Summertime means family vacation time and what better place to escape with the bunch than to South Florida? Many hotels now offer cool programs for the young guest, which makes staying all the more fun for the entire clan. From toys and eco-tours, to kiddie pools and culinary treats, we know five luxe addresses in Miami that take care of the little people in a really big way.
Trump International Beach Resort
Located in the ritzy Sunny Isles Beach area, Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star Trump International Beach Resort’s tried-and-true Planet Kids’ Enviro-Adventures program is popular for a reason. Open to youngsters ages 4-12, Planet Kids’ activities have an environmental component such as eco-explorations, nature scavenger hunts, and minerals and rocks mosaics projects. For the budding athlete, soccer and a host of water activities are offered. Family Fun Night happens every Friday and it includes games and cookie decorating; Saturday nights come alive when the hotel hosts a PJ Party for kids. Topping things off are two family-friendly pools and kid-approved menus at all restaurants and lounges, including the upscale Neomi’s Grill.
Children rule at this beachfront marvel. With a variety of cool adolescent programs (sand art, family trivia, basketball tournaments), kids’ menus at the signature 15 Steps restaurant and Cabana Beach Club and special packages (Family Beach Escape), you begin to understand why. At check-in, pint-sized patrons are welcomed with a special gift, while a personal concierge awaits to plan any adventures for the group. If a dedicated beach playground area sounds appetizing, just wait until you hear about the yummy tyke-aimed cooking activities that come as a part of the aforementioned family promotion. Mothers and daughters can plan an outing at Elle Spa, a sanctuary that provides custom youth services.
While not on the beach, this high-end hideaway, located in Miami’s Brickell area, gives you and your child the royal treatment, starting with a special welcome wagon filled with toys at check-in. The Four-Star hotel’s shower of attention continues with DVDs, books and board games available throughout your stay. And upon arrival to your room, the kiddies will find a welcome message on the bathroom mirror, miniature robes and other surprises such as juice and cookies. There’s also an enclosed shallow pool where smaller visitors can splish-splash to their hearts’ content. During peak times and holiday weekends, the hotel hosts fun interactive activities such as cupcake and cookie decorating with the pastry chef, a pop-up cinema, boat races in the wading pool and behind-the-scenes hotel tours.
The St. Regis Bal Harbour Resort
For a really glam escape for toddlers, tweens and teens, you’ll want to reserve a room at this Five-Star resort. The St. Regis Children’s Club, designed for those ages 4-12, offers interactive games and computers, pool play and a host of sports. Day and night camps are also available as well as babysitting, private swimming lessons and even parties for the little ones. Additionally, the hotel can arrange VIP tours of Jungle Island and set up a visit to the Miami Children’s Museum. Ask for the Family Traditions at St. Regis deal and receive suite accommodations, access to the club, a daily credit for resort activities and a 4 p.m. checkout.
The Ritz-Carlton, Key Biscayne, Miami
Through the Four-Star property’s Ritz Kids program, an initiative developed in collaboration with Jean-Michel Cousteau’s Ocean Futures Society, kids ages 5-12 have a chance to fish, go on scavenger hunts, take field trips to the historic Bill Baggs Cape Florida Lighthouse and take part in tennis, basketball and beach obstacle courses. Saturdays are Kids’ Night Out, meaning the munchkins get dinner, games and a movie while parents get some time off for a romantic dinner at the resort’s signature restaurant, Cioppino. Other perks include a family-friendly pool; a special meal plan; and a club lounge and family entertainment center.