9 Quirky Places to Stay on the Riviera With Kids
Get away from it all to these quirky hideaways far from the stresses and strains of the new normal.
By Holly Grattan
There are plenty of weekends left to take advantage of the remaining summer weather. Get away from it all to these quirky hideaways far from the stresses and strains of the new normal. These magical and unique child-friendly stays promise awesome family fun, adventure, and enduring memories in or within a stone's throw of the Riviera.
How would you like to sleep suspended in the trees, in clear plastic bubbles looking up and counting the myriad of stars above. Located just 3 hours drive from Nice, this idillic stay is also filled with extreme adventure. Crazy Water Rafting is a unique family-friendly B&B and rafting adventure, with options for kids from as young as 5 years old. There are more daring rafting activities also on offer as well as canyoning or racing down the rapids at full speed with just a pair of flippers and a "hydro speed" flotation device. With facilities including BBQ pit, showers, toilets, changing rooms, and parking, this stay guarantees exhilarating fun and laughter.
Relive a childhood dream and lodge in this fantastic native American teepee by Tipizen. "Tipi Washipi" which means "smile" is a truly different under-canvas experience that unplugs you from the grid, and connects you with the great outdoors. Nestled in a private zen garden, this fun stay will fuel yours and your child's imagination and wouldn't be complete without a game of Cowboys & Indians. Sing songs around the campfire, listen to the soothing sounds of the night. Take a complete step back in time. "Tipi Washipi" can accommodate 2 adults and 1 childwith breakfast included. Facilities include toilets, outdoor bathroom/shower, BBQ, fridge, dining table, pool, jacuzzi and table tennis.
Are you a fan of the vintage, cult classic status, VW Combi bus? There is just something about them that makes me smile. The buzz of the engine, the quirky colours, the Mystery Machine in Scooby Doo. They are happiness on wheels personified. Well, what if I told you that Tipizen is also offering a nomad experience in their 2 liter vintage "Fonzie Van". A burnt-orange 1976 VW combi T2B with a Westfalia roof. Suited to a family of 4. Leave modern-day distractions behind and set off on an expedition in this classic to discover the most beautiful spots on the Riviera. Fitted with fridge, sink, and 2 gas stove."Fonzie Van" promises a chilled-out getaway with a hippy vibe.
Dreaming of a simple bohemian and rustic life? Consider staying in a, totally out-of-the-ordinary, from the outside, cosy and comfortable inside, gypsy caravan. Nestled in the vineyards of Comtat Venaissin, just 3 hours drive from Nice, Les Roulottes d’Yguaris' colourful 2-person caravans with cute matching mini caravans for kids are heaven on wheels! Families can enjoy an exotic holiday that's as restful and snug as could be. You can even bring your horse with you! They will be treated to their own personal shaded box and paddock to recuperate after a long ride.So come and escape to another world beneath the delicate curve of its roof and take an imaginary adventure to distant lands?
Rapunzel, Rapunzel, let down your hair, so that I may climb thy golden stair. Just like the fairytale, you too can so journ in an eco-friendly loft, in an ancient tower surrounded by a stunning botanical garden and breathtaking views of the Ligurian sea. Located just over the border into Italy, this absolute paradise is only 15 minutes from Monaco. The Mortola Tower, now a Luxury Eco Resort, was originally built in the 1500s as a guard tower. Completely renovated and interior designed, it offers an exclusive stay in one of the most prestigious architect-designed properties in Liguria. Notable features: family rooms, its' bed in a boat room, fun rope swings, & a precarious lookout platform where you can actually spend the night.
Tempted by an enchanting woodland escape? Check out this child-friendly tree house holiday right on your doorstep in St Paul de Vence. Imagine the anticipation of walking up the steps and onto the deck to get your first glimpse of the magnificent panoramic view stretching out below. Then to explore the woodland and fall asleep to the gentle creak of branches; waking up to birdsong and morning coffee in complete privacy. The Orion B&B has 4 treehouses; the largest can host up to 5 people. Just 15km from Nice, they offer a truly magical family getaway with the luxury of yoga classes, massage, an ecological swimming pool, and a sauna.
An African style safari is not as far away as you think. La Reserve, des Monts d'Azur, an hour from Nice, is the first animal reserve in Europe. Their mission: the reintroduction of ancestral species with freedom to roam; fauna and flora dating from the neolithic period. This is a place where you can dive into nature. The guided safaris in horse drawn cart are a highlight. For children there is a climbing wall, wooden climbing frames, football pitch and a kids corner in the restaurant so that parents get to relax and unwind at dinner. The ecolodges promise an enriching stay with stunning views of the lakes and plaines where the animals congregate each evening.
If you're looking to escape the busy hustle and bustle of the city for an active family adventure holiday, fresh air, and lots of space, Peira Cava Adventures is just what the doctor ordered. Less than an hour away from Nice, they have over 7300 m of Ziplines, from a baby course for 2-year-olds to expert courses with breathtaking views, off-road electric scooters - a bit like Mountain biking, pony rides and paint-balling. With a circular interior, the traditional Mongolian Yurts at Peira Cava are a comfortable and convivial space for a family of 4, which transport you to the heart of Asia and will leave you with incredible long-lasting family memories to treasure.
Leave the land behind and become a family of pirates. Ahoy, Me Hearties! On board The Mare Luna, departing from Menton Garavan, you will choose to cruise along the Côte d'Azur or in the direction if the Italian coast. There are 2 cosy cabins, heated in winter and air conditioned in summer. Completely family friendly, The Mare Luna accommodates up to 9 with safety gear for adults and children. Lunch, dinner, aperitifs & snacks can be catered for. This stay provides endless sea related activities: swimming, snorkelling, fishing, paddle boarding, hunting for treasure on Plage de la Mala all while you sit back & listen to the sound of the waves.
Happy Kids, Happy Parents!
Author: Holly Grattan