10 of the Most Kid-Friendly Resorts in the Whole Entire World
Having kids does not mean you’re stuck wearing mom jeans or doomed to an eternity of trying to find babysitters so you can finally indulge in some wanderlust. Here, ten absolutely luxurious resorts around the world that pamper adults and cater to younger generations.
Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa (O’ahu, Hawaii)
First of all, anything Disney is bound to perk kids up. Second, the Aulani resort on the shores of Ko Olina has mastered everything from spa services to waterslides. Kids can learn about Hawaiian culture and participate in Disney-themed activities at Aunty’s Beach House while parents play 18 holes of championship golf on the Ko Olina Golf Club course. Hit up romantic swim spots like the adults-only Wailana Pool or the nighttime infinity pool after spending a day tubing on Waikolohe Stream with the kiddos. Aulani even offers family massages, babysitting services and—duh—appearances by beloved Disney characters.
La Bastide de Gordes (Gordes, France)
Nestled (literally) into the French countryside is La Bastide de Gordes, a spectacular resort in the Luberon region of Provence. Think: fields of purple lavender and narrow cobblestone streets. Built from an original 18th-century castle, it’s the definition of Provençal bliss. Plus, it has a “kingdom” dedicated to les bébés. There’s an indoor game room with arcade games, an outdoor game zone with foosball, organized treasure hunts, Olympiad-style events and a kid-specific swimming pool. On top of all that, children and adults can learn about the vast history of the Luberon region and chow down on Michelin-star level food together.
Paradise Palms (Cairns, Australia)
In the words of Chandler Bing, could this resort be in a better location? Paradise Palms is surrounded by Kewarra Beach, Daintree Rainforest, Macalister Mountain Range and the Great Barrier Reef, to name a few of the spectacular natural landscapes you can see while in North Queensland. There’s a top-ranked 18-hole golf course for parents and a put-put course for kids, not to mention golf lessons for all ages. Adventure Playground, a small circus-themed village full of slides, a miniature soccer field and other fun equipment, is a kid’s dream and perfect for letting loose. One- and two-bedroom family-friendly apartments are available (as are smaller rooms with private balconies for anyone interested in a more secluded getaway). The only thing missing is a spa, but luckily the Desert Fig Beauty & Spa facility in Kewarra Beach is just a short drive away.
Storhogna Högfjällshotell & Spa (Vemdalen, Sweden)
Let’s go to the snowy mountains of Sweden. Storhogna has been twice recognized by the World Travel Awards as Sweden’s Leading Spa Resort, and it’s easy to see why. After a day of dogsledding, snowshoeing, ice-skating or skiing, stop by the spa for a jacuzzi or sauna break. There are kid-specific spa treatments available—and what kid doesn’t love a giant pool? Plupp’s Hut, a playroom named after a Swedish children’s book character, offers Ping-Pong and other funtivities. Did we mention the ski school and movie theater? The northern lights tours? Finally, we can’t not acknowledge the Fjällvistet mountain chalet option. These cabins are located right at the mountain base, complete with an outdoor hot tub, private sauna and master suite fireplace.
Kwandwe Private Game Reserve (Eastern Cape, South Africa)
This is a luxury destination for adventurous families looking to learn a thing or two. Situated near Port Elizabeth on 85 square miles of private land, the Kwandwe Private Game Reserve boasts five different lodges, but only 26 rooms total. As a world-class locale for safaris, visitors can see the Big Five (elephants, lions, Cape buffalo, leopards and rhinos) in addition to countless other species of fauna and flora. Upon arrival, children receive their very own animal checklist and a guide to eco-friendly living (start ’em young!). Families with tinier tots are encouraged to stay at the Ecca Lodge, as it offers babysitting services and a playroom. There are scavenger hunts, kite-building workshops, cooking classes and more. For adults, facials and massages featuring fair trade and organic African plant extracts are available.
Shangri-La Rasa Sentosa Resort & Spa (Sentosa, Singapore)
Sentosa, an island off Singapore’s southern coast, is almost too good to be true. Packed into 1.8 square miles are tons of nature parks and themed attractions like Universal Studios Singapore, Sentosa 4D Adventureland and Adventure Cove Water Park. Sentosa’s perimeter is lined with gorgeous beaches. Amidst it all, there’s the Shangri-La Rasa Resort & Spa. Each of the 454 rooms in the resort has a private balcony and outstanding view. Luxury suites with bigger balconies, separate sitting areas and 24-hour room service are also available. The Shangri-La is beachside, but don’t ignore the enormous pool, complete with Jacuzzis and waterslides. Depending on age, kiddos can hang all day in the Toots Club or the Mini Toots Club, supervised areas full of playgrounds. There’s also the Fun Zone, in case you want to challenge your offspring to a round of air hockey. Bottom line: In a single day you can go on a jungle walk with the fam, get a eucalyptus foot bath and admire your kid’s face paint. Where do we sign up?
Lucknam Park (Wiltshire, England)
The 500 acres of England’s countryside dedicated to Lucknam Park is enough to make anyone feel like Kate or Meghan. Wiltshire is home to Stonehenge, which you’ve got to visit, otherwise you don’t really need to leave the park if you don’t want to. Kids will busy themselves with the archery and pony rides, the cooking classes and tennis instruction. After some outdoor yoga for yourself, take a family horseback riding lesson before touring Lucknam Park’s Arboretum, herb and rose gardens. If you simply must leave the grounds, Cotswalds Water Park and Bristol Zoo are excellent choices. After a long day galavanting around the countryside and dining at the Michelin-starred Hywel Jones, rest your head on luxurious beds in one of the five-star hotel’s 42 rooms or lavish suites (full of antique furniture and modern amenities).
Banyan Tree Mayakoba (Playa del Carmen, Mexico)
The only thing that could make overlooking the white sand and bright blue water of the Caribbean better is helping a baby sea turtle find its way to the ocean. Twice a year, the Banyan Tree Mayakoba in Playa del Carmen offers this experience to kiddos of all ages. If you can’t make it on one of these two dates, there’s still plenty of luxury and fun at the Banyan Tree. Take an eco tour by boat through Mayakoba’s canals or a golf lesson at the country’s only Pure Performance Golf Lab. Sore from swimming in the pool or paddling the canals via kayak? Indulge in a Balinese-style massage at the Banyan Tree Spa. Hungry after a nature trail trek? Fill up on Thai, Italian and Mexican cuisine at one of four on-site restaurants.
Wequassett Resort and Golf Club (Harwich, Massachusetts)
This outstanding resort is Cape Cod’s only Preferred Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc. member, and there’s about a billion reasons why. The 120 rooms are picture-perfect New England digs, complete with views of Pleasant Bay or Round Cove, outdoor hot tubs, fire pits and patios. Villas and cottages are available for larger families or groups. Try sailing and fishing if you’re feeling bold or lounging on a poolside cabana if you’re looking to chill. Of course the kids’ playground is a giant ship (we love a nautical theme), but it also has a ball pit and slides. The Children’s Center offers amazing daytime activities with names like Splash Olympics, Mad Scientists and Sea Star Talent Show. After a round of golf or a family bike ride on the Cape Cod Rail Trail, drop the kids at the Children’s Center between 5 p.m. and 9 p.m. so you and your honey can enjoy oysters and lobster carbonara at Twenty-Eight Atlantic, one of the many fine dining options at Wequassett.
Nau Hotel & Resorts - Lago Montargil & Villas (Alentejo, Portugal)
An hour outside Lisbon is Montargil, a village in north Alentejo, rich with storied history, good food and fine wine. At the Lago Montargil & Villas resort, there are four outdoor swimming pools to choose from (one of which is dedicated entirely to kids). The spa offers Turkish bath services, along with massages, facials and jacuzzi relaxation. Now, when it comes to the little ones, the Lago Montargil’s Kid’s Club provides tons of entertainment. Children can paint, play games, dance Zumba, watch musical performances and more. Plus, if you want to hit up the Montargil Marina alone, babysitting services are available upon request. If one of the 105 resort rooms isn’t big enough, try a Nautical Villa right on the lake. Honestly, you can’t go wrong.