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Trying to please the whole family on vacation is a challenge, to say the very least. On the one hand, parents are after a unique experience and want to expose their children to a new place and culture. However, parents also understand the true value of keeping their children occupied. Going on back-to-back historical walking tours of a city might not be what works for the whole family. The perfect compromise is to pick a hotel in a destination you—the adult—are excited about that also specifically caters to not just children, but your children’s specific age group. These 11 high-end hotels have tailored programming for tweens, families, and adults:
Adare Manor, Ireland
In County Limerick, Adare Manor has plenty of activities for the whole family. The luxury Irish retreat is all about getting immersed in the outdoors, with activities like falconry, archery, horseback riding, and a myriad of other like adventures. For tween-specific pampering—yes, that’s a spa category now—they have a Tween Spa Pamper package for $145. Adare Manor is home to the only La Mer Spa in the UK, and the tween package includes a 25-minute face and scalp massage treatment with aromatherapy, and a file and polish for tween’s nails and toes.
Chewton Glen, England
A UK Relais & Chateau property and American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts property, Chewton Glen is the type of countryside five-star hotel you could curl up in and stay forever. The Hampshire-based family hotel offers tween-centric cooking classes, giving your 12-year-old the opportunity to go full Great British Bake Off and hopefully encouraging them to help more in the kitchen at home. The Junior Chef courses at Chewton Glen run the gamut from baking afternoon tea treats to learning about spices from around the world and how to incorporate them into home-cooking.
Hotel del Coronado, San Diego
Right along the beach, Hotel del Coronado is all about watersports and family time. The atmosphere is conducive to the kids running off on their own to join in on Beach Games, which happen right on the shores from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Also perfect for the tween age group are Del Watersports—with a parent’s help they can sign up for a private surf lesson or stand-up paddle boarding lessons. Finally, for some family bonding your almost-teen will actually get excited about, reserve a fire pit for an hour after dinner, so everyone can roast marshmallows right on the beach.
Domes of Elounda, Autograph Collection, Crete
Domes of Elounda, Autograph Collection makes the Greek islands an accessible destination for the whole family—not just honeymooners. There is an entire family plaza on property with a kids’ pool, kids’ fountain, and kids’ club. Rent a family suite with a private pool—it comes with two spacious rooms and views of the water. For the tweens who want to expand their hobbies and skills, the property offers tennis, biking, drawing, and swimming lessons. Teens can get outside and take an open-air yoga class, or try out the new VR room and request an XBOX for the suite’s living room area.
Kokomo Private Island, Fiji
Located in Fiji’s remote Celestial Kadavu Island group, a 45-minute helicopter or seaplane flight from Nadi, Kokomo Private Island—an American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts property, is a five-star resort that will please water-lovers of all ages. Kokomo’s new Family Escape package specifically caters to multi-generational families and offers a complimentary upgrade to the next room category and unlimited nanny services for the duration of the stay. The nanny services could allow younger tweens (nine-ish) to explore with someone who isn’t their parent, or give older tweens (age 12 or 13) the freedom to explore with a friend while a nanny watches their younger siblings. Perfect for an adventurous tween, the Family Escape package includes one tank scuba dive per villa at Kokomo’s kids’ club. With multi-room buresses (thatched-roof villas) and a club for tween-aged kids, your pre-teen will enjoy time with the family and with children their own age.
Grand Palladium Imbassaí Resort & Spa, Brazil
Forty-five minutes from Salvador airport, adjacent to Praia do Forte village, is Grand Palladium Imbassaí Resort & Spa. Not only does it sit along the coast, but it’s also located on the Imbassaí nature reserve. Catering to families—specifically with teens—they have a connecting family suite, featuring a junior suite with a separate entrance so your tweens can feel a sense of independence. There’s also a kids’ club and a teen club, either of which might be a fit for your tween, depending on their exact age. The Mini Club has pool access and is open until 11 p.m. The Teen Club is open until midnight, and in the evenings, they encourage karaoke, dancing, pool, foosball, or visits to the theatre.
Martinhal Sagres Beach Family Resort, Portugal
On the southwest tip of Europe, you’ll find Martinhal Sagres Beach Family Resort in the Algarve. They have 37 upscale hotel rooms and no fewer than 155 beach villas, some that can sleep as many as six and come with a private swimming pool. The Portugal resort caters to families but lets parents visit a bucket-list destination while the tweens explore their five on-property kids’ clubs that cater to each age group. The Explorer Club is for ages 10 to 14, and their programming offers “active outdoor activities like windsurfing, surfing, dolphin watching, diving experiences and biking, alongside indoor fun like mocktail contests and t-shirt painting.” Martinhal Resorts has a collection of four Portugal resorts, all of which focus on luxury family-friendly resort experiences.
Eden Roc Cap Cana, Dominican Republic
A Relais & Chateau property and an American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts property, Eden Roc Cap Cana has multi-bedroom villas that were practically made for an over-the-top family vacation. They also offer a two-bedroom family residence, with a private pool and a available as a single-level or duplex. It's outfitted with a kitchen, and you can have a chef come in and prepare meals on request. In terms of tween amenities, the kids' club sits on an artificial lagoon and is built to resemble a massive tree house. It's equipped with a mini spa for manicures, pedicures, and hairstyling—for some tween pampering—and a video gaming area, mini kitchen, and mini buffet area, making it a true kids-only home away from home.
Bali Dynasty Resort Hotel, Indonesia
A Balinese beach resort in South Kuta, Bali Dynasty Resort Hotel has a dedicated kids’ pool and an adult-only pool on property. (Oh, and the kids pool has its own 30-foot water slide feeding into the pool.) Families staying at the resort have complimentary access to The Den, a club for young adults ages 10 to 16, a.k.a. a tween haven. Bali Dynasty Resort does teen programming all day—from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., including kids yoga, Indonesian lessons, or cooking demos for the whole family.
Las Ventanas al Paraíso, Los Cabos, Mexico
This year, through the holiday season, complimentary access to Las Ventanas al Paraíso’s Rosewood Explorers’ club will be offered for children. The Rosewood Explorers’ club facilitates locally inspired activities for younger guests. At the Las Ventanas al Paraíso, an American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts property, that means exploring Mexican tradition through arts and crafts, like painting Mexican ceramics and Alebrije folk art. Around the holidays, tween guest programming is seemingly endless. They can take part in exciting treasure hunts, magic camp, horse and carriage rides on the beach, yoga, aquarobics, tennis, mini golf, and more. There will even be a driving class featuring mini buggies for tweens.
Montage Kapalua Bay, Maui
Montage Kapalua Bay, an American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts property, is set on the pristine beaches of Maui directly along—no surprises here—Kapalua Bay. Not only will the on-site team arrange snorkel tours for the whole family, guests can also join any of the resort’s complimentary guided hikes. Montage has a teen-specific spa menu, so tweens can join their parents for a spa day (or go on their own) to get their hair and nails done. Spa Montage Kapalua also has fitness classes teenage guests can join their parents for—like flow yoga and spin—or they can kick back in their two or three-bedroom ocean residence, which is perfect for the whole family.