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New parents considering their first family holiday can find the thought of travelling with a baby hugely daunting. To lift any worries, the family hideaway experts at i-escape.com/kids have created a collection of the best ‘Baby Breaks for Beginners’: stylish escapes across the world that make the journey as easy as possible.
The collection encompasses more than 30 baby-friendly properties, all of which go above and beyond to provide stress-free holidays. Options include family-focused resorts like Almyra in Cyprus, whose ‘Baby Go Lightly’ pre-order service removes the need to pack lots of equipment, and Villas Martinhal in Portugal, where literally no stone (or socket) is left uncovered.
Highlights of the collection are below, with the full list of baby-friendly breaks available here.
Chic apartment hotel created with families in mind - The Rosevine, Cornwall
Parents who don’t want to go too far from home for their first family foray should head to The Rosevine: an idyllic hideaway on the south Cornish coast whose owners have thought of everything. All the basics are available to borrow, from sterilisers and baby baths to cots and changing mats; there are even baby backpacks for strolls along the headland, and a vast selection of beach toys to keep little ones occupied once you hit the sand. Each apartment and studio has a kitchenette for simple food preparation, and in-room takeaways can be ordered for relaxing nights in. The indoor pool, friendly staff and cosy lounge (serving perfect G&Ts!) make this a deeply relaxing place to stay.
From £165 per night, based on 2 adults and 1 baby sharing a Main House Studio on an accommodation-only basis.
Converted farmhouse with childcare on tap - Country Kids, Languedoc, France
A family paradise in the Languedoc hills, this 30-acre farm houses 7 apartments (self-catering or fully inclusive depending on the season) for those who need some serious time off. Everything here revolves around the theory that happy and relaxed kids equate to happy and relaxed parents. Baby monitors work everywhere, and the long list of kit to borrow includes everything you could ever need. There’s also an on-site shop, a playpen next to the pool, a crèche for ages 3 months+, umbrella pushchairs and baby bouncers, and bed-guards for those who are co-sleeping. New parents can even indulge in date nights, as free babysitting is provided twice a week.
From £445 per night, based on 2 adults and 1 baby sharing Chestnut House on a self-catering basis.
Mellow garden hideaway just 10km from Marrakech - Fawakay Villas, Morocco
This quartet of beautiful sand-coloured villas (each sleeping 2-8) is tucked away amid tranquil, verdant gardens, just a few miles from the bustle of Marrakech. The spacious, well-equipped accommodation is adorned with warm Moroccan hues, but warmest of all is the welcome: English owners Dawn and Francis have 4 children of their own and live on site, so nervous new parents have constant reassurance on all family matters. Villas can be stocked with baby essentials such as nappies, food and toys, and there are baby monitors to borrow which work anywhere in the grounds. Food can also be served anywhere, so there’s no need to worry about disturbing baby for dinner.
From £150 per night, based on 2 adults and 1 baby sharing a Suite on a B&B basis. Stay before 22 December 2015 to get 3 nights for the price of 2.
White sands, a Mayan spa and free babysitting - Hotel Esencia, near Playa Del Carmen, Mexico
New parents in search of luxury, peace and sparkling seas need look no further than Esencia - an elegant getaway on a perfect stretch of beach. Despite the long-haul distance, a direct flight to Cancún followed by an easy hour’s transfer will get you to this beautiful 50-acre estate, where relaxed opulence is the name of the game. Little treats include pre-breakfast coffee and pastries delivered to your door, morning yoga sessions and help-yourself minibars, and there’s an organic spa to help restore body and mind. Little ones are just as pampered, with free babysitting, baby equipment, kids’ menus and even free children’s yoga. What’s more, under 2s stay for free.
From £384 per night, based on 2 adults and 1 baby sharing a Garden Suite on a B&B basis. This includes a free spa treatment.
To help those planning their first family break, i-escape’s well-travelled family editor Nadine Mellor has also shared her top tips for travelling with a baby:
- Resist the urge to take the entire contents of the nursery with you, unless there really aren’t any shops at your destination. Chances are you’ll be able to pick up necessities nearby, and it will save spending a fortune on extra baggage fees.
- When flying, make friends with those seated near you, and the cabin staff - especially helpful if you need milk heating or an extra blanket!
- Aim to feed your baby during take-off and landing, as this can help alleviate the sometimes-distressing effects of changing air pressure on little ears; teething rings and dummies can also assist.
- If flying long-haul, take a large muslin and some tape so you can construct a drape-over bassinet to block out light and movement. This will help baby sleep undisturbed, and keep to their regular sleep pattern as much as possible.
- If travelling with an older baby, download a few apps onto a tablet (Fisher Price do some great ones) and buy a few animal finger puppets for play and distraction.
- Remember to take a sling/carrier with you to make walks around the plane/ ferry/ train as easy as possible. Baby will find this soporific, and your arms will thank you!
- Remember to ask for black-out blinds at your accommodation to ensure nap times aren’t disturbed by bright sunlight.
i-escape.com/kids features over 900 family-friendly hideaways across the world and allows users to search for accommodation that’s best-suited to certain age brackets, making finding a baby-friendly break as easy as possible. To view the full collection and book, click here.