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Florida for Families

August 4, 2008 By: Mackenzie Allison Travel Agent

These two Florida properties offer fun for the whole family

More and more these days, grandmothers, grandfathers, aunts and uncles are joining their traveling clan. If you are planning a Florida vacation for your multi-generational clientele, the über-exclusive Ocean Reef Club or the recently renovated Hyatt Regency Sarasota might be just the ticket.

hyatt regency sarasota

A bedroom at the Hyatt Regency Sarasota

The Hyatt Regency Sarasota, fresh off of a $22 million renovation, has added a new fine-dining restaurant, and is turning its old marina restaurant into an over-the-water event venue. The resort’s location, however, is the perfect setting for your multi-generational clients. Set directly on Sarasota Bay, the property is right across the street from the Gulf Coast Wonder & Imagination Zone—a perfect option for the younger members of  the group. For the sports enthusiasts in the family, Sarasota is also home to the Cincinnati Reds’ spring training camp, and car aficionados might enjoy the Sarasota Classic Car Museum. Active travelers can take advantage of the wide array of outdoor options in Florida’s southwestern coast (think white-sand beaches, Marie Selby Botanical Gardens and the Myakka River State Park, where hiking, fishing, camping and observing wildlife are popular options).

At the hotel, the best accommodations for families are as diverse as the activities Sarasota has to offer. Guests can choose from Standard Guest rooms, which offer 390 square feet of space and can connect via adjoining doors, or Executive Suites, which are 700 square feet with furnished balconies, large parlors with sofa, bed and dry bar and deluxe bath. The Bi-Level Suites, however, appear to be the best choice for groups. These particular pads boast 1,090 square feet of space, as well as a spiral staircase that connects to a loft bedroom. Travel agents may contact Business Travel Sales Manager Wanda Wallace ([email protected]).

ocean reef club

A guest room at the Ocean Reef Club in Key Largo

Ocean Reef Club, on Key Largo in the Florida Keys, is a private, member-owned community. Membership is by invitation only, but non-members can visit the community and take advantage of its facilities if they are sponsored by a member.

Ocean Reef Club boasts several dining options, along with golf, boating, a prime location for fishing, tennis courts and a full-service spa and salon. Buccaneer Island is the community’s waterfront recreation center, which is open from dawn to dusk.

For the younger set, Reef Club Kids is a program for four- to 10-year-olds that lets them enjoy arts, crafts, tennis and golf. Half- and full-day programs are available as well as evening sessions on Friday and Saturday nights. Reef Club Kids can also arrange specialty parties for kids and teens.

Other fun options for kids include an educational look at the local wildlife at the Nature Center. Kids can get up close and personal with the tropical creatures through the touch tank. Competitive types might enjoy the community’s fishing tournament—although the youngsters have to throw back their catch, they can still go home with a trophy.

The best accommodation for families is the Chairmen’s Suite, which has two separate bedrooms as well as a common area. In addition to the Chairmen’s Suite, several of the members’ homes can be rented out.

Travel agents sending their clients may contact Director of Sales Todd Gillespie (800-843-2730, [email protected]).

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