The Daily Telegraph - Saturday - Travel

Pick a family holiday where your children can stay for free

If you’re looking to cut travel costs, there are still great deals to be had this summer. Becky Lucas selects the best


Until you become a parent or guardian, it is unlikely you can understand the full power of those three little magic words: “Kids go free”. For travellers with small dependents, those words contain a whisper of freedom, an instant broadening of horizons as, suddenly, the holiday budget can spread a great deal further.

Capitalisi­ng on a kids-go-free offer is, perhaps, the number-one way to cut down family travel costs, making it possible to claw back some of the spending incurred later down the line, both upfront and less directly.

Families are far less likely to have the flexibilit­y needed to bag any of the real bargain, spur-of-the-moment deals. While many airlines do not charge passengers under the age of two, costs can still quickly add up, particular­ly when families have no choice but to travel during peak school holiday dates. But even if you do manage to get away out of season, once you have establishe­d your children’s routines (and the trickle-down impact on your own),

Capitalisi­ng on a kids-gofree offer is, perhaps, the number-one way to cut down family travel costs

suddenly the thought of taking a cheaper, indirect or night-time flight is less appealing. You may even have to pay to have your additional luggage in the hold, thanks to all the parental parapherna­lia. Clearly, savings count.

In the majority of cases, “kids go free” equates to “kids can stay in your room for no extra charge, and, a lot of the time, with no extra bedding”. It might be cosy, but it can save you plenty on extra linen, let alone the cost of booking another room. If that is out of the question, then the savviest way to grab a deal is to take a look at what is included in an offer, and figure out how much value for money you are getting. Some packages offer free children’s clubs, others compliment­ary in-room gifts and activities – a nice touch, indeed, but when some resorts throw in free dining and even entry passes to theme parks and attraction­s, the savings can be huge.

So, we have picked a sprinkling of some of the ultimate kids-go-free deals still available out there (at the time of publicatio­n) for summer 2023, across the UK and beyond.

Capital gains in London

As well as offering an extremely central location on the South Bank, Park Plaza Riverbank’s kids deal is particular­ly generous: up to two children under 11 with an adult both stay and eat for free, up to 25 per cent is taken off the best available room rate, and lots of other treats – including bunk beds, chalk boards and an actual treat trolley, no less – are thrown in as well. Plus, the deal is running until December 30 – perfect for either a summer city break or festive getaway.

Park Plaza London Riverbank (0333 400 6122; parkplazar­ has rooms from £243 per night, B&B

Channel-hopping in Guernsey

Check into the Duke of Richmond Hotel, a smart boutique retreat in the pretty seaside town of St Peter Port with dreamy views and award-winning locally-sourced food. Throughout the year, children under 12 are invited to stay for free in a room with their parents (an extra bed will be provided – a day bed, rollaway or sofa bed depending on the room category booked), as well as eat free of charge when ordering from the children’s menu.

Duke of Richmond Hotel (01481 726 221; dukeofrich­ has rooms from £234 per night, B&B

A right royal stay

There are few more sophistica­ted stays for your little ones than overlookin­g the Royal Mews of Buckingham Palace. Kids aged 12 or under can stay and eat for free when sharing a room with an adult and ordering from the children’s menu at one of the hotel’s restaurant­s, and they will also receive a welcome pack with colouring or sticker books and pencils. Don’t miss the chance to join the Pastry Chef Experience, during which children can wear full chef’s whites, tour the hotel’s kitchen, learn how to decorate their own cupcakes, and, finally, receive a “master chef in the art of pastry” certificat­e.

The Rubens at The Palace (020 7 834 6600; rubenshote­ has rooms from £345 per night, B&B

Glamp it up in Wales

Escape to Cwtch Camping and its three stylish timber cabins, situated in private woodland outside Pembroke, close to the Pembrokesh­ire Coast Path. Additional camp beds for up to three children are provided free of charge, along with children’s books, games and toys, plus a cool box filled with local artisan products. The three cabins, which can only be booked as a family group, have a rainforest shower – with hot running water – large camp kitchen and fire pit. Ideal for embracing a little wilderness, with a guaranteed warm, soft bed. Cwtch Camping (weekendcan­ has cabins from £90 per night, B&B. Minimum two-night stay

Thrifty thrills in Abu Dhabi

Thanks to the support of Hollywood actor Jason Momoa (who is Yas Island resort’s charismati­c new “chief island officer”), this is perhaps the most eye-catching of all the kid-friendly deals out there this year. The Emirati capital is offering not just compliment­ary hotel stays for children across the city (aged 11 or under when with an adult, in the same room, for stays booked between June 1 and September 30) but also free access to any three of the participat­ing theme parks at its £32 billion man-made leisure playground, including Warner Bros World, Ferrari World and Yas Waterworld – a saving of more than £157 per junior ticket. Hotels to choose from include the “all-inclusive, all-exclusive” Rixos Premium Saadiyat Island Hotel and lower-priced Park Rotana Abu Dhabi. The City Seasons Al Hamra (00971 2672 5000; cityseason­ offers a week in September for a family of four in a Premium room from £666, including unlimited theme park access. Flights are not included. To book through the Kids Go Free scheme, and for terms and conditions, see visitabudh­ campaign/summer/kids-go-free

Luxury for less in Greece

The large, luxurious Sani resort just south of Thessaloni­ki prides itself on its bespoke family-friendly experience­s and its sustainabi­lity ethos. Three of its hotels – Sani Beach, Sani Club and Porto Sani – allow children under 12 to stay for free, while the other two, Sani Dunes and Sani Asterias, offer a generous 75 per cent discount for children. Expect child-friendly menus, an expert kids’ club, heated pools and well-equipped family suites throughout, all fringed by soft, white-sand beaches.

Sani Resort (0030 23741 10700; has rooms from around £129 per night, on a half-board basis

An artsy escape in Barcelona

For families who love a city break, few destinatio­ns can beat fun, family-friendly Barcelona. The modern, grand Hotel Arts Barcelona is a beachside spot that is also in the heart of the cultural action, with its two-Michelinst­ar restaurant Enoteca, spa and collection of Spanish and Catalan contempora­ry art. While the parents can unwind beside the adults-only pool, the children can let off steam at the kids’ club, which hosts daily supervised activities such as cookie-making and treasure hunts. With the special offer, a maximum of two children up to age 12 can stay with two adults in a luxury room or suite (using existing beds) and have compliment­ary lunch or dinner from the children’s menu at three of its (non-Michelin-star) restaurant­s.

Hotel Arts Barcelona (0034 932 211 000; hotelartsb­ has rooms from around £345 per night, B&B

Great value on Gran Canaria

Children under 23 months stay for free at this beachfront, classicall­y Canarian hotel on the island’s south coast, located a short distance from the nearest shops and restaurant­s in Meloneras. Take it in turns to parent by the children’s pool as you each relax with steam and some hydrothera­py at its Thalasso Spa. TravelSupe­rmarket (travelsupe­r has seven-night packages to Lopesan Villa del Conde Resort and Thalasso from £560pp, including return flights from Birmingham,

25kg luggage allowance, compliment­ary drinks, priority lane security pass, £10 on-board vouchers, transfers and breakfast

A walk on the wild side

For a totally different family excursion, book into an African Bush Camp safari. After all, there can be few greater

memories for a family than seeing one (or more) of the Big Five saunter across the savannah. Thankfully, given the more mature activity, this free-stay deal extends to children up to 15, per paying adult, in stylish lodges out in the wilderness, such as Linyanti Ebony in Botswana or Somalisa Camp in Zimbabwe. If you are flexible with dates this summer, book before June 30 and travel before July 31 to save up to £4,000 on regular rates.

African Bush Camps (0800 041 8187) has packages to various camps from £4,020pp, including accommodat­ion, meals and activities. Flights are not included. For more informatio­n, see africanbus­ kids-stay-free-safari-special

Europe-wide bargains

Summer hotel and resort group IDILIQ is inviting up to two children aged 12 or under to stay and eat for nothing when booked in with an accompanyi­ng adult on a B&B or half-board basis this summer, up until August 31. Participat­ing locations include the Costa del Sol, Cornwall, Kusadasi (Turkey), Scotland and Austria, but the best-value option is at the Ramada Residences by Wyndham Costa Adeje in Tenerife.

IDILIQ Hotels & Resorts (0800 031 9066; idiliqhote­ has seven-night stays at the Ramada Residences by Wyndham Costa Adeje from £599pp, B&B

Child-friendly chic on Crete

Not only does Daios Cove resort on Crete’s sunny north-east coast manage to pull off chic Mediterran­ean getaways, but it also excels as a family-friendly option, thanks to its creches, kids’ and teens’ clubs. Stay in a suite or villa and all children can check in for free; stay in a deluxe room and the first child aged between two and 12 staying with their parents pays nothing, while all children under two go free.

Daios Cove (020 3936 1218; daioscovec­ has suites from around £600, B&B

Turkish delight

Up to two children under the age of two can stay for free at Alp Pasa Hotel in the heart of buzzy Antalya, a short distance from the beaches, as long as they use no extra bedding in the parents’ bedroom. Rooms are bright, fresh and highceilin­ged, with a classic design, and there is a pool and library to help keep the younger ones busy.

On the Beach (0871 474 3000; is offering seven-night packages to Alp Pasa Hotel from £1,158 for two and an infant, including return flights, transfers, breakfast and hotel entertainm­ent. Departs Birmingham on July 10

Go Dutch

Why not visit Amsterdam’s cooler, edgier little sister, Rotterdam, as part of a three-night mini break? Rates for the trip with MSC Cruises are full board, and so include full use of the buffet and main restaurant, the ship’s gyms, pools, arcade games and West End-style theatre shows, as well as even more children’s clubs and activities. The kids-go-free deal applies to those under 18 where the child is a third or fourth guest staying in a cabin with their parent, on selected sailings during the offer period (taxes and port fees must be paid on all fares).

MSC Cruises (0203 426 3010; has three-night packages to Rotterdam from £369pp, B&B. Departs September 23 from Southampto­n

Stellar savings in Dubai

Dubai is also tempting families with its own kids-go-free scheme; the deals include the chance for children to stay (when accompanie­d by the same number of adults), eat and play for nothing, and are available in a raft of hotels across the city until August 31. They also extend to key tourist attraction­s, such as the At the Top viewing platform inside the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa. Of the many hotels on the list, the Park Hyatt Dubai, located on the peaceful Creek, is a highlight, while JA The Resort and Atlantis The Palm are two of the city’s most-loved family stays.

Atlantis The Palm (00971 4426 0000; has rooms from £496 per night, including all meals, some activities and compliment­ary access to Atlantis Aquaventur­e. Flights are not included. For more informatio­n on the Kids Go Free scheme, see en/deals-and-offers

Money-saving musts

Head to the Free Child Place Finder page on the Jet2holida­ys website, fill in your details and it will reveal how many free holiday places there are for children in your chosen destinatio­n on any given day – or you can choose to be led by price instead of location. Here are the details of just one sample trip found in moments using the tool, including a free child and infant place.

Jet2holida­ys (0800 408 0778; jet2holida­ has nine-night packages to Efe Horizon Hotel in Bodrum, Turkey, from around £908pp, including return flights from London Stansted, transfers and a family room

Family luxury in Mallorca

A leader in all-inclusive family luxury, the Ikos brand is fast-expanding into every sun-dappled corner of the Mediterran­ean, with the latest outpost near the quiet and pretty Porto Petro Marina on Mallorca. It is a splurge, but the premium price tag can be offset by the fact that at least one child, up to 11, can go free if you book on the hotel’s website.

Ikos Porto Petro (0030 23741 10750; ikosresort­ has suites from around £570 per night, including breakfast and private airport transfers worth up to about £233

When some resorts throw in free dining and even entry passes to theme parks and attraction­s, the savings can be huge

Faraway fun in Fiji

If you are planning to travel further afield this year, Fiji’s hotel scene seems to be more generous than most with its family-friendly offerings, with the kids-go-free deal offered right across the islands. The Outrigger Fiji Beach Resort stands out, however, for allowing teenagers up to 16 to be included in the deal (when staying in a room with their adult). What’s more, children aged between three and 12 can now eat for free as well as attend the compliment­ary kids’ and teens’ clubs. Book this all-encompassi­ng package with travelonli­ before June 15.

TravelOnli­ne (00617 3804 8411; travelonli­ has six-night packages to Outrigger Fiji Beach Resort from £1,348pp, including free stays, activities, meals and transfer for children; all flights and transfers

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j Jump for joy: benefit from free access in Abu Dhabi to theme parks including Yas Waterworld
 ?? ?? i Greece is the word: enjoy a bespoke familyfrie­ndly holiday at Sani Resort
i Greece is the word: enjoy a bespoke familyfrie­ndly holiday at Sani Resort
 ?? ?? Quiet oasis: plan a family trip to the restored late 19th-century Candie Gardens in St Peter Port, Guernsey
Quiet oasis: plan a family trip to the restored late 19th-century Candie Gardens in St Peter Port, Guernsey
 ?? ?? Me hearties: children can pretend to be pirates at the Outrigger Fiji
Beach Resort
Me hearties: children can pretend to be pirates at the Outrigger Fiji Beach Resort
 ?? ?? It’s Crete fun: youngsters will love the kids’ club at Daios Cove
It’s Crete fun: youngsters will love the kids’ club at Daios Cove

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