Where to Book Family Vacations This Summer

Rome Cavalieri, Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts has issued a list of activities and experiences at the IT Club — League of Young Cavaliers.
Rome Cavalieri, Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts has issued a list of activities and experiences at the IT Club — League of Young Cavaliers.

If your clients are still making up their minds as to where to take their family this summer, we’ve rounded up a small but diverse collection of hotels and resorts that are upping the ante when it comes to welcoming — and entertaining — their younger guests.

Rome Cavalieri, Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts, for example, has issued a list of activities and experiences at the IT Club — League of  Young Cavaliers. The new programs give children the chance to experience art, sports, cooking and more. The club opening is coupled with the reopening of the hotel’s al fresco Pool Bar and Chalet Stadium.

The following are available all summer long for kids: Monday’s Art Workshop includes salt dough craft, themed drawings, animated hats, pinwheels and more; Tuesday’s Sports Afternoon offers table tennis, table football, mini golf, free kicks shooting, giant darts and a Formula 1 stimulator; and Wednesday’s Magical Afternoon is just that: a beginner’s course in magic.


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Thursday is Theme Park Day —amusement park activities with a life-size pirate ship, cotton candy and such — while Friday brings the Radio-Controlled Cars Race. On weekends, there’s Saturday’s Cooking Lesson, which allows kids to discover new tastes and learn the basics of Italian cooking, while Sunday is devoted to an afternoon-long Video Game Party.

The program will open on June 1 and will run daily from 2 to 7:30 p.m. through September 30. Children aged four to 12 are welcome on a complimentary basis. The Pool Bar has reopened for the season and will remain so until October 1. After class, the pool bars serve child-friendly snacks like milkshakes, home-made ice creams and authentic Italian pizzas, which teens will also enjoy. There is also a hotel arcade for all ages, a Ferrari F1 stimulator for those future race-car drivers and a Vespa Video experience.

Your family clients may wish to book the Alcove suite, which can accommodate four persons and has two connecting rooms. There are connecting rooms in all room categories.

Martinhal Family Hotels & Resorts has opened two new hotels this spring: Martinhal Cascais Family Hotel, in the Cascais area of Lisbon, and Martinhal Chiado Family Suites, in the city center. The luxurious Martinhal Cascais’ variety of guestrooms includes 12 villas. Families will enjoy the location along Portugal’s coastline. Parents will like the private balcony or terrace, while the children will be happy to sleep on the Lollypop bunk beds. You may want to suggest that families book one of the 12 villas, which includes two bedrooms, a full kitchen, living room and a dining area. If the group wants to eat out, the hotel also has three dining venues: O Terraco with Portuguese dishes, Os Gambozinos — an Italian Trattoria, and M-bar, filled with coffee and snacks.

Martinhal Cascais Family Hotel offers a 7,700-square-foot clubhouse, where kids ages six months to early teens can play in age-appropriate areas.
Martinhal Cascais Family Hotel offers a 7,700-square-foot clubhouse, where kids ages six months to early teens can play in age-appropriate areas.

There is also a 7,700-square-foot clubhouse, where kids aged six months to early teens can play in age-appropriate areas. The hotel also offers in-room babysitting and a playground that parents can enjoy with their kids.

Martinhal Chiado Family Suites, in the heart of Lisbon, has 37 apartments, ranging from studio to two-bedroom options. Each of the apartments will come with a full kitchen, a washer and a dryer. The setting of this hotel allows the family to explore the city together.

The enduring popularity of the Harry Potter books and movies inspired London’s Georgian House to create the atmospheric Wizard Chambers and, more recently, the new Enchanted Chambers. With four-poster beds, potion bottles, cauldrons and many other wizardly details, these accommodations have a mysterious and gothic feel to them. Lego sets, face-painting kits, games, drawing materials and Play Stations are also available to keep children entertained. The hotel is a short walk from Victoria Station, where families can climb aboard the specially designed Harry Potter Tour bus that will take them directly to the Warner Brothers Studio Tour — The Making of Harry Potter.

On the banks of the Vilcanota River in Aguas Calientes, Peru, the Sumaq Machu Picchu Hotel has added two new programs that should appeal to young families. “Time for Andean Tales” has native Peruvians explore Andean legends with the entire family, relating stories that have been passed down from generation to generation and honoring the tradition of storytelling. “Mini Chef Lessons” can be arranged for children between seven and 12. In the class, kids will learn to cook with healthy, indigenous grains, including kiwicha, maca, purple corn and quinoa. Another cooking class, Pachamanca, will allow the group to learn about the culinary traditions of the Incas. As an added touch, the dishes are cooked in an outdoor stone oven and covered with leaves.

Tip: Sumaq Machu Picchu Hotel is in close proximity to Machu Picchu, allowing guests to visit the site at a more leisurely pace — a selling point for families traveling with small children or elderly grandparents.

Closer to home, Atlantis Paradise Island Resort in the Bahamas has re-upped with Cartoon Network for another summer of fun activities and programs designed just for families. New this time around is a land-based inflatable obstacle course featuring the Powerpuff Girls and We Bare Bears. Guests, who are 48 inches and taller, will scramble through the We Bare Bears climbing wall and zipline course, zoom through Powerpuff Girls-themed zig-zag maze and slide, and much more.

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