The Six Best: Hotels for children

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Hotel Plaza Athénée, Paris

This summer, the palatial Hotel Plaza Athénée is offering a little girl's dream come true – a Barbie suite. Kitted out in the doll's favourite colour (pink, of course) and child-sized Barbie furniture, it's a princess play pen in the heart of Paris. Girls – and boys – also have access to their own special website suggesting fun things to do in Paris.

Hotel Plaza Athenée, 25 Avenue Montaigne, Paris, France (00 33 1 53 67 66 65; plaza-athenee-paris.com; veryimportantchildren.com). Barbie suites start at €1,600 with an interconnecting deluxe room for parents, including breakfast and a Barbie gift.

Propeller Island City Lodge, Berlin

This whimsical hotel counts a hall of mirrors and a bed suspended from ropes among the themes for its intriguing collection of rooms, all of which were designed by the German artist Lars Stroschen. While most are adult-oriented, the Castle Suite will appeal to kids both young and old. The bed is a multicoloured fortress and the desk and draws are smaller dwelling areas, surrounded by a mini golf course. Obscure, yes but guaranteed to delight.

Propeller Island City Lodge, Paulsborner Strasse 10, Berlin, Germany (00 49 30 893 2533; propeller-island.de). The Castle suite starts at €130 double, room only.

Loews Portofino Bay, Orlando

Rather than deferring to conventional cartoon characters, Loews has created an ode to Dr Seuss. The themed suites are decorated with Cat in the Hat, Thing 1 and 2 and more; Dr Seuss rides are at Universal Studios nearby.

Loews Portofino Bay, 5601 Universal Boulevard, Orlando, Florida, US (001 407 503 1000; loewshotel.com). The family suites start at $609 (£406), B&B.

The Dorchester, London

You might think luxury is more of a grown-up indulgence. The Dorchester says otherwise. This classic Mayfair hotel has installed canopies decorated with Beatrix Potter characters in its family rooms. Along with their personalised tent – complete with a name board – children are presented with a chocolate painter's palette, cookies and a Dorchester rubber duck. In the decadent Promenade salon, tea-time stories are performed by English National Ballet dancers.

The Dorchester, Park Lane, Mayfair, London W1K 1QA (020 7319 7102; thedorchester.com). The family holiday package costs £405 for two interconnecting rooms, including a goodie hamper.

Scandic The Reef, Denmark

Near Frederikshavn's unusually tropical white sand beach is this Pirates of the Caribbean-inspired hotel. Children stay free but get the benefit of a flume-filled water world, a play room, cinema and menus created by Jamie Oliver.

Scandic The Reef, Tordenskjoldsgade 14, Frederikshavn, Denmark (00 45 98 43 32 33; scandichotels.com). Family rooms start at €90, B&B.

Nickelodeon Suites Resort, Orlando

In family-focused Orlando, a hotel in which SpongeBob Squarepants adorns bedroom walls almost seems normal. There's a 4D cinema – even a kids' spa where children can unwind after a busy day in the waterpark.

Nickelodeon Suites Resort, 14500 Continental Gateway, Orlando, Florida, US (001 877 642 5111; nickhotel.com). Family suites start at $207 (£138), room only.

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