The 10 Best Luxury Family Destinations in the World

Updated on 14 August 2017

With so many places to choose from, it can be hard to select which country to travel to. With a family, finding  a destination that pleases everyone is often a challenge. Whilst the adults may be keen on relaxation or cultural attractions, children have a whole other set of priorities! We’ve put together our suggestions for the 10 best luxury family destinations in the world, in association with Pearlshare, to give you some recommendations that should please everyone. Pearlshare is a clever app that helps you to find, save and share unique places worldwide. It brings together guides such as the best places to see Fall foliage in Kyoto, and Paris hidden gems as well as Pearls, which are individual tips. It’s like seeing the sights with a local!

When booking a family holiday, there are a few things to bear in mind. Direct flights are preferable and also travelling in the dry season, although some countries can be too hot for very young children in high Summer. If travelling with toddlers, you may wish to find it easier to opt for a villa holiday so as to keep their usual meal routine. Try to find one with a gated pool for safety’s sake. With older children or teenagers, you might wish to incorporate an element of adventure into your vacation, such as zip-lining or other outdoor pursuits.

Best Luxury Family Destinations – Bali

Why choose Bali for a luxury family vacation? Well first of all, the Balinese are incredibly friendly to everyone, children and adults alike. The beaches are superb, and there’s an abundance of luxurious villas. You can get the best of both worlds at Kayumanis Jimbaran Private Estate & Spa, with your own private villa and the amenities of a hotel. Eating out in Bali is easy with children as there are so many different types of cuisine available. As for activities, Waterbom Bali has been voted the best waterpark in Asia and second best in the world. Older children and teenagers will enjoy trekking through the rice fields and exploring the temples of this beautiful country.

bali-rice-terrace-luxury-columnistCosta Rica

With new direct flights from the UK and USA, Costa Rica is one of the best luxury family destinations. It would suit children of school age and older, being one of the top worldwide destinations for adventure tourism, with zip lines, white-water rafting and lush rainforest. Costa Rica is also the world’s happiest country, according to the Happy Planet Index. Its compact size makes it easy to explore and there are pushchair-friendly paths in the Reserva Santa Elena and Corara and Poás national parks. The wildlife here is incredible, with frogs, monkeys, macaws and sloths among the 500,000 species. Aim to visit during the dry season from December to April and consider booking into a luxury hotel with its own hot springs such as The Springs Resort & Spa or Tabacon in Arenal.


There are many advantages to a Dubai family vacation, not least the relatively short flight time from Europe and the continual sunshine. Several new theme parks are due to open, including IMG Worlds of Adventure on 31 August and Dubai Parks in October. The latter comprises three theme parks: Bollywood Dubai, Legoland and Motiongate. Adults and older children will enjoy exploring the sand dunes by buggy or sand board. One of the top luxury family hotels is the famous Atlantis The Palm, with the Aquaventure Waterpark, the Lost Chambers Aquarium and Sea Lion Photo Fun. Adults can enjoy dinner at Nobu, having booked their children aged 3-12 into an evening adventure where they’ll take part in games and craft activities.


Italy must be one of the best luxury family destinations in the world. Not only are the Italians renowned for their kindness to children, but the country boasts stunning beaches in Puglia, Sardinia and Sicily. Kids tend to love Italian food too, although restaurants don’t open until quite late. If you have very young children, a villa holiday might be the best option and there are many available by the sea and inland, such as this medieval watch tower with an unparalleled view over the Amalfi Coast – we loved our stay here.


Did you know that Lapland is actually spread over two countries, Finland and Sweden? However, Finnish Lapland is the official home of Father Christmas. His main two hangouts are Santa Claus Village and Santa Park, both in Rovaniemi in the Arctic Circle. It can get rather busy at both places so you may prefer to book a private family meeting with Father Christmas via a specialized tour company. If you travel between October to March, you may be fortunate enough to see the Northern Lights too. Just remember to wrap up extremely warm.


The paradise island of Nevis is small but perfectly formed at 36 square miles. You may have heard the term experiential travel before and wondered what it meant. One of the hottest trends in luxury, it’s about real-life immersive experiences into a country’s culture and traditions. Nevis is at the forefront of this trend, encouraging visitors to get involved in sea turtle conservation. The Four Seasons Resort Nevis arranges a whole program of educational activities for children who sign up to their Kids for All Seasons Club. They’ll enjoy turtle walks, games and craft lessons and if you stay between June and October when the sea turtles are present, they’ll also be given a sea turtle adoption certificate…The program is run with the help of the Caribbean Conservation Corporation and profits from the day club help to fund a program where 2 turtles are tagged each year with a GPS satellite, then released. The children who have participated in the program can track the turtles online throughout the year.


One of the best family vacation spots right now is Portugal. The Algarve region has some fabulous sandy beaches that stretch for miles bordered by stunning golden rock. The Portugese are very welcoming to children and there’s a great variety of cuisines. We particularly like the EPIC SANA, as grown-ups can get fit and use the spa facilities whilst children enjoy the Little Stars Kids Club. The resort is fully enclosed so extremely safe, yet a stone’s throw from the beach.

Algarve-beach-VillamouraSouth Africa

There are many reasons why South Africa is perfect for family friendly vacations. European travellers won’t experience jet lag as there’s very little time difference. Moreover, the best malaria-free safaris are all found in South Africa and it’s comparatively easy to spot the Big Five. The country has a long tradition of hospitality, with luxurious game lodges and gourmet restaurants. Children will enjoy not only the safaris but also whale watching and a visit to Monkey Land, the first free-roaming primate sanctuary in the world.

African-gazelles-Luxury-Columnist-luxury-blogUnited Kingdom

There are some great seaside areas of the United Kingdom where you can holiday in style with children, including Cornwall, Devon and Norfolk. One of our favourites is the Isle of Wight, for its retro charm and child-friendly activities. Known as Dinosaur Island for the number of fossils, there’s a dinosaur museum at Sandown beach. Inland, children and adults will enjoy a visit to Osborne House, Queen Victoria’s holiday home. Its picturesque Swiss Cottage was designed by Prince Albert for his children to play in.

isle-of-wight-beach-hutsUnited States of America

Florida has some of the best theme parks in the world but there’s plenty more to do, like taking an airboat or kayaking tour of the Everglades to spot the alligators or a zipline canopy tour. In Tampa Bay, Glazier Children’s Museum has some great interactive exhibits like the Kidsport where kids can navigate cargo through a shipping channel. The Breakers hotel is very family friendly, putting the emphasis on activities for all ages such as family fitness classes and golf clinics. It’s good for couples too, we spent part of our honeymoon here and loved it.

So there you have it, our 10 best luxury family destinations.
What countries do you think are best for luxury family holidays and why? What was your favourite destination as a child?


  • I’d love to go to Costa Rica, I never thought of it as a family friendly place! Definitely agree with South Africa, I think a lot of people would be worried about taking children on safari but there were lots of kids when we went.

    • It’s good for older children but probably not ideal for very young ones. As for South Africa, it’s so safe, isn’t it!

  • Dubai is one of my favourite destinations for a quick-fix and fabulous holiday (esp as it’s so close to Bombay!). Ever so keen to visit Lapland, especially after reading your highlights! xx

    • I love Finland, there’s something so magical about landing at the airport surrounded by snow and fir trees!

  • Most of these places are on my bucket list, hopefully from next year on, some of them will be crossed off from the list 🙂 I haven’t heard Nevis before, little places like that are great for exploring, at least you can walk around the whole island 🙂

    Ela BellaWorld

    • Nevis is a very small island but they’re doing such great work for sea turtle conservation! There’s a sister island called St Kitts which is quite well known

  • This is a fantastic list of destinations that are fun for kids and adults! We thoroughly enjoyed our time in Bali – a place full of friendly people, great beaches and amazing food – a great place for the whole family. Never been to Costa Rica but it is high on my list!

  • What a cool list. I haven’t been to any of these outside of the US of course.

    Amy Ann
    Straight A Style

    • Quite a few are easy to get to from the States, I hope you get the chance to visit, Amy Ann

  • Great List, I would love to get to Nevis and Bali

  • If absolutely love to go to Bali at some point!! This is such a great list!

  • As a child my favourite destinations were Australia (Melbourne, Perth, Adelaide, Sydney…you name it!), Singapore (probably because I had family in both Australia and Singapore), New Zealand, USA…anything that involved road trips! Although lately me and my mum’s side of the family checked into this gorgeous villa on Redang Island in Malaysia and it was nice to just eat, sleep, swim, repeat. x

    Daydreaming With…Stanley Kubrick – Posh, Broke, & Bored

    • I’m yet to visit Australia and Singapore – I was very tempted to put that one on the list as I’ve heard it’s so child-friendly

  • Paola

    Great destinations, I would like to come back in USA asap!
    Kisses, Paola.


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    • Me too, there’s so much to see in the States! I’d love to visit California, Louisiana and so many other places there

  • This is a great guide for those with families – I can imagine how excitable any child would be over visiting Lapland! 🙂

    Gabrielle | A Glass Of Ice x

  • With or without a family – these are great destinations! As a solo traveller, I would love to visit the places that I haven’t been to yet.

  • I’ve been to Bali and it’s a place like no other. The mistake that I did was to stay in Kuta which was loud, busy and it wasn’t a relaxing experience so the next time I visit, I plan to stay in Nusa Dua areas.

    Shireen | Reflection of Sanity

    • We’d heard that Kuta was a bit of a party town so we avoided it but we didn’t get time to visit Nusa Dua, it sounded lovely

  • Great list! I’ve been wanting to check out the beaches in Italy and Portugal, they look so beautiful and like the perfect luxury vacation spot.

    Eden | Mint Notion

    • Some of the Italian beaches are pebble ones but you can get some great sandy beaches in Sardinia and Sicily. As for Portugal, the beaches are incredible!

  • Bali is where we are taking the family this Christmas Holidays, thrilled to find it on your list. It has been 16 years since my last visit so I am very interested to experience it with the kids…you have some amazing selections on your list for our next trip! xx

    • Ooh lucky you, I’m sure your kids will have an amazing time. We didn’t get to the water park, but I wish we had.

  • These all look amazing, I would like to go to any of them

  • I would have never thought that Dubai is an appropriate family destination, but seems that I was wrong. I would love to visit any of those places, even though I don’t have kids yet.

    • Dubai is a great family destination thanks to all the child-friendly hotels and attractions

  • Ellie Adams

    This is such an amazing post, I don’t have a family yet but I’m always thinking of how/where my travels will take me to when I do. I’d never have pipped Dubai, South africa or Bail as family destinations so that’s fab to hear!


    • Dubai is actually quite close, I wanted to feature a wide range of destinations so that readers everywhere will hopefully have one of them near them

  • Love this list Suze! I’m very excited about the new direct flights to Costa Rica – Ian lived there a while back and has told me so many wonderful things about this country. I had no idea it’s rated No.1 on the Happy Planet Index either! I’m very intrigued by Nevis also…

    • Yes the new direct flights to Costa Rica are brilliant – and nice that it’s officially the happiest place on earth!

  • Alfredo Ciano

    I Add Japan & China ; the Beauty of Far East…My Travel Dream as a Child ? the Moon…In the Next Years We Will See the Tourism on the Moon ; There Are Many Private Companies of Rockets Ready for This Jump…

    • Now that’s an exciting trip, to the moon and back! I’d love to visit China and Japan

      • Alfredo Ciano

        Ok , I Wait You on the Moon…

  • Really interesting list, especially as many of these are destinations I would want most definitely want to go to without kids!! But I totally agree with you about places like Bali, Portugal and Dubai, especially Bali given what excellent value for money it offers if families are travelling with children. I didn’t know about the waterpark at all! My favourite destination as a child was London as we used to live abroad and I used to love seeing red phone boxes, visiting Trafalgar square and going to Hamleys! 😀

    • I wish I’d known about the waterpark when we visited Bali too! London is so iconic to visit as a child, or as a grown up…

  • New Zealand’s South Island is amazing for families. Wanaka & Queenstown in particular …. Hiking or skiing during the day and relaxing lake side in the evening.