Tot-friendly & all-inclusive summer resorts

May 5, 2004
Outside Magazine
Week of May 7-13, 1998
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Tot-friendly & all-inclusive summer resorts
Question: Can you recommend any all-inclusive resort vacations for this summer that have facilities for babies (our son will be nine months old when we go)? We are open to hearing about various locations (i.e., not restricted to U.S. destinations). Also, any suggestions for books or travel agents that specialize in family resorts?

Jere Moskovitz
Westport, Connecticut

Adventure Adviser: Although numerous resorts worldwide offer facilities and activities for kids age five and up, finding ones that embrace younger kiddies is more of a challenge. As an overall resource, look no further than Outside’s Family Vacation Guide, on newsstands now. Check out the Family Trip-Finder, which lists 20 kid-tailored odysseys from Australia to Tanzania, the article on family summer camps, and the special toddlers section. Refer to the guide for more details on the following suggestions of destinations that will welcome your nine-month old (and you) with loving arms.

Nestled between Kings Canyon and Sequoia national parks in Northern California is the Montecito-Sequoia High Sierra Family Vacation Camp (800-227-9900). Take your pick of sleeping in a cabin or one of four lodges on the shores of Lake Homavalo. For $645-$730, you can stay for six days, eat as much as you like, ride horses, swim, hike, fish and hang out in a teepee. Most activities, instruction and evening programs are included in the price. Your nine-month old tot will enjoy the playard full of toys and, best of all, costs a pint-size $95.

Club Med offers a more tropical solution at its Florida Sandpiper (800-258-2633), one of the vacation club’s six designated Family Villages. Located an hour north of West Palm Beach, this luxurious haven on St. Lucie River caters to babies. Amenities for the under one set include swings, slides, a kiddy pool, a nap room with cribs and a special dining room serving natural baby foods. Parents looking for a little nightlife can drop off their infants at the Twilight Program from 7 to 11 pm. Rates include all meals and activities and in summer dip to $1,050 per adult for a week in a room equipped with TV and fridge. Kids four to 23 months cost just $196. For something a bit more exotic, try Beaches Turks & Caicos on the island of Providenciales (800-232-2437). Babysitters are available around the clock (and free from 8:30 A.M. to 5:30 P.M.), and there are special snack times and entertainment facilities just for kids. For an all-inclusive $1,522-$1,800 per adult, you can spend the week in a double room or, for an additional $700, enjoy a beach-front villa complete with kitchenette. Kids under two are free.

A little closer to your home is the Wintergreen Resort (800-325-2200) in the Blue Ridge Mountains. This sprawling resort sits on 11,000 acres and offers a full range of accommodations, including condos, lodge suites and private homes, all equipped with kitchens. Pamper yourself at the indoor/outdoor Wintergarden Spa, paddle across Lake Monocan or hike some of the 30+ miles of marked trails surrounding the resort. Although most of the organized activities are geared at kids 30 months and up, babysitters are readily available at $7 per hour. Price of accommodation ranges from $170/night for a lodge suite to $275/night for a condo.

For more ideas and details, head to your local newsstand and pick up a copy of Outside’s Family Vacation Guide.

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