You know what they say about the family that takes cheesy travel snapshots together? Well, if they stay at the right hotels, they generally play, eat and have an all-around good time together, too. But finding a resort that offers something for everyone is no small task. As a gift to you, we’ve scouted around the globe and found places that have this age-old dilemma pretty well figured out. So, pack up the tots and teens — everybody is in for a luxurious stay at these five spots this summer.
The Resort at Pelican Hill, Newport Coast, CA
From a cursory glance, this Orange County resort’s Tuscan-style ambiance might strike you as more of a couples haven. But in actuality, the Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star Pelican Hill loves guests of every age. Parents are certainly more attracted to the two Tom Fazio-designed golf courses and the Five-Star spa. We’re pretty sure the young ones in the bunch will be ecstatic about the Camp Pelican Clubhouse, a facility made for frolicking that features such goodies as video games, a children’s pool and a ping-pong table. As for the duffy boat tours on Newport Harbor, the endless-pizza at Coliseum Pool & Grill’s “Family Night Out” and the spacious, amenity-stuffed three-bedroom villas (gourmet kitchen, marble showers, two-car garage), they’re certain to put a smile on everyone’s faces.
VILA VITA Parc, Portugal
Set on 54 stunning acres of greenery that overlook the sparkling Atlantic Ocean, this southern Portugal resort marked by Moorish-rooted architecture screams romantic getaway. But almost as loud as its romantic woos are the laughs of children and their happy parents enjoying the resort’s fabulous facilities together. In fact, with VILA VITA’s Family Fun Package, the limits to how much fun one household can have are put to the test. The four- or seven-night deals include full daily breakfasts for everyone, three-course meals throughout the day, entrance to the nearby Zoomarine water park for the kids, popcake-making lessons and much more. Of course, after marching their children all over the place, the grown-ups will most certainly need a massage. It’s great then that the package also includes a spa credit for every adult.
The Cloister, Sea Island, GA
When it comes to traveling with toddlers, tweens and teens, few places are as accommodating as this Mediterranean-designed Five-Star resort on Sea Island. Tykes will love all the games and crafts offered at the hands-on Camp Cloister while their older siblings might enjoy releasing some teenage-fueled angst at the supervised clay target shooting class. Twenty-somethings in the crew may find it fun to release some steam in the twice-weekly basketball tournaments. Still, when the entire family gathers at dinnertime at Tavola over a few bowls of fettuccine primavera or converges for a film at the 100-seat Beach Club Movie Theatre, it’ll likely be the parents expressing the most joy.
Villa le Rose, Italy
Family reunions are fine for a day or two, but after a while, most folks are ready to go their separate ways. At this sprawling, six-bedroom villa, however, that isn’t quite the case. We’re pretty sure the reluctance to leave has something to do with the 18th-century décor (canopied beds, floral rugs, frescoed bathrooms), the amazing views of the Chianti hillside and the private tours available of the neighboring Ducati and Lamborghini factories. But then again, it could just be the smell of star chef Donatella Zampoli’s ravioli al brasato. The award-winning toque is available for exclusive cooking classes, teaching guests how to prepare traditional dishes such as polletto ai peperoni and lasagna napoletane for gatherings of all sizes.
The Ritz-Carlton, Naples, Florida
Though three miles of pristine white sand beaches, 450 spectacular guest rooms and suites and 36 holes of Greg Norman-fashioned golf are definite draws to this Floridian retreat, it’s the 11 fish- and crab-filled aquariums at the eco-sanctuary Nature’s Wonders that prove the most impressive family magnet. Beyond all of that aquatic excitement, though, the Five-Star hotel has plenty of happenings on land as well. For starters, there are a host of beach activities to enjoy such as parasailing and stand-up paddle boarding. There’s also the exclusive Eye Wonders program, which brings out the astronomer in adolescents through stargazing, sampling astronaut food and other educational endeavors. If you feel like the resort is too kid-friendly, though, join in on all the awesomeness at vue, the Ritz’s futuristic entertainment lounge that features everything a tech-loving family could want, from Xbox 360 systems to a 63-inch LCD television and Mac stations.
Photos Courtesy of Lungarno Collection, The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, LLC and The Irvine Company Resort Properties