Family-owned since 1896, Thurlestone in South Devon is the perfect baby-friendly bolthole with high chairs, a baby-listening service, pre-booked babysitting, kids’ menus and daily complimentary high tea for children (5.15 to 6.00pm). The hotel is just moments from a sandy Blue Flag beach and not far from Salcombe’s art galleries and boutiques. There is also a children’s playroom, outdoor pool, tennis, squash, climbing frame, badminton and the free ‘Danny the Dolphin’ Children’s Club (available in school holidays for 5-11 year olds) offering bug hunting, cocktail making, arts and crafts, junior bingo and much more. The chic Voyage Spa – which opened in 2012 – is perfect for sleep-deprived parents and includes an indoor pool, sauna, steam room, laconium (dry heat room), hydrotherapy pool, fitness centre and an ocean-inspired treatment menu.
A night’s B&B costs from £190 based on two adults sharing. Children over two are charged £35 pp per night including breakfast and children’s supper when sharing with two adults in a family room/suite. Babies two years and under are free of charge.
Michelin-starred dining and Famous-Five-
Jersey, the largest of the Channel Islands, is a real-life treasure island for family holidays, complete with castles, caves, beaches and boat trips. The seafront Grand Jersey & Spa is extremely well equipped for families, with free goodies on arrival (colouring book, stickers, paper models, etc.), family splash times in the smart spa pool, a private cinema where it’s possible to watch your favourite DVD and children’s menus. Babysitting is also available so parents can dine at the Michelin-starred Tassili restaurant or relax in the Champagne Lounge.
A night’s B&B costs from £200 based on two adults and two children sharing a standard room (cots are charged at £10 per night).
Black taxis in Bedfordshire
With a fleet of London taxis to ferry guests around its 1,000 acre estate, Luton Hoo in Bedfordshire is a Grade 1 listed mansion house that firmly ticks the family-friendly box. There are complimentary bikes and scooters for use around the grounds, an indoor heated swimming pool with designated child-friendly splash times, nature trails, movie time, child-friendly menus, a children’s lounge, arts & crafts classes, cookie decorating with the hotel’s chefs and a babysitting service. On arrival children receive a goody bag containing drinks, healthy snacks, a colouring and sticker book, crayons and their own set of toiletries, and all of the usual baby paraphernalia – from cots to wet wipes - is also provided free of charge.
A night’s B&B costs from £390 based on two adults and two children sharing an executive bedroom (cots are provided free of charge).
Set in 220 acres of grounds, Calcot Manor in The Cotswolds is hard to beat as a luxury family hotel. Mum can enjoy a treatment in Calcot Spa or a quick scoot around Tetbury’s chic interiors and antiques shops, dad can have a tennis lesson and toddlers will be more than entertained in The Playzone, an Ofsted-registered crèche in a converted barn, with every conceivable toy at their fingertips. Over eights can use The Mez, another supervised area above the crèche with its own games consoles, computers and a private cinema. There is also an indoor swimming pool with family swim times, bike rides, tennis and a wooden playground. Families can eat at the relaxed and reasonably-priced Gumstool Inn (parents can dine in the newly-refurbished Conservatory restaurant) and inter-connecting rooms or two-bedroom cottage suites are available.
A night’s B&B costs from £390 (Sundays-Thursdays)
Stay in a fairytale castle in Dartmoor
Bovey Castle treats children like mini-royalty - this is the first hotel in the world to offer its little guests LEGO Room Service – with everything from DUPLO to LEGO Friends and LEGO Star Wars. During half-term and school holidays, Bovey Rangers’ activities for 7-14 year olds include survival skills, photo orienteering, apple pressing, archery and hands-on sessions with reptiles and owls (Bovey Rangers costs £26 per 90-minute session; falconry displays and egg collecting are free of charge). For younger children, the Playroom is available for 3-7 year olds (under threes must be accompanied by an adult) with dressing-up boxes galore, painting, story time and baking (The Playroom costs £10 per hour or £20 for three hours). A night’s B&B costs from £419 based on two adults and two children sharing a Junior State family room.
Pride of Britain Hotels’ website (www.prideofbritainhotels.com)
Pride of Britain Hotels is also the official hotel partner to the National Trust, with many of the hotels located near to one or more National Trust properties.
Ends – 14 February 2013
PRESS: Photography of all properties listed is available to download here: http://www.prideofbritainhotels.com/
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