Child-friendly holidays? I’m obsessed. I make no secret of the fact that I love holidays in general. I’ve always been a fan of a posh hotel and I can’t get enough of a mini break. But since becoming a mum, the criteria I look for in a break has changed (ever so slightly).
Before, the boxes that needed to be ticked were: Plush room with giant bed, huge bath, first-class spa, gorgeous outdoor space to roam around in, amazing restaurant. Now, it’s: Plush room with giant bed, huge bath, first-class spa, gorgeous outdoor space to roam around in, amazing restaurant with a brilliant kids’ menu and fantastic kids’ activities to keep them happy.
I love to read a review – I became a member of Mr & Mrs Smith back in 2003 and was a bit over-keen on Tripadvisor when it first became popular. Now, whenever a blogger I follow reviews a hotel or holiday, I have to read it, and add it to my mental list of places I want to visit in future. So it’s only fair that I share my list. Here are (in no particular order) 10 Child-Friendly Holidays That Look AMAZING…
1. Sands Resorts, Porth, Cornwall
- Bright, modern rooms
- Near the beach
- Indoor and outdoor toddler play areas
- Spa and 9-hole golf course
- Special kids’ tea at 4.45pm
Reviewed by Little Stuff: “As you enter Reception, the atmosphere is calm, warm and welcoming. The decor (which feels just like a chic-shack beach house) is contemporary and stylish, but not so much that I was nervous entering with my four small-people-who-break-stuff.” Read full review of Sands Resort, Porth.
2. The Cavendish Hotel, London
- Kids’ welcome packs and mini-sized dressing gowns
- Great value kids’ menu
- Plush rooms with luxury feel
- Near London attractions
Reviewed by Actually Mummy: “The kids chose rib-eye steak, were offered their choice of vegetables, and additional chips were no problem. The food came quickly and was good. My children are good eaters, so they were done by the time our main courses arrived. “Uh-oh,” we wondered – did we need to go back to the room for the Fruit-based electrical entertainment? But before we could leave our chairs our waiter arrived with activity packs to keep them busy. Actually Daddy was soon engrossed in a Spot the Difference…” Read full review of The Cavendish Hotel.
3. Woolley Grange, Wiltshire
- 17th Century hotel in 14 acres of land
- Spa with indoor pool
- Kids’ play area and trampoline
- Kids stay free of charge in parents’ room
Reviewed by Smith & Family: “No stay at Woolley Grange would be complete without several visits to the Den, which is packed full of high-quality toys that sent our junior into sensory overload. If you could wish for the perfect child’s bedroom, it would be this hotel playroom. What other hotel gives you the option of leaving your children for a couple of hours while you nip into Bath for a spot of shopping, safe in the knowledge that they are being looked after by experienced, attentive staff?” Read full review of Woolley Grange.
4. Center Parcs, Longleat
- Modern lodges in forest land
- Spa with Aldo Zilli restaurant
- Bikes with child seats and trailers
- Creches and kids clubs galore
Reviewed by Not Another Mummy Blog: “You know that typical non-plussed, grunting, going-through-the-motions kind of waiter/waitress that seem to be everywhere these days? We couldn’t find one, in any of the restaurants. Which is just weird. Every single person who served us seemed genuinely happy to be there, engaged us in friendly conversation, cooed away at our baby and were very good at their job. On the subject of restaurants, most (possibly all) we went to had a baby feeding room – such a nice touch for new mums.” Read full review of Center Parcs, Longleat.
5. Four Seasons Canary Wharf, London
- Complimentary welcome pack for kids
- Blankets, colouring books and games
- Great kids’ menu
- Babysitting service
Reviewed by Domestic Goddesque: “On arrival, LBG and Dimples were greeted by name, made a fuss of and- most importantly- given their very own key-cards with bus logo on them. At this point we could have gone home with two very happy children, so you can imagine their utter joy when they saw their beds, which were made up with very pink Hello Kitty and Minnie Mouse bedding. I’m assuming that the glass in the room is reinforced, because it withstood about 20 minutes of squeals and shrieking and general hysteria at everything: the colouring books, the welcome plate of snacks (including handmade Horseguard Biscuits), the ducks waiting in the bathtub, the teeny-tiny bathrobes.” Read full review of Four Seasons Canary Wharf.
6. The Rosevine, Cornwall
- Indoor playroom and outdoor play area with trampoline
- Complimentary hire of childrens’ and babies’ equipment
- Free laundry service
- Beach setting and Cornish chic decor
- Babysitting service
- Deli delivery service
Reviewed by Monsters and Munchkins: “Whilst kids were in playroom playing, one of the staff approached us to take the kids dinner order in advance, to ensure kids would get their food shortly after we all got seated at restaurant. In that way, kids get to enjoy their dinner in our company while the big people then can continue to eat and chat long after kids finished and gone off back to playroom to enjoy one of the many DVDs and toys available.” Read full review of The Rosevine.
7. Butlins, Bognor Regis
- Waterpark, rides and kids’ entertainment
- Choice of restaurants, from a relaxed pub to pizzeria
- Seaside location
- New Wave hotel with submarine kids’ rooms
Reviewed by Chez Mummy: “We enjoyed the shows, which are all really well produced – Sesame Street Live in particular was fantastic – and the redcoats were always so enthusiastic. Meanwhile, the children absolutely loved Splash Waterworld. Dexter adored all the little water slides, although Sophia was much more tentative about the water. They both liked the main pool’s wave machine however, and enjoyed sitting in a shallow part of the pool, letting the waves splash over their legs. I know Dexter certainly would have happily spent all day every day in there.” Read full review of Butlins, Bognor Regis.
8. Suffolk Yurt Holidays
- Handcrafted yurts surrounded by wildflower meadows
- Glamping with hot showers, hairdryers and underfloor heating
- Woodburning stove
Reviewed by Katy Hill: “There are 4 yurts on site. Us and a handful of friends booked them for a couple of nights and loved it. We were all families of 4 and the yurts were perfect. It was great waking up, starting up the wood burner for a cozy morning and all the kids running outside to play.” Read full review (and watch vlog) of Suffolk Yurt Holidays.
9. Clydey Cottages, Pembrokeshire
- Wooden beams and gorgeous decor
- Heated pool
- Toys, soft play room and creche
- On-site massages and treatments
Reviewed by Babyfriendly Boltholes: “The views, over meadows, hills and woodland, are spectacular and the picture perfect 18th century stone exteriors of these pretty farm cottages are utterly charming. Later comes the relaxed feeling of being able to let your little ones ‘off the leash’ and roam freely amongst 20 acres of beautiful grounds, by which time, most people are just about ready to move in full-time themselves, especially now there’s a kids club!” Read full review of Clydey Cottages.
10. Disneyland Paris Hotel, Paris
- Located at entrance to Disneyland Paris
- Disney character breakfasts
- Club Minnie playroom
Reviewed by Super Amazing Mum: “Breakfast was buffet style and plentiful, and there was no limit as to what you could have which of course amused my children. Every day we were greeted by disney charachters who totally captivated the children. By the end of our stay, Pixie was a total disney addict, rushing up and giving kisses and cuddles to all and sundry. She also “dressed” for breakfast everyday in a variety of princess and Minnie costumes she insisted on bringing!” Read full review of Disneyland Paris Hotel.
Have I missed any places out that you’ve stayed in, and LOVED? Let me know. Oh, and you might also want to read my review of the ultimate family holiday destination in Portugal – Martinhal Resort.