While all families are unique, most want the same thing from a holiday: to relax and have a great time together. These family-friendly hotels in Europe know how to help guests achieve it.
From Mallorca to Greece and with expertly run kids’ clubs, bespoke activities, top children’s menus and first-class child-friendly suites, these are some of the best family-friendly hotels in Europe for a break this summer.
Eagles Palace, Greece
Best for ages 0 to 12
Located on the northern Greek peninsula, Halkidiki, one of the best things about Eagles Palace for families is the variety of accommodation. Some families will love the interconnecting suites with private plunge pools, others will prefer the one or two-bedroom seafront bungalows or the villas that sleep up to six. All come with access to facilities including kayaking, water skiing, tennis and a high-tech teen chill-out room. Younger children will love the childrens’ pool and outstanding kids’ club – it caters to children from four-months through to teens and offers a packed schedule of fun activities such as nature walks, cooking classes and beach excursions. With five on-site restaurants there’s food to suit all tastes but the culinary highlight is the delicious picnic packed for excursions to the hotel’s private island, just a short boat ride away. Your private skipper will set up the beachside lunch of dreams while you swim and snorkel in this secluded spot. For over 50 years this has been hailed as one of the best resorts in Greece for families: expect old-school service combined with ultra-modern facilities.
Ikos Porto Petro, Mallorca
Best for ages 0-17
Ikos has become synonymous with luxury family holidays, with loyal guests rebooking before their holiday is even finished. The latest addition to the portfolio is Porto Petro in Mallorca. With menus created by Michelin Star chefs, 24-hour room service, five pools, state of the art facilities and an exclusive Anne Semonin Spa, this place is holiday-heaven for parents of young children. Located between two stunning sandy coves and stretching along a kilometre of pristine coastline, accommodation ranges from suites to three-bedroom bungalows – each with everything a family could possibly need (and if you manage to think of something else just call the concierge and they’ll whizz it straight to you). Childcare is a big deal at Ikos; they pride themselves on making kids and parents feel happy and relaxed. The kids’ club is second to none and carefully overseen by qualified professionals in line with UK Ofsted standards. Daily organised activities are available for kids, including for older teens looking to push their limits. Waters sports, tennis lessons, cookery classes and team sports are just some of the options. There’s also 30-minutes free beachside childcare for over fours: the dream when you just want time to read your book.
Château St Pierre de Serjac, France
Best for ages 4-17
Surrounded by 20-acres of stunning Languedoc countryside, this French château may be grand, but it’s incredibly child-friendly. The manor house is home to eight beautiful rooms, but it’s the estate’s 36 self-catering properties with private gardens and terraces – many with private pools, too – that usually appeal to families. Each is kitted-out with stair gates, cots and high chairs to accommodate little guests, and can sleep up to 10. If the thought of cooking puts you off self-catering the hotel has a child-friendly Mediterranean restaurant for evenings, or pop along to the main château at 8AM to pick up freshly-baked bread and pastries. In summer, the kitchen also prepares barbecue favourites ready to cook up in the privacy of your property. This estate is also a working vineyard that produces fabulous wines. During school holidays you’ll find a kids’ club for ages four – 14 run by qualified, bilingual (French-English) staff, and babysitting is available for smaller guests too. The hotel is surrounded by 220 hectares of olive trees and vineyards and is all about space and freedom to play; kids of all ages will love the outdoor infinity pool and huge grounds to run around; join a nature walk, borrow bikes, sink into the spa or play a round or two of tennis or petanque.
Masseria Torre Maizza, Italy
Best for ages 0 to 17
Sardinia’s Forte Village has long been a hit with families seeking a luxury holiday, but the Rocco Forte group has other equally fantastic family-friendly hotels in Europe: one of which is the five-star Masseria Torre Maizza. In the heart of ultra-fashionable Puglia, this white-washed property has a distinctly glamorous feel – famed Italian interior designer Olga Polizzi is behind the chic rooms and suites – yet is as family-friendly as it is stylish. Little guests are treated to a mini check in complete with cuddly toy and junior bathrobe and every detail is thought of from here on out: anti-slip bath mats, water-temperature monitors, night lights, playmats, a 24-hour babysitting service; Rocco Forte Kids’ mini bars packed with Italian treats and soft drinks; games consoles on request, and more. The Rocco Forte Kids’ Programme is tailored to three different age bands; babies (ages 0-3), kids (ages 4-12) and teens (ages 13-16) with an array of indoor and outdoor activities. Ask the concierge about additional adventures such as go-karting and trips to the nearby aqua park too. But it’s not all about the kids. Parents can enjoy restaurants (which also have kids’ menus), an immaculately-manicured golf course and the ultra-spoiling spa. The hotel’s beach club, Lido Bambu, is a short shuttle ride away and oozes cool sophistication with DJ sets and a delicious menu, but don’t let that put you off taking the kids – they are most welcome and water sports are on offer to keep them entertained.
Marbella Club, Spain
Best for ages 0 – 17
The Marbella Club is the most stylish place to stay in Spain for a family holiday. Understated elegance plus super-friendly staff make it an ideal choice for parents who don’t want to compromise on luxury. And let’s be absolutely clear, this place is truly magical for little guests. The kids’ club (age four and up) is housed in its own village – and adults will find it hard not to be jealous of all the cool things children get to try out: cooking lessons, arts and crafts, aroma workshops and candle-making, alongside games and play areas. Water sports take place on the beach, or book in for horse riding or tennis lessons. There’s a spa, golf, Pilates, aerial yoga and a shopping gallery home to Chanel and Louis Vuitton to keep parents entertained – or hang out at the exclusive beach club, somewhat reminiscent of 1950’s Acapulco, before dressing up for an adults-only dinner at The Grill or enjoying a casual meal with the kids at El Patio. Recently-refurbished suites and villas are kitted out to the highest standard and there’s no need to bring any baby kit: the hotel offers swim nappies, bottle warmers and more, plus a babysitting service for younger ones. If you aren’t tied to school holidays, take advantage of the club’s Tiny Tot’s Programme. Yes, there’s Marbella to see, but you won’t need to venture outside for the perfect holiday.
Sublime Comporta, Portugal
Best for ages 5 to 12
An hour’s drive south from Lisbon you’ll find eco-haven, Sublime Comporta; one of Portugal’s most exciting hotels. This 17-acre estate on a stretch of idyllic coastline between the Sado Estuary and the Atlantic Ocean, is a property that takes pride in its environmentally-friendly credentials. Solar panels are used for heating and the organic garden provides over 300 varieties of herbs, vegetables and edible flowers – used in the on-site restaurants. Minimalist design and sleek yet natural architecture blends into the lush surroundings; the hotel has 23 rooms and suites, but it’s the five-bedroom cabana-style villas with fully-equipped kitchens that are ideal for families. There’s no kids club but kids’ activities include tennis and paddle courts, bike riding, family cooking lessons and kids yoga, while the concierge team can organise everything from sailing to dolphin watching and horse riding. Be sure to visit the hotel’s beach club too: with pristine white sand and crystal blue sea, it’s a dreamy place to spend the day. Sublime has a children’s pool and the restaurant caters well for youngsters with an extensive kids’ menu. Babysitting is available, but this hotel is probably best suited to families who don’t need to factor in buggies and high chairs any more.
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Lead Image: Ikos