FAMILY TRAVEL Special
Private Home Rental
The typical family holiday booking process – especially for a luxury getaway – tends to involve a lot of time reading reviews for hotels and it’s hard to find something that ticks all the boxes. It’s no surprise then that many luxury travelers have turned to private home rental as an alternative to hotels, plus there are now some fantastic websites that offer accommodation geared specifically for the luxury family traveler.
Undeniably the most drastic difference between a private house and a standard hotel is the increased privacy level.
By hiring a car and staying outside of the city centre, you can plan your holiday however you want to. Whether you want to simply relax indoors or do some sightseeing, there’s less pressure with timing since you’re not at the mercy of public transport, and small children and public transport is never a stress free mix. In addition you’ve got the freedom to jump in the car and head to the beach, museums, or national parks to enjoy some sightseeing for places that are slightly further afield. Not to mention, there’s some great opportunities to sample national cuisines at the local neighbourhood restaurants – which are usually more authentic than the tourist hotspots in town.
It’s got to be said that luxury travel can be extremely expensive. Ordering room service or using the mini-bar, even getting wifi in your room can all add up in a city hotel. For a family staying in a house, including childcare amenities, you will pay the same price as a hotel room, with far more space (and bathrooms!), while for groups of adults or multiple families sharing the property and the cost, you can make great savings on luxury accommodation.
The best family-friendly homes get booked up months in advance and often get rebooked by the same families year after year. However, the following luxury European picks have style, charm and enough facilities to keep the kids occupied – and as they have only recently been added to the market, at time of printing they still have some availability for this summer, but be quick!
The Vallromanes Residence offers a relaxed and secluded oasis in the hills north of Barcelona in the upmarket region known as El Maresme and is perfect for families travelling together or those after lots of space.
The villa offers elegant living spaces with high ceilings, a full kitchen with family-sized dining areas and spacious bedrooms. Parents will love the various indoor and outdoor areas to relax with an evening drink and just a short stroll away the village offers five restaurants from the Michelin Guide plus the beautiful and restorative Roman spa ‘Aire Vallromanes.’ For golf enthusiasts, a 5-minute drive takes you to the stunning Club de Golf Vallromanes, whilst Barcelona is only 25 minutes away – easy for day trips and dinner in the evening.
The villa is stacked with toys. Kids will love the space and freedom to let their imaginations run riot – playing in the teepee in the garden, dressing up in the tower, feeding the two long eared rabbits, and, of course, splashing in the pool. Day trips to the numerous beaches, water parks and medieval Catalan towns are all within an easy drive. Rental rates include a live-in housekeeper who is also available for babysitting (at an extra charge) and organising simple meals – perfect for parents who need an extra hand with the children.
The Vallromanes Residence is available to book through Kid and Coe, who offer very best in private family homes, vacation rentals, agency partners and hotels. With their extremely family focused services they work in select locations to provide concierge services, baby equipment rental and itineries to accommodate all ages, make the very best of your stay.
Endowed with heavenly views over the quaint, traditional village of Najac and a tranquil yet accessible location, this château really does have it all.
Catering both to guests who wish to use it as a base from which to explore the region and those who prefer to stay in and relax, this château provides the perfect balance of serenity and adventure.
Sweeping grounds surround this timeless château, in which you will find many a lush green lawn to play boules or table tennis. Guests will also come across the 13x8m salt-water swimming pool, pool house and summer kitchen, BBQ, outdoor dining area and exterior terrace with stunning views of the neighbouring village and castle.
The comfortable and stylishly decorated library in this property is one of its highlights, creating the perfect space for guests to unwind during the evening over a bottle of local wine. Four large bedrooms, each with its own character and colour theme, are blessed with spectacular views of both the nearby hilltop castle and village. Find either super king, twin or single beds as well as a cot for babies as needed.
This family Chateau is available through Stay One Degree. Stay One Degree functions as a social network for luxury home rentals. Users are only allowed to make bookings with those they’re connected with.
From 422 Euro per night. Sleeps up to 9. www.stayonedegree.com
On a smaller scale but charming in its own right The Robert’s Cottage, overlooking Clewbay on the west coast of Ireland provides the ideal family setting for a wholesome and adventurous holiday. J
ust 12 minute drive from the picturesque town of Westport, this cosy cottage, with its own wood burner, is located in the grounds of a private estate, offering stunning views and beautiful walks that even the littlest legs in the family will love.
Within 45 minutes drive through stunning scenery, you’ll find an abundance of activities that will exhaust even the most active tribe. Have a go at farming at the Killary Sheep Farm, or chose from the plethora of activites at the Killary Adventure Co – get serious muddy on their turf challenge or chose one of the water based activities.
Either way The Robert’s Cottage, complete with amenities for the most comfortable stay, will provide the perfect antidote after a hectic day in the west. Sleeps 4. From 342 Euro per night. Book through Booking.com
Sleeps 4. From 342 Euro per night. Book through Booking.com
The Alsagra resort is set within three acres of flourishing farmland and has three, two-bedroomed apartments within a restored, stone farmhouse. Its characterful interiors ooze with a rustic, Italian charm and include exposed beamed ceilings and traditional tiled flooring. Whitewashed walls add to their classic style and are joined by original, wooden dressers and a homely design.
Each apartment is also wonderfully child-friendly and is equipped with everything you need to enjoy a stress-free holiday. Highchairs and sterilisers can be found in the kitchens, along with plastic plates, booster seats and fresh cotton bibs. Baby baths and cots are perfect for little ones, while night lights and child monitors are on hand for a good nights sleep. Shelves and cupboards are even packed with books, toys and games and are ready to keep young and old entertained.
Outside, each apartment has its own private terrace with its own exclusive views over the rolling Umbrian hillsides. Surrounded by aromatic olive groves and lush woodlands, you can soak up the warm Mediterranean sun in a captivating landscape.
In the pretty gardens beyond your peaceful terrace there are also an array of shared outdoor areas. The stunning pool terrace is designed for the whole family and has a large solar-heated pool with separate toddler section. Well-equipped activity zones are also complete with swings, slides and climbing frames, while a treehouse and zip wire are hidden in the shade. A vintage gypsy caravan is an added treat and is full of dressing -up clothes for little kids. There’s also full sized outdoor table football and table tennis for older children. For adults cooking classes can be arranged as well as on-site massages.
Sleepy, little villages tell incredible stories and are brimming with fascinating architecture and medieval ancestry. Assisi and Perugia can both be found close-by, along with Lake Trasimeno and Monte Tezio National Park.
If you want to head out for a day without the kids then there is even a Children’s Club back at the retreat.