Travel Picks: 10 top child-friendly boutique hotels

SYDNEY (Reuters Life!) - Holidaying with children doesn’t have to mean sacrificing style, with a growing number of hotels offering family-friendly features from playrooms to tree houses while still appealing to sophisticated adult tastes.

Tourists watch the sunset from Kuta beach in Indonesia's resort island of Bali February 2, 2010. REUTERS/Murdani Usman/Files

Boutique travel brand Mr & Mrs Smith ( selects 10 of the best global getaways with kid-appeal. This list is not endorsed by Reuters:

1. Karma Kandara, Bali, Indonesia

Between the Indian Ocean and jungle of Bali’s southern Bukit Peninsula, Karma Kandara has a sea-view spa and gourmet dining. Children will love riding the inclinator from the clifftop pool to the sand below. The all-day Karma Kids Club keeps younger guests entertained with treasure hunts, dressing up and junior cookery classes. The 46 pool villas come with kitchenettes.

2. Winvian, Litchfield Hills, United States

This 113-acre rural retreat in Connecticut has a colonial-style farmhouse and 18 cute cottages all with their own design scheme. An oak tree grows up through the middle of Charter Oak while the Helicopter interior is based around a real coastguard chopper.

3. Blue Mountains Private Safaris Luxury Swag Camp, Blue Mountains, Australia

Sleep under the stars in an Aussie-style swag bed or sleeping roll given a chic upgrade with a canopied futon-style platform base. This wilderness camp, a few hours drive from Sydney, is luxury camping with hiking, fishing or kayak trips.

4. Ickworth, Suffolk, United Kingdom

Don’t be fooled by its grand National Trust-property exterior. Inside Ickworth, there’s an excellent supervised playroom and indoor heated pool while outdoors there are adventure playgrounds, bikes, tennis courts and nature trails.

5. Hapuku Lodge & Tree Houses, Kaikoura, New Zealand

It’s every kid’s fantasy to sleep in a tree and at this quirky hotel on New Zealand’s south island it is reality. Choose between the wooden-clad two-level family tree houses or the stand-alone Olive House Apartment (which has a kitchen for self-catering). Nearby Kaikoura, north of Christchurch, is a top location for spotting whales and dolphins.

6. Chateau de la Couronne, Dordogne, France

This French castle may have slate-tiled turrets and a castellated tower but its interior is more like Philippe Starck. Catering well for older kids, this grand getaway takes the 16th-century drama of a chateau and injects a modern-design hit. A cinema space features a nine-foot widescreen and the Piano Salon will keep wannabe minstrels busy with acoustic guitars, electronic drums, a keyboard and amps.

7. Estancia Vik Jose Ignacio, Punta Del Este, Uruguay

This ranch, minutes from the surf towns of Uruguay’s famous Punta del Este coast, has junior entertainments like Wii, Fimo clay and table tennis in the games room, as well as a big swimming pool, horse riding, mountain biking, and walks.

8. Villa Bordoni, Tuscany, Italy

Scottish restaurateurs Catherine and David Gardner took three years to refurbish Villa Bordoni, a 10-room villa in the Tuscan countryside. They were careful not to create a self-conscious design hotel and instead offer a tasteful country house haven with hi-tech trim that’s child-friendly. Go horse riding, mountain biking or have a dip in the pool and a cookery lesson.

9. Trisara, Phuket & Khao Lak, Thailand

Set over a private bay along Phuket’s less developed northwest coast, each suite or villa has an ocean view and its own pool. Despite its grown-up credentials like a spa and gourmet dining, there is also a kids’ club and range of outdoors beach activities from swimming, kayaking, snorkelling to rock pools.

10. Oceana Santa Monica, Los Angeles, United States

The Oceana Santa Monica has big rooms, a laid-back vibe, and quirky retro colour in every corner. Suites boast games tables with chess and backgammon while outdoors you’re a short stroll from the beach and the rides on Santa Monica Pier.

(Editing by Belinda Goldsmith)

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