Ah, vacations sure do change when you’re traveling with teens. Entertainment and activities need to be entirely geared toward their age, and can’t seem too immature or require them to spend too much time with their parents. Here, we highlight the best resorts for teens in 2019, offering everything from Instagram-worthy scenery to teen-only hangouts.
1. The Kinney SLO – San Luis Obispo, CA
Opened in 2018, this boutique hotel was practically made for teenagers. Teens will love the hotel’s funky, colorful decor and social hours hosted at The Quad, an outdoor courtyard with fire pits, bean bag chairs, and life-sized Lite Brite and Scrabble. They’ll also enjoy Skeeball and shuffleboard at Leroy’s, an onsite restaurant serving up teen favorites such as burgers and chili cheese fries. The Kinney SLO is located in San Luis Obispo, close to Cal Poly University, the beach, and hiking opportunities galore.
2. The Breakers Palm Beach – Palm Beach, FL
This Palm Beach resort works hard to please teens with a number of special events designed specifically for them. During peak seasons at The Breakers Palm Beach (spring break, summer and holidays), teens will often find an array of events, such as a Teen Murder Mystery Theater, Teen Catamaran Party Boat, and New Year’s Eve Teen Casino. Other teen offerings include games at the onsite arcade, bicycle tours of Palm Beach, pool parties, and movie nights.
3. JW Marriott Cancun Resort & Spa – Cancun, Mexico
Have adventurous teens? Let them snorkel with the whale sharks in Cancun between May and August (when you can also score some shoulder-season vacation deals). The luxurious JW Marriott Cancun Resort & Spa also offers the BeachWalk Game Center, with foosball, air hockey, and gaming TVs, and on the beach, water sports such as jet skiing and parasailing. Ocean-facing rooms mean Snapchat-worthy photos, too—no filters needed.
4. Big Cedar Lodge – Ridgedale, MO
There is certainly no shortage of camp-like environments for teens to enjoy in the Midwest, but Big Cedar Lodge is one of our favorites. Teens can escape to nearby Dogwood Canyon Nature Park, where private Jeep and Segway tours are offered, as well as guided horseback riding trail rides. The Lodge itself boasts its own stables and offers trail rides, too, if you don’t want to leave the property. It also offers wagon tours and horseshoeing. Teens can enjoy the marina, where boat rentals are available for guests, in addition to kayak rentals.
5. Hotel del Coronado – Coronado, CA
There’s no shortage of fun things for teens to do while vacationing at Hotel del Coronado in Coronado, California, just outside of San Diego. They can pay a visit to the Spa and Salon at The Del, where they can receive the “Teen Treats” package, which features 25-minute services, including Swedish massages, express facials, back facials and salt scrubs. Teens obsessed with sweets can indulge in the “Teen Spa Sundae,” which features ice cream float baths and 25-minute frosting massages. Bike rentals, surfing lessons and paddleboard lessons are also available.
6. Atlantis, Paradise Island – Bahamas
When teens aren’t sunbathing on the beach or zooming down the slides at Aquaventure water park at Atlantis, Paradise Island, there’s only one other place they’ll want to be: CRUSH nightclub. This 14,000-square-foot space offers an internet lounge; a gaming room that features favorites such as Kinect for Xbox 360, Playstation 3 and Wi; and a VIP section with multipurpose video walls! Of course, a DJ is always spinning tunes, and teens can quench their thirst from all that dancing at the Concession Stand and Bar, which serves up every drink imaginable for the night’s entirety.
7. Tamarind by Elegant Hotels – Barbados
Teens-only shopping excursions, spa treatments, and standup paddleboarding are among the highlights for teenagers at Tamarind in Barbados. One of the best hotels for teens, Tamarind also offers a private beach, outdoor pool, onsite dining, and movies under the stars.
8. Smugglers’ Notch – Smugglers’ Notch, VT
Skiing isn’t the only way to play outdoors in the Green Mountain State. In the summer (June to September), Smugglers Notch Resort, a four-season destination, offers “Notch Squad,” a full-day experience for age 11 to 15, with active games, high and low rope courses, and unique sports like mountain boarding. Daredevil teens (age 15 to 17) get the freedom to explore it all — climbing wall, high ropes course and kayaking—with the “Mountain Explorers” program creating action-packed itineraries from a diverse menu of options.|
Of course, winter brings an array of snow-filled fun, as well as a similar array of lively activities, with traditional snow-sports camps, as well as a la carte lessons. Two Teen Centers give the crew a place to escape the ‘rents, and condo-style accommodations (up to five-bedroom townhouses arranged in five resort “Villages”) mean teens can have the space they need while affording the rest of the family some well-deserved peace and quiet.
9. W Punta De Mita
The W Punta De Mita is a social media lover’s paradise; in fact, it was named to our list of the 9 Best Instagram-Worthy Hotels for Teens! Aside from the eye-popping decor at every turn (guestrooms included), teens will love the pool, beach, bike rentals, and Wave, the onsite surf, kayak and paddleboarding school. Another fun perk? Razor scooters to get around the expansive resort!
10. Four Seasons Costa Rica at Peninsula Papagayo – Costa Rica
Combine family harmony with nature in a luxurious setting shared by resident howler monkeys, rare sea turtles and exotic birds. Perched on a narrow plateau 320 feet above the Pacific Ocean, the Four Seasons Costa Rica at Peninsula Papagayo is secluded, but that doesn’t mean activities are sedentary. Using the resort as a base for exploration, families can surf, snorkel, sea kayak, hike, go horseback riding or zip through the rainforest on a high-flung canopy tour. Three hotel pools are cradled by two popular beaches for relaxing, and a nearby Beach Club, Tuanis Teen Center, free cooking and salsa lessons and an onsite spa offer treatments for more diversions for teens. Lodging options include spacious standard rooms (603 square feet), one- to three-bedroom treehouse canopy suites, and private rental homes.
11. The Ritz-Carlton, St. Thomas – St. Thomas, USVI
Unique to a few Ritz-Carlton beach destinations, including the recently reopened Ritz-Carlton, St. Thomas, is its Ambassadors of the Environment Program, created in conjunction with Jean-Michel Cousteau. The program, while teaching guests about the aquatic world around them, also provides exciting adventures teens will enjoy. Teens can go on snorkeling trips during the day or night to coral reefs, as well as ocean kayaking trips. The artsy types will certainly want to participate in an underwater photography class, too.
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