You’d dreamed perhaps of some couple time alone. But, like the Brady Bunch, this second marriage, this new beginning for each of you and your respective, rollicking broods, marks a novel way to parent and a fresh way to repose. There’s just no way around it — you’re going to have to bring the whole family on your romantic date to a luxury location. Does this worry you? Do you resent it? Heavens no — you wouldn’t do it any other way. This is your new life — and you want to celebrate the hugeness of it — even if that means the biggest suite on property or seats on two whole rows on the airplane.
For all of you new marrieds with kids who are starting anew, we bring you a stellar list of romantic destinations, each one sure to achieve lovey-dovey-ness for couples in equal proportion to over the top fun for kids and the new family at large. Let the honeymoon (and the new memories) begin. You’ve got this.
Into The Wild
There’s no way the kids were going to let you go look at cheetahs and black rhinos in the Kalahari without them. While an African safari entails painstaking logistics (and a good travel agent) under any circumstance, South Africa’s Tswalu uniquely provides families with complete flexibility when it comes to their on site itinerary options. A place you can see animals not often found elsewhere, the lodge keeps things bespoke. Each suite, whether the two two-bedroom accommodations at Motse or the five bedroom option at Tarkuni, comes with its own private vehicle, guide and tracker. Staff welcome kids upon arrival with accoutrement-brimming backpacks, and entice them to activities from bow and arrow making to tracking practice. Besides cuddling during game drives in those sexy khaki outfits, couples can sneak away for alone time at the pool, for a private bush breakfast or for date night at peerless Klein Jan, a gastronomic restaurant amid the wild. by South Africa’s first Michelin-starred chef Jan Hendrik van der Westhuizen.
Snow-loving honeymooners whose idea of romance is a glamorous ski scene inspired by a vintage James Bond movie, can embrace the chic ski haven of Le Coucou by Maisons Pariente, a gem in the French Alps. As parents practice choreographed s-turns down the slopes, luxuriate in the Tata Harper spa or sip apres ski Champagne by the fire, children, ages 4-15, can join entertaining guides in The Kids Club and Teen Lab to partake of activities that range from dog sledding to igloo building — not to mention ski lessons and the fun-filled Yeti Park, an outdoor playground on the mountain. For the whole family hot air ballooning over Courchevel, ski-joëring (skiing while being pulled by a horse), ice skating at the nearby Olympic rink and snowshoeing promise to build the new family bond.
An established hideaway on Mexico’s Riviera Nayarit, just a short drive from Puerto Vallarta, Four Seasons Resort Punta Mita occupies an eye-popping expanse of tropical terrain on the Pacific Ocean. With a breezy, yet opulent vibe and a commitment to immerse in local culture the resort has long been a pioneer in going beyond pampering to cater to the mind, body and spirit of its guests. While suites, decked out in local art, can accommodate smaller clans, a trio of new beach homes, set on their own corner of the retreat, stretch out grandly to hold larger crowds of honeymooning families. Children from 5-12 can partake of KidsWell, the FS Punta Mita’s groundbreaking children’s program with a focus on mindfulness, local culture and connectedness (think yoga, art therapy, interaction with animals and marine life, gratitude activities, cooking classes), while their parents indulge in classic five-star coddling at the spa, beneath beach cabanas, over long lunches and during activities from horseback riding to tequila tastings. Plan for all-family bonfires on the beach beneath the stars to cap idyllic days.
The Resort at Paws Up, family-owned itself, specializes in multigenerational holidays and unforgettable experiences that satisfy all ages. The seminal trailblazer of today’s glamping trend, this vast, 37,000-acre wilderness playground entices with a variety of accommodation options, from luxurious tents to multi-level cabin-like homes. Guests immerse into the bucolic surroundings via more than 50 activities. Fly fish, take trail rides, rise above Lewis and Clark’s terrain in hot air balloons rides, learn to paint, participate in a bonafide chuck wagon dinner and buzz through the sky in a helicopter. While the Kids Adventures option supplies game-changing fun for kids, ages 3-12 (think: geocaching, swimming, archery and more), couples can launch their new life together with action-packed mornings, lazy afternoons at the spa and candlelit suppers a deux. Large families can book an entire tented luxury camp, camping butler and concierge included, or overtake a luxury Wilderness Home amid the pine trees — hot tub and ample deck part of the treat.
Bring your fairy tale to life with an all-family honeymoon at Ireland’s Dromoland Castle in County Clare. With towers, crenellated walls, storybook grounds, antique-filled rooms, crystal chandeliers, massive fireplaces and silk claret wallpaper, the opulent 16th-century castle, lords over 450-acres of emerald parkland. With the power to convey couples and their kids to legendary times, the resort guides wannabe royalty in bygone activities, such as the ancient art of falconry. An onsite genealogist supports those in search of information on their Irish roots, horses await riders, a small golf course beckons and resplendent afternoon teas, complete with clotted cream, sate appetites. Sign kids up for one of Dromoland’s Princess programs, which include treats that range from breakfast in bed to princess gowns, as well as age-appropriate spa treatments and Irish dance lessons.
Swiss Shangri La
If all the charms of stunning Switzerland could be distilled into one place it would be Bürgenstock Resort, which crowns a mountain that rises from the banks of crystalline Lake Lucerne. Your newly combined family will love the novel arrival: a boat ride from the city, followed by a heart-thumping, steep ascent to the top by funicular. Historic, but reimagined by new owners, the resort — a village-like medley of three hotels, a wellness center, 10 restaurants, a golf retreat, two spas and much more — evokes quintessential Swiss allure: beflowered meadows, endless cowbells, mountain trails, a shimmering lake, gracious staff, assiduous attention to detail, and, of course . . . cheese. While you and your beloved experience the tri-level spa, rife with saunas and punctuated by a cliff-hugging infinity pool, your children will be well minded in the fairy tale-themed kid’s club, where tennis lessons, chocolate making classes and kids’ mocktail events rule the stay. A cinema for rainy days will delight the entire family.
Nobody will argue that the Maldives isn’t a long way to go for a vacation. An archipelago in the Indian Ocean that consists of 1,200 variously sized islands that scatter across a huge expanse of sea, the destination promises a foray to the earth’s furthest corners and a marine wonderland. Check into Niyama Private Islands Maldives Resort and your household won’t regret a minute they spent on that plane. Touted as the most family friendly hideaway in the storied Maldives, the retreat comprises two islands (Chill for calmer stays and Play for wilder ones) connected by a footbridge. Found on Play, Explorer Kids Club keeps children occupied in gleeful bliss. Expect surfing (the best in the Maldives), cooking classes, pools, treasure hunts, dolphin spotting and games galore. Besotted newlyweds can canoodle in Subsix, an underwater restaurant, at Nest, a treehouse eatery or in the spa. Ideal for larger groups, the three-bedroom beach pool villa will envelop families in happy connection.
Situated on Oahu’s less trammelled North Shore, Turtle Bay Resort, recently transformed and re-polished, sits beachside along five miles of riveting coastline. A secluded paradise, on Hawaii’s most famous island (but far from the madding crowd), it exudes every aspect of Hawaii’s storied paradisiacal mystique and magic. Perfectly positioned to spot humpback whales and monk seals and to capture kaleidoscopic sunsets, the hideaway has new Ocean Bungalows roomy enough for you and the kids. While newlyweds can nibble from a gourmet picnic basket, paddle a canoe over the waves, ride horses along the coastline and melt into the joys of couples treatments at the spa, their children can take surf lessons complete with surfing dogs, and go turtle spotting. Days end with the whole family in tow at a Paniolo (Hawaiian cowboy) dinner, complete with fire-knife dances, hula lessons and a luau-style buffet dinner. b