The World's Best Hotels and Resorts for Families
We’ve reached an exciting moment in family travel: not only are parents increasingly willing to take their kids to locales farther from home, but children themselves are driving their whole families’ decisions about where to go and what to do. (And as hotels adapt and expand their offerings, parents are also having more fun as a result.)
Every year for the World’s Best Awards, Travel + Leisure asks readers to rank travel experiences across the globe — to share their opinions on the top hotels, resorts, cities, islands, cruise lines, spas, airlines, and more. Readers taking the WBA survey considered how well hotels of all stripes — from ultra-luxe safari lodges to ski resorts and all-inclusive island escapes — cater to families. (The 2019 survey is still open, and you can vote for your favorites until March 4.)
The most recent list of picks reflects several iconic domestic destinations — including Florida, the Caribbean, and New England — along with other choices much further afield, in places like Rivas, Nicaragua, and Bangalore, India. But regardless of the geography, it’s clear that T+L readers prioritize a constellation of family-friendly activities, amenities, inventive children’s and teen programming, and accommodations that work for groups of all ages and sizes. Here, the Top 50 family-friendly properties around the world as chosen by T+L readers.
Sea Pines Resort — Hilton Head Island, South Carolina
The Sea Pines Resort possesses an air of European luxury, which stems in part from its sumptuous furnishings, but the Lowcountry scenery and hospitality prevent the property from feeling staid or formal. Families often mix marine— activities, such as dolphin tours and sailing lessons, with whichever seasonal festivals are going on during their stay.
Wild Dunes Resort — Isle of Palms, South Carolina
Wild Dunes Resort spans 1,600 acres of barrier-island oceanfront. Eco-activities like beach olympics, kayaking, and junior marine biology excursions to the nearby marsh take center stage for kids, and adult versions are also available.
Gibb's Farm — Karatu, Tanzania
Gibb’s Farm distinguishes itself among African safari lodges for a multitude of reasons, including its elegant, ultra cozy cottages (there are only 17) and ultra-personalized service. The spectrum of farm and safari activities, though, makes it particularly compelling for families, who can participate in bird censuses with naturalists, breadmaking, and vegetable harvesting on-site or head out on foot or bike for excursions to local villages or waterfalls.
Beaches Turks & Caicos
The sprawling Beaches Turks & Caicos complex packs in five separate residential complexes, 12 miles of beachfront, and a 45,000-square-foot waterpark. Among the exciting amenities for tweens and teens in particular: the XBox Play gaming lounge, Trench Town arcade, and the Club Liquid lounge, which hosts dance parties during the day.
Atlantis The Palm, Dubai — Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Fans of Moana and The Little Mermaid will be mesmerized by all the marine adventures at Atlantis The Palm, Dubai, where regular residents include dolphins and sea lions. A waterpark and aquarium encourage fun and learning.
The Somerset on Grace Bay — Providenciales, Turks and Caicos
Built as a gated community, the Somerset on Grace Bay provides well-appointed, apartment-style accommodations, complete with spacious luxury kitchens. Staffers can take of the grocery shopping ahead of guests’ arrival so families can get right into vacation mode.
Discovery Shores Boracay Island — Boracay, Philippines
From a karaoke lounge with over 1000 options to jet-ski sessions on the bay, the wide array amenities and activities at Discovery Shores Boracay Island ensure that guests stay entertained, no matter their age or interests.
Sandpearl Resort — Clearwater Beach, Florida
Sunshine, warm waters, and soft white sand are all abundant at Sandpearl Resort, but it’s the service-oriented staffers who put this spacious hotel over the top. Should little ones tire of splashing around in the pool, they can also participate in yoga with the rest of their family.
Tierra Atacama Boutique Hotel & Spa — San Pedro de Atacama, Chile
A striking design hotel in the otherworldly Chilean outback may not seem very family-friendly, but the Tierra Atacama Boutique Hotel and Spa delivers memorable experiences for adventure and nature enthusiasts. Trekking, for example, gets taken to the next level when the ultimate destination is the Puritama Thermal Springs.
The Nantucket Hotel & Spa — Nantucket, Massachusetts
Quintessential New England summers come alive at the Nantucket Hotel and Spa, which first opened in 1891. In addition to seeing live music and taking antique fire truck rides, families can set aside time for a portrait session on Brant Point Beach by an award-winning photographer.
Ayana Resort & Spa — Bali, Indonesia
Perched 100 feet above the Indian Ocean on nearly 200 acres of lush green jungle, the Ayana Resort and Spa has a wealth of diversions to offer families who stay in one of the 368 rooms and villas. Water-based fun comes in the form of 12 swimming pools and the pristine coastline, while land-based activities run the gamut from golfing to cooking.
Disney's Yacht Club Resort — Lake Buena Vista, Florida
Balancing a formal setting and low-key vibe, Disney’s Yacht Club Resort elevates the standard family vacation. Its prime location puts Epcot within walking distance and Hollywood Studios a quick boat ride away.
Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa — Lake Buena Vista, Florida
A certain vintage charm is inherent in Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, which was designed to resemble a Victorian mansion. In addition to popular amenities, such as arcade games and specialty cruises, this property also hosts a mesmerizing electrical water parade.
Six Senses Yao Noi — Yao Noi, Thailand
Phang Nga Bay’s turquoise waters — the stunning backdrop for Six Senses Yao Noi — work just as well for lounging as they do excursions. Diving, snorkeling, and kayak tours through the nearby mangrove forest suite a range of ages, but kids can also delve into creative activities like cooking and batik painting.
Six Senses Douro Valley — Lamego, Portugal
The wellness-focused brand turned a spacious 19th-century manor house into the 57-room Six Senses Duoro Valley. Adults will undoubtedly want to explore the region’s superlative vineyards or spend time in the spa, but there’s plenty of all-ages fun, including cycling and canoeing.
The Lodge at Vail, A RockResort — Vail, Colorado
The Lodge at Vail draws avid skiers who want to hit the slopes first thing in the morning, though every family member is welcome (dogs included). A mix of rooms, chalets, and residences ensure families can find accommodations that work for them.
The Arrabelle at Vail Square, A RockResort — Vail, Colorado
Situated at the base of the Eagle Bahn gondola, the Arrabelle at Vail Square puts ski-loving families within steps of the slopes during peak winter season. Summers are also action-packed, taking advantage of the warmer weather through orienteering, rebound trampolining, and other alfresco pursuits.
The Oberoi, New Delhi — New Delhi, India
Popular with business travelers, the elegant Oberoi, New Delhi, can easily serve as home base for families who want to see the city’s storied sites, including the Red Fort, Humayun’s Tomb, and Jama Masjid. Hotel staff can also help curate interest-specific activities, such as shopping tours or Indian-cooking classes.
Resort at Paws Up — Greenough, Montana
Whether you’re getting away with your immediate crew or staging a multi-generational, multi-family reunion, the Resort at Paws Up offers highly customizable schedules that might include cow croquet, go-karts, obstacle courses, and hot-air ballooning. Accommodations also lend themselves to groups of varying sizes, with options that range from timber cabins and multi-person luxury tents.
Four Seasons Hotel Singapore — Singapore, Singapore
Centrally located near the country’s famed botanical gardens and zoo, the Four Seasons Hotel Singapore puts families in close proximity to the city’s most popular attractions for easy exploring. Other fun amenities for the younger set include miniature bathrobes and a dedicated section of the Sunday brunch buffet.
Waldorf Astoria, Orlando — Orlando, Florida
Though it puts Disney’s theme parks within easy reach, the Waldorf Astoria, Orlando, feels worlds away when it’s time to wind down for the day. During their stay, families can also spend time bonding during family scavenger hunts, liquid-nitrogen ice cream socials, and other inventive activities.
Disney's Polynesian Resort — Lake Buena Vista, Florida
The South Pacific comes alive at Disney’s Polynesian Resort, where families can feast at a luau and watch hula or fire-dancing performances. Epcot and the Magic Kingdom are both a quick monorail ride away.
The Cloister — Sea Island, Georgia
While the building itself may channel a Mediterranean villa, the hospitality at The Cloister couldn’t be more Southern. Families can take advantage of the natural surroundings to go crabbing or fishing, help release sea turtles, or play tennis alfresco. Pampering at the spa can also be tailored to any age, with gentle treatments for both kids and parents.
Wequassett Resort and Golf Club — Harwich, Massachusetts
A serene hideaway on Cape Cod, Wequassett Resort and Golf Club excels in creating a wealth of options for families to enjoy during their stay. The children’s center goes beyond standard programming to include chef-for-a-day projects, talent shows, science-based workshops, and more, while the adults can choose from options like leisure and water sports and guided kayak tours.
Disney's Beach Club Resort — Lake Buena Vista, Florida
From character breakfasts to pirate adventure cruises, Disney’s Beach Club Resort provides all the imaginative hallmarks you’d want in a quintessential Disney vacation. A legion of well-trained babysitters ensures that parents can get away for some quiet time or spa treatments, too.
Disney's Vero Beach Resort — Vero Beach, Florida
The magic here comes not from access to a theme park, but access to a quaint seaside community and miles of warm Atlantic Treasure Coast sand. Disney’s Vero Beach Resort sits near nesting grounds for local Loggerhead turtles, so conservation plays a role in activities during the summer, but year-round fun can be had with miniature golf, campfire sing-alongs, and sports lessons.
Hyatt Regency Lost Pines Resort & Spa — Lost Pines, Texas
Texas Hill Country provides a rustic backdrop for the Hyatt Regency Lost Pines Resort and Spa. Onsite activities provide equal opportunities for adults and kids alike to kick back, whether it’s by drifting along on the lazy river, kayaking on the Colorado River, or learning to shoot a bow and arrow.
Loews Royal Pacific Resort At Universal Orlando — Orlando, Florida
Dino-loving little ones would leap at the chance to stay in the Jurassic World-themed suite, but all families will find themselves well cared for at the Loews Royal Pacific Resort At Universal Orlando. A stay comes with benefits like early admission to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Bonus: Pets (both dogs and cats) are also welcome on the property and get a host of amenities of their own.
C Lazy U Guest Ranch — Near Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado
Nestled in the Rocky Mountains, the rugged C Lazy U Guest Ranch brings together the cozy accents you’d expect (stone hearths, heavy woven throws) with exciting outdoor activities, such as fly-fishing and cattle pushing. The kids’ programming is divided up into four divisions to ensure children get appropriate supervision and feel encouraged to indulge their curiosity.
Hawks Cay Resort — Duck Key, Florida
Families will find themselves spoiled for choice at Hawks Cay Resort. Of particular note: the Camp Hawk Environmental Education Program, which includes touch-tank demos and a field trip to the Everglades, and the Dolphin Connection, where visitors of all ages can play with the namesake animal.
Rancho Santana — Rivas, Nicaragua
Though political unrest in other parts of the country has caused tourism numbers to dip, Rancho Santana has continued to draw travelers, thanks to its dramatic coastal scenery. It’s a world-class surfing destination, but there’s plenty else to do, including yoga, spa treatments, horseback riding, and a kids club for ages 4 through 12.
The Mulia Bali — Bali, Indonesia
No matter your age, it’s hard not to be impressed by the jaw-dropping ocean views at the all-suites Mulia Bali. While kids are off participating in Balinese dance classes or flower-arranging workshops, parents can avail themselves of the holistic spa and fitness center.
Big Cedar Lodge — Ridgedale, Missouri
Overlooking Table Rock Lake, the stately Big Cedar Lodge offers a luxury Ozarks experience, with room types that work for families large, small, or multi-generational. Activities are equally varied, from fitness classes and ski lessons to paddle boats and bonfires.
Hacienda AltaGracia, an Auberge Resort — Pérez Zeledón, Costa Rica
Experiences at Hacienda AltaGracia immerse families in local nature and culture. One day might entail learning to cook a traditional meal with another family who lives nearby or visiting a tribal village; another might be more action-packed with ziplining through a cloud forest or even whitewater rafting.
Disney's Wilderness Lodge — Lake Buena Vista, Florida
With stone fireplaces, a wending creek, and plentiful pine trees, Disney’s Wilderness Lodge feels plucked from the Pacific Northwest — or, judging by its Storybook Dining events, perhaps Snow White’s kingdom. Other activities unique to this cozy resort include motorized boat rentals and nature trails designed for jogging.
Nihi Sumba Island — Sumba, Indonesia
Thirty-three villas spread across 560 acres give families plenty of privacy during their stay at Nihi Sumba Island. Soft adventure activities, such as trekking and snorkeling, can be tailored to a variety of ages.
Whiteface Lodge — Lake Placid, New York
Tucked in the Adirondack Mountain’s forests, Whiteface Lodge exudes log-cabin charm, with cushy furnishings throughout and gas fireplaces in most of the suites. Kids can participate in a broad range of complimentary activities — relays, arts and crafts, science experiments, and more — while adults can entertain themselves with tobogganing, snowmobiling, or fishing, depending on the season.
Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge — Lake Buena Vista, Florida
Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge feels like a world unto itself, with more than 200 animals and birds calling the property home. Apart from seeing zebras, kudus, and other creatures, families can spend relaxing at a variety of pools and the water playground.