Planning a vacation to please all the family can be tough. Here, we’ve rounded up five exceptional regenerative hotels with activities that everyone will enjoy for memorable family escapes that positively impact the destination’s local community and environment.
Family escapes can be the source of the most memorable moments for all generations. An adventure away from home can include many ‘firsts’ for younger family members and offers the opportunity to step back and bask in gratitude for the older generations.
What isn’t always ideal when planning a family vacation, though, is having to cater to everyone’s needs. Considering the varied interests, priorities and preferences of all family members can be quite a chore. This is why we’ve rounded up the five best, nature-immersed regenerative hotels for unforgettable family escapes. All regenerative properties, these hotels place great emphasis on having a positive impact in their communities and on their environments. So staying somewhere that contributes to its surroundings in a valuable way will be a given at these hotels.
Leave compromises aside at each of these hotels where there are fun-soaked experiences in nature for all the family. Whether it’s heading out on a group snorkeling expedition, gazing at ancient ruins, tracking wild cheetahs or cantering on horseback, these hotels have something for everyone.
1. Hamanasi Resort, Belize
With the Caribbean Sea in the front and Maya Mountains at the back, Hamanasi Resort in Hopkins, Belize is sandwiched between two areas of great natural beauty.
The beachfront treehouse rooms allow for plenty of monkeying around as a family. The freshwater infinity pool is ideal for splashing about and soaking up the views out to the Caribbean Sea.
An unforgettable family experience is a snorkeling expedition to see the exceptional marine life living on Belize’s barrier reef. It’s the Western Hemisphere’s longest continuous barrier reef and comprises 185 miles of coral formations so no one in the family will be disappointed.
Hamanasi also offers visits to the world’s only jaguar preserve. Guests can track wild cat tracks and, if really in luck, catch sightings of exuberant jaguars and pumas. Ancient Mayan pyramids are also tucked away in the jungle near Hamanasi and can be explored and awed at by all the family.
If snorkeling, Mayan pyramids and wild cat sightings aren’t enough excitement, guests can head out for a day of fishing. This is followed by learning how to cook together so dinner is fresh and everyone in the family gets to have a hand in preparing it.
All tours are led by Belize Tourism Board-certified guides who always ensure that visiting Hopkins leaves no trace on the environment.
2. Samara Karoo Reserve, South Africa
A restored farmhouse set on 67,000 acres of South African wilderness is definitely the ideal setting for an unforgettable family escape. Conservation and rewilding are at the heart of Samara Karoo Reserve’s ethos so families can enjoy the reserve’s landscapes and know that they will still be just as beautiful for years to come.
A special family expedition involves tracking endangered wild cheetahs on foot within the reserve. Catching glimpses of these playful creatures bonding, hunting and raising their young all while roaming the expansive reserve is no ordinary way to spend the day. Guests can join the likes of Samara’s on-site Tracker Academy to get expert insight into the wildlife and enjoy the unique beauty of a safari on foot.
Sleeping beneath the twinkling African skies in a four-poster bed is a particularly magical offering at Samara Karoo. Drifting off to the sounds of wildlife humming all around is definitely an experience that can’t be matched at home.
A family picnic is guaranteed to create fond memories. Samara Karoo offers a picnicking experience with wildebeests and lions on the Mara mountain top so guests can literally dine on top of the world.
3. Tranquilo Bay, Panama
Adventure awaits the entire family at Tranquilo Bay ecolodge in Bocas del Toro, Panama’s action-packed archipelago of Caribbean islands. Dolphins, sloths, iguanas, and spotted eagle rays are all on display on land in lush rainforest and at sea, in the lukewarm Caribbean waters.
Whether it’s hiking, snorkeling, kayaking or surfing the islands’ impressive waves, there’s a way to discover Bocas del Toro’s beauty and wildlife that will suit everyone in the family.
Experienced birdwatchers and youngsters with a budding interest can take on the challenge of spotting all 230 bird species that have been recorded within Tranquilo Bay’s grounds. There are also over 550 known bird species in the surrounding area where bird watching excursions take place so no one will leave disappointed.
For a more relaxed day after all the exploring, indulge in a beach day at Bastimentos National Marine Park where splashing about in the waves or simply kicking it back on the sand will be sure to please everyone in the family.
4. Craveiral Farmhouse, Portugal
Get lost wandering around farmlands on a family walk at Craveiral Farmhouse in picturesque São Teotónio, Portugal. Set over nine hectares of rustic land, Craveiral consists of 38 separate houses each carefully designed in a minimalist style for those in the family with a discerning eye.
The expansive setting allows guests to roam free and totally disconnect from the buzz of urban life and electronic devices. Hop on a horse and explore Portugal’s wondrous landscapes on horseback or simply befriend one of the farm’s many animals. Craveiral is also pet-friendly so it is a stay that truly welcomes every member of the family.
For foodie families, there’s the opportunity to get green-fingered at the farmhouse’s organic garden and see how produce that started its day in soil ends up on your plate. Or tuck into a warming pizza, fresh out of the woodfired oven while counting the many twinkling stars that look down on the farm each night.
Catching some waves as a family is also on the cards, as the dramatic Alentejo coastline is just a short drive away.
5. Tortuga Bay Resort and Club, Dominican Republic
Elegant beachfront villas sitting in a 1,500-acre ecological reserve await at Tortuga Bay. The suite interiors were designed by none other than Dominican native, Oscar de la Renta so style-enthusiast members of the family will be pleased by the sophisticated, luminous spaces.
The miles of chalky white sand provide the perfect spot for those in the family more inclined to recline on a beach lounger. For the more active, there are endless water sports to pack in, from sailing trips to paddle boarding adventures, for voyages big and small on the Caribbean Sea’s crystalline waters. The 45 championship-level holes at neighboring La Cana Golf Club are the perfect excuse for a bit of friendly family sporting rivalry.
Guided tours of the ecological reserve will ensure everyone in the family gets immersed in the Dominican Republic’s lush green foliage. Tours can even be done by Segway if guests are looking to chuckle at each other zooming around the reserve on two wheels.