If you’re looking for a family holiday with a blend of relaxation and adventure, the lavender-lavished landscapes of France‘s Provence won’t disappoint – from jet-skiing on the French Riviera to open-air cinema nights in Gordes.
Whilst Provence is known for the glamorous resort towns of Cannes and Saint-Tropez, it’s also home to an abundance of child-friendly hotels. These range from five-star châteaux with excellent kids’ clubs to coast-hugging hotels on the Mediterranean. We’ve put together a rundown of the top family hotels in this beloved southeastern region, all bookable on Culture Trip.
This Provençal estate in Flayosc is surrounded on all sides by immaculate gardens, lush green forest and thriving vineyards. It’s renowned for its rosé wine, which you can sample over dinner at the on-site Michelin-star Le Jardin de Berne restaurant. Book the generously sized family suite, divided into two rooms, each with their own flatscreen mirror TV. You’ll have no trouble persuading the kids to head outside for some fresh air, thanks to the first-floor view over the outdoor pool.
Once owned by Sean Connery, there’s no shortage of big-screen glamour at this golf resort, a 45-minute drive west of Cannes. You will find an infinity pool fit for A-list stars, overlooking the gravity-defying villages of Tourrettes, Fayence and Callian. The five-star amenities include its Royaume des Enfants (Children’s Kingdom), a jam-packed kids’ club featuring cycling, swimming and outdoor adventures. All day programmes are available, leaving you plenty of time to soak up the Zen garden and spa.
This 18th-century castle north of Aix-en-Provence provides splendour spanning three centuries, including crystal chandeliers, stained glass windows and Genoa leather furnishings. The hotel strikes a fine balance of showcasing its history without being too stuffy. Kids will adore the fairytale surroundings, especially when they’re greeted with the gift of a cuddly toy – a Provençal donkey – to accompany them on escapades around the grounds. There’s also a games room with table football, pastry workshops on offer and bikes for hire.
Active kids will sleep well at this hotel. With 10 acres (4ha) of countryside featuring table football, pétanque, table tennis, a sandpit, a trampoline and an outdoor pool, youngsters are sure to be entertained throughout their stay. Hôtel Domaine des Clos was founded by David and Sandrine Ausset who fled the urban sprawl of Paris to set up a countryside retreat at this former wine estate near Beaucaire. Activities aren’t restricted to the young – sign up for a five-day watercolour course, a yoga and wine weekend or a chakra immersion retreat.
This rose-tinted, 78-room hotel sits on the Baie des Fourmis amidst the Mediterranean bliss of Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat. Families of up to six can enjoy sea views offered from the junior suites. Its privileged location comes with a private beach and a pontoon primed for jet-skiing and parasailing. Additionally, there are treasure hunts and swimming lessons for younger children, plus breakfast is free for kids up to three years old.
Admire the rolling views from the historic village of Gordes. This 41-room hotel is a mere two-minute stroll away from the eponymous 11th-century castle. Explore the enigmatic nooks and crannies of the village on foot whilst your kids enjoy caricature drawing and open-air cinema sessions back at the hotel. Looking for something to do together? The concierge will happily arrange a bounty of activities including horse riding, kayaking, stargazing and even hot air balloon trips.
If you’re looking for a reasonably priced stay near the Massif des Maures, book Hôtel Restaurant des Maures. Not only are there modern rooms sleeping up to five people, but families with teenagers can take to the nearby hiking and mountain biking trails. Don’t miss the lunchtime set menu, which includes local delicacies such as wild boar stew with Collobrières chestnuts, and – provided you give the chef 24 hours’ notice – the Provençal fish stew known as bouillabaisse.
Courtesy of Hôtel La Villa Port d'Antibes and Spa / Expedia
Owners Vincent and Stéphanie built this sophisticated hotel in 2020, worthy of its location by the luxury port of Antibes. A five-minute walk from the train station, or an even shorter stroll if you arrive by yacht, the hotel is a great launchpad from which to explore the Côte d’Azur. Interconnecting rooms are a real perk for families.
Book Domaine de Manville in the summer months – the kids’ club sees daily activities ranging from ceramics workshops to beekeeping. Alternatively, hire electric bikes together, and the hotel staff will happily map out a route for you between the olive groves and vineyards. When it’s time to escape the relentless southern sun, the hotel can arrange a cookery lesson with resident Michelin-star chef Lieven van Aken. Les Baux-de-Provence is just 3km (2mi) away.