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Family Life Travel

Top 10 Travel Must Haves For a Holiday Abroad

Oooh I love a Top Ten and so am delighted to rise to Mark Warners challenge of compiling a list of Top 10 Travel Must Haves. I have chosen a mix of practical items and of course glamorous offerings to make you feel in control as well as organised, with a heavy emphasis on smaller businesses.  Each item is personally recommended by me, so please take my word for it – these are great items!

Starting with safety, I love this all in one back back and car seat combo. No calling ahead to the taxi driver to check if they have a car seat – you have it covered and you can put all their amusements in too.

Trunki BoostAPack Car Seat £44.99

Car seat

Emma Lomax has a range of fantastic transparent washrags that are perfect for travelling with so you don’t have to decant into the plastic bags at check in. This Palm Tree bag is £18. Cool eh?

Emma Lomax

Keep Em Quiet is absolutely genius. It is a bag of goodies to keep your little one entertained throughout the journey.


Choose your age and gender and they will send you a suitable bag through the post that will be like 20 Christmas’s have come early when you finally open it. I have put a little You Tube Video together,so take a look!




Another fantastic bit of kit that is great for children who want to write whilst on the move are the Pippity Activity cases. Includes places for pens and activity books and notepads.




I am a big fan of products that double up to be used for a couple of different reasons and the Wunderlife Brug is no exception.  The Brug is half ‘rug’ and half ‘bag’. This is a perfect rug for the beach as you can load all your buckets, spades and towels into it, comfortably cary it to the beach and then… lie on it! It is wipe clean too so perfect to eat your picnic on.  I love it! (We have a personalised one – so fun!)



For a bit of glamour – grab yourself a Star Sarong from Gift Pop. Available in Pink, Blue and Green it can also double up as a scarf! And just check out the tassle…

Star sarong

Nothing looks better on a bit of holiday skin than some sparkly tattoos.  I love these hearts from Millie Pink! 

sparkly stickers

I love these retro boys swimming trunks from Beanie & Bear. The blue and green ones (Milo Bums) are not cheap at £52 but they would definately be the talk of the town around the swimming pool!

I also love the Seraphina London range of nightwear. On a balmy night these 100% cotton pjs will keep them cool and look adorable too!  Check out these elephants…

Processed with VSCOcam with a6 preset

The Wound Gel from Comvita is an absolute essential if you have a few accident prone people in your midst. Made with Manuka Honey, it will heal burns, cuts, bruises and ulcers.

Wound gel

Remember, if you fail to prepare, prepare to fail – and we wouldn’t that on your summer holiday, would we!

Hope yo have found this helpful. Do tell me if there are any items think you think are ‘must haves.’

Love from
Lucinda x



6 Overseas Family Holiday Destinations

Do you like visiting new places or do you like returning to the same place on holiday? Personally I like to visit new places but with the addition of 3 little people the past few years, we have come to the conclusion that it is easier to go back to the same place each year so you can get into the swing of the holiday straight away.  We went to Le Touquet in Northern France for 3 years in a row and are returning to Burnham Market in Norfolk again this summer.

Having said that, if one of these hotels was laid on a plate I wouldn’t say no! They are geared at making your family holiday enjoyable and relaxing from the offset.

Brace yourself, I have no doubt you will be inspired by one of them too!


Sani Dunes, Greece – Opening July 2017

Sani Resort, Greece’s much-loved five-star resort and ecological reserve, is delighted to expand its already extensive choice of suites and rooms with a band new adult-friendly hotel, Sani Dunes, set to open in July 2017.

This chic new destination will offer a private beach, indoor and outdoor heated pools, an exclusive spa with six private treatment rooms, including a couple’s suite with private steam bath, a special Thai massage cabin, Jacuzzi, fitness studio and gourmet restaurants. With 80 open plan suites and 56 spacious rooms with handcrafted furniture and uncluttered interiors, Sani Dunes is the ideal place for grown up, intimate escapes and a relaxed beach holiday for families with children above the age of 12.

Sani Dunes



Tauck Family Cruises

Families looking to enjoy a cruise in 2017 will be spoilt for choice, as Tauck is excited to double the number of its family river cruise departures from 10 to 20.

Ms Joy

With exciting shore excursions, on-board activities and exclusive experiences, Tauck’s award-winning family river cruises have been carefully designed with family needs in mind and offer great flexibility and variety, with just the right balance of shared activities, downtime, culturally–immersive experiences and sheer family fun.

As well as more family departures, 2017 will also see a bolstered itinerary for Tauck’s Bon Voyage! France Family River Cruise on the Rhône River, with a guided bike ride in Paris and a special chocolate art demonstration, sure to delight any young explorer.

Europe, Austria, Durnstein

Tauck will also launch a brand new family river cruise on the Seine. The eight-day Family Fun Along the Seine: Paris to Normandy river cruise will be Tauck’s fourth river cruise designed specifically for families, along with its other family-focused itineraries on the Danube, Rhône and Rhine. Beginning with a two-night hotel stay and guided sightseeing tour around Paris, families booked on Family Fun Along the Seine will then set sail for five-nights aboard Tauck’s newly reconfigured ms Sapphire riverboat. This exciting new trip features a fun-packed itinerary with a full-day excursion to Normandy’s D-Day Beaches and a guided visit to artist Claude Monet’s house and gardens in Giverny. During the cruise, families will have the choice between more active options, such as hiking to a medieval chateau, or a cycling through around Marie Antoinette’s farm, or more relaxed activities, such as a walking tour around the village of Les Andelys and a tour of the Palace of Versailles.



Dukes Dubai – Opening 2017

Luxury hotel group, Dukes Collection is thrilled to announce the much-anticipated opening of Dukes Dubai in 2017, situated at the beginning of the famous Palm Jumeirah, a highly-coveted location for this five-star hotel. It will encompass a quintessentially British feel inspired by its famous London counterpart, Dukes London, renowned as a firm family favourite welcoming children and their parents as a home-away-from-home.

Dukes Dubai

With a kids club and lazy river to get children from the hotel down to the pool in a fun but safe way, Dukes Dubai will be going all out to welcome families to this new destination in 2017. The hotel is delighted to be working with a range of the best of British suppliers, bringing these to the UAE for the first time

Spread over 15 floors, Dukes Dubai will consist of 506 gorgeous rooms in total. This includes 279 bedrooms of which 64 will be luxury suites, and 20 will make up part of the women-only Duchess floor, plus 227 fully furnished hotel apartments. The hotel will also boast an outdoor infinity pool with dramatic views over the ocean and the hotel’s private beach, as well as an atmospheric indoor pool and cocktail bar on the 15th floor.



Park Hyatt Mallorca – Opened 1st June 2016

Park Hyatt Mallorca, the newest Park Hyatt branded resort property is based along the quiet and undeveloped east coast of the island. This hotel marks the Hyatt Hotels Corporation’s entry into the Spanish island of Mallorca. Overlooking the picturesque Canyamel valley, Park Hyatt Mallorca features the style of a traditional Mallorquin hilltop village, complete with a convivial village square, world-class dining and superb wellness, leisure and spa facilities. Part of Group Cap Vermell, hotel guests benefit from access to a nearby Beach Club and Country Club with additional recreational and sporting facilities.

Park Hyatt Mallorca

Suites host up to 4 occupants including children. There is a children’s pool and a day centre for younger children. The Country Club will also be providing children’s facilities which guests will have paid access to. There is a football pitch and tennis courts there. Some of the additional benefits are the kids go free policy for children up to and including 12 years of age for accommodation and breakfast. On half board they have 50% off the supplementary charge so there are great deals for children.



Wilderness Safaris’ new Little Ruckomechi Camp – Just Opened

After much anticipation, Little Ruckomechi Camp has now officially opened in luxury safari operator, Wilderness Safaris’ private concession in Zimbabwe’s Mana Pools National Park, offering an intimate and authentic safari experience in this remarkable wilderness area. Little Ruckomechi is a small and intimate tented camp, ideal for sole-use bookings and family groups or small parties travelling together with a private guide. Set amongst the iconic albida trees that characterise the area, the Camp comprises just three elegant and airy tented suites built on wooden decks. The living spaces include a dining and lounge area, as well as a plunge pool, all overlooking the majestic Zambezi River.


All activities at Little Ruckomechi are led by a private guide who will ensure that guests are able to choose the tempo of their day, whether enjoying day and night game drives, birding, nature walks or a range of water-based adventures such as canoeing, river cruises or catch-and-release fishing. The wildlife-rich area is home to large numbers of elephant, buffalo, hippo and eland. Predators such as lion, leopard and wild dog are all found in the area and bird life is abundant.




Princesa Yaiza Suite Hotel Resort, Lanzarote

Princess Baiza is pleased to announce the introduction of Baby Kikoland! As part of its 10,000m2 sensational Kikoland kids club, Princesa Yaiza will now be providing supervision for children as young as four months old. With the added extra of webcam access for mobile devices, new parents can enjoy some downtime safe in the knowledge that their babies are being looked after in expert hands.

Princesa Yaiza is now offering babies between the ages of four and 35 months a new supervised baby club service, in addition to its supervised kids clubs for ages three and above.

The service will offer more than just babysitting, with supervisors trained in pre-school education the educational, physical and intellectual development of the baby will be nurtured through both indoor and outdoor play.

There is also a football course throughout the summer for older children! Win!


So which one is for you? Happy perusing! xx

Fashion Travel

A Night at The Dorsett, Shepherds Bush

Having toyed with idea of a whistle-stop trip to the Westfield this morning or to head home after our getaway last night, I have chosen the latter. Not only will I save £££ (as there is always something that catches your eye there!) but I wanted to get this post out as soon as possible whilst it is still fresh in my mind!


An easy 10 minute bus journey from my house yesterday afternoon took me straight to the  Dorsett, opposite Shepherds Bush Green. By the discreet entrance you would never guess it is an 8-storey hotel with over 300 rooms, 2 restaurants, a bar a gym, a spa and plenty of conference rooms!


I was swiftly shown to my room on the 6th floor. Actually, correction, it was one of their suites. It was quite breathtaking (not to be gushy, but it was really impressive).  Decorated to a high spec with an Asian influence, its piece de resistance were the panoramic views over Chez Bush.


There was no confusion over which light switches turned on which lights at this hotel. The tech had clearly been thought out carefully.  I managed to set the AC on my first attempt and also worked out how to turn the TV on straight away. Ah you might laugh, but I am sure some of you will empathise that occasionally you need a phd to work it out! There was also an iPhone docking station and an iPad for your own use too!


It really felt like we were in another country – even the fruit the was cut with an oriental twist. I was half expecting my towel to be shaped as swan in a sea of rose petals!


After settling in and using every gadget possible, ee headed downstairs to the golden atrium and Jin Bar to meet Lucy Choi and admire her heavenly footwear collection Lucy Choi London.

Lucy Choi

Lucy (on the right) is as lovely as her shoes. She is so down earth and as a mother to two little boys she knows the importance of comfortable yet stylish shoes.


I had my eye on these beauties. They were super comfy and I justified the contemplation that they could be worn with bare legs and black tights…  alas they were a tiny bit too big.



Lucy will be at the Dorsett on Friday 12-6pm so do pop by and have a look at her collection and say hi! 

After a few ‘Lucy Choi cocktails’, we headed to Pictures, the in-house Mediterranean restaurant that has recently  acquired a new chef.

We both had the Norwegian Crab & Prawn Cocktail (as we are so stuck in the 80’s). It had a brilliant kick and we found out it was due to a little brandy in the marie rose sauce. Yum!

We then had Ox Tail (him) and Salmon Fillets (moi) which were equally good.  The only slight disappointment was the pudding – we thought we had ordered a full on chocolate bomb but it was actually filled with mint ice cream… #firstworldproblem

The other restaurant Shikumen is Asian inspired that gives the feeling of ‘dining out’ when you are actually in the hotel.  It has a separate entrance. Apparently the Beijing Peking Duck carved at your table served with handmade pancakes is unbeatable!

This is a very slick hotel in the heart of West London with excellent transport links into the city and the West End and a stone’s throw from the more village feel of Notting Hill & Westbourne Grove. Due to its enormity and relaxed feel, it would be a convenient & easy hotel to stay with the kids too. They would also love the breakfast!


Dorsett have a Kidzania package which would be such a treat to do in the holidays.  You could go shopping whilst they ‘play adults’ and then you can use the best service ever – your bags get dropped to your room! How about that.

Thank you for reading and have a lovely day xx

Dorsett Hotels 


Family Life Travel

4 UK Getaways with Luxury Family Hotels

Valentine’s Day falls on a Tuesday this year. Do you care about this little fact? I don’t care what day it falls on, as like New Years Eve, we usually stay in!  It’s far less cringe having a good bottle of plonk and and a takeaway than sitting in a row of couples facing each other under intense pressure to make it the most romantic dinner EVER…  I would much prefer a little getaway for a couple of days instead (ha – of course I would!) with or without the kids, but seeing as Valentine’s Day falls in half term, it’s with the kids!

Below are 4 hotels that are part of the Luxury Family Hotel group that have wonderful  packages to get away with the kids at half term.

Polurrian Bay Hotel, Cornwall

Polurrian Bay Hotel provides a perfect coastal setting to appeal to all star-crossed parents and their little cherubs.


What’s special about it?

This luxury family hotel is perched on the cliffs of the Lizard Peninsula, one of Cornwall’s most dramatic coastlines. The hotel boasts a boutique seaside style, with sea-view lounges and restaurants, chic rooms and contemporary family rooms. On Valentine’s Day children can enjoy Valentine craft activities in the hotel’s OFSTED registered Den.


The fun continues with PJs on and a special screening of a family movie in the hotel’s cinema room accompanied by lashings of hot chocolate and marshmallows. For the very little ones who will not be taking part in Den activities parents can make use of the hotel’s baby listening service.

As part of the Valentine’s package, parents will be able to tuck into a two-course gourmet dinner served each night during their stay. The highlight will be a special menu prepared by the hotel’s chef for Valentine’s night. And to make the most of the romantic evening, the hotel has organised for its Den team (aka Cupid’s helpers), to provide an early morning pick up service for the children on the Wednesday. The Den Team will serve them breakfast while mum and dad get the chance of a lie in or a leisurely breakfast together the morning after. Bliss!

What’s special about it?

Perched on the cliffs amongst 12 acres of landscaped gardens, with stunning views across Mounts Bay and the Atlantic Ocean on Cornwall’s Lizard Peninsula, the Polurrian Bay Hotel is the ultimate family seaside hotel with its own private beach with public access and has scooped numerous awards in the last 12 months.

It also has an indoor pool which is perfect for these cooler months! (Did I mention the outdoor one too?)


The rooms to request:

Whether you choose sea views, a spacious family room, or its two-bedroomed self-catering cottage, the hotel has got the perfect accommodation to suit every family’s needs and even welcomes pet pooches.


With two en-suite bedrooms connected by a private corridor, the family suites are often the first to get snapped up. Guests can choose from a Superior Sea View or Inland Facing suite.

The Package : 

Children up to the age of 16 stay free in their parents’ room and pay for all meals taken and complimentary 1 x two hour childcare per day in the hotel’s OFSTED registered crèche.
Rates from £690 for a three-night break in a family room.

Fowey Hall, Fowey, Cornwall

Everyone falls in love with Fowey. I fell in love with it when I visited when we were first married and would love to take the kids back. It is a pretty sailing town and has become a Cornwall hot spot due to its stunning location, quirky shops and cafes, and its gorgeous scenery.


What’s special about it?

Fowey Hall is a grand Queen Anne mansion thought to be the original inspiration for Toad Hall in The Wind in the Willows. Its welcoming, unpretentious atmosphere makes it feel more like a friend’s country retreat, where kids can roam freely and parents can unwind.

Fowey Hall makes an ideal location for a romantic Valentine’s weekend combined with a fun family break this half term. The hotel’s nannies offer a Mary Poppins breakfast club for little ones on Valentine’s Day morning so parents can enjoy some quality time together, catch up on sleep, and treat themselves to breakfast in bed with the papers.


The room to request:

Family rooms in the main house are often the most popular. Sleeping two adults and two children or infants, these provide a separate room for little ones and are ideal for families who like a bit more privacy while not compromising on luxury and comfort.


Fowey Hall’s spa boasts a fantastic range of relaxing and luxurious treatments designed to pamper and refresh guests from top to toe using Elemis products. Treatments to request include the Visible brilliance facial, the perfect pre-occasion treatment helps smooth, firm, plump and restore radiance (1 hour 15 minutes for Mon-Thurs £60, Fri-Sun £70).

The Package 

Three nights stay including a two-course dinner, bed and breakfast from £900 for a family room.
Children up to the age of 16 stay free in their parents’ room and pay for all meals taken and complimentary 1 x two hour childcare per day in the hotel’s OFSTED registered crèche.

Woolley Grange, Bradford on Avon

Woolley Grange is an elegant Jacobean Manor House hotel, built from soft Bath stone and set in 14 acres of beautiful gardens.


What’s special about it?

The interior of the hotel has been designed by Carole Taylor and is a great combination of classic style with more contemporary pieces. Elegant chaise longue and chairs sit alongside deep, comfortable leather sofas, and traditional artwork alongside the specially commissioned, contemporary prints by Judy Willoughby.

Feeling more like a house than a hotel, there are plenty of areas in which families can relax, from sofas in front of the roaring log fire in the winter, to the library-come-cinema room.


The room to request:

The fabulous Hayloft Suite has spacious rooms and triple aspect views over the courtyard.

The Package: 

Bed and Breakfast rates are from £250 per night for a family room (based on two adults and one child sharing).
Children up to the age of 16 stay free in their parents’ room and pay for all meals taken and complimentary 1 x two hour childcare per day in the hotel’s OFSTED registered crèche.


Thornbury Castle, Cotswolds

This is a chance for you and your family to step back in time and stay in this extraordinary Tudor Castle.  It will be a massive education for the kids! (This one is suitable for children 9 and over!) The hotel is utter luxury combining 500-year-old architecture with sumptuous facilities and a romantic backdrop that will melt any frost bitten fingers.


What’s special about it?

This is a hotel steeped in history, surrounded by unspoiled grounds and abutting the lovely landscape of the Cotswolds. Add to that a restaurant that developed a Michelin-starred reputation in the 1970s, drawing stars from all over the world to dine there, and now where couples can dine in peace and privacy (there is a sitters service if you want to be alone) next to a roaring fire.

The rooms to request:

The Tower Suite! This suite is at the top of the tower in the South Wing and is reached via a spiral staircase of 77 circular stone steps (the hotel staff will carry your luggage!). The huge four- poster bed, sumptuous Tudor furnishings and stunning views across Gloucestershire make this, quite literally, the top suite in the castle. Another of the hotel’s most popular rooms is The Dukes Bedchamber. This is the actual room slept in by Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn during their honeymoon in 1535 and overlooks the oldest Tudor gardens in England. The room boasts an open fireplace, four poster bed and an en-suite bathroom.


The Package: 
Three-course a la Carte dinner on your first evening
Five-course special Valentine’s dinner with classic guitar entertainment on Saturday evening
Two glasses of champagne on arrival
A box of hand-made truffles
Rates from £650 for a two-night break.

How to book these fab family friendly hotels…

More information and booking is available at or telephone the Central Reservations team on 0844 482 2152

Let me know if you go – I won’t be (too) jealous!


Family Friendly Holidays : Winter Sun

I doubt you are dreaming about winter sun this week (being hot and only September) but there are a few amonsgt us who know they have to book now to get the best deals at the most desirable locations in peak times, such as October half term and the Christmas holidays…

The lovely Amy at 360 Private Travel has put together 7 ‘winter sun’ holiday ideas for you and I. All you have to do is take your pick and give her a call (or the other way round),  she is happy to answer any query!



– Luxury resort on Antigua’s south coast, set on a stunning white sand beach overlooking turquoise waters, surrounded by emerald green hills

– Very secluded and private, the perfect place to relax and unwind

– Excellent children’s club for kids aged 2 upwards

– Huge array of land and water based activities

– Spa

– 4 restaurants offering a variety of delicious dining options

– 8hr direct flight from UK

From £9400 for 2 adults and 2 children. 7 nights in December in a Balcony Suite, including flights and private transfers

Carlisle Bay Antigua


– 5* Resort in a quiet and secluded part of Tenerife

– Huge beach and stunning island scenery

– Excellent children’s club for kids aged 4 upwards

– Plenty of activities for all ages, with interactive learning for children based on Land, Water, Culture and Environment

– Spa and excellent golf course

– Michelin Star dining

– 4hr direct flight from UK


Ritz Carlton Abama, Tenerife

From £7100 for 2 adults and 2 children. 7 nights October half term in 2 connecting Deluxe Rooms, including flights and private transfers



– Large secluded luxury resort set in a beautiful bay combining ocean and mountain views, but only a short drive from Muscat

– Large beach and pool complex

– Excellent children’s club for kids aged 4 upwards

– Plenty of outdoor and cultural activities for all ages, including exploring the souks and the desert landscapes

– Indulgent spa and dining to suit all tastes

– 7hr direct flight from UK

Shangri-La Al Waha, Oman

From £7175 for 2 adults and 2 children. 7 nights in October half term in a Family Room, including flights and private transfers

From £6175 for 2 adults and 2 children. 7 nights in December in a Family Room, including flights and private transfers



– Stunning private island resort set on a coral reef surrounded by crystal clear turquoise water

– Chilled out tropical island luxury

– Explorers Kids Club from 12 months upwards

– Lots of water based activities including sailing, scuba diving and snorkelling

– Top class dining and beach bars plus a waterside spa

– 13hr flight from UK, connecting in Dubai or Abu Dhabi

Niyama Maldives

From £13,900 for 2 adults and 2 children. 7 nights in December in a Beach Suite with Pool, including flights and private transfers



– Perfect tropical hideaway set in breath-taking surroundings

– Excellent for nature lovers as surrounded by unique wildlife in the national parks both on land and under the sea

– Young Explorers Kids Club from 4yrs upwards

– Hilltop spa and nearby 18 hole golf club

– Delicious Asian and western dining options

– 14hr flight from UK, connecting in Kuala Lumpur

The Andaman, Langkawi, Malaysia

From £4500 for 2 adults and 2 children. 7 nights in December in 2 connecting Deluxe Rooms, including flights and private transfers



– Luxurious family friendly beach resort

– Incredible setting on a white sand beach and soaring limestone cliffs

– Immaculate villas with plenty of space for all the family

– ‘Kids for All Seasons’ from 4yrs upwards

– Explore the nearby Geo Park by boat, spotting monkeys, birds and marine life

– Award winning spa and restaurants with excellent service throughout

– 14hr flight from UK, connecting in Kuala Lumpur

Four Seasons Langkawi, Malaysia

From £10,500 for 2 adults and 2 children. 7 nights in December in a Family Beach Villa, including flights and private transfers



– Sri Lanka is a wonderful family friendly destination – easy to travel around with welcoming locals, excellent hotels and a huge range of exciting adventures and experiences

Sri Lanka monks

– On arrival, spend your first night at The Wallawwa, just 15 minutes from the airport – tranquil oasis in a historical country house turned boutique hotel with friendly staff and delicious food

Sri Lanka spices

– Your private car and guide will drive you to the Cultural Triangle to stay at Ulagalla, one of the country’s most luxurious properties set in stunning countryside.. perfect for wildlife spotting and visiting the nearby cultural highlights such as Sigiriya and Anuradhapura

– Next stop is Taylors Hill in the tea hills near Kandy – simply stunning scenery and an opportunity to learn about the tea process as well as explore on foot or bike amongst the local villages and into the former royal city of Kandy

Sri Lanka tea hills

– Down to Yala, one of Sri Lanka’s national parks for a unique safari experience in this structured camp – spacious family tents and kids activities to help them learn about the natural environment. Plenty of opportunity for game drives to spot elephants, monkeys, crocodiles and the elusive leopards!

Sri Lanka elephant

Sri Lanka leopard

– Finish on the chilled out south coast at one of the most family friendly hotels, Why House – more like a private home with only a handful of rooms surrounding a huge pool set amongst the palm trees. Just a short stroll to one of the best beaches in Sri Lanka for a dip in the Indian Ocean.

Sri Lanka beach

– 10hr direct flight from the UK

From £11900 for 2 adults and 2 children. 14 nights in March or April, including flights and a private car and private guide.

Right, which one do you fancy? My pick is Sri Lanka, or perhaps The Maldives, but Antigua looks nice….

Amy 360 Travel

07703 784 468




Days Out Travel

Child-Friendly Hotels Within 2 Hours of London

This selection was compiled by Britain’s Finest – a useful website with plenty of special offers, to help you track down the finest places to stay, dine and unwind.  There is also an excellent search facility with over 400 ‘Child Friendly & Family Hotels.’  Here are 5 of the best within 2 hours of London..

Brooklands Hotel, Surrey

Children under 12 years stay for half price, under 3’s goes free. They have serval family packages available, from a Spa day for mum and daughter to family driving experience with Mercedes-Benz.


Tylney Hall Hotel, Hampshire

Children under 2 go free, treasure hunts for 3- 9’s with the use of an outdoor & indoor pool. You can even feed the residence of ducks in the beautiful grounds of this grade two list hotel.


Maison Talbooth Hotel, Essex

Offers canoeing on the river Stour, cycling (with a variety of bikes to suit all ages and stages), tickets to Colchester Zoo, tennis lessons on the hotel’s court and access to outdoor swimming pool.


Rubens at the Palace Hotel, London

Perhaps you would prefer a hotel in London? The Rubens is rolling out the red-carpet for families! Children of all ages are well catered for with a host of family friendly features with your very own director of fun and concierge team. Children under 12 years old stay free when sharing a room with parents.


Old Swan & Minister Mill, Oxfordshire

Children are made to feel welcome as soon as they arrive with bath ducks, teddy bears & treats. Plenty of activities for the children from cycling to fishing. A family holiday package is also available for 2 adults & 2 children under the age of 18 years.


Britains Finest


Have you seen TLM Ultimate Directory?


Days Out Family Life Travel

Magical Mega Theme Park, Holland

Efteling is a unique theme park in South Holland with a fairy-tale atmosphere and a wide range of thrilling and enchanting attractions.

We decided to go over half term after hearing about it from some of the Dutch mothers at school who raved about it. I can totally understand why – it was absolutely magical and unlike anywhere we have been before.

The park is larger than Disneyland in California.  The USP is the Enchanted Wood – a walk that meanders through a magical trail of moving scenes, mini productions and old school tales. Walking round each corner we were delighted by fairy tale scenes such as Cinderella, Hansel Gretal and Rumpelstiltskin.


This Goblin that appeared from behind a red curtain raised a few squeals, especially wen the ground starts shaking. Talk about interactive experience.


Hansel & Gretal. The old lady pokes her head out of the window and says a few words – in Dutch!


The talking tree. Reminded me of The Faraway Tree!


A fire breathing dragon that swoops down if you try and touch the treasure trove of gold. Scary!

We stayed in the Efteling Hotel and were greeted in reception by a huge TV, a soft play and a bowl of sweets on the counter. After a 3 hour drive from Calais, this was a welcome touch.


The very cool hotel. Our room was in the far right orange dome overlooking the park.



A TV showing some of the attractions on arrival in the reception.



Our themed room – The Gold mine!’ It actually had an interactive piggy bank and a crown that spoke to you… not to mention ‘jewel’ encrusted bunk beds and gold gilded head board.

As hotel guests, we could enter the park 30 minutes before it opened, although the park is so huge, we didn’t have to queue. It had something for each of the children – the youngest (1) was catered for with rides and playgrounds and the older 2 (3 and 5) really got into the characters and stories.


Entrance to a ride


The new roller coaster that has just opened.



Live shows throughout the park.


Lots of opportunities to meet and greet the characters

Whatever age children you have, there is something for everyone. We went for 3 days and only touched the surface. The traditional fairy tales have come alive, my 5 year old is now an adrenaline junkie (as just made the 110cm height for the ‘big boy’ rides), the 3 year old into and my 1 year old daughter is actually aware and susceptible to a bit of ‘princess’. Wish me luck with that stage!


Places Travel

5 Family Friendly European Hotels

Due to the combination of one of TLM’s recent posts, Stylish Child Friendly Holidays and the drizzle that is making my hair particularly frizzy at the moment, I have enjoyed researching a few holiday destinations that will keep everyone happy. It’s a mean feat but something I think these hotels will do easily.

Anassa Hotel, Cyprus

Anassa has award-winning kids programmes and all-embracing babycare. It’s a family-friendly hotel in Cyprus and a regular nominee for World’s Best Spa, has inspiring childcare facilities and delivers deliciously grown-up dining, too.


The Family Rooms are incredible and have a particularity good range of size (and price).


Pine Cliffs Resort, Portugal

Pine Cliffs Resort, one of the leading and award-winning Luxury and Family Resorts in Europe, is truly an exquisite hidden jewel enjoying a spectacular, prime seafront location on the amazing coastline of the Algarve, in Southern Portugal.


Pine Cliffs is an all integrated resort, managed by Starwood Hotels through its Luxury Collection brand, with different options of accommodation, investment opportunities and a luxurious lifestyle for the whole family. The children’s club, spans 7,000sq m, and catering for babies through to teens.



The Peligoni Club, Greece

Set in the unspoiled north east of Zakynthos, The Peligoni Club offers a boutique escape quite unlike anything else.


Peligoni attracts a well-heeled, well-dressed crowd, and club life can seem like an extended Home Counties drinks party at times – not sure whether that appeals or not, but I know one thing is for certain – you are likely not to see the kids much!



Ritz Carlton Abama, Tenerife

Situated in the tranquil enclave of Guía de Isora, our resort in Tenerife, Spain exemplifies the delicate harmony that can exist between man and nature.


The lively Ritz Kids club has an ever-changing schedule of inventive activities, with games designed both for outdoors and in the shade.


Atlantis, The Palm, Dubai

Ok, not in Europe but worth a mention, especially if you are need of some ‘winter sun’.  Apparently this is the most family friendly resort in Dubai. It is filled with loads of activities and adventures designed especially for kids.


The hotel doesn’t look too bad either!


Worth a peruse… Luxury travel & lifestyle for single parents Mr & Mrs Smith… For Families The original ‘Luxury Family Holiday’ website