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The UK is one of the best places in the world for luxury travel. During our four years living there, we traveled around England staying in everything from gorgeously refurbished farm houses to chic city design hotels. The amount of luxury hotels in the UK is astonishing, and so many appear on the travel industry’s annual lists of ‘Best Design Hotels’, ‘Best Luxury Hotel’ or ‘World’s Best Hotels’. As a pair of adults traveling, we had no problem choosing hotels with spa amenities, but for families it can be very tough to find the right balance of luxury and family-friendliness. There are a handful of excellent hotels that do just that: in addition spa treatments, top cuisine and stunning design, these luxury family hotels offer childcare facilities, baby equipment and kid-friendly activities, plus plenty of toys and space to play. Adults can have a grown-up time and feel secure that their children are being looked after. Here are three of our top picks for family-friendly luxury hotels in the UK:
Join some of Britain’s most famous travelers, like Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn, with a getaway at Thornbury Castle, a beautiful Tudor castle on the edge of the Cotswolds. The 500-year old structure itself is magnificent, and the grounds are the ideal place for kids to play. The whole family is sure to be stunned by the winding staircases, heavy oak doors, suits of armor, roaring fireplaces and even secret panels.
Although there is no spa on site just a short drive from the castle is Vicarage Farm, a holistic therapy center where guests of Thornbury Castle can book massages and other spa treatments. Possible day trips from here include the ruins of Glastonbury Abbey, Stonehenge and Bath, or explore the beautiful countryside and picturesque villages of the Cotswolds.
Price: Classic Bed Chamber from US$246 per night including breakfast (or US$357 including breakfast & dinner), superior double room from US$283.
New Park Manor
New Park Manor is a family-friendly luxury hotel in the New Forest. The country house hotel features a world-class spa, a fabulous swimming pool and combines the original style of an English manor with contemporary design. With only 24 rooms, the hotel feels exquisite and is the perfect place to relax for a few days. New Forest with its unique wetlands and woodlands makes for great walks for the whole family, and kids will love the famous New Forest ponies. If you are looking to have some ‘adult time’ or relax in the Bath House Spa, your kids will be taken care of in the childcare center or can enjoy the indoor pool. If you are looking for some culture in addition to the nature retreat, you can take day trips to Salisbury, Winchester or Exbury Gardens from New Park Manor.
Price: Standard double room incl breakfast starts at US$308 per night, or US$388 including breakfast & dinner.
The Elms Hotel
The Elms Hotel in Worcestershire is housed in a gorgeous Queen Anne mansion which offers fantastic facilities for families: a spa, swimming pool, beautiful grounds and world-class food (and wine). The mansion was built in 1710 and is surrounded by miles and miles of idyllic countryside where your kids – and pets, who are also welcome at Elms Hotel – can play and walk for hours. Kids can also meet other kids in the complimentary childcare while adults enjoy spa treatments or a nice dinner at the Pear Terrace Brasserie.
The location is ideally situated to explore the Midlands, Drayton Manor and Witley Court.
Price: Classic double room starts at US$209 incl breakfast, superior double room starts at US$258 (including an extra bed).
Conde Nast Traveler shares 9 more UK family holiday hotels here.
For more family-friendly luxury hotels in the UK, also check out the Telegraph’s list of 50 fabulous UK country hotels for all ages.