View of Llafanc from the Camino de Ronda cliffside trail

Essential Tips for Exploring Spain’s Costa Brava with Kids

Spain’s Costa Brava is an area of rocky coastlines, blue-green coves, and outdoor and gastronomic pursuits that begins an hour north of Barcelona and meanders its way to the French border. The region, whose name means wild or rough coast, lured famous artists like Dali, Miro and Picasso decades ago, and they left their artistic mark…

Casa Gangotena Patio

An Exceptional Boutique Hotel Experience in an Old-World Quito Mansion

Casa Gangotena is a colonial mansion in Quito’s historical center that consistently rates as one of the top hotels in the city. The location on the corner of the Plaza San Francisco is in the center of all that colonial Quito offers visitors. My stay at Casa Gangotena coincided with the time I was traveling solo…

el-palauet-featured-image

Luxury Apartments in an Architectural Gem at Barcelona’s El Palauet

Barcelona is a city of astounding art and architecture, where every glance is filled with another memorable sight. Crowds of camera-toting tourists act like paparazzi in front of masterpieces by celebrity architect Antoni Gaudi. The luxurious accommodations at El Palauet are right in the middle of the action — the 1906 Art Nouveau building sits three blocks away…

Playground on the right, soccer field on the left

Countryside Colonial Splendor at Ecuador’s Samari Spa Hotel

Samari Spa Hotel earned a spot on Ciao Bambino’s 2015 favorite hotel discoveries with kids because it does an excellent job of being all things to all ages — it was a highlight of our three-week Ecuador family vacation. The colonial architecture sets a tone both romantic and mystical as fog rolls down the mountains and envelops the resort grounds.…

A male frigate bird looking for a mate

Land and Sea Wildlife Highlights in the Galapagos Islands

The wildlife on the Galapagos Islands is so plentiful that it almost requires a checklist in hand. Day after day, the islands’ animal residents go about their daily business, displaying a complete lack of interest in the two-legged guests who stop for a visit. On my family’s weeklong cruise aboard the Eclipse with Ocean Adventures, we had an…

Anthem of the Seas. Photo by: Royal Caribbean International

All-Star Family Amenities on Royal Caribbean Anthem of the Seas

A family cruise vacation is a stress-free way to spend time together and see the world. There’s little planning involved once on board, and the ease of having everything just steps from your stateroom is huge. On the new Royal Caribbean Anthem of the Seas, activities and attractions aren’t just convenient — they’re also cool in the eyes of…

Quito View from San Francisco Plaza

Two Fantastic Old Town Quito Hotels with a Sense of Place

So you’ve decided to take the plunge and plan an Ecuador family vacation — maybe a Galapagos Islands cruise, or perhaps a combination of cultural sights with a trek in the jungle. Either way, chances are your trip will include a stop in Quito, the capital and cultural hub of the country. Although there are modern…

Outdoor Dining at The Front Yard

The Garland: A Stylish Hotel Star for Families in Hollywood

Hollywood is a must-see destination on a family vacation in Los Angeles, especially when traveling with tweens and teens. It’s the entertainment capital of the world, known for blockbuster movies and celebrities, but not usually an A-list of family-friendly hotels. The Garland, a boutique hotel on seven acres in North Hollywood, is a game changer. Having recently…