Luxury Family Holidays Handpicked for Parents

Monthly Archives: June 2014

As Assistant Editor of Glamour Magazine, (one of the country’s best-selling glossies), and a founder of the fabulous website Wear & Where, Natasha Poliszczuk is one busy Mama. But when she does get precious time off with her husband and daughter, Claudia, she makes every minute count. She recently took a few minutes out to share her favourite local places, far-flung dream destinations and can’t-live-without products both for home and holidays.


What is your favourite way to spend a day in London?

Sunshine? Then we’ll stay local in our West London neighbourhood and head to the café at Chiswick House for breakfast al fresco (one of our favourite things), which is conveniently situated right next to the playground. Then we love a potter around Petersham Nurseries (so beautiful, so much inspiration for my teeny tiny London garden, plenty for little people to explore) – plus the teahouse serves wonderful homemade cakes (or the restaurant is fabulous if you’re in the mood for splashing out). Richmond Park is directly opposite, and a play there is always welcome – or we’ll head along the river to Ham House or Kew Gardens – the treetop walk is always a winner and it has a terrific indoor play area should the weather suddenly turn.

Chiswick House exterior


Rain? Claudia loves the Natural History Museum (especially the animal kingdom – you can, she says, ‘talk to the elephants on the phone’); the play areas in the Science Museum; and the London Transport Museum in Covent Garden where you can drive trains and hop on retro tubes and steam train carriages. (Tip: your £15 ticket is an annual pass valid from entry for one year, so hold onto it!)

What is your favourite boutique for children’s clothing?

Funnily enough, I’m more likely to seek out boutiques when on holiday – I tend to do most of my boutique shopping online (I’m a huge fan of Alex&Alexa, for instance), but Elias and Grace in Primrose Hill has a lovely, curated selection of labels for little people.

Alice a Paris jeans, cardigan and blouseElias and Grace boutique


What is your favourite children’s label for clothes you would take on holiday?

I can’t possibly pick just one! Dresses from Zara Kids; stripes from Petit Bateau; Liberty print tops from Alice a Paris; anything else from Gap KidsClaudia and I both love the sweet, retro feel of Jools Oliver’s Little Bird collection for Mothercare – so I always stock up on sandals (just like the ones I had when I was little!) and pretty sundresses.

Zara kids group image A Little Bird by Jools Oliver


Gap Peplum Swimsuit with lemon, £12.95


What are your must-have travel essentials?

For little ones, Claudia’s very own pull-along bag – Little Life ladybird – which she adores and into which I can pack snacks, wipes, a change of clothes, books, tiny surprises (new colouring pencils and a little drawing pad; stickers etc); Aden & Anais muslins (indispensible). When we have an even littler one again (eek), I’ll add a Baby Bjorn and super-sweet changing folding changing mat from Zara Home Kids to that list, plus a Koo-di pop-up travel cot from Mothercare – great for throwing in a suitcase and means baby can have a nap by the pool!

For mama (aka me!):

A scarf (I love Becksondergaard), which is cosy and can double up as an impromptu blanket / evening cover up. Books (too many – I am ever-optimistic).

Becksongaard scarf


A clutch for the evening: I’m loving Accessorize’s boho vibe at the moment, or one of my lovely Anya numbers: the sparkly Valorie or small loose pocket in navy. Flats: French Sole ballet pumps; Boden pointed metallic flats; and hush sandals.

Henrietta French Sole Aztec flat, £120


J Crew Vintage Cotton V neck tees – the BEST .

A travel candle – so wherever I’m going smells like home: I adore everything by Neom Organics and Diptyque.

REN Moroccan Rose Otto Crème Riche


Beauty-wise, I’m pretty low-maintenance on holiday (which is bliss). I always use at least SPF30 on my face (50 if it’s very hot) and am currently loving Avene (good for sensitive skin); and slather on a super-rich moisturizer: Ren’s Morroccan Rose Otto and Kiehl’s Crème de Corps (look out for mini bottles). My absolute beauty essential is blusher: W&W’s fabulous new beauty editor Rachel Fiddes has recommended Stila’s Convertile Colour in Petunia, which is next on my to-try list.

Neon real luxury travel candle

And your wish list of where to go when you’ve had your next baby if money were no object?

Please fairy godmother, send us somewhere completely relaxing, beautiful and easy (no epic flights, thank you) – oh, and could we stay in a suite (or preferably a villa…) with a separate room for the small people? I’ve heard wonderful things about Daios Cove; Borgo Egnazia; and the Martinhal. I’d also love a high-spec villa in Ibiza or Corsica, if that could be arranged?

Sian Gwilliam launched the fantastic website Creative Bus Stop to share her passion for the incredible free (and cheap) cultural, creative and educational activities that are available in London and around the UK. Herewith, she gives her top ten things to do in and around the British capital this summer.

1. See a West End show for Free at Kids Theatre Week, London.

These include half price and free tickets for kids’ theatre shows this August (mainly in the West End). One child goes free for every adult ticket bought. There are loads of behind-the-scenes events including workshops with the crew, back stage tours and singing workshops, and all are absolutely free. Booking started on June 17th at 10am.

Kids theatre week flyer

2. Get Arty and create your masterpiece at Tate Modern & Tate Britain.

From Thursdays through to Sundays throughout the summer holidays experience the Tate through a Sonic Trail created by Sound Artists. Visit the “Families Welcome” spaces to pick up your trail kit. (This recommended for children aged 7 and up). From the 24th of July at Tate Modern, The Family Gallery brings Matisse’s cut-outs to life through specially commissioned sound, animation and sculptural work. You can also talk part in Colour Walk, an activity that explores the tones of colour that Matisse used in his work.

If you’re nearer to the Tate St Ives and Barbara Hepworth Museum then take the “I Spy Challenge” and use picture clues to spy artworks on display. Prizes are available if children complete the challenge.

The Tate Galleries with children

3. Wear your crown or take your sword and visit one of many stunning National Trust properties across the country.

Visit any of the endless National Trust houses, castles or majestic gardens. For 5000 acres of unspoiled Chiltern countryside, try the Ashridge Estate in Berkhamstead, Bucks. There you can choose to explore any number of trails and woodland walks. There are lots of specially organised family events, too. If you feel like a taste of France without the journey, try Waddesdon Manor near Aylesbury in Bucks. It is a 19th century chateau built by Baron Rothschild, which houses an impressive personal art collection and has a lovely restaurant, shop and gardens – a little slice of fairytale life for all your Princes and Princesses.

National Trust properties c/o Joe Cornish

4. Head to The BBC Proms to sing-a-long with CBeebies.

Book one of the many BBC Proms family events this summer. The Proms bring together acclaimed artists and great music at London’s Royal Albert Hall in Kensington. There are both ticketed and free events and there is even the dedicated CBeebies Prom on Sunday 27th of July at 11am. (Please see their website for the full schedule and all booking information).

2014 BBC at The Royal Albert Hall

5. Head to The Imperial War Museum. 

Celebrate the 2014 centenary of World War 1 by paying a visit to the Imperial War Museum, which reopens on the 19th of July after a much-anticipated transformative building project. The museum will now feature a huge new atrium that will house iconic objects from across their collections, and there will also be a moving, brand new First World War Gallery space to view. The First World War Centenary Partnership will last for four years from 2014 – 2018, and this huge project, which is led by the Imperial War Museums will be running a wide range of events across the UK.

Imperial War Museum women

6. Feel the vibe at one of the many Family Friendly Festivals across the UK this Summer.

Festivalkidz have lots of advice and tips for first timers. They have an A to Z directory of the many festivals on offer, and posts on how to survive at festivals, what to pack for the potential wet weather, the range of food available, baby changing facilities, the size of each festival, and more. I recommend that if your little ones are under 4 years of age that you first try out a day pass and then embark on the full camping experience (complete with noise) when you feel ready.

Camp Bestival kids

7. Head out for a good countryside walk.

There are endless stunning walks around our beautiful countryside. There is little better medicine than leaving your car behind, turning off the phone, and packing your bag with treats for a glorious walk across the Chilterns, the Lake District, or even Hampstead Heath in North London. The National Trust have a guide to 10 best family walks around the UK or, if you’re ‘with buggy’ you should check out the Walks With Buggies blog, that offers tested walks across the UK. Walking Britain is a fantastic free resource for walkers covering the nation.

8. Grab your tin opener, firelighters, and arnica gel and take the kids camping at the bottom of the garden.

A great way to spend a day with the kids is to book in a whole 24 hours when you all live in your tent as a family. Each of you can take one bag full of whatever you need (apart from a picnic basket from the kitchen fairies), and cuddle up together, telling each other stories, drawing pictures (no iPads allowed), and playing cards. If Dad likes to ‘be prepared’ he can have a read of the Camping with Kids “Love the Outdoors” website, which has the best camping checklist and scavenger hunt ideas. For those that get the bug, you could order the Cool Camping Guide book to plan your next trip away (not forgetting your duvet and hand sanitizer, of course).

9. Don’t be put off by rain.

The team from The Wild Weather Book have lots of ideas on how to keep yourselves entertained during the rain, wind and even snow-filled days. These range from making wind flags and flying creatures, playing stuck in the mud, creating a wormery, making a water run, and catching raindrops. What could be more fun than that?

10. Pick your own fruit bowl and, better still, make your own fruit lollies.

One of the best days out that we ever had, which has never been forgotten by my girls, was picking our own fruit at our local farm. Although there weren’t many blackberries or raspberries left, and I was hoodwinked into buying the most expensive local honey ever, my girls and I enjoyed the fresh air, hunting down healthy runner beans, and the excitement of eating the very freshest strawberries. You can find your nearest pick your own farm in the UK on this website.



Brazil isn’t short on press at the moment, what with the obvious World Cup frenzy that is throwing everyone’s attention on to this fabulous South American hotspot. But the launch of a new website dedicated to this beatific country was bound to capture our attention and we’ve been lucky enough to pick the very knowledgeable brains of its founder, Stephane Bouvier. His recently launched site features no less than 60 hand-picked hotels scattered across this vibrant Latino nation, with selections having been made solely through first-hand experience and thorough exploration. The EscapeCollection team are true Brazil aficionados, and we’ve been lucky enough to have a chat with Stephane himself. Passionate about Brazil and with years of first hand expertise having travelled and lived in the country himself he has, together with his Brazilian wife, discovered kilometres of isolated beaches, luxury hotels and the best local restaurants. Herewith, he gives his personal top five Brazilian hotels for families exclusively for


Located near Fortaleza, this is great for those travelling with children as it is located directly on the beach, there are limited waves so the water is calm, and there is a big swimming pool should the salt water all get too much. The large bedrooms come complete with a balcony so there is room for everyone to breath, but parents can enjoy an element of privacy. And finally, there are lots of great family-friendly activities, such as buggy tours around the local area.

Orixas beach


This is one of the very few “boutique” hotels in Rio and it comes complete with an undeniably family-friendly atmosphere. Each room is uniquely decorated and the overall atmosphere is really similar to staying at a friend’s maison. There are only five rooms and each are decorated with personal objects chosen by the owner, which only enhances the welcoming vibe for those with children.

La Maison Rio facade


This is one of the best properties in Trancoso. With only five bungalows, it is set directly on a gorgeous beach of emerald water and golden sand; the service is incredibly friendly, too. The beach is very kid friendly (the waves are not strong) and the small bungalows are perfectly designed for families (each has a large living room on the ground floor that serves as a sort of family room and dining area).

Etnia Clube de Mar bedroom


This is a large resort in Florianopolis with a lot of activities and services for children, (such as dedicated pools and kids’ clubs). It is also located right on the edge of a tranquil beach with no waves to speak of.

Il Campanario Hotel and pool


This is one of the best locations in Jericoacoara, as it’s right in front of the village that faces the ocean (again, there are no waves in this location). Older children will love the kite surfing school that operates out of the hotel.

Vila Kalango pool

And on a final note, Stephane mentions that it is extremely important to approach Brazil with an open mind. It has some wonderful and gorgeously luxurious properties, but they won’t necessarily be defined by a standard of luxury found in Europe and America. Five star in Brazil can equate to four star in Europe and North America so be aware when booking. One’s expectations must be curtailed somewhat but, once there, we’ve no doubt you’ll fall in love with the country as so many have done before you.

For more information visit

The Nam Hai Hotel in Vietnam, since opening in 2006. has put Hoi An firmly on the international luxury hotel map. Ok, so Vietnam might not smack as family-friendly but, as you know, we at are not afraid to fly long haul with tots and we assure you, should you brace the short term pain of jet lag, the long term gain will be immense. And this summer there are some amazing activities being arranged by this fabulous hotel with children firmly in mind. You’ll enjoy some heavy duty pampering, and they will enjoy the experience of a lifetime in a setting, dare we say it, more breathtaking than most.

The Nam Hai villa

The Nam Hai

The five-star Nam Hai was designed with ancient Feng Shui philosophies in mind, which is beautifully intertwined with wind and water motifs. Spread over 35 hectares of tropical gardens along the pristine shoreline of Ha My Beach, the hotel caters to your every need, redefining the idea of a “fly-and-flop” vacation. There are 60 one-bedroom villas and 40 pool villas to choose from, all with lavish bathrooms boasting outdoor rain showers, sea views and private butlers so, unless you want to, there is no need to lift a finger the whole time you’re there. Hoi An itself, just 15 minutes away in the car, is a UNESCO town and makes for wonderful exploration. The hotel’s cookery school will get you all in the spirit of Vietnamese fare in no time and, if you want some activity, there are on-site tennis courts and an 18-hole golf course designed by Colin Montgomerie just ten minutes away.

The Nam Hai pool

Parental heaven

The eight floating treatment pavilions surrounded by Koi fish in the lagoon makes The Spa at The Nam Hai unbeatable in terms of tranquil relaxation and ambience. Complimentary meditation and yoga sessions are held in the open lounge most mornings, and the lowest level of the tiered pool is for adults only if you want some solitude while the kids are off partaking in their own organised activities. (The top tier, incidentally, is dedicated to families).

The Nam Hai Beach

Kiddie heaven

The hotel boasts a dedicated ‘Kids’ activity villa’ in which they can enjoy everything from Hoi An lantern making to Vietnamese lessons, conical hat painting to coconut leaf art, shell art and sand picture making, yoga, and boat racing or excursions off resort.  The hotel’s herb garden is predictably beautiful and, while there, they are provided with a hat, apron and gardening tools to get stuck in themselves.  (Staff are, of course, available to offer guidance on how to plant herbs and vegetables). The Kids’ Activity Villa is open seven days a week from 9am to 5.30pm and is complimentary for all guests.  Divided into two age groups (4-6 and 7-12 years of age), children are entertained by English-speaking child carers.  Lunch can also be ordered to the Kids’ Activity Villa at a rate $12 per child and, should you want some time out in the evening or have a young baby with you, a 24 hour babysitting service is available.

The Nam Hai Kids' villa

June 28th

If you happen to be there on the 28th of this month, you’ll be in Vietnam in time for National Family Day. On this date, families come together to exchange stories, pray and eat.  Traditional experiences such as steering a Vietnamese basket boat, learning net fishing, planting rice and even riding a buffalo happen up and down the country, including in and around Hoi An.

The Family Summer Getaway package being offered by the hotel starts at £376 per night for two adults and one child sharing a One Bedroom Villa and £571 per night for two adults and two children sharing two units of a One Bedroom Villa.  Also included is breakfast, a buffalo cart tour, kite decoration and kite flying, as well as local airport transfers and a shuttle service to Hoi An. (This package is for a minimum of three nights and is valid for stays from June 1st to October 31st 2014).

For bookings call +84510 394 0000 or click here.

View our full guide to Hoi An here.


Summer family fun at the Viceroy Anguilla.

So, want to know my latest travel crush? The Viceroy Anguilla. Family friendly? Tick. Guaranteed heart-melting sunsets? Tick. Luxurious, five-star beachfront property with full kitchens and butler service? Tick. And this summer this fabulous Caribbean property has a slew of summer specials that make it more enticing than ever….

Viceroy Anguilla sea edge

The lesser-known Caribbean island of Anguilla is located in the Eastern Caribbean just 5 miles from the island of St. Martin, accessible by either a small plane or brief boat ride. This might sound like an unbearable trek with children on board but, get there, and you’ll be seriously glad you made the effort. Spread out over the 3,200 feet of soft, powdery beachfront and bluff-top cliffs on Meads and Barnes Bay, Anguilla has some of the finest snorkeling in the area, no less than 33 beaches to explore and even boasts a swim-through grotto between the bays with phosphorescent fish and coral.

Viceroy Anguilla  bedroom

And if your children are too small to head underwater with you, there is a fabulous kids’ club called ‘Generation V,’ with a carefully curated array of activities for 4 to 12 year olds.  Bigger kids will love the on-site NBA basketball court, tennis courts, rock-climbing wall, volleyball and badminton courts and the croquet lawn.

Viceroy Anguilla  living room

This summer the smart folk behind the Viceroy Anguilla have put some serious thought into making this luxurious and very family-friendly property even more appealing with a fine range of fantastic things to do for all the family.

Beach BBQ

On June 28th, July 12th, July 19th and July 23rd the Viceroy Anguilla will host an island style BBQ, complete with sunset, roaring fires, and s’mores (happy kids), cocktails (happy parents) and even a fresh coconut station.

Bamboo Family Night

On June 27th, July 18th, July 25th and July 6th, you can all revel in the complimentary candy floss, popcorn, sundaes and fresh milk served by staff in front of a movie. And the best bit? This takes place poolside. The views across Meads Bay may distract you from what’s showing on the screen, but between the specialty pizzas on offer, that previously mentioned stunning sunset and the relaxed family vibe, it’ll be fabulous regardless of what is showing. And if the kids aren’t asleep by the end of the film, there will be live music to enjoy as soon as the credits have finished rolling.

July 4th extravaganza

Let’s face it, whether American or not, July 4th is always a great excuse to party. And if you’re at the Viceroy Anguilla this Independence Day, there will be fireworks galore, all from a secluded private beach fringed with palm trees. I’ve certainly never celebrated that way.

Basketball camp 

From Monday July 7th to Friday July 11th, a week long basketball camp is being hosted by Chicago Bulls NBA player, Carlos Boozer on the hotel’s NBA court.  The camp will be free for Anguilla’s resident kids but will be open to children staying at the hotel for a daily donation of $100.  This can be paid using their offer ‘Summer Give Back, Daily $100 Resort Credit’.  All proceeds will go to the Anguilla Youth Foundation.

How to get there: You can fly to Antigua or St Martin and the short island hop by plane or boat will be organized by the Viceroy Anguilla’s concierge.

Book this hotel here.