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Holiday companies and what they offer
Babygoes2 features a lot of individual hoteliers and property owners and the holiday companies that we do feature in Babygoes2's guide are generally not mass market operators. For the most part they are smaller, specialist companies or individuals who offer a high level of product knowledge, service and childcare where relevant. Most offer you a little bit extra for your travels - it might be something as simple as a villa in a quieter corner of a busy island, or an unusual property in a far-flung location. They all offer a good standard of accommodation in interesting and beautiful places.
Many have a similar aim to our own - to enable parents to have the same sort of holiday they had pre children - relaxing, interesting, stimulating, fun - with their children! We exist to make sure you get to hear about them, and of course to make recommendations on which of their destinations might suit parents of the under 5s best.

NB All properties, destinations and operators are chosen by babygoes2 because we personally want to include them in our guide - our choice is not influenced by business concerns. All of the operator and property descriptions are our own.

Here's a summary of some of the operators we feature, what they offer and what we think makes them worthy of inclusion in Babygoes2.

Simply Travel:

What do Simply offer? According to their brochures, holidays for the discerning traveller. As regular Simply clients Babygoes2 can confirm that they do seek out accommodation in the least developed, often most attractive and diverse regions of the Med. Their accommodation is often quirky, interesting or stylish. Accommodation is usually well-equipped and well laid out, with interesting features, and their brochure descriptions, whilst fairly wordy and higher on style and mood than hard info perhaps, are more often than not spot on. Simply's reps are generally very knowledgeable and keen to give you advice which is pertinent to you and the kind of holiday you want to have. The before and after sales service is also very good - it really is a service-oriented company. Very high level of repeat business - very loyal clientele. This means that their holidays get booked up very quickly, especially in areas where they are one of the leading specialists, such as Corsica or Crete. They have pioneered the crèche as an add-on to a group of villas on apartments within a resort, this innovation has had excellent recommendations and is very popular. If you like something a bit different from the run of the mill villa holiday, then Simply will do very nicely. 

Powder Byrne:

Powder Byrne is a leading specialist tour operator providing individually tailored luxury holidays. Established in 1985 it has become renowned for exceptional quality, personal service and exclusive childcare.

Their portfolio of holiday products includes 'Original Skiing' and 'Resorts'. 'Original Skiing' offers guests a range of quality hotels in top Alpine ski resorts during the winter months and 'Resorts' provides a selection of exclusive 4 and 5 star hotel destinations in Mauritius, Dubai and around the Mediterranean (open between February and October).

Powder Byrne is unique providing the link between high quality hotels and a successful family holiday. With their range of exclusive children' clubs (4 months to 14 years), babysitting service and co-operation from their partner hotels to provide children's meals and facilities, they ensure your children have a wonderful holiday and that you have the time to relax, ski or enjoy the hotel's facilities. This kind of childcare for the under 2's is extremely hard to find elsewhere, particularly in Europe, the pb crèche for children 4 months to 3 years is managed by NNEB qualified or equivalent nursery nurses and the child to adult ratio is 3 to 1.

The company has a very loyal clientele who find them ever more useful as their children grow and holiday times are confined to the holidays. Other advantages are that everything is tailor-made and scheduled flights are used which means flexible arrival or departure times. Private airport transfers are arranged for clients and baby/child seats are provided in minibuses.

Powder Byrne's holidays are in top resort hotels with very good facilities - they aren't cheap, but they do offer a relaxing holiday for parents with high standards guaranteed in every sphere.

Abercrombie and Kent:

Abercrombie and Kent are the world's leading luxury tour operator. They offer superlative service and advice, and treat each customer as an individual to help them get exactly the holiday they want. Their own companies take care of you throughout your journey -from your reservation through to the car that transfers you to your destination. If you want to ensure that absolutely every element of your holiday is stress free then they are the perfect operator for you. They have a vast portfolio of destinations, from weekends in Europe to months in the most luxurious and exclusive destinations in the world, and are also specialists in adventure and itinerary holidays. Also the best operator for luxury villas worldwide. They have recently launched a Family Travel brochure which includes an excellent selection of the every best luxury holidays worldwide for those travelling with children including adventure and safari holidays. Great baby and child travel packs too with high quality toys and accessories.

The Mediterranean Experience:

Mediterranean Experience are specialists in luxury holidays in and around the Med. So they really know their stuff. They know where to go when travelling with children and believe that there is no need to compromise on luxury just because you have little ones. Their forte is finding the best holiday to suit you and their experienced and friendly team provides high quality personal service.

Their definitive 'Kids in the Med' brochure features 23 of the most family focused luxury hotels in the Med. Each has been included for their child friendly service, spacious or interconnecting rooms, extensive grounds or simply because they offer a wonderful holiday experience for all the family.

If you are not seeking formal childcare, then the main 'Ultimate Mediterranean Collection' brochure offers some great ideas for short breaks and beach holidays at over 100 luxury hotels from intimate boutique hotels to fabulous resorts with a multitude of facilities.

Western & Oriental Travel:

Western & Oriental Travel is an established specialist offering luxury tailor-made holidays to many of the world's finest hotels. Their new 'Outstanding Islands and Retreats' brochure offers an enhanced collection of the World's most breathtaking locations and exclusive hotels. From the powder white sands of the Seychelles and the colonial luxury of the Caribbean, to Mexico's ancient treasures and the tropical beauty of South East Asia, there is a tempting choice of exclusive resorts many of which feature Kid's Clubs.

Western & Oriental Travel aims to provide the highest quality travel service and their experienced and enthusiastic staff will delight in finding the perfect holiday for you and your family. For the more adventurous Western & Oriental Travel also offer a selection of 'Inspirational Journeys to Africa', including family friendly safaris and hotels and an enticing 'India and the Subcontinent' programme which includes tours of India and relaxed beach resorts in both India and Sri Lanka.


Caribtours are one of the top Caribbean specialist and have an excellent selection of Caribbean destinations and attractive and useful brochure information. They recommend good choices for those travelling with children in their brochure under 'family escapes'. They will guarantee to pre-allocate seats so that families can ensure they sit together which removes one of the stresses of the journey. Good service, extremely friendly reservations staff, good knowledge of properties and a variety of offers throughout the year. All clients booking a Caribtours holiday before the end of April 2002 and quoting babygoes2 will receive a £50 JojoMamanBebe voucher, completely free.

The Owners Syndicate:

They have an excellent range of self catering options all over the Caribbean and the Mediterranean. They also offer a lot of flexibility in that each villa is priced for accommodation only, and flight-inclusive. If you want to shop around for flights, have airmiles and are happy to arrange your own transfers/hire cars,then this can make the Caribbean an even better option. To complete the set, they also offer several of the villa hotels we recommend. Staff are very knowledgeable and helpful.

Mark Warner:

All-inclusive (3 meals a day plus wine) resort holidays with an emphasis on service and childcare for the past 25 years. Planned to provide maximum relaxation and activities for parents by keeping the children happy and occupied. Many clubs have purpose-built childcare centres with cool crèches, shady play areas and even its own pool. Clubs for every age range from 4mths to 17 years. Qualified and enthusiastic staff. Plenty of things to do for the grown ups: for example watersports, tennis, exercise classes. Tuition is usually available at extra cost. Always on a beach with good quality accommodation, pool(s) good food and good company. There is a Club atmosphere and seating at dinner can mean sharing with other guests, although if you prefer to eat as a family group staff will try to accommodate you if seating allows. The Clubs have a very loyal clientele and score highly on many recommendation surveys. Popular for family 2 week summer holidays but also good for a relaxing break for perhaps a just mum or dad and child/ren (watch out for single supplements) or for a couple of friends and offspring looking for a week of sun and relaxation with everything to hand. It's a club atmosphere though, which isn't to everyone's taste - if you're reclusive or don't like to see/interact with others on your hols, you might like to think again.

Sunsail Clubs:

Beach Club holidays with good accommodation and food, excellent facilities and sports, with an emphasis, of course, on watersports. Big on service before and during your holiday, and say they have an 80% recommendation/returning rate. Certainly highly recommended by Babygoes2 members and by members. Main aim is to find perfect balance of 'togetherness and relaxation' for families holidaying together. Clubs in Caribbean, Greece and Turkey, some more suited to families than others. Again, as with Mark Warner and Powder Byrne, it is still a club atmosphere and if you don't like interacting with others on your hols, then resorts might not be for you. Frequented by the sailing set, naturally.

The Magic Travel Group:

Magic Travel Group are the award winning specialist for holidays to the most beautiful regions of Italy, Spain and Portugal. They feature year round short breaks, warming winter sunshine escapes and longer summer holidays. All the accommodation is handpicked by experts and includes villas with pool, quality apartments and hotels from 5* luxury resorts to smaller properties of charm and character. Magic appreciate that it is important for your children to be happy in order for you to enjoy your stay. All children aged 2-11 years now receive their own special kids pack of rucksack containing cap, t-shirt and colouring book, plus on villa and apartment holidays, you can prebook a special childrens' food hamper. Child prices start from as little as £149 for either 7 or 14 night stays on selected villa and apartment holidays whilst many of the hotels featured offer child discounts of up to 50%. And to help you choose from the extensive range of holidays on offer all the Magic brochures list the most family friendly choices in their easy reference guides. Magic also offer a new product Magic Connoisseurs, which offers a comprehensive collection of top luxury hotels at competitive prices.

Crystal holidays:

Crystal have years of experience as a top tour operator and offer an excellent range of self catering properties in the Med. They are especially good for France, Italy and Ski. Interesting, often unspoiled locations, generally keenly priced.

Tuscany Now:

Owner-managed specialist Italian villa rental company. Great, atmospheric properties for small or very large groups. If you're planning a big get-together this could be for you. Well-priced accommodation only so you can organise your own travel. Plenty of add-ons such as cooks. Well-informed service.


Meon have been specialists in the villa rentals since 1967. They offer an excellent selection of interesting properties at all price levels all over Europe and in Florida. Their service is excellent and their reservations staff helpful. They have such a broad portfolio that they're useful to try for last minute bookings, as well as to secure the villa of your dreams early on. They operate a very helpful nanny service, where they put you in touch with a nanny agency who can arrange for a nanny to accompany you on your holiday.

Open Holidays/Menorca:

Specialist company offering wide selection of villas, apartments and hotels in charming Northern Majorcan region of Pollensa and Cala SanVicente and Menorca. Plus point - they charge per villa rather than a package per person, so can be more cost effective if travelling with children over 2. They can help with flights and car hire, but leave you the flexibility to plan your own travel. Friendly staff - very helpful.

Hayes and Jarvis:

Hayes and Jarvis are well-established in the UK as a long-haul tour operator specialising in inclusive arrangements, and offering value for money on exotic destinations spanning more than 60 countries worldwide, in Africa, the Far East, India and the Indian Ocean, the Middle East, the Caribbean, North American, Latin America, Australia and the Pacific. They're ideal for those travellers in search of good-quality accommodation options at a range of prices. Their brochures also effectively highlight what facilities might appeal to families too (including childcare, children's activities, meal arrangements), so you can see at-a-glance what might suit you and yours. In addition, for watersports enthusiasts, they offer a comprehensive and highly regarded diving programme, with arrangements for both novice and experienced divers in more than 40 countries.

For details of more tour operators, see our web guide.

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