The 9 Best Luxury 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

"Kids will love splashing around at Explorer Island and meeting new friends at the complimentary Kids For All Seasons camp."

Runner-Up, Best Overall: Sani Beach, Greece – See Rates at TripAdvisor

"While the kids learn how to scuba dive or play tennis, parents can escape to the adults-only pool and hammam at the spa."

Best for Water Babies: The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands – See Rates at TripAdvisor

"Families can spend happy hours at Starfish Cay water park, or take part in the resort’s Ambassadors of the Environment eco-tours."

Best for Wild West Adventures: The Resort at Paws Up, United States – See Rates at TripAdvisor

"Horseback riding is a favorite pastime, with customized lessons for kids or authentic cattle drives for experienced riders."

Best for Animal Lovers: Gibb's Farm, Tanzania – See Rates at TripAdvisor

"Kids can learn to bake bread, paint with local artists, play giant chess in the garden, or go on a cycle tour to Tloma Village."

Best for Island Getaways: Shangri-La’s Villingili Resort & Spa, Maldives – See Rates at TripAdvisor

"Water sports include kayaking, paddleboarding, parasailing, snorkeling, and PADI scuba courses that cater specially to kids."

Best for Winter Fun: Les Fermes de Marie, France – See Rates at TripAdvisor

"Enroll your children into ski school or leave them at the Hameau des Enfants kids club while you take advantage of the spa."

Best of Britain: Bovey Castle, England – See Rates at TripAdvisor

"Animal-loving kids can feed the fawns at the deer park or help look after the castle ferrets."

Best in the Middle East: Atlantis, The Palm, United Arab Emirates – See Rates at TripAdvisor

"When parents want some alone time, the Atlantis Kids Club and The Zone offer supervised activities for kids aged 3 to 17."

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, United States

Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort, United States

Walt Disney World Resort has been called the Most Magical Place on Earth, and for kids, the tagline holds true. Adults may agree with them, too, if they've ever stayed at the on-site AAA Five-Diamond Four Seasons Resort. Serene gardens, pools, and palm trees provide some respite from the park’s crowds; and yet guests are still entitled to exclusive Disney benefits like Extra Magic Hours. Kids will love splashing around at the Explorer Island water park and meeting new friends at the complimentary Kids For All Seasons camp. 

Meanwhile, adults can indulge in some quality R&R at The Spa or perfect their swings on the Tom Fazio-designed championship golf course. Other highlights of this Disney resort include pro tennis coaching and six exquisite restaurants and bars. Start your day in true Disney style with a character breakfast at Ravello, dine poolside at laidback PB&G, or watch the fireworks over Cinderella Castle from the rooftop steakhouse, Capa. Suites that offer a pull-out sofa bed in the living room provide the most spacious accommodation for families. 

02 of 09

Runner-Up, Best Overall: Sani Beach, Greece

Sani Beach, Greece

Sani Beach, Greece 

Sani Beach is one of five luxury hotels located at Sani Resort, which sits on a 1,000-acre ecological reserve overlooking the Aegean Sea. Children under 12 stay for free and are made to feel like VIPs with kid-friendly amenities like private nannies, a crèche for babies as young as 4 months old, a kids club and Teen House, baby swimming lessons, and a Babewatch service that looks after children while parents go for a swim. Families are set up for hours of fun at the hotel’s lifeguard-protected beach and pools. 

Sani Resort is renowned for its kids' academies, concentrating on tennis, soccer, scuba diving, and survivalism. While they’re learning new skills, parents can escape to the adults-only pool and hammam at the spa. Restaurants are sophisticated yet offer specialist menus for children of all ages. Try Water Restaurant for Mediterranean and French cuisine, or Alexis Taverna for traditional Greek fare. Family rooms and two-bedroom suites can come equipped with a long list of high-end baby and toddler equipment. 

03 of 09

Best for Water Babies: The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands

The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands

The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands

If your family is happiest in (or under) the water, The Ritz-Carlton's 5-star Grand Cayman resort offers ample opportunities for sailing, snorkeling, and other water sports. Located along the pristine shores of Grand Cayman’s Seven Mile Beach, this resort has its own water park, Starfish Cay, and an Ambassadors of the Environment program that hosts eco-tours like glass-bottom boat expeditions and mangrove kayaking trips. 

Land-based amenities include several tennis courts, a golf course, and a Wave Game Room for Xbox- and PlayStation-loving teenagers. If you drop the children off at Ritz Kids club, you can enjoy a solo spa treatment followed by legendary piña coladas at the beachfront Bar Jack. Of the resort’s six restaurants and bars, the most family-friendly is the Italian restaurant Andiamo. Stay in a suite with a full kitchen and as many as three bedrooms, or book out the entire penthouse floor for a family reunion with up to 22 guests.

04 of 09

Best for Wild West Adventures: The Resort at Paws Up, United States

The Resort at Paws Up, United States

The Resort at Paws Up, United States

For kids who dream of growing up to be cowboys and cowgirls, The Resort at Paws Up is befitting. A working cattle ranch spanning 37,000 acres in western Montana, it bills itself as America’s Private National Park and encourages families to explore the great outdoors by fly fishing, mountain biking, dogsledding, cross-country skiing, and more. Horseback riding is a favorite pastime, with customized riding lessons for the kids and trail rides or authentic cattle drives for experienced riders. 

If you prefer to relax while your kids channel their inner Buffalo Bill, then pay a visit to the spa tent (it's more upscale than it sounds). Accommodation ranges from family homes with up to four bedrooms to luxury glampsites with multiple-room tents and a private butler and chef. The resort also has two restaurants: Pomp, a fine-dining approach to rustic ranch cuisine, and Trough, for family-style breakfasts and lunches. Don’t miss out on the Chuck Wagon Dude Ranch Experience, which includes an al fresco cowboy dinner on the banks of the Blackfoot River. 

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05 of 09

Best for Animal Lovers: Gibb's Farm, Tanzania

Gibbs Farm, Tanzania

Gibbs Farm, Tanzania

East Africa is the ultimate destination for wildlife enthusiasts, and Tanzania’s Gibb's Farm is one of the most kid-friendly destinations of all. Located on the outer slopes of the Ngorongoro Crater, it’s a 20th-century coffee plantation-turned-organic farm. Guests can sign up for early-morning bird walks through the gardens, or look for the "Big Five" African game animals on a safari of the Ngorongoro Crater, Lake Eyasi, or Lake Manyara. Families with older children are invited to join walking safaris through the surrounding forest. 

Back at base, your little ones can help feed pigs, milk cows, and collect eggs. They can learn to bake bread or paint with local artists, play giant chess in the garden or go on a cycle tour to the nearby Tloma Village. When you need a break, admire breathtaking Great Rift Valley views from the swimming pool or indulge in a spa massage. Evenings are for story time around the fire pit, followed by farm-to-table dinners in the restaurant (which offers a special menu for kids). Two-bedroom family houses include beautifully decorated living areas and terraces. 

06 of 09

Best for Island Getaways: Shangri-La’s Villingili Resort & Spa, Maldives

Shangri-La’s Villingili Resort and Spa, Maldives

Shangri-La’s Villingili Resort and Spa, Maldives

Luxurious Shangri-La’s Villingili Resort & Spa occupies its own private island in Addu Atoll and is one of the Maldives’ most family-friendly resorts. From night fishing trips to dolphin-watching cruises, activities are designed to instill wonder. Water sports include kayaking, paddleboarding, parasailing, and snorkeling. PADI scuba courses start with Bubble Maker programs for kids as young as 8. In between adventures, the white-sand beaches and free-form infinity pool provide ample entertainment.

Adults can drop their little ones off at the Cool Zone, a kids’ club with supervised activities for children aged 4 to 12. Head to the nine-hole golf course or embrace the Maldives’ famously romantic atmosphere with a couples massage at the spa. Later, listen to tales of crab races and pirate adventures over a family meal at Javvu, where pastas and pizzas are guaranteed to keep kids happy. Beach villas feature one or two bedrooms and a private pool, while overwater villas are a treat for families with older kids. 

07 of 09

Best for Winter Fun: Les Fermes de Marie, France

Les Fermes de Marie, France

Les Fermes de Marie, France

Whisk your family away to the snow-covered wonderland that is the French Alps. Here, the 5-star collection of authentic alpine farmhouses known as Les Fermes de Marie makes for a great access point to Megève ski resort. A shuttle transports guests to world-class skiing and snowboarding via Chamois gondola. You can enroll your children into ski school or leave them at the resort’s Hameau des Enfants kids club. In between age-appropriate activities arranged by the dedicated Kids Concierge, little ones can make friends over meals in their own special dining room. 

Restaurant Alpin is made for family bonding, serving fun alpine specialties like fondue and raclette. Alternatively, you can dine at the elegant farm-to-table Le Restaurant Traditionnel or book a memorable snowshoe adventure to La Ferme de Bacré, where meals are served by a crackling fire. The resort also has a luxurious spa and a wide range of rooms, suites, and chalets. The largest chalets have five bedrooms, a full kitchen, a sauna, laundry facilities, and a private garage. 

08 of 09

Best of Britain: Bovey Castle, England

Bovey Castle, England

Bovey Castle, England

Families that wish to live like royalty can do so at Bovey Castle, an ultra-luxurious country estate set on a 275-acre property within Dartmoor National Park. Outdoor activities include 4x4 adventures, archery, clay pigeon shooting, and daily falconry displays. If your kids love animals, take them to feed the fawns at the deer park or let them help look after the castle ferrets. Supervised activities are offered by Bovey Bears Dens Club and Bovey Rangers and the Play Barn provides additional childcare services. 

Among the grown-up perks is an 18-hole championship golf course and the indulgent Elan Spa. The latter will pamper your teen with manicures, pedicures, and facials or paint your little one's nails. There are two on-site restaurants: Great Western (seasonal fine dining) and the cozy Smith’s Brasserie (featuring a children’s menu and roaring fireplaces). Make sure to book at least one classic afternoon tea with angel cake and Nutella scones for the kids. The castle has 60 bedrooms and 22 self-catering country lodges, with three en-suite bathrooms apiece. 

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09 of 09

Best in the Middle East: Atlantis, The Palm, United Arab Emirates

Atlantis, The Palm, United Arab Emirates

Atlantis, The Palm, United Arab Emirates

If you’re headed to Dubai, Atlantis, The Palm, is a standout choice for luxury. The resort is located on iconic Palm Island, in between downtown Dubai and the sparkling waters of the Arabian Gulf. Kids can try out more than 30 slides at Aquaventure water park or make friends with dolphins and sea lions at the city’s largest aquarium. When parents want some alone time, the Atlantis Kids Club and The Zone offer supervised activities for kids aged 3 to 12 and 13 to 17 respectively.

Atlantis, The Palm, is home to an array of restaurants, many presented by celebrity chefs like Nobu Matsuhisa and Gordon Ramsay. The family favorite is Wavehouse, with a dedicated kids’ menu and plenty to do in between courses: bowling, arcade games, and a wave simulator. Accommodation ranges from rooms with two queen beds to suites with two separate bedrooms. For the most magical experience, book the Underwater Suite with floor-to-ceiling views into the aquarium’s shark-filled Ambassador Lagoon.  

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