Smith & KidsStylish family travel: child-friendly hotels, family holiday tips and insider guides

Hotels with baby-listening: UK stays where you don’t need a sitter

Posted by Matt Farquharson on July 23rd, 2015

Hotels with baby-listening let grown-ups roam free while staff keep an ear on the little Smiths. To take full advantage, you’ll want some parent-pleasing evening entertainment…

Luxury family holiday, baby listening, The Ickworth Hotel


For kids This 1,800-acre country estate includes a pretty, walled fairy garden (fairy sightings not guaranteed) with a large lawn and preschool-perfect climbing frame, so little Smiths should sleep well come the evening.

For parents
Fine-dining Fredrick’s is an adults-only restaurant with two intimate rooms, decorated with striking Plisnier canvases and original fireplaces. If the free baby-listening service picks up a peep from your room, staff will let you know.


Luxury family holiday, baby listening, Bovey Castle


For kids At this grand country pile in the heart of Dartmoor, your little Smiths can make (much less grand) piles of their own, with the lego room service. Call reception, and a bucket of Denmark’s finest will be sent to your room before you can say ‘I need a square one’.

For parents Let staff know where you’ll be and head to the Great Western Restaurant to dine on fresh-from-the-moors game while they listen in on your happily sleeping offspring. It’s a grand room, full of chandeliers and chinoiserie, and if you’re there on a Sunday, it does a legendary, family-friendly lunch too.


luxury family holiday, baby listening, Calcot Manor


For kids It is hard to picture a place better-suited to kids than Calcot Manor. The Playzone is a giant, Ofsted-accredited nursery in a barn, with supervised play, puzzles, arts and crafts. Family Suites have separate kids’ bedrooms strewn with teddies and toys.

For parents
The award-winning Calcot Spa has seven rooms, a sauna, steam room and relaxation area, with treatments available until 9pm. Take advantage of the free baby-listening and get your nippers down early so you can slip off for some pampering.


Luxury family holiday, baby listening, Idle Rocks


For kids The rugged beach a few steps beyond the hotel doors is perfect for crabbing, with rock pools revealed at low tide. There’s also a sandy stretch for paddling or taking a dip, and you can rent kayaks to meander up nearby rivers with older kids.

For parents 
Cornish crab and crispy breaded oysters feature prominently at the restaurant, alongside squid ink farfalle and salt-baked celeriac. Get the little Smiths down early (easy, given all that sea air), and keep an eye on them on your iPhone via a camera that staff can set up in your room. Then take a seat on the terrace as the sun sets.

For more luxury family holidays where childcare doesn’t break the bank, try these boutique hotels with free baby-listening.


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