The 9 Best Family Resorts of 2020

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The Rundown

Best Overall: Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort, United States – See Rates at TripAdvisor

"When you’re not riding the roller coasters on a private VIP tour, the water slides at Explorer Island provide hours of family fun."

Best Runner-Up: The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands – See Rates at TripAdvisor

"Water sports range from glass-bottom boat expeditions to mangrove kayak adventures and shipwreck snorkeling trips."

Best Kids Club: Moon Palace Cancun, Mexico – See Rates at TripAdvisor

"Children aged 4 and over may play in the Sunrise playroom alone, while babies aged 3 and under have their own supervised area."

Best for Babies: Sani Club, Greece – See Rates at TripAdvisor

"Private nannies are available for hire and “Babewatch" staff is on hand to play with little ones on the beach while you go for a swim."

Best for Teens: Beaches Turks & Caicos, Turks and Caicos Islands – See Rates at TripAdvisor

"Club Liquid allows teenagers the independence they crave while also affording parents peace of mind."

Best for Animal Lovers: Rocking Horse Ranch Resort, United States – See Rates at TripAdvisor

"Located near Highland in New York’s Hudson Valley, rates include unlimited horseback riding on over 500 acres of trails."

Best for Nature Lovers: The Cavern Drakensberg Resort & Spa, South Africa – See Rates at TripAdvisor

"Activities like guided hikes, fly fishing, mountain biking, and horse riding make the most of the stunning surroundings."

Best for Winter Fun: The Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe, United States – See Rates at TripAdvisor

"Ski instructors offer clinics for all ages, while other family-friendly options include tubing, sledding, and snowshoeing."

Best Boutique: Karma Jimbaran, Indonesia – See Rates at TripAdvisor

"The Three Kids Monkey Club will look after your kids while you attend a Balinese cooking class or receive a chakra blessing."

01 of 09

Best Overall: Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort, United States

Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort

Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort  

For most children, a visit to Florida’s Walt Disney World Resort is a dream come true. The Four Seasons Resort Orlando caters to both kids and adults, with an in-park location that feels separated from the crowds and chaos but still offers perks like Extra Magic Hours access. When you’re not riding the roller coasters on a private VIP tour, the water slides and lazy river at Explorer Island water park provide hours of family fun. Adult highlights include The Spa and the Tom Fazio-designed golf course. 

Meanwhile, little ones will love the arts and crafts, outdoor sports, and supervised swim sessions offered by the Kids For All Seasons program. Of the resort’s six restaurants and bars, Ravello is a standout for families because of its character breakfasts and menu of Italian favorites that even the pickiest eaters would devour. For a more refined experience, watch the fireworks over Cinderella Castle from the rooftop steakhouse Capa. Family floor plans at this high-end Disney resort range from rooms with two double beds to suites with a separate living room. 

02 of 09

Best Runner-Up: The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands

The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands

The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands

If it’s a Caribbean beach break you’re after, consider The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman. Located right on Seven Mile Beach, one of the top beaches in the Cayman Islands, The Ritz-Carlton offers direct ocean access and 144 acres of landscaped grounds for the kids to explore. Water sports range from glass-bottom boat expeditions to mangrove kayak adventures and shipwreck snorkeling trips. On land, tennis courts and swimming pools offer plenty of opportunities to get active. Don’t miss Starfish Cay, a children’s water park complete with zero-entry splash pools and water slides. 

Supervised kids activities include scientific experiments, scavenger hunts, and glow-in-the-dark parties. For teens, the video games and sports tables in the Wave Game Room are a major perk, while a golf course and spa cater to the adults in your group. Lazy days call for sipping cocktails at the beachfront Bar Jack, or gathering for family feasts at the laidback Italian restaurant Andiamo. All rooms include a balcony, a marble bathroom, and twice-daily housekeeping. For added privacy, opt for a residential suite with one, two, or three bedrooms. 

03 of 09

Best Kids Club: Moon Palace Cancun, Mexico

Moon Palace Cancun, Mexico

Moon Palace Cancun, Mexico 

The children’s facilities at Mexican mega-resort Moon Palace Cancun take things to the next level. The resort is split into two halves, Sunrise and Nizuc, both of which have their own kids club called The Playroom. Themed areas differ between the two but include a fashion catwalk, a dollhouse, market and school areas, a labyrinth, and gaming theaters. Children 4 and over may play in the Sunrise playroom alone, while babies 3 and under have their own area that requires adult supervision. 

Perhaps the biggest perk is that participation in these activities is included in the resort’s all-inclusive rates. Also covered are non-motorized water sports (dolphin swimming trips, scuba diving, wave simulator surfing) and access to tennis courts, swimming pools, and (surreally) an outdoor skating rink. Dining options are equally extensive—everything from Italian to Indian cuisine—and cater to guests of all ages. Book the Family Superior Deluxe Suite for the privacy and space afforded by two connecting bedrooms. 

04 of 09

Best for Babies: Sani Club, Greece

Sani Club, Greece

Sani Club, Greece

Set amidst ancient olive groves on the shores of the Aegean Sea, Greece's Sani Club is suited for guests of all ages, but for parents of infants or small toddlers, it’s a virtual paradise. The crèche (the resort's childcare service) accepts babies as young as 4 months old. Private nannies are available for hire, and “Babewatch" staff are on hand to play with little ones at the water’s edge while you go for a swim at the private beach. This service is free for 30 minutes.

Alternatively, you can lounge by the heated outdoor pool with its dedicated kids’ area. Adult highlights include a spa, private yacht charters, and an array of activities from scuba diving to tennis. Savor contemporary farm-to-table Greek cuisine at Pines (one of six restaurants on site), then retire to your one- or two-bedroom family suite. All suites can be equipped with every conceivable baby amenity, from cots to bottle warmers. Best of all, children under 12 stay for free. 

Continue to 5 of 9 below.
05 of 09

Best for Teens: Beaches Turks & Caicos, Turks and Caicos Islands

Beaches Turks & Caicos, Turks and Caicos Islands

Beaches Turks & Caicos, Turks and Caicos Islands

Picture-perfect Grace Bay is the backdrop for the all-inclusive Beaches Turks & Caicos resort. Supervised kids camps are offered for children of all ages (even newborns), but teens are especially well catered to with organized activities like dive-in movies, karaoke parties, tennis clinics, and beach sports. Gamers will love the Xbox Play Lounge and Club Liquid allows teenagers the independence they crave while also affording parents peace of mind. 

The entire resort is a giant playground, with 10 swimming pools, a 45,000-square-foot water park, and sports that range from scuba diving and Hobie Cat sailing to beach volleyball and soccer. At meal times, let your teens choose from 21 dining options, but be prepared to end up at the water park’s trendy food trucks time and time again. Accommodation is split between five themed villages (think Italy, France, and Key West). Rooms range from two-bed suites to four-bedroom villas with private pools and butler service. Every taste and budget is provided for.

06 of 09

Best for Animal Lovers: Rocking Horse Ranch, United States

Rocking Horse Ranch, United States

Rocking Horse Ranch, United States

If your kids are obsessed with animals, they’re guaranteed to love New York's all-inclusive Rocking Horse Ranch Resort. Located near Highland in the Hudson Valley, Rocking Horse Ranch's rates include unlimited horseback riding on over 500 acres of trails. All ages and experience levels are welcome—trustworthy ponies are available for the youngest Junior Wranglers. Other horse-related activities include wagon rides and winter sleigh rides. The Exotic Wildlife Exhibit houses farmyard favorites in addition to a pet zebra and dromedary. 

Seasonal activities range from ice skating and snow tubing to rock climbing and banana boat rides on the lake. The on-location Big Splash Indoor Water Park is a year-round highlight, too. When you want a moment alone at the spa, there are two kids clubs to accommodate children up to 12 years old. Tuck into generous buffet spreads for lunch and dinner, then dine à la carte in the evening before enjoying magic shows and music concerts. The largest rooms have space for up to six people with two queen beds and a bunk bed. 

07 of 09

Best for Nature Lovers: The Cavern Drakensberg Resort & Spa, South Africa

The Cavern Drakensberg Resort & Spa, South Africa

The Cavern Drakensberg Resort & Spa, South Africa

There’s no better destination for adventurous families than South Africa’s Drakensberg mountains. Recognized by UNESCO for its astonishing beauty, this is a region of dense forest, trout-filled streams, and dizzying mountain escarpments. In the northern Drakensberg is The Cavern Resort & Spa, offering full-board accommodation and an atmosphere of nostalgic family fun. Activities like guided hikes, fly fishing, mountain biking, and horse riding make the most of the stunning surroundings. 

Head out on a family canoeing trip or spend an afternoon in the pool or on the tennis courts. There’s a children’s playground, and nannies available for hire if you feel like escaping to the forest spa. Kids under 7 can eat together in a special children’s dining room. You can join them, or bond over a romantic meal while they enjoy supervised games in the play room. In terms of accommodation, there are connecting garden rooms and a Superior Family Suite with two bedrooms and a cozy lounge. 

08 of 09

Best for Winter Fun: The Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe

The Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe

The Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe

For a mountain getaway that's closer to home, book a wintry escape at The Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe. This luxury resort affords ski-in, ski-out access to Northstar California Ski Resort, known for its world-class skiing and snowboarding. Instructors offer clinics for all ages, while other family-friendly options include tubing, sledding, and snowshoeing. Alternatively, you can leave children aged 5 to 12 to have fun at Ritz Kids camp while you hit the slopes, then meet up later for après ski activities (a s’mores masterclass, anyone?). 

At the spa, children 15 and under can join their parents for manicures, pedicures, and makeovers. When you want a change of scenery, ride the intermountain gondola to the Village at Northstar California, home to a huge ice rink, shops, and restaurants. On-site restaurants include the slope-side Backyard Bar & BBQ and Manzanita (American fine dining). All rooms have gas fireplaces, and spacious suites and residences come with up to four separate bedrooms. 

Continue to 9 of 9 below.
09 of 09

Best Boutique: Karma Jimbaran, Indonesia

Karma Jimbaran, Indonesia

Karma Jimbaran, Indonesia

Enjoying resort-style facilities doesn’t have to mean staying on a vast property with hundreds of other guests. Set mere steps from one of the best beaches in southern Bali, Karma Jimbaran comprises just 40 private villas. Each one is inspired by traditional Balinese architecture, with three or four bedrooms, an open-plan living area, and a private garden and pool. If you can get the kids out of the water, ask the concierge to arrange deep-sea fishing trips, surfing lessons, and cycling tours through the local villages. 

If you’d rather attend a Balinese cooking class or receive a chakra blessing at the spa, check your little ones in to the Three Kids Monkey Club. Meals at The Bay Bar & Grill are likely to be a highlight of your stay, featuring a crowd-pleasing combination of Western comfort food and authentic Indonesian specialties. The tables here are adjacent to the pool, so you can watch the kids play while you sit back with a cocktail or two. 

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