Bravely venturing on your first holiday with babe in arms? Kate Freud picks out the best getaways
Cowley Manor, Cheltenham
Close to home – 2hr drive from London
You and your little one are guaranteed a warm reception at Cowley, known for its stately home grandeur but laid-back atmosphere. A cot can be added to your room for free, and the spacious, split-level stable block rooms are perfect for young families. Enjoy taking baby into the great outdoors – all 55 acres of it – and with two heated swimming pools, they’ll have plenty of fun splashing about, too. Children can eat at any time in the restaurant and there’s a special menu for young taste buds. Babysitting can be arranged on request and for an extra indulgent treat, mum can retreat to the glorious spa for a spot of R&R.
From £136 per night, cowleymanor.com
Hotel Hermitage, Elba, Italy
Short haul – flight time 2hrs 10min
When it comes to a summer break with baby, you couldn’t choose a more idyllic setting than the island of Elba. The family-friendly Hotel Hermitage is set in the picturesque Biodola Bay, with easy access to the beach and restaurants. As with all Powder Byrne resorts, what sets this hotel apart is the childcare, with a crèche that will take babies from four months old. The facilities are second to none, with cots and high chairs available on request. You can even send a list of requirements beforehand for lighter packing!
Seven nights from £2,259 per adult and £1,099 per child (under-twos go free) on a half-board basis, including transfers, powderbyrne.com
Soneva Kiri, Koh Kood, Thailand
Long haul – flight time 11hrs 25min
For those new parents who remain undaunted at the prospect of a long-haul flight with tot in tow, make the most of it and head to this stunning eco hideaway in Thailand. Soneva Kiri ticks all the boxes for a family-friendly stay, with spacious villas complete with baby kit, a vast choice of restaurants, all of which are happy to rustle up something for a weaning babe, and the acclaimed Six Senses Spa for parents to retreat to. We recommend the Bayview Pool Villa Suites, overlooking the jungle. The Den kids’ club offers plenty to entertain baby, and babysitters can be booked through the hotel.
From £849 per night via Mr & Mrs Smith, mrandmrssmith.com
Want more? Kate Freud rounds up the best babymoons