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Hotels for the half term to please the whole family

by Dinah Hatch (May 2014)

Let’s face it, life is about compromise and no more so than when choosing a family weekend getaway. Mum and dad want a bit of peace and quiet, swanky hotel bedrooms with fluffy white towels, attentive staff, great food and drink and a chic spa to chill in while the kids want swimming pools, space and fun stuff. Happily, there are plenty of hotels on Britain’s Finest that tick all the boxes. Here are ten hotels whose location and facilities keep everyone in the family happy and make them half-term hits…


Showing below are all 7 records in "Hotels for the half term to please the whole family"

Maison Talbooth

Stratford Road, Dedham, Colchester

Maison Talbooth, Stratford Road, Colchester, Essex

Overlooking Dedham Vale, made famous by local lad Constable, Maison Tolbooth should have every family member smiling. Just 12 impeccably designed suites make the hotel feel like your personal playground, complete with lovely garden room restaurant, heated swimming pool with a darling pool house, bubbling hot tub, tennis courts and a day spa with a wide range of treatments. There’s oodles of space for the kids to run around in and the tranquil rural setting allows for those magic moments when you shut your eyes in the sun and can hear a pin drop. Wonderful.

Rudding Park Hotel, Spa & Golf

Follifoot, Harrogate

Rudding Park Hotel, Spa & Golf, Follifoot, Harrogate, North Yorkshire

Genteel Harrogate isn’t short on pretty hotels but Rudding Park, set amongst glorious landscaped gardens etched with wooded paths and shady glades, is something special. While adults swoon at the country house feel, the sweeping North Yorkshire countryside, the fabulous 18-hole golf course, the menu in the award winning restaurant and the spa and gym facilities, their offspring will be delighted at the private cinema within the hotel. Look out for the Food and Flicks movie nights where a two course dinner and a movie comes in at around £30 (popcorn gratis). You may be surrounded by rolling countryside but Harrogate is but two miles away and Leeds and York (for any shopaholics in the party) are within easy reach.

Bailiffscourt Hotel & Spa

Climping Street, Climping

Bailiffscourt Hotel & Spa, Climping Street, Climping, West Sussex

A real favourite in West Sussex, historic Bailiffscourt Hotel and Spa is a picture-postcard pretty building characterised by narrow passageways meandering through a series of cosy lounges and snugs stuffed with fabulous antique pieces and intricate tapestries while smelling of freshly-cut blooms. Gaze through Gothic mullioned windows at the kids playing in the flower-strewn, carefully kept gardens (the courtyard in summer is a riot of roses) while attentive staff serve coffee as you flick through the morning papers. Are you getting the picture here? From the bone-warming real log fire in winter to the lazy summer strolls in the grounds, this is hotel heaven. The spa is bang up to date and we are in love with the outdoor and indoor pool and hot tub arrangement which takes full advantage of the gorgeous Sussex countryside views. Just try getting the kids out of this pool when the sun’s out.

Bath Spa Hotel

Sydney Road, Bath

Bath Spa Hotel, Sydney Road, Bath, Bath & Northeast Somerset

It seems incredible that such a spacious, grand and utterly delightful country house hotel can be so close to the undeniably lovely honey-coloured elegance of Bath. A former Georgian mansion, this opulent joint is right in the city mix yet has lush statue-studded gardens to meander through after the hurly burly of the city. This is the sort of place country house owners wish they could afford to emulate, with its ultra fancy swags and deep pile carpets, lovely furniture and deeply restful sitting rooms. Take the kids on a boat trip along the Kennet and Avon, hold a tennis tournament on the courts or teach the wee ones croquet on the lawns. The spa here (much favoured by the city’s rugby team), with its sleek pool and tempting array of massages, is reason enough to book.

The Balmoral

1 Princes Street, Edinburgh

The Balmoral, 1 Princes Street, Edinburgh, City of Edinburgh

This grand classic Victorian railway hotel in Edinburgh, sits within the grand Rocco Forte brand but the real attraction to this swanky, city-centre cathedral to elegance is the staff. Last time I visited, a baby and toddler in tow, I was deeply impressed with the staff’s can do attitude to family needs. Kids are given a VIP card on check-in and a gift awaits them in their room. Homemade cookies and milk appear at bedtime, there are bubbles for the bath and a lovely kids’ in-room menu. Older ones get their own robe and slippers in which to read Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows which its author completed within the hotel walls. Board games and movies are thrown in and the 15m swimming pool is a welcome addition. And for you? Try the Michelin-starred food at Number One, sample any of the 300 whiskies in the bar or simply laze in your perfectly-appointed bedroom and gaze over The Scott Monument, the castle and Arthur’s Seat as the sound of bagpipes carries through an open window. A true Caledonian delight.

Ettington Park

Alderminster, Stratford-upon-Avon

Ettington Park, Alderminster, Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire

Stratford Upon Avon can be ludicrously busy at the best of times but the smart money stays just outside for a piece of Warwickshire country tranquillity. Ettington Park sits just a few miles from the Bard’s home town surrounded by 40 acres of parkland with the River Stour running through it. Honey coloured stones, stunning brickwork and ornate arches set the tone here and inside the grandeur continues with elegant chandeliers, antique furniture and lovely wall art. I love the perfect blending of heritage architecture with 21st century facilities here, and the indoor pool, sauna, steam rooms and Jacuzzi are perfect places to relax after the madness of Stratford. There’s a great butterfly farm at Swans Nest for the kids too.

Watersmeet Hotel

Woolacombe

Watersmeet Hotel, Woolacombe, Devon

Just spectacular views down to the pool, the lawns and the ocean beyond makes Watersmeet Hotel in Devon’s Woolacombe a must-visit. All but two rooms in this elegant country house by the sea has a view of the coastline. Overlooking a secluded sandy beach, you can sit in the lounge or restaurant and it practically feels like you are on the beach (but without the sand in your lunch). Do the kids need anything more? If so, there’s the South West Coastal Path on your doorstep, a deeply cool surfing scene in Woolacombe and the Victorian seaside village of Mortehoe to explore. Can’t be bothered to leave? The hotel has an indoor pool with hot spa and steam room and a heated outdoor pool surrounded by beachside gardens at your disposal plus a host of treatments on offer.


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