Winter Vacation with toddlers

Aug 24th, 2004, 12:06 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,540
Winter Vacation with toddlers


Trying to plan a winter vacation for our little family -- me, husband and three very little boys (2,1,1). We are looking for family friendly semi-upscale resort that has suites. With the guys in tow, we won't be doing lots of sight seeing or wild nights out so a resort where we can camp out for a week and have all our (simple) needs met on the grounds is preferable. Does such a place exist? I have been exploring Beaches but it gets such mixed reviews -- also the weather in Feb in T&C can be so iffy. Worried about the kids getting sick at the Club Med Ixtapa. Would LOVE to stay at the 4S Punta Mita but the suites are $2000/night and can't get 3 cribs in the regular rooms. Any thoughts?

taitai is offline  
Aug 24th, 2004, 12:45 PM
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I have been to the FS Punta Mita, gorgeous but it is not ideal for such little kids. No kids pool, very expensive suites etc. I recommend the Aruba Marriott Ocean Club (condo resorts - three resorts in one, all amenities, great kid-friendly beach, gentle water, etc. Or Hyatt Hacienda Del Mar, Puerto Rico (also three resorts in one) it is the condo/timeshare section of Hyatt Dorado/Cerramar. Rooms at the Cerramar are closed for now but all facilities open, great river pool and kiddie slide, lots of families, all amenities. Great "stay at resort" destination. My kids love it. Another suggestion would be any of the condo resorts in the Turks & Caicos, great beach with gentle water for little ones. These resorts tend to have less amenities however than the others. I have seen Beaches there and I think it is so overrated for what you get, in my opinion you would waste your money going there with such young children. Hope these ideas help.
eileen is offline  
Aug 25th, 2004, 04:42 PM
Join Date: Sep 2003
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Just had a wonderful stay at the Iberostar Lindo in Playa del Carmen Mexico. It is a gorgeous resort and I know they have connecting rooms. THe food was great too. We've also been to the Iberostar Tucan in the same area and it's great for kids because it has a jungle between the buildings with all sorts of birds and animals. We loved them both and would return in a moment.
skigirl is offline  
Aug 25th, 2004, 05:39 PM
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Cayman is great in the winter, and lots and lots of condos or villas to choose from... in the winter months, the location of CAyman is also much better (weather wise) than the Bahamas or Turks, which are further North and on the edge of the Atlantic, not really within the Caribbean.

With very little kids, I would assume that you would prefer self-catering accommodation rather than an All Inclusive resort, but I may be wrong.

For condos, Cayman is the place... but we don't do all inclusives here
TomCayman is offline  
Aug 31st, 2004, 12:50 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
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We are heading to Aruba to the Marriott Surf Club with our 6 month old. We were their last Dec. at the Marriott resort and noticed many people with children. Most of the restaurants were pretty child friendly if you went before 7 or so. The Surf Club has a full kitchen and seperate bedrooms so that should make it easier with our daughter.
Penguin is offline  
Aug 31st, 2004, 01:59 PM
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Thanks for all the advice. I am really torn. The idea of a condo isn't that appealing. On the one hand, it WOULD be easier. On the other hand, that means I am going to be doing all the cooking and cleaning and that is what I do at home -- this just will be with better weather. Not exactly a vacation for mommy.

There are a lot of good suggestions here and I am following up on all of them. One thing I have discovered that is hard to find is a WADING pool for the little guys. Most places have pools that are "good for kids" but aren't wading pools. In a couple of years, the other pools will work for us but right now I need the smaller pools. Malliouhana sounds terrific but it will be 3 flights and that is too much to ask of my guys. The 4S Punta Mita would be great but their cheap rooms ($500 night) don't connect -- need to get the even more expensive rooms to connect and then it is close to $1500/night and that is too much for me.

Trying to figure out if Moon Dance villas have wading pools and looking into FDR resorts as well. Also exploring Little Dix Bay.

Keep the ideas coming.

taitai is offline  
Aug 31st, 2004, 02:37 PM
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I will second the recommendation for the Hyatt Dorado / Cerromar in Puerto Rico. While it may not be as upscale as Little Dix, the Hyatt is a great place to take little ones.

Dorado Beach has a number of pools including a wading pool for the little ones and the beach is perfect for small children. It has a jetty that makes for a very shallow and serene beach front which is great for making sand castles and playing in the water (you can even see some fish).

The Hotel also offers Camp Hyatt, essentially a baby-sitting service which we have used several times with my niece and nephew with much success and will let you have a bit of mommy vacation time.

If Puerto Rico does not call your attention you might want to look at other Hyatt properties. We recently vacationed at the Hyatt Lake Las Vegas property and found it to be VERY family freindly.

good luck with your search.
sturgeon0 is offline  
Sep 1st, 2004, 05:09 AM
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taitai: the Omni in Puerto Aventuras, Mexico, could fit the bill for you. We were just there in June and they have a pool for the little ones. The rooms are definitely big enough for the 5 of you. Go to the latin america board and do a search for my screen name and you'll find my trip report. If you want to see pictures, let me know and I'll add the link to my pictures this post so you can take a look.
By the way, I'm bowing to you. Traveling with 3 little ones...Now THAT'S courageous!! We can barely manage with our one toddler!
Sep 1st, 2004, 05:22 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 929
Hi, don't be put off by the condo resorts, they don't necessarily mean more work. In the ones I have suggested, we had maid service and all amenities and services. You don't have to cook, there are plenty of restaurants. But I found it easier with my kids if they didn't have to sit in a restaurant three times a day so we got breakfast and lunch stuff and packed lunch for the beach and pool, then had a nice dinner out each night. It's so convenient with little ones to have a refrigerator for drinks and snacks and to have a separate room to put them to bed in when you want to stay up. We won't travel any other way with our kids, regular hotel rooms are so confining!
eileen is offline  
Sep 1st, 2004, 06:35 AM
Join Date: Jun 2003
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I'm with Eileen. We'll never stay in a traditional hotel room again with our little ones. We always look for a place with at least two SEPARATE rooms (not just a 1/2 wall separating the areas) and a kitchen. I agree with Eileen that it is so much easier to eat breakfast and lunch in the room and then eat dinner out. It's not just a money issue for us (although you will save a bundle)... it's a convenience issue. I highly recommend the Royal Sands Resort in Cancun. It's the number 1 rated timeshare in the world by the Timeshare Users' Group. Beautiful place... separate bedrooms, kitchens, marble, granite and daily maidservice. It has a couple of on-site restaurants, a dinner club and a spa. Several pools. There is a kids' pool with ankle deep water. Beautiful beach. You don't have a own a timeshare to rent there. No kids club, but very family friendly.
Kennedy3 is offline  
Sep 1st, 2004, 08:57 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
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Although it's not the least bit upscale, Long Bay Hotel in Antigua does offer spacious cottages in a family friendly environment at a terrific value. It's a small family run hotel on the northeast coast of the island (the less touristed part) and it sits on two bodies of water--a white beach with a very calm water on one side and a large bay great for windsurfing on the other side.

You could get the View House, Cliff House or Harbor House, which provides a separate bedroom, kitchen, living area with 1-2 daybeds, 1-2 bathrooms, and an outdoor patio or deck with your own umbrella table and chairs. And since the rates at these cottages also include breakfast and dinner (and also water sports, taxes & gratuities), you could use the kitchen for keeping snacks, juices, and milk for your little ones.

They offer a separate dinner seating for families with young children, and I would bet that the staff could arrange for some babysitting if you and your spouse would like a quiet dinner alone. The staff is as warm and wonderful as I've ever encountered, and the feel at Long Bay is of coming home. I've been there a few times, the most recent of which was last year for my wedding, where our guests included several small kids. Even the youngest kids, 6 months and 2 years, had a blast, as did their families. With the exception of two cottages, the hotel is mostly on one level, so there aren't lots of stairs for little legs to negotiate (or for Mom and Dad to have carry small ones up and down). It's not posh, but it does offer all of the essential comforts, and for under $500/night for a family of 5 that also includes a breakfast cooked to order and a 4 course meal every night, it's a high season value that's hard to beat!
ejcrowe is offline  
Sep 1st, 2004, 09:24 AM
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 659
I'm not sure if Moon Dance has a wading pool. You could email & ask. There is a review of the resort posted at;p=1#000018
You might post there & ask because it was written by a recent visitor to the resort.
benj is offline  

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