World's Best Family Hotels and Cruises

World's Best Family Hotels and Cruises

Buff Strickland
Buff Strickland
The results of Travel + Leisure’s World's Best Survey are in—don’t travel with kids until you check out our list.

U.S. + Canada
The Caribbean + Bermuda
Central + South America
Africa + the Middle East
Top Cruise Lines for Families

U.S. + Canada

1. Inn at Palmetto Bluff, Bluffton, South Carolina

Score: 97.90
Plantation-style cottages and a Jack Nicklaus golf course at a low-country retreat that’s a popular spot for family reunions. Two-bedroom villas from $1,300.

2. WaterColor Inn & Resort, Santa Rosa Beach, Florida

Score: 96.00
New Urbanist vacation rentals and a David Rockwell–designed inn on the Florida Panhandle, tucked between a dune lake and a stretch of glittering sand. Doubles from $325.

3. Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, Lake Buena Vista, Florida

Score: 95.87
Safari lodge near the theme park on a 33-acre African grasslands–style preserve where zebras, giraffes, and gazelles roam free. Doubles from $375.

4. Disney’s Beach Club Resort, Lake Buena Vista, Florida

Score: 94.65
Blue-shingled spread with the feel of a historic hotel, offering direct access to shipwreck-themed Stormalong Bay water park and free transportation to Disney World. Doubles from $465.

5. Disney’s Wilderness Lodge, Lake Buena Vista, Florida

Score: 94.51
Woodsy Arts and Crafts–style compound inside Disney’s Magic Kingdom with a geyser that gushes on Old Faithful’s schedule. Doubles from $375.

6. Sanctuary at Kiawah Island, South Carolina

Score: 94.47
Golf-centric resort (five courses, four with family tees) where activities range from beachcombing to butterfly walks. Doubles from $435.

7. Disney’s Boardwalk Inn & Villas, Lake Buena Vista, Florida

Score: 94.32
Nostalgic take on a seaside village, complete with carnival games, jugglers, and a boardwalk-edged lake. Doubles from $475.

8. Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa, Anaheim, California

Score: 93.27
Disneyland’s crown jewel has its own entrance to California Adventure, getting you into the park a full hour before the crowds. Doubles from $395.

9. Disney’s Yacht Club Resort, Lake Buena Vista, Florida

Score: 93.23
Porthole mirrors and crisp striped curtains evoke a nautical mood at this lakeside resort in Disney World. Doubles from $465.

10. Ritz-Carlton Bachelor Gulch, Avon, Colorado

Score: 92.68
Majestically scaled lodge on Beaver Mountain with ski nannies who will shepherd your brood to the slopes while you decompress with a private yoga lesson. Doubles from $779.

11. Four Seasons Resort Hualalai at Historic Kaupulehu, Big Island, Hawaii

Score: 92.63
Ocean-view bungalows, plus a tricked-out teen lounge and baby-proofed rooms for guests with infants. Doubles from $655.

12. The Homestead, Hot Springs, Virginia

Score: 92.26
Great Value A 1902 white-columned classic in the Allegheny Mountains with an equestrian center, fly-fishing, and a spring-fed indoor pool. Doubles from $185.

13. Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort & Spa, Hawaii

Score: 92.09
Thrills for all ages, from a 150-foot winding waterslide to a Robert Trent Jones Jr.–designed golf course on an oceanside cliff. Doubles from $540.

14. Disney’s Polynesian Resort, Lake Buena Vista, Florida

Score: 92.03
Tiki-themed expanse: a four-story “volcano” feeds the pool and luaus take place nightly. Doubles from $510.

15. Whiteface Lodge, Lake Placid, New York

Score: 92.00
Nouveau Adirondacks great camp with its own ice-skating rink and bowling alley. Doubles from $477.

16. Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, Lake Buena Vista, Florida

Score: 91.97
Lagoon-side grande dame with windows overlooking Cinderella’s Castle, on the Magic Kingdom monorail loop. Doubles from $575.

17. Four Seasons Resort, Jackson Hole, Wyoming

Score: 91.67
Ski-in, ski-out lodge at the base of Jackson Hole Mountain, with year-round active adventures (from rafting to geocaching). Doubles from $275.

18. Hyatt Regency Lost Pines Resort & Spa, Lost Pines, Texas

Score: 91.58
Horseback riding, skeet shooting, and hayrides add Texas twang to this compound outside Austin. Doubles from $339.

19. Kiawah Island Golf Resort, South Carolina

Score: 91.25
Great Value Five hundred vacation villas that share the same barrier island and amenities as the Sanctuary (No. 6). Villas from $205.

20. Vail Cascade Resort & Spa, Colorado

Score: 91.00
Right outside downtown Vail, with the area’s biggest fitness facility and a chairlift servicing Vail Mountain. Doubles from $349.

21. Loews Portofino Bay Hotel at Universal Orlando, Florida

Score: 90.82
Fanciful Italian-themed resort (a waterslide modeled on a Roman aqueduct; arias performed on balconies) that is a quick water-taxi ride from Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure. Doubles from $304.

22. The Greenbrier, White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia

Score: 90.77
Great Value Dress for dinner at this Georgian beauty in the Allegheny Mountains, home to an off-road driving school and a former top-secret Cold War bunker. Doubles from $249.

23. Cloister at Sea Island, Sea Island, Georgia

Beloved by generations of well-heeled Southerners, a 1928 Mediterranean-style spread with three pools, an ice cream parlor, a tennis club, and a movie theater. Doubles from $395.

24. Sandpearl Resort, Clearwater, Florida

Score: 90.50
The most sophisticated digs in this part of the Gulf Coast, with citrus-hued rooms and apartment-like suites. Doubles from $379.

25. The Breakers, Palm Beach, Florida

Score: 90.42
A 1926 Italian Renaissance–inspired icon with newly redesigned suites and family-pleasing pool bungalows. Doubles from $499.

26. Hawk’s Cay Resort, Duck Key, Florida

Score: 90.13
Breezy West Indian–style villas and family rooms, an on-site dolphin program, and a full menu of aquatics for teens, including sailing lessons and reef dives. Doubles from $399.

27. Pelican Hill, Newport Beach, California

Score: 90.00
On 504 acres, sprawling Pacific-facing bungalows and villas, as well as an indoor-outdoor kids’ club. Doubles from $495.

27. Rosewood Mansion on Turtle Creek, Dallas

Score: 90.00
Gracious peach-colored hotel in a leafy residential neighborhood, plus a driver at the ready to whisk you to area destinations. Doubles from $595.

29. Mauna Lani Bay Hotel & Bungalows, Big Island, Hawaii

Score: 89.74
Kohala Coast resort with the only children’s golf course in Hawaii. Doubles from $455.

30. Hyatt Regency Maui Resort & Spa, Hawaii

Score: 89.73
Free-form pools and a shallow, sand-bordered lagoon by day; sky-gazing with an on-site astronomer by night. Doubles from $394.

30. Westin La Cantera Resort, San Antonio, Texas

Score: 89.73
Oasis with a clay-tiled roof on a mesquite- and live oak–covered plateau 30 minutes from the historic downtown. Doubles from $279.

32. La Costa Resort & Spa, Carlsbad, California

Score: 89.71
Immensely appealing for both kids (playroom, water park, and Guitar Hero–equipped teen center) and parents (43,000-square-foot spa and holistic center founded by Deepak Chopra). Doubles from $429.

33. Mauna Kea Beach Hotel, Big Island, Hawaii

Score: 89.57
On one of Hawaii’s best stretches of sand, where Keiki Club members can build sandcastles and go on beach scavenger hunts. Doubles from $450.

34. Four Seasons Resort Whistler, British Columbia

Score: 89.47
At the base of Blackcomb Mountain, with the biggest rooms in town and ski concierges to wax your boards and warm your boots. Doubles from $385.

35. Disney’s Vero Beach Resort, Florida

Score: 89.38
Calm compound on the Atlantic that’s the perfect pre- or post- Orlando furlough. Doubles from $310.

36. Tides Inn, Irvington, Virginia

Score: 89.33
Crabbing, croquet, and kayaking at a 1946 resort on its own river-flanked peninsula. Doubles from $320.

37. Grand Wailea, Maui, Hawaii

Score: 89.27
Mega-resort where everything is outsize—a 20,000-square-foot kids’ club; nine pools on six levels, with the world’s first water elevator. Doubles from $429.

38. Loews Lake Las Vegas Resort, Henderson, Nevada

Score: 89.23
Great Value Laid-back lakeside spread that’s only 30 minutes (via free shuttle) from the action on the Strip. Doubles from $189.

39. Fairmont Kea Lani, Maui, Hawaii

Score: 89.13
Spacious suites and villas, and the Hawaiian Canoe Experience—learn to paddle like a pro and sing native chants. Doubles from $399.

40. Samoset Resort, Rockport, Maine

Score: 89.09
Seasonal hotel on Maine’s mid-coast favored by New England’s old guard for more than a century. Doubles from $299.

41. Ritz-Carlton, Naples, Florida

Score: 89.07
High-service Gulf Coast getaway—one of Ritz-Carlton’s flagships—with a pioneering marine-biology program for kids. Doubles from $549.

42. Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort & Spa, San Antonio, Texas

Score: 89.05
A stone’s throw from SeaWorld, with activities that include Iron Chef–inspired family cook-offs. Doubles from $350.

43. Kahala Hotel & Resort, Oahu, Hawaii

Score: 88.97
Surfing and paddleboarding lessons are complimentary for all ages, but the iconic blue-tile pool remains the center of the action. Doubles from $515.

44. Montage Laguna Beach, California

Score: 88.75
On a plateau overlooking the Pacific; a new summer program for teens includes beach volleyball, movies, and plein-air painting. Doubles from $695.

44. Villas of Grand Cypress, Orlando, Florida

Score: 88.75
Just down the street from Disney World, a golf resort with a summer academy that accommodates kids as young as five. Doubles from $475.

46. Park Hyatt Aviara (formerly Four Seasons Resort Aviara), San Diego

Score: 88.57
Spanish-colonial getaway with open-air living rooms that make the ideal crash pads after a busy day at nearby Legoland. Doubles from $395.

46. The Broadmoor, Colorado Springs

Score: 88.57
Rocky Mountain mainstay since 1918, with rock climbing, rafting, and much more for families. Doubles from $300.

48. Hilton Waikoloa Village, Big Island, Hawaii

Score: 88.53
Navigate this splashy playland on Waiulua Bay via mahogany canal boat or air-conditioned tram. Doubles from $299.

49. Loews Royal Pacific Resort at Universal Orlando, Florida

Score: 88.52
Guests at this South Pacific–inspired property get front-of-the-line access to Universal attractions. Doubles from $274.

50. Sea Pines Resort, Hilton Head, South Carolina

Score: 88.50
Bustling island vacation community with a peppermint-striped lighthouse as its centerpiece. Doubles from $259.

The Caribbean + Bermuda

1. Hotel Guanahani & Spa, St. Bart’s

Score: 96.00
Creole-style cottages reopening Dec. 15 after a $6 million renovation that will add two family suites. Doubles from $784.

2. Tucker’s Point Hotel & Spa, Bermuda

Score: 94.29
A favorite of the golf and tennis crowd, on the island’s largest private pink-sand beach. Doubles from $590.

3. Beaches Negril Resort & Spa, Jamaica

Score: 91.11
All-inclusive island extravaganza where teens can learn to spin vinyl at a DJ academy and Sesame Street characters show up for meet-and-greets. Adults from $469 per person per night, $105 for children ages 2–16.

4. Beaches Turks & Caicos Resort Villages & Spa, Providenciales

Score: 90.80
Four distinctive themed enclaves (including the new all-suite “Italian” village) share a 45,000-square-foot water park and a 21-and-under nightclub. Adults from $518 per person per night, $105 for children ages 2–16.

5. Jamaica Inn, Ocho Rios, Jamaica

Score: 90.00
The antithesis of the island’s all-inclusive mega-resorts, a 47-suite respite on a private beach. Doubles from $479.

5. Nisbet Plantation Beach Club, Nevis

Score: 90.00
Wicker-furnished cottages on a palm-fringed 18th-century former sugar plantation. Doubles from $656, including breakfast and dinner.

7. Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands

Score: 88.16
The launchpad for the Ambassadors of the Environment by Jean-Michel Cousteau program, offering everything from underwater photography to moonlit snorkeling. Doubles from $599.

8. Grand Cayman Beach Suites, Cayman Islands

Score: 87.62
Right on Seven Mile Beach, with diving, snorkeling, catamaran sailing, and a nine-hole Jack Nicklaus golf course for landlubbers. Doubles from $650.

9. Playa Linda Beach Resort, Aruba

Score: 86.67
Time-share property on a stretch of white sand with apartment-like accommodations for weeklong stays. Studios from $305.

10. Rio Mar Beach Resort & Spa—A Wyndham Grand Resort, Puerto Rico

Score: 86.06
The Atlantic in front; El Yunque rain forest out back; and three pools, two golf courses, and 13 tennis courts in between. Doubles from $529.


1. Esperanza, an Auberge Resort, Los Cabos

Score: 94.44
On the Sea of Cortés, a luxe Cabo compound (kids are allowed in villas only) with an expanded spa. Doubles from $675.

2. Barceló Maya Beach, Riviera Maya

Score: 89.41
Five hotels on a white-sand beach, plus more than 37,000 square feet of pools and water-park features. Doubles from $314, all-inclusive.

3. Ritz-Carlton, Cancún

Score: 89.38
Refined Atlantic-facing rooms, and all-inclusive meals and snacks for the 12-and-under set for just $39 a day. Doubles from $469.

4. Four Seasons Hotel México, Mexico City

Score: 89.33
Central location and the city’s largest standard rooms; borrow a retro urban cruiser bike by Paul Frank. Doubles from $415.

5. Meliá Cabo Real All-Inclusive Beach & Golf Resort, Los Cabos

Score: 88.57
For clans looking to laze around a lagoon-like pool but who still want some on-site action (a rock-climbing wall and a zipline across a white-sand beach). Doubles from $400, all-inclusive.

Central + South America

1. Machu Picchu Sanctuary Lodge, Peru

Score: 91.25
The only hotel adjacent to the ruins, with guided treks to hot springs and hidden jungle temples. Doubles from $1,022.

1. Palacio Duhau – Park Hyatt, Buenos Aires

Score: 91.25
A 1930’s-era palace evoking a bygone Buenos Aires, from chandeliers in guest rooms to tango lessons in a boiserie-paneled salon. Doubles from $505.

3. Llao Llao Hotel & Resort, Golf-Spa, Bariloche, Argentina

Score: 90.44
Classic lodge in the midst of mountains and lakes in Patagonia’s Nahuel Huapi National Park. Doubles from $396, including breakfast and some activities.

4. Los Sueños Marriott Ocean & Golf Resort, Playa Herradura, Costa Rica

Score: 90.35
Central America’s largest pool and a kids’ club with a 10-hour itinerary that includes water polo. Doubles from $289.

5. Paradisus Playa Conchal, Guanacaste, Costa Rica

Score: 90.00
All-suite beach hideaway with a golf course on the northern Pacific coast. From $319 per person, all-inclusive.


1. Four Seasons Hotel, Dublin

Score: 93.75
Great Value Big rooms with views of the Royal Dublin Society showgrounds; kids can try out the on-loan hurling sticks and scooters at nearby Herbert Park. Doubles from $225.

2. Grand Hotel Majestic – Gia Baglioni, Bologna, Italy

Score: 92.73
Fifteenth-century landmark with Venetian furnishings and frescoed ceilings located near the kid-pleasing Ferrari, Ducati, and Lamborghini museums. Doubles from $549.

2. San Clemente Palace & Resort, Venice

Score: 92.73
Monastery turned hotel that now has a spa and pitch-and-putt golf—plus a motorboat to whisk you to Piazza San Marco. Doubles from $320, including breakfast.

4. Palazzo Sasso, Ravello, Italy

Score: 92.50
Dramatic Amalfi Coast villa with two rooftop Jacuzzis and a year-old beach club. Doubles from $515, including breakfast.

5. Mount Juliet Estate, Thomastown, County Kilkenny, Ireland

Score: 92.00
Elegant country estate where kids can take lessons in horseback riding, fishing, and golf. Doubles from $360.

6. Marbella Club Hotel, Golf Resort & Spa, Marbella, Spain

Score: 90.67
Former prince’s residence in Andalusia, with a private, sun-bed-dotted beach and a not-to-be missed buffet lunch. Doubles from $550.

7. Hotel Splendido, Portofino, Italy

Score: 90.00
Board the property’s 36-foot Chris-Craft motorboat for a cruise along the Italian Riviera. Doubles from $941, including breakfast.

8. Olissippo Lapa Palace, Lisbon

Score: 89.33
Palm-shaded outdoor pool and a bird’s-eye view of the city’s red-tile roofs. Doubles from $472, including breakfast.

9. Regina Hotel Baglioni, Rome

Score: 89.23
Belle Époque property on the Via Veneto, minutes from the Spanish Steps. Doubles from $820.

10. Domaine des Hauts de Loire, Loire Valley, France

Score: 88.24
Great Value Families can opt for connecting rooms in this château’s carriage house—then hit the hedge-bordered pool or tour nearby Chaumont-sur-Loire castle. Doubles from $168.


1. Oberoi Vanyavilas, Ranthambhore, India

Score: 98.18
Daily rides on two resident elephants are one highlight at this luxurious tented compound bordering a tiger reserve. Doubles from $875.

2. Four Seasons Resort Bali at Jimbaran Bay, Bali, Indonesia

Score: 95.39
Thatched-roof villas with open-air living rooms and plunge pools; for kids, a new infinity pool and lessons in Balinese dance. Doubles from $780.

3. Oberoi Rajvilas, Jaipur, India

Score: 95.00
Puppet shows based on Rajasthani folktales keep kids busy while parents pamper themselves with ayurvedic treatments at the spa. Doubles from $655.

4. Rambagh Palace, Jaipur, India

Score: 93.85
Marble-floored, mosaic-filled former maharajah’s residence surrounded by polo fields and fountain-dotted formal gardens. Doubles from $627, including breakfast.

5. Oberoi Amarvilas, Agra, India

Score: 93.18
Views of the Taj Mahal from every room and lots of activities guaranteed to keep the little ones busy (including classes in kite-flying and folk dance). Doubles from $655.

6. Shangri-La Hotel, Singapore

Score: 92.31
Opulence on 15 acres in the Orchard Road shopping and business district, a quick drive from the new Universal Studios Singapore. Doubles from $330.

7. Oberoi Udaivilas, Udaipur, India

Score: 92.00
Nouveau Indian palace on 30 acres in the regal Rajasthani city, with boat cruises on Lake Pichola. Doubles from $655.

8. Discovery Shores, Boracay, Philippines

Score: 90.59
On a tiny island known for powder-white-sand beaches; kids learn the Filipino versions of hopscotch and tag and climb up a bamboo pole in a popular local game known as palosebo. Doubles from $400.

9. Sofitel Legend Metropole, Hanoi, Vietnam

Score: 89.41
Old Quarter hot spot that just emerged last year from a four-year renovation; the entire family can join in cooking classes, which start at the local market and end in the hotel kitchen. Doubles from $265.

10. Leela Palace Kempinski Udaipur, Rajasthan, India

Score: 89.23
Sandstone-hued splendor on Lake Pichola with a supervised kids’ buffet and play zone during Sunday brunch. Doubles from $715.

Africa + the Middle East

1. Fairmont Mara Safari Club, Masai Mara, Kenya

Score: 96.67
Spot river-bathing hippos and crocodiles from one of 50 tents abutting the Masai Mara National Reserve, then jump into a Toyota Land Cruiser for a nighttime game drive. Doubles from $489.

2. Tortilis Camp, Amboseli, Kenya

Score: 95.39
Snowcapped Kilimanjaro looms over 17 cushy tents and grounds where elephants roam. Doubles from $970, all-inclusive.

3. Twelve Apostles Hotel & Spa, Cape Town, South Africa

Score: 93.85
Crisply updated rooms and an edge-of-the-world setting on the rocky Atlantic coast. Doubles from $695, including breakfast.

4. Royal Livingstone, Victoria Falls, Zambia

Score: 92.73
Colonial-style rooms on the banks of the Zambezi River; guests can take part in socially responsible initiatives, such as helping local women tie-dye textiles for sale. Doubles from $934.

5. Fairmont Mount Kenya Safari Club, Nanyuki, Kenya

Score: 92.63
Actor William Holden’s manicured mountaintop haven now lures active families for horseback riding, fishing, and morning game walks in the private reserve. Doubles from $299.

6. Singita Kruger National Park, Kruger National Park, South Africa

Score: 91.43
Two lavish lodges—treetop suites or riverside rooms on stilts, along with twice-daily game drives and kids’ safaris with tracking tutorials. Families with children under 10 must rent out an entire lodge. From $1,423 per person, all-inclusive.

7. Serengeti Sopa Lodge, Serengeti National Park, Tanzania

Score: 91.11
Game drives depart twice daily from this friendly, low-key retreat on the plains. Doubles from $450, including meals.

8. Singita Sabi Sand, Sabi Sand Game Reserve, South Africa

Score: 91.00
Private outdoor showers and well-stocked wine cellars, plus photography-focused safaris led by renowned wildlife lensman Adrian Steirn and cultural outings to a nearby village to share meals with locals. From $1,500 per person per night, all-inclusive.

9. Bateleur Camp at Kichwa Tembo Camp, Masai Mara, Kenya

Score: 90.83
All the romance of 1920’s Africa, with Masai storytelling for kids and lessons in tracking wild game. Doubles from $400, including meals and some activities.

10. Royal Malewane, Kruger National Park, South Africa

Score: 90.00
Twenty guests max at this refined bush camp with pull-out-all-the-stops suites (Persian carpets and claw-foot tubs). Families with children under 12 must rent out the entire spread. Doubles from $1,333, all-inclusive.

Top Cruise Lines for Families

Large-Ship (600 or more passengers)

1. Disney Cruise Line
Score: 96.35

2. Royal Caribbean International
Score: 83.14

3. Carnival Cruise Lines
Score: 80.59

4. Princess Cruises
Score: 76.64

5. Norwegian Cruise Line
Score: 74.49

Small-Ship (fewer than 600 passengers)

1. Lindblad Expeditions
Score: 86.90

2. Cruise West
Score: 81.00

3. Yachts of Seabourn
Score: 61.85

4. Windstar Cruises
Score: 60.00

5. Silversea Cruises
Score: 56.23

River Cruising

1. Abercrombie & Kent
Score: 87.37

2. Tauck
Score: 76.15

3. Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection
Score: 68.33

4. Avalon Waterways
Score: 65.71

5. Viking River Cruises
Score: 64.33

Methodology: Rankings are based on reader evaluations collected in Travel + Leisure’s 2010 World’s Best Awards survey. Respondents rated hotels on how well they cater to families. Scores are indexed averages of responses, rounded to the nearest hundredth of a point; in the event of a true tie, properties share the same ranking. For full survey details, visit

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