I recently had the pleasure of meeting up with the lovely team from i-escape which happens to be one of our very favourite travel sites for boutique accommodation. They have recently launched a new kids collection which features over 700 kid-friendly hotels and self-catering properties around the world — hotels which warmly welcome children and yet still offer the wow factor for parents. Their new collection offers everything from city apartments where you can live like a local to far-flung beach retreats with babysitting options. To narrow down some hotel options, we asked them to suggest ten of their favourite kid-friendly hotels in Europe. Here is their inspiring list (which is your favourite?):
We all know that choosing family holidays is tricky; you want to relax but the kids need to be entertained, and trying to find somewhere that achieves both can seem impossible. Which is why we’ve done the hard work for you, and selected the best of our Family Collection in Europe! With endless outdoor activities, beautiful beaches and kids’ clubs for all ages, these boutique offerings might just be that nirvana you’ve been searching for…
Ammos Hotel, Crete, Greece:
You’ll find style with a big smile at this chic beachfront hotel. With sheltered, shallow waters, a sandy beach and a kids’ pool, it’s particularly suited to babies and toddlers, and there’s a kids’ room with a climbing frame and drawing equipment. Parents can enjoy delicious food and panoramic views on the gorgeous dining terrace, and each room has a kitchenette so you can whip up meals for little’uns. Best of all, it’s not too expensive.
Monte da Vilarinha, Algarve, Portugal:
Fabulous, family-focused apartments for 2-4, set in 32 hectares of leafy valley near the stunning Costa Vicentina beaches. There’s an adventure playground, mountain bikes and a beautiful pool, plus lawns and toys for toddlers. And thanks to the peace and tasty regional cuisine, grown-ups love it, too.
Elies Hotel, Kardamyli , Greece:
Tucked among gnarled olive trees and a pebble’s throw from Kardamyli’s beach in the southern Peloponnese, these secluded stone cottages are a great place to stay with older, outdoorsy kids. The pebbled beach is safe (no tides or currents), plus there are easy walking trails and sandy beaches in Stoupa (10km). Self-cater in the simple kitchens or eat at the owners’ delicious tavern, one of the best in the region.
Pristava Lepana, Soca Valley, Slovenia:
Clusters of wooden cabins in the stunning Soca Valley, with plenty of space, a small pool, goats to pet and ponies to ride. It doesn’t get much more perfect for active children – the area is ideal for kayaking, rafting, fishing and hiking, and the unspoilt alpine scenery is heavenly. There’s a relaxed restaurant, too, serving hearty fare.
Agro Can Gall, Ibiza, Spain:
A relaxed 9-room finca set in the grounds of a working farm, with a wonderful welcome. The grounds are spacious and perfect for hide and seek, plus there are bikes to ride, a kitten to play with and a beautiful pool. There’s a seasonal kitchen but families can be fed all year, and at all times of the day, with special mealtimes and menus for tots. You’re a short drive from sandy beaches.
Flying Boat Club, Scilly Isles:
A clutch of stylish beach houses with direct beach access, a spa and a restaurant. Say hello to freedom! With no cars and plenty of places to explore, this is heaven for kids. Hire children’s bikes and helmets from the bike shop and let them go. Older kids can join the sailing club and island hop in small yachts, and if it’s raining, the heated indoor pool is ideal. Each sleeps 6-10.
Polurrian Bay Hotel, Cornwall:
A spectacularly sited Cornish coastal hotel, reinvented as a boutique family haven, with great facilities including a cinema, huge gardens, a playground and a games room. The Den is a fabulous Ofsted-registered creche for children aged from 3 months to 8 years, and a 2-hour session per day is included in your room rate. Frazzled mums will love the spa; dads can go surfing.
The Cove, Cornwall, England:
These contemporary apartments near Penzance share a heated swimming pool, a restaurant and offer organised free activities during school holidays. The well-kitted kitchens and living rooms give you the best of both worlds: the facilities of a hotel and the space and flexibility of your own apartment. Our founder Nikki is a regular, along with her husband and young daughter.
Hotel Barcelo La Bobadilla, Andalucía, Spain:
This fancy country estate runs a free kids’ club each morning and evening in summer, so parents can have a lazy brunch, spa treatments or a child-free dinner. It’s set in 1,000 acres of private land, so choose your mode of transport – foot, horse, bicycle, quad – and explore the many tracks and trails at your disposal. Kids will also love the tennis courts, games room, pool and playground.
Villas Martinhal, near Sagres, Portugal:
These chic, resort-based villas for 2-8 are a dream come true for families, with kit to borrow, a crèche and a kids’ club, even screenings of cartoons in the village square on summer evenings. Overlooking a vast, sandy beach, everything a family could need is within easy reach, and it has the most comprehensive range of kids’ activities we’ve ever seen, including tennis and football academies. There are 2 family friendly restaurants, and the kitchens are well kitted out for self catering.
PS- If you’re interested in even more options, visit i-escape for loads more. With their clever search function, the site allows users to browse by location, family size and type of property (B&B, hotel, hotel with self-catering, villa). There are also useful suggestions of where’s best for babies, toddlers, kids aged 4-12 and teenagers, plus options for budget breaks, adventure holidays and villas with pools.