I had the great good fortune to stay at the Waldhaus Sils, one of the Swiss Historic Hotels last September, when the 2012 summer season was still in full swing, with cow bells ringing out in the perfect, clear sunny mountain air. The Waldhaus is proud of its rich heritage, which it absolutely should be considering that this is its 106th summer…! I enjoyed soaking up the culture and history, and with remarkable treats like the chef’s table, I was given an exceptional welcome to ensure that I never felt lonely or bored as a solo travel writer.


The Waldhaus, as I’ve already written about, has mastered the art of personal touches that keep guests coming back, and one of them is sending out beautiful signed greetings cards bi-annually, with all their events inside. However, as a writer who is committed to seeking out the best places for travellers with children worldwide, it is that particular aspect of the Waldhaus that I want to commend. It’s a luxury five star hotel that has had the courage to make children’s activities a key part of its diverse offering, rather than marginalising and excluding them, as far too many corporate, faceless five stars still do. The spacious and characterful guest rooms suit families well, too.


So, the Gian & Gianna club offers free childcare to three year olds upwards from 9 – 12 and 2 – 6, with lunch also available upon request. They also offer a brilliant weekly programme during the school holidays – an example from just one week in July includes mixing kids’ cocktails in the bar (my girls would adore this novel idea), children’s party, a miniature golf tournament, an excursion to the adventure playground in Maloja and a cook-out in the gorgeous forest near the hotel, with games.


The fun lasts right through to the season’s end – a magic course by Matthias Reich for four and ups caught my eye, particularly as my little one will have just turned four then. For older children I couldn’t help noticing the scope and thoughtfulness of the offering despite the fact we’re not in tha age bracket yet – cable cars, graffiti and street dance workshops, cable cars, biking and climbing at an adventure park, to scratch the surface of what’s available. This is before you even get into the perfection that is a Swiss summer, and all the natural delights that entails. I’m currently in Vilnius – a brilliant city but one which requires a bit of effort and unpicking to find great activities for kids. At the Waldhaus Sils, all the work is done for you. You might even wear them out enough to get the chance to enjoy the marvellous sunsets in peace.