First, the bad news: There is nothing that can make travelling with a baby stress-free. The wailing, the gnashing of teeth, the audible tutting from your fellow guests – the whole affair sometimes feel less like a holiday, and more like a test of parental endurance.
With this in mind, the least your home-away-from-home can do is make the process as painless as possible. Here are five resorts that set out their stall to be as baby-friendly as can be…
1. The Baby Hotel, Austria
Tucked away in the foothills of the Austrian Alps, the Baby Hotel, or Kinderhotel in German, wears its kid credentials proudly on its sleeve.
Everything here revolves around happy little ones. Group care runs from 9am to 8.30pm every day (with one hour-and-a-half break), and individual care is available on demand. There’s a designated crawl room, an ayurveda baby massage service, an indoor paddling pool, and a five-page kid’s menu packed with baby biscuits and purees. For sickly children, the hotel even has its own surgery.
Thirty year veterans when it comes to childcare, the first children the hotel welcomed are now old enough to be staff.
2. Pollurian Hotel, Cornwall
A grand old hotel overlooking Land’s End that once hosted Winston Churchill, what Pollurian Bay lacks in baby-related branding it makes up for with some of the most family-friendly facilities you’ll find.
Your room will be kitted out with appropriate baby kit before you arrive – including cots, nappy bins, changing mats and bottle sterilisers – and, for advance bookers, comes complete with a complimentary listening service.
Staff can bring fresh milk to your room on request, organise a local babysitter, and provide pureed food from 8am to 9pm, while toddlers are fully catered for by an absurdly large kids’ menu.
The best news of all is for dog owners – the hotel is similarly welcoming to the family pooch.
3. Princesa Yaiza Suite Hotel Resort, Lanzarote
It can be tough for new parents to admit, but sometimes what you really need is for your young ‘un(s) to leave you alone. The Princesa Yaiza scores points not just for taking your kids off your hands, but for showing you a really good time while it does so.
Drop the children at Kikoland: A 10,000 square metre zone for young children somewhere between a creche and a theme park, boasting all-day programmes of film screenings, workshops, pool games and magic shows.
Enjoy a dip at Dorada Beach, take a turn on the tennis court, or de-stress with a spa treatment designed for those feeling run down.
4. Center Parcs, UK
Center Parcs has built its reputation on free-flowing, family-friendly fun, so it’s no surprise that all five of its UK villages have tonnes of time for tots.
Your cottage can come complete with baby bed and high chair – set up before you arrive – while most parks also offer a complimentary ‘baby service package’ with buggies, bouncers and baby baths. The list of activities is endless: sign your young ‘un up for a baby massage, give pottery a spin, or take the plunge with a special baby swimming area.
A mini Disneyland with an outward bound edge, Center Parcs are perfectly set up for babies – down the years they’ve hosted thousands of them.
5. Domes of Elounda, Greece
Balancing all the luxury of a boutique beach resort with the gurgles emanating from next door’s pushchair, Domes of Elounda is a family-friendly resort that mixes opulence with relatability.
The eponymous domes look straight from a Santorini screensaver, but they hide a vast activity zone, babysitting services, and creches for different age groups that remain open until midnight (!), and are certified to a high standard.
Free taxi golf buggies patrol the resort so you’ll never have to worry about getting around with your little one, and there’s a designated children’s pool deliberately shaded from the sun.
- Press Association