more fun to be had So what’s a family to do when they’re not hanging out on the renowned Fort Lauderdale Beach or the Ritz-Carlton’s 29,000-sq.-ft. pool terrace? Well, Fort Lauderdale itself, according to Oliver, offers “activities appealing to all ages.”
Of course, for a long time this city was known as Spring Break heaven, and yes, Spring Breakers still come to its shores, but there are a bevy of things to do far removed from that 20-something crowd. One not to miss for clients with young children is the Museum of Discovery & Science, featuring one of the largest living captive Atlantic coral reefs on public display, an array of interactive exhibits, an IMAX theater and a Discovery Center for children up to age 7. It’s part of the 22-block Riverwalk Arts & Entertainment District, with a performing arts center, shopping, dining and a meandering promenade that runs along the New River. Also, tell clients not to miss a ride on the Water Taxi—it’s a great way to see the so-called “Venice of America” with its waterfront mansions and mega-yachts, all while enjoying an entertaining narrative from the captains, touching on everything from local legends to celebrity dish (although, tell clients they’ll have to be patient as the wait between water taxis can sometimes be taxing).
Kids with a curiosity for the past, will love the Stranahan House, a preserved 1900s house furnished with antiques of the era that is located right near Las Olas Boulevard, with sidewalk cafes and boutiques.
Back at the hotel, while the kids lounge by the heated infinity pool with grandma and grandpa—according to Oliver, “We often see guests with not just the mother and father, but the grandmother and grandfather, cousins, aunts, you name it”—mom and dad can make their way to the 8,500-sq.-ft., 99 percent organic spa, which offers ocean-inspired treatments. Later in the evening, parents can wander off to the Lobby Bar, or, better yet, the exclusive Wine Room, with a 5,000-bottle collection, a rare Scotch collection, wine books and leather furnishings.
And when the kids are finally fast asleep—a day at the beach will do that to them—tell parents to slip away to their private terrace and sit back and enjoy the ocean breeze and the sounds of the city from afar…. Your clients won’t want to leave—ever, especially with new offerings coming on board such as Ritz-Carlton’s Club Level accommodations.
Rates from October through Dec. 31 start at $269. Several packages are available, including the Sand and Sun package, with rates starting at $199 and including partial oceanview room accommodations and resort credit based on length of stay—three nights, receive a $100 resort credit; five nights, receive a $200 resort credit; and seven nights, receive a $300 resort credit.
Additionally, travel agent site inspection rates are 50 percent off standard room rates (Intracoastal view) and agents will receive a 15 percent discount on all spa services (for stays through Oct. 26, 2009).