Terre Blanche, Provence
Guaranteed luxury in the heart of France’s beautiful wine region, Terre Blanche is teeming with family-friendly facilities and activities for mum and dad. As a former Four Seasons hotel, the resort has kept the best parts of the hotel group. If it’s a holiday of idyllic family time and deep sleeps you need, head here.
Based in the village of Tourettes, and surrounded by the cobbled-street villages of Callian, Seillans and Fayence, Terre Blanche is a member of the Leading Hotels of the World and offers families a great base for exploring this beautiful region.
Terre Blanche’s Deluxe Suites are big enough for a family of three or four with small children, but if you need more space opt for a Super Suite, which has extra living space. For multiple or bigger families and ultimate luxury, go for the Prestige Villas – three properties that have their own private pool and are interconnected – but be warned they will set you back £10,000 a night.
In the hotel
For relaxing days head to the infinity pool, which overlooks the surrounding villages. As well as a separate kids’ pool, the area is lifeguarded all day, and waiters will supply towels and water on demand.
If you plan to spend the day by the pool (and you can easily wile away the hours here), hire a cabana as your base for the day: you can order lunch in itand smaller children have a shaded house where they can nap.
Winning extra cool points with the kids is the poolside crêpe station where children gather round while crispy thin chocolate pancakes are made to order. For mums and dads, there’s poolside massages to help you unwind.
Golf: If you are a golf-lover, or fancy some father-and-son bonding while practicing your swing, then take to the resort’s prestigious courses. In the summer months there’s kids’ golf lessons for Rory McIlroy-wannabes, and the resort attracts world-class professionals who arrive to train before their next big tournaments – so you could do some great sportsman spotting here too.
Spa: Mums will love the spa and exercise facilities in the resort. Book a private Pilates class or take part in the daily sessions run by the fitness team: we tried the water aerobics (a surprisingly full-on workout!) followed by a plunge in the heated outdoor Jacuzzi to relax. With a packed timetable of classes and extensive spa treatments at your disposal, you can easily counteract all the delicious food you’ll be consuming here.
Food: The hotel has an impressive range for families, and any meal can be delivered to your suite. There’s an extensive buffet breakfast (with delicious homemade bread), as well as Caroubiers restaurant, right next to the golf courses, with beautiful views across the grounds; Faventia, a perfect place for a parents-only evening where the food is made to impress – think ten-course set menus and plenty of foie gras. All four restaurants on the resort have childrens’ menus, so even the fussiest of eaters will be catered for.
Top tip: Try the region’s Whispering Angel rosé and the Terre Blanche honey, which is harvested by the resort.
Activities in Provence
Wine tasting: Head to Château des Selves, just 8km from the hotel where four generations of the same family have built up this lucrative wine- and olive oil-making business: they make 90,000 bottles of wine alone per year.
For €20 per person and a free shuttle from the hotel, you’ll spend two hours with the château’s experts tasting their wine and olive oil soaked up with bread and delicious cheese.
Local market: The nearby village of Fayence doesn’t disappoint with its market on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday mornings where you can sample an impressive range of cheeses, olives and local delicacies. While you’re there, explore the quaint villages’ cobbled streets and its neighbour, Seillans, with its local shops, monuments, cafés and restaurants.
Get active: For watersports, head to Saint Cassien Lake, just a 10-minute drive from Terre Blanche and very popular with local and visiting families: from the calm pedal boats to explore its nooks and crannies, to gliding at the flying centre, a day spent here will make you feel far removed from UK shores.
Boat trips: If you’re a family of water-lovers and want to explore further afield, Terre Blanche offers boat excursions to nearby Cannes where you’ll sail around the harbour and stop for lunch in the trendy town.
One thing that’s immediately obvious at Terre Blanche is how much they love families. If you’re after some parents-only time, the hotel will arrange for your kids to be picked up on the Kids’ Club Bus and taken care of by qualified nannies from 9am-5pm.
Activities for the kids are split between age groups and include arts and crafts, swimming lessons, tennis tournaments, golf practice, pony trekking and picnics on the grounds nearby – there’s even a sleeping and cinema room for when the little ones are worn out.
The kids’ club is free for two to 12 year olds, and babysitting can also be arranged in the evenings.
Travel time: A flight from London to Nice takes just 2 hours, and Terre Blanche will arrange a private transfer from the airport to the hotel, which takes approximately 40 minutes.
How to get there: British Airways flies from London Heathrow to Nice; from £174 return.
Price: €785 per night for a Deluxe Suite, or €675 per night for a Super Suite, including breakfast.
Note: Terre Blanche is closed from December to February.