If you’re used to a certain level of luxury, planning a holiday with children can be tricky business. Five-star hotels, with their white-gloved waiters, crisply-uniformed concierges and all-too-easily-destroyed bespoke fixtures and fittings, don’t often feel particularly accommodating of the mood swings, noise and need for constant entertainment common among those who haven’t yet reached their teenage years.
But don’t resign yourself to a decade of holidays in campsites and Centre Parcs just yet because many of London’s most famous luxury hotels are on a mission to become the hotel of choice for families staying in the city. From special child-centric packages to babysitting services and unique family-oriented surprises, if you’re looking to treat littles ones to a staycation in the capital they’ll never forget, here’s our guide to the best family-friendly luxury hotels in London.
Shangri-La at The Shard, Borough
A 50+ storey skyscraper might not seem like the obvious place to take children but, one glimpse of the incredible views from Shangri-La at The Shard, and your little ones will be utterly transfixed. As well as organising special treats, such as treasure hunts and activity packs, the Shangri-La has also put together a special Shangri-La Family Stay package. As well as a 50 per cent discount on a second room, parents and up to two children can enjoy a complimentary breakfast buffet before taking the whole family up to Shangri La’s famed Skypool for a post-breakfast swim with sky-high views.
We recommend booking the Interconnecting City View Family Room, dubbed as an ‘elite retreat for families’. Inside the large 99 sqm suite, you’ll discover extensive northerly and easterly views of London’s skyline as well as one king-size bed, two twin beds, 40-inch LED television, automatic blackout blinds and L’Occitane toiletries – all on hand to make your family staycation as comfortable as possible.
From £1,696 per night, visit shangri-la.com
The Landmark London, Marylebone
Located a stone’s throw from both London Zoo and the West End, The Landmark London is a popular choice for families looking to make the most of the capital’s top attractions. It helps, then, that it is also one of the few luxury hotels in the city to offer rooms large enough to accommodate both adults and children.
The hotel’s Family Escape package is the perfect way to experience the best the hotel has to offer. Featuring a one-night stay in a family room and breakfast in the Winter Garden restaurant, the package also includes Landmark teddy bears for each child and cookies on arrival, as well as a tent and headlamps to create a brilliant in-room camping set-up. Add a truly memorable experience to your stay by adding an optional treasure hunt through the hotel or surrounding Marylebone neighbourhood.
From £910 per night, visit landmarklondon.co.uk
The Connaught, Mayfair
The Connaught’s self-proclaimed mission is to make every moment of your stay effortless and, when that comes to travelling with little ones, the hotel’s children’s concierge is invaluable. The expert team is on hand to plan every aspect of your stay, from recommending (and booking) tickets to attractions and shows, arranging transport, and planning parties and events with the help of children’s entertainers, Sharky and George.
Children are also welcomed with special treats, an activity book and their own bathrobe and slippers, as well as a range of books, board games, games consoles and movies. Adults, meanwhile, can take advantage of childminding services and family-friendly swimming hours at the Aman Spa.
From £1,350 per night, visit the-connaught.co.uk
The Berkeley, Knightsbridge
Knightsbridge’s Berkeley hotel has gone all out to make sure, no matter how young or old your children, they’re made to feel special. Babies, for example, are greeted with a cuddly Berkeley bunny, goldfish-in-a-bag novelty soap, baby soap and lotion, and organic baby amenities. Older children will enjoy personalised welcome treats, special bathrobes and slippers, personalised bed linen, colouring-in and puzzle books, board games and a choice of games consoles. Mini manicures fit for a princess and luxury picnic hampers, to be enjoyed in one of London’s beautiful parks, can also be arranged. If you’re looking for some alone time too, children of all ages can be taken care of by the hotel’s childminding service. And with so much to keep them entertained, we guarantee they’ll hardly notice you’re gone.
From £1,320 per night, visit the-berkeley.co.uk
Ham Yard Hotel, Soho
With its colourful design, on-site bowling alley and rooftop garden, the Ham Yard Hotel is one of Soho’s best-equipped hotels for young guests. For adults, practical services such as babysitting, cots, high chairs and 24-hour room service aim to make your stay seamless while children are treated like VIPs with special bathroom amenities, robes, milk and cookies at bedtime and a range of books and board games to keep them entertained. Children’s menus can also be found in most of the hotel’s eateries, offering crowd-pleasing favourites – think mini burger and french fries, Cumberland sausage, bubble and squeak and onion gravy, and roast chicken dinner – that promise to make dinner time a breeze.
From £1,832 per night, visit firmdalehotels.com
The Ritz, Mayfair
Home to world-famous afternoon tea, a Michelin-starred restaurant and one of the capital’s most lauded bars, you might not think The Ritz an appropriate place for those who can still count their age on their hands. The Ritz, however, thinks otherwise and even goes so far as to proclaim itself ‘the most family-oriented of London’s luxury hotels’. In service of this it has created its kidz@theritz children’s programme which aims to help little ones experience the glamour and elegance of the hotel in an accessible way.
Every child receives a Very Important Kid membership card which entitles them to complimentary ice cream in The Palm Court or Ritz Restaurant, a welcome gift, special rates on afternoon tea and breakfast, children’s bathroom amenities, robes and slippers, and in-room games consoles. Children up to the age of 15 may also stay in their parents’ room on a complimentary basis while the Michelin-starred Ritz Restaurant offers a special children’s menu with dishes to please even the fussiest of young foodies. And when you and your tribe are ready to hit the town, top attractions such as Buckingham Palace, Hamleys Toy Store, Madame Tussauds and the Science Museum are only a short walk away.
From £1,525 per night, visit theritzlondon.com