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"Refined" Family Fun

March 17, 2011 By: Meagan Drillinger Travel Agent



Hyatt Regency Mission Bay
All is quiet poolside at Hyatt Regency Mission Bay, where evening Paintbox activities occupy the younger set.



Agent Advice

One company that does a fantastic job of providing both family and adult experiences is Ritz-Carlton, says Amanda Klimak of Largay Travel. “If it is done right, the family programs don’t necessarily detract from the adult experience,” she says. “It needs a lot of forethought in order to do it well. The kids’ clubs need to be separate from the adult area, offering adults-only pools. Agents need to make sure that the hotels let them know which part of the property has an age restriction. When hotels fail to do so, you get frustrated adults and kids in almost every part of your hotel. The hotels that handle this really well are not only organizing kids’ programs for parents to park their kids, but are offering family experiences. That is one of the great things that I see happening. You are getting more hotels that are offering activities that are family-based, as well as kid-based.”


Just because an upscale resort folds your towels into swans doesn’t mean it caters only to couples. More and more high-end properties are developing programs geared toward youngsters, without sacrificing exclusivity or refinement. Here are three posh properties to have on your radar when booking a luxe family getaway.

Montage Laguna Beach

If you have families traveling to Southern California, we suggest checking them into Montage Laguna Beach. The resort recently unveiled its Paintbox program designed for children ages two to 12, packing in a wealth of children’s activities to keep youngsters entertained while Mom and Dad take some hours to themselves.

Each Paintbox day has its own themed activities, designed to highlight the best aspects of Laguna Beach for little ones. Some of the activities include Safari Adventure, Surf’s Up Saturday, Hooray for Hollywood and Laguna Luau. Paintbox is available during the evenings if parents are looking for a romantic night out. The Children’s Night Out program includes both indoor and outdoor activities, dinner, and a movie. Themed nights include Paintbox Idol, Paintbox Pool Party and Game Show Night.

Teens are also well taken care of here with the M-Teen program, designed for kids ages 13 to 17. M-Teen outings include visits to seaside parks, games, sports, dinners and themed nights. For more information, agents should contact Hanae Kalland (949-715-6000, [email protected]).

Hyatt Regency Mission Bay

From now through April, the Hyatt Regency Mission Bay Spa & Marina in San Diego is encouraging Spring Break for the whole family. The resort has crafted a menu of activities promoting togetherness. Among these are Sea World Charter Visits, where families can meet and take pictures with popular Sea World characters throughout the property; poolside games, such as waterslide relay races, water balloon tosses and hula-hoop contests; poolside bingo; a scavenger hunt; movie nights by the pool; and a S’mores marshmallow night in the Cabana Lawn area.

While the kiddies are out burning energy, parents can relax at one of the three heated tropical pools, lounge at the poolside bar, dine at the Red Marlin restaurant or pamper themselves at the Blue Marble Spa. The resort also has an onsite marina, where families can hang together and arrange deep sea fishing trips, kayaking, jet skiing and more.

Travel agents can direct questions to Ceara Sadler (619-221-4825, [email protected]), business travel sales manager.

Four Seasons Vail

Just opened in December—and one of Travel Agent’s hot new hotels of 2010—Four Seasons Vail has world-class skiing in the winter and a host of Colorado outdoor adventures to be had in the summer, making it an ideal spot for family travel.



Four Seasons Vail
Four Seasons Vail has a dedicated facility for kids’ entertainment.


Each Four Seasons property has a complimentary Kids for All Seasons program. At Four Seasons Vail this takes the form of a dedicated facility, along with a Young Adult Club, which offers teens a game room, TV lounge, cyber café and refreshment station.

Travelers are asked to provide the resort with the names and ages of the children in the party so that they can prepare age-appropriate amenities, such as child-sized bathrobes and children’s and teen’s menus throughout the restaurants and for in-room dining. At check-in, little guests are presented with a welcome stuffed grizzly bear, an icon at the resort.

In keeping with the grizzly theme, children can take part in a Bear Scavenger Hunt. There are three resident bears on property (sculptures, of course). The bear family, a mother and her two cubs, is positioned throughout the property. The scavenger hunt involves a list of specific items, with one of the notable bears among them. For every item found, kids receive a star sticker to proudly display on their ski helmet.

Snow bunny babies have access to ski and snowboarding lessons on Vail Mountain. The mountain’s Adventure Ridge is home to kids’ snowmobiling, tubing, ski biking and more. There may be additional fees for some of these activities.

Agents can reach out to Director of Sales Kristen Thompson (Kristen. [email protected]).



Montage Laguna Beach
Montage Laguna Beach has a new program for kids ages two to 12.


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About the Author

Meagan Drillinger
Meagan Drillinger has been with Luxury Travel Advisor and Travel Agent since 2009, covering both Asia and Mexico. A fan of both fabulous hotels and culturally immersive...

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By Meagan Drillinger | March 17, 2011
Upscale properties are picking up the art of ensuring that both the kids and grown-ups have the perfect stay.