The Resort at Paws Up Wins Best Family Resort

Last year's winner, Great Wolf Lodge, comes in second

Gone are the days when a swimming pool and roll away bed are enough to constitute a quality family resort. Today, lodgings across the nation are catering to family travelers with a host of awesome amenities – kids programing, childproofed rooms (with multiple bedrooms), gourmet dining with child-approved kids menus and access to essentials, like cribs and baby swings, while on the road. 

  • Fairmont Scottsdale Princess
    Scottsdale, Ariz.

    Six separate pools create a giant outdoor playground in the Scottsdale desert for visitors of all ages. At the heart of the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess pool complex, the 6,000-square-foot Sonoran Splash features two waterslides, a zero entry pool deck and a sandbox play area, perfect for families with young children. The Trailblazers Family Adventure Center offers a host of activities for kids ages 5 to 12.
    Photo courtesy of Fairmont Scottsdale Princess

  • Keystone Resort
    Keystone, Colo.

    Keystone Resort has long been a place where kids rule! Home to the industry’s-leading Kids Ski Free program where kids 12 and younger ski and ride for free all winter with just two nights of resort lodging, and home to signature Kidtopia programming every day of the week – including the world’s largest snow fort, the resort caters to kids and parents alike. With convenient access from Denver, more than 3,000 acres of skiable terrain, night skiing, family-friendly offerings on and off the slopes and a variety of accommodation options, Keystone offers the perfect outdoor adventures for families.
    Photo courtesy of Keystone Resort

  • Vista Verde Ranch
    Clark, Colo.

    Dude ranch vacations are popular choices for family bonding, but Vista Verde Guest Ranch in Steamboat Springs, Colo. takes it to a new level of luxury. The all-inclusive guest ranch offers gourmet dining, spa treatments, top notch service, luxurious accommodation (cabins range from 1-3 bedrooms with daily maid service) and a wide variety of activities during summer and winter seasons.
    Photo courtesy of Vista Verde Guest Ranch

  • Skytop Lodge
    Skytop, Penn.

    This family-friendly resort is located in the Poconos Mountains about 2 hours from New York City. It’s a perfect getaway for families looking for a refined experience during any season. Guests may look forward to skiing, ice skating and hot cocoa stands in the woods during winter as well as golf, swimming, lawn games and kayaking in warm weather.
    Photo courtesy of John Wadsworth / Skytop Lodge

  • Four Seasons Resort Orlando
    Orlando

    The Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort may be a mouthful to say, but it's a pleasure to stay, whether you're traveling with family or not! Smack in the middle of Walt Disney World Resort's beautiful Golden Oak community, the FS Orlando's gorgeous zero-entry pool, incredible castle-themed water park and lazy river and complimentary Kids' Camp (not to mention character breakfasts with Goofy and pals!) make this a sumptuous stay with all the right Disney touches.
    Photo courtesy of Don Riddle / Four Seasons Resort Orlando

  • Gaylord Hotels
    Multiple Locations

    With locations in Nashville, Washington, Kissimmee, Dallas-Ft. Worth and Denver (opening in 2018), Gaylord Hotels pioneered the "everything in one place" concept. Each property celebrates its host destination, but guests at all of them enjoy dining, shopping and entertainment all under the same roof.
    Photo courtesy of Gaylord Hotels

  • Mohonk Mountain House
    New Paltz, N.Y.

    This historic resort (family owned and operated since 1869) near the Catskill Mountains in Shawangunk Ridge, N.Y. is reminiscent of a Victorian castle and loved by families for its wide range of year-round outdoor activities, ranging from cross-country skiing in winter to horseback riding and canoeing in summer. Parents can relax in the award-winning spa while kids experience nature through the supervised Kids’ Club.
    Photo courtesy of Jim Smith Photography

  • The Sanctuary at Kiawah Island Golf Resort
    Kiawah Island, S.C.

    The Sanctuary Resort is an exquisitely-designed luxury hotel located on the shores of Kiawah Island, S.C. that wows all ages with Southern charm and hospitality. Families may drop into the Night Heron Park Pavillion to experience unique programming including disc golf, crafts, pick-up sports games and even a stuffed animal factory. The island is home to an abundance of wildlife that can be experienced with guidance from resort experts while beach activities are a must.
    Photo courtesy of Kiawah Island Golf Resort

  • Great Wolf Lodge
    Multiple Locations

    These family resorts are located throughout the United States and known for their massive indoor water parks that cater to all ages, quality accommodations and excellent service. The resorts constantly evolve the guest experiences with new attractions and experiences, earning one of the highest repeat and referral rates in the industry. Many of the resorts feature family suites including bunk beds and faux indoor cabins for kids.
    Photo courtesy of Great Wolf Resorts

  • The Resort at Paws Up
    Greenough, Mont.

    This Montana resort sits on a 37,000-acre working cattle ranch with a range of accommodations (from luxe private homes to glamping sites) and activities for families with kids of all ages. Horseback riding is the signature experience, but guests can also mountain bike, fly fish, geocache or partake in an authentic Montana ranch activity. The Kids Corps of Discovery immersion program has something for everyone – toddlers to teens!
    Photo courtesy of The Resort at Paws Up

The top 10 winners in the category Best Family Resort are as follows:

  1. The Resort at Paws Up - Greenough, Mont.
  2. Great Wolf Lodge - Multiple Locations 
  3. The Sanctuary at Kiawah Island Golf Resort - Kiawah Island, S.C.
  4. Mohonk Mountain House - New Paltz, N.Y.
  5. Gaylord Hotels - Multiple Locations
  6. Four Seasons Resort Orlando - Orlando
  7. Skytop Lodge - Skytop, Penn.
  8. Vista Verde Ranch - Clark, Colo.
  9. Keystone Resort - Keystone, Colo.
  10. Fairmont Scottsdale Princess - Scottsdale, Ariz.

A panel of experts partnered with 10Best editors to picked the initial 20 nominees, and the top 10 winners were determined by popular vote. Experts Katie Dillon (La Jolla Mom), Kim-Marie Evans (Luxury Travel Mom), Kyle McCarthy (Family Travel Forum), Eileen Ogintz (Taking the Kids), Dave Parfitt (AdventuresbyDaddy.com), Marla Cimini (USA TODAY), Christopher Parr (Pursuitist) and Yasmin Pullman (Luxury Travel Diary) were chosen based on their family travel experience.

Other nominated resorts included Aulani - a Disney Resort & Spa, The Breakers Palm Beach, Club Med Sandpiper Bay, Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge, Grand Wailea, Kingsmill Resort, Omni La Costa Resort & Spa, Omni Mount Washington Resort, Smugglers' Notch Resort and Westin La Paloma Resort and Spa.

Congratulations to all our winning resorts, and remember to keep this list handy next time you're planning a family vacation.

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Katie Dillon

Katie Dillon

Kim-Marie Evans

Kim-Marie Evans

Kyle McCarthy

Kyle McCarthy

Eileen Ogintz

Eileen Ogintz

Dave Parfitt

Dave Parfitt

Marla Cimini

Marla Cimini

Christopher Parr

Christopher Parr

Claire Endean-Cance

Claire Endean-Cance

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