How to satisfy their wildly different needs?
On the edge of Abu Dhabi’s vast Empty Quarter desert, the Qasr Al Sarab resort offers villas with private pools and modern Orientalist suites. Shifting shadows, windblown ridges, and silhouetted dunes make perfect subjects for budding photographers; inquisitive teens and tweens can interview the experts at the falconry center about baby birds of prey and desert vipers. For the littlest ones, the desert is the world’s largest uninterrupted sand box. There’s also mountain biking, horseback riding, and dune bashing in a chauffeur-driven SUV (bring vomit bags, and a wheel-less skateboard base for sand surfing). Camel treks and dune walks are calmer options, and area excursions include a visit to a local sheikh’s multimillion-dollar auto collection. Parents looking for some alone time will appreciate the on-call babysitters and kid and teen centers, allowing them to steal a date night with a couple’s treatment at the spa followed by dinner and a moonlit stroll across the sands (971-2-886-2088; doubles from $243).
Desert temperatures are most comfortable from October through March; November coincides with the Abu Dhabi Art Fair.
You Might Also Consider
Montana’s Mountain Sky Guest Ranch, which balances a dude-ranch ethos with upscale amenities and gourmet food. Bordering Gallatin National Forest and a half-hour from Yellowstone, the 6,000-acre property has 31 rustic cabins and provides child care for toddlers. Yoga, fly-fishing, white-water rafting, and horseback riding are just a few of the activities available (800-548-3392; two-bedrooms from $3,590 per adult per week, including all activities; children 7 to 12 from $3,040; children 6 and under, $2,360; kids are permitted in summer only).
More Foolproof Getaways