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Where to hold the ultimate family reunion

Seven venues that combine unbridled luxury with exclusivity and privacy

Given the lofty expectations of clients who are well-travelled, making vacation arrangements can be especially challenging for family offices. So what happens when an entire clan, spanning multiple generations and time zones, decides to gather?

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In some cases, family offices turn to third parties such as Dallas-based Tynan Travel Co., which was established in 2018 by two family offices looking to raise the bar for their globetrotting clients, and the Virtuoso network of luxury travel agencies.

For family offices that prefer to keep travel management in-house, however, the beach resorts, ski lodges, safari manors, private islands and French chateaux featured here will tick all the right boxes as venues for memorable family reunions.

At Giraffe Manor you can feed giraffes over the breakfast table, from your guest room window.

Giraffe Manor, Nairobi, Kenya

Picture this: Your loved ones awake after a peaceful night’s sleep in one of this lodge’s 12 lavish bedrooms. They shower, dress and head downstairs to the light-filled sunroom for breakfast. They pour cream into their coffee, spread jam on their toast … and offer a slice to an endangered Rothschild giraffe that has poked its head through a window to join them.

Yes, you read that last part correctly: Giraffe Manor and its surrounding grounds offer the only place in the world where you can feed giraffes over the breakfast table, from your guest room window, or at the front door. For more zoological variety, the manor also offers a wide range of themed safaris. Just don’t try to feed the lions by hand!
The island’s exclusiveness is striking; it has just 25 guest villas.

Laucala Island, Fiji

Given Fiji’s world-renowned natural beauty, it comes as no surprise that this private island resort on the Pacific archipelago’s eastern outskirts is easy on the eyes. What is amazing, however, is the amount of luxury Laucala manages to squeeze into its 12 square kilometres.
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There’s fine dining in the Plantation House and Seagrass restaurants, cocktails and canapes aplenty in the Rock Lounge, Pool Bar and Beach Bar, spa treatments in a bucolic complex of villas, gardens and pools, and even an 18-hole championship golf course designed by Scotland’s David McLay Kidd. The island’s exclusiveness is similarly striking, with just 25 guest villas dotting its northern tip.

Guests keen to hit 1,000-plus acres of powder can hop a “snowcat limo.”

Scarp Ridge Lodge, Crested Butte, Colo.

Moving from sand to snow, this stylish gem in the self-proclaimed “last great ski town” combines five ensuite king rooms and a seven-bed children’s bunkroom (and attached nanny suite) with an indoor saltwater pool, steam room and sauna, indoor and rooftop hot tubs, and an amply stocked apres-ski lounge.

Guests keen to hit 1,000-plus acres of untouched powder can hop a “snowcat limo” to the nearby Irwin snowcat-skiing tenure, where their cleaned and warmed equipment awaits in front of a roaring lodge fire.

This French chateau has six stylish rooms and suites decorated with contemporary and abstract art.

Château de la Resle, Montigny-la-Resle, France

This ivy-wrapped 18th-century chateau in the Burgundy winemaking region is a perfect place to gather. Inside, six stylish rooms and suites decorated with the owners’ personal collection of contemporary and abstract art give way to a spa and an intimate restaurant focusing on local and seasonal ingredients.

Outside, a swimming pool is ringed by two hectares of landscaped gardens bordering an 800-hectare hunting forest, with the famous wine village of Chablis just a short drive or electric bike ride away.

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The focus here is on active pursuits such as hiking, wildlife-spotting and fly-fishing.

Nimmo Bay Resort, Mackenzie Sound, British Columbia

Accessible only by boat or helicopter and powered hydro-electrically by a waterfall, this all-inclusive eco-lodge on the southwestern edge of the remote Great Bear Rainforest is home to eight luxurious guest cabins — six ocean-facing, two tucked into the surrounding woods — and a culinary program that highlights the region’s sublime seafood.

While rest and relaxation are easily attainable here thanks to a pair of spa treatment cabins, a yoga studio, cascade-side hot tubs and a new sauna raft, the focus is on active pursuits such as hiking, wildlife-spotting and fly-fishing, all of which are made especially spectacular with the assistance of choppers that carry guests to jaw-dropping spots such as the cloud-shedding summit of Mount Silverthrone and the crests of cascades that flow out of its namesake glacier.

The resort’s 14 private residences range from one to five bedrooms and feature infinity pools and terraces and round-the-clock in-residence dining.

Four Seasons Resort Costa Rica at Peninsula Papagayo

Pick a luxury hotel chain and it almost certainly offers something sublimely sunny, sandy and family-friendly. But on the northwest coast of Costa Rica, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts has combined a world-class beach property with privacy that few upscale resorts can match.

Set seductively on a jungle-strewn hillside, the resort’s 14 private residences range from one to five bedrooms and feature private kitchens, infinity pools and terraces; round-the-clock in-residence dining; and access to resort amenities that range from an 18-hole Arnold Palmer-designed golf course and lit tennis courts to guided zipline adventures and surf lessons.

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Red Horse’s four-bedroom Hilltop Home features a private deck and outdoor hot tub, a full kitchen and dining room, two living rooms, a family room and three bathrooms.

Red Horse Mountain Ranch, Harrison, Idaho

This 300,000-acre ranch offers a range of all-inclusive Western-themed family packages that don’t involve any baked beans or sarsaparilla (unless you want them to, of course).

Along with lessons and trail rides for most abilities and ages — the resort’s kids’ program starts at age 3 — outdoor activities such as archery, kayaking and fishing mix with more relaxing parental pursuits like yoga and massage.

And you won’t have to worry about rolling out a sleeping bag here: Along with a variety of lodge suites and standalone cabins, Red Horse’s 2,800-square-foot, four-bedroom Hilltop Home features a private deck and outdoor hot tub, a full kitchen and dining room, two living rooms, a family room and three bathrooms including an ensuite in the master bedroom.