If you're fed up with the same old trips abroad - you know the kind, the ones that leave you feeling like you need another holiday after you return - we understand. Planning a family holiday with children in tow can be a tiresome task, and finding a destination that suits everyone is hard work.
But what if we told you, there are places across the European continent designed to truly help you put your feet up, relax, and escape monotonous, every day life?
Inject a little luxury into your next trip together with one of the best luxury family holiday resorts in Europe. Designed with families in mind, each of these resorts offer everything you need within their complexes - from babies, to toddlers, teenagers, and for you parents, there's something for everyone.
Sunny beaches, countryside walks, skiing, city adventures, horse-riding, fishing, golf and more... Enjoy all of this and more with a sprinkling of luxury. To help you find the best place for you, discover our guide to the best, family-friendly luxury European resorts to consider for your next getaway.
What are the best luxury family holiday resorts in Europe?
Best overall luxury family resort: Forte Village, Sardinia, Italy
Best luxury beach resort: Santa Marina Resort, Mykonos, Greece
Best luxury city hotel: Maison Albar Hotels Le Champs-Elysées, Paris, France
Best luxury experience: Monte Santo Resort, Carvoeiro, Portugal
Best luxury mountain resort: Chalet Sunneblick, Grindelwald, Switzerland
1. Best overall luxury family resort in Europe: Forte Village, Sardinia, Italy
Forte Village | Check availability
The family-friendly luxury Forte Village Resort is 27 miles from the Cagliari airport and is often recommended by Mumsnetters on our forum. The resort really has it all, for everybody, which is why we are tempted to proclaim it the best overall luxury family holiday resort in Europe.
Grown-ups can make their way to the Acquaforte wellness spa, which has a Thalasso pool circuit, a sauna, Turkish bath, and a gym. Or they can take up football, tennis, rugby, boxing, sailing, scuba diving, and more.
As for the kids, they have their own Wonderland with a supervised nursery, a water park, and an arts and craft centre. Older children can enjoy the disco, go-karts and bowling at Leisureland.
But the really jaw-dropping feature of this extensive resort is - food. In peak season, twenty or so restaurants offer dishes from around the world. Each restaurant specialises in a specific cuisine: Sardinian, Italian, Brazilian, and so on. Simply mouth-watering!
What Mumsnet users say:
"When DC were smaller we went to Forte Village in Sardinia a few times. Depends on what your DC is like? Sporty, etc? Forte Village great for footy." mumsiedarlingrevolta
2. Best luxury beach resort for families: Santa Marina Resort & Villas, Mykonos, Greece
Santa Marina Resort | Check availability
Situated about four miles from Mykonos airport, Santa Marina Resort & Villas is in a league of its own. This family-friendly luxury resort is known for its impeccable services, stylish restaurants, delectable dishes and utmost privacy.
The resort has the only private stretch of sand on Mykonos, two infinity pools overlooking the crystal blue sea, a pool restaurant, a beach bar and a spa. A floodlit tennis court and a tennis coach are available. If you fancy a helicopter transfer, a sailing tour, private chauffeur, and more, just ask for it.
Children have a playground and a pool at their disposal. Baby cots are available on request, while babysitting needs to be booked in advance.
What Mumsnet users say:
"Mykonos is probably the most popular island. It is beautiful, architecturally preserved, long sandy beaches and incredible sunsets." Booboostwo
3. Best luxury family hotel in a city: Maison Albar Hotels Le Champs-Elysées, Paris, France
Maison Albar Hotels Le Champs-Elysees | Check availability
Maison Albar Hotels Le Champs-Elysees is the perfect choice of a luxury city hotel for a family holiday. The hotel is situated in the heart of Paris, steps away from Arc de Triomphe and Champs-Elysees. The train station is only 2-3 minutes away; trains from London to Champs-Elysees depart every four hours, making this a very convenient commute.
The wonderfully imaginative interior décor gives this luxury family hotel a special ambience. The walls of deluxe and executive rooms feature delightfully remixed versions of famous French paintings.
This dream location allows you to easily explore fashion boutiques and museums. But we need not tell you what to do in Paris; you already know that.
4. The best luxury holiday experience: Monte Santo Resort, Carvoeiro, Portugal
Monte Santo Resort | Check availability
There’s something for everyone at this gorgeous Carvoeiro resort. Monte Santo has an impressive pool count - 7 to be exact; 6 outdoor pools for sun loving families, and an indoor swimming pool for those rainy summer days. More active members of your brood will enjoy numerous games on their multi-sports court, or you can choose a relaxing experience at the resort’s spa.
The town’s beach is tucked between two coves and is just 5-minutes drive from the resort. If you’re feeling adventurous, The Benagil Caves, often featured as a must-see destination in the Algarve, are a short 10-minute taxi ride away.
What Mumsnet users say:
"We have been to Carvoeiro a couple of times. A number of hotels there do self catering apartments. We stayed at Monte Santo resort but there are others that are similar.So we had 2 bedroom apartment which also had lounge/dining area and fully fitted kitchen. So we could self cater if we wanted but could also use the hotel facilities. The town also had many restaurants, so we booked B&B basis and tended to eat out most evenings and made our own lunch. Hotel had a free shuttle bus to the nearest large supermarket so could get stocked up there. There are also private apartments in the area too." ineedaholidaynow
5. Best luxury adventure holiday: Garden Retreat, Bran, Romania
Garden Retreat | Check availability
Located 700 metres from the train station (the Sibiu airport is 64 miles away), the luxury Garden Retreat offers ensuite guest rooms, some with their own balcony.
You can play tennis and football here, and if you decide to come in winter, it is good to know that the Zanoaga Ski Resort lies three miles away.
But what really makes this spot special is the blood-chilling Bran Castle and Horror House Bran, both only one kilometre away from Garden Retreat. With your teeth chattering, your hair standing up at the back of your head, your skin breaking into goosebumps, bravely dive into the world of Dracula. Your kids will shriek with delight!
6. Best luxury mountain resort: Chalet Sunneblick, Grindelwald, Switzerland
Chalet Sunneblick | Check availability
In summer, you can hike or cycle. In winter, you can ski. Right up to the door of the luxury Chalet Sunneblick! Located in Grindelwald, 44 miles away from the Belp airport, the family-friendly luxury Chalet Sunneblick has a kitchen, living/dining room, three bedrooms, two bathrooms, a sun terrace and a garden.
Chalet Sunneblick guests love the proximity to nature and the fantastic direct mountain view. The scenery and the numerous activities make Grindelwald one of the most popular cosmopolitan holiday and excursion destinations in Switzerland.
Although the transfer time is quite long, with some planning ahead and lots of activities to keep kids occupied, it's doable - and totally worth it when you get there.
What Mumsnet users say:
“Grindelwald has some different activities, there are two aerial zip-wires and you can hire wheeled scooters (Trottibikes) and karts to use on the walking paths at First and at Bort. The cemetery in Grindelwald is interesting, if you are into mountain climbing history, and there is a museum, I think, though I don’t know when it’s open.” FadedRed
7. Best luxury hotel for fly fishing: Vila Bled, Slovenia
Vila Bled | Check availability
Okay, hear us out with this one. While fly-fishing may not be the first activity that springs to mind when you think of luxury, this resort in Slovenia offers both - and is certain to please everyone's wants and needs while on holiday.
Slovenia is known as one of the best fly fishing spots in Europe, and when it comes to picture-perfect holidays, you won't find many places that match Lake Bled. The lake is home to pike, carp, and zander, while nearby rivers abound in four different kinds of trout.
Vila Bled is around 23 miles from the Ljubljana airport and is located on the shores of Lake Bled, surrounded by a beautiful park that's perfect for letting the kids loose in. The resort also features a luxury spa and spacious rooms and in summer, guests can enjoy the private swimming deck with a boathouse.
We know where we'd rather be while DH enjoys an afternoon of teaching the kids fly-fishing...
What Mumsnet users say:
"I stayed at Vila Bled - the summer home of Tito. It was absolutely fabulous. Huge rooms, views to die for, and the lake swimming area is really special. But you have to like the fact it’s all rather retro. We stayed in July for the Festival of Light which was magical." Zodlebud
8. Best family-friendly luxury golf holiday: Gloria Golf Resort, Antalya, Turkey
Gloria Golf Resort | Check availability
Golf lovers, this one's for you! At Gloria Golf Resort, you will find 45 golf holes over several courses, and large practice facilities.
While the golf lovers are golfing, the rest of the family can enjoy multiple amenities on offer at this versatile beachfront resort. The hotel is set amongst gardens, pools and the largest golf complex in Turkey. The littlest guests can enjoy their time at the Very Important Minis club or soft play at the Gogi Fun Jungle. Older kids can spend their time at a supervised kids’ club that has a daily program of activities, or experience the climbing wall and rope adventure area outside.
The resort has 8 on-site restaurants and bars, plus nightly shows and a not-to-miss mini-disco for the whole family to enjoy.
9. Best family-friendly luxury horse riding holiday: Slieve Aughty Centre, Ireland
Slieve Aughty Centre | Check availability
Explore different areas of this beautiful corner of western Ireland on horseback. The Slieve Aughty Centre luxury horse riding holiday means six days of trail riding, for a total of 15 to 18 hours in the saddle. Equestrians of all ages and abilities are welcome! As for the tiny tots, the Centre provides childminding services.
This all-inclusive luxury holiday resort offers homemade breakfast, lunch and dinner at The Three Towers Organic Kitchen. Even their beer and wine are organic!
Slieve Aughty Centre is situated 16 miles from the Craughwell train station.
10. Best family-friendly luxury resort for fitness lovers: Penha Longa Resort, Portugal
Penha Longa Resort | Check availability
Many of the family-friendly holiday resorts and hotels on our list offer a plethora of activities, but Penha Longa Resort takes the concept of holiday fitness to a whole new level. This 5-star resort has a 27-hole championship golf course, indoor and outdoor pools, tennis and squash courts, horse riding, a fitness centre and a spa. A children’s playground, mini golf course and Kids' Club are also featured.
Be ready for early-morning workouts, or relax and rejuvenate. The choice is yours!
The resort is situated 18 miles from the Lisbon airport, among the rolling hills of the Sintra Cascais Nature Reserve.
Penha Longa Resort has nine restaurants, serving a diverse range of cuisines.
Are there COVID-19 restrictions in Europe?
Many European countries have lifted all Covid-19 travel restrictions, but some still impose specific requirements. It is therefore necessary to check the entry rules that each country currently applies - the government's foreign travel advice is the best place to find up-to-date information.
Which European country is the most family-friendly?
In 2019, Sweden was voted the most family-friendly country to live in by UNICEF.
A total of 31 countries were ranked by the study, and rankings were based on a range of family-friendly government policies including paid parental leave, support for breastfeeding, and affordable childcare and preschool education.
Of course, these traits also translate across to tourism and families visiting Sweden will be pleasantly surprised to find a country that takes families and children into consideration.
What is the best family holiday destination in Europe?
Most European countries make for great holiday spots, however one country that is recommended time and time again by Mumsnetters is Portugal.
This country is easy to get to from the UK via car, train or plane. Portugal has one of the lowest crime rates globally, and the country boasts multiple cultural experiences. With great weather year-round, Portugal is a favourite destination for outdoor activities, beaches, and pools.
What is the price for luxury family resorts in Europe?
A luxury family holiday in Europe is actually more affordable than you might think.
Luxury Travel Magazine did the research and found that prices can vary greatly between Eastern and Western European holidays. The priciest destinations can be found on a diagonal line drawn between Paris and Santorini, where you can expect to pay anything between £400 and £2000 per night.
Prices fall significantly if you choose Portugal, Germany or Czech Republic, with prices averaging around £300. Destinations in Eastern Europe are the most affordable, with prices for 5-star hotels well under the £200 mark per night.
Why should you trust us?
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