Whether you have a yearly getaway with family members or the cousins are begging for a vacation outside of grandma's house, a reunion at a family-centric hotel is an excellent option. Feature-packed resorts mean rambunctious youngsters have an outlet, and adults can retreat to a spa or pool when in need of some alone time. Plus, no one family member is stuck hosting and cleaning, since hotel staff can take care of all the grunt work. Take a look at our top 12 hotel picks for a reunion, and then send it around to the family email chain.
Designed for gatherings, the Reunion Resort in Kissimmee, Florida is about as family-friendly as they come. Family members of all ages will have a plethora of activities to keep busy, including a water park with a lazy river and slides, tennis and beach volleyball courts, a spa offering a variety of treatments, and three top-notch golf courses designed by legends Jack Nicklaus, Tom Watson, and Arnold Palmer. Though there are several dining options on-site — from fine-dining to casual — all of the huge rooms have full kitchens with all the appliances and cookware needed. Spacious living areas with adjacent dining tables, washer/dryers, and free Wi-Fi ensure all the comforts of home are provided.
For families centered around the West Coast, the Terranea Resort in Rancho Palos Verdes (a 45-minute drive south of Los Angeles International Airport) is a convenient luxury, yet still kid-friendly, option. Outdoorsy groups will love the Pacific Ocean views, on-site hiking and nature trails, and available activities like kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding, and surfing. Golfers will appreciate the nine-hole course, while those seeking some peace and quiet after family time can escape to the 50,000-square-foot indoor/outdoor spa. Some of the 582 rooms come equipped with kitchens, so travelers can choose whether they want to cook meals or stick to eating at one of the several eateries at the resort.
We didn’t forget about you, East Coasters. The Blue Lagoon Resort in Lake George, New York is a charmingly rustic family-run property with just 24 rooms. This is not a mega-resort, but it offers enough to keep laid-back families occupied and happy. Highlights include a private beach area, nightly campfires, free kayaks, rowboats, and canoes, and barbecue grills next to picnic tables. Rooms range from budget motel-style units to better equipped cottages with full kitchens and dishwashers. This is a great pick for groups looking to catch up over s’mores or take their boat out on the lake — the hotel has its own dock.
Families looking for something a bit more exotic, but still accessible without a passport, can head to the Hyatt Regency Maui Resort and Spa. While the major crowds mean long waits at times, there’s a reason the resort is popular. The upscale property is located on Kaanapali Beach, and offers a large pool complex for kids with a 150-foot waterslide, multiple restaurants, and family-friendly entertainment like luaus, lei-making classes, and hula demonstrations. The 806 modern rooms lack kitchen facilities — just a minibar and coffeemaker — so groups will have to eat on-site or nearby.
Set in the beautiful Texas Hill Country, a 25-minute drive from San Antonio‘s famed River Walk, the Hyatt Wild Oak Ranch is a casual, but lovely family-friendly property. Occupying 39 acres, the grounds are filled with nature trails, fire pits, mini-golf, and a lazy river, as well as an outdoor/indoor pool with a volleyball net. There are a couple dining options on-site, but given that all rooms have kitchenettes or full kitchens, most guests choose to do their own cooking. The apartment-style rooms are elegant and well-furnished, and most come with washer/dryers.
Suitable for a get-together year-round, the Tahoe Mountain Resorts Lodging offers ample family-friendly amenities at the base of Northstar mountain and in the Village at Northstar. The outdoor skating rink is always running, while other activities are dependent on the month guests are visiting. Summer options include hiking, golfing, and mountain biking, while winter means skiing, snowboarding, and snowshoeing. Ski-in/ski-out access as well as a heated outdoor saline pool and multiple hot tubs are added perks. Rooms are separated into six buildings and individually owned, so decor does vary by unit. However, all are attractive and come with kitchens, gas fireplaces, washer/dryer combos, and balconies.
For families that need a hotel to appeal to a wide range of personalities, The Westin Kierland Resort & Spa in Scottsdale will provide just that. The massive, 827-room resort has the impressive for kids, an adult-only pool and pleasant spa for adults, and three 18-hole golf courses. Activities also abound, including camp fires with s’mores, talent shows, outdoor movie screenings, and desert animal demonstrations brought in from the Phoenix Zoo during select times. The whole family can truly come, as cats and dogs are allowed. Rooms are spacious and modern, but they don’t have cooking facilities.
If budget and beachfront are the only requirements for a family reunion, the Sea Ranch Resort in the Outer Banks’ Kill Devil Hills is a solid pick. Aside from direct beach access and a casual bistro, amenities are limited, but groups looking to post up on chairs and build sandcastles will find their necessities met. The 50 rooms are certainly dated — think floral bedspreads and green carpeting — but they all at least have microwaves, mini-fridges, and free Wi-Fi. Condo-style units with living rooms, dining tables, laundry facilities, and fully equipped kitchens are also available.
Located an hour drive north of Fort Lauderdale, The Breakers Palm Beach is a sprawling five-pearl property attracting affluent families. The Italian Renaissance-inspired hotel has striking architecture and extensive features to complement its setting along a private stretch of sand. Two 18-hole golf courses, 10 tennis courts, five heated oceanfront pools, four hot tubs, and a spa are just some of the offerings within its 140 acres. In addition to a Kids’ Camp, there’s a Family Entertainment Center with an arcade, mini-movie theater, Xbox game room, arts and crafts room, and a basketball court. Restaurants are pricey and most require a dress code, so Breakers is best for extended families seeking a luxury getaway.
Families that love water parks will be in heaven at the Wilderness at the Smokies Resort in Sevierville — a 30-minute drive outside of Knoxville, Tennessee. Though it’s proximity to the Great Smoky Mountains is a draw, there’s ample to keep water-loving groups occupied on-site. Three water parks — two outdoors and one indoors — include fun attractions like slides, a lazy river, wave pool, and a vertical-drop water ride, while an adventure center (fee) includes a large arcade, mini-golf course, bowling alley, three-story ropes course, climbing wall, and laser tag. Most rooms have kitchenettes or kitchens, which is helpful given the somewhat pricey cost of food at on-site eateries.
It may be nicknamed Sin City, but Las Vegas can actually be a kid-friendly destination for family reunions. Groups looking to avoid the chaotic Strip can head 30 minutes west to the community of Summerlin. There, Red Rock Casino, Resort and Spa provides an excellent mix of adult- and kid-minded features for reunions with family members spanning multiple generations. A casino, renowned spa, and adult-only pool keep the older travelers happy, while a massive bowling alley, movie theater, arcade, and several pools appeal to younger guests. Easy access to Red Rock Canyon — home to great hiking, biking, and kayaking — is convenient when looking to leave the resort grounds. A late-night kids’ club also means those itching to see a show on The Strip can easily do so.
Branson, Missouri is a favorite for Midwestern family reunions, and the Still Waters Resort provides an excellent value for those groups. While some are on the dated side, the suites are outfitted with full kitchens and spacious living areas, plus fireplaces in some. Though it’s outside of Branson (a 24-minute drive), its setting on Table Rock Lake means pretty views and water-based rentals like WaveRunners, motorboats for water skiing, and kayaks. Additionally, three pools with hot tubs, two kids’ pools, and a seasonal waterslide are on-site, as well as a sand volleyball area, basketball court, and horseshoe toss game.
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