Five Best: Luxury family hotels

1. The Sands Resort, Cornwall

This modern Mediterranean-style cliff- top hotel is within easy reach of some of Cornwall's best stretches of sand, including the National Trust Bedruthan Steps Beach. Children's facilities include complimentary sports for all ages, a "Surf Shack" with wetsuits and boards, indoor and outdoor pools, plus Ofsted-inspected children's club sessions, daily, for all ages, babies to teens. There's pre-dinner entertainment for under-sevens, baby-listening, crèches, children's menus, family or child-free dinner slots, plus suites with separate sleeping areas for children.

The Sands Resort, Porth, Cornwall (01637 872864; From £50 per adult, per night, b&b. Up to two children under seven stay free; children aged 7-17 from £35 per night

2. The Elms, Worcestershire

The Elms is a handsome Queen Anne mansion set in extensive gardens and 10 acres of Worcestershire parkland. There's a complimentary baby-listening service in all rooms (enjoy an excellent dinner while secretly hoping that the discreet tap on the shoulder to signal a screaming brat is for someone else), an Ofsted-registered playroom – the Four Bears Den – as well as DVDs and board-games. The Aquae Sulis spa opens in April and has facilities for all the family.

The Elms, Abberley, Worcester (www.; 01299 896666). Weekends from £310 for a double room, including breakfast and dinner. Children sharing parents' room are charged for meals only

3. Polmaily House, Invernesshire

Perfect for active kin, this 20-room country-house hotel by Loch Ness focuses family holidays around cycling, skiing, fishing, walking and horse riding, with a children's club, supervised playroom and afternoon crèche allowing time out for parents and offspring alike. In the 18-acre gardens and woodland there are stables where kids can help out or take a riding lesson, while parents charter an afternoon on Loch Ness, the hotel's 31ft skippered sailing yacht. Or stay on site for a swim, ride or game of tennis. Family rooms come with toys and books, and self-contained family suites have additional private gardens.

Polmaily House, Drumnadrochit, Invernesshire (01456 450343; www. From £55 per adult, per night. Children under five, free; 6-12 years, 35 per cent of adult cost; 13-16 years, 45 per cent

4. Lucknam Park, near Bath

This magnificent Palladian villa, set in 500 acres of Wiltshire parkland, is one of Britain's finest and friendliest country-house hotels. The setting, just six miles from Bath, is perfect; the service, from the team led by Harry Murray MBE, is legendary; and the Michelin-starred restaurant is a draw for miles around. What's less well-known is that Lucknam Park is also one of the most family-oriented of luxury hotels, and the smartest place we know to teach children to ride. The state-of-the-art Equestrian Centre stables about 30 horses and ponies, and there are programmes available for all levels of rider, from novice to expert.

Lucknam Park, Colerne, Wiltshire (01225 742777; www. Rooms from £255 per night (room only); riding lessons from £90 per hour

5. The Ickworth Hotel, Suffolk

Rule of thumb: when successful middle-class parents get together and start talking weekends away, they'll soon be raving about the time they went to Ickworth. Housed in the east wing of an astonishing 18th-century mansion – former seat of those loony aristocrats, the Herveys – Ickworth is a luxury hotel that has spent years developing its reputation as Britain's foremost family getaway. There's an Ofsted-registered crèche, games and activities galore, plus bicycles (to explore the 1,800-acre National Trust estate), nature trails, trampolines, tennis courts, an adventure playground and fabulous indoor pool.

The Ickworth Hotel, Horringer, Suffolk (01761 240124; www.luxuryfamilyhotels. com). Rooms from £210 per night (includes dinner, b&b for 2 adults & 1 child); during half-term week from £330 per night

Suggested Topics
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
An easy-peel potato; Dave Hax has come up with an ingenious method in food preparation
voicesDave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
Arts and Entertainment
Jay Z has placed a bet on streaming being the future for music and videos
Arts and Entertainment
Festival-goers soak up the atmosphere at Glastonbury
Japan's population is projected to fall dramatically in the next 50 years (Wikimedia)
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    Recruitment Genius: Bid / Tender Writing Executive

    £24000 - £27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: With offices in Manchester, Lon...

    Guru Careers: Marketing Executives / Marketing Communications Consultants

    Competitive (DOE) + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a number of Marketi...

    Recruitment Genius: Marketing Executive

    £20000 - £27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This well established business ...

    Ashdown Group: Management Accountant - Manchester

    £25000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Management Accountant - Manchester...

    Day In a Page

    NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

    Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

    A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
    Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

    Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

    The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
    How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

    How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

    Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
    From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

    The wars that come back to haunt us

    David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
    Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

    Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

    A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders
    Heston Blumenthal to cook up a spice odyssey for British astronaut manning the International Space Station

    UK's Major Tum to blast off on a spice odyssey

    Nothing but the best for British astronaut as chef Heston Blumenthal cooks up his rations
    John Harrison's 'longitude' clock sets new record - 300 years on

    ‘Longitude’ clock sets new record - 300 years on

    Greenwich horologists celebrate as it keeps to within a second of real time over a 100-day test
    Fears in the US of being outgunned in the vital propaganda wars by Russia, China - and even Isis - have prompted a rethink on overseas broadcasters

    Let the propaganda wars begin - again

    'Accurate, objective, comprehensive': that was Voice of America's creed, but now its masters want it to promote US policy, reports Rupert Cornwell
    Why Japan's incredible long-distance runners will never win the London Marathon

    Japan's incredible long-distance runners

    Every year, Japanese long-distance runners post some of the world's fastest times – yet, come next weekend, not a single elite competitor from the country will be at the London Marathon
    Why does Tom Drury remain the greatest writer you've never heard of?

    Tom Drury: The quiet American

    His debut was considered one of the finest novels of the past 50 years, and he is every bit the equal of his contemporaries, Jonathan Franzen, Dave Eggers and David Foster Wallace
    You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

    You should judge a person by how they peel a potato

    Dave Hax's domestic tips are reminiscent of George Orwell's tea routine. The world might need revolution, but we like to sweat the small stuff, says DJ Taylor
    Beige is back: The drab car colours of the 1970s are proving popular again

    Beige to the future

    Flares and flounce are back on catwalks but a revival in ’70s car paintjobs was a stack-heeled step too far – until now
    Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's dishes highlight the delicate essence of fresh cheeses

    Bill Granger cooks with fresh cheeses

    More delicate on the palate, milder, fresh cheeses can also be kinder to the waistline
    Aston Villa vs Liverpool: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful,' says veteran Shay Given

    Shay Given: 'This FA Cup run has been wonderful'

    The Villa keeper has been overlooked for a long time and has unhappy memories of the national stadium – but he is savouring his chance to play at Wembley
    Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own - Michael Calvin

    Michael Calvin's Last Word

    Timeless drama of Championship race in league of its own