If you’ve ever fancied something a little different to the usual B&B or all-inclusive hotel with kiddie pool, this list will inspire you to throw caution to the wind. Discover the quirkiest and most unique accommodation in Europe to make your next holiday something to remember. (Most prices are based on a seven night stay for two adults and two children.)
1/9 Train Hostel, Brussels, Belgium, £444
These adorable boutique train carriages are conveniently situated in a historic part of Brussels; perfect for a family city break. There is a selection of family carriages and hostel-style compartments as well as a rooftop penthouse suite for luxury lovers. The Train Hostel is just a two-minute walk from the tram and mainline railway station that connect directly to Brussels Midi and Zavantem airport, so parents don’t have to worry about lugging tired kids and luggage for miles after they touch down on the runway. Nearby attractions include Brussels Grand Place surrounded by beautiful architecture, the very funky Atomium and the Train World Museum where kids can have their own personal guided tour.
What: 7 nights’ self-catering in a family carriage (sleeps 4)
When: 7-14 August 2017
Where: Brussels, Belgium
2/9 Harvest Moon Treehouse, East Lothian, Scotland, £1,140
Jump straight into the pages of an Enid Blyton fantasy with a stay at a luxury treehouse on the wild coast of Scotland. Cosy up in your own unique hideaway with warm snugs for bedrooms and panoramic views of the beach. Each treehouse is situated perfectly on a high tree-lined ridge by the sand, so kids can run out of the door and straight onto the beach each morning; no heaving buckets and spades through miles of dunes! The resort has a popular ‘Kids’ Corner’ with bunnies, chickens, lambs and ponies that young guests can pet and interact with. A farm shop along with BBQ and campfire facilities will ensure that the whole family can enjoy al fresco dining with stunning views to boot.
What: 7 nights’ self-catering in a luxury treehouse (sleeps 6)
When: 18-25 August 2017
Where: East Lothian, Scotland
3/9 Nordic Chalet at the ICE Hotel, Jukkasjȁrvi, Sweden, £2,119
For those of you who have always dreamed of visiting the ICE hotel but wondered about the practicalities with kids, this is the perfect compromise. Staying in a warm room channeling hygge chic with furry throws and wood-panelled walls you can have the ultimate Winter Wonderland experience with none of the discomfort. With underfloor heating and a convenient kitchenette it would be difficult to tear yourself away from the room if it weren’t for the incredible ice architecture down the hallway. Guests of the Nordic Chalets receive a complimentary tour of the famous ICE hotel with its uniquely carved interior and sculptures.
What: 7 nights’ B&B accommodation at a Nordic Chalet at the ICE hotel
When: 7-14 August 2017
Where: Jukkasjȁrvi, Sweden
4/9 Cave Suite, Cappadocia, Turkey, £720
Famous for its spectacular abundance of hot air balloons, Cappadocia is a magical underground city in central Turkey. Hotel rooms are carved out of rock, creating cave-like suites that exude authentic Turkish style and a homely yet luxurious feel. Stay in a Cave Suite at the Boutique Hotel with private gardens and terraces as well as a tasty Turkish breakfast. Despite the rustic atmosphere there is free wifi throughout the property; perfect for uploading Instagram-worthy snaps of the views from the city. Turkey is an ideal country to visit with children due to the family focused culture; be prepared for lots of cheek-pinching of little ones!
What: 7 nights’ B&B accommodation in a family Cave Suite
When: 7-14 August
Where: Cappadocia, Turkey
5/9 Penichette boat, Canal du Midi, France, £1,698
A boating holiday is the perfect opportunity to help kids get confident and safety conscious near the water. Take the quirky, flag-decked Penichette along the famous Canal du Midi and see all that southern France has to offer. Along with a double bed there is a dinette couch that converts to another bed, ideal for two children, and the boat has all the home comforts you need to enjoy a week on the water. The Penichette is conveniently fitted with a bike rack so the whole family can hop onto shore and see the surrounding area by bicycle whenever it suits.
What: 7 nights on boat Penichette (sleeps four)
When: from 7 August 2017
6/9 Mongolian Yurt, Adalucia, Spain, £354
If you still rue the day that you tried to take the family camping during a wet ‘summer’ in England, this Spanish holiday might be the healing tonic that you need. Stay in a beautiful yurt, decked out in traditional Mongolian style with luxury touches. Sleep in a comfortable double bed and wake up to Spanish sunrise in the secluded valley, with just a few other yurts and roundhouses for company. Your yurt will be surrounded by 30 acres of olive groves, oak and cherry trees; the perfect environment for nature-based exploring as a family.
What: 7 nights’ self-catering accommodation in a traditional Mongolian Yurt
When: 8-15 August 2017
Where: Andalucia, Spain
7/9 Augill Castle, Cumbria, England, £1,820
It is easy to see why Augill Castle has been repeatedly listed in The Sunday Times Top 100 British Hotels. A kid-friendly library stocks a collection of books, toys and games to keep younger guests happy and there is a cinema for those who fancy some digital relaxation. Twenty acres of grounds provide plenty of space for burning off steam and kids will love the playground, tennis courts and treehouse. Baby monitors, cots and highchairs are supplied in-keeping with Augill’s family friendly ethos so there’s no need to pack the car to the brim for the holiday.
What: 7 nights’ B&B accommodation in a family suite
When: 7-14 August 2017
Where: Cumbria, England
8/9 A Classic Airstream Caravan, Venice, £1,295
For those who long to get a taste of the authentic American caravan but don’t want to use up the air miles, this campsite near the Italian city of Venice may be perfect for a sunny break. Stay in one of the gleaming metal bullets and enjoy air conditioning, a fully equipped kitchen and bathroom and even a bell tent next door to give you an extra bit of living space. An awning and wooden deck is the perfect set-up for enjoying leisurely al fresco meals before heading to the outdoor pool for a dip. The campsite offers transfers, a miniclub, bicycle hire and many more services so guests are well looked after during their stay. You can even book half board service to really kick into holiday relaxation mode!
What: 7 nights’ self-catering accommodation in a classic Airstream trailer with separate bell tent
When: 7-14 August 2017
Where: Venice, Italy
9/9 Luxury Windmill, Llancayo, Wales, £2,348
Ideal for two or more families who want to holiday together, this beautifully renovated windmill in the heart of the Welsh countryside sleeps up to twelve people comfortably in six bedrooms. There is a private garden and balcony and for those wishing to delve further into nature the Brecon Beacons National Park is within driving distance. Wales is rich in history and heritage, meaning that there are plenty of castles and museums nearby to keep guests entertained. There are a number of award-winning restaurants in the area and the market town of Usk is just two miles away.
What: 4 nights’ self-catering accommodation in the Llancayo Windmill
When: 28 August-1 September 2017
Where: Llancayo, Wales
Find out more about Europe’s quirkiest stays for families
1. Train Hostel in Brussels
2. Harvest Moon Holidays treehouse in Scotland
3. ICE Hotel in Sweden
4. Cave Suite Cappadocia in Turkey
5. Boating Holidays on Penichette boat
6. Mongolian yurt in Andalucia with Airbnb
7. Augill Castle in Cumbria
8. Classic Airstream Caravan in Venice with Casavio
9. Llancayo Windmill in Wales