Luxury Family Hotels, England
Fun at The Ickworth, Suffolk, Britain
Learning to Play Croquet at New Park Manor, New Forest, Britain
Chatting in a Hammock at Moonfleet Manor, West Dorset, Britain

Luxury Family Hotels, a group of small hotels throughout Britain, previously a winner of FTF’s Top 10 Getaways for Tiny Travelers Award, gets a fresh look in 2015.

Britain’s aptly named Luxury Family Hotels are just that. The members of this exclusive hotel family are eight inns: Woolley Grange, a 17th century Jacobean Manor House in Wiltshire (8 miles from Bath); Ickworth, the late 18th-century home of the Earl Bishop of Bristol in Suffolk (part of the National Trust); Fowey Hall, a Queen Anne Chateau, completed in 1899 on the South Cornish coast in Cornwall; Moon Fleet Manor, a Georgian Manor in West Dorset; The Elms, the newest property, located in Worcestershire; Polurrian Bay, a beach manor privileged with the the view of sunset, the sea and the sky; New Park Manor, once owned by King Charles II, now a tranquil place in ancient New Forest (an hour and a half’s drive from London); and Thornbury Castle, an old keep where Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn once walked.  While Thornbury Castle restricts young visitores to those over the age of 10, the rest of the properties welcome babies, toddlers and children of all ages, and provides complimentary baby equipment including cots, high chairs, bottlewarmers, bed guards, potties and more. Some welcome dogs as guests, too.

Rather than being stuffy they are cozy, but also quite grand, and extremely welcoming to families. The hotels offer a wide range of accommodations, including some connecting rooms, suitable for families of all sizes. The seaside or countryside locations, and the manicured grounds and gardens provide varied and spectacular backdrops for a fun-filled and relaxing holiday for all ages. Best yet, these “luxury” hotels deliver on their promise with gourmet meals and a staff that won’t let mom or dad worry about anything.

As part of a family of their own, the eight properties have much in common and a most important feature that they share is excellent childcare. Supervised playrooms for newborns through age 8 are called Bear’s Dens, and there are extensive recreation facilities for older children. Each nursery is registered with OFSTED, a British government organization which insists on high standards for staff training, safety, cleanliness and health in daycare centers. They perform spot checks on all facilities, as well as background checks on all nannies, and provides information for emergency procedures. All of the Bear’s Dens offer complimentary, supervised care, and the indoor facilities offer a wide array of toys, drawing and painting equipment, while the outdoor play areas feature climbing equipment, sand boxes, slides and swings, areas for lawn games and swimming pools. Remote baby monitors, as well as private babysitters are available. Some of the properties offer a Nursery High Tea served from 5pm to 6pm.

Each of the eight Luxury Family Hotels also offers an unsupervised indoor and outdoor area for kids who have outgrown the nursery, or when the weather is fine, with features such as an adventure playground, bikes, football nets, squash and tennis facilities, board games, pool tables, music, video games and movies. When not hiking, biking or sightseeing, families tend to gather here to “play” together, especially after meals.

All of the Luxury Family Hotels’ rooms are tastefully decorated and are equipped with phones, televisions, video players, radios, hairdryers and adult-size bathrobes, and most provide guests a daily newspaper and morning tea. All emphasize healthy cuisine and feature locally grown, organic fruits and vegetables in their restaurants, and they all offer a swimming pool (mostly indoors), and massage, spa and/or holistic beauty treatments. Each region offers something different to explore, whether nearby medieval towns, museums, cliffs and coastlines, or the gardens and antique shops of the English countryside.

The childcare and use of facilities is free of charge, and children stay free in their parent’s room and are charged only for meals. There is a Bed and Breakfast option, as well as a Bed, Breakfast and Dinner option.

Check the website for detailed information on each of the eight properties to find the best one for your family.


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