Thursday, May 19, 2011

Enjoying Luxury Vacations with Kids

Traveling with children certainly wasn't always synonymous with luxury vacationing, but now there are more resorts, more city hotels, and more getaways perfectly suited to your luxe hotel dreams. If you want to travel in style, then you should invest in child-friendly stays that provide the right mix of family entertainment and dining, plus a getaway for grownups at the spa, gym, or pool. Forget the rules of “no kids” luxury travel and use these tips to plan a vacation for the whole family.

Conde Nast Can't Stop Raving
Conde Nast can't stop raving about the Chatham Bars Inn, a hotel that's great for kids and that provides more than its fair share of diversion. The historical Cape Cod inn has been restored beautifully and offers fireside massage treatments as well as those in their quality spa for tired parents. Conde Nast raves:

"As elegant as this historic oceanfront inn is, it still has every feature to keep children busy for a week: a supervised kids' club (that even has educational field trips), a gated (read: parent-friendly) area with both a huge pool and a kiddie pool, a daily lineup of children's outdoor games, an enormous sports field, a boccie court, a human-size chess board, a barrier-reef island full of playful seals (and a boat to take you there), and a historic trolley car to drive you into the charming town of Chatham—all included in the rate."

In addition to booking a guest room directly in the large hotel's main building, guests can reserve an individual cottage on the hotel grounds that affords even more privacy and convenience. True to its New England seaside roots, the Chatham Bars Inn even offers cottages along the private beach. Ocean, property, and golf course views are available for those interested—and you'll soon be peering out your bay window in total rapture.

Four Seasons Resorts the World Over
Four Seasons hotels are well-known for their kid-friendliness, and the amount of convenience you get to enjoy during your trip makes a stay in one completely worth the investment. Easy enough to locate at many major tourist destinations, Four Seasons resorts are the favored pick of in-the-know parents.

"The children's programs are included in the rate and thus can save you several hundred dollars a day. Got toddlers? Cribs, strollers, and playpens are free, as are meals for kids under five. Got teenagers? Some properties have a dedicated teen center; the one in Bora Bora has a whole island for teens."

Some popular Four Seasons locations:

Getting a villa to call your home-away-from-home can reduce much of the vacationing stress you normally experience when traveling with children. With another atmosphere and more space, a villa allows kids to have the run of their surroundings, comfortably, while still give parents space to breathe. Reports Perrin:

“Opt for a villa with staff who can serve as your entrée into the community: Our friendly staff in Jamaica took us to their local school and church and gave us a cultural experience of the country that we could not possibly have gotten otherwise. In Italy, our cook introduced my sons to the children in the village.”

One great luxury villa option is the Westin Kan'anapali Ocean Resort, which offers comfortable villas plus all the business and pleasure amenities you expect at a luxury location. Hawaiian cultural activities, video and board games, and outdoor gas grills are all at the ready for you to make memories.

From villas to resorts, luxury vacationing just got easier with the kids in tow. It's hard for some parents to imagine truly relaxing on a trip with the entire family, but when you choose wisely, you simply can't go wrong.

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