Family travel gurus Smith & Family let you know where budding mini master chefs can hone their skills (and parents can relax in luxurious comfort)!
Got a budding Jamie Oliver, coquettish Nigella or small-but-shouty Gordon Ramsay in the family? Help them hone their culinary skills with a stint at these five delicious hotels from Smith & Family, each of which offers tasty kids’ cookery classes. Save room for what’s outside the kitchen, too…
If you like the idea of lazing by a Balinese beach while your little Smiths learn to make perfect pizza and melting brownies, take your brood to cosmic Luna2 Studiotel in Seminyak. Don’t let the kids get too distracted by the eye-popping madcap design scheme, which riffs on outer space, LEGO blocks, Rubik’s cubes and a Monopoly game board. Do have a word with the onsite kids’ coordinator, who can organise swimming lessons, kids’ fitness sessions by the pool, yoga and – most importantly – cookery classes (on request, for an extra cost). If sister hotel Luna2 Private is unoccupied, the clever resident chef will hold cookery classes for little ones there, rustling up Western favourites. Sadly, we can’t promise that they’ll come home knowing how to provide you with a lifetime of nasi goreng, satay and bubur sumsum (black rice pudding). You won’t mind that, though, when you’re lazing in your Sunset Studio, splashing in the Mondrian-inspired swimming pool or catching a flick in the 16-seat cinema.
Smith Extra: An in-room family meal, with a glass of wine each for parents and a juice for each child
Villa Cora might look grown-up – we’re talking blinged-out ballrooms, a neon-lit bar, lavish suites with ceiling frescoes and antique furnishings that offer up high drama with Florentine flair – but, like most Italians, it has a major soft spot for bambinos. Good news: it’s also the only luxury hotel in Florence with a heated outdoor pool (perfect for summer holidays). If you book a Deluxe Room (or higher room category), you get free use of the ‘VIB’ – very important babies – programme, which includes cookery and painting classes, swimming-pool games and treasure hunts. If you’re still at a loss for child-friendly distractions (unlikely), the hotel’s concierge is your go-to guy. Once the ankle-biters are in bed, parents can make the most of this decadent Italian playground, starting with cocktails in Le Long Bar followed by dinner in the truffle-loving, Moorish-style restaurant, and ending with cigars and brandy in the cigar room. (You’ll need another holiday after all that.)
Smith Extra: A bottle of sparkling wine, and a Discover Florence card game and crayons for kids
Lucknam Park Hotel & Spa understands the importance of training up junior masterchefs, giving guests access to its excellent onsite cookery school. There’s a range of tempting classes to dip into; parents are invited to perfect their skills, too. The only problem is, there are quite a few distractions to tying on your apron: a sumptuous spa, sophisticated dining, pristine parkland, plus horse-riding, swimming, tennis, football and croquet. Naturally, rooms are ravishing: Grand Suites in the main house live up to their name, with exquisite period furnishings, and either a four-poster bed, open fireplace or separate sitting room (request the latter if you need extra beds). Don’t skip the award-winning spa, housed in the grounds in its own contemporary building of glass, wood and marble. Under-16s are welcome to try Little Miss Treatments, accompanied by an adult. Thermal cabins, sauna and steam rooms are dotted around site; a fitness suite and hairdressing salon complete the complex.
Smith Extra: Traditional afternoon tea for two; free extra beds for children
A hop from Phuket island’s longest beach and boasting its own lily-padded lagoon, village-style Anantara Mai Khao Phuket Villas embraces its natural environment without skimping on sophistication or child-friendly fun. Relax in your private pool, laze by the water or hit the spa while the kids enjoy the entertaining Turtle Club. Water babies of all ages will love it here, thanks to the huge resort pool, private villa pools and the beach, where you can try windsurfing, sailing, sea-kayaking or beach volleyball. Hook teens up with a private surf lesson, or pack them off for a day’s white-water rafting. If the rain starts to fall (or, in fact, even if it doesn’t), take part in one of Anantara’s specialities: a Thai cookery class, where families can learn about the authentic ingredients that go into creating Thailand’s world-famous green curry chicken and pad thai noodles. Start ’em young, we say.
Smith Extra: Free organised activities at the kids’ club
Spacious suites, upscale diversions from astronomy to gastronomy, and child-cheering activities make Rosewood Castiglion del Bosco a fabulously family-friendly Tuscan retreat. As if the pampering spa, award-winning Brunello di Montalcino winery and two stellar restaurants weren’t enough, Rosewood also offers activities such as golf, hiking, biking and horse-riding – a fine way to appreciate the surrounding 4,000 acres of UNESCO-protected park. Travelling with toddlers? The playground and sandpit may be all you need. There’s also a kids club for under-12s; additional private classes cover cookery (pizza o’clock), painting, tennis and archery, as well as pony rides and tours of the farm.
Smith Extra: Free extra bed and entrance to the kids’ club (including activities) every day for each child
Smith & Family gives you the best price, guaranteed, as well as a little something extra on arrival. Book online at smithandfamily.com or by calling the expert Travel Team toll-free on +1 800 321 1098.