Luxury Summer Family Vacations Just Got an Upgrade

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Luxury experts Ciao Bambino, Luxury Travel Mom, and Poshbrood round up incredible family travel vacation experiences for summer 2013.

Family summer vacation in Charleston. Photo by Luxury Travel Mom

The busy traveling moms at Ciao Bambino, Luxury Travel Mom, and Poshbrood have all the answers to help you find the perfect summer getaway. They have tested, vetted, jetted, and indulged in the very best worldwide. These are their top picks for kid-approved luxury destinations and the best luxury family hotels.

From witnessing the peak of the Wildebeest migration in Kenya to indulging in 60 acres of green grass in the heart of Paris, there is something for families of all shapes and sizes.    

Experience two Four Seasons resorts on one Hawaiian island

Just off the coast of Maui, families can escape the daily chaos and stress on the island of Lanai with just over 3,000 residents and only three hotels, two being the extremely kid-friendly Four Seasons. Mix it up by spending a few nights at the stunning country estate Four Seasons Lanai, The Lodge at Koele, with an 18-hole golf course, croquet, and lawn bowling; then spend a few nights at the Four Seasons Resort Lanai at Manele Bay watching Spinner Dolphins over coffee, eat at the new Nobu, and encourage your children to become the next best body-surfer.

Ski and hike on the same vacation in the Swiss Alps

Switzerland’s iconic chocolate box village, Zermatt, at the foot of the breathtaking Matterhorn does not disappoint for families this summer. Whether you want to please one child by skiing one day and another by hiking the next, few places in the world provide this exciting combination of activities. A front-and-center Matterhorn view from a luxury apartment at Suitenhotel Zurbriggen is a must for adventurous families.

Experience nature and Viking culture in the land of Ice & Fire

A five hour direct flight from East Coast, Iceland is closer than most people think. Vikings, fairy tales, trolls, amazing sights and natural wonders await you and your brood in this majestic country. From geothermal spas (specifically, the Blue Lagoon), to spotting petite Icelandic horses, there is much to explore in this vast country. South Iceland is breathtaking and a perfect home base is the affordable and luxurious Hotel Ranga. Try an Icelandic horse experience with The Icelandic Horse company will have your children talking for weeks. In Iceland’s capital, Reykjavik, stay at the cool Art Deco Hotel Borg in the historic city center and be sure to visit the Saga Museum that transports guests to the Viking Age.

The best of a lake and a dude ranch vacation on Flathead Lake in Montana

Surrounded by epic mountain scenery, families have the best of two worlds between lake living and dude ranch fun at Flathead Lake Lodge in Montana. From sailing, to fishing, to horseback riding – Flathead Lake Lodge has extensive programs and endless amounts of fun things for families to do. Glacier National Park excursions from Flathead Lake are possible and should be top of the list.

Visit the #1 Tourist City in the World, Charleston, South Carolina

Condé Nast Traveler Magazine has crowned Charleston, South Carolina "Top City in the United States" for the second year in a row. This walkable city offers a heady combination of civil war history, bespoke fashion, and a vibrant food scene. Stay in the historic and uber-luxe Wentworth Mansion in the center of town. Add a few days to your summer vacation and venture out to the renowned beaches of Kiawah Island just thirty minutes away. There is plenty of room for the whole brood to stay in style at the exquisite oceanfront hotel, The Sanctuary.

Witness one of the world’s wonders in Kenya

What better summer vacation story to bring back to school than witnessing one of the world’s wonders in Masai Mara, Kenya. The peak of the Wildebeest migration happens in July and August, where thousands of herds move out of the Masai Mara and head to the Serengeti – a truly incredible sight to see. AndBeyond's Bateleur Camp provides unforgettable interactions with both the Masai people and the extraordinary wildlife in Kenya.

Summertime in Paris transforms the City of Lights into the ultimate family playground

Spring travel to Paris may be expected, but summertime travel to Paris truly is the piece de resistance for families. French families and trendy tourists alike can be found beach-side at the Seine – sand and umbrellas are imported for a month for Paris Plage (Paris’ beach). The Tuilleries Jardin adds a seasonal carnival offering scads of cotton candy, Ferris wheels, and arcade games. Your posse can stay in Royal style at the refurbished palace of Roland Bonaparte, now the Shangri La Paris. Bring your swimsuit, the stunning new 15-meter indoor pool also has a luxe outdoor patio – perfect for sipping a delicious French wine while watching your little ones work on their swim strokes.

Secrets in Seattle: Summers are stunning and umbrellas not needed

The best kept secret of Seattle is that it doesn’t rain much in the summer. Pacific Northwesterners try to keep this information low key, as they don’t want to be trampled by tourists. The Emerald City literally glimmers in the summer sunshine. Tucked between the Puget Sound, Lake Union and Lake Washington there is no shortage of outdoor fun for families. Rent a canoe and glide past the houseboats made famous in “Sleepless in Seattle”. The best place for luxury loving families to stay in town is the Four Seasons with a striking view of Elliot Bay and the only outdoor pool in the city. It is conveniently located next to the iconic Pike Place Market and the original Starbucks.

A beach getaway fit for America’s Royalty on Cape Cod

Summering on Cape Cod was made famous by America’s royalty, the Kennedy family, when they created the ‘Summer White House” in Hyannis Port. The allure of long summer days spent playing touch football on the beach draws families from not just the Northeast, but from all over the nation. Lobster dinners and whale watching are de rigueur on the Cape. Meanwhile, the concierge at the newly renovated Ocean Edge Resort can bring summer vacation fantasies to life. This historic mansion property accesses a private beach, boasts a Jack Nicklaus golf course and no less than five swimming pools. Even the Kennedys would be impressed.

Summer in Snowmass: Colorado offers sun, culture, food, and fun in the Rockies

Only 10 miles from downtown Aspen, this charming resort is filled with restaurants, boutiques, and bars. The location and elevation of Aspen/Snowmass allows for more than 300 days of sunshine each year in which to enjoy the plethora of summer events. A kid (and parent) favorite is the the weekly Snowmass Rodeo now celebrating its 40th year. Outdoor activities in Snowmass include biking, hiking, horseback riding, fishing, jeep tours, swimming, and river rafting. The Villas at Snowmass Club is a collection of villas with a kids' club, swimming pools, three restaurants, tennis, golf, fitness center, and spa. The new Viceroy Snowmass is at the base of Snowmass Mountain and is the first luxury Colorado property to be awarded LEED Gold certification. Kids will love the year-round pool terrace with cabanas, while mom hits the 7,000-square-foot spa inspired by ancient Ute Indian culture.

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Amie O'Shaughnessy
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