The first thing that hits you about Terre Blanche, a wonderful family hotel in the south of France, is its sheer size. I was visiting following a trip to Monte Carlo, and our driver was quick to point out that the 750-acre estate is bigger than Monaco. Driving from the entrance gates to the reception took several minutes, and once we'd checked in it was another five-minute trundle in a golf buggy through the gardens to our villa.
Our apartment had a spacious bedroom with ample room for a cot (meaning baby could be settled while the adults relaxed in the other rooms), as well as a large bathroom, dressing room and living room. The villas also have terraces with sun loungers and fabulous, sweeping views of Provence.
The hotel has a generous pool area with numerous sun loungers and a baby pool. Towels, bottled water and even suntan lotion in a variety of protection factors are placed by the pool, ready for you to use. A children's club will take 2-12 year olds on organised activities around the estate (ranging from treasure hunts to golf lessons), and there's a baby-sitting service for infants. The adults can play a round on one of two golf courses, or practisetheir swing on the driving range. Alternatively, there is a well-appointed spa with a pricey but impressive list of treatments.
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Breakfast is served in the Gaudina restaurant, and in the early evening, families with small children gather there so little ones can enjoy the children's menu while grown-ups choose from French dishes, including seaweed-breaded cod, shellfish soup, or saddle of lamb.
If you'd like something fancier, there's the Faventia. Despite the "fine dining" tag, children are more than welcome here too we took Grace, our accompanying eight-month-old, with us and were astonished by how helpful the staff were. She happily crawled around on the floor while we enjoyed veal loin with morel mushrooms and wild turbot, and when we had to pack up for Grace's bedtime, our wine was sent up to our room. In all, this is perfect for a family break and it's no surprise that Terre Blanche is on The Daily Telegraph's list of France's best family hotels.
Apartments from £519 (call 00 33 494 399000; terre-blanche.com).
Ruth Jackson-Kirby is a freelance personal finance journalist with 17 years’ experience, writing about everything from savings and credit cards to pensions, property and pet insurance.
Ruth started her career at MoneyWeek after graduating with an MA from the University of St Andrews, and she continues to contribute regular articles to our personal finance section. After leaving MoneyWeek she went on to become deputy editor of Moneywise before becoming a freelance journalist.
Ruth writes regularly for national publications including The Sunday Times, The Times, The Mail on Sunday and Good Housekeeping among many other titles both online and offline.
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