If you’ve read our feature 15 Unforgettable Mums’ Breaks with Kids: UK but are looking for something a little more exotic, we’ve scoured continental Europe and the rest of the world to bring you our hand-picked recommendations for places where mums can get a break from routine and a little looking after - but also spend some quality time with the family.
For a splurge in the city of light, it doesn’t get much better than this intimate, ivy-clad hotel just off the Place des Vosges, with a terrace and tiny garden, a honesty bar, babysitting and - to the delight of mums - a jewel of a spa including wellbeing rituals using bliss-inducing warm oils.
While your kids are enjoying themselves in the intimate kids’ club at this small self-catering complex in an off-the-beaten track part of southern France, mums (and partners) can enjoy a Pilates or yoga class, swim in the heated saltwater pool, head for the massage room or just kick back and enjoy the view of flamingoes from the terrace while taking advantage of the all-day free coffee. Two nights’ babysitting is also included in the price in July and August.
This unique ‘luxury spa retreat and cultural hideaway’ in the Alps 100km south of Munich, comprising two hotels, also embraces concert halls, several spas (including an adult-only spa, a women-only spa, a family spa with treatments for all ages, and a nature spa) and a swimming lake, plus seven restaurants. Many rooms are kitted out for families, with sofa-beds, kitchenettes and two bathrooms; some have mountain views. There are also winter and summer sports galore, soccer camps and a kids’ club.
Mum & Baby Experience, Tuscany, Italy
Fitness and weight-loss holidays, spa and 'Bella Mamma' breaks, and cooking and yoga breaks are offered at this lovingly restored villa in Caprese Michelangelo; babies and young children can come along and take part in organised activities while you’re busy (the property has a fenced-off pool and there’s play equipment in the garden). The fitness holidays are quite hard-core, with a low GI diet and no coffee or alcohol, but weight loss is guaranteed. Despite the name, dads - or grandparents or friends!- are welcome too.
This gorgeously located hotel with its own beach at Taormina is child-friendly down to its Wellness Centre, where parents and kids can enjoy a relaxing camomile aromatherapy massage together or enjoy a Mother & Daughter Wellness Package, or kids can get an apricot and mandarin manicure or a sweet almond pedicure. The chic accommodation includes interconnecting rooms.
These uber-friendly luxury sister hotels are an outstanding choice for parents who want to combine a family holiday with some serious pampering, both with state-of-the art holistic spas, a crèche and kids’ clubs. There are also personal yoga and fitness sessions. At the Anassa the emphasis is on marine-based thalassotherapy.
REST OF WORLD
If you’re looking for a dose of glam, this luxury hotel has it all, including an infinity pool, a vast spa and even a private beach where you can massage yourselves in mineral-rich black mud before going for a float in the Dead Sea - great fun as a family or relaxing on your ownsome. There’s also a kids’ club for when you need some time off.
With Michelin-starred dining courtesy of Daniel Boulud, a rooftop bar and a spa, this luxury option on the Upper East Side is a parents’ dream, but kids are also welcomed with complimentary Natural History Museum passes, movies and colouring books.
Paradise for all ages, this sleek resort woos parents with an adult-only pool, beach yoga and a luxurious spa, but there’s plenty of fun to be had by all ages, from a playhouse for ages four to 12 and five pools to kayaking and bodyboarding.
Perfect for mums who need to get away from it all but don’t want to leave the family behind, this intimate resort of thatched-roof villas with private pools has a spa that all the family can try out, plus cookery lessons, adult-only yoga sessions and babysitting. Parents can even book a floating private dinner on a platform set up over their villa pool.
See also our hand-picked recommendations for luxury family holidays around the world.