Finding resorts that cater to families of all ages but still provide a luxury experience ISN’T AN easy task. Navigator picks out some refreshing examples of hot spots for family fun
The Breakers, Palm Beach
While The Breakers is one of the world’s most iconic resorts, these days it’s a place where children of all ages will find a range of activities that make it an ideal gathering spot for that family reunion or celebration. There is a dedicated 6,100-square-foot Family Entertainment Center with a multitude of gaming systems and a children’s playroom is encircled by glass windows, enabling you to dine at the adjacent restaurant in view of your little ones.
The Camp Room has a 1,000-gallon saltwater aquarium. If the sun isn’t out, indoor activities include theme parties, painting and science experiments. Outdoors, guests will enjoy nature walks, catamaran cruises, bicycles, kayaking, snorkeling, banana boat rides and more. Camp Breakers operates daily and is specially designed for ages three to five and six to 12. Of course, there is something for the older kids, too. A half-mile of private beach, four pools, private poolside bungalows, five whirlpool spas, 36 holes of golf, including the Ocean Course and The Breakers Rees Jones Course, 10 Har-Tru tennis courts; a full spa and indoor-outdoor oceanfront fitness center. The Breakers also will confirm in advance up to three connecting rooms at the time of booking ensuring that you and your kids won’t have to venture into the hallway to visit. The resort offers a childproofing service.
Universal Orlando Resort, Orlando
Universal Orlando Resort provides attractions and activities suitable for all ages. It also provides multiple hotel options, including Loews Portofino Bay Hotel, the Hard Rock Hotel, Loews Royal Pacific Resort, Loews Sapphire Falls Resort, Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort and Universal’s Aventura Hotel. At the core of your red-carpet experience is not having to wait in line at parks thanks to the Universal Orlando VIP Experience, which includes private guides who will walk you between attractions, giving you insider info about the park and rides and will take you on shortcuts. To sweeten your stay, Loews Portofino Bay Hotel has a gelato stand and family-friendly suites ranging from 450 to 2,725 square feet. Specialty Kids’ Suites offer a Despicable Me-themed bedroom while Parlor Suites provide a gathering point for the entire family. The Governatore Suite has a whirlpool tub, wet bar with a refrigerator and a mini kitchen. The Presidente Suite offers an outdoor terrace, a fireplace, wet bar and views of the harbor and town square. At the Hard Rock Hotel there are 29 suites, including one-of-a-kind Future Rock Star Suites. There is a twinkling starlight canopy over the beds, roadie case-inspired furniture and Hard Rock memorabilia. Best of all, your rock star’s room connects through a stage door to the master bedroom, which opens up to a living and entertainment area where the entire family can collaborate on your next hit.
The Ritz-Carlton Dove Mountain, Arizona
The Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain is the perfect place for a family adventure to the high Sonoran with its history of cowboys, the Old West and Native American culture. Activities range from hot-air ballooning, horseback riding, mountain biking, hiking, jeep tours and family cookouts under the stars and more. The Golf Club at Dove Mountain offers 27 Jack Nicklaus-created holes with elevations ranging from 2,300 to 3,200 feet. Specifically for the kids, The Dove Mountain Ritz Kids Rangers, for ages five to 12, offers daily programming from its base at the Kids Ranger Headquarters at the resort. Ritz Kids Adventure Packages includes an option for an overnight camp out with the in-room tent experience where beds are replaced with an in-room tent large enough to become a private home-away-from-home.
In addition to standard luxury rooms and signature suites that range up to 2,072 square feet, there are three types of casita accommodations ranging from 650 to 2,010 square feet, which provide a residential experience. Several larger suites and casitas include fireplaces for those cool desert nights.
Musha Cay, The Bahamas
Musha Cay is a series of private islands in The Bahamas owned by David Copperfield and available for full takeovers, hosting groups of up to 24. Special events are where this private resort excels. The staff creates activities for all ages. Think goldfish and hermit crab races, shell hunts, daily arts and crafts, face painting, cave exploring, pirate and Tiki parties on the beach, sports activities, flashlight tag, sandcastle competitions and more. Past guests have even arranged for performers to be flown in for live concerts. Musha Cay’s water toys include a water trampoline, banana boat, wakeboard and tubes. A Midnight Express, Nautilus Rib Catamaran, jet boat and two Boston Whalers as well as Jet Skis and two Hobie Cat sailboats also are available. In terms of keeping fit, a fitness center and tennis court are available, plus you can arrange for yoga, massage and Pilates professionals on-site. The island’s accommodations – 12 full bedrooms – are spread across five luxury homes, so while you can go as a group, you also can enjoy privacy. Accommodations range from whimsical to exotic, all with unique colors in a tropical style accented with art and items collected by Copperfield during his travels.
Sea Island Resort, Georgia
Sea Island Resort is a playground for family enjoyment, from five miles of private beach to a Beach Club with three pools (five on-property pools), an extensive children’s program at Camp Cloister, three championship golf courses (including Seaside and Plantation — the site of the RSM Classic) eight Har-Tru tennis courts with lessons and clinics for all ages, horseback riding on the beach, a Yacht Club with onshore, near-shore and offshore fishing, bocce ball and a shooting school. The resort recently acquired its own 72-foot yacht for cruises and events.
In terms of accommodations, Sea Island offers The Cloister Cottages, Beach Club Suites, and the Cloister Ocean Residences. The Beach Club Suites are located at the Beach Club. A two-bedroom deluxe suite has 1,800 square feet with varying bedding configurations and a fully stocked open kitchen. Each bedroom has its own large bathroom with a deep soaking tub and walk-in shower; the living/dining area has a sleeper sofa and full bath. The Cloister Ocean Residences are in a gated enclave a short walk from The Cloister and the Beach Club. The Cottages range from one to eight bedrooms with oceanfront and marsh views. Each features the privacy of a home with complete access to all resort activities.