Make the most of February half term with a trip to somewhere beautiful – whether it’s far-flung or somewhere nearer to home
Escape the cold, English weather for brighter, warmer climes this February half term. Forget the cooking, forget the cleaning, and most certainly forget the washing with a stay in a Mr & Mrs Smith-approved luxury hotel, where the entire family will be catered for. As the travel club for hotel lovers, you can browse through the hundreds of different luxury hotels and villas on its website (including a dedicated ‘family’ section), complete with information on every aspect of the accommodation – from facilities to food and local hidden gems. And once you’ve set your heart on a location, you can even book flights and transfers with the help of a Mr & Mrs Smith travel specialist, available 24/7.
So, whether you’d like to get as far away as possible or perhaps stay a little closer to home this half term, here’s six fabulous escapes that cater for the whole family:
Constance Prince Maurice, Mauritius
Escape to the Indian Ocean and stay in paradise – namely the Constance Prince Maurice in Flacq, Mauritius, a district of pristine coast with quiet coves and translucent lagoons. The luxury hotel has beachfront, lake-edge and palm-shaded suites on offer, with a free-form pool, luxurious spa and spectacular ‘floating’ restaurant. The kids’ club, Les Petits Princes, is a tropical playground for the little ones; there’s swings, slides, and a treehouse, plus thatched huts where you’ll find gaming, internet and arts and crafts stations. From crab hunting to ice-cream-making workshops, hair braiding to water skiing and scuba diving, there’s an activity for every kind of child. The hotel organises trips to the local wildlife and bird park too, where the whole clan can walk with lions and tigers (and expert big-cat handlers, of course).
Zemi Beach, Anguilla
If you’re looking for a family-friendly retreat, Zemi Beach is a surefire winner. What child wouldn’t want to go coconut bowling amid the Nemo-like landscape of the eastern Caribbean? The kids’ club here hosts this and more: from board games and craft sessions to family-friendly movie nights. The watersports here are second to none – try paddleboarding, swimming with dolphins, sailing and kite surfing. Any aspiring Princess Ariels can also learn how to swim like real-life merfolk – complete with requisite tails. Stay in a palatial suite with the whole family and enjoy your own kitchen space; although that’s not to say you’ll have to cook your own meals, as there’s two hotel restaurants to choose from.
Soneva Fushi, Maldives
Dotting the powder-white beaches of a private island in the Maldives, boutique hotel Soneva Fushi’s eco-chic villas are otherworldly. And when it comes to the kids’ club, it might just be the greatest in the world, boasting a clownfish-shaped pool, pirate ship, ping-pong hut, trampolines, mocktail bar, lego room, dress-up area, zip line and water slide from the main building. Also worth a mention is the on-island chocolatier, telescope-equipped observatory, enlightening eco centre and on-site reef for all ages. The Soneva Fushi Villa Suite is perfect for slightly older children – they’ll love the seawater pool and treehouse complete with beds.
Closer to home:
Lakes by Yoo, Cotswolds
Enjoy a contemporary country stay in the Cotswolds at The Lakes by Yoo. Created by the design collective Yoo Studio – co-founded by Philippe Starck – each villa is totally unique. The standout stay has to be at Barnhouse, a Mad Men-esque, vintage-inspired space styled by Kate Moss herself, complete with private pool and room enough for a whole gaggle of children. There’s a rather inspired selection of activities available at the kids’ club, too, with three distinct groups for different ages: rock-music lessons, bushcraft with Ben Fogle and Nerf wars, anyone?
A family adventure in Italy
Traverse Venice, Rome and the Amalfi coast in an Italian adventure like no other. Highlights of the 10-day holiday include a private boat trip along the Amalfi coast and time to kick back on its spectacular beaches, painting carnival masks in Venice and touring the city’s canals in your own private gondola, and training to be a gladiator in Rome. Everything in the itinerary can be personalised so you end up with the perfect holiday for every single member of the family.
Lucknam Park Hotel & Spa, Wiltshire
Foot-stomping children seeking the proverbial pony will have no complaints here. With an on-site equestrian centre, Lucknam runs daily pony trots around the estate for little princesses (and princes). Duck herding, falconry displays, adult-and-child cookery courses – if the Cotswolds set revamped Center Parcs it would look a little like this. When it comes to prising them away from the ponies, there are even ‘Little Miss’ spa treatments to enjoy. Or if they’re more into their sports, the tennis courts, croquet lawn and football pitch are sure to entertain. If you’ve got a handful of tikes on your hand, extra beds and cots can be provided in some rooms and suites.
Mr & Mrs Smith is the travel club for hotel lovers: an award-winning boutique-hotel booking service specialising in the world’s most seductive stays. Founded in 2003, there are now more than 1,000 boutique and luxury hotels in the collection, all hand-picked and anonymously reviewed. With Smith you’ll get the best prices guaranteed, free extras on arrival and round-the-clock service from Smith24, our in-house travel specialists. The collection now also includes luxury villas, bespoke itineraries and unique experiences, too. Go to mrandmrssmith.com to browse and book.