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Our little black book of enchanting places


Kids' holiday hideaways

Posted in HOTELS + VILLAS By Maggie O' Sullivan

Half term is less than two months away. If you’re planning a family break but stuck for ideas, our friends at boutique escape specialists i-escape say they have noticed a growing number of hotels are introducing children’s dens, from treehouses to gypsy caravans. You can check out what's on offer at i-escape's 'with kids' section. Meanwhile, here are four dens that our younger contributors have set their hearts on.

Fellah Hotel, Nr Marrakech

Fellah Hotel is set in 21 acres of garden, 10 miles or so from Marrakech. Offering spacious rooms and suites across 10 villas, the hotel runs a programme of children’s activities during the school holidays: options include milking a cow, Moroccan cooking classes, painting, and traditional African storytelling around the campfire. The Fellah thoughfully provides not one but two dens: a treehouse and an old yellow Mercedes. When they tire of them, there’s a great pool and mini petting zoo, though best of all is the sheer amount of space for children to run around in. From £135 per room per night, based on a family of four sharing a Deluxe Room on a B&B basis.New Forest Cottage, Hampshire

This funky four-bedroom cottage, with an additional cabin sleeping four, sits on the edge of the New Forest. There’s lots of space for children to work off all that spare energy and a playroom in the stables, but what they’ll really love is the gypsy caravan – a colourful painted wagon that can be moved around the garden. If you can wait until summer, there will be willow dens in the grounds, too – though our money is still on that caravan. From £171 per night, based on 6-10 people sharing the house on an accommodation-only basis. Le Castel, Normandy

Le Castel is most children’s idea of heaven. Apart from the fact that it’s almost a Disney castle, there’s masses of parkland to enjoy, plus endless activities, including a toy-filled marquee on the lawn, trampoline, sandpit, croquet, bikes and a swing. Best of all is the woodland den – a secret hideaway among the trees – and the mini gypsy caravan for younger ones. Families can choose to stay in a large suite within the house or in a cottage in the old stable block. From £188 per room per night, based on two adults and a child sharing on an all-inclusive basis. Hotel Tresanton, Cornwall

Tresanton is Olga Polizzi’s spectacular boutique hotel by the sea. Although it might look like the sort of place that frowns upon sticky fingers, it’s actually very child-friendly, with a cinema, playroom and a summer kid's club. While their older siblings will be happy just to hit the beach, younger children will love pottering about in the immaculate Wendy house in the hotel garden. It’s almost as chic as Tresanton itself. From £360 per night, based on two adults and a child sharing on a B&B basis.

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