After the vaccines have released us from a winter of lockdowns, 2021 is set to be the year of the multi-generational family holiday, bringing together grandparents, parents and grandchildren for a well-earned celebration. The trend here is away from busy resorts and vast hotels towards private accommodation. Of course, splendid isolation doesn’t always come cheap … but there’s a hope that Grandma and Grandpa will fork out for this one. Mark Hodson, Editor of 101 Holidays, selects the premium options.
STAY IN THE UK
The village of Sheldon on the Teign estuary in South Devon offers gorgeous beaches, narrow winding streets and independent shops, cafes and restaurants. Mintons is an Edwardian end-of-terrace directly overlooking the water. It sleeps eight in four bedrooms, with a games room and al fresco dining in a fully-enclosed private patio area. A week’s rental in the summer holidays costs £3,038 with Classic Cottages.
If you want to explore the big outdoors, the Afan Valley in South Wales has something for every member of the family, with sensational walking routes, wildlife trails, seaside resorts and world-class mountain biking at Afan Forest Park. Four miles from the park entrance and five miles from a beach, Depot Rd is a former Methodist church close to a pub and shops. It sleeps up to 12 people and four dogs with three bedrooms with ensuite bathrooms, and has table football, air hockey and gas barbecue. Seven nights from 30 July costs from £2,168 plus £20 per dog with holidaycottages.co.uk.
Howden is a handsome market town in Yorkshire’s East Riding with Georgian architecture and historic coaching inns. The Old Coach House has been converted into a luxurious holiday home with hot tub, wood burning stove and games room with full-sized snooker table. The detached cottage has four bedrooms and four bathrooms, and a week’s rental costs from £1,949 in August with Sykes Cottages.
You can potter slowly around the Norfolk Broads this summer on board the motor cruiser, Ray of Light, which sleeps six in two double cabins and one twin. The Broads is ideal for a multi-generational cruise because it has no locks to navigate, but lots of waterside pubs and restaurants. The boat has dual steering and a rear sun deck that is perfect for lazy days on the water. Seven nights rental in summer costs £1,513 including 5% early booking discount, damage waiver, bed linen, car parking for two cars and tuition. Book with Waterways Holidays.
A VILLA IN THE MED
Looking for the perfect 3G villa in Greece? How about Yialiskari Bay House in the upmarket north-east corner of Corfu? It has a gorgeous infinity pool and sensational sea views, but is within easy walking distance of the beach, shops, restaurants and watersports. It sleeps 12, all bedrooms have their own bathroom and there’s an annexe with a separate entrance and games room. Added extras include daily maid service, welcome pack and pre-arrival grocery shopping. A week in summer costs £10,961 with CV Villas.
In the sun-soaked hills of Provence, L’Estelan is a seven-bedroom villa with spectacular views to the villages of Cabris and Spéracèdes, and it’s 30 minutes by car from the beaches of the Cote D’Azur. The house has a lovely private pool, four double bedrooms, three twin rooms, four bathrooms and table tennis. A week’s rental in the summer holidays costs from £3,545 with Vintage Travel.
In the rural heartland of Crete, Cachet Travel has a collection of three villas, Eleftheria, Kalithea and Irini, close to a small hamlet, walking trails and riding stables. The largest villa, Irini, has three bedrooms with ample space for a family of four and one set of grandparents, but you could rent two or all three villas for a bigger family get-together. Each house has its own garden and private swimming pool. A week in high season costs from £1,120 pp including flights and car hire.
Head to the rolling hills of Tuscany where you’ll find some magnificent houses that are ideal for large family groups. Podere Bellaria located between Siena and Arezzo sleeps up to 15 guests in nine bedrooms with seven bathrooms. It’s made up of three separate apartments and has a fenced private pool, barbecue, table tennis and large communal kitchen-diner. During the summer holidays it costs a total of £3,528 for a week’s rental with To Tuscany.
The vibrant, stylish village of Kalkan has become one of the most desirable little resorts on the coast of Turkey. This summer you can rent Villa Venus which sleeps eight in four bedrooms and is set on a hillside overlooking the waterfront. It has two swimming pools, lots of communal space and private balconies, and there’s the option of hiring a private chef. Seven nights costs from £1,242 pp in August including flights and car hire, plus a free hammam visit and all-day gulet cruise with Simpson Travel.
Why settle for a house when you could rent a chateau in France? Chateau Seiguier is perfectly located in the Loire Valley between Chambord and Sancerre, ideal for visiting castles and vineyards. The property sleeps 12 in six bedrooms and has 2.5 acres of grounds, a 15m-long swimming pool and daily maid service. A week’s rental in summer costs from £4,916 with Oliver’s Travels.
Zlatni Rat is one of Croatia’s best-known beaches, located on the dreamy island of Brač. Overlooking this magnificent stretch of sand is the Beach Retreat, a two-storey house with boho-chic decor, sea views and lots of communal outdoor space. It sleeps eight in four bedrooms, each with ensuite bathroom, and has lots of added extras including a second kitchen, barbecue and laundry room. It costs £6,972 per week in August with A&K Villas.
In Mallorca, Sir Richard Branson’s Son Bunyola Estate covers 700 acres of countryside including almond, olive and citrus groves. At its heart lie three villas including Son Balagueret which sleeps eight and is spread over three floors with a secluded central courtyard, a private swimming pool and panoramic views. It costs €16,100 per week in high season with daily housekeeping, pool and garden attendant and concierge. Book with Virgin Limited Edition.
The French Alps make for a refreshing – and affordable – alternative to the Med. Head to the mountain resort of Tignes where there’s a vast menu of activities on offer, many of them free, including paddle-boarding, mountain biking, archery, trampolining and mini-golf. Stay in a four-bedroom apartment at Kalinda Village which has shared facilities including indoor pools, hot tubs, saunas and fitness suite. Seven nights in August costs from £131 pp based on eight sharing if you book by 30 April 2021 with Peak Retreats including Eurotunnel crossing.
Explore the Camargue region of France by motor boat, based in the fortified port of Aigues Mortes, visiting the beach resort towns of Grau du Roi and Palavas les Flots and the historic city of Séte. The boats are easy to navigate with dual steering, and two double cabins and one twin, each with shower room. A week’s rental in August costs €2,549 plus fuel with Nicols Boating Holidays.
DIAL UP THE LUXURY
If you want to cruise in style, you can charter L’Art de Vivre, a luxury hotel barge on the Canal du Nivernais in Burgundy. The vessel sleeps eight people with a dedicated crew including chef and host, private excursions, cycle hire and all food and drink included. The six-night cruise in August costs from £22,050 if booked by 22 February with European Waterways.
In Kenya, you can rent a fully-catered safari villa such as Cottar’s Private Bush Villa which borders the Masai Mara and Serengeti game reserves. The 10,000 sq ft villa has five ensuite bedrooms, private swimming pool and wildlife viewing deck plus eight staff including a private guide and game drive vehicle. A week in August costs £11,533 pp all-inclusive, based on six sharing including flights and park fees. Details from Mahlatini.
For the ultimate in post-pandemic luxury, how about flying by private jet? Terre Blanche is a luxury resort in the hills of Provence with two Championship golf courses, a vast luxury spa, two family swimming pools and free kids clubs. Seven nights in a three-bedroom villa with breakfast costs from £12,700 pp based on six people flying in a Phenom 300 jet to Nice. Details from Jet Escapes.