Best family holiday companies and places to stay

Family vacations should be stress free and fun, but sometimes just planning a holiday with young children can feel like a challenge, so our real mums (and their children) have tried and tested some of the best family holidays and breaks in the UK and Europe

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1. Ski Famille, MadeForMums Awards Gold Winner

Cost: From £579 per adult so a family of 4 would start at around £2,316

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This British ski-operator provides the ultimate solution for family skiing holidays. With childcare at the heart of their service, families with even very young children can come to the French mountains and enjoy a gorgeous skiing holiday, safe in the knowledge that the childcare provided is top notch. Think dedicated childcare staff, ski lessons for children from the age of 3 upwards and all the equipment young children need from nappies to bed guards – they’ve really approached travel from a parent’s perspective. 

With beautiful chalets, hot tubs, home-made food and the piste on your doorstep it is no wonder this holiday company can boast plenty of five-star reviews. 

What our MadeForMums Awards Judges say about Ski Famille:

“An ideal family holiday, with all the extras and skiing for less than you’d expect.” MFM Reviews Editor Hazelann Williams

“Love that the stress is taken out of a family ski holiday and that there are options to spend time together as well as using the childcare/ski school. Well thought through food options and visible transfer times make planning easy. Great idea and decent value.” Mum of 2, Magda

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2. Oliver’s Travels, MadeForMums Awards Silver Winner

Cost: Villas are typically £39 per person, per night, so from £156 for a family of four

The bespoke, online family travel service holds on to its silver award for the second year in a row. Our judges this year were impressed with its choice of villas, cottages, castles and many more unusual and unique properties for private holidays across Europe and beyond. The website is easy to navigate and aims to make you entire experience stress free and enjoyable from start to finish.

With each property hand-picked, a concierge service and prices starting from £255 for a week for four in Spain, to a luxurious five-bed Caribbean villa for £120,573 per week, there is sure to be something to suit everyone’s budget and dream holiday destination. 

What our MadeForMums Awards Judges say about Oliver’s Travels:

“Love that each aspect of the Oliver’s Travels journey is filled with little extras to boost excitement, like the pre-holiday gift box, colouring books and area guides written especially for families. Great holidays for those wanting to self-cater.” MFM Reviews Editor Magda Ibrahim

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3. Martinhal Chiado Family Suites, MadeForMums Awards Bronze Winner 

Cost: From €200 room per night for a self-catering studio

Martinhal Family Hotels & Resorts has a great reputation for family-friendly holidays and this luxurious city centre hotel is packed with everything you’ll need for an amazing break.

Perfect for young families, perks include a baby concierge and access to the essential gear that you don’t want to cram in your suitcase such as potties, sterilisers, safety gates and baby baths.

The apartments themselves are as carefully thought out as your own home, with child-friendly rounded corners on the furniture, and mini chairs and tables to welcome young travellers.

The in-restaurant play areas mean mums and dads have a chance to enjoy their meal while little ones play, and even the tiniest members of the family are included with a special puree menu. There’s also a kid’s club and babysitting services.

What our MadeForMums Awards Judges say about Martinhal Chiado Family Suites:

“Gorgeous apartments ideally designed with children in mind. Love the idea of the play area in the restaurant and the option for babysitting.” MFM Reviews Editor Magda Ibrahim

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4. Center Parcs

Cost: Prices vary wildly depending on school holiday dates, but four nights in a three-bedroom lodge at Whinfell Forest comes in at £1399 

Last year’s gold award winner remains a popular choice for families seeking a UK break with plenty of activities. And if your children are preschool age, so not restricted to travel within the school holidays, you can find some great-value deals.

Acres of woodland, a diverse range of indoor and outdoor activities, including archery, golf, swimming, canoeing, painting, exploring, cycling, family restaurants, spas and play areas, and accommodation that offers tree-houses, lodges and apartments.

Center Parcs aims to provide the ultimate family holiday, by offering a safe place for your little ones to explore, a car-free environment and biodiversity and nature right at your fingertips. This short break destination ticks all the boxes for a safe, stress-free family holiday, plus being based in the UK means you do not have to travel far either

Heads up to early planners – the first Center Parcs in Ireland, Longford Forest village, is due to be open in the summer of 2019.

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5. Tots Love Fun Resorts and Retreats, from Tots To Travel

Cost: From £500 – £4,000 per week, per family

Tots To Travel has been providing family holidays for years, but their newest collection will be of particular interest to families with babies and little ones aged below five years old. 

Each destination has spacious, family- friendly accommodation, safety checked to ensure suitability for under-fives. Inside, kids can stay in bedrooms designed especially for them and explore the exciting Tots Toy Boxes, while parents will appreciate the extensive baby and toddler kit throughout.

There are play zones, family dining options and barriered private pools to make sure everyone’s having fun.  

Tots Love Fun is available in Tenerife, France and Spain, with new destinations coming soon.

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6. Country Kids, a Luxury Family Resort in France 

Cost: From €3,950 self-catered to €7,350 for the ‘absolutely everything’s included’ package for a family of four

This luxury, family-owned resort in southern France’s beautiful Languedoc-Roussillon region has seven well-equipped apartments and a commitment to providing fun for the entire family.

Childcare includes dedicated activities for each child’s age group, so they can make new friends their own age. Meanwhile, the region is known for its vineyards, so parents can make the most of their childfree time. Wine and cheese evenings, an adult-only pool, and pyjama party for kids so adults can enjoy a lie in are just some of the perks.

As a family, enjoy walking through the surrounding forest, a dip in the family pool, or fun activities such as mini golf or the petting farm.

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7. Polurrian Bay Hotel, Cornwall 

Cost: From £155 per night for a family of four in a large inland facing double room, which has extra space for children’s beds and cots.

Cornwall has responded to the staycations trend with a number of fabulously family-friendly hotels, so parents and kids of all ages can enjoy exploring the region’s gorgeous beaches. The Polurrian is part of the Luxury Family Hotels chain, and our tester was full of praise for the thoughtful details that create a relaxing, fun environment for tots and toddlers.

It has all the great facilities you’d expect from a luxury hotel – spa, pool, delicious cocktails and so on – along with complimentary childcare, a babysitting service, dedicated kids mealtimes (where no one raises an eyebrow at a tantrum) and toy-filled play areas. The private beach is perfect for making special family memories. 

We’ve got more family holiday related ideas…

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MadeForMums product reviews are independent, honest and provide advice you can have confidence in. Sometimes, we earn revenue through affiliate (click-to-buy) links. However, we never allow this to influence our coverage. Our reviews and articles are written by parents who are professional journalists, and we also include feedback from our parent community and industry experts.

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