Nature and nurture: 7 restorative family retreats for the holidays

What if the holiday season felt like a relaxing break instead of a stressful slog? We’ve found seven ways to turn your family’s annual festivities into rejuvenating escapes complete with stunning scenery, calming amenities and easy entertainment options for kids. Because there’s no need to pit nature against nurture this time of year. Declare them both winners!


Stare at the sea in Neskowin, OR

Just beach it for super chill holidays. This stunning seaside perch right on the Oregon shore includes an oceanfront deck with a huge hot tub, ample lounging space and a fire pit. The retreat itself boasts awesome luxury amenities for groups, like a gourmet kitchen with seating for 20 and fireplaces, private decks and ocean views from almost every room. Not to mention the home theater, extra kitchenettes and fully stocked game rooms.

Recharge at Surf Resort >


Kick back in Ketchum, ID

Salutations and good vibes all around! Your crew will breathe a collective sigh of relief if they’re spending the holidays at this bright modern stay outside Sun Valley. The views from the interior windows are awe inspiring, the kitchen is gourmet and the color palette and design elements are calming, even spa-like. There are also plenty of lounging spaces outside, perfect for comfy congregating and big fresh-mountain-air inhales.

Say aaah at this Sun Valley retreat >


Get back to nature in Tamarindo, Costa Rica

Your familia won’t want to leave this sprawling beachfront villa that backs up to a wildlife park. With all the creature comforts like a state-of-the-art kitchen and enormous walk-in showers plus a separate casita, you don’t have to skimp on modern luxuries to spend the holidays so close to nature. Lounge by the saltwater pool for picturesque sunsets and visits from resident howler monkeys, iguanas and parrots.

Go wild for luxury at Villa Concha >


Take it easy in Truckee, CA

Togetherness never looked so cool! Think fireplace, hot tub, pool table, fancy kitchen, swanky bathrooms and tons of stylish open spaces for lounging. This hip high-design Tahoe lodge even includes a tastefully themed kids’ room. Mountaintop settings are always prone to relaxed fun, but especially when they’re home to one of the country’s top resort communities, and all the activities that come with it, like hiking, horseback riding and skiing.

Get festive at the Tahoe-Donner house >


Ball bigtime in St. Peter, Barbados

Are you related to Rihanna? Because that’s likely the only other way you’ll celebrate the holidays at a villa fit for a Caribbean queen and her clan. Reign over your tropical domain that seamlessly incorporates the great outdoors with stunning interiors via a dramatically fluid open living plan. Float outside past gazebos, a garden courtyard and an infinity pool ... all the alfresco amenities your family dynasty requires.

Vacay like royalty at Elysium >


Mellow out in Silverthorne, CO

How about a holiday dining room with a postcard-perfect view this year? Set among aspen groves and pine forests, this luxe log cabin was made for relaxed revelry. The spacious living, dining and kitchen areas are situated around one of two gas-burning fireplaces. Even the windows above the bathtubs face the mountain landscape. There’s a bunk bedroom and a game room to keep kids busy, and a hot tub, fitness room, home theater, bar and poker table to entertain adults.

Log some time in Woodland Lodge >


Say namaste in Cleveland, NM

Serenity now! Your entire crew can go off the grid to pick up peaceful desert vibes this season. This affordable 10-acre hilltop escape is comfortably designed for groups with welcoming shared spaces and open living areas, in addition to cozy breakfast and nap nooks ideal for solo moments of relaxation and reflection. There’s also a dreamy hot tub outside where you can all soak up 360-degree views of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains.

Unplug at Hawk Hill Retreat >


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