Gone are the days when a family friendly resort implied wearing a colored bracelet, performing an embarrassing birdie dance pool side, and then bracing yourself for a rugby scrum at the lunchtime buffet table. A growing number of luxurious resorts now marry fine taste, exclusivity, and gourmet dining with inventive and highly specialized all day children’s programs. From boutique-style hotels on castaway beaches to grand, posh enclaves where butlers magically appear to tilt your umbrella before rounding up the kids off for a spot of beach yoga or a sushi making class, to wilderness ranches where youngsters can embrace their inner Huck Finn, luxury hotels have evolved to cater to the discriminating tastes and needs of seasoned global travelers who quite like to vacation in style and with their children in tow.
Four Seasons, Punta Mita, Mexico
Few brands know how to marry luxury with kid friendly quite like the Four Seasons. For a tropical resort experience without the stress of a long haul flight, you don’t have to look much further than the Four Seasons Punta Mita. A 90-minute drive north from Puerto Vallarta on Mexico’s Pacific Coast, this exclusive beachside haven is a perennial favorite with young So-Cal families due to its gorgeous location on a pristine, white sand beach. The infinity pool (family pool) is heated to 90 degrees Fahrenheit and has a zero depth area for toddlers. The kid’s club activity program includes iguana feeding, treasure hunts on the beach, and water balloon fights. The expansive grounds enable families to play together with a myriad of activities from cruising down the lazy river, to paddle boarding, and even a scuba lesson in the pool.
The three onsite restaurants offer the full gourmet experience that you’d expect from the Four Seasons; at Bahí, parents can relax over margaritas and superb seafood while the children launch their own unofficial beach party just a few feet away.
Prices range considerably according to season, from $490 in low season to $750 in the high season for a standard room. It’s always worth checking the Four Seasons website for special offers.