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Seasonal Travel

Places To Visit: Kids Rule At These Leading Hotels of the World

The Leading Hotels of the World are renowned for their service and attention to the needs of sophisticated travelers, and these thoughtful expressions extend to even the youngest of guests, with special kids’ clubs and children’s programs.

Among the many Leading Hotels that have created special, value-rich packages, here are just a few:

Ritz London

Celebrating the 2012 Olympics, the 200th anniversary of Charles Dickens’s birth, as well as Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth’s Jubilee, London is alive with attractions for the entire family. And as befits a hotel bearing the Royal Warrant, The Ritz London accords its young lady guests with truly royal treatment. On arrival, a girl can become a member of Kidz@TheRitz which outlines her Very Important Princess’ status! Her benefits are tempting and include a welcome goodie bag, milk and cookies on turndown, and in-room children’s amenities of bathrobes, slippers and toiletries. She will also be able to consult the Teen Concierge who can assist her with any special requirements that she may have. Her exciting day begins with the mother and daughter arrival at the hotel and a visit to the Ritz Salon where both will be treated to a manicure. They will then relax while enjoying a fruity drink for daughter and a cocktail for mother in the Rivoli Bar, before a delicious three course meal in the magnificent Ritz Restaurant. It’s tiring being a Princess, so the day will be completed in their exquisitely decorated room. A traditional English breakfast will follow the next morning. Valid through June 2012, the Princess for a Day offer is priced from GBP 430 per night. Please refer to booking code SX.

Grand Hotel Excelsior Vittoria

The Grand Hotel Excelsior Vittoria is the perfect destination when travelling with kids. Surrounded by a five-acre park with orange and lemon groves, the hotel offers a children’s playground equipped with amusements to appeal to children up to 12 years or age, as well as a children’s pool, a soccer field and a basketball court. Capitalizing on its excellent location – surrounded by historical sites, overlooking the Bay of Naples and Mt Vesuvius, and close to the Amalfi Coast – the hotel offers a variety of programs to keep entire families engaged and entertained. For example, a family of four can take advantage of the Cooking, Snorkeling and Fun for Kids program that runs from May through October. Included are welcome amenities, round-trip airport transfers, a pizza cooking lesson, half-day private guided trip to Pompeii, a half-day snorkeling excursion of the Sorrento Peninsula, dinner for four one evening, and additional discounts on meals, spa treatments and spa products. Rates start from EUR 960.50 per night for a family of four, with a four-night minimum stay. Booking code is P9.


In keeping with the resort’s water theme, Acqualina Resort & Spa on the Beach in Sunny Isles, Florida, has created a unique marine biology-based program designed especially for children ages 5 to 12 years old. Among the multiple components are: Acqua Patrol, an adventure in sea service to let kids explore the world of the Coast Guard; Junior Guards, giving young guests the opportunity to experience what it takes to be a lifeguard, with a simulated pool rescue and First Aid Olympics; Whimsical Waves, investigating the anatomy of waves and the effects they have on our environment; City Under the Sea, focusing on the importance and value of a coral reef ecosystem; Wonderful World of Whales, teaching children about these amazing sea mammals, examining the different types and the characteristics that make them unique; and Sharks & Rays, a group exploration, “Is it a shark or is it a ray?” In addition, Acqualina boasts a 500-square-foot well-equipped and supervised AcquaMarine-themed center which features a computer and technology area, arts and crafts center, toys, microscopes, movies and video games. The hotel offers a Leading Families package which provides 50% off second room for children and or grandparents and nannies, a daily USD 40 spa treatment credit per person up to two adults, complimentary Internet access, and the AcquaMarine children’s program. Depending on the season, rates start from USD 375 per night. The booking code is P9.

In addition, many Leading Hotels offer well-designed facilities and creative activity programs to entertain, engage and educate the young ones.

Casa de Campo

There is no place better in the Caribbean for family vacations than Casa de Campo! With so much to do, everyone in the family is sure to have a wonderful time. In addition to the beach and sports facilities where children can take a lesson alone or with a parent for a great bonding experience, Casa de Campo also features four fee-based, supervised programs broken down into age ranges including baby care. Available on a half-day or full-day basis are toddlers’ programs with treasure hunts, fashion shows, space exploration, and mural painting. For ages 4 to 7, activities include mini kayak rides, Altos de Chavon scavenger hunts and museum visits, and obstacle races; and for ages 8 to12: tennis lessons, horseback riding, taekwondo lessons, twister contests, and banana boat rides. In addition, there are evening offerings: Kidz at Night and Tweens at Night, both from 6:00 to 11:00 p.m., which include dinner as well as age-appropriate activities. The Bonche 4 Teens Club, an exclusive club supervised for ages 13 to17, is available on a complimentary basis for daytime activities, as is the daily programmed Family Fun Time that features dance lessons, sand sculpting, family beach Olympics and more.

Chatham Bars Inn

Chatham Bars Inn on Cape Cod, Massachusetts has been looking after the next generation of LHW clients since 1992, with fully supervised programs divided into morning and evening sessions, from late June to early September. Activities are organized to cater to four different age groups: Beach Buddies (ages four to six), Clam Diggers (ages seven to nine), Wash-A-Shores (ages 10 to 12) and Wave Runners (ages 13 to 17). Each program has its own room with appropriate furnishings and d cor. There are also culinary classes and/or activities for each age group. The younger children focus on fun desserts like cookies, pretzels and fruit creations while the older children are hands-on at the Chef’s Table making anything from sushi to soup. The hotel offers sailing instruction and tennis clinics for all ages, as well as educational programs such as Rainforest Reptiles, Audubon, the Cape Cod Hook Fisherman Association, and Steve Spangler Science. Other outings include trips to the local fire station to learn about fire safety, to the wildlife refuge, the fish pier, a National Seashore beach, Cape Cod Baseball League games, and local art fairs, parades and special events.

Villa del Parco

At Villa del Parco & Spa, Forte Village Resort on Sardinia, while parents relax on the beach or visit the spa, their children can play in a safe, secure environment – their very own ‘Children’s City’, complete with a spectacular pool created exclusively for them. The result is happy moms and dads, happy kids and happy families… and happy memories for everyone. With activities carefully tailored to different age groups, the city is the place to play, perform and create. Arts and crafts, cooking classes, and music lessons are among the many activities available. The kids can also watch children’s shows at the Piazza Maria Luigia and even put on their own show at the end of each week. Among the resort’s outstanding arrangements are the Chelsea Football Club Soccer School, and a package for a family that includes a one week of sports training. Every summer, children between ages 4 and 13 can take part in the outstanding courses run by coaches from Chelsea Football Club. There are three key sessions every day: team building and technique in the mornings; individual coaching in the afternoons; and a match in the evening. Participants also receive a personalized T-shirt and shorts, and a rucksack. Offered from the end of May to the middle of September, the program costs EUR 300 per week, per child.


From toddlers to teenagers, there is something for all ages to enjoy at The Gleneagles Hotel in Scotland, which offers a host of facilities and activities for playing, relaxing or adventure-hopping amidst 850 acres of magical, well-kept countryside. For the youngest guests, ages two and up, The Playroom is full of toys and games, costumes and castles and hours of endless fun and excitement, all under the watchful eyes of fully trained staff. Younger children accompanied by a parent or sitter are also welcome. Older kids will want to check out The Zone, a place for young adults to kick back and chill. High-tech, modern facilities have the top coaches and specialists to provide effective and stimulating enjoyment including the golf academy for holistic learning of the great game; a shooting and fishing school, where a master gunman and ghillies will show youngsters how to responsibly shoot an arrow or an air rifle, and how to handle a rod; the British School of Falconry shows them how to handle a variety of birds; the Equestrian School, where they learn to ride or play polo; and the Gundog School, where qualified dog trainers show them how to handle a gundog. And if that’s not enough, there is also mountain biking, junior off-road driving, and driving Argo Cats. During holiday periods, the hotel offers seasonal planned activities such as spy school, science demonstrations, tea parties and picnics, bug hunting and pond dipping, and dance classes.


When young guests arrive at Thanda Private Game Reserve, they are invited to join the Thanda Bucks & Bugs Club which incorporates the Junior Ranger’s program, and is designed to teach children about the natural world around them. It offers a wonderful opportunity for kids under 14 years of age to engage in their new environment and learn while having fun. A welcome Bucks & Bugs bag contains a special badge to wear during their stay identifying them as members of the club, a wildlife coloring book and crayons, an animal and bird check list for game drives, a beading or gaming kit, modeling clay and information on the Junior Rangers Course. While on game drives with their ranger and tracker, children are taught about the different mammals, birds, trees, spoor (animal tracks) and even stars. In the library at the main lodge, children will find a selection of books, both educational and fun, as well as story books full of animal tales and African folk stories. When Bucks & Bugs kids go off to bed, they find a goodnight story waiting for them, as well as a glass of milk and the chef’s favorite cookies. Thanda’s private royal villa is the ideal place to stay when seeking a family safari. Surrounded by expanses of African bush, it can accommodate ten guests in five luxuriously appointed suites.

Grand Velas

It could be argued that Mexico’s lush Riviera Maya is an ideal natural children’s playground, with its benevolent climate, verdant tropical vegetation, and calm Caribbean waters and abundant marine life. The Grand Velas All Suites & Spa Resort Riviera Maya makes the most of this sublime location, offering free outdoor activities every day including snorkeling, kayaking, pedal boats, water polo, basketball, bicycle tours, beach volleyball, football, croquet, ping pong and more. There are also two children’s clubs with daily activities for ages 5 to 12. Kids will have fun and get creative with crafts and sand castle building. They’ll also learn how to make pi atas, kites, visors, handbags, pinwheels, masks, and jewelry. These innovative programs enable children to play and learn through fun activities in a safe, friendly environment supervised by highly qualified personnel. Beyond the resort, the whole family can discover the culture of the Riviera Maya with tours to Mayan ruins, Xel Ha, Xcaret or Xplor natural parks, trips to the Mayan jungle, horseback riding or four-wheeler excursions, and swimming with dolphins.

For reservations, visit In the USA & Canada please call 1-800-223-6800 or contact a travel professional.

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