The Spa Travel Gal’s best pick for May: Luxury family hotels
By Aimee Heckel
Ava Roxanne Stritt doesn’t have a bucket list. Instead, she has a “goblet list.”
“A goblet sounds like something more reserved, tasteful, much more luxurious, more positive,” she says. “A goblet list is full of things you can do over and over again — and they don’t make you think about dying.”
Stritt is the empress of all things luxurious and tasteful; she runs the influential travel website, the Spa Travel Gal. For her favorite spa travel picks this month, she shared with us one item from her goblet list: the perfect vacation for families.
So you’re a parent. But you don’t want to have to sacrifice your luxury, just because you’re traveling with kids, Stritt says. You don’t want to always stay at the kid-friendly Nickelodeon hotel, and walk through giant bowling pins to get to the lobby. Not that there’s anything wrong with oversized walking mice and ducks — occasionally — but sometimes the flashy colors and overstimulating sounds of a “family” facility can drain the life right out of you.
Family-friendly doesn’t have to be ubiquitous with kid-friendly motifs. It can truly encompass every member of the family, and the Aruba Marriott Resort and Stellaris Casino is a shining example of this, Stritt says.
“You can still stay luxurious and the kids will still be taken care of,” she says.
Here’s what you can expect at this Marriott: A complimentary breakfast every morning, which means no cooking or preparing by Mom. While Mom and Dad relax in a private cabana, the kids can participate in special youth activities, such as beach tennis and volleyball. At night, enjoy a family boat ride or movie night.
The Marriott also offers a new H2Oasis Adult Exclusive Pool. No kids allowed. (See picture above.)
Money-saving tip: If you’re traveling internationally, call the Marriott on site and ask about deals and packages. You can find a lot of deals this way, rather than relying on a U.S.-based website.
Stritt says she’s seeing increasingly more hotels adopting this luxury family model. Look for special parent de-stress packages. Instead of tiny kid’s clubs, you can enroll your kids in language courses and art classes. Then, when you leave your partner massage, your kids can meet you back at the room and ask for directions to the dining hall in Spanish.
“Who says you have to choose? You don’t,” Stritt says.
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