While parents busy themselves with the time-honored summer ritual of packing for family travel, the hotels and resorts of Preferred Hotel Group™ are doing a little packing themselves – loading plenty of value into vacation offers across the globe. From coast to coast and across the sea, the deals range from big discounts on adjoining rooms and suites to complimentary children’s meals. Rare treats like underwater photography off the coast of Greece share the spotlight with vintage kid appeals such as classic bicycle rentals in Boston , dive-in movies in Southern California, and scavenger hunts in the Colorado Rockies or by a sparkling Minnesota lake.
Castaway in the Caribbean:
Families who take advantage of discounted summer airfares to the Caribbean will find a luxurious Barbados getaway well within reach, thanks to a Family Fun package at the renowned Sandy Lane, a member of Preferred Hotels ® & Resorts. Available through Oct. 31, the package takes 50% off the price of an adjoining room (for up to three children ages 16 and under) when parents book a five- or seven-night stay. It also includes a full daily breakfast at the beach-side Bajan Blue restaurant, one family lunch during the stay, and an in-room gift for each child. Rates for a five-night stay start at $4,000 for the first room and $2,500 for an adjoining room; for seven nights, rates start at $5,000 and $3,500, respectively. Guests under the age of 16 can also take advantage of a Golfing Camp that includes roundtrip transfers to the Country Club, plenty of instruction, a nine-hole round with a pro, complimentary lunch, and a Sandy Lane gift – all for $300 per child.
The elegant Cape Sounio Grecotel Exclusive Resort, a member of Preferred Hotels & Resorts, perched high above the Aegean Sea at the southern tip of mainland Greece , takes children ages 8 to 12 on an unforgettable journey of play and discovery through its Ambassadors of the Environment program. Designed in association with Jean-Michel Cousteau, the program offers days and nights filled with snorkeling, stargazing and underwater photography in order to help children understand their role in the eco-system. Younger tots can take part in the Tiny Ambassadors (ages 4-7) program, where they enjoy nature walks, crafts, and more. Rates start from $75 per activity.
Just steps from the Uffizi Gallery in downtown Florence, the Hotel Brunelleschi Firenze, a member of Summit Hotels & Resorts™, is featuring a Family Package that includes two nights accommodations in a double deluxe room, buffet breakfast, a welcome treat, gym access, and a light four-course dinner that includes a special children’s menu. In-room entertainment includes a large selection of cartoons. Children under the age of 12 stay free when sharing the room with two paying adults, and an adjoining room is available at a 50% discount. The hotel can arrange for tickets to museums and exhibitions throughout the city. The package is priced at €596 for a deluxe double shared by two adults and a child, and €856 for a deluxe double plus adjacent double room. Taxes and service are included.
In the desirable Knightsbridge district of London, The Egerton House Hotel, a member of Preferred Boutique™, treats families like the VIPs they are. Children up to the age of 16 stay and eat for free when they share their parents’ room, which comes stocked with unlimited in-room movies and a games console. Through Dec. 31, the Kids Go Free rate is priced from £495 per night for two adults and one child under the age of 16 sharing a room. In addition, a Fun for All the Family promotion accommodates families of four with two adults in one room and two children up to the age of 16 in a second room at one special rate of £402 per night. Rates are exclusive of VAT and subject to availability.
Southern California ’s exclusive Montage Laguna Beach, a member of Preferred Hotels & Resorts, has introduced new children’s activities just in time for summer. The family fun is centered around Paintbox, the resort’s camp for youngsters ages 5-12 ($60 half day/$90 full day), while the new Paintbox Petite ($20/hour) caters to the 2- to 5-year-old set. Activities range from plain air painting lessons and a Mini Muscle Beach to a rare chance to observe sea lion rescue and release. Throughout July and August, every night is Children’s Night Out at the oceanfront resort, with games, movies and dinner for $60 per child. Holiday weekends – from July 4 to Labor Day – are filled with glorious summer celebrations, including pool parties, ice cream sundae creation stations, a School of Rock party, and more.
Families can dive right into summer at The Woodfin Hotel San Diego, a member of Sterling Hotels™. This all-suite hotel, convenient to the world-class attractions of San Diego – from award-winning Southern California beaches to SeaWorld, Legoland USA and the San Diego Zoo – is offering complimentary Summer Dive-in Movies every Saturday night throughout July and August. Kids and parents can enjoy family-friendly fare under the stars while floating in the Woodfin Hotel’s pool.
Florida-bound families have plenty of room to stretch without stretching the budget at Innisbrook Resort and Golf Club, a member of Preferred Hotels & Resorts, thanks to a $99 Summer Rate on executive suite accommodations that feature full kitchens, separate living areas and private patios or balconies. To sweeten the deal further, the 900-acre Gulf Coast resort – whose recreational appeals include four championship golf courses, a nine-hole family walking course, a spa, and six pools (including the fun-filled Loch Ness Monster Pool) – is offering a third night free for two nights booked, putting a three-night family stay at just $198. The summer rate is available through Sept. 30.
In Orlando , the Reunion Resort, a member of Preferred Hotels & Resorts, is offering a variety of family-oriented summer promotions. The Summer Spa Special for Kids features 25-minute spa services designed exclusively for the junior set – from manicures and pedicures to facials for the pampered prince or princess. A Pampered Package of all three services is just $105. Adventurous youngsters can join the Kids Crew, the resort’s children’s activity camp, where families who sign up for two days enjoy a third day free. Golf and tennis camps are also available for kids (and grown-ups, too!). Families reap even more rewards at mealtime, with Reunion Resort’s Kids Eat Free program and Forte Family Dining, which turns the Forte restaurant into an Italian family dining experience just for the summer. These offers are available through Sept. 30, 2009.
Rocky Mountain Adventures:
Robert Redford’s Sundance Resort, a member of Preferred Boutique, encourages kids to discover the natural splendor of Utah ’s North Fork Canyon through a summer camp series at the resort’s Sundance Nature Center . Days are filled with activities such as hikes through an old-growth forest, kick ball, painting lessons and more. Designed for children ages 5-12, the Sundance Kids Camp is available for $45 per day ( 9 am – 5 pm, Monday through Friday) or at a discounted weekly rate of $180 (five days for the price of four), and includes a souvenir camp tee shirt.
Rocky Mountain vacations are a family affair at The Broadmoor, a member of Preferred Hotels & Resorts, in Colorado Springs . The historic hotel’s summer calendar is packed with kid-friendly fun, from improv performances and scavenger hunts to Wii tournaments and family tennis round robins. Mountain bike rentals are available for families who want to explore the resort grounds or nearby Cheyenne Canyon with its myriad trails for all skill levels.
Also in Colorado , The Grand Lodge Crested Butte Hotel & Suites, a member of Sterling Hotels, in Crested Butte is offering a Family Adventure Package that includes a two-night stay plus two days of fun for kids at Camp CB . Exclusively for children ages 5-12, Camp CB ’s Passport to Adventure Program keeps youngsters happily entertained exploring their mountain surroundings while parents embark on adventures of their own. The youngest tots are well-cared for at the Camp CB Nursery. Rates start at only $299 and are available through Sept. 7, 2009
For a more citified summer vacation, downtown Denver’s The Curtis, a member of Sterling Hotels, invites family travelers to Grab Your Grandma (or other favorite family member of friend) and enjoy two rooms for one rate. The promotion also includes free parking (two car maximum) and free meals for kids (or a $50 food and beverage credit per stay for the young-at-heart adult). The $199 rate is available through Sept. 7, Thursday through Sunday. It requires a two-night minimum and is based on two adults per room. Taxes are additional.
A great family getaway is anything but a gamble at The Signature at MGM Grand, a member of Preferred Hotels & Resorts, in Las Vegas . Just steps – yet somehow worlds – away from the gaming and excitement of the MGM Grand, The Signature is offering a Summer Splash promotion through Aug. 31 that includes suite accommodations, free dining for children 10 and under at Delights or pool-side (with the purchase of an adult meal), and daily breakfast for two at Delights. Rates begin at $129 per night for a Junior Suite.
Summer in Milwaukee means festival time, and the landmark Pfister Hotel, a member of Preferred Hotels & Resorts, is pulling out all the stops with a City of Festivals package series designed to complement the variety of ethnic celebrations on the calendar. These custom-tailored, three-night vacation packages offer special room rates to correspond with a wide array of city events, ranging from Bastille Days (July 9-12) and an African World Festival (Aug. 1) to the Great Circus Parade (July 12) and the Wisconsin State Fair (Aug. 6-16).
Bicycling is a classic summer pursuit, and Boston ’s Charles Hotel , a member of Preferred Hotels & Resorts, in the heart of Cambridge offers families the use of six Electra Amsterdam Classic Bicycles free of charge for the first four hours ($5 for each additional hour). The Hotel Bike Program also includes the use of a helmet, lock and cable, and a map of area biking routes. In addition, the hotel’s Regattabar is offering a Kids Summer Music Series every Sunday afternoon from July 19 through Aug. 16. Among the great family entertainers on the schedule are Brady Rymer and the Little Band That Could, Baby Loves Salsa with the Jose Conde Band, Laughing Pizza, and Ben Rudnick. Performances are $10 in advance and $12 at the door.
In the Land of 10,000 Lakes:
Nisswa, Minnesota ’s Grand View Lodge, a member of Summit Hotels & Resorts, caters to vacationing families with a Kids’ Club (ages 3-6) and Adventure Club (ages 7-12) that fill youngsters’ days with old-fashioned summer fun along the sandy shore of beautiful Gulf Lake . Special Kids’ Night Out events, held several times a week throughout the summer season, include such memorable themes as Wacky Relay Races, Waves of Laughter and Mystery Night. Club prices range from $15 for two-and-a-half hours to $30 for six hours.