With return to schools now upon us and October half-term just around the corner, we have rounded up our list of properties with availability in the upcoming school holidays. Get ahead of the game and book a spa retreat at The Scarlet for tired teachers looking to recuperate in a child free space or wear out your tiny toddler as you explore the follies at newly opened, The Tawny. Alternatively, go pumpkin picking by Lainston House ahead of Halloween or spend a week exploring London in style at The Biltmore.
A GLAMOROUS FAMILY CITY STAYCATION
THE BILTMORE MAYFAIR
Located in London’s prestigious Grosvenor Square, The Biltmore Mayfair is the perfect escape for families looking for a glamorous city staycation this October half-term. The hotel has launched a series of new experiences for families to be able to help them make the most of summer in the city. Just launched, The Biltmore has partnered with Royal Rental offering its guests the chance to rent a Bentley for the day. Families can have free reign for the day travelling through London’s hotspots or opt to journey through one of the hotel’s carefully curated itineraries – travelling out into the English countryside for the day picnic in toe (with a bottle of bubbles naturally in tow for the non-driving parent). Alternatively, guests can explore the area by foot as the property has also partnered with a blue badge guide to curate a never-before-seen walking tour through Regency London to uncover the secrets of the glamorous aristocracy that resided there in the 1800s. The two-and-a-half-hour tour traverses through Mayfair, Belgravia and the Royal Palaces and allows children and adults alike to be educated about their iconic capital. Meanwhile on property, foodie families will delight to hear that all of the property’s gourmet dining concepts are overseen by Michelin-starred chef Jason Atherton, including the brand-new Café Biltmore Restaurant & Terrace, with its beautifully landscaped, relaxed outdoor space. Children can pick from their very own specially curated menus. Every member of the family is welcome at this dog friendly property, VIP-uppies are welcomed with toys, a plush dog bed and treats from Pooch & Mutt. To end the day, parents can enjoy a well-earned cocktail at the hotel’s The Pine Bar before taking the children to the room to experience their very own turndown service complete with warm, freshly baked cookies, babycinos and a selection of storybooks.
HOW: Rates at The Biltmore Mayfair start from £309 on a B&B basis
AROUND THE UK
A COUNTRY ESCAPE FOR CITY FAMILIES LOOKING TO ESCAPE THE RUSH
LAINSTON HOUSE, HAMPSHIRE
Tucked away in 63 acres of rural Hampshire countryside, Lainston House is the perfect escape for city families looking to escape the hustle and bustle. This 17th Century luxury hotel is made up of individually designed suites and bedrooms featuring plush four beds, rain bar showers, a roll top or spa bath and panoramic views of the landscape. As part of the Exclusive Collection, the property strives to take the stress away from travelling for families and have ensured that are a plethora of activities on offer to ensure an unforgettable time. Parents and children can take part on one-on-one cookery classes at the renowned Season Cookery School where they can forage for ingredients in the property’s extensive Kitchen Garden before settling down to enjoy the meal in the Lainston House’s brand-new immersive eating and drinking experience, The Wellhouse. There are even Bitesize Bake sessions for littler kids to make some delicious butterfly cakes for the whole family! Those staying at Lainston House this October half term can make the most of the 63 acres of land by partaking in a game of Connect Four, Giant Jenga, croquet, badminton, and football on the grounds. There are also bikes and helmets available for kids of all ages if they fancy going for a family ride and wellies if they prefer to travel around by foot. Should the English weather make an appearance to water the plants, they can find a toy trunk in the Drawing Room to continue the fun inside. Outside of the hotel just twenty minutes away is Paulton park where Peppa Pig and George have had a spooky makeover for Halloween. On their way home, families can stop by Sunnyfields Farm to pick up pumpkins to carve for the impending holiday!
HOW: Rates at Lainston House start from £185 per room per night based on B&B
AN ACTIVITY FILLED JAUNT FOR THE COUNTRY BUMPKINS
Nestled within a stunning 1,400-acre estate, The Coniston Hotel Country Estate & Spa is a leading destination within the beautiful Yorkshire Dales. With the dales as their playground, families who stay on property will not be short of things to do this October half term. In addition to unique dining options the property offers world class spa facilities and treatments and a host of exciting, adventurous outdoor activities such as fishing, e-biking, clay pigeon shooting and off-road driving experiences, as well as numerous walking routes, all centred around a stunning lake. The Nadarra Spa is the perfect place for parents to wind down and relax after the tiring first half of the school term. No member need be left behind as The Coniston offers several dog-friendly hotel rooms as well as self-catering holiday cottages with private gardens to enjoy.
HOW: Rates at The Coniston start from £139 per night on a B&B basis
A COSY HIDEAWAY FOR FOODIE FAMILIES
LYMPSTONE MANOR, DEVON
Once a private home, Lympstone Manor is set in 28 acres of Devon countryside with unrivalled views of the Exe estuary and the dream child of renowned chef Michael Caines MBE is the perfect spot for foodie families this October half term. The hotel has one restaurant divided into three dining rooms, each wholly individual in their design and named after the views across the estuary Nestled in the woodland of the hotel grounds, the Shepherd Huts are intimate, cosy and comfortable apartment-style living space in the midst of nature. The huts are named after woodland creatures and their habitats: Otter Holt, Hare’s Rest, Hedgehog Row, Bee Hive and Fox Den. Each hut features hand-painted artwork inspired by its namesake, specially commissioned by local artist Rachel Toll. Comprised of a king-sized bed, open-plan kitchenette and lounge area the huts are the perfect alternative getaway to a hotel stay. With the choice of an outdoor bath or a wood-fire hot tub, couples will be able to soak their troubles away in an idyllic outdoor setting. Breakfast can be delivered to your Hut door in a hamper so that guests can make the most of their cosy cocoon getaway.
HOW: Rates for The Shepherd Huts at Lympstone Manor start from £409 per night, based on two sharing
A SELF-CATERING STAY IN STYLE
DOCHART VIEW, PERCHART
Located on a privately owned estate in the striking Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park, Dochart View is a traditional Scottish Highland which sleeps up to eight making it the ideal location for a couple of families to spend October half-term together. Surrounded by typical Highland scenery of lush, green mountains and a sparkling loch, Dochart View is an excellent, secluded spot to enjoy time with loved ones, plenty of fresh air, stunning views and a host of walking and cycling trails right on the estate. Dochart View’s accommodation is spread out over two floors. The spacious, open-plan kitchen has plenty of room and everything you could possibly need to cook all your meals. There’s a breakfast bar for devouring a quick snack at, whilst the dining table is big enough for all eight guests to get around comfortably – perfect for eating dinner whilst discussing plans for the next day’s adventure. For (possible) sunny days, there is a BBQ available on request so guests can cook up a feast on the outdoor deck for the whole clan and for getting cosy on rainy days or dark evenings, there’s a large lounge area with two plump sofas that’s a great place to socialise and relax.
Dochart View is part of Luxury Cottages. With over 80 hand-selection properties across the country, Luxury Cottages offers an unparalleled customer journey as far as self-catering is concerned with a concierge service that accommodates clients’ every need. Its ever-growing portfolio includes anything from shepherd’s huts to stately homes. Groups of all sizes can find just what they need; whether it be a romantic break for two, a multi-generational get together or a celebratory weekend with friends. Whatever the activity or request, the expert team is on hand to guide you through your stay – from the best dog walks to the perfect pub for pre-dinner pints – they know the best in store.
HOW: Rates at Dochart View start from £1,630 for a week’s stay during October half-term for eight guests
FOR FAMILIES LOOKING TO EXPERIENCE THE NEWEST KID ON THE BLOCK
THE TAWNY, STAFFORDSHIRE
Set within the 70-acre grounds of the wonderfully restored wild garden of Consall Hall Estate in Staffordshire, The Tawny Hotel opened this July. Comprised of 55 idyllic Shepherds Huts, Treehouses, Boathouses, Retreats and the Lookout – each space is designed to emulate the natural surroundings. The pièce de resistance is the Plumicorn Restaurant, housed in the striking central building. Overseen by Chris Alexander, Plumicorn offers a menu that speaks of Staffordshire and the Peak District, utilising quality local ingredients sourced from the hotel’s own kitchen garden as well as the neighbouring area. The Feather Lounge in the second dining space will offer a shorter bar menu with an array of drinks and impressive views of the gardens and landscape ahead. Later this year, The Tawny will unveil The Perch, an intimate space for small groups to enjoy private dining and access to the Chef’s Table. Wellness will play a pivotal part of the experience at The Tawny; yoga mats will be provided in each of the rooms to allow guests to practice on their private terraces or a quiet spot on the estate. There are reading nooks aplenty which prompt a moment to pause – other activities include bird spotting and stargazing. Recycled bikes will also be available later this year. The Thatched Cottage located in a secluded hideaway in the gardens will offer spa treatments and impressive views of the lakes ahead.
HOW: Rates at The Tawny start from £230 in the Wildwood Huts, £360 in the Lookout, £400 in the Boathouses, £420 in the Treehouses based on two sharing and inclusive of bed and breakfast. Rates for the Retreats will be released in late 2021 ahead of their 2022 launch
FOR THE BIG KIDS LOOKING FOR A CHILD FREE ESCAPE
THE SCARLET, CORNWALL
Settled within the rugged Cornish clifftops is the Scarlet Hotel; an eco-sanctuary with far-reaching views of the crashing waves and sandy coastline that blend into the Atlantic. This adult only property exudes natural calm seamlessly bringing the outside in with simple design aesthetic and tall glass walls showcasing the wild natural surrounds. It’s the perfect escape for teaches and grown-ups looking for a calming escape this October half-term. Each of the airy rooms has an outdoor space and sliding doors so guests can be soothed by the sound of the sea and wind. The colour palette has been drawn from the deep coastal colours that surround the property from nearby wildflowers, rock pools and sea mosses. The Scarlet is home to one the most renowned eco spas in the UK featuring a bromine-filtered indoor pool, outdoor natural reed pool, clifftop wooden sauna and restorative steam room. Treatments take place in tented, lantern-lit rooms and include stillness afterwards in the deep relaxation room’s suspended cocoon pods. The pièce de resistance are the two log-fired hot tubs perched on the cliffside overlooking the golden sands of Magwan Porth. The Scarlet’s restaurant offers captivating views of the coastline and serves up seasonal, responsibly sourced food alongside sustainable, slow-aged wine. The restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner daily.
HOW: Rates at The Scarlet start from £245 on a B&B basis
FOR FAMILIES LOOKING TO ESCAPE TO SUNNIER CLIMES
THE BRAND-NEW VILLA INDIGO AT VILA MONTE FARMHOUSE, ALGARVE
Surrounded by citrus trees, pink bougainvillea and olive groves sits Vila Monte Farmhouse sits in an unspoilt corner of the Algarve. The property is the epitome of boho chic with an array of beautifully designed luxury suites and rooms. In 2020, the property welcomed Villa Indigo – an exclusive-use will a with three suites, open kitchen and butler service - perfect for multi-generational families to reunite this October half-term. There is vast outdoor space where one can find a private swimming pool, solarium, private balconies and gardens to roam. The design takes its cues from traditional Algarve architecture with whitewashed walls, wooden trusses and rustic roof terraces. Just a stone’s throw away is the Portugese bucket-list destination of Faro, and the quieter fishing village of Olhão is a 15-minute drive, for when you’re in need of some salty sea air. On property, guests can enjoy to local restaurants, two swimming pools, a tennis court and wellness activities.
HOW: Travel with BA Holidays with rates starting from £ £2304 for four nights departing on 24 October based on two adults and two children travelling. Price includes flights from London Heathrow and accommodating at Vila Monte Farmhouse