There’s nothing dreamy about family vacations. Same routine, more gear, different view.
So we asked Elizabeth Thorp, founder of Poshbrood, a website that features family-friendly upscale hotels, villas, cottages, and inns, if there were any destinations that could fulfill our wildest fantasies (namely distracting our kids, so we could enjoy ourselves).
Here are her picks for a little postholiday R&R.
Jamaica Villas by Linda Smith
Montego Bay Area, Jamaica
What to expect: Beautiful beaches with calm waters perfect for little swimmers.
Favorite thing: Every morning a butler places a thermos of fresh-brewed Jamaican coffee outside your door. After that, you lounge by the pool as the staff serves you cold drinks and prepares family meals.
Family-friendly perks: Membership to nearby Tryall Club or Round Hill gives you access to kids’ clubs, spas, beaches, pools, water sports, and restaurants (even though you won’t need them). You can also hire nannies for $8-$12 an hour — depending how many littles there are to watch.
The damage: During January and early February, a three-bedroom villa with a pool and staff is $3,800 per week. Tell them you came by way of Poshbrood and you’ll get seven nights for the price of six.
Acqualina Resort & Spa on the Beach
What to expect: A charming Mediterranean villa meets beachside chic wrapped up in a five-diamond Leading Hotels of the World property.
Favorite thing: The rooms. Even at the entry level they are spacious — starting at 600 square feet.
Family-friendly perks: An innovative marine biology-based program especially for children ages 5 to 12. Kids enjoy relay races, games, swimming, arts and crafts, and eco-explorations while mom and dad hang solo.
The damage: A double is $850-$1,050 per night in high season, which means it’s not the spot for the thrifty.
Paradise Island, Bahamas
What to expect: A luxe resort set on a lush tropical island — think Vegas, Disney, and the Caribbean rolled into one.
Favorite thing: Complimentary access to Aquaventure, the resort’s 141-acre waterscape with high-speed water slides, a mile-long river ride with rolling rapids, twenty swimming areas, a kids’ water-play fort, and twelve swimming pools.
Family-friendly perks: Littles, ages 3-12, can choose their own adventure within themed spaces. Adventure Guides are ready to help them with everything from cooking lessons to outdoor play.
The damage: Rooms can run as low as $280 per night in nonpeak winter periods. But high rollers will want to book at The Cove at Atlantis, where rooms start at $590 per night.
Hotel del Coronado
San Diego, California
What to expect: A National Historic Landmark with a full-time recreation department to cater to your child’s every whim.
Favorite thing: The combination of modern luxury and fairy-tale charm. Larger families can rent one- to three-bedroom beachfront cottages complete with fireplaces, 400-thread count linens, and gourmet kitchens.
Family-friendly perks: Kidtopia, for guests ages 4-12, features craft and play rooms with oodles of activities like a crazy funhouse mirror and high-tech entertainment stations.
The damage: The Beach Retreat Package, which includes accommodations, s’mores on the beach, two-hour bike rentals, and beach umbrella setup, starts at $339 per night.
The Beloved Hotel
Playa Mujeres, Mexico
What to expect: Just a few minutes north of Cancun, the intimate resort’s large suites (the smallest rooms are 960 square feet), spotless service, deluxe facilities, and secluded beachfront setting make you feel miles away from Zona Tourista.
Favorite thing: It’s an all-inclusive hotel. Don’t scoff! All gourmet meals and snacks, alcoholic and nonalcoholic beverages, minibar items, nonmotorized water sports, and more are covered in the rate.
Family-friendly perks: Beloved’s Kids Club is free to guests ages 4-12 and includes activities like mask making, face painting, and traditional Mexican pinata making.
The damage: January 7-February 29 rooms start at $190 per person per night (children under 4 are free) with a free room upgrade if available.
Photo: Blend Images / John Lund / Marc Romanelli / Getty Images