Feel like Christmas just isn’t Christmas without some frosty white stuff, mama? Here are some winter escapes where you’ll almost certainly have a white Christmas, mama!
It’s the season to be jolly! Instead of slaving over a hot turkey, book a stay in a winter wonderland: hotel experts Mr & Mrs Smith have hand-picked stays with glorious grounds to roam, so you can wear the kids out on a bracing walk then get cosy by a roaring fire. Read on for more…
Monteverdi has Tuscan charm by the village-load: cobbled streets, a tiny church, a sociable wine cellar and a peaceful pool in fragrant herb gardens. Holidaying historians will be pleased to know that this family-friendly Italian hotel even has its own 12th-century castle. Guests staying in the villas can enjoy cookery classes with Paolo, the resident chef. Since Oreade, the hotel’s eatery, was crowned Best Hotel Restaurant at the Smith Hotel Awards, you can expect to pick up some special skills (and the kids too, with any luck).
Smith Extra: A glass of Prosecco and selection of local cheeses and meats (which can be customised for kids and anyone who doesn’t drink wine).
Treehotel in Swedish Lapland may have the best family rooms on the planet: six individually designed treehouses, set in acres of safe-to-explore birch-strewn forest. These aren’t your typical lofty dens: designed in pared-back Scandi style, they’re also impressively eco-friendly (shower blocks take the place of ensuites, so be prepared to step outside). There’s an incredible array of Christmassy activities, too – such as dog-sledding and horse-drawn sleigh rides – that show off the truly great outdoors. Winters turn the landscape into a vast playground, when guests can go on snowshoe tours, try skijoring (you wear skis while a horse pulls you along), snowmobile safaris or go in search of the Northern Lights. There’s a revivifying sauna, naturally, and magical fireside feasts on a snowy plain can be arranged.
Smith Extra: A two-hour sauna session with snacks.
Lime Wood in Hampshire’s New Forest is a serial award-winner with a dreamy destination spa. The Hartnett Holder & Co restaurant has a sterling reputation, David Collins Studio masterminded the dapper interiors and service is impeccable. This family-friendly hotel does unpretentious luxury with faultless aplomb. The heated indoor pool is open all year, with set swimming times for kids, allowing you to sneak to the Herb House Spa where assorted treatment rooms sit over three floors (there’s a mud house, sauna, steam house, indoor pool, and sun-deck with herb garden, too). There’s a heathy café, to counteract seasonal overindulgence, and a bar serving juices made from garden produce.
Smith Extra: A bottle of Champagne.
Few hotels combine child-friendly excellence with an air of parent-pleasing romance quite as well as Gloucestershire spa retreat Calcot Manor. Family-welcoming rooms, a children’s high tea and an excellent crèche ensure kids are coddled, while adults try the Conservatory restaurant and get pampered in the award-winning spa. Treatments are carried out in seven purpose-built treatment rooms, and guests can flit from sauna to the steam room and relaxation area. You may as well try most of the menu while you’re there.
Smith Extra: A Calcot house Champagne cocktail for each adult.
Country-house hotel Chewton Glen, also in the verdant Hampshire countryside, combines period charm with a thoroughly modern thalassotherapy spa and a plaudit-winning restaurant. Among its beloved-by-parents haul of child-friendly features are fabulous treehouse suites. Europe’s biggest hydrotherapy spa pool is here too, but we’re equally enamoured of the outdoor whirlpool. Treatments are indulgent and plentiful, and children will love the mini-me offerings. Little Smiths can also play tennis in the indoor courts, splash about in the pool, choose something from the film library and – if all else fails – the WiFi works like a charm. So, everyone gets what they want: sounds like the perfect Christmas to us.
Smith Extra: A half-bottle of Champagne in your room and Continental breakfast (usually £20 a head) for the whole family.
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 Smith24 Team toll-free on +1 800 905 326.