Luxury Family Holidays Handpicked for Parents

Monthly Archives: November 2015

It’s that time of year, when all wishes must be granted. Which is why when Cass Farrar, my BFF travel consultant from asked me to put together a list of cool family fun, I knew I had to do my duty and grant my Cinderella her special wish.

I always giggle to myself at how understanding kids are when parents try and explain all the weird and wonderful things they come across in everyday life. And this Christmas season, we should all let it go and find something a little bit different to do to amuse ourselves. It beats making chutney, though I do love a spicy plum one with my cold meats…


BUMP ROLLER DISCO (Ages 5+) : Until 17th Jan, 2016

Get down with the kids under Hungerford Bridge, just by the Southbank Centre, and book your session at the BUMP Rollerdisco. If you’re anything like me, roller discos were a huge part of your teenage years, so you’ll have had plenty of practice.

Information : It opens on Friday 20 November 2015 until Sunday 17 January 2016. 11am – 11pm daily. Roller skates are available in a range of styles to fit feet from a child’s size 9 to an adult’s size 14. Children under 12 must be accompanied by an adult, although if they can skate well on their own you can sit back and enjoy watching them.

Prices: Adult £10 & Child £7.50 (concessions available for off-peak times) : Friday & Saturday club nights £12 – £16. Please note, the rollerdisco closes at 6pm on Thursday 24 December and all day on Friday 25 December and Thursday 31 December.

London Gay Men's chorus Christmas

LONDON GAY MEN’S CHORUS, ROUNDHOUSE (Ages 5+) : 11th and 12th December, 2015

The London Gay Men’s Chorus returns to the Roundhouse in collaboration with the London Gay Big Band for The Big Gay Swing! A festive night of song, swing, brass and dance. This has to be the perfect way to get your Christmas season started and children will love it, too.

The London Gay Men’s Chorus is Europe’s largest gay, all male choir and is celebrating its Silver Jubilee in 2016. It has performed around the world and to sell out London audiences in the Palladium, Cadogan Hall, Barbican, and the Queen Elizabeth and Royal Festival Halls.

Information: Friday 11 – Saturday 12 December, Performances 15:00, 19:30. Tickets online via the link above.


Here’s a hot ticket for you: a concert at the famous Cadogan Hall in Chelsea, all about Paddington Bear, with some Revolting Rhymes thrown in, and narration from the talented Simon Callow and Richard E Grant.

The charming score of Paddington Bear’s First Concert takes us on a journey with Paddington himself, from his first meeting with the Brown Family right up to his debut as a conductor at the Royal Albert Hall.

The second half of the concert features Roald Dahl’s take on the classic Jack and the Beanstalk tale, using Dahl’s Revolting Rhymes as the narration.

Information: Dates Sunday 20 December 2015, 2.30pm and 5.30pm. Tickets prices from £30, £27, £25. Book online on the link above.

Father Christmas at Fortnum & Mason


A Very Special Person will read a Christmas story in the beautiful Fifth Floor Boardroom of Fortnum & Mason this December to all good boys and girls aged three to 11. There are plenty of opportunities to join in, and a jolly goody bag to take away to share with friends. It is the perfect way for children to get in the mood for Christmas.

Information: There are sessions at 12.30pm, 2pm and 3.30pm;  Tickets are priced at £20 per child. Places are limited, so early booking is recommended to avoid disappointment. Please click here to reserve your place. Children must be accompanied by an adult at all times; there is a limit of 2 per booking.

The Royal Academy Christmas

ROYAL ACADEMY. FESTIVE DROP IN WORKSHOP  (All Ages); Sunday 6 December 2015

Get ready for some fancy festivities in this family workshop. These Royal Academy workshops are in my Top 5 (shushhhh…) as they are some of the best in town.  They have the widest range of materials, knowledgable and sweet staff and the RA choose to work with a variety of different artists from all disciplines, which brings something exciting to each session.

At their last family session of 2015, everyone will be able to create their own textile designs, and experiment with beautiful and exotic fabrics. Kids are encouraged to create festive fancy dress and parade their latest designs throughout the RA. It goes without saying that if you haven’t seen the Ai Weiwei exhibition, it’s a must. I’ll say it again: grab a ticket now as it closes on 13th December 2015.

Information: Workshop Times : 11am — 3pm. Go to the John Madejski Fine Rooms, Burlington House, Royal Academy of Arts.  These drop-in workshops are suitable for all ages.


Can’t quite believe we are about to embark upon another Yuletide season but we are and, while there is something reassuringly gorgeous about cold, bracing air and dark afternoons that envelope around us far, far too early, the promise of sunshine splashed across the back on December ain’t bad either. If you’re not booked to bomb off either over the 25th of December or just after, here’s our selection of top three hot Christmas holiday spots for the end of next month.

Marrakech, Morocco

With orange, fig and pomegranate bulging from delicate garden trees, there are pockets of Marrakech that are peaceful, tranquil and very, very beautiful. But like most Moroccan cities, it consists of an old medina with modern neighbourhoods bordering that. And with that set up comes a torrent of excitement, noise and a lot of heckling. This makes for a cultural bubble of amazing food, smells, sights and new experience that will thrill children. But it can get exhausting, so choosing the right luxury family hotels outside the medina is highly recommended. We are light on places to eat because smoking is still allowed in public but embrace Marrakech for all its wonderment.

La Mamounia child

We love: La Mamounia.

La Mamounia reopened several years back after a huge refurbishment but it has, for over a century, always been revered for its gilded, gold and beautifully ornate floors, gigantic Moroccan lanterns that swing seductively from ceilings and bedrooms, so utterly luxurious, you’ll want to unpack forever.

The spa makes its worth a stay in itself. Most spas in Morocco offer the traditional “Hammam” and La Mamounia is no exception. One day, two day and weekly spa passes are available and, aside from wellness treatments, there is a beauty parlour. Breakfast of fresh fruit by the large outdoor pool is a wonderful way to start the day, a tranquil and peaceful few moments, which will be greatly appreciated once you step out into the chaos of Marrakech’s inner city limits. The chaos is wonderful in its own way, but the tranquility of this hotel both at the start and finish of your day, made it a leader in travel awards every year.

La Mamounia outdoor pool

Board games are available at the business center for families to borrow and children are constantly offered ice-creams by the outdoor poolThe gardens can only be described as perfect, and being spread over 8 hectares, they are instant natural playgrounds for little ones. A children’s menu is available in all four restaurants (Le Marocain, Le Francais, L’Italien and le Pavillon which is located pool-side). And of course children’s food is available with room service. Horse-riding and quad excursions can be arranged for children and there are babysitting services.

To book this hotel, click here.

British Virgin Islands

At a glance, you might think The British Virgin Islands are a piece of paradise best suited to savvy sailors or loved-up honeymooners. But do consider them for a seriously luxurious family holiday. The BVI ticks the boxes for a luxury family holiday thanks to its laid back Caribbean vibe, endless water activities for the kids and maximum tranquillity for frazzled parents. Lying east of Puerto Rico, and dubbed ‘nature’s little secrets,’ the BVI are a cluster of over 50 idyllic islands and cays. Their lure is exclusive seclusion. By choosing a shore-side hotel or villa, with a view of twinkling, turquoise waters and pristine white sands, you have no choice but to slow right down.

We love: Rosewood Little Dix Bay.

Rosewood Little Dix Bay pool

A resort that’s tranquil and elegant yet still ultra child-friendly will always get a big thumbs up from families. At the long-established Rosewood Little Dix Bay, every last detail has been considered to make sure babies, children and parents feel deliriously pampered. From babysitting to bottle warmers to golf buggies that pick you up for dinner (in case little legs can’t manage the walk to the restaurant,) a call to the concierge can sort it.

The rooms, suites, villas and beach cottages are lux, adorned with plenty of wood, natural stone and pale linen furnishings. The views out across the half-crescent bay will impress, too. Down on the private beach, the water is shallow and protected, perfect for splashing and paddling with babies and toddlers. Older children will love the complimentary kayaks, floatables and snorkelling gear, all available at their disposal.

Rosewood Little Dix Bay bedroom

Hire a babysitter, book a waterside table, and work your way through the taster menu in the fine dining Sugar Mill restaurant; it’s upscale and hugely intimate. At the cliff-top Sense spa you can indulge in blissful botanical treatments with views over the rest of the BVI.

Children’s Grove houses the kids’ club, which organises everything from treasure hunts to shell collecting, nature walks to art projects on a daily, fun-filled basis. Children will also adore their own mini robes, tiny slippers and in-room toiletry range.

To book this hotel, click here.


Love the idea or balk at a UAE desert vacation, there is no denying that Dubai has it all for families and guarantees serious latherings of sunshine. And never has a city been built so specifically with luxury family holidays in mind, as Dubai. This glittering desert hotspot is undoubtedly one of the most luxurious and glamorous travel destinations in the world and it has something for the whole family: children will have a ball discovering the desert but keeping cool splashing in the endless waterparks, swimming pools and, of course, the sea. It is a shopping mecca, where fast cars, rejuvenating spas, gourmet restaurants and family-friendly day trips on dune buggies will take your breath away. Whether you want to relax and unwind or take in the city’s endless activities, Dubai is a must.

Atlantis The Palm outdoor pool

We love: Atlantis The Palm.

Built on reclaimed land, Atlantis The Palm is, quite literally, a city-sized hotel that rose from the sea. This alone will capture your kid’s imagination, and that’s before they’ve had the chance to swim with dolphins in Dubai. Every hotel room and suite boasts spectacular views of either The Palm and Dubai skyline, or the Arabian Sea. 90% of rooms are interconnecting so perfect for families. Offering one of the best buffets in Dubai, a spotless beach and a huge aquarium, Atlantis, The Palm is the ultimate family friendly holiday spot.

With 27 treatment rooms and ‘his’ and ‘hers’ separate sections or sessions when needed, the ShuiQi Spa and Fitness centre is a great escape for stressed parents. 20 restaurants, bars and lounges with food by world-renowned chefs means you can have a romantic date in Dubai every night without even leaving Atlantis, The Palm. The Nobu High Brunch is a treat, and, should you be interested, there is a helicopter service to fly elsewhere across the city in style.

Atlantis The Palm aquarium

The Atlantis Kid’s Club offers new adventures every day for kids aged 3 to 12 with everything from underwater safaris to cooking classes and creative activities on the beach. There are Wii, Xbox 360’s and PlayStation 3’s in the Command Centre, as well as climbing walls in the Play Zone. Club Rush provides teens aged 13 to 18 with an exclusive hangout. No parents allowed. If the children are keen on swimming with dolphins, don’t miss a trip to Dolphin Bay.

To book this hotel, click here.

Heidi Klein competition giveaway

We have teamed up with the gorgeous folk at Heidi Klein swimwear and, as a result, have a fabulous rash vest, shorts and a pair of espadrilles from their new boys’ range to give away. Simply follow Heidi Klein and on Facebook and share the post for a chance to win. A winner will be selected on December 5th 2015.


Heidi Klein boy on beach

Heidi Klein boys' rash vest

Heidi Klein boyswear

Everyone who knows well, knows that we are big Heidi Klein fans. Every inch of sumptuous, colourful, textured, perfectly-fitting swimwear in the collection delights us and we’ve now even more reason to rave: there is a new boys’ collection available.

Heidi Klein designer Heidi Gosman told us, “The boys’ line was a natural progression after our girls’ launch last year.  My two boys were the inspiration for this nautical collection of shorts and rash vests that is easy to wear and made with only quality fabrics.”

Last year saw the launch of the (seriously adorable) girls’ range and, now, it’s the boys turn to shine. With inspiration drawn from classic American cool – Key West, Newport Beach, Long Island and Cape Cod are all big influences – the hip collection of shorts and rest vests are irresistible. And with unisex espadrilles available in navy, orange and light blue, your little ones will shine on the beach this winter. Question is, where to take them?

Heidi Klein boyswear

Heidi Klein boys' rash vest

Heidi Klein boy on beach

New Resort GIRLS and BOYS is now available at Heidi Klein stores in London and online here.

To read our interview with Heidi Gosman click here.