In 2002 Tamara Heber-Percy and husband James Lohan founded Mr and Mrs Smith, initially a guidebook publisher, then online directory, dedicated to boutique hotels suitable for couples seeking romantic weekends away. A decade on, Mr and Mrs Smith have grown up, and this month launch “Smith and Family”, a collection of hotels that are both stylish and suitable for parents who want to take their children with them. Here she picks six Mediterranean favourites.
Le Mas de Chastelas, St Tropez, France Catherine Deneuve and Gérard Depardieu filmed Je vous aime at this historic Provençal mansion, a former vineyard and silkworm farm that now boasts a celebrated restaurant. As grown-up as this might sound, the hotel is a delight for all the family thanks to tennis courts, a cypress-flanked pool and a free car service to Pampelonne beach (four miles away). There are 23 rooms – some rustic, some more modern – spread across the original mansion and two villas, but for space, plump for a room in Villa Palladienne; those on the ground floor open on to the garden. Doubles from €290 (prices given throughout are the lowest available during spring and summer); www.chastelas.com
La Signoria, Corsica, France This 18th-century manor has mountain views, private swimming pools and all the trappings of a five-star luxury spa resort, surrounded by palms and orange trees. There’s a beach club with a restaurant, parasols and loungers at Calvi (just over a mile away), while just to the south are endless options for walking and wild swimming in the mountain streams. Most rooms have space to take cots, but families may prefer the villas, each of which has a kitchen, a private pool, a garden and a terrace. Doubles from €310; www.hotel-la-signoria.com
Anemi Hotel, Folegandros, Greece Its sugar-cube architecture may be reminiscent of Santorini, but the tiny Aegean island of Folegandros is far less well known. The 44-room Ameni Hotel is set in gardens in the small port of Karavostasi, and has views of the barren mountains and deep blue sea. “Premier standard rooms” can take an extra bed and promise outdoor space, while “family pool suites” are split-level, sleep up to six and have their own private pool. Doubles from €220; www.anemihotels.com
Sa Rota d’en Palerm, Mallorca, Spain Near the village of Sineu, in the centre of the Balearic island, Sa Rota is an 18th-century finca, surrounded by 28 hectares of pines, almond, fig and carob trees. There are three double rooms, but better for families are the six apartments, which have a kitchenette and a sitting room with space for a cot or extra bed. Doubles from €143; www.sa-rota.com
Lesic Dimitri Palace, Korcula, Croatia It took five years of painstaking restoration to turn an 18th-century bishops’ palace into the Lesic Demitri, a hotel in name but really a collection of five stunning serviced apartments within the historic walled town of Korcula (on the island of the same name). There’s much to see and some great restaurants in town, while beaches are within easy reach (and the hotel can arrange a boat to take you there). Doubles from €350; www.lesic-dimitri.com
Masseria Torre Coccaro, Puglia, Italy A fortified farmhouse with a modern art collection, Masseria Torre Coccaro is both child-focused and sophisticated. There’s a spa, a cookery school set in a 16th-century chapel and a yacht for charter. Adults can play golf while children have fun in the lifeguard-patrolled pool or fully staffed beach club. Superior rooms and junior suites can accommodate a family of four; deluxe junior suites have a separate living room. Doubles from €284; www.masseriatorrecoccaro.com
For the full collection see www.smithandfamily.co.uk