5 fabulous family getaways

Multi-generational travel — often involving parents, grandparents and grandchildren — is becoming more upscale as an increasing number of luxury hotels and resorts offer recreational and educational programs catering to children.

Far from the days when family-friendly hotels offered simple babysitting services, these hotels are offering such exotic programs as fantasy camps, culinary academy and marine and ocean adventures. Here are some top worldwide destinations for families looking for something a little, well, fabulous.

Fairmont Banff Springs

Styled after a Scottish Baronial Castle, this majestic resort is a perfect base for family explorations into Banff National Park, one of the most beautiful settings in North America. Families can ride horses, swim, hike or bike in the magnificent Rocky Mountain setting. Winter activities include a hotel ice rink, sleigh rides, ice fishing and world-class skiing.

For the adults: For more than a century, ‘The Castle in the Rockies’ has provided travellers with luxurious comfort as well as stunning vistas. Enjoy the timeless beauty of the Rockies while playing championship golf, dining on exceptional regional cuisine and relaxing at the grand Willow Steam Spa.

For the kids and grandkids: In addition to the many entertaining family activities in Banff National Park, the resort now offers Banff Springs Kids Club. This day of exploration designed just for the kids includes adventures in the great outdoors, learning about photography, playing sports, bowling, cooking classes and field trips.

One & Only Ocean Club, Bahamas.

This legendary, elegant resort offers pampering, relaxation and adventure for all members of the family.

For the adults: Whether you’re seeking relaxation or adventure, the resort offers a wealth of diversions including beautiful white sand beaches, fine dining, a casino and a spectacular waterscape at nearby Atlantis. Take in a round of golf at Tom Weiskopf’s 18-hole golf course or indulge in a luxuriant treatment at the spa.

For the kids and grandkids: Young guests can participate in an active, cultural and educational program offering everything from a Culinary Academy to Magic Tricks to Ocean Adventures. Each day is different with seven themes rotating through each week, allowing children to learn about Bahamian culture and test a newfound skill.

Bovey Castle

Indulge your love of history, adventure and glamour. The entire family will be enchanted by a stay in this real castle set within 368 square miles of the Dartmoor National Park, Devon in southwest England.

For the adults: Don your Wellies in the morning, golf spikes in the afternoon, and your best pair of pumps for dinner. While providing guests with a sense of luxury and indulgence, the hotel prides itself on not being a stuffy place where you can’t sit on the furniture or let the kids have their fun. Award-winning golf, spa treatments, falconry, ballooning, and tours by horseback across the moors and prehistoric sites of the Dartmoor National Park are just a few ideas for filling your day.

For the kids and grandkids: Children can experience moorland adventures with Bovey Rangers, a program offering instruction in outdoor survival skills (like buildings campfires, rafts and shelters), canoeing, archery, pond dipping, apple pressing and dance classes.

Atlantis, Paradise Island

This mythical, ocean-themed tropical paradise offers a wide range of accommodations and activities geared for family fun.

For the adults: After a lazy morning at the beach, head to the Mandara Spa for more pampering or take in a round of golf at the Ocean Club Golf Course with its views of the Bahamian coastline. Dine at one of the resort’s many restaurants ranging from fine dining (including celebrity Chef Bobby Flay’s award-winning Mesa Grill) to casual family-style buffets. Afterward, take in some live entertainment — or you’re feeling lucky, head to the casino.

For the kids and grandkids: Atlantis Kids Adventures club (for children ages 3-12) offers a wide range of activities including culinary lessons, interactive electronic art, theater, outdoor play, joining a three ring circus – and more. The kids can also enjoy the resort’s massive water park, Aquaventure.

Treasure Island Resort

Fans of the Pirates of the Caribbean can enjoy their own adventures at sea on this popular Fijian island resort.

For the adults: Romance is distinctly in the air with the resort’s fine wining, dining and dancing. And for accommodations, you’ll stay in a traditionally styled bure (Fijian for straw and wood hut). Amenities in this unique, un-spoilt natural environment also include a large range of activities and water sports as well as a full-service spa.

For the kids and grandkids: Younger family members are entertained by a variety of water sports, crab hunting, snorkeling trips, spear throwing and storytelling. Kids also have the opportunity to experience Fijian culture first hand by creating their own Lovo (traditional feast). As part of the activities the children prepare the meal, weave dishes from coconut leaves and cook the food underground. Afterward, they put on local dress and present a Meke (a performance of Fijian songs and dances) to parents.

Additional Source: Gayot.com

Photo ©iStockphoto.com/ Daniel Laflor

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