Our CB! team stays at and reviews scores of best-in-class family hotels each year, in amazing destinations all over the globe. So when one of those hotels rises to the top of our favorites list … you know it must be special! From a picturesque Vermont inn to an exotic elephant sanctuary in Thailand, here are the kid-friendly properties we fell hard for in 2015.
Originally a 16th-century Jesuit monastery, the hotel is a collection of buildings and individual casitas scattered throughout spacious grounds where peacocks wander at leisure. The resort exudes a relaxing feel; the indoor pool and spa are spectacular and especially appreciated during a rainy-season visit. A soccer field and playground entertain kids when pool time is over. The location on the outskirts of Banos, three hours south of Quito, is convenient for jungle day trips, waterfall visits and outdoor adventures. — Kristi Marcelle
Set on a spectacular wild beach on the western shore of Vancouver Island, the Wickaninnish Inn is a treat for families who want to experience the rugged beauty of British Columbia at an award-winning boutique luxury hotel. All aspects of this property are divine, from the gourmet, locally sourced dining to the Pacific Ocean views from the guest rooms. Families can choose from an assortment of adventures, including bear watching, surf school and hikes through this region’s numerous pristine rainforests, with bald eagles for company. It’s not easy to access, but it’s worth every effort! — Amie O’Shaughnessy
We loved Hotel Tresanton because it was the best of both worlds. We had a lovely two-bedroom apartment, with spectacular views and a fabulous balcony overlooking the village of St. Mawes, but the hotel itself had super amenities. Our favorites were the fabulous restaurant and the former World Cup racing sailboat that was available for private rides with the Tresanton crew. — Sandy Pappas
Overlooking the Singel Canal in a beautiful part of central Amsterdam, Hotel Estherea manages to be elegant, sophisticated, laid-back and kid-friendly all at once. Between the rooms and the common spaces, the decor is a riot of color and pattern, but the overall ambiance is restful and relaxing. The Estherea truly feels warm and personal, from the cozy gathering areas and the family history on display to the superb service and the toy cabinet for little ones. If there’s a better Amsterdam home base with kids, I can’t imagine it! — Lisa Frederick
From waffles for breakfast to scones for afternoon tea; falconry to gun-dog training and pony trekking; splashing about in the pool to table football in the teen club; massages in the spa to cocktails in the bar, Gleneagles is a treat from morning until night. We were there only 48 hours and didn’t get to try out even half of what was on offer. It’s a brilliant escape for the whole family. — Anna Tobin
Our family visit to Stoweflake stands out in my memory as our favorite hotel stay in 2015. The inn offered something for all of us, from a beautiful bike ride and a spa treatment for me to lovely meals onsite and a visit to the local village. — Holly Rosen Fink
Our stay at Bachmair Weissach was my best and, in some ways, most surprising hotel discovery in 2015. The mix of modern design and charming Bavarian touches gave the property a wonderful feel, and the exceptional family amenities, like fabulous onsite restaurants and the high-quality kids’ club, made our stay so pleasurable. Plus, we discovered a gorgeous lake town in the heart of Bavaria that typically goes unnoticed by those from outside the area. I’ll picture my family relaxing on our private balcony, flowers blooming all around us as we overlook the green hillsides, for many years to come. — Nicole Wiltrout
The setting was stunning, and we loved staying in our own “tents.” The included private tours of Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park were fantastic, as was the food and the service. Some may consider Uluru-Kata Tjuta a once-in-a-lifetime trip, but after staying at Longitude 131, we’re keen to return. Get this on your bucket list. — Leslie Rich
Anantara Golden Triangle Elephant Camp & Resort is more than a luxurious place to stay — it is an unforgettable experience in a majestic corner of the world. The resort not only transports guests to a serene wilderness in northern Thailand, it offers the opportunity to interact with elephants throughout your stay. Whether you choose to visit the elephants at their camp, feed a baby elephant at breakfast, or ride atop a gentle giant for a journey into the forest and a river bath, the experience is one of a kind. — Loren Braunohler
On a recent trip to South Tyrol, I fell in love with Parkhotel Holzner. Oozing historic charm, this boutique hotel has been in the Holzner family since 1908. It’s the kind of place to which families keep coming back for generations. The location in the small village of Oberbozen is very unique, accessed by cable car from Bolzano, Italy. There are beautiful views of the Dolomites and the valley below, plus two delicious onsite restaurants, a wine bar and a special dining area for kids only. The hotel encourages families to spend quality time together through planned activities. — Denise Smith
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