We asked senior travel consultant Julia Andrei from boutique hotel experts Smith & Family for the low-down on the best hotels for trips en famille. All 20 fabulous stays nominated in the Smith Hotel Awards’ Best for Families category have gone straight to the top of our must-visit list, but here are five of Julia’s personal favourites…
Borgo Egnazia, Puglia, Italy
This is my absolute favourite family hotel; it’s a one-of-a-kind fairy tale of a property with beautiful views of the Adriatic and impressive facilities for both children and adults. Everyone feels spoilt at Borgo Egnazia – there’s a dedicated kids club and two family-friendly beaches, but also a knock-out spa for adults, and spacious rooms styled with rural Italian romance.
Doubles from £173 a night, including breakfast.
Soneva Kiri, Thailand
This was last year’s winner of the Best for Families category at the Smith Hotel Awards, and it’s not hard to see why! Soneva Kiri is a jungle-meets-ocean haven of swinging treetops, vast spacious villas with private pools and an activity-packed kids club, with extra fun like treetop dining and unlimited ice-cream. The world-class spa, service and setting make this an unbeatable family retreat.
Suites from £683 a night, including breakfast, a personal butler and unlimited chocolate and ice-cream.
Constance Halaveli, Maldives
The Maldives is my all-time favourite destination, but don’t think it’s only for honeymooners – it’s the perfect place for a family holiday too. The kids club offers tailored diving courses, so little ‘uns can make a splash in the crystal-clear waters, and adults can enjoy the private plunge pools and unwind in the overwater spa. White sandy floors, vast villas stocked with family essentials and a cheery welcoming spa make Constance Halaveli a pampering paradise.
Villas from £714 a night; some rates include breakfast.
Esencia, Riviera Maya, Mexico
Esencia breaks the family-friendly-resort stereotype in a big way, with a pristine beach and chic interiors. It’s a beautifully blissful resort with an incredibly warm welcome for families (there’s even two hours of free babysitting every day). The location means it’s a luxurious base to come back to after a day exploring the local Mayan ruins, snorkelling or spotting wildlife on the nearby nature trails.
Doubles from £453 a night, including breakfast.
Calcot Manor, Cotswolds, UK
Calcot Manor‘s stylish rooms are designed with families in mind – I love the Large Family Suite, spread out over two floors. The kids’ bedroom is dotted with teddies and toys, and the master bedroom is super sexy: you don’t lose that element of luxury here. The dedicated crÃ¨che takes all children from newborns up, so you can relax and enjoy the out-of-this-world spa and dining.
Doubles from £280 a night, including breakfast.