachfront location with unobstructed views across the East Sea and nearby Cham Islands

Rate: Kuoni offers 6 nights with breakfast at the 5-star The Nam Hai, Hoi An, Vietnam in a one bedroom villa, including flights with Singapore Airlines from Heathrow, and internal flights and private transfers in resort. Prices for 13 February 2016 are from £6,881 per family, based on two adults and one child (under 12 years old) sharing one room.

Bookings: www.kuoni.co.uk,  01306 747008

For other family-friendly holiday ideas in Hoi An, click here.

The Nam Hai interiorNam Hai pool

 


You no doubt know the groundbreaking website onefinestay, which offers a unique new category of upscale accommodation and gives guests the chance to stay in some of the finest homes in the world. They sort out all the creature comforts – like bedding, towels, toiletries, a personal welcome, and even an iPhone for local calls, data and 24/7 guest services – as standard. (You won’t get that with most other sites).

And, though all are seriously luxurious both inside and out, many are very family-friendly. We are thrilled that the lovely folk behind OnefineStay have kindly selected their personal family-friendly favourites in Los Angeles, New York and Paris, (plus one in each city for those of you craving a few days away without your gorgeous brood). Herewith, their picks……

LOS ANGELES

Cordyline House, Santa Monica

Cordyline House children's roomCordyline House dining area

The homey open-plan kitchen is framed around a slab-top island and surrounded by comfortable, scooped wooden stools. With wide glass doors opening out to the picnic-ready patio just beyond the kitchen, you might prefer to eat al fresco in the gorgeous California sunshine. There’s a guest house and play room to discover outside, and inside the boy’s bunk bed is lined with treasures. Located in the gorgeous Santa Monica area of Los Angeles, you’re moments from the beach, too.

Lindemere Drive, Bel Air

Lindamere Drive poolLindamere Drive kitchen

At Lindamere Drive you’re in the heart of the iconic Bel Air neighbourhood. The poolside garden has magnificent views of Bel Air’s surrounding hillside terrain and the sun loungers and shady nooks are perfect for little ones. There’s a pizza oven and Argentinian grill for patio dining, while glass doors lead inside to the kitchen, which has a breakfast bar and farmhouse-style dining table. Past the dining space, there are two sleek sitting areas next to each other, both with quick access to the outdoor trampoline (always a smash hit with kids) and there are plenty of bedrooms so room for large families, too.

And if you’re in LA without your kids…..

Courtney Avenue II, Hollywood

Courtney Avenue poolCourtney Avenue bedroom

A secluded home with shaded outdoor areas, this is only a few steps away from the shops and restaurants on hip and happening Sunset Boulevard. From the front sitting room (which will appeal to art lovers, for sure), there are intricate French doors, which lead to a quiet side patio. The kitchen is past the staircase on the left, and the dining room is to the right. There is a lovely garden, which has a covered deck, a barbecue and a heated pool. Upstairs, you’ll come first to the master bedroom, with a super king-size bed and window seat. The gorgeous ensuite has a roll top bath with a view of the back garden. Down the hallway is the third bedroom (stocked with children’s toys if you do visit, en famille).

For more ideas of where to stay in LA with your kids, click here.

NEW YORK

Gates Avenue Townhouse, Clinton Hill

Gates Avenue bedroomGates Avenue dining area

Five floors make up this family home in the trendy Brooklyn borough of Clinton Hill. Entering at street level, an open-plan living space reaches back to the kitchen, with an arched window beside the dining area for eight. Up one flight you’ll find a ‘princess’ room, a smart sofa bedroom and a bunk bedroom, so there is ample children’s space. On the next level, adults have a floor to themselves and there’s a last, lofted bedroom above that. The basement makes this a real pull for families. There’s a pint-sized billiard table in the room with a red-chequered floor and leads out to the garden, where you can shoot hoops or catch rays, weather permitting – a rarity in New York.

Vanderbilt Avenue Townhouse, Clinton Hill

Vanderbilt Avenue sitting roomVanderbilt Avenue kitchen

Located in the same gorgeous Brooklyn area of Clinton Hill resides the Vanderbilt Avenue Tonwhouse. With its unique mix of historic grandeur and artistic energy, this house fronts a sunny garden just beyond. The artistic and creative interior mirrors the bohemian haunts to explore in the surrounding neighbourhood and this gorgeous townhouse has plenty of room for families to unwind in at the end of a long day of New York exploration.

And if you’re in New York without your kids…..

7th Avenue Townhouse, Park Slope

7th avenue townhouse living room7th avenue townhouse living area

Again, in Brooklyn, you’ll find this 7th Avenue Townhouse in the charming area of Park Slope. Many young families call peaceful Park Slope home, and with quaint storefronts and restored brownstones – 7th Avenue Townhouse among them – it’s easy to see why. The hosts of this home are regular travellers and their finds from abroad can be found scattered inside this gorgeous idyll. The mixture of tranquil blues, creamy whites and dark-carved woods make for a warm and cosy home that still showcase the property’s original details. And if you do venture beyond the walls of this gorgeous space, you’ll find Prospect Park is close enough to be your own private garden.

For more ideas of where to stay in New York with your kids, click here.

PARIS

Rue des Trois Freres, Montmatre

Rue des trois frères sitting areaRue des trois frères children's room

Located in the happening 18th arrondissement of Montmatre, the Rue des Trois Freres is in an area that has long been called home by artists and galleries. This property is no exception to that rule and the spacious interior of this home is crafted to aesthetic perfection. Each room is a canvas for modern art fixtures and designer wallpaper, from the abstract geometrics of the upstairs master bedroom to the pop art palms of the salon below. If you’re there with children it is ideal, too. The second single bedroom comes complete with a crib, a single bed, lots of children’s toys and it’s en suite, too.

Rue d’Amsterdam II, Montmatre

rue damsterdam living roomrue damsterdam kitchen

Also in the gorgeous artistic quarter of Montmatre is this family-friendly property on Rue d’Amsterdam. This apartment belongs to a family with two girls and a baby, and it was once the quarters of ten maids. Today, it is a bright, light family home. In the open-plan living room – beneath the vaulted ceiling and steel cross-beams – white walls and polished floors wrap you in a gown of light and space. Grown-ups will love the sophisticated furnishings, bold artwork and the views over the city, while boys and girls will be entranced by the child-sized details of their very own bedrooms.

And if you’re in Paris without your kids…..

Passage Saint-Antoine, Bastille

passage saint antoine dining areaPassage Saint-antoine flowers marble

You can’t find yourself in an area of Paris more steeped in history than Bastille and this gorgeous property is fabulous if you’re there for a quiet (or party-filled) stay without the little ones. Bold, brilliant and beautiful, Passage Saint-Antoine is clean and crisp, yet avant-garde in spirit. Chances are you won’t be up at dawn for the market on Boulevard Richard-Lenoir if you’re there without a baby, but you never know. Either way, we suggest you stroll down to the river and the Île Saint-Louis before a long and languorous lunch at Chez Paul. This house literally sparkles and it’s the perfect launchpad from which to explore Paris or simply relax and totally unwind in some seriously sumptuous surroundings.

For more ideas of where to stay in Paris with your kids, click here.

 


The half term holiday is only round the corner but, fear not, if you’ve not yet booked there are still some excellent options available, both close-to-home and further afield. Herewith, some of our favourite half term holiday ideas for that delicious family week that punctuates the autumn and winter.

Soneva Fushi watersports

Far-Flung: Soneva Fushi Resort

Whereas some Maldivian resorts are designed for a quick ‘fly and flop’ experience, Soneva Fushi Resort is a destination in its own right. The island takes 45 minutes to circumnavigate by foot and, having been an island resort for over 15 years, the vegetation is lush and dense. The owners, Sonu (who founded Six Senses) and his wife Eva, have been involved every step of the way and they have embedded a sustainable ethos throughout. Within an hour of arriving at Soneva Fushi, shoes become obsolete and the barefoot luxury vibe will be fully embraced.

Soneva Fushi waterslide

You’ll love: If sunbathing isn’t your thing, fear not. You can spend hours weaving around the island’s sand paths by bike past the giant banyan trees, there is a house reef full of marine life, beaches for all occasions, an outdoor cinema, a garden growing everything you could imagine, an observatory, a dive centre, a sensational spa, the yoga retreat and an eco centre. With seven dining options throughout the island and much of the produce made or grown on site, food is a serious past time. In between the fresh sushi and beachside BBQs, you’ll find yourselves lounging on your own private beach, snorkelling with a marine biologist, learning to free dive or enjoying sunset dolphin cruises.

Your kids will love: The kids’ club, The Den, factors in ‘family time’ throughout the day and children are made to feel very welcome throughout the entire island. Childcare is top notch, even when kids are too young for The Den which, for those old enough, offers everything from music lessons to snorkelling trips.  The Villa Suites are perfect for families, offering every luxurious touch you could want, whilst also feeling simple and calming. And they are big enough not to have to worry about a restless toddler. The outdoor saltwater pool offered the perfect respite to the afternoon sun and the upstairs terrace is a little haven for evenings spent stargazing.

To book this hotel, click here.

For other family-friendly hotels in the Maldives, click here.

Spa time: The One&Only Capetown

This might sound like a lot of effort (unless you’re based in South Africa, of course) but, remember, there is no jet lag when you head to Capetown from Europe, so it’s absolutely do-able over a half term. And, head to the city’s One&Only, you’ll be glad you undertook the flight. The swanky One&Only Capetown is a five-star resort that boasts 131 suites each with harbour or mountain views, three lavish penthouses with panoramic views and each room comes with personalised butler service. The resort itself has two purpose-built islands, one of which plays host to an award-winning spa and is conveniently situated close to a slew of retail, entertainment and harbourside activities. This One&Only offers endless facilities that will keep both parents and children well and truly occupied.

One&only cape town pool

You’ll love: From Africa’s only Nobu restaurant where you’ll revel in outstanding Asian-fusion dining, to the Bastien Gonzalez Mani: Pedi: Cure studios in the hotel’s world-class spa, there are spoils aplenty.

Your kids will love: The OnlyKids club is definitely one of the finest on offer in the city. From daily excursions and activities for tiny tots, tweens and teens, to electronics and craft activities in the club, they’ll have a ball. They can even be chaperoned in the sprawling pool area, which will leave you with plenty of peace of mind. The spa has a child-friendly menu, too.

To book this hotel, click here.

For other family-friendly hotels in Capetown, click here.

City break: Ritz Carlton, Berlin

We’ve been hearing more and more good things about Berlin lately, especially for those traveling with young children and the Ritz Carlton is, without question, a fabulous five-star launch pad from which to explore the city. The hotel opened back in 2004 and, today, it’s deemed worthy even for a President, with Barack Obama and his family staying there during their visit in June 2013. No hotel is closer to the Tiergarten, Berlin’s equivalent to Central Park, which resides on one side of the Ritz Carlton. On the other is the busy Potsdamer Platz, where you’ll find fantastic restaurants, shops and even a large Legoland. Utterly spoiling, the Ritz Carlton pays very close attention to big and small guests, alike.

Ritz Carlton Berlin indoor pool

You’ll love: Take a seat at the hotel bar, Curtain Club, and order one of its refined cocktails, relax in the 24-hour spa or just stay under your fluffy eiderdown duvet and await brunch at the hotel’s own Brasserie Debrosses. Head out to one of the two cinema complexes at the nearby Sony Center or enjoy a bit of Beethoven at the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, the yellow-tiled concert-hall that is its home stretching into the sky within view from the Ritz.

They will love: Children receive special treatment at the Ritz Carlton and that starts right up from check-in at reception. They are welcomed with their very own child-size bathrobes and slippers, and invited to bake their own waffles or join a treasure hunt around the building. In addition, you will find a cosy play area and high chairs at the restaurant, Brasserie Debrosses. As there are no special pool times for children, it means they are welcome at anytime. Babysitting, prams, bottle warmers and extra cots are all available for guests on request.

To book this hotel, click here.

For other family-friendly hotels in Berlin, click here.

Close to home: Bovey Castle

The rooms and suites of the main house at Bovey Castle, a magnificent devon estate, are sure to thrill. Sumptuous, luxurious and extremely comfortable, they’ll suit you down to the ground. If you’re travelling with a large family, however, there is also the option of the three en-suite bedroom country lodges on the 4000-acre grounds of the castle. All housekeeping services are available, as they are in the main house, and the lodges sleep up to eight people. Each is self-catering, but also comes with a full lodge service menu so you can order whatever you want, at any time, and it’ll be delivered just like room service.

bovey castle exterior

 

You’ll love: Food-lovers will adore the Edwardian Grill and the Castle Bistro after kicking things off with a tipple in the Oak Bar. The SUNDARI spa is fabulous and offers almost every treatment imaginable. If you’re spoilt for choice, take inspiration from their “treatment of the month.” Built in 1926, the 18-hole golf course is a championship course right on the grounds of Bovey Castle, and the activities on offer range from hot air ballooning to falconry, cider and sloe-gin making to clay-pigeon shooting and archery to air rifle shooting.

They will love: Bovey Castle is the first, and maybe only, hotel in the world to offer its little guests LEGO Room Service. Literally, everything from DUPLO to LEGO Star Wars is delivered in-room to children wanting a fix of Lego playtime. During half-term and school holidays, Bovey Rangers’ activities are arranged by the hotel for children aged between for 7 and14 years of age. Children learn survival skills, photo orienteering, apple pressing, archery and hands-on sessions with reptiles and owls, all under the watchful eye of supervised event-leaders. Little ones aged from 3 – 7 will happily play in the Bovey Castle Playroom, which is loaded with dressing-up boxes, painting materials, books and even baking facilities.

To book this hotel, click here.

For other family-friendly hotels in the UK, click here.