The World’s Best Family Hotels

At these kid-friendly resorts, there’s something for everyone. From a sprawling Craftsman-style manor in Deer Valley to oceanfront villas in Turks and Caicos, these hotels offer a range of activities, incredible surroundings, and promise to keep the whole brood happy.

Highlights
601 Murray Circle, Fort Baker, Sausalito
Spend the night nestled under the Golden Gate Bridge in the most dignified of accommodations: the former living quarters of high-ranking officers in the U.S. Army. Cavallo Point is the result of the luxurious reimagining of a cluster of military lodges located within the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, just over the bridge in Marin County. Today, the 142-room hotel serves as a retreat for in-the-know travelers and locals looking for an easy, elevated escape from everyday city life. Original brick fireplaces and beamed ceilings mingle with modern finishes and furnishings, such as butter-soft leather sofas and whitewashed Adirondack chairs. The expansive grounds are meant to be explored on foot or bicycle. The Wellness Weekend package includes all meals, prepared with an emphasis on health at Murray Circle restaurant, morning yoga classes, guided hikes, a spa treatment, nightly wine receptions, and plenty of free moments to soak in the serene meditation pool—the very best kind of boot camp.
Grace Bay Road, Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands
Housed on a 1,100-foot stretch of beachfront, Grace Bay Club is as stylishly current as it was in 1993, when it became the first luxury hotel to open on the then nearly empty sands of Grace Bay. From its original 21 rooms, the upscale property has grown to 82 suites, each of which features ocean views, a private veranda or patio, and chic interiors by renowned designer Thom Felicia. Guests can also look forward to superior service, including a personal concierge available day or night via a provided cell phone.

When hunger strikes, there’s the oceanfront Infiniti Restaurant & Raw Bar, which boasts sea-to-table fare and the longest bar in the Caribbean, as well as several other family-friendly venues, including The Grill. If it’s pampering you seek, make time to visit the spacious Anani Spa, where you’ll find six treatment rooms, including one just for couples. A spa tent is also available for beachfront massages.
40060 Paws Up Rd, Greenough, MT 59823, USA
One of the most luxurious Western guest ranches, opened in 2005, the Resort at Paws Up, in Greenough, sprawls over 37,000 acres of classic Montana landscape: elk-filled meadows, rocky peaks, and ponderosa pines in the Blackfoot Valley, with the river of the same name running through it all. The most sought-after accommodations are the “glamping” tents on the banks of the Blackfoot or along Elk Creek that are available May through October and organized into five separate camps, taking just six guests each. The camps combine a Western lifestyle with an African safari formula: canvas suites with private baths, a communal dining pavilion with fireplace and fire pit, private camp chef, and butlers to help organize guest activities. Families and friends who prefer four walls between themselves and nature stay in enormous wood-and-stone villas with heated hardwood floors, fireplaces, leather furniture, huge flat-screen TVs, and panoramic windows; some of these homes come with outdoor hot tubs and tented bedrooms for kids.

All guests have the opportunity to hike, rappel, canoe, play paintball, take cooking classes, and more, but the main action is on-site fly-fishing and horseback riding for all levels on 100 miles of private trails or in a 23,000-square-foot equestrian arena; adults and kids 12 and up can help move small herds of Black Angus cattle on sample stock drives. If parents want private adventure time, kid wranglers entertain young’uns. In the evening, communal entertainment takes place in a renovated barn that serves as stock sales venue, dance floor, and movie theater. Despite the busy activity menu and flow of golf carts transporting guests to and fro, the ranch is large enough, and accommodation so widely spaced that guests can survey the landscape and not see anyone.
62-100 Mauna Kea Beach Dr, Waimea, HI 96743, USA
The sweet smell of plumeria floats on gentle trade winds into each guest room at the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel. When entering the room, you may be surprised that floor-to-ceiling picture windows and a beautiful private lanai (patio) beckon you to step back outside—closer to the rhythmic surf and paradise in nature. In the hotel’s main building, each morning you can wake up to warm accent colors in your room that recall the previous evening’s sunset. Natural light fills the entire space and you can brew a lovely cup of Kona coffee before leaving your room to face the world. A 2009 remodel of the main building rooms along with a 2013 beachfront wing renovation enable guests to unwind in the comfort of updated interiors that still remain true to Laurance S. Rockefeller’s original vision.
D209, 97133, St Barthélemy
Le Guanahani suffered major damage during Hurricane Irma and plans to reopen in late 2019.

Le Guanahani sits on an 18-acre peninsula on the northeastern tip of St. Barths between Marigot Bay and Grand Cul-de-Sac Bay. A recent $40 million property-wide upgrade features the work of Venezuelan designer Luis Pons, with decorative accents suggesting French and Creole influences. The resort has a private and residential feel.

Guests stay in luxurious cottages, many with private pools. Cottages are decorated in a timeless explorer style and blend seamlessly with the surrounding tropical landscape of hibiscus and coconut trees. The look is fresh, the atmosphere is private, and the interiors carry the landscape into the rooms. Colors reflect the rainbow of shades found in an island sunset. Sliding-glass doors and walls open completely to the balmy Caribbean breezes, so guests can fall asleep to the smell of salt air and crashing ocean waves.
405 Spray Ave, Banff, AB T1L 1J4, Canada
This hotel is on our list of The 10 Best Hotels in Canada.

Set in the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Banff National Park, the year-round Fairmont Banff Springs was the brainchild of Sir William Cornelius Van Horne, president of the Canadian Pacific Railway. On arrival at Banff, the tourism visionary made the canny observation, “Since we can’t export the scenery, we’ll have to import the tourists;” thus, he set about building a string of great railway hotels across Canada. The original wooden hotel that opened here in 1888 burned down in 1926, but was replaced two years later with the grander castle-meets-baronial-Scottish-hall structure that exists today. The public lobby spaces are vast, and there are countless nooks to curl up in with a book where guests will remain undisturbed. With its signature stone walls, turrets, and winding staircases, Van Horne’s gambit paid off: The Fairmont Banff Springs feels for all the world like an elegant and ancient castle, albeit one with all the modern conveniences.

Rooms in the main building come with quirky period details such as chandeliers and crown moldings, while those in the Stanley Thompson Wing (the old staff quarters) are more spacious and a solid bet for families—who will also enjoy the kids’ club packed with activities such as campouts, science projects, and arts and crafts. The hotel also has 11 different restaurants, cafés, and bars, with the choices so diverse—from sushi, fondue, and Italian to Canadian steakhouse and southern U.S. barbecue—that guests are issued a food guide upon check-in to help them make the most of the hotel’s offerings. Of course, there are also a wide array of activities to help round out your time between meals, from skiing and rounds on the resort’s 27-hole championship golf course to downtime in the expansive Willow Stream Spa, which features indoor and outdoor whirlpools, a European-style mineral pool, and 23 rooms for therapeutic treatments.
1500 Orange Ave, Coronado, CA 92118, USA
The Coronado Bridge links San Diego to Coronado Island—and the present to the past. In the span of just 2.12 miles, you’ll travel from the digital age to a century when “electrified” hotels were practically unheard of. When the Hotel Del Coronado debuted in 1888, its electric lights and telephones made a sensation—as did its resplendence. In 1892, a young guest named Noel proclaimed in a letter to her family back east that “the red and the white between the bluest sky and the bluest water is like a beautiful dream in a fairy story.” Legions of A-listers have checked in ever since, as a who’s who of vintage portraits attests. But while a stay here is delightfully nostalgic—featuring bike rentals, beachside cabanas, and evening clambakes—the 757-room hotel doesn’t live entirely in the past. Take advantage of its upscale spa, spin classes on the beach, and restaurants serving updated takes on coastal cuisine along with creative cocktails. In the historic Victorian Building Suites, you’ll find modern coastal-chic interiors, streaming TVs, and, of course, Wi-Fi. The Beach Village Suites include additional modern luxuries—like a Sub-Zero fridge and dedicated concierge to help you fill it.
Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa
A Hawaiian fantasyland on Oahu’s more remote leeward coast, about 40 minutes from Waikiki, Aulani is so seductive—for all ages—that many guests are loath to leave the property at all. And who can blame them? The beach is an idyllic cove (albeit a man-made one) stocked with kayaks, boogie boards, and everything else little beach bums could want. Then there are the three pools, including one for adults only and one filled with tropical fish for snorkelers-in-training, two impressive waterslides, and the biggest crowd-pleaser of them all, a 900-foot-long lazy river where guests, big and small, splash around on inner tubes as they meander around a faux-rock grotto. Goofy, Minnie, Mickey, and the rest—all in their vacation outfits—make occasional cameos at the breakfast buffet or by (sometimes, in) the pool. But while Aulani is most assuredly every kid’s dream, it is not every parent’s nightmare. The resort decor is more traditionally Hawaiian than obnoxiously Magic Kingdom; the lobby is built to recall an old canoe house, on a grand scale, and is covered in murals, painted by local artists, depicting island life. Hawaiian storytellers gather around a fire pit at night, and rooms have warm woods, with a single subtle reference to the Mouse King—a wooden carving of Mickey with a surfboard and ukulele that doubles as a desk lamp. Perhaps best of all, the Aulani has an outstanding, supervised kids’ club that’s free to guests ages 3 to 12. Babysitters are available for kids as young as six weeks old.
610 S W End St, Aspen, CO 81611, USA
The Gant feels like your mountain home away from home. Tucked away on five acres at the base of Aspen Mountain, the Gant’s condos offer the comforts of staying in a home but with the service perks of a hotel. Guests can choose from one-, two-, three-, or four-bedroom condos, making this a great option for families and friends on ski getaways. Condos feature full kitchens so you don’t have to worry about booking reservations in town each night, and the staff can arrange for grocery and liquor delivery right to your door. Condos also have wood-burning fireplaces, large living rooms for lounging, and patios or balconies to soak in the fresh mountain air. A housekeeper comes to tidy up each day while you’re off hiking or skiing, and families have the option to book child care. The Gant is just steps from the Silver Queen Gondola and offers ski storage and overnight tuning. After a day outdoors, guests can relax weary muscles in one of the Gant’s three hot tubs.
9100 Marsac Ave, Park City, UT 84060, USA
Fans of the Montage brand’s Laguna Beach and Beverly Hills flagships will love this mountain version, a ski-in, ski-out hotel wedged into the head of Empire Canyon. The sprawling, Craftsman-style manor debuted in 2010, solidifying Deer Valley’s standing as one of North America’s most luxurious ski resorts. Service shines, starting with the “Mountain Host,” who greets guests in the majestic lobby rotunda. Up the grand staircase, the full-service Vista Lounge acts as a communal living room, with vaulted ceilings, exposed wood beams, floor-to-ceiling windows, and leather furnishings gathered around limestone fireplaces. To further entertain guests, there’s also a museum-quality collection of Western art, including Carl Runguis panoramas, John James Audubon prints, and Frederic Remington portraits.

The hotel’s X-shaped footprint means nearly every room has small deck with mountain or valley views. Averaging around 600 square feet, large guestrooms are airy and inviting with lofted ceilings and soothing natural hues. Remote-controlled gas fireplaces are the centerpiece of each room, though the bath suite with heated limestone floors, marble vanity, rain shower, and soaking tub could occupy your entire evening.
México 307, 77710 Playa del Carmen, Q.R., Mexico
Secluded and service-oriented are the adjectives that best describe Rosewood Mayakoba, a resort in Playa del Carmen that opened in 2008. At 1,600 acres, the resort is expansive, offering plenty of room for guests to feel that they have their own space. Rooms, too, are spacious and have either tile or wooden floors, comfortable beds and chairs, and a layout and design that draws guests to outside spaces such as patios and balconies. The sense of privacy is reinforced by special en suite features, including private plunge pools, garden showers, and sundecks. Service, which includes butler, concierge, and valet support, is first-class. Staff can facilitate or organize a wide range of experiences, both on the hotel property and in the surrounding area. These range from horseback riding on the beach and ocean kayaking to private dining and aerial tours of the Mayan site Chichén Itzá.
101 South Shore Road, Southampton SN 02, Bermuda
Surrounded by swaying palms, tropical flowers, pink sand, and sapphire waters, the 100-acre Fairmont Southampton is Bermuda’s ultimate luxury destination. The 593 rooms and suites are among the largest on the island, and feature marble baths stocked with Le Labo products and private balconies that look out onto the Atlantic Ocean, Great Sound Harbour, or the lush landscaping of the on-site Turtle Hill Golf Club. A pool, beach club, dive center, kid’s camp, and tennis courts—plus that 18-hole championship course—offer plenty to keep guests busy. If you prefer to kick back, opt for a lavender-oil massage at Willow Stream Spa, a sprawling space complete with a well-stocked health club, sauna, and steam rooms, or grab a sundowner at one of the resort’s 10 restaurants, bars, and lounges.
More from AFAR
Sign up for our newsletter
Join more than a million of the world’s best travelers. Subscribe to the Daily Wander newsletter.
AFAR Journeys
Journeys: Europe
Journeys: Europe
Journeys: Europe
Journeys: Europe
Journeys: United States
Journeys: Sports + Adventure