From a safari in Kenya to a sailing camp in Geneva, here are some top picks for your next family getaway.
NORTH AMERICA AND THE CARIBBEAN
With more than 10 beaches, some with little to no waves, 30 miles of flat biking trails, and a charming, walkable downtown with cobblestone streets and kid appropriate museums, Nantucket, Massachusetts, makes for an unforgettable family getaway. Families staying at the White Elephant on Nantucket harbor can ride through town on the hotel’s complimentary Priority Bicycles before retiring for the night with an in-room camp-out, complete with teepees and faux, indoor campfires.
Recommended Room: Guests who book either of the White Elephant’s in-town three-bedroom lofts, Easy Street or Loft at 32 Main, receive the keys to a BMW hybrid for the duration of their stay, making it easy to get around the island with the family.
Long-immersed in the glamour of New York City’s world-renowned theater productions, The Chatwal invites its littlest guests to reenact their favorite theater moments thanks to the new in-room ‘Dressing Room’ trunk. The steamer trunk is filled with accessories to transform little ones into character, including Elsa’s tiara, the Aladdin-inspired magic carpet and genie lamp, and Harry Potter’s signature glasses and wand.
Recommended Room: The one-bedroom suite collection puts families’ needs first: the renovated bedrooms include a spacious living area with a custom-designed queen-size murphy bed and an in-room kitchenette opening out to a spacious terrace.
While famous for wine, Napa Valley has plenty to offer families. Favorite activities include: a stop at one of the largest “playgrounds” at Bothe Napa Valley State Park, home to swimming holes and hiking trails; a tour of the Castello di Amorosa, a 13th-century Tuscan castle, reached via a Gondola ride (grape juice included); and di Rosa art museum where children can participate in activities including portrait painting and sculpture classes.
Recommended Room: Set among 250-acres of rolling hills in St. Helena, Meadowood’s Hillside Lodges can be arranged anywhere from one to four bedrooms, accommodating families of all sizes. The lodge is complete with a spacious living room including a stone fireplace, kitchen, and French doors leading out to a private balcony and views of the resort’s wooded hillsides.
Families staying at Jamaica’s GoldenEye can opt for an active day of paddle boarding and kayaking on the property’s calm lagoon or a guided snorkeling excursion through the turquoise Oracabessa Bay, home to 2,000 pieces of coral in shades of red, pink, yellow, and orange. Kids can join Ramsey Dacosta, Ian Fleming’s former gardener who still works on the property, for coconut carving and nature walks. Daily complimentary kid’s yoga is also available.
Recommended Room: The five-bedroom Fleming Villa is the site where all 14 James Bond novels were penned. Families will enjoy dinner in his sunken garden where Fleming used to entertain the likes of Katharine Hepburn and Noel Coward. The grounds are home to a private beach, pool, and movie screening room.
CENTRAL AND SOUTH AMERICA
At Nayara Gardens, after a day out ziplining or playing in a waterfall, kids can spend time in the sloth sanctuary and get a close look at the sedentary Costa Rican native.
Recommended Room: The 1,135-square-foot Rainforest Villa features a wraparound terrace with a jacuzzi, colorful hammock, and both indoor and outdoor showers. Coming soon: sister resort Nayara Tented Camp will open on December 19, 2019 offering interconnecting luxury tents overlooking the Arenal Volcano for multigenerational travelers.
At UXUA Casa Hotel & Spa in Trancoso, Brazil, kids can learn the ancient art of capoeira, a traditional Bahian sport that blends martial arts, acrobatics, and dance at the local school sponsored by UXUA. Guests are invited to either train privately in the hotel’s studio, or side by side with over 65 local children and young adults at the Casa da Cultura (Cultural Center).
Recommended Room: The restored three-bedroom Zé e Zilda is named for its former inhabitants – local Bahians and parents who raised their family in this very casa. Ideal for families traveling with teenagers, the main house is separated from the third garden suite by a private patio and flowering pergola.
For families staying in a Studio Suite and above, The Kensington concierge team will set up a teepee in the room so little ones can take to adventure no matter the weather. At turndown, kids receive their own lantern, milk, and homemade chocolate chip cookies.
Recommended Room: Families seeking a truly ‘royal’ experience in London, England, can stay in the three-bedroom Knightsbridge Suite where an in-room afternoon tea can be served in-suite or out on the balcony. Families can enjoy two decorative fireplaces, gaze out over London with floor-to-ceiling windows, and have the run of the Jacuzzi in the marble bathroom.
It’s no parents allowed at La Petite Réserve at La Réserve Geneva, where a trained staff oversees children ages six-months to 13-years. The kid’s club occupies a treehouse complete with game tables, an obstacle course, a suspension bridge, and a fireman’s pole. During the summer season children can participate in tennis and sailing camps.
Recommended Room: The Junior Suite Terrace with its king bedroom and separate living room can accommodate two adults and two little ones and can be connected to another Junior Suite for those looking for even more space. Plus, guests have their own front yard in the form of a private terrace looking out onto the park and lake.
andBeyond’s new Bateleur Camp, just reopened in March 2018 on Kenya’s Masai Mara, is offering their fun and educational WILDchild program for the smallest safari-goers. Kids can learn to identify animal tracks and droppings, learn to build a fire the Maasai way, and play some fun games and activities while learning about conservation and the role they can play in protecting the world’s fauna.
Recommended Room: The camp’s Family Tent consisting of two interconnected tents with ensuite bathrooms and private verandas accommodate two adults and up to three children. The old explorer maps wallpapering the interior of the tents are sure to inspire an adventurous spirit in all.
Royal Mansour in Marrakech, Morocco, turns little ones into global citizens with its Kid’s Club, complete with Moroccan art activities, Arabic lessons, and a complimentary children’s book following Lila, a young girl exploring the hotel’s winding passageways and gardens. The hotel also offers a hands-on chocolate making experience for children in their on-site Chocolate Laboratory, allowing kids to taste-test their creations.
Recommended Room: Modeled after traditional Moroccan homes, each of the three-story riads are complete with a lounge, living room, dining room, and private rooftop terrace with plunge pool. The two-bedroom Privilege riads are ideal for families sitting across 4,300 square feet with dedicated butler service.
Budding botanist? Future Michelin-starred chef? Belmond Napasai in Koh Samui, Thailand, lets young travelers indulge their career aspirations with the “My First Job” program. Guests can join the hotel’s head chef in the kitchen to create chocolate roses, or blend local papaya and coconut juices with the bartender for a delicious mocktail. Kids can also learn the art of Thai dance from a local expert.
Recommended Room: Situated among 17 acres of tropical gardens, Belmond Napasai offers a secluded retreat for the whole family with a collection of standalone residences overlooking Baan Tai beach. These oceanfront, multi-level private homes range from one- to four-bedrooms and feature their own pool, massage sala, and direct beach access.
(Photos courtesy of included hotels and resorts)