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- Best in the Caribbean: Club Med Punta Cana – See Rates at TripAdvisor "Offers beach volleyball, basketball, and tennis as well as water pursuits like surfing, kayaking, and tubing."
- Best for Skiing: Club Med Pragelato Vialattea – See Rates at TripAdvisor "Unbeatable access to the ski slopes and lifts of the Italian Alps."
- Best Country Retreat: Blackberry Farm – See Rates at TripAdvisor "The resort offers varied outdoor activities."
- Best Safari: Royal Malewane – See Rates at TripAdvisor "One of the continent's best safari experiences."
- Best in the USA: Woodloch Resort – See Rates at TripAdvisor "Access to an extensive range of outdoor adventures and activities."
- Best in Europe: Ikos Oceania – See Rates at TripAdvisor "Appeals to couples and adult travelers but also to younger guests."
- Best in the Maldives: LUX South Ari Atoll – See Rates at TripAdvisor "The resort's private family villas offer plenty of space with outdoor terraces facing directly onto the beach."
- Best in Asia: Anantara Golden Triangle Elephant Camp & Resort – See Rates at TripAdvisor "A fun, adventurous, and educational experience deep in the heart of Thailand's countryside."
- Best in Riviera Maya: Moon Palace Cancun – See Rates at TripAdvisor "The resort has several massive pool complexes."
Best in the Caribbean: Club Med Punta Cana
An easily accessible Caribbean retreat set on the eastern tip of the Dominican Republic, Club Med Punta Cana is surrounded by pristine tropical jungle with sandy beaches and coral reefs right at its doorstep. Just minutes from the Punta Cana International Airport, the resort offers beach volleyball, basketball, and tennis as well as water pursuits like surfing, kayaking, and tubing. Guests should take advantage of the complimentary snorkels or sign up at the PADI-certified dive shop to explore the vibrant coral reefs located just off-shore.
The interactive CREACTIVE zone is a hotel highlight, with a spectacular circus playground clad in brilliant neon green, blue, and orange, where teens can learn how to swing on the trapeze, bounce on giant trampolines, or join in circus arts and crafts in the Big Top theatre. The Club Med Passworld, a venue dedicated to 11- to 17-year-olds, provides supervised activities that include archery, cooking classes, movie screenings, and nightly age-appropriate entertainment. Teen-friendly restaurants include the rustic-chic Hispaniola and alfresco Resturante de Playa Indigo.
Best for Skiing: Club Med Pragelato Vialattea
Offering unbeatable access to the ski slopes and lifts of the Italian Alps' Piedmont region, Club Med Pragelato Vialattea is an ideal location for both ski holidays and alpine summer retreats. During winter, the ski-in, ski-out resort offers a private cable car to carry guests to the famous Vialattea ski area, which contains a variety of piste and off-piste runs, with varying levels of difficulty providing suitable terrain for guests of all experience levels. As well as skiing and snowboarding, other winter activities include snowmobiling, snowshoe hikes, and dogsledding. During the summer, guests can swim in the outdoor pool, cycle through leafy forests on mountain bikes, and look for marmots, birds, and other wildlife on nature treks or horse rides through the surrounding countryside.
The resort offers chalet-style accommodation, built in modern alpine style with exposed ceiling beams and pine wood accents. Rooms and suites provide space for up to six guests and come with spacious living areas with bright homey furnishings and large bathrooms with walk-in showers. Family-friendly restaurants include the La Trattoria pizza house, La Tana, which serves traditional Alpine cuisine (think: fondue and raclette), and the stylish buffet restaurant Il Piemonte.
Surrounded by thick forests, open fields, and leafy glades, Blackberry Farm offers an idyllic country escape in the heart of nature. Located in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains of Tennessee, the resort offers varied outdoor activities, from horseback rides through forests and streams and cycling tours through the countryside to kayaking, paddle boarding, and wakeboarding on nearby lakes. Guests can test their speed of eye and steadiness of aim on the archery, clay pigeon shooting, and paintball courses, or spend a relaxing afternoon fly-fishing for trout and exploring the surrounding hills on a scenic hike.
Other facilities set among the lush countryside include a family pool and an adults-only pool, tennis courts, picnic tables, and gazebos with open firepits. There's also a farm school — an interactive and educational experience that teaches guests about local food provenance and production. Rustic but luxurious cottages and private houses offer secluded accommodations that have up to five bedrooms, easily enough room for larger groups. Wooden walls and ceilings, natural-finish wooden furnishings, and large stone-lined fireplaces build on the property's country atmosphere. The gourmet farm-to-table cuisine is renowned; exquisite seasonal fare is paired with a respectable selection of craft beer, wine, and spirits.
Best Safari: Royal Malewane
Located in the Greater Kruger National Park in South Africa, Royal Malewane is one of the continent's best safari experiences, offering excellent game viewing with professional and experienced guides and luxurious camp accommodations. Teens are welcome to stay in all types of suites, as well as the Africa House — an exclusive-use villa with six bedrooms that was designed to accommodate larger families and groups. Royal suites come with two bedrooms that offer privacy, spacious living areas, a bathroom with a deep soaking tub, and a furnished outdoor deck with a private pool.
Teens can participate in the Junior Ranger course, which offers interactive materials to enhance the educational aspects of wildlife viewing. Participants are issued a scat identification catalog, moldings of animal tracks, bird and plant identification guides, and a book with information on local fauna, languages, and culture. Kruger National Park is renowned as one of the best places in Africa to view the Big Five: African Elephant, Black Rhino, Cape Buffalo, Lion, and Leopard, as well as smaller game and hundreds of bird species, with twice daily safari tours offering plenty of opportunity to view wildlife.
Best in the USA: Woodloch Resort
Tucked away in a pocket of lush woodland on the shores of Pennsylvania's Teedyuskung Lake, Woodloch Resort styles itself as one of America’s best all-inclusive family resorts, offering facilities and visitors entertained both indoors and outdoors the whole year through. The resort offers archery courses, shooting ranges, zip line courses, and outdoor climbing walls. Teens and parents can bring out their competitive sides on the paintball and archery tag courses, racing on the go-kart track, charging each other in bumper cars and boats, or in a friendly game of tennis. More relaxed activities include mini-golf, haycart rides, and nature walks through the nearby woodlands. Summer on the lake means boating, water skiing, swimming, and kayaking, while in the winter the lake turns into a gigantic ice-skating rink. Other cold weather activities include snow tubing and snowshoeing, while the excellent-value Ski Club Program provides access to the nearby Big Bear ski area.
With such a range of outdoor adventures, guests will seldom want to venture inside, but when they do, they will find indoor pools, including a fun splash zone, bowling alleys, games rooms, and an indoor skating rink open throughout the year. Guestrooms with country-style décor cater up to six guests, while four- to six-bedroom cottages can accommodate larger families and groups.
Best in Europe: Ikos Oceania
Overlooking a secluded, private stretch of white sand, Ikos Oceania is a luxurious beach resort that appeals to couples and adult travelers but also provides services that will appeal to younger guests. Down on the sands, activities include beach soccer, volleyball, badminton, tennis, kayaking, and paddleboarding. Elsewhere around the resort, guests can play tennis and basketball or ride mountain bikes through the olive groves in the surrounding countryside.
Teens can also participate in Greek dance lessons, yoga classes, and karaoke sessions. Four outdoor pools offer swimming or lounging for the whole family, while an indoor pool offers respite from the sun. The Just4Teens club, run by a professional UK childcare provider, offers an extensive program of supervised activities such as water sports, soccer and tennis, cooking classes and spa sessions. Family suites can accommodate up to six guests and come with separate children's’ bedrooms with their own showers, smart TVs, and stunning Mediterranean views.
Best in the Maldives: LUX South Ari Atoll
An intimate luxury resort spread out over a sandy coral atoll, the LUX South Ari Atoll offers families an idyllic island vacation in a secluded tropical paradise. Exploring the marine wonderland surrounding the island is a highlight of the resort; a PADI-certified dive center offers comprehensive training courses and excursions out onto the water where guests can swim with turtles, manta rays and, for a lucky few, whale sharks. Closer to shore there are abundant coral reefs for guests to snorkel through. There is also a huge range of water sports, with non-motorized equipment including stand-up paddleboards, Hobie cats, and windsurfing rigs; motorsports include jet skiing, water skiing, wakeboarding, and thrilling fly boards. Fishers can cast a line into the waters to catch their own delicious supper, and catamarans offer peaceful sunset cruises around the islands.
The Studio 17 teens’ club is run by specially-trained hotel staff and offers activities including beach sports, adventure tours of the island, and educational courses in local dance, language, and culture. The resort's private family villas offer plenty of space with outdoor terraces facing directly onto the beach. If you opt to stay in an overwater villa, there is a trade-off — teens will have to sleep on the sofa bed.
Best in Asia: Anantara Golden Triangle Elephant Camp & Resort
Located in Chiang Rai, near the border of Myanmar and Laos, Anantara Golden Triangle Elephant Camp & Resort provides a fun, adventurous, and educational experience deep in the heart of Thailand's countryside. Interactions with elephants are central to the experience; guests accompany them on daily walks, dine alongside them over group picnics, and take sunset strolls with them to a scenic hilltop that looks out over all three countries. The resort ensures the elephants are treated with the utmost care and respect, so they do not offer elephant rides or other touristy gimmicks. Instead, the focus is on engaging with the gentle creatures in a personal, low impact manner and observing the enigmatic animals in as natural of a setting as possible.
Outside of elephant excursions, the hotel also offers a range of other activities, including yoga sessions, riverboat rides, and Muay Thai kickboxing classes. A stunning infinity pool and Jacuzzi provide next-level jungle views. Accommodations include smaller country view suites that can accommodate parents with just one teen and family suites with space for up to six people.
Best in Riviera Maya: Moon Palace Cancun
Facing a sandy beach and surrounded by green Yucatan forest, the Moon Palace is a sprawling mega-resort that offers a ton of activities both on- and offsite. The resort has several massive pool complexes, including a family pool with fun waterslides and the Flowrider surf simulator. On the water, guests can use kayaks and paddle boards or hire jet skis; on land, there are mini-golf courses, a beach volleyball court, tennis courts, and bikes for hire. Budding golfers can also tackle the greens and fairways of the world-class, 27-hole golf course at the back of the resort.
The futuristic Wired games lounge contains air hockey and pool tables, arcade games such as racing consoles, dance master machines, and basketball toss, and a café serves snacks, ice-cream, and non-alcoholic beverages. Rooms and suites can accommodate families between four to six people and come with amenities including smart TVs and double whirlpool tubs. The resort also arranges a variety of excursion packages, conducting tours of natural and cultural sites such as ancient Mayan temples, colonial towns, coral reefs, and tranquil cenotes, which are natural pools sunk deep into limestone bedrock.