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Parental guidance: the best family-friendly hotels for summer

They've got all ages covered…

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Acing a family stay isn't child's play. To pull it off, hotels need style without feeling like a museum, substance without stiff-collared formality, and space without killing the atmosphere. Oh, and plenty of activities to keep instances of 'I'm booored' at bay. These six stays are dab hands at making the whole brood happy, ensuring you get real time out on your time off…

A hotel that’s a temple to wine and family friendly? Mais oui! The two are expertly blended at Les Sources de Cheverny in the Loire Valley. Explore the region on the hotel’s e-bikes, going in search of fairy-tale château (Chambord and Chenonceau are nearby) or while away your time on the 110-acre grounds, sampling the hotel’s wines and the spa’s Caudalie treatments while the kids ride ponies or run around the private forest.

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Nothing says 'on your own terms' like having no neighbours for miles. That’s the deal at this Zannier private villa that sleeps 10 in sun-kissed seclusion. The farmhouse is ringed by 50 hectares of fields, farmland and forest – and there's a private path leading straight to Son Saura beach. The on-call concierge can arrange private chefs, boat skippers and nannies as needed.

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Six Senses Ibiza is on the island’s north shore, the haunt of hippies and spiritualists. The hotel is something of a kindred soul, gaining international attention for its eco-friendly design that blends with the beauty of Xarraca Bay. Sustainability reigns in the restaurants, too, helmed by celebrated (and predominantly plant-based) chef Eyal Shani. Children get their own spa menu and can try cooking classes, watersports and craft-making at the top-tier kids' club.

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Crete earned its hospitality stripes in ancient times and Daios Cove isn’t about to let that torch go out. The resort is spread over a rugged hillside on Crete's northeast coast, with a funicular to ferry you from villa to private beach. There’s a vast infinity pool, a quartet of enticing restaurants and all sorts of aquatic activities. Even your four-year-old can try water skiing…

Fashioned after Puglia’s fortified villages, this beautiful borgo could moonlight as a film set. The 40-acre grounds are laced with stone alleys, candle-lit walkways and shady tunnels linking buildings of pale trufa rock. Most borgos offered defence against invaders; this one shields from boredom with its four restaurants, two beach clubs, tennis courts, spa and well-staffed kids' clubs.

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This garden-ringed finca is in the east Algarve, where the land remains rural and the villages are still steeped in tradition. Vila Monte channels this agrarian heritage with lime-washed walls, terracotta floors and driftwood furnishings – a natural elegance that’s as soothing as the scent of the citrus trees outside. Kids will love the family-friendly pool, outdoor play areas, open-air cinema and bikes for hire.

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