From resorts that promise adventure at every turn to a few laid-back beach options, these hotels have something that everyone can get excited about.
It’s been a long time since people could see their extended family. In fact, some are still waiting for that epic reunion. Now that COVID travel restrictions are easing up, it can be easier for families to come back together again. And when they do, it should be an experience that should be remembered and cherished.
Looking into holding a family reunion may get overwhelming, too. Not everyone has the same interests, and not every family likes to vacation the same way. However, some places will be able to meet your family’s needs no matter how varied they are. Here, we’ve put together a list of excellent resorts and hotels that promise to cater to your family’s needs—all while helping you feel COVID safe.
Top Picks for You
WHERE: Paso Robles, CA
Surrounded by mountains and many grapevines, Geneseo Inn is the perfect place for a post-COVID family reunion. Situated on the grounds of Cass Winery, Geneseo is a hotel made up of shipping containers that have been beautifully designed to create a sanctuary out of a small space. Every family can have their own space, but come together for a plethora of activities— both outdoors and in—based on your comfort level. Outside, you can enjoy horseback riding, archery, beekeeping, and cozy nights around the fire pit, telling jokes and making family memories. Inside, take a stab at a chef-driven cooking class, wine tasting, blending and olive oil pressing. Another perk of Geneseo Inn? Every morning, gourmet breakfast baskets are sent straight to your door.
WHERE: Governor’s Island, NY
Need to escape from the city but don’t have a ton of time? Collective Retreats on New York’s Governor’s Island is perfect. Picture an open-air setting with the dining room, common area, and bar all outdoors or semi-outdoors, which works if you are taking extra COVID precautions. Separate families can enjoy distinct living quarters, choosing between a tent set up or a small shipping container. Just a word of caution: while the shipping containers are outfitted with their own bathrooms, tent dwellers share a common area for restrooms and showering. However, with attendants and cleaning protocols, this retreat is top-notch for safety. Collective Retreats also takes safety to another level by creating “to-go” meals for those who aren’t comfortable dining semi-indoors. Add to that all of the outside amenities Governor’s Island has to offer, including a lavender field, a beautiful walking park, and sports fields, and you’ll have a family reunion to remember.
INSIDER TIPCollective Retreats does have other locations. See the complete list here.
WHERE: Riviera Maya, Mexico
If you’re looking for a tropical escape to plan your family reunion, Grand Velas Riviera Maya is for you. With something for everyone, there is no reason to leave this all-inclusive Mexican resort. And, because the weather mostly cooperates, you’ll be able to enjoy a lot of time outside in the sunshine.
Grand Velas offers up different types of accommodations, depending on budget and desire. Perfect for couples or those who aren’t comfortable being out and about, the Zen Grand Nature View rooms offer a private plunge pool and private terrace for sipping cocktails, sunbathing, and general relaxation.
For families with little ones in tow, the two-bedroom family suite includes a welcome bag of beach toys and fun turndown service each night, as well as a private terrace for meals. Want the whole family together? The Presidential Suite has a dining table made for eight, a private plunge pool and garden, and a private concierge. Experience paradise without having to leave the room. But, if you do, beautiful dining spaces, a large family pool area, a smaller adult-only pool, and white sand beaches await.
WHERE: Skytop, Pennsylvania
A member of Historic Hotels of America, this Pocono Mountains paradise Skytop Lodge sits amid 5,500 forested acres. Deer graze on the property, and guests connect with nature on guided hikes to waterfalls, time spent on the lake, and through wildlife programs. There is so much to do at Skytop Lodge that you won’t need to leave the property; rock climbing, archery tag, paintball, axe throwing, kayak tours, and biking are just a few of the activities on offer. There is also a full-service spa and golf available at the resort, making it a place where there is truly something for every family member.
WHERE: Callicoon Center, New York
Nestled in the Catskills, Callicoon Hills is perfect for year-round family reunions. In the fall, there are apple and pumpkin picking. In the winter, there is skiing. There are plenty of places to hike and enjoy the fresh air in the spring, while in the summer, a king-sized pool is perfect for swimming. Three types of rooms— boarding house, pool house, or ridge rooms— allow you to create the perfect scenario for your family. If you feel comfortable venturing out, try the beer at Callicoon Brewing Company or Catskill Brewery, and don’t miss Catskill Provisions for delicious food and cocktails.
Breezes Resort Bahamas
WHERE: Cable Beach, Nassau, Bahamas
An all-inclusive resort on a stretch of Nassau’s white sand beach, Breezes Resort Bahamas is a beach getaway with excitement at every turn. Kayak, try your hand at table tennis, head to the volleyball court, or play around in the open-air game room. Or, just relax in a hammock or a lounge chair, or take a swim up to the bar and order a delicious tropical cocktail. Five dining options on-premises mean you’ll never have a shortage of places to dine. Want to surprise a loved one with a special meal? Arrange a private dinner at an additional charge.
WHERE: Stowe, Vermont
Getaway to the Green Mountains of Vermont at the Topnotch Resort, which combines the tranquility of the mountains with a spa. While it’s known for its Tennis Academy, there is something truly special about Topnotch. The spa focuses on “celebrating individual transformation”—which is something we could all benefit from—and has more than 100 different types of treatments. The hotel is so family-centric, and so offers a “Spa Newbies” menu, which has salon services designed for kids. This way, everyone in your family can come home relaxed, rejuvenated, and refreshed. You’re definitely going to need a spa day, as the resort has more than 100 acres of outdoor land, which is perfect for hiking, skiing, and horseback riding.
Le Taha’a by Pearl Resorts
WHERE: Tahiti, French Polynesia
If you’ve been waiting to head to an exotic location for the last two years, Tahiti is it. Now open to international travelers, Le Taha’a by Pearl Resorts is perfect for a family getaway for a few reasons. Besides being, well, perfect, Le Taha’a is located on a small islet, allowing hotel guests to feel extra safe knowing the population is small. Additionally, the hotel’s array of suites and villas allow families to spread out without having to interact with other groups. Three restaurants are on-premises, as well as a bar, but visitors can also choose to eat in their own space too.
INSIDER TIPJust remember to build in time for a COVID test before your return to the U.S.
Kimpton Vero Beach Hotel + Spa
WHERE: Vero Beach, Florida
One of the only luxury properties in Vero Beach, Kimpton Vero Beach Hotel + Spa, provides multigenerational families the perfect Florida oasis. The oceanfront property boasts uncrowded beach access where adults and children can enjoy paddleboarding, snorkeling, boogie boarding, and kayaking. The hotel also offers a ‘stargazing on the sea’ experience year-round, where guests can book a boat ride and star talk led by a local astronomer while cruising the Indian River (at no extra charge).
INSIDER TIPResort goers can book 1, 2, or 3-bedroom suites, but if you want a real family reunion experience, ask for a suite with a kitchen so you can cook up family favorites for a beachfront picnic.
WHERE: Kennebunkport, Maine
A hop, skip, and a jump away from the heart of Kennebunkport’s shopping district is the Nonantum Resort. Perched along a bend in the Kennebunk River, hotel goers can get a look at the hustle and bustle of lobster boaters out on the grounds or from their family rooms, which can be configured to host families of all sizes. A swimming pool, walking history tour, kids fun club, and even a s’mores setup are just a few of the amenities you can enjoy while hosting a family reunion here, as well as a variety of outdoor activities like corn hole, Jenga, yoga on the lawn, and outdoor movie nights. The on-site restaurant is a must-try, including all homemade donuts in the morning and private cabana dining at night. This resort is perfect for quality family time at a slower pace.
WHERE: Friday Harbor, Washington
Between the beauty outside and the beauty inside, your family will leave Lakedale a little more grateful for each other. Located a ferry ride away from Seattle, you’ll leave the hustle and bustle of the city for the calming and refreshing outdoors. The Lakehouse holds up to 10 people, making it a great option for families who want to stay and play together. However, there are also log cabins, yurts, and even glamping cottages just in case everyone wants to have a different experience. Having a huge family reunion? Lakedale’s banquet hall can seat up to 80 people, while more than 150 can be accommodated via the expanded lodge deck. Outdoor activities here include stand-up paddleboarding, lawn games, bike riding, and kayaking.
The Ranch At Rock Creek
WHERE: Philipsburg, Montana
If you’ve ever wanted to try your hand at ranching, The Ranch at Rock Creek has everything you could want, plus a touch of luxury. This one-of-a-kind resort can host up to 75 guests, making it a perfect post-COVID scene for extended families. Start your day with traditional ranch-style cuisine, and then settle into a day of ranch life. In the summer, fly-fishing and sapphire mining are offered and other traditional “frontier” activities. The winter gives way to ice skating and skiing; but, don’t forget to check out the Granite Spa, which boasts treatments that include the healing properties of nature itself.
WHERE: Manchester Village, Vermont
Unsure you’re ready to stay at a full-blown resort and unsure you have enough people to rent the whole thing? Cue the Equinox Resort, where you can live the suite life. The Meadow House has five bedrooms with all the comforts of home, while the Dormy house has four bedrooms and a golf course view. Want something smaller? You can also rent three-bedroom townhomes for your family, ensuring that everyone is as comfortable as possible no matter what. Besides golf and a lux spa, you can take the Land Rover off-roading experience, which is definitely as cool as it sounds. Hike, bike, skate, or sled, depending on the season. S’mores by the firepit is always a good idea here, too. Also, don’t miss out on Cooper, a golden retriever that has been dubbed the resort’s Chief Happiness Officer.
Le Germain Charlevoix Hotel & Spa
WHERE: Montreal, Quebec, Canada
With a focus on the outdoors and local food and beverages, Le Germain Charlevoix is a delight for families looking for a retreat. The hotel comes outfitted with dormitory-style rooms, including bunk beds to ensure everyone can stay together. Visitors can also enjoy a trip to the spa or a seasonal heated outdoor pool. The summer months allow for hiking, kayaking, and rock climbing outdoors, while the winter months are all about skiing and sled dog riding. The hotel sits on the Charlevoix Flavor Trail, which no epicurean will want to miss.
INSIDER TIPAmericans entering Canada need to show both a negative COVID test taken within three days of entering the country, as well as proof of vaccination.
WHERE: Highlands, North Carolina
Not to be confused with Pennsylvania’s Skytop Lodge, North Carolina’s Skyline Lodge is nestled in the highlands of its mountains. Skyline Lodge is a quaint treehouse-like resort committed to creating a beautiful experience for everyone who stays there, whether they like adventure or prefer to sit back with a good cocktail. Guided tours—including a highlands excursion, rock climbing, and fly fishing—give just a taste of the culture. For sunset, grab a drink at Butler’s, a whiskey-forward cocktail bar. For dinner, head to the on-site restaurant, Oak Steakhouse, for local favorites like trout and venison wellington.
Hard Rock Hotel + Casino Atlantic City
WHERE: Atlantic City, New Jersey
Now that COVID restrictions have eased in the States, the slots and tables of a casino may be calling your name—and your family, too. While there are casinos all over the country, the thing about the Hard Rock Hotel + Casino is that everything is on one property and on a smaller scale than Las Vegas. Want to have an amazing steakhouse meal? Hard Rock has it. Want to see a concert? Hard Rock has that, too. Room service options are aplenty, there is a small and clean spa, and you’ll even find a beach bar that includes private cabanas for when you want to stay away from the crowds.