Can traveling with your kids ever be romantic? It’s the little things that count like surprising your partner with a trip to the spa whilst you take over parenting duties to booking a babysitter for a romantic hotel dinner. When our kids were young and in the travel cot we would go to great extremes to move the hotel furniture around to at least create some degree of privacy (or stick the travel cot in the loo). With older kids who aren’t asleep at 7pm it’s difficult to keep romance alive when you’re all sharing a hotel room. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t stay somewhere amazingly romantic. Just make sure it’s family friendly too. Here are my top picks on where to go:
1. The Icehotel, in the village of Jukkasjärvi, in northern Sweden
I think my kids would hyperventilate with excitement if we stayed here – Elsa’s real life ice palace! Every year the Icehotel is rebuilt with snow and ice. I love the idea of sleeping on a block of ice huddled under layers of fur. Kids will love dog sledding, ice sculpting, ice skating and hunting for the Northern Lights.
2. Kanuhura, Maldives
There’s a reason the Maldives tops the honeymoon bucket list for so many – it truly is picture perfect. We visited the Anantara when I was pregnant with my eldest daughter six years ago, my last relaxing holiday! If I was to return with my kids, I would stay at Kanuhura, a 40 minute seaplane from Male (fun in itself). Most importantly, the Kids’ Club has so many cool activities from daily picnics to treasure hunts, leaving us with enough free time to relive my babymoon.
3. Tai O Heritage Hotel, Hong Kong
Escape from Hong Kong’s crowds and park yourself at the beautiful Tai O Heritage Hotel, a converted police station. It is possible to make this a romantic/family friendly adventure – read about Ralph’s stay with his wife and 11 week old son.
The fishing village of Tai O remains one of the most visually arresting sights I have seen in my 7 years in Hong Kong, even if you don’t make it to the hotel, read more about my tips for visiting
4. Jaci’s Lodges, Madikwe, South Africa
Whilst most of my friends headed off on safari on their honeymoon, my husband and I chose to travel around New Zealand. Safari is still on the bucket list but I guess this time I’ll be taking the kids. In which case, I refuse to compromise on my dreams of a romantic luxury tent and afternoon g&t. Jaci’s Lodges in Madikwe Game Reserve look perfect. Jaci raised her three kids within the lodge so has the family friendly bit nailed. She’s got a chef who caters to picky eaters and can provide shorter family game drives so the kids don’t get bored. Best of all the camp is malaria free so you don’t have worry about giving young kids strong medication.
5. Poronui – Lake Taupo, New Zealand
This brings me to my last romantic yet family friendly hotel. I can’t write this list and not mention New Zealand, land of my own honeymoon and fabulous wineries. It’s worth doing your research if you want to stay at a luxurious wine lodge as many of these beautiful places, with their Michelin starred restaurants and quiet atmosphere just aren’t conducive to family visits. I came across Max Anderson’s fantastic review of Poronui in Lake Taupo. From fishing and horse rides to luxury dining and fine wines, this luxury lodge sounds like a dream.
If you are thinking about a North Island, New Zealand adventure, why not check out my family friendly road trip.
I’m not affiliated to any of the above mentioned places. If you do pay them a visit please do report back and tell me if they lived up to my family friendly yet romantic expectations. In the meantime, if you’ve stayed somewhere beautiful with the kids that you’d recommend for a romantic family friendly getaway, please do share!