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13 Family-Friendly Hotels for Your Next Big Vacation

Courtesy of Beaches Resorts

There's no need to skimp on luxury when you're booking a hotel that'll keep both the kids and the parents entertained. Whether you prefer to stay in a castle or on a beach, enjoying breakfast on a private terrace or a picnic lunch on a remote island, you're sure to make memories your family will cherish forever. Visit any one of these family-friendly hotels on our 2014 Fodor's 100 list for a getaway that's fun for the whole gang.

By Megan Suckut

Courtesy of Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa
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Aulani, A Disney Resort and Spa

WHERE: Hawaii

When it comes to family-friendly lodging, it's nearly impossible to beat Disney, whose first Hawaiian property, Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa, combines the best of local culture and the classic Disney experience—characters and all. Kids can enjoy their own camp programs, and the whole family can participate in hula, crafting, snorkeling, and relaxing on the beach. There's also an adults-only pool for the parents who need extra space to relax.

PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor's Honolulu and Oahu Travel Guide

Courtesy of Dromoland Castle Hotel and Country Estate
Ashley Morrison
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Dromoland Castle Hotel and Country Estate

WHERE: Ireland

Admit it: spending the night in a castle sounds pretty fun. Your kids will think so too when you take your family to Dromoland Castle Hotel and Country Estate. The stately property features gardens to wander through, plus horseback riding nearby for the families who want a little more adrenaline. Visit the falconry to learn more about the large birds of prey and how to handle them with your own (gloved) hands.

PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor's County Clare Travel Guide

Courtesy of Beaches Resorts
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Beaches Turks and Caicos Resort Villages and Spa

WHERE: Turks & Caicos

There's something for everyone in the family at Beaches Turks & Caicos Resort Villages & Spa. While the enormous water park, complete with a swim-up soda bar, will entice the younger kids, older ones will also be drawn to the teen disco; their parents will delight in the vast on-site dining choices and the spa. If you're interested in exploring the turquoise blue waters offshore, be sure to check out Beaches' unlimited scuba diving program.

PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor's Turks & Caicos Islands Travel Guide

Courtesy of The Breakers Palm Beach
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The Breakers Palm Beach

WHERE: Florida

A luxurious and glamorous resort on the Atlantic Ocean, The Breakers Palm Beach also happens to be a family-friendly destination. Kids can take their own yoga classes, learn to scuba dive, get glitter tattoos, and participate in a family golf clinic that brings the whole gang together to learn the perfect swing. Of the four oceanfront pools at The Breakers, there's even an “active” pool suited for more splashing.

PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor's Palm Beach Travel Guide

Courtesy of Four Seasons Hotel Las Vegas
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Four Seasons Hotel Las Vegas

WHERE: Las Vegas

If you're planning on bringing the whole family to Vegas, consider booking the Four Seasons Hotel Las Vegas, where all young guests will find a stuffed animal and milk and cookies in their room when they arrive. Guests at the Four Seasons enjoy full access to the Mandalay Bay Resort, where you'll find a wave pool, lazy river, shark reef aquarium, and more.

PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor's Las Vegas Travel Guide

Courtesy of Grootbos Private Nature Reserve
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Grootbos Private Nature Reserve

WHERE: South Africa

Nature-loving children will have a blast at Grootbos Private Nature Reserve. The resort advocates responsible tourism, so there's an emphasis on sustainability and wildlife education here. Go horseback riding on Grootbos Reserve with experienced guides­—small children can ride ponies. There's also a cave walk and an exhilarating 4×4 flower safari for guests of all ages to enjoy.

PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor's South Africa Travel Guide

Courtesy of Hotel Guanahani & Spa
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Hotel Guanahani and Spa

WHERE: St. Barthelemy

You'll find some of the only resort children's programs on St. Bart's when you stay at the Hotel Guanahani and Spa. Kids up to age 6 can paint seashells and make jewelry and keychains, and older children have the opportunity to participate in watersports like canoeing, snorkeling, and windsurfing. Diving enthusiasts can go on wreck dives right off the coast.

PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor's St. Barthelemy Travel Guide

Courtesy of Le Royal Monceau Raffles Paris
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Le Royal Monceau Raffles Paris

WHERE: Paris

The creative spirit of Le Royal Monceau Raffles Paris shines through in its kids program, Le Petit Royal. Even parents will want to join too, as the program features such activities as pizza-making classes with a Michelin-starred Italian chef, DJ spinning lessons for teenagers, and treasure hunts through the Louvre. If that's not enough, then take a dip in the largest hotel pool in Paris.

PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor's Paris Travel Guide

Courtesy of Le Petit Hotel
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Le Petit Hotel

WHERE: St. Martin

Abundant water activities are only a short walk away from Le Petit Hotel, a charming boutique hotel in Grand Case with spacious rooms. The self-serve breakfast buffet offers baskets so you can take your meal to your private terrace before you hit the beach. Along the way to Le Galion Beach, stop by the Butterfly Farm for a guided tour—if you go in the morning, you can watch the butterflies hatching.

PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor's St. Martin and St. Maarten Travel Guide

Courtesy of O'Reilly's Rainforest Retreat
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O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat, Villas and Lost World Spa

WHERE: Australia

Young visitors to O'Reilly's Rainforest Retreat, Villas & Lost World Spa can expect nothing short of Eco Ranger activities, zip lining, and an after-dark glow worm walk that will delight kids and parents alike. O'Reilly's prime rainforest location and luxurious spa facilities guarantee the kind of wildlife, relaxation, and hands-on fun that make guests not want to leave. 

PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor's Gold Coast Travel Guide

Courtesy of Terranea Resort
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WHERE: Los Angeles

Located on the picturesque Palos Verdes Peninsula, Terranea and its pools, balconies, and terraces all serve to highlight the surroundings. While parents relax in the extravagant spa or adults-only pool, kids can ride a 140-foot waterslide, explore tide pools, or compete in a game of bocce ball. For families into golf, the 9-hole Links at Terranea is a family-friendly course that offers professional instruction for novice players.

PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor's Los Angeles Travel Guide

Courtesy of Topnotch Resort and Spa
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Topnotch Resort

WHERE: Vermont

Families seeking a rustic mountain getaway out east need not look farther than the luxurious and warm Topnotch Resort. Not only does the hotel offer guided hiking trips, rock climbing classes, and tennis clinics, but there are spa services for kids and adults alike. Come in the winter for a ski vacation—nearby Stowe is known as the Ski Capital of the East—and the hotel's concierge will handle your tickets and shuttle you there.

PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor's Northern Vermont Travel Guide

Courtesy of Viceroy Anguilla
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Viceroy Anguilla

WHERE: Anguilla

A posh, internationally-flavored Caribbean choice that's got a lot to offer for all ages, the Viceroy Anguilla specializes in meaningful family activities like custom-planned picnic lunches on a private island. Teens can take cooking classes, steel pan drum lessons, and bike tours, and younger guests can decorate cookies and cupcakes, compete in the Beach Olympics, and make sand art.

PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor's Anguilla Travel Guide