Luxury Family Holidays Handpicked for Parents

Monthly Archives: February 2014

Borgo Egnazia, Puglia

Now, all the places on feature because we genuinely love them. But there are a few that hold a particularly special place in my heart and one of those is the Borgo Egnazia in the Italian region of Puglia. Now if you don’t know (and I didn’t before going there myself), this delightful and relatively untouched area of Italian countryside is on the heel of the boot of Italy. It’s reminiscent of the Balearic islands, smattered as it is in endless olive and citrus trees, ramshackle farm houses and rolling, lovely local ladies hand rolling pasta and cradling their babies. Once considered one of the poorer regions of Italy, today it is the destination for Italians in the know who flock south for some serious sunshine, sensational local Apulian wines and knock-down luxury hotels that’ll have you on your knees wanting more.

Borgo Egnazia, Puglia

And one such example is the Borgo Egnazia. I admit, absolutely shamelessly, that this first came across my radar as the spot where Justin Timberlake married Jessica Biel, so I knew it was going to be special. But as my car gently navigated the rural road from Bari (you can fly there or into Brindisi) I had no idea that this beauty, which appears seemingly out of nowhere, would delight me as it did. It has been recognised the world over as a fantastic option for families. You’ll adore the award-winning Vair Spa, the understated yet utterly fabulous interiors, the stunning food and the general air of decadence that hangs in the air like a delicate fragrance. Your children will never forget the incredible Trullalleri children’s club (which offers everything from Italian lessons to pasta-making classes and has a wonderful pirate ship parked right outside just rife for exploration).

Borgo Egnazia, Puglia

So if you’re coming unstuck for Easter holiday inspiration, the Borgo Egnazia is recommended without reservation. It’s fabulous at any time but there are some wonderful offers in the coming holidays. As part of the whole Borgo Egnazia experience, you’ll be offered the opportunity to discover the delights of nearby Pezze Di Greco where locals put on a tradition BBQ style dinner and local entertainment to celebrate Easter. Cooking lessons and bike rides are just a taster of everything there is on offer at Borgo Egnazia. And from just £585 per person, you can enjoy a three night stay in La Corte Bella (the rooms of the main building are known as La Corte) all the way up to the spacious and beautifully designed family villas (replete with a private pool, of course). This also includes access to steam baths, saunas, the gym and both the indoor and outdoor pools at the spa, dinner in Pezze de Greco, a full Italian breakfast each morning and on Easter Sunday, the Fasano tradition of ‘Canto all’Uovo’ (music and dancing). There will be a four course Easter lunch prepared by Chef Giovanni, a spring-themed cooking lesson from the hotel’s delightful pastry chef and complimentary two hour bike hire to explore the local area (and burn off some of the calories you’ll have enjoyed).

The kids’ club will have a packed itinerary for children aged from 2 – 12 (with a requisite egg hunt included, of course) and, should you want to stay on for longer, additional nights can be added from £183 (Price based on two sharing a twin or double room).

To book this hotel click here.

For other family-friendly holidays in Italy see here.

Neville Poelina aboriginal adventure tours in the Kimberley, Tourism Australia Credit James Fisher fans will have noticed, ahem, that our Australia section is a little on the light side. But that isn’t because it isn’t a fantastic and fabulously family-friendly place to stay. It’s purely because our Sydney-based writer who knows the country with kids like the back of his hand is extremely busy at the moment. So when the lovely people at Tourism Western Australia contacted us with wonderful things to do in Perth as a family, our ears pricked. The flight time may be lengthy but what awaits you on the other side seems well worth the jetlag.


The good folks at Abercrombie & Kent are launching the first private jet adventure into Western Australia’s spectacular landscapes, including none other than the World Heritage listed Ningaloo Reef and Bungle Bungle range. The trip is limited to 30 guests who will travel as a group over 13 days on a privately chartered Fokker F70LR aircraft. The itinerary is slick and very well-crafted. You’ll be able to enjoy access to isolated Aboriginal communities and ancient rock art galleries with expert guides. Guests will also enjoy dune-top luxury at Berkeley River Lodge in the Kimberley, one of the world’s last great wildernesses. From the stunning gorges and wildflowers of Karijini National Park to snorkelling at the World Heritage Listed Ningaloo Reef, this is clearly a trip for those travelling with older children and the memories made will be, surely, unrivalled.

This tour starts in Perth on 26 August 2014 and concludes in Darwin on 7 September 2014, costs £15,925 per person twin sharing, and includes all experiences, guides, accommodation, food and drinks.

Neville Poelina aboriginal adventure tours in the Kimberley, Tourism Australia Credit James Fisher


Uptuyu, an award-winning aboriginal operator, has launched Oongkaldada Wilderness Camp. Six luxurious eco-tents nestle on the banks of the breathtaking Fitzroy River, which is located 200 kilometres from the tropical pearling town of Broome. Everything from cultural day trips to traditional fishing trips, exploration of local wetlands to bush walks are arranged. Eco-tents are $250 per night for a wilderness camp package, which includes a full day of touring and all meals and accommodation is $210 per person, per night. A minimum two night stay is required. Open from April to October.


Experience Margaret River’s magnificent mountain bike trails and walking tracks, all from a new and very beautiful eco-camp that has been set up amongst the pristine Karri Forest. Once a pine mill, the Wharncliffe Mill Bush Retreat has had an impressive $1.2 million facelift, with the addition of four new lodge rooms, three new forest cottages and some seriously lux safari tents. Children will adore spotting possums, kookaburras, lizards, and kangaroos around the property, which is located close to many of Margaret River’s best walking and mountain bike trails. The best thing about this family run eco-camp, which recently re-opened, is that it generates its own solar power, harvests rain water and has state of the art waste water treatment facilities to ensure a minimum impact on the national park setting. So this is luxury living without an overt environmental impact and one the whole family will love.

Safari tents start from $75, cabins from $140 and eco lodges from $340.

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Marks & Spencer may live on as our first port of call for fabulous food, gorgeous kids’ clothes and, of course, ladies underwear, but it is now showing its philanthropic side with a charity initiative that combines beloved British celebrity mums, Oxfam and a charity drive for mothers living in poverty around the world.

A three day M&S pop-up shop will open on March 6th 2014, called the Kids Shwop Boutique, where children’s clothes donated by the likes of Joanna Lumley, Abbey Clancy, Peaches Geldof, and Zoe Ball will be showcased and sold.

Launched in April 2012, Kids Shwop Boutique is a sort of recycling initiative where you can take any item of clothing of any brand to be re-used, resold or recycled by Oxfam through M&S. In support of Oxfam’s Mother Appeal Campaign, which aims to raise £10 million to help mother’s around the world enduring terrible conditions of poverty, M&S is, for the third year running, offering all of us the chance to donate. Just drop any unwanted clothes into any M&S branch around the country to play your part.

And if you want a chance to purchase some celeb kiddie threads, the Kids Shwop Boutique will be open from March 6th – March 8th at the flagship M&S on Oxford Street in London, located on the childrenswear floor in the basement.

The Setai, Miami Beach

The Setai, Miami Beach was voted “Best Hotel in Miami” by readers of Condé Nast Traveler back in November 2013 and with very good reason. Between the achingly cool Art Deco strip along South Beach, the eclectic mix of fabulous restaurants in Little Havana and the endless miles of sandy beaches that wrap around the edge of this fabulous American capital, the competition for such a coveted spot in Miami is, understandly, pretty heated. But The Setai was recognised because it really does stand head and shoulders above so many and, the great news is, it’s about to get even better.

From late April 2014, guests will be able to enjoy the brand new Ocean Suites at The Setai, Miami Beach which are as fantastic for families as much as anyone, thanks to their sheer size and the immense wealth of seriously luxurious amenities that will make it hard for you to ever return home again. Promising a new level of luxury, highlights to these sensational suites include private roundtrip airport transfer between Miami metroplex airports and the suites themselves, en-suite spa treatments if you don’t fancy hitting the Spa at The Setai, en-suite beverages (both alcoholic and otherwise), personal assistance with packing and unpacking, limitless movies, 24 hour concierge and valet staff and complimentary car use.

The Setai, Miami Beach

These one, two, and three bedroom suites start at a whopping 900 square feet, all feature sweeping ocean views of the Atlantic Ocean and the specialty Ocean Suites include a 1,750-square foot, three bedroom entertainment suite that will, undoubtedly, thrill the kids. and Opt for the 3,500 square foot, three bedroom Grande Suite and you’ll be able to enjoy built-in media and spa rooms. Other features available in certain suites range from gourmet kitchens to rooftop terraces, infinity pools to Jacuzzis.

The crown jewel within The Ocean Suites complex is the 10,000-square-foot four-bedroom Penthouse Suite, spanning the entire 40th floor and boasting wrap-around balconies with 360-degree Miami Beach and city views, a gourmet kitchen, two living rooms, and an impressive 3,000 square-foot rooftop terrace with private infinity swimming pool and Jacuzzi.

So aside from the insane levels of luxury that you’ll enjoy in the suites, the hotel has no less than three swimming pools to choose from. Should you choose to venture outside the grounds of the Setai (which is perfectly located on Collins Avenue and 20th street) there is no shortage of things to do in the surrounding area: From Miami Children’s Museum to Jungle Island (an enormous aviary that is home to more than 3,000 parrots and over 500 other animals), The Museum of Science to Seaquarium (think whale and dolphin shows) to Miami Metrozoo, there is something ideal for families to fill every single day of the week.

The Setai, Miami Beach

As a special invitation for The Ocean Suites guests, those who reserve a minimum of four nights between April 23 and September 30, 2014 will enjoy a fourth night complimentary. Reservations for The Ocean Suites are now being accepted for arrivals starting Wednesday, April 23 2014.

To book call 001 (844) THEOCEAN (844-843-6232) or email

For more recommendations from on family-friendly vacations in Miami see here.

Intercontinental Park Lane Hotel, London

After a morning spent wrestling with a teething infant, gale force winds and a tube strike, I would have paid serious money to be simply locked in a dark room for an hour last Wednesday. Luckily, such drastic measures weren’t needed because I was booked into Spa Intercontinental’s new 60 minute quick fix. Not only did I get to lie in an extremely luxurious dark room for an hour, but I also had someone tending to my every (beauty) need.

Sandwiched between Hyde Park and the glitz of Mayfair slap bang in the middle of London, Intercontinental Park Lane is just the spot for some indulgent rest and relaxation. The spa doesn’t have a pool or a steam room, but is heavily focused on treatments, with some of the plushest rooms I’ve ever seen and a VIP couples suite. The spa is very much open to non-guests of the hotel, too.

Intercontinental Park Lane Hotel, London

Although not specifically designed for Mums with limited time on their hands, the new 60 minute quick fix caters for them just perfectly. On arrival, clients get to pick 60 minutes worth of treatments from a menu that includes manicures, waxing, facials and various forms of massages. This means you can cram in as much beautifying (or in my case ‘resurrecting’) as you can in a manageable time slot away from little ones. And if the 60 minutes isn’t enough to completely unwind you, the package includes an optional 20 minute floatation bed experience, which amounts to the equivalent of three hours sleep. More rest in less time – exactly what all parents need.

After gazing at the menu of spa treatments for a good 10 minutes and biting my lip at the thought of having to make a decision, I finally opted for a manicure and a facial. A consultation with the therapist before the treatment began meant the service was absolutely spot on. The hour was spent in a private treatment room, making the whole experience wonderfully relaxing and seemingly removed from the outside world. Cleverly combining the treatments also maximised the time I spent lying down, something parents of young children will appreciate entirely. When covered in soft towels and quilts, listening to gentle music and breathing in Elemis scents, I challenge anyone not to dose off at some point.

Just an hour and a half later I walked out onto bustling Park Lane with sparkling skin, shiny nails, shoulders dropped and a head held high, restored enough to return to the mayhem of tube strikes, gales and a screaming baby with ease… for now.

Alongside the quick fix menu, the spa has several treatments specifically designed with Mums and Mums-to-be in mind. Pregnancy treatments include a customised ‘Skin Solution’ massage and facial to help restore imbalances caused by hormones. Mums will love the Musclease Aroma Spa Ocean Wrap, which literally cocoons the body in essential oils designed to mend aching muscles and fatigue.

For more information on Spa Intercontinental’s 60 minute Quick Fix see here.

For other fantastic family-friendly hotels with noteworthy spas see here.