The Luvaville Blog

The Luvaville.com Blog is ALL about travel and lifestyle for urban parents. Here, we wish to share with you some of our travel experiences as well as tips and various recommendations on fashion, great design, trendy and practical products that go along with life as parents.

Mini Guide to beautiful Valencia

A re-post of this perfect mini-guide for Valencia where me and my family (husband, daughter 2, 5 year and me - very pregnant) went a few year's back. We spent 8 days in this lovely city. We found Valencia to be really beautiful and romantic and very childfriendly. Valencia is beautiful and perfect to visit during spring or fall since the temperature hasn't reach that high yet. It's is a good alternative to Barcelona, smaller, but still rich in culture, activities, great food & shopping.

5093

5094

5114

Where to stay? We stayed at two hotels during our stay:

Palau del Mar: This aristocratic nineteenth century building is located in the heart of Valencia, near both the shopping district and historic area. This fabulous centrally situated hotel is housed in a refurbished palace and offers guests the best of contemporary Valencia: the historic city centre and the modern heart of the city. Romantic architecture, including an impressive hall and a marble staircase, has been reinterpreted in modern terms for the complete enjoyment of beautifully serene spaces. The staff is very kind and helpful, the restaurant servs delicious food and the indoor swimmingpool (which is very small), is perfect for young children.

5115

5116

5117

Hotel Las Arenas Valencia: The majestic Las Arenas Balneario Resort is a beachfront hotel in Valencia. Overlooking azure oceans and walking distance from the city centre, Las Arenas Spa offers great accomodations as well as all the needs a modern family might have: children's pool, children's club/playground, high chairs, baby cots, restaurants etc. The beachfront location is amazing!

 5118

5119

What to do? Kids can really enjoy them selves in Valencia, as there are several options and activities designed specifically for them.

The Zoo: The Bioparc is the new zoo of Valencia, located in the Cabecera Park. Valencia Bioparc is in a 200,000 m2 section of the extensive Turia Gardens and is a new kind of zoo. The Biopark is created employing the concept of zoo-immersion which means immersing the visitor completely in wild habitats. The zoo offers you the unique opportunity to watch many of the animals roaming freely just like on an African Safari. Most of the animals are set in their natural habitat, log cabins with thatched roofs give it an authentic feel and the really dangerous animals are well cared for and can be seen behind glass in well made pens. We loved it!

5106

Aquarium: Valencia Aquarium is housed in L'Oceanografic, the largest marine park in Europe and it's the largest aquarium in Europe! This stunning building was designed by Felix Candela and is reminiscent of the amazing work of Barcelona's Antoni Gaudí. Valencia Aquarium at the Oceanografic can be found in the stunning City of Arts and Sciences (Ciutat de les Arts i de les Ciencies) which also contains a planetarium, science museum, botanical garden and opera house. The oceans and species of the sea are well represented in this truly spectacular area in the center of Valencia.

5120

5121 The park Turia Gardens: The gardens stretch the length of Valencia like a lovely green ribbon ending not far from the beach and port of Valencia. For a few minutes you can escape the hustle and bustle of city life and enjoy the peace and tranquility of a very shady and green Valencian city park. The lovely park is  a 7 kilometer promenade of flowers, parks, ponds, fountains, sports facilities and playgrounds - Amongst others the impressive Gulliver Playground where kids can climb and slide on top of the giant Gulliver. Playing on the top of Gulliver, the kids naturally look like the small citizens of Lilliputs. Not suitable small kids, though! A stroll in the Turia Gardens is one of the top things to do in Valencia because you can easily reach other parts of Valencia.

5108

5109

5110

Valencia beaches: The white sandy beaches are edged with palm trees and are perfect for children to build sandcastles on. Take a dip in the sparkling Mediterranean sea and when it gets too hot and you need some shade, there are plenty of pretty thatched parasols to sit under. You will find many beach-side activities such as small playgrounds, special lanes and the promenade which is ideal for rollerblading or riding bicycles.

5111

5112

Where to shop? Valencia has alot to offer, fashion wise. Both for kids & adults. The kids of Valencia are well equipped and their are many shops dedicated the little ones. Our favorites are:

Nanos: Nanos is a traditional Spanish childrenswear luxury label. The name Nanos, which means little ones in Spanish, caters classic pieces with an edge: colours are bold and styles fashion-savvy with on trend cuts and embellishments. Thanks to Nanos classic luxury clothing for children goes beyond pastels, beige and pale pink, to fully embrace colours and festive patterns. All with the distinctive style and the utmost refinement you expect from a luxury label. The beautiful shop has a little corner where the kids can play while the parents are shopping.

5099

Yo SolitoYo Solito is this very cool and personal shop where you will find all the best from Spanish and International brands such as Bonton, Babe & Tess, Imps&elfs, Zef, Normandie and much more. The decor is black and white and very stylish. Definately worth a visit.

5100

Imaginarium: The Spanish chain that sells great & high quality toys Imaginarium is also to be found in Valencia. There are several branches in Valencia, so check out the website to find an adresse.

5101

Where to eat? People in Valencia seems to be very childfriendly. Kids are more than welcome at most restaurants and even though there are no specific children's menu, they are always ready to prepare a special meal for your kids; a smaller portion, not too spicy etc. Also you will find high chairs in every restaurant (at least all the restaurants we visited had high chairs).

5113

Baby Deli: Baby Deli is a fantastic concept store and café offering gorgeous and organic products: food, toys, baby care etc and a café with great lunch and everything parents and kids need for having a nice time in beautiful surroundings! Baby Deli also offers different activities for children like cooking classes amongst other things. The perfect place where toddlers can play while parents enjoy a cup of coffee.

5102

Cacao Sampaka: Cacao Sampaka makes delicious chocolate using only authenthic cocoa. In the shop you will also find a little cafeteria where you can enjoy a typical hot chocolate, mousses, pastries and cakes, chocolate granita, chocolate deserts etc. Delicious!

5103

Getting around

Valencia is truly beautfiul and you can easily get around the city with a stroller. The Metro has lifts and you will find bicycle paths all over the city. You can rent bicycles in the Turia Gardens and in the City of Arts & Sciences. You can also rent bikes here and here.

5107

Want your own ad ?
Click here >>

Christmas Spirit for Kids in London

Christmas for children in London is a truly magical time, with sparkling lights, exciting shows, festive grottos and plenty different things to see and do. On Friday, we are travelling 3 generations to London and we can't wait. Here are some of the things we willvisit to get in the X-mas spirit.

9115 9113

9114 9116

Covent Garden Christmas Market I love Covent Garden, it's this beautiful covered market square and during Christmas time, it's even better. Enjoy some traditional yuletide fun at Covent Garden, where the popular Real Food Market features a variety of seasonal and delicious food. Also don't miss out on some of the most unusual Christmas lights in London in Covent Garden.  

Ice skating in London Children of all ages can burn off a little excess Christmas excitement at the ever popular ice rinks. Try the Eye-Skate rink underneath the London Eye.

Christmas circus for children Roll up, roll up for a fantastic Christmas circus for children in London this year. On show at Hyde Park, Zippos Circus brings a festive themed big top show to town, crammed full of all kinds of yuletide wonder and excitement.

Harrods luxury Christmas toys Whether you have the budget of Sultan of Brunei to spend on your nippers or you just fancy showing them how the other half live, a trip to see the Harrods luxury Christmas toys is a must for any children in London this Christmas.

Kew Gardens As part of their Christmas celebrations, the famous botanical gardens are hosting a festive grotto complete with Santa Claus, as well as traditional horse and carriage rides, mini vintage cars and a carousel.

 

Liv's room in Keiki Magazine

Over the last 2 years, we have been renovating our house and the last project was to make a new 1st. floor and new rooms for my two girls. There are less than 2 years between Liv and Stella, so they have always shared everything but now, the oldest has started school and they begin to have more seperate worlds, interests and friends....therefor, we decided to give them their own room as well. Liv is 6,5 years old and a true school girl now and spents time at her desk and in her sofa bed. She wanted colors such as dark puple, soft pink and black with a romantic touch and I think we managed quite well. Her room has just been featured in the latest issue of the Danish online magazine Keiki magazine, please take a look.

9108 9109 9111 9110

 

 

Travel Smarter, Equipment Rental

When traveling with kids luggage can get very heavy and we always carry too much with us. Why not rent some of your baby and children equipment instead? Get here a few tips and links to where you can rent baby and children's gear during your stay in Copenhagen, Paris and Barcelona. An ideal way for you to carry less with you on the journey. And some even can supply you with nappies, diapers, wipes and/or baby food… delivered to your hotel or apartment, how wonderful is that?

9104

Paris

To experience a trouble free journey and vacation in Paris, just simply rent all the necessary equipment:  Stroller, high chairs, cots, baby loungers, baby carriers, bottle warmers, toys and much more. Baby'tems is the place to know and the owner Camille, a mother of two, knows exactly how it is to travel with children, so yoou can expect a great service! www.babytems.com, +33 (0)1 83 62 08 64.

Copenhagen

A fairly new baby equipment rental company has opened in Copenhagen, where you both as a resident or a tourist for a shorter period can rent baby equipment and have it delivered to the airport or hotel.  www.joselinecph.dk+45 28303406/ +45 42167074

9102

 

 

 

 

 

Barcelona

Back Pack baby is a full service baby equipment rental company in Barcelona with all the hig quality brands. www.backpackbaby.com+34 93 4927929

9103

 

 

 

 

In Barcelona, you can also rent the needed equipment from Easy Travel Kids like a stroller, high chair and other gear for your child/children on www.easytravelkids.com, +34 648 470 591.

 

9101

Family Rooms in Generator Hostel Copenhagen

If you are looking for a cheap and central located place to stay in Copenhagen, this Phillipe Starck six-storey hostel is the perfect choice. You can book family rooms and rooms for 4-6 people with bunk beds for the kids. The lively and playful interior as well as the outdoor terrace and café is suitable for families who need more space around the room. Try the Petanque Bar for a game of boules or table soccer or just relax in the hammocks on the roof terrace. It's surposed to be Copenhagen's largest roof terrace. Located in the city center, close to Kongens Nytorv metro station, only 20 min. away from the airport. You will also find Generator Hostel in many other cities, check it out before your next adventure.

Generator Hostel, Adelgade 5-7, Copenhagen K.

9095 9096 9094 9093 9097 9098 9091 9092

Fall Activities in Paris by Katrin

Swedish Katrin, the owner of a nice webshop for children www.dinodeluxe.fr and the agency: DinogoesAgent, is our insider in Paris and Stockholm. She lives currently in Paris with her husband and two boys and is here sharing with us her best tips on what to do and where to go, to get the most out of Autumn in Paris.

6718
 
1. How do you feel about Fall coming up?
I always want the summer to never end, but when the fall arrives I always love those beautiful autumn colors and the fresh air.
6711
6706 6707
 
2. Do you and your Family have any specific Fall traditions/things you like to do?
We do not have any special fall traditions here in Paris, but when I lived in Sweden we always went to the forest in the search of chanterelles and other mushrooms and made jam from wild berries. I think we play a bit more indoors when fall arrives and we also do more manual and creative activities with the kids, even though we love to go playing in the park as the rest of the year!
 
6709
 
3. Where is the best indoor fun/cultural thing in the City?
We love to go to Cité des Enfants/Parc de la Vilette and the kids enjoy playing in the interactive area adopted for their age. It is the perfect spot to introduce them to science and technology through a series of hands-on activities.
6721 6722
 
This fall, we also have to visit again the Kids museum called Musée en Herbe. They have a new interactive exhibition called “Vasarely vous a à l’oeil” with more than 70 original works of Victor
Vasarely, the known artist of Optic Art. At the museum, the kids enter his creative world and his approach in a playful way.
 
6723 6724 6725
 
4. Where is the best place to enjoy high tea/hot chocolate/ delicious cakes etc?
If I go for a tea/hot chocolate/cake with my kids, I like to visit “Une Mère, Une Fille à Pairs” in the 15th arrondissement, an original new concept café bringing together a toy shop, a tea house, a secondhand children’s’ wear shop and creative workshops for the kids. 
6713 6717
 
Also if it is not raining at “Chez Georges” on the roof top of the museum Centre Pompidou. But If I want to enjoy really good cakes and macaroons I go for “Ladurée”!

6715 6716

 
5. Where do you shop all the Fall/winter essentials for the kids?
Mostly all clothing from my webshop Dinodeluxe.fr . I also like to go shopping for my sons Sven and Nils in the area of Marais and Montorgueil and I just love the new fall/winter collection from Finger In The Nose even though it is quite pricy!

Cheap Street Food Market Papirøen

With my kids, we love visiting this fairly new concept of street food, located in an old warehouse on the Paper Island. This is colorful and cheap street food market with food stands from all over the world and the greatest thing is, you don't have to eat the same. Everyone picks his or hers dish and gather around a table. The market is perfectly located in the centre of Copenhagen with a spendid view to Copenhagen Opera house and the Royal Playhouse. The Paper island is also located right next to the science museum Experimentarium City which is also a great place to visit with kids. Take the metro to Christianshavn and walk 10 minutes or you can go there by boat.

9088 9089 9090

Brunch & Museum Combo, Copenhagen

Combine a delicious brunch buffet at the Julian Restaurant and a visit to the fantastisc Children's museum at the National Museum in Copenhagen. The perfect combo for rainy autumn and winter days. They offer a brunch buffet in weekends and then you can visit the museum afterwards. The National Museum has many interesting exhibitions and they are all free, so no excuse for a little visit, and the kids will love the children's mueum. You will find high chairs, changing facilities and free strollers (you can't bring your own, leave it at the stroller parking in the lobby). National Museet, Frederiksholms Kanal 12, 1220 Copenhagen K,  Phone (+45) 3313 4411 www.restaurantjulian.com and www.nationalmuseet.dk

Kid & Coe, Family-friendly Rental

When you have kids, your travel habits change, you need for space and more flexability as well as more baby and children's equipment. This is why the Kid & Coe concept is really great for travelling families: here you rent another family's home while they are away - whith everything: equipment and toys. You can also become a host yourself. We also love the idea of stepping out of the tourist traps and into another family's life. The perfect way to discover new places as a family with insider tips. 

The team at Kid & Coe know what it’s like to travel with kids. They are all mothers and fathers who travel, and understand what makes family travel irresistible yet tricky. 

Founder Zoie Kingsbery Coe created Kid & Coe out of personal necessity. For years she had been traveling the world with her kids, and saw that the hotel accommodations wasn't suitable for the family. Zoie began seeking out kid-friendly property rentals that made her family feel at home wherever they were in the world. As increasing numbers of parents asked Zoie to share her travel expertise and property secrets, Kid & Coe was born. 

So ready to find your next holiday home all over the world or even rent out your own home with Kid & Coe.

9075 9076 9077 9078 9079

Mini Guide to Marrakech by Oum

All over Europe, it's getting colder so why not dream away to a warmer and colorful place like Marrakech. We have been so fortunate to have Fadila from Un blog, Une maman to make us a mini guide with the very best tips for Marrakech with the family. 
 
8797
Fadila lives with her husband, their 5 year old girl and the turtle Inés in Casablanca, Morocco where they moved a year ago.  Fadila is a true globetrotter and has lived in Holland, Morroco, the UK and France (in this order).

Fadila works as a self-employed Marketing and Market Research Consultant and have been writing her blog for five years about what inspires her as a mum  and occasionally on Petites Inspirations about kids fashion and design. Fadila and her family love to travel and do so every time they can. This year, they discovered California and the French Alpes. Next year, they seriously think about visiting her husband’s grand-mother who lives in Tahiti".   

Marrakech, and Morocco in general, is a well-known destination for tourists … It conveys exotic places and flavours, hot temperatures, old medinas and hand made little treasures...

But I often hear that Marrakech is not a place to visit with kids: temperatures are too hot, food is too spicy, streets are too overwhelming … But, it is surprisingly family friendly with fun activities for kids, beautiful scenery and sights bursting with life ! 
8814
 
So if you decide to visit Marrakech with your kids, let me start by saying: try to avoid it in the summer! It is very hot, too hot, even for the locals. My advice? Visit between September and May; it is quieter and cooler and you can even squeeze in a ski trip around January or February in Oukaimden ! Beware though that in winter time, it can be quite cold, so dress accordingly (no sleeveless dresses in January !!!).
Don’t forget to use a high-factor sunscreen for yourself and your kids and if in need of anything (disposable nappies, powdered milk, fruit purées…), you can easily buy that in Marjane, a big chain hyper market very accessible by taxi. To avoid upsetting your family’s stomach, stick to bottled water and avoid eating fruits and salads if you are not sure they have been thoroughly washed. But don’t be afraid to sample every cooked Moroccan food, even in Jamaa El Fna: the tajines, grilled meat and other dishes are delicious and not spicy (as in hot spicy).
8800
 
Places to stay - accommodation
Marrakech, although famous for the terracotta colour dominating the walls and the roofs, has a diverse architecture and the accommodation possibilities are mirroring this: you can choose to stay in a “riadh”, a traditional old Moroccan house in the medina with an interior courtyard; you can opt for a palace-style hotel in the Palmeraie, a beautiful and large palm oasis at the outskirts of Marrakech or choose one of the many hotels spread in the city.
8801 8802
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A cute little riadh to be rented by the week, very good value for money, perfect for a family as it has two bedrooms (one master bedroom with a folding crib and two-separate beds in the other room). It is close to Jamaa El Fna (10 minutes by feet) and not accessible by car: a complete change of scenery!
A luxury palace with international standards: magnificent garden, beautiful swimming pool, outdoor lounge … and a breath-taking view on the Atlas Mountains. It has a mini-club located in the imperial palace part where kids are perfectly spoiled.
 
Located in the middle of the palm groves, the famous La Palmeraie, this hotel is a haven of peace and calm where kids are more than welcome. The mini-club has a garden and a swimming pool of its own, kids can wander around freely and they evenorganise a Christmas market in December.
 
8805 8807
 
 
Child-friendly restaurants and cafes
Café Extrablatt
Located Corner of Avenue Echouhada & Alkadissia street, Quartier. 
Hivernage
Perfect for a breakfast or a brunch with a wide choice of Moroccan and continental breakfast items, freshlysqueezed orange juice, huge terrace and high chair for kids.
8779 8808
 
Café Bousafsaf Located within Jardin Majorelle
My placs of choice for a lunch break when you spend the morning wandering around the Jardin Majorelle. The patio is ideally situated in the shadows but you can choose to take refuge in the adjacent room. The Tajine with Kefta (Moroccan Mince Meat) and Tomato is a must-have for the little ones and their parents!
 
One of the most known Moroccan restaurants in Marrakech: run exclusively by women, it is ideally located in the Gueliz area, and the food is to die for. Usually Moroccan people eat Moroccan dishes at home and look for a different kind of cuisine outside but in Al Fassia, you will find Moroccan and tourists savouring the traditional Moroccan dishes! My recommendation: the “pastille au lait” for dessert. You can thank me later!
 
Cultural or fun activities, playgrounds etc.
Marrakech is so bursting with life; it will constantly keep the attention of the little ones alive. So here are 3 different things to do to be enjoyed by the whole family.
8809 8777 8810
Jemaa El Fna 
Jemaa El Fna is the old city main square: very hectic and full of life day and night, packed with street performers and food stalls. It can be very overwhelming, particularly by night where the “Marrakchi” and the tourists gather, meet up and walk around. For the kids, their attention will be stimulated by snakes, little monkey performances and acrobats. Mornings are usually less crowded and there are some
excellent vintage points at Café terraces to soak everything in, with a mint tea for the grown-ups and lemonade for the little-ones.
 
Terre d’Amanar is a beautiful eco landscape located at the foothills of the Atlas Mountains, surrounded by the Toubkal National Park, 30mn from Marrakech. There, you can find an outdoor playground, free of charge when you eat there; kids can zip-line in the trees and do all kinds of tree climbing adventures in an itinerary set-up for them (+3 yo) or you can just walk around and let the kids do some donkey riding.
 
Le Jardin Majorelle is the botanical garden created by French designer Yves Saint Laurent. The variety of plants, cacti and trees are incredible with ponds filled with water lilies, goldfish and home to turtles and frogs. My daughter loves to walk around (and sometimes run) in the different alleys but she always asks for a paper and colour pens to draw : this place is inspiring !
 
8811 8812
Shopping
The souks in the medina
Behind Jemaa El Fna, there is a different world of labyrinthic streets and little shops reminder of the thousand and nights stories. Kids will be enchanted by all that can be seen and bought: Aladdinesque lamps, colourful slippers and rugs, gandouras and red tarbushes. In such places, bargaining is part of the game so don’t hesitate to “play” along.
 
Bab Doukkala
Another “souk”, but with a local, non-touristy vibe. It is a market street where people do their shopping (veggies, fruits, meat, fish and all kind of food and other stuff that can be found in a shop). You will also see a barber shop, a “tajine” shop with local prices, a hammam and little street cafés. 
 
33 Rue Majorelle is a favourite shop of mine. It is more a concept store with a selection of hand made and small unique pieces by independent Moroccan designers. The prices are more expensive than what you will find in the souks but in 33 Rue Majorelle, you will find those Moroccan inspired gifts that you will find nowhere else.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ads
Want your own ad ?
Click here >>