When booking a UK holiday en famille, a spa break probably won’t spring to mind. But what if the spa was an added (and wonderful) bonus to an already established family-friendly resort, where children are allowed into the spa to try a facial or a manicure, or use the pool during dedicated times? What if there was also a kids’ clubs allowing you to enjoy a peaceful massage or a swim during the day? Or perhaps there's a babysitting service so that you can book a Twilight Spa experience complete with glass of fizz? Now you’re talking…
From the gigantic swimming pool to the range of activities on offer – not to mention safely bombing about on their bikes - kids love Center Parcs. But what you probably didn’t know is that all the Parcs run a babysitting service meaning parents can head to the spa for a Twilight Session - complete with a treatment, time in the many experience rooms and a glass of bubbles – while their children are being looked after. Let the holiday begin... With five resorts to choose from - in Bedfordshire, Cumbria, Nottinghamshire, Suffolk and Wiltshire – each with imaginative spas, the perfect family holiday is just a click away.
The Retallack Resort and Spa is an upscale holiday village a stone’s throw away from the harbour town of Padstow. Accommodation – from stylish hotel suites to brand new lakeside barns complete with hot tubs – will suit all manner of families. Activities (think Stand Up Paddle-boarding and FlowRider wave machines) are varied and age-appropriate; children can also use the spa’s 15-metre indoor pool at dedicated times. Book a manicure (for them) and an Elemis or signature treatment (for you) before trying out the eucalyptus-infused steam room. The resort offers the full hat-trick of childcare, namely creche, babysitting and kids' club.
Nothing will delight kids more than a stay in an actual tree-house suspended 35ft in the air. A far cry from the rustic structures of our childhoods, these opulent boltholes have full-height glass and decks jutting out into the forest (try and book one with a hot tub). Children are treated like royalty here, with their own in-room mini-bathrobes and slippers, all-day use of the spa's outdoor pool (the spa also has a 17-metre ozone-treated pool, crystal steam room, jet pools and holistic treatments by Ila and Ren) and a whole host of outdoor activities including croquet, tennis, golf on the putting green, pony rides or bike rides to the nearby beach. There’s a kids’ club during school holidays, too.
A striking, whitewashed manor house hotel with impressive eco-credentials and more than a dash of glamour, this countryside cousin of The Dorchester has all the makings of a high-end family getaway. Little guests can hop on a bike and explore the hotel’s 240 acres of grounds or groom their own pony in the stables before taking it out for a ride. If it gets chilly, send them to Coworth Park Kids, an entire house where they can watch a movie or play computer games, bake cakes or do arts and crafts. Children are welcome in the spa’s indoor pool between 9am and 11am; treatments for the pint-sized go beyond the norm, too, with an abundance of Aromatherapy Associates, Carol Joy and Florian face and body treatments to choose from.
Located close to the historic spa town of Bath, this family-friendly sanctuary has a range of rooms to pick from, including interconnecting and adjoining options. Kids are welcome in the 20-metre indoor pool between 11am and 3pm, with mini spa treatments for children aged eight and above. Kids won’t want to leave the ‘Hideaway’ - a house brimming with toys, crafts, games consoles and lots more. If you’re visiting during the school holidays, budding chefs are invited to the on-site cookery school where they can learn to prepare some delicious treats. Even the Michelin-starred restaurant, Hywel Jones, welcomes children over the age of five. Very civilised.