Having children means – to most of us at least, and despite our best intentions – waving goodbye to all dreams of a beautiful and tidy home as wave upon wave of plastic invades our living spaces. Out go the style mags and in comes real life. And on holiday, this trend generally continues – most of us would accept that when we go away, we have to sacrifice our desire for high style and luxury if our accommodation is to be truly child-friendly.
But rare outposts of family-friendly boutique chic do exist – One Aldwych in London and, in France, Le Mas Candille near Nice and Les Orangeries in the Poitou-Charentes, are some of my own favourites discovered since the advent of children. Places so lovely I’d more than happily stay there with or without children…
Le Lodge Kerisper in the yachting town of La Trinité-sur-Mer in southern Brittany was opened by a Parisian couple who, although new to the hotel game, had often been disappointed by hotels when travelling with their own kids. Much thought has been put into making it a great place to stay for all the family, and it shows: Le Lodge strikes an excellent balance between sybaritic stylishness – designer lighting, trendy ‘beach hut’ décor including bare floorboards and clawfoot baths in some rooms, a relaxation space for massages and treatments, and a breathtaking zinc bar with a cosy stone-walled library – and practicality (babysitting, beach games and waterproof coats and boots to borrow, home-made picnics for days out, bike-hire including child seats, kids’ books, and children’s DVD loan). The tiny jewel-like pool has designer parasols and loungers on its decking but also waterwings and toys for kids, and there’s a small garden shaded by fruit trees, where children can play while you read or doze.
Knowing that your kids are not only accepted but genuinely welcome makes all the difference to your state of mind, whether you’re playing by the pool or knocking back excellent champagne cocktails in the bar as they scoff your nibbles. But the final surprise comes from the fact all this is available at a price that is far from unreasonable.
Read more about family holidays and breaks at Le Lodge Kerisper.