The best family hotels in Europe to book now

By Gabriel Power | 26 Apr 2022 | Travel

Treat the kids to a stay at one of these joyous locations dotted across the continent

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* Pictured: Calilo, Ios, Greece

To say it's been a long two years would be an understatement. Stuck indoors for vast swathes of the last 24 months with little to no travel outside of the odd business trip here and there, even the youngest members of our families are starting to experience wanderlust with an intensity to match that of their parents'.

So if the kids are as eager to get out and see the world as you are, the first port of call once travel reopens is undoubtedly a family hotel, be it in the hustle and bustle of central London or on the sun-drenched beaches of the Italian coast.

Here, Tempus has compiled a list of the best family-friendly hotels across the continent.

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Domes Resorts, one of the fastest-growing hotel brands in Greece, opened Domes of Corfu last year and welcomed this magnificent new family friendly hotel to its dynamic portfolio. The new addition marks the brand’s second hotel on the beautiful island of Corfu and its fifth property in the Greek Islands and joins Autograph Collection; Marriott International’s collection of independent hotels.

Situated on the island’s western coast, the hotel is ideal for families and couples alike looking to vacation in unpretentious luxury. The resort’s KiEPOS Kids Club is an oasis for children between the ages of four months to 12 years where the multilingual qualified staff are trained to British OFSTED standards and guided by a custom Montessori-inspired programme of unique activities, whilst a comprehensive water-sports programme including water skiing, canoeing, and scuba diving is available for all ages to try.

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One of the most aesthetically stunning hotels on the Adriatic, the Kempisnki Palace was originally opened as the Palace Hotel in 1910, in the delightful health resort of Portoroz.

The modern hotel is a behemoth of luxury, with nine restaurants and bars to choose from including Restaurant Sophia - awarded with a Michelin Plate by the Michelin Star Guide in 2020 - and a luxury spa. Spread out over two floors, the Kempinski Rose Spa offers a selection of classical and modern treatments, interconnected indoor and outdoor swimming pools filled with seawater, whirlpool-bath and a sauna area that features a Finnish herbal sauna, an aromatic steam sauna and an infrared sauna.

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Nestled amid the bustle of the island of Tenerife is The Ritz-Carlton, Abama, a superb destination for families with an abundance of activities for children, year-round warm weather and stunning scenery, with service that never compromises on luxury. 

The hotel could scarcely be better for families; it is home to Europe's largest Ritz Kids, an immersive children's club with a fantastic programme focusing on conservation, learning, discovery and play. Activities include cinema sessions, storytelling and gardening workshops for younger children, and archery, videogames and DJ sessions for teenagers.

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This 22-room hideaway opened last summer on the Mediterranean island of Sardinia, joining more than 100 hand-picked Curio Collection hotels around the world.

Nestled on a tranquil hillside with beautiful views of the Tyrrhenian Sea, the property is just minutes away from the white sandy beaches of the gorgeous resort of Costa Smeralda. Its location offers easy access to hiking trails, outdoor excursions, golf clubs, cultural attractions and entertainment venues and is just a few kilometres away from charming Porto Cervo. Upon arrival, guests will be welcomed into modern and minimalistic guest rooms, many of which offer spacious ocean view terraces.

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With tourists now flooding back to Greece, a trip to the little-known island of Ios in the Cyclades is more alluring than ever. Set in a secluded corner of the island is the new tranquil coastal retreat of Calilo, a pebble’s throw from the party islands of Mykonos and Santorini.

Last summer saw Calilo reveal seven sumptuous new suites with dreamy marble plunge pools, swim-up bars and swinging day beds. Also unveiled were 10 glamorous Rock Pools – private areas overlooking the beach serviced by a butler and bookable for the day.

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Surrounded by 150 acres of secluded park and woodland, this 41-bedroom hotel is housed in a Grade II listed mansion in Buckinghamshire, and its grounds are steeped in British history, having once belonged to the third Duke of Marlborough. 

Guests can enjoy a dip in the outdoor swimming pool, a game or two on the new tennis courts or follow the winding footpaths peppered throughout the hotel’s lush manicured gardens, which were originally designed by one of Britain’s most famous landscape architects Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown.

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Conveniently situated on the outskirts of Venice in a historically significant Venetian palazzo, this luxury resort has 196 guestrooms, including eight junior suites and 15 suites, all with a classic Moorish theme. Dining options celebrate local Venetian and global cuisine, and the resort boasts a large outdoor pool along with 1,300 beachside cabanas. 

The hotel also offers authentic Venetian experiences, cultural events, classic film screenings by the pool and a private speed boat service for guests wishing to venture into the historical city.

Families are welcomed to the resort and in the summer months, children aged four to 12 can join the Scimpa Kids program. Hosted in the beachside cabanas, children can enter an imaginative world to enjoy games, activities and lessons including arts and crafts, reading and theatre, sports and dance.

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From its Thameside location, families staying at the iconic London Marriott Hotel County Hall have direct access to the House of Parliament, Big Ben, the London Eye, London Aquarium, Shrek’s Adventure London, and Tate Modern - ideal for an action-packed city break for families of all ages.

Furthermore, guests are given 50% off a second room if used for children aged 16 and under, while kids staying at the hotel also have free admittance at London Merlin attractions.