Think: elegant living room with stone fireplace, wrought iron chandelier, high ceilings and two-storey-high windows taking in alpine vistas; three plush bathrooms with soaker tubs, polished marble and mirror-TVs; balconies for breakfast al fresco; a formal dining room and full kitchen with bar.
Fabulous mountain-resort design aside, the suite felt like it was created with families in mind.
What we loved was:
*the homey-ness: it’s like you’re in a house or apartment, not a hotel.
*the dine-in option: you can comfortably eat in—ideal for cranky kids and toddlers who missed naptime—or even invite friends for a shared family meal.
*the spaciousness: this allowed us to spread out and indulge in alone time while still being together.
*the configuration: with two full bedroom wings plus en-suites positioned on opposite sides of the living area, babies can nap easily in their own quiet space while the rest of the family watches a show or plays board games. At night, parents can retreat into their own wing with a movie or a late date-night dinner for two by the fireplace. It’s as if you’ve rented a separate apartment in the same vicinity as your family.
Case in point: the 3,300-sq-ft, 16th floor Royal Suite at the new Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World® Resort. The design lends itself to multi-generational, or multi-family, vacations: up to eight additional connecting rooms can transform the suite into a nine-bedroom residence. Views from the 1,000 sq-fit terrace take in the park’s nightly fireworks show.
With R&R, luxury, privacy and style for all in mind, Four Seasons is now spotlighting extraordinary suites at its resorts and hotels across the globe. Here’s a look at some of the very best suites for families…
Location: Bali (Ubud)—this tiny island province boasts dramatic views of rice terraces and the Indian Ocean, aromatic cuisine, romantic tropical beauty, rich artistic traditions and a spiritual approach to life. But it’s the graciousness of the people and unique culture that will entice you and the kids.
Details: “Family Suite”: Last year, the resort converted three one-bedroom suites into 2,045-sq-ft Family Suites. The cozy, cheery kids’ bedroom just off the living room will make children feel immediately at home. It includes a Trundle bed and pullout twin to sleep two youngsters or a nanny and child, and an en-suite shower. It’s located in the main resort building for convenience: nearby are the new Pici Pici Club/Kids For All Seasons kid’s club (for ages 5 to 12, with tree house and jungle playground), the spa, gym, lobby and restaurants.
Noteworthy: Nature-inspired and authentically Balinese, the spacious suite is designed with two separate wings. That means Mom and Dad can enjoy alone time, including an evening on their own private terrace after children are tucked in bed. For parents with toddlers, the on-one-level layout means there are no stairs to worry about. Families will love the outdoor dining terrace.
Location: Argentina (Buenos Aires)—a family-friendly culture where kids are always included and welcome. This intoxicating South American city with Parisian chic has park-dotted neighborhoods to explore on foot and enticing family fun along the lines of world-class fútbol (soccer), polo matches, live tango, delicious asado (barbecue) and cemetery touring.
Details: The “Mansion View One-Bedroom Suite” is 860 sq ft with high ceilings and lots of light—essentially a private apartment in the upscale Recoleta district with shopping, dining, parks and sights within walking distance. These are the only suites in the neighborhood with unobstructed views of the city and pulsing 9 de Julio Avenue, plus the hotel’s historic Mansion and manicured gardens with Art Deco pool.
Noteworthy: Kids will tap into Argentine style through the room décor, created by international design team Wai. The handsome new suites are the result of a recent $49 million renovation, inspired by Argentina’s passions: tango and polo. Families can be separate together, too: the living room is separated from a bathroom and bedroom by a sliding door.
Details: “Capital Suite”: the richly appointed 1,100 sq-ft suite is so spacious, it easily converts to a children’s play area, inside “camping” site or family dining room. The in-suite Nespresso machine means parents don’t need leave the room in search of a morning coffee. The suite may also be booked with a connecting room offering two double beds. Living rooms sofas can pull out into an additional twin bed.
Noteworthy: The hotel is situated in historic Georgetown neighborhood and suites look onto the garden courtyard or 29th Street. French doors separate the master bedroom from the living area, so parents can enjoy some privacy.
Location: U.S. (Hawaii, Maui)—“Like sneaking veggies into a cupcake,” Hawaii is both educational and an indulgence. Activities galore—surfing, paddling, whale watching and heli-touring—and gorgeous beaches make Maui a quintessential family holiday destination.
Details: At 6,800 indoor-outdoor square feet, the “Lokelani Suite” is like a vacation home with all the bells and whistles. Key for families: the view, numerous bedrooms and spaciousness. The large private lawn provides a “front yard to the ocean” where kids can run and play. Close to the pool, beach, restaurants and kids’ club, it includes two master suites, two separate dining rooms, a large living room and kitchen for accommodating up to six adults with six children.
Noteworthy: Space! These are the largest suites on Maui. A media room with gaming seats eight. Use of a car rental is included, as well as three pre-reserved main pool cabanas, a massage for each parent and a personal concierge. The private terrace, with a 180-degree oceanfront vista, makes for a memorable family sunset dinner.
Location: Hungary (Budapest)—like a low-key Paris, this stylish city with a youthful vibe is set in the heart of Eastern Europe. You and the kids can tour the historic architecture on foot, savor top-notch classical music and dip into the outdoor thermal baths.
Details: The 700-sq-ft, open-concept “Park Suites” afford plenty of elbow room for families. The space is divided into living room, dining room with table seating for four and bedroom with sofa bed. For families traveling with grandparents or nannies, the suite can be expanded into a private two- or three-bedroom apartment by connecting additional rooms. The mini bar is stocked with kid-friendly goodies.
Noteworthy: From the two balconies overlooking the city, you can point out many of the famous sights to the children over an outside breakfast: the Danube River, the Chain Bridge, the Buda Hills, the Royal Castle and Fisherman’s Bastion. Another learning opp: the Art Deco décor is typical of Europe in the 1920s. The concierge can arrange classical music lessons for kids, cooking classes with the chef and a behind-the-scenes tour of the zoo, one of the world’s oldest (founded in 1866).
Location: Morocco (Marrakech)—exotic, stylish and mysterious, vibrant Marrakech is also accessible, making it one of the world’s great family destinations. The kids will marvel at the colors, sounds and scents of the medina, just minutes from Four Seasons.
Details: “Grand Pavilion Suite”: one 1,722-sq-ft bedroom on the ground floor that blends space with privacy. For families, there’s the option to connect a second room (pavilion area) with twin beds for children. A separate living area means kids can snooze while mom and dad stay up late.
Noteworthy: The suite is steps from the resort’s family pool, heated in winter. The large outdoor terrace is ideal for a special family dinner under the stars.
Location: U.S. (Hawaii, Hualalai)—on Hawaii, the Big Island, this is a place of incredible scenery, history, culture, majesty and warm locals. It’s exotic, but easy. Take the kids swimming with dolphins, exploring volcanoes or just chillaxing by one of the seven pools and taking in the gorgeous stretch of lava-strewn coastline right outside your door.
Details: ”Ohana Suites,” 1,441 to 2,076 sq ft: these are optimal for families because they are positioned on the ground floor in the Beach Tree and Seashell crescents of rooms (most family-friendly), available as one or two bedrooms.
Noteworthy: These suites have direct pool access. Family-oriented games and amenities are in-suite. The stay includes one complimentary night of babysitting, an in-suite movie night, daily in-suite Continental breakfast, private airport transfers and a personal suite concierge.
Location: Thailand (Koh Samui)—if you’re thinking tropical island idyll tucked on a lush hillside with boardwalks through the coconut groves, white sand and shimmering sea, secluded Koh Samui is your place. Stay put: you’ll only need to decide whether it’s crab hunting or kayaking, snorkeling or sailing, a Thai cooking class or tour of the local fishing village.
Details: The 1,100-sq-ft “Family Villas” are designed for families with young children (up to 12). Just a quick walk from the beach and kids’ club, the villas have a separate kids’ sleeping area with two twin beds; a third child can use the rollaway.
Noteworthy: The kids will revel in their own 161-sq-ft private infinity pool and parents can relax because the pool is fenced. Another plus: no sandy, wet floors because children can access the bathroom directly from the deck. All villas have a spacious outdoor deck, large day bed and special children’s amenities. Some include a “secret garden” with lawn.
Location: Portugal (Lisbon)—one of the world’s oldest cities, maritime, laidback Lisbon is charming, walkable and family-centric—Moorish with a European heart. Tour castles on the ocean shore and dine on fresh-catch seafood and Paella. The locals welcome families with genuine delight.
Details: The “Residency Suite”: at 2,745 square feet, this is a full luxury apartment on the hotel’s 4th floor with a view of the Eduardo VII Park. The layout incorporates a master bedroom, second bedroom, full kitchen, living room, sitting room, office and three plush bathrooms.
Noteworthy: The Residency Suite was created specifically with families in mind. In fact, the same family has been living in the suite for a year!
Find more Four Seasons suites in Four Seasons Magazine.
Michelle Pentz Glave is the Have Family Will Travel editor. Before diving into communications/PR, she was a journalist for 25 years in the US and Germany including stints with The Wall Street Journal Europe, Gruner+Jahr (Bertelsman) and the Albuquerque Journal. Her work has appeared in Outside, Wired, Travel + Leisure, Sunset and Fortune. She has a Bachelor's in English from Yale and a Master's in Journalism from Columbia University. Michelle is passionate about family, food, farmers, her garden and taekwondo. She lives on Bowen Island, near Vancouver, Canada, with her husband and two kids: Sabrina, 12, and Duncan, 10.
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