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Dec
18

Hotels That Know How to Keep Your Kids Happy

ritz maui pool

ritz maui pool

Tell me, what’s your ideal holiday? Is it a family ski trip or a island surf and sun bonanza? Whatever it may be, one thing is for certain, this time of year is the time for family, and no matter what all those people say about children on flights, it’s the time to embrace them, make time for them and be grateful that we have them. And believe it or not there are a string of hotels here in North America that actually want them to come, actually enjoy their company.

I’m serious. So with no further wait, here are a few hotels that love children and have come up with the most spectacular ways to make it a vacation of a lifetime for them. And for you, because there’s nothing better than seeing your kids happy.

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Alright, as I am definitely more of a surf kind of gal, here are a dew hotels that caught my eye. Take  the Ocean Sands Resort & Spa in Pompano Beach for example. Their  Funky Fish Ocean Adventure camp on Florida’s southeast coast is a blast. Think boat loads of kids  heading to an offshore reef to learn to snorkel.  At $59 a day, this camp takes your children on adventures, they make friends with other children their age and can act their age without their parents telling them to be quiet all the time. Or  the Ritz-Carlton Kapalua in Maui, where children are taught snorkeling, underwater photography as well as conservation.

There’s also the weeklong ski school at British Columbia’s Whistler Blackcomb Ski Resort—right at the doorstep of the Fairmont Chateau Whistler, which is a great place to go this winter. So come on in, take a look and see what’s out there for your entire family.

The Ritz-Carlton Kapalua, Maui, HI

Wow!

Wow!

Hotel Kids’ Program: Kapalua’s Ambassadors of the Environment kids’ curriculum, developed with preservationist Jean-Michel Cousteau, features snorkeling expeditions, underwater-photography classes, and workshops on turtles, whales, and ancient Hawaiian navigation techniques. The three-hour Ambassadors sessions are $59–$79 apiece, while a room for four starts at $299.

Setting: The Ritz-Carlton Kapalua is situated on the 23,000-acre Kapalua Resort, a former pineapple plantation, with quick access to both rainforest preserves and the reefs of Kapalua Bay’s pristine waters.

For the Whole Family: Whale Wonders, a whale-watching excursion the Ritz offers from December through April, gets you up close and personal with humpbacks. And North America’s longest zip-line system begins at the Kapalua Adventure Center.

Hawks Cay Resort, Duck Key, FL

hawkscay

hawkscay

Hotel Kids’ Program: Camp Hawk, for kids ages 5 through 12, offers activities like nature hikes, scavenger hunts, swimming in the resort’s two pools, snorkeling and kayaking in the resort’s saltwater lagoon, and feeding tarpon from the marina’s dock. Teens (ages 12 through 17) can sign up for AquaJam, a three-day camp that includes an intro to scuba diving, a dive at the reef, sailing lessons, and a snorkeling trip. A half-day program starts at $38, while a room for four starts at $149.

Setting: Hawks Cay, dedicated to the life aquatic, sits on the northeast corner of the Atlantic-facing Duck Key, halfway between the Florida mainland and Key West.

For the Whole Family: Choose from activities that allow you to swim with bottlenose dolphins in the saltwater lagoon, do a meet-and-greet that doesn’t involve swimming, or immerse yourself in a three-hour, in-water session with the dolphins and their trainers.

The Fairmont Chateau Whistler, Whistler, British Columbia

The Fairmont Chateau Whistler, Whistler, British Columbia

The Fairmont Chateau Whistler, Whistler, British Columbia

Hotel Kids’ Program: The Fairmont offers weeklong kids’ camps throughout the ski season at three mountain faces, but the only one you need to know about is the one at Blackcomb Base, since it’s just a two-minute walk from the resort. Kids are assigned to one of three age groups and have the same instructor all week. If for some reason your child has an aversion to skiing (or just needs a break), he or she can enroll in the Fairmont’s new 90-minute, three-days-a-week RU Ready program, designed to improve kids’ agility skills, hand-eye coordination, and balance. A weeklong camp starts at $529, while rooms for four start at $459.

Setting: If it’s good enough for the International Olympic Committee, it’s probably good enough for you. Think breathtaking vistas, cable car rides, and miles and miles of Canada’s best skiing.

For the Whole Family: A dogsledding excursion through the backcountry of Soo Valley nature preserve, led by several huskies and a musher. Just make sure you’re wearing plenty of warm clothing.

The Broadmoor, Colorado Springs, CO

The Broadmoor, Colorado Springs, CO

The Broadmoor, Colorado Springs, CO

Hotel Kids’ Program: Bee Bunch is offered to kids ages 3 to 12 in full-day, half-day, and evening sessions from Memorial Day through Labor Day. Among the activities are scavenger hunts, a mile-long hike through North Cheyenne Canyon, culinary classes, a trip to the zoo, and a sports day featuring tennis or golf lessons. A half-day is $40; rooms for four start at $160.

Setting: Built in 1917 to offer visitors a European-style resort experience, the sprawling Broadmoor sits at the foot of Cheyenne Mountain in Colorado Springs.

For the Whole Family: About 20 minutes from the hotel are the Broadmoor Stables, where adults and kids ages 8 and up can go on a one- or two-hour guided horseback ride through the Pikes Peak wilderness.

Ocean Sands Resort & Spa, Pompano Beach, FL

Ocean Sands Resort & Spa, Pompano Beach, FL

Ocean Sands Resort & Spa, Pompano Beach, FL

Hotel Kids’ Program: Funky Fish Ocean Adventure Camp, a school designed to teach kids ages 4 to 12 about the ocean and its reefs, is reason enough to book a stay here. Instructors with a background in education or marine biology teach intros to snorkeling, skimboarding, and boogie boarding, and crafts like hemp-jewelry and tie-dye-shirt making. On Fridays, kids take a trip in a glass-bottom boat to a nearby reef for snorkeling. The program is$59 per day or $259 per week; rooms for four start at $95.

Setting: The Ocean Sands, an all-suite boutique hotel originally built as a residential complex, is luxe but not over the top, and it’s right on a stretch of quiet, white-sand beach.

For the Whole Family: An early-morning walk or jog on the hotel’s rooftop track while you take in the sunrise over Lighthouse Point.

Wequassett Resort and Golf Club, Chatham, MA

Wequassett Resort and Golf Club, Chatham, MA

Wequassett Resort and Golf Club, Chatham, MA

Hotel Kids’ Program: A brand-new, indoor-outdoor children’s center is home to the VIP Kids’ Club (morning, afternoon, and evening sessions mid-June–August, for kids 4–10). It features a splash-pad fountain park (think running through sprinklers), enclosed pirate-themed playground, rock-climbing wall, and amphitheater, where talent and puppet shows are staged. Kids also hit the resort’s beach to collect seashells and treasure hunt, and end up in the kids’ pool. Teen gaming nights are offered Tuesdays and Fridays. Sessions are $60; rooms for four start at $525.

Setting: On the outskirts of Chatham, a vibrant, old-fashioned town on Cape Cod’s elbow, Wequassett sits on a ridge overlooking a secluded inlet of Pleasant Bay, itself buffered from the Atlantic’s fury by a barrier beach—the southernmost tip of the 40-mile-long National Seashore.

For the Whole Family: Hook up with the Cape Cod Rail Trail, a 22-mile paved bike route following an abandoned railway that runs from Dennis to Wellfleet.

The Ritz-Carlton Naples, Naples, FL

ritz-carlton-naples

ritz-carlton-naples

Hotel Kids’ Program: In November 2007, the hotel converted its Ritz Kids space into a nature center with 11 aquariums and touch tanks (home to eels, baby alligators, sharks, and jellyfish), a laboratory, and a computer room. Helmed by certified Florida master naturalists, the Nature’s Wonders program gives kids ages 5 to 12 an immersion in field biology, with a mix of indoor and outdoor fare like nature walks through the on-site butterfly garden and mangrove forest, a birding primer, a dolphin tour by boat, beachcombing trips—and, of course, plenty of chances to feed and sometimes hold the nature center’s many creatures. A half-day is $60, while a five-day summer camp is $400; rooms for four start at $209.

Setting: The  Ritz-Carlton Naples is on the Gulf of Mexico. Not only is it stunning, they  have a spa and three swimming pools, and three miles of white-sand beaches and lots of sun.

For the Whole Family: The center hosts a daily open house from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m., letting you and your kids get a complimentary sneak peek at the program upon arrival—and the children who are already involved get to show off a bit of what they’ve learned. It’s a great way to let kids who might be a little shy check things out before jumping in.

Do you like being the first to know?

If you enjoy always getting the best tips, deals and insider news before everyone else then make sure to visit www.fareboom.com and follow us on Pinterest, Facebook and Twitter.

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