Sep
13

UK Family Holidays with Kids- London Syon Park Hotel- An Unexpected Oasis

Planning a UK Family Holiday with Kids?

Syon Park view from interconnecting room

UK family holidays with kids offer a diverse range of engaging experiences for your whole family. If you are planning UK family holidays with kids, London is an excellent place to start. Our family recently enjoyed staying at Syon Park Hotel, a recent addition to the Hilton/Waldof Astoria chain. Previously we had done the bed and breakfast thing, but with small children we preferred a hotel experience- as hospitable as B & B hosts can be, there is always a degree of discomfort staying in someone else home with little kids. So this time we were seeking a hotel that would not only give kids some space to be kids and run around, but it also needed to be well located to the airport, downtown London and Surrey and Legoland, where we were attending a wedding. London Syon Park  Hotel fits this bill. It is well located, about half way between Heathrow Airport and downtown London which is only 10 miles away.

This property is like an oasis, on pastural land owned by the Duke of Northumberland near the next to the Thames River. The Syon Park Hotel shares the 200 Acre property with grazing animals, a garden center, and a Castle which is the Duke of Northumberland’s London residence. The Castle and its grounds can be visited several days each week. (http://www.syonpark.co.uk/information.asp).

The staff were friendly and obliging and check-in very smooth. Interconnecting rooms are modern and ornately decorated, although somewhat small. They opened on to a balcony, with views of the large gardens and grounds of the castle. Ground floor rooms lead straight out onto the grass which is a bonus for families with sleeping babes and toddlers.

The fitness facilities are excellent, including a Technogym gymnasium and a beautiful indoor pool and spa. Kids were unfortunately restricted to swimming during designated times in the morning and afternoon, allowing adults enjoying the spa facilities some peace during the daytime. It didn’t really affect us greatly, we just planned our day around the available swimming times. The restaurant is somewhat formal inside but outside is a great option for dining with children giving them some space to wander and enjoy the courtyards edible garden. The staff were very helpful but they were late setting up and in opening for breakfast each morning – important when little tummys were waking up at 4am and ready to eat the second doors were to open! That being said, breakfast was very lavish and included in our room rate. The waiters were proudly serving traditional English fare which was certainly tasty but loaded with butter and salt. They were unable to accomodate requests for reduced salt and lower fat options.  No complaints from the little people however! Another thing to note was their were no kids meals available on the menu, but the chefs were able to modify the dishes to meet the tastes of youngsters.

Plan Some R&R On Your UK Family Holiday

One great aspect of this property is that the hotel actively supports environment awareness sourcing produce which is grown locally, and in fact much of its produce is grown on the grounds of the hotel including many delicious herbs and vegetables. We were fortunate during our garden strolls to meet Robert, the head garden architect who showed us around the green-house where there is a special dining experience on offer at the chefs table. We were lucky to sample some of the best tomatoes we have eaten, plucked straight from the vine.

Any UK family holiday with the kids needs a little “R & R”. There is plenty of opportunity for some quality downtime here with your kids. Wandering through Syon Park is very pleasant. Push bikes are also available from the hotel, but unfortunately they don’t have any bikes for kids yet (hint to management!). There are great paths for biking, walking and jogging with one leading down to the nearby Thames River and a great little family friendly pub where the kids can watch the punts and ducks floating by. Syon Park is also home to The Tropical Zoo with animals such as insects, tarantulas, snakes, lizards, iguanas, and even a baby crocodile.

We found a hire car very useful as it is a bit of a distance to public transport. The gardens are a still a work in progress and the hotel and it’s staff are still finding their feet. All in all, with it’s interconnecting rooms, plenty of space to walk, run and hide for the kids, animals to visit etc, this is a great place to consider staying with your family. Given time, this hotel will be an even more  wonderful place to stay, close to London.

Would we go back? Sure. Let us know if you have any other ideas for our readers of great places to stay when planning UK family holidays with kids.