Fun For the Whole Family

From China to the Florida Keys, Recommend’s September issue is chock-full of family-friendly destinations, hotels and tours for your clients. It seems like every year, there are bigger and better options for this growing travel segment—far more than we could fit into one issue—that’s why we’ve rounded up just a few more options, including a European tour fit for a Disney princess and an up-close encounter with some Florida dolphins.

European Adventures It doesn’t get much more kid-friendly than Disney. So for fans of the brand who want to explore beyond  its U.S. theme parks, recommend one of the new privately guided itineraries being offered by Adventures by Disney in 2012.

Just last month, Adventures by Disney announced the addition of two new destinations to its portfolio of immersive family vacations—Greece and Northern France. The Greek Odyssey tour—which explores Athens, Santorini and Crete—brings Greek mythology to life with moonlight storytelling at the Parthenon and sporting games at the home of the modern-day Olympics, Panathinaiko Stadium. The adventure continues in Santorni where parents and little ones can participate in Greek grape stomping at a local winery. Then it’s off to Crete to enjoy a Tsatziki cheese-making lesson, along with plenty of Greek dancing. Rates start at $4,809 pp for adults and $4,709 per child with departures available May-August 2012.

Families looking to experience the arts might enjoy Esprit de France tour, visiting Paris, Normandy and Loire Valley. On this journey, guests can enjoy a drawing activity in Monet’s Gardens, a visit to Chateau du Clos—the last known residence of Leonardo Da Vinci—and a private dinner at the Louvre in Paris. Rates start at $4,949 pp for adults and $4,709 per child with departures available in June, July and August 2012.

For more information, visit

Spa-Licious and Family-Friendly It’s official…spa vacations are no longer just for grown-ups. In early August, The Courtyard by Marriott Bali Nusa Dua in Indonesia opened its doors to its brand-new spa—C Spa—which welcomes everyone in the family, even the littlest members.

In addition to offering a variety of treatments for adults and teens, C Spa offers a range of uniquely designed treatments for kids 2 to 12 years old. Options include the Yummy Facial, where little ones can choose from edible ingredients such as chocolate or honey. A strawberry manicure is also available.

The Courtyard by Marriott Bali Nusa Dua—which opened in March—features 250 guestrooms, a lagoon-style pool and restaurant. The property is also near the 18-hole golf course at the Bali Golf & Country Club and a 10-minute drive to the beach. For more information, visit

Wildlife Encounters To celebrate the opening of the movie, “Dolphin Tale,” starring Morgan Freeman, Ashley Judd and Harry Connick Jr., TradeWinds Island Resorts on St. Pete Beach in Florida has created a package to visit the star of the film—Winter, the dolphin—at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium.

The Winter’s Dolphin Tale Getaway includes 3-night accommodations at TradeWinds Island Grand or TradeWinds Sandpiper; two tickets to the Clearwater Marine Aquarium; a dolphin watch cruise for two; a plush Winter, the dolphin toy; and a TradeWinds beach bag. Also included is the nightly resort amenity fee, which includes parking, beach cabana, paddleboats and many other extras at both TradeWinds resorts.

Package rates start at $495 through Dec. 24. “Dolphin Tale” opens to nationwide audiences on Sept. 23.

For reservations and more information, visit

Outdoor Family Fun in Utah Recently recognized by Travel + Leisure as a leading family hotel in the U.S., Stein Eriksen Lodge, a luxury resort located in Park City, UT, offers tons of outdoor activities for families year round.

Travelers who want to experience a winter getaway at the property can enjoy activities like skiing and snowboarding—including equipment rental, lessons and pull-along carriers for small children—as well as horse-drawn carriage rides departing nightly from the Main Lodge of the hotel. Meanwhile, spring and summer travelers can try their hand at fly-fishing, horseback riding and more.

Additionally, the property features daycare programs and babysitting services so mom and dad can also enjoy some alone time. Rates through Oct. 6 start at $130 pp dbl per night, including breakfast. For more information, visit