Traveling with the whole family can create unparalleled happy memories, though these getaways might lack the relaxation of a true vacation. But there’s nothing wrong with taking a break from the little ones by booking a massage at the spa or reading a few chapters of a novel poolside, especially if the kids are cheerfully entertained.
From kayaking around a kids-only island in the Dominican Republic, to romping through a sprawling wooden treehouse in England, here are 12 epic kids clubs that are as memorable as the rest of the resort.
Eden Roc Cap Cana, Dominican Republic
On the eastern shore of the Dominican Republic, this luxury Relais & Chateaux property offers beachfront villas, suites with private pools, and the Eden Roc Beach Club, but its youngest visitors have a dedicated space to rival the adult amenities. Koko Kids Club is a thatched-roof treehouse occupying its own island, surrounded by a shallow lagoon for swimming, splashing, and kayaking, and an enclosed beach area for building sandcastles.
Inside the tropical house, a mini spa offers manicures and pedicures for the tiniest tootsies, plus games and arts and crafts. Lunch for the kids is complimentary, and family programming includes pizza-making classes and movie nights.
Chewton Glen, Hampshire, UK
Chewton Glen is a stately hotel and spa set in English countryside with an equally refined space just for kids. Envisioned by Blue Forest, the UK’s premiere bespoke-treehouse designers (it’s a real job!), the recently unveiled eco kids club is called the Beehive in a nod to the property’s 70 beehives and five million bees who produce honey used in the hotel’s kitchen.
The whimsical wooden structure is a childhood dream come to life, with reading nooks, a suspension bridge and an elevated, wrap-around porch. The Beehive hosts story time, scavenger hunts, and daily afternoon tea for the kids, plus many other activities.
Soneva Kiri, Koh Kood, Thailand
Luxury resort collection Soneva encompasses two properties in the Maldives, including Soneva Fushi, which has the largest kids club in the Indian Ocean, and Soneva Kiri Resort on the Thai island of Koh Kood. The Children’s Den at Soneva Kiri has plenty of activities – dress-up rooms, cooking classes, learning how to play a local instrument – but the main draw is the structure itself: a giant manta-ray-shaped bamboo playground.
All the resorts focus on family-friendly activities, offering outdoor movies at the on-site Cinema Paradiso, entire rooms dedicated to ice cream and chocolate, and hands-on educational programs like astronomy lessons in the observatory.
Belmond Reid’s Palace, Madeira, Portugal
On Portugal’s remote island of Madeira, cliffside Belmond Reid’s Palace is set in lush, subtropical gardens overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. The family-friendly property is home to the Reid’s Kids Club, located in a triangular thatched-roof cottage modeled after the traditional structures common in the island’s town of Santana. The club hosts guided romps through the property's gardens, seed-planting activities, scavenger hunts, and water play in the adjacent children's pool.
Four Seasons Orlando, Florida
Located about 15 minutes from the Magic Kingdom, the Four Seasons Orlando is a relaxing oasis in the midst of the magical mayhem of Walt Disney World. The resort is home to dedicated areas for kids, including a sunlit structure that hosts the Kids for All Seasons program, with an 'erupting' volcano and thoughtful programming for kids aged four to 12.
Nearby, the Mansion, which was built to look like a ruined replica of the resort, is home to games inside and out, including air hockey and ping pong, plus an outdoor rock-climbing wall and sand volleyball court. Families can finish the day with the nightly Dive in Movie, when films are screened by the pool, and popcorn and a dip are on the agenda.
Kimpton Seafire, Grand Cayman
At the Kimpton Seafire resort and spa on Grand Cayman’s Seven Mile Beach, kids can start with popcorn at check-in, followed by a drink at the chocolate milk station in the morning, then join a special social hour each evening. But there’s also a dedicated spot for the small set.
With porthole windows overlooking the grounds, Camp Seafire is outfitted with sea-creature stuffies, toys, musical instruments and games. The programming also includes the same activities as the grown-ups, like paddleboarding and yoga, and then some they don’t have access to, like a bounce house with the backdrop of the Caribbean Sea.
Jumeirah Beach Hotel + Wild Wadi Waterpark, Dubai, UAE
Like everything else at the Jumeirah Beach Hotel, situated on the shores of Dubai, the kids club offers indulgent over-the-top fun. The lofty space is inspired by the water, with tropical-fish murals, an open submarine play structure, and a massive whale and other suspended sea creatures floating above. Kids can splash in the indoor water playground, and break for face painting, arts and crafts, and sports. The resort also offers unlimited access to the nearby Wild Wadi Waterpark.
La Resérve Geneva, Switzerland
Tucked in a 10-acre park overlooking Geneva's iconic lake, La Réserve Geneva is a secluded haven for the whole family. With indoor and outdoor pools, a world-class spa, and – just for kids – La Petite Réserve. Open for children aged six months to 13 years, the kids club is inside a sprawling treehouse adjacent to a wooden obstacle course and playground. Cross the suspension bridge to access the wooden structure with toys and games inside, and exit with a flourish via firefighter’s pole.
Royal Mansour, Marrakesh, Morocco
Royal Mansour, in Marrakesh's old city, is visually stunning for visitors of any age. The resort recently opened a new kids club called Le Jardin de Lila, located in the property’s flourishing, expansive gardens. Tiny guests get immersed in the local culture with Moroccan-focused fresco painting and other art activities, Arabic lessons, nature walks and treasure hunts around the hotel grounds, plus chocolate making (and tasting!) in the on-site chocolate laboratory.
Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi, Maldives
Unveiled just last summer, the Waldorf Astoria Maldives Ithaafushi is the first luxury resort to open near Male, the capital of the Maldives, in the last decade.
Its proximity to the city means guests don’t have to take a seaplane to the island. Instead they can hop aboard one of the seven yachts in the private fleet for a 40-minute trip – a fitting start for the adventure that awaits. Young Discovery Park is a mini water park with a lagoon pool and water slide, and the adjacent club house – with its floor-to-ceiling windows—is full of places for tots to play and relax. Dedicated teen activities like mocktail classes, fishing trips, and nighttime volleyball games ensure entertainment for all ages.
Atlantis, The Palm in Dubai, UAE
Everything at the Atlantis, The Palm on Dubai’s Arabian Gulf revolves around the water, from the on-site waterpark to the shark-diving activity in the Ambassador Lagoon. Besides a gaming center and climbing wall, the Atlantis’s Kids Club has the world's only underwater theatre. Kids can get a front row seat for movies, and see the sea creatures swimming by.
Dan Caesarea, Israel
About 35 miles north of Tel Aviv, the newly refurbished Dan Caesarea resort is home to Danyland, a kids club with both high-tech and classic entertainment for guests of all ages. A Jurassic Park sandbox has erupting volcanoes and flying dinosaurs (thanks to special cameras and lights); a giant digital aquarium that lets kids create artwork using sea creatures as inspiration; and an interactive Simon Says game is attached to one wall of the club.
Workshops like kite and model-airplane building are on the agenda too, and the resort is also home to a mini golf course, a petting zoo with pony rides, and two wooden treehouse lookouts perched above the sprawling swimming pool. Little guests can rove around the resort in mini cars, too.
You might also like:
Unlikely destinations for an unforgettable family holiday
Strangest places in the US to take your kids
Why a mother-daughter adventure would be great for her... and for you
Subscribe to our Lonely Planet Kids newsletter and get 30% off your first Lonely Planet Kids book purchase.