Winter Family Day travel getaways
Families are like snowflakes, no two are alike, but all of them must consider taking a little journey before the spring thaw.If you’re looking to take advantage of the Family Day holiday in February (and catch an extra day off from work and school), here are 5 top winter worldwide destinations that will indulge the entire family.
Mayan Rivera Ménage
Check In: Rosewood Mayakobá
Clan Plan: Jack Frost may be nipping in Canada and the States, but south of the border, warm sunshine is plentiful and the azure waters are calling. Not your typical Mexican resort, the modern, luxurious stand-alone suites are scattered around the property, ensuring privacy and peace for family vacationers. Plan a visit to Tulum and see the ancient Mayan ruins, or let the children cavort in the hotel’s Toolok Kids Club, where there is a Wii and Playstation3, as well as sandcastle building, piñata making, and Mayan jewelry design to rule the day. Meanwhile, the adults can retreat to one of the grandest spas on the Rivera Maya, Sense a Rosewood Spa for a couple’s treatment and quiet downtime. Feel like lounging? Reserve a cabana on the beach for the gang to lay in the shade when the sun is high.
Family of Four Rates: The “Family Fun Mayan Magic: Five-Night Family Package” starts at $741 CAD/per night, and includes five nights in a suite, daily buffet breakfast for four, a family excursion to Xcaret National Park or an ATV Jungle Tour, a family movie night, and a pottery painting session for kids.
No chaos in Turks & Caicos
Check In: Parrot Cay
Clan Plan: With the kids, or without the kids, that is the question. Parrot Cay offers a vacation for both. The adults can get some private time at the COMO Shambhala Retreat spa while kids are involved in tailor-made activities like shell painting, tie-dying tee-shirts, making necklaces from fossilized shark teeth, organized scavenger hunts, and sailing trips. Then, reconvene for a beachside barbeque, or engage in family activities like excursions to islets for snorkeling, kayaking in mangroves, various water sports, fishing trips, and super castaway picnics (note, the resort has excellent food, including a super healthy and delicious COMO Shambhala menu with choices for children).
Family of Four Rates: Kids under 12 stay free! A one-bedroom beach house or villa can fit up to two roll-away beds, and rates start at $2,112 CAD. Or opt for a larger two- and three-bedroom villa, with rates starting at $7,041 CAD.
Check In: One of the UK’s National Trust Holiday Cottages
Clan Plan: Start by joining the U.S. affiliate to the U.K.’s National Trust, the Royal Oak Foundation. Membership grants free entry to all UK National Trust properties, not to mention access to over 360 cottages from which to choose. Some favorites, below!
Family of (more than) Four Rates:
Emley Farmhouse in Surrey sleeps up to 10 and has a traditional country kitchen, perfect for that big Christmas dinner. A three night stay starts at $790 CAD, a seven-night stay, $1,512 CAD.
89 Church Lawn in Wiltshire sleeps up to seven and has exclusive access to the National Trust’s stunning winter gardens. You can even go fishing in the beautiful lake. A three night stay starts at $629 CAD, a seven night stay, $1,136 CAD.
Abermydyr in Wales sits on the banks of the River Aeron and sleeps up to six. Brings the kids here for the Christmas food and craft fair at Llanerchaeron, a Trust protected gentry estate. A three night stay starts at $526 CAD, a seven-night stay, $1,021 CAD.
The family that skis together…
Check In: Technique Week, Park Hyatt Beaver Creek
Clan Plan: This year, consider your annual trip to the slopes an investment for years to come and sign up for Park Hyatt Beaver Creek’s Technique Week. The whole family can train with resident Ski Ambassadors for professional pointers, video-analysis evaluations, and of course, access to the “Ski School” lines for the lifts (less time in line, more time on the slopes!). Additional values (two dinners, lift tickets, ski rental, spa discounts) and the award-winning accommodations of Park Hyatt Beaver Creek make this year’s resort-pick a no-brainer!
Family of Four Rates: Start at $2,079 CAD/night (two double-occupancy Technique Week packages).
Check In: The Victoria Jungfrau Grand Hotel & Spa, Interlaken
Clan Plan: Been squabbling? The Swiss are known for their fine hospitality, so maybe the brood will pick up a thing or two about handling minor family feuds. Just kidding! But seriously, you’ll be amazed at the ease, beauty, and value of a day trip via train in Switzerland. Whether it be a visit to the Zurich Zoo, panning for gold near Lucerne, a helicopter tour of the scenic Swiss landscape, or answering wanderlust closer to Interlaken with a visit to the awe-inspiring St. Bateus caves, the seasoned Concierge will help plan an excursion to best suit your family. And if you prefer to stay at the hotel, there are kid-friendly amenities such as Splash Hour at the pool and Play Station2, and ESPA’s award winning Couples’ Treatments for the grown-ups.
Family of Four Rates: Start at $1,871 CAD/night (for two double-occupancy rooms).
Photo ©iStockphoto.com/ Catherine Yeulet