We are thrilled to announce the winners, runners up and shortlisted entrants in our annual family travel awards. Click on individual names for further details and dream of holidays!
The best family holidays (and some of the worse) become family folklore, filling your and your children’s memory banks, binding you together as a unit. In tune with the established trend for experiential travel, we wanted the hotels, villas and tour operators to be able to provide something special or different for families to experience, and where possible, shed light on a new, or slightly less well-known property. Overall, we want to inspire a feeling of wanting to head off with your kids on adventures and new experiences.
BEST FAMILY OPERATOR
Winner: The Turquoise Holiday Company
The one you should have on speed dial. Approachable, lovely walk-in premises in Clapham if you want to chat through face to face; good range of prices. They really get to know their clients.
Runner Up: Original Travel
For their attention to the little (and not-so-little) details.
BEST FAMILY RESORT
Winner: LUX* South Ari Atoll, Maldives
Perfect for style-savvy parents and those looking for a Maldives hotel with a cool design edge, friendly, happy staff, kids’ club with an independent vibe. Great towel art!
Runner Up: Ikos Dassia, Corfu
Once again, IKOS raises the bar on flexible all-inclusive. We particularly like the option to dine out in local tavernas benefiting local business.
BEST INTERNATIONAL FAMILY HOTEL
The fact that none of these hotels are big ‘family hotels/chains’ reflects how we want to travel with our children and how we would like our experience to be while on holiday.
Eco friendly, fantastic personal experience from one of the panel, brilliant for kids as no jet lag.
Stunning, family-owned, low-key organic style.
Fairytale castle. Great kids’ programme with emphasis on outdoor: barefoot, streams, dam-making and mountain air.
BEST VILLA PROVIDER
Winner: Scott Williams
Great personal selection of villas, many with a real home from home feel.
BEST KIDS' CLUB
Hands-down all-round splendidness, pared-back architecture with an eco twist. We love the fact the kids can learn to play local Maldivian instruments. And the legendary Chocolate room!
Runner Up: Stanglwirt, Austria
Family-run, authentic. A proper summer and winter destination. The Kids’ Club is a farm.
BEST FAMILY SKI OPERATOR
Winner: Powder Byrne
Simply ‘superlatively brilliant’
Runner Up: PT Ski
The epitome of why single resort specialists (Klosters) are sometimes the way to go.
Special Mention: Peak Retreats
For their good-value offering.
BEST FAMILY ADVENTURE SPECIALIST
Winner: Black Tomato
Extraordinary experiences, Bespoke-ly tailored to you.
Excellent mid-priced group travel.
Fantastic family safaris.
The Slow Cyclist
BEST UK FAMILY HOTEL
Winner: Another Place, the Lake
The Lake Watergate Bay team strike gold on the banks of Ullswater.
Great General Manager; interesting activities for kids.
Recent refurbishment has put the hotel back on the map for families.
BEST UK SELF CATERING
Winner: Beach Retreats
St Mawes Retreats
Unique Home Stays
Rose Astor is a freelance travel writer who features regularly in the Sunday Times Travel section and Conde Nast Traveller. After spending 3 months on a family sabbatical in Sri Lanka last year, Rose stumbled into a new-found passion for yoga and is being trained to teach alongside her writing by TriYoga legend Julie Montagu. Rose lives in the Cotswolds with her husband and three children.
Marina Fogle is the founder of London’s most popular antenatal class, The Bump Class. She produces a brilliant podcast, The Parent Hood, as well as writing for The Mail, The Telegraph and The Times. She lives in London with her husband, the adventurer, Ben Fogle, their two children, Ludo and Iona and their dog Storm.
Francisca Kellett is a freelance travel writer and editor. She was most recently the Travel Editor at Tatler and now contributes regularly to the Financial Times, The Daily Telegraph and The Times. An eco-nut and hotel junkie, she spends more time than is strictly necessary in Africa, and loves writing about sustainability and conservation (she gets quite shouty about plastic). She is also the co-founder of Mundi & Co, a creative content agency for luxury hotels.
Juliet Kinsman set up Bouteco to share enlightening stories of sustainability. As a freelance journalist and hotel expert, Louis Vuitton City Guides author for London and New York and founding editor of Mr & Mrs Smith, she has spent much of the last two decades celebrating the world’s most special places to stay. Her design and travel articles have appeared in various publications from The Week to Condé Nast Traveller. She’s a monthly guest on BBC Radio London.
Harriet Whiting is a writer and social media manager who likes travel to be at the heart of everything she does. When she’s not blogging, copywriting or hotel reviewing for travel media including Mr and Mrs Smith, i-escape and Bouteco she likes nothing better than getting out there and creating her own travel experiences preferably with her two young boys in tow. Harriet also writes about sustainability and parenting plus runs her own eco-campaign The Greenery.