THESE RESORTS AND HOTELS OFFER OVER THE TOP SERVICES AND AMENITIES SURE TO IMPRESS ANY TRAVEL SAVVY KID
BY NUBIA DUVALL WILSON
Family friendly travel experiences have gone light years beyond kids eating free and getting complimentary robes; Children and teens are the new discerning luxury traveler, and are now spoiled for tailored accommodation choices. Tots to tweens can now enjoy swimup soda and juice bars, farm totable experiences, and programs that encourage face time over digital playtime. So, for families who want to plan the ultimate vacation for their hard to please adventurous young ones, presenting destinations that are truly on fleek.
The Coral is Atlantis’s new family centric tower that just re opened after year long renovations, offering state of the art design and amenities specifically tuned to multi generational travelers. Its tower offers the closest proximity to e Marina Village, which is over owing with Bahamian dining and cultural features. Guests can also explore outside the resort and experience nearby city culture, with options for everyone. e Kids Concierge service (open 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily) is available exclusively to guests of e Coral; its team plans and customizes vacation experiences, vis à vis scheduling family swims at Dolphin Cay, exploring kids’ activities on the property, daily itineraries for youngsters, and access to children menus at dining venues. Coral Pool “Dive In Movies” feature Bahamian infused snacks, and are perfect for families, or parents eager for a chance to have a kids free evening.
The lobby lounge is now kid appropriate, too, thanks to the new Sun & Ice cream, gelato, and sorbet experience created by Bahamian Chef Wayne Moncur the perfect mix of sweet treats and healthy indulgences. Sun & Ice was created as a “farm to table” concept, offering a blend of organic, seasonal fruits, herbs, teas, spices, and seeds from throughout the islands of The Bahamas. For a break from the beach, visit the resort’s waterscape park, Aqua venture. Starting at $215 per night.
ULTIMATE BOOKING: Families who want an over the top experience can opt for the Bedroom Regal Suite. The two bedroom accommodation stretches out over 3,585 square feet, and offers pre arrival concierge services along with in suite check in, 24 hour butler service, and pint sized amenities like robes for youngsters. Stays include access to 18 waterslides, 11 swimming pools, 14 lagoons, three white sand beaches, and two river rides. $1,400 per night.
This gem recently opened as the Caribbean island’s first luxury branded beachfront resort. Each of its 78 rooms and 48 suites face Banana Bay and has either a private balcony or terrace. The hotel offers direct beach access, separate adult and family designated pools, a spa with nine treatment rooms, and a 1,750 square foot, 24 hour health club. The Great House restaurant, the heart of the resort, features a rum bar, herb garden, chefs table, and a conservatory serving plantation afternoon tea. In addition, e Fisherman’s Village offers an “ocean to table” family dining experience, and The Stone Barn presents adults only dinner from its beautiful hearth.
The Island Fort by Camp Hyatt is open to kids as young as three up to 12 years old, and offers numerous activities and services. Parents will love that on Wednesdays and Fridays, the camp is open until 8 p.m. (Adult early night out, anyone?) Hands on activities include sea turtle monitoring, making healthy snacks with the food and beverage team from the indigenous herb garden, kite flying every Wednesday and Saturday on the beach, and creating costumes included theater productions for parents in the intimate theater. Starting at $400 per night.
ULTIMATE BOOKING: The Presidential Villa is great for families of four or more who want a “home away from home” feeling. Each three bedroom villa is an expansive 5,210 square foot space a residential experience…only in paradise. Enjoy a private infinity pool, games room, and wellness area. Guests are served by a dedicated butler, and a private chef will create bespoke meals under the expert guidance of the hotel’s executive chef. Additional amenities include daily cabana access, private airport transfers, private security service and laptop sized safe, Yu Lounge access upon arrival, and two 50 minute spa treatments. $2,900 per night.
This resort is committed to sustainable farming and other local culinary initiatives, and incorporates them with vigor into services for guests. The Grande Lakes Resort encompasses Ritz Carlton Orlando and JW Marriott, both of which offer world class accommodations, dining, activities, and amenities. The property launched “Whisper Creek Fables” in 2017, which has a series of unique farm inspired gourmet experiences on the property’s 18,000 square foot Whisper Creek Farm. (Pedi cabs or shuttle vans chauffeur guests from the hotels to the farm.) The Whisper Creek Fables experiences provide guests a chance to get up close and personal with food, via interactive journeys that show how ingredients are sourced and transformed into meals and beverages. It hosts three kinds of educational programs: Farm to Fare, Farm to Family, and Farm to Foam. The middle selection, a guided tour of growing and other production areas, gives kids a hands on farming experience, and they’re then invited to feast on a picnic lunch featuring items they handpicked. The goal is to teach them about sustainable farming, as well as learn techniques from knowledgeable growers. Parents can enjoy The Brewery at JW Marriott and get educated on the garden fruits and herbs that are sourced to create on site drafts and bottles. After a visit to The Brewery, guests participate in “beer & bites” samplings in the Farm to Foam experience. Experiences range from $75 to $160 per person, although farm tours can be complimentary upon request. Starting at $295 per night.
ULTIMATE BOOKING: The Ritz Carlton’s Ultra luxury Royal Suite stretches over 4,293 square feet, and is available with up to four bedrooms. The common area includes living, dining, and powder rooms, with up to eight personal balconies as well as views of the lake, golf course, and swimming pool. The suite also includes a grand master bathroom, walk in closet, an ultra modern kitchen, and a high end media room (with soundproof walls!), along with a Bose Wave music system with iPhone connection. $8,000 per night (suites available starting in October).
Just this year, Wyndham Hotels brought travel back to basics with the launch of an exclusive program for families to help them restore ties an imaginative way, promoting “quality time over screen time.” Its branded Reconnected experience aims to change the way people think about family vacations, and encourages young and old to spend time together via adventures custom designed by the hotel.
How does it all work? Upon check in, guests are given a timed lock box for their mobile devices, enabling them to set hours for uninterrupted play. From that point on, the hotel provides engaging activities for all ages in the family. Reconnected is only available at a certain number of locations currently, including Wyndham Grand Clearwater, which is great option for a beach vacation.
All young guests receive a backpack full of activity materials upon arrival, including the Nocturnals: Mysterious Abductions, an imaginative middle grade mystery solving book. To capture memories without a smartphone, families get an Instax camera, which prints on the spot. They are also encouraged to create in room adventures that take inspiration from the book, adding a new dimension to reading time. e hotel also hired award winning architects Ben Pell and Tate Overton to design materials suitable for building an in room blanket fort. Children and parents can play together and use their imaginations to create a royal castle, a magical schoolhouse, or a cozy cave (using a special toolkit). Or, get creative and put on a puppet show using Wyndham’s Shadow Puppet How to Guide and flashlight for story time. For snacks, try a s’mores recipe created by famed Ace of Cakes chef Du Goldman, developed just for the Wyndham Grand.
Situated on Florida’s West Coast, this is one of the newest hotels lining the Gulf shore, just steps away from Clearwater Beach, which is often named America’s number one sandy destination. Rooms have views of either the ocean or the marina, and resort amenities include an outdoor pool, therapeutic whirlpool, fitness center overlooking the beach, a spa, and three dining options, including the Asian fusion waterfront restaurant, Ocean Hai. Starting at $265 per night
ULTIMATE BOOKING: The Presidential Suite is a bi level, three bedroom accommodation with a dining area, private balcony, and a separate living room with a sleeper sofa. There’s no shortage of views in this suite, including the Intracoastal Waterway, the marina, and beyond, the Gulf of Mexico. $3,000 per night