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; www.sandsresort.co.uk). 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. elmsluxuryfamilyhotel.co.uk; 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. polmaily.co.uk). 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. lucknampark.co.uk). 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
Voices
Homeless Veterans charity auction: Cook with Angela Hartnett and Neil Borthwick at Merchants Tavern
charity appeal
Arts and Entertainment
Strictly finalists Simon Webbe, Caroline Flack, Mark Wright and Frankie Bridge
tvLive: Simon Webbe, Caroline Flack, Mark Wright and Frankie Bridgeface-off in the final
Life and Style
A still from the 1939 film version of Margaret Mitchell's 'Gone with the Wind'
life
Arts and Entertainment
British actor Idris Elba is also a DJ and rapper who played Ibiza last summer
film
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
Extras
The Tesco Hudl2: An exceptional Android tablet that's powerful, well-built and outstanding value
indybest

News
Sarah Silverman (middle) with sister Reform Rabbi Susan Silverman (right) and sister actress Laura Silverman (left) at Jerusalem's Western Wall for feminist Hanuka candle-lighting ceremony
peopleControversial comedian stages pro-equality Hanukkah lighting during a protest at Jerusalem's Wailing Wall
Sport
After another poor series in Sri Lanka, Alastair Cook claimed all players go through a lean period
cricket
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
The Bach Choir has been crowned the inaugural winner of Sky Arts’ show The Great Culture Quiz
arts + ents140-year-old choir declared winner of Sky Arts' 'The Great Culture Quiz'
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
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

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

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    Investigo: Finance Analyst

    £240 - £275 per day: Investigo: Support the global business through in-depth a...

    Ashdown Group: Data Manager - £Market Rate

    Negotiable: Ashdown Group: Data Manager - MySQL, Shell Scripts, Java, VB Scrip...

    Ashdown Group: Application Support Analyst - Bedfordshire/Cambs border - £32k

    £27000 - £32000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Application Support Analyst - near S...

    Recruitment Genius: Class 1 HGV Driver

    £23000 - £27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This successful group of compan...

    Day In a Page

    Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

    Homeless Veterans appeal

    In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
    Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

    Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

    As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
    The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

    The Interview movie review

    You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
    Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

    How podcasts became mainstream

    People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
    Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

    Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

    Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
    Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

    A memorable year for science – if not for mice

    The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
    Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

    Christmas cocktails to make you merry

    Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
    5 best activity trackers

    Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

    Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
    Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

    Paul Scholes column

    It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
    Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

    Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

    Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
    Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

    Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

    2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
    Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

    Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

    Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
    Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

    Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

    The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
    Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

    Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

    The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
    Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

    The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

    Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas