Hotel of The Week: Longueville Manor, Jersey
A smart stopover with the nippers - isn't that asking for trouble? At Longueville Manor in Jersey they've come up with a solution. Book the suite in the grounds and you can have all the privacy you need, with services on top
Sunday 23 October 2005
Though part of the grand Relais & Chateaux group - think expensive furniture and even more expensive clientele - the granite-faced country house that is Longueville Manor is surprisingly child-friendly.
Its "little-needs" service means that parents can pre-order a cot-rockingly astonishing range of kit, from nappies and organic baby food to musical mobiles and toilet-training seats. And the hotel's cottage suite, a converted 16th-century dairy separate from the main building, combines all the privacy and flexibility of a self-catering holiday with on-tap hotel services.
Inside its deep stone walls (perfect soundproofing for nuclear two-year-old tantrums) are two large bedrooms, a low-beamed living room, separate dining room and a kitchen bigger than many found in Fulham. Maids descend twice a day to clear up discarded jigsaws, Top Trumps cards and stray socks, while in the evenings tired parents can order a DVD from the hotel library and a first-class takeaway from the restaurant.
A 20-minute taxi ride east of Jersey airport. Out front, the setting is dully suburban; but behind, the garden leads back towards lush farmland and a small wood that beckons young explorers.
The comfort factor
Décor is what you might call "soft-trad", which translates as exposed brick, Jersey double-cream walls, soporific mattresses, plump sofas and massed ranks of fresh flowers and fruit. The three wide-screen TVs will transfix children on rainy days.
Two ensuites come with marble tiling, gushing hot water, scented candles and full-size Penhaligon's products. Children get their own welcome pack and a Beanie Baby-style puppy to cuddle in bed.
The food and drink
The kitchen is well equipped and more than adequate for making sandwiches for a fractious seven-year old. The fridge is stocked with Jersey milk, champagne and mineral water. In the restaurant, sideboards piled high with dried fruit, honeycomb, mix-your-own muesli, meats, cheeses and homemade breads (almost) guarantee perfect public behaviour.
Much like the hotel - solid, comfortable, quietly spoken but with high standards.
There is the Maritime Museum at St Helier, and half-an-hour's drive away is the late Gerald Durrell's splendid zoo. Clean beaches are a Jersey speciality.
The cottage is not suitable for wheelchairs, but there are ground-floor rooms in the main hotel. Dogs welcome.
The cottage, sleeping four, costs from £750 a night, including breakfast.
Longueville Road, St Saviour, Jersey JE2 7WF (01534 725501; www.longuevillemanor.com).
The Dower House apartments at the Ickworth Hotel, Suffolk (01284 735 350; www.ickworthhotel.com) sleep four and cost £405-£735 for a weekend. The apartments are a short cycle ride from the hotel.
Calcot Manor (01666 890391; www.calcotmanor.co.uk) in Tetbury in the Cotswolds has a duplex suite with garden, two bedrooms and a fridgefrom £360 for two nights' half-board.
Hard Rock Café, 150 Old Park Lane, London W1 (020-7629 0382 www.hardrock.com).
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