Summer 2012: Family friendly hotels
Kate Simon is the Travel Correspondent of The Independent and The Independent on Sunday. She was Travel Editor of The Independent on Sunday from 2005 to 2011. Kate is also the co-founder of Little Black Book Creative (www.lbbcreative.co.uk), which offers editorial services, media relations consultancy and travel-writing training.
Sunday 27 May 2012
Children's rooms take on a different meaning at Hesperia Lanzarote (00 34 828 080 800; nh-hotels.com), in Puerto Calero, where seven new Junior Suites have been colourfully redecorated, furnished with bunk beds dressed in themed bed linen, and supplied with toys and a healthy "mini bar".
Young guests can access Wiis, PlayStations, telescopes, electronic dartboards and a music centre, plus there are board games, books and films to enjoy. Beyond the suites, the 335-room hotel has three pools, sporting facilities, and a children's club. Rooms cost from €197 (£157) per night. Flights to Lanzarote from Birmingham, Bournemouth, Bristol, East Midlands, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds-Bradford, Liverpool, Luton and Stansted currently start at £179 return with Ryanair (0871 246 0000; ryanair.com).
Families with high-octane tastes will love Nira Alpina (00 41 0 81 838 69 70; niraalpina.com), which opens for its first summer season this year. The cutting-edge property in the Engadine Valley, Switzerland, counts windsurfing and kite surfing on Lake Silvaplana, and hiking and mountain biking among the activities on offer. Four-nights in a garden room costs Sfr1,295 (£858), with children, up to 12 years, staying free when sharing with parents. Flights to Geneva from Heathrow are currently available from £108 per person with Swiss (0845 601 0956; swiss.com).
Minifigs will love you for ever if you take them on a break to the Legoland Windsor Resort (0845 373 2640; legoland.co.uk). No corner of this new hotel has been unaffected by the little plastic bricks and its characters, from the pirate-themed splash pool to the Lego-shaped chips served in the buffet restaurant. Set on the edge of the Berkshire theme park, the resort puts guests in easy reach of its rides including the new Star Wars Miniland and Atlantis submarine ride. Prices start at £337 for a themed family room sleeping two adults and two children, including breakfast, park tickets for two days and "early-bird" access.
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