If at first glance this resembles any other family-friendly beachfront resort, take another good look. Located on the Gulf of Mexico and lined with palm trees, this 27-year-old gilded oasis features three swimming pools, four tennis courts, seven restaurants, a high-tech gaming room, a fitness center, and a world-class spa, plus a variety of unique options for kids (ages 5 and above). Programs such as Eye Wonders, for example, include classes led by local experts on everything from building model airplanes to stargazing and identifying planets with telescopes. Best of all, the hotel manages to make all types of guests—from singles and couples to families—feel at home and attended to, which is itself an applause-worthy feat.
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