1. Ariau Amazon Towers Hotel. Brazilian Amazon. Located 35 miles from Manaus, a bustling city considered the gateway to the Brazilian Amazon, this eco-lodge was among the originators of treehouse getaways. Climb stairways, and scoot across catwalks as you make your way to your leafy retreat. Enroute linger to observe monkeys at play, the rich vegetation, butterflies and views of the Rio Negro below. Don’t miss the chance to embark on an excursion that offers the opportunity to swim with the region’s pink dolphins. Contact: (888) 462-7428; www.ariauamazontowers.com/
Hotels and resorts are wooing the next generation of spa goers with signature treatments and soothing beauty sessions.
Check out these places where spending time at the spa is a family affair:
1.Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort & Spa. Kauai, Hawaii.
Explore the island of Kauai’s famous coastline. Then retreat to the Anara Spa for a family-friendly pampering session amidst lush tropical surroundings. Teens will tune in for pineapple-coconut mani/pedis, plus eye-brow shaping, makeup lessons and a facial, especially designed for their unique skin care needs. Kids of all ages can opt for temporary Polynesian tattoos, Hawaiian princess hair styling (think gorgeous flowers in their hair), flower polishes and island hair braiding. Adults may choose from the spa’s comprehensive menu or create their own sampler package. Choose two or more treatments and save with the Pampered in Paradise package.
Contact: 808-240-6440; www.anaraspa.com
2. Great Wolf Lodge. Grapevine, TX.
Splash the day away in the resort’s 80,000 square foot water park. Later, youngsters from four to 12 can primp for dinner in the Scooops Kid Spa. They’ll climb aboard the super-sized, banana split pedicure throne for foot massage and the chance to transform their toes with ice-cream-inspired colors. They can also opt for sherbet scrubs and flavored fizz soaks followed by an edible ice cream treat at Bear Paw Sweets & Eats. Birthday party packages are popular.
Contact: 800-693-9653; www.greatwolf.com/grapevine/amenities/scooops.
3. Four Seasons Resort Whistler. Whistler, BC.
Among the first to offer kid-focused spa treatments, this picturesque mountain resort continues to tempt the next generation of spa goers with tasty and sweet smelling options. Dip into hot fudge sundae or strawberry flavored treatments. Junior scrubs and rubs also include Lavender Lullaby Mini Bath Ice Cream, Strawberry Kiwi Shower Sherbet, and Vanilla Purity Body Icing in tandem with an Ice Cream Sandwich Pumice Stone. Ask for treatments using the ME! Bath line of bath and body products for preservative-free and PETA certified ingredients.
Contact: 604-935-3400; www.fourseasons.com/whistler/spa/
4. Wyndham Grand Orlando Resort, Orlando.
This grand resort, adjacent to Walt Disney World, includes Bonnet Creek's Blue Harmony Spa, offering treatments for junior travelers as well as mom and dad. Designed for teens, the Clear and Pure Facial includes tips from skilled aestheticians on how to create effective home care routines that will enable healthy skin. Teens can tap in to the relaxation provided by the Sapphire Shine Mani/Pedi which includes a scented hand or foot massage, trim, cuticle and buff followed by polish and nail art. Guests six and older will like Fancy Fingers, which includes a scented hand soak and a nail polish.
Contact: 877-999-3223; www.wyndhamgrandorlando.com.
5. Hotel 1000. Seattle, WA. The Spaahh , tucked within this Northwestern luxury hotel, is offers Pink Glamour Pedicures, designed for mom and her young daughter or special friend. The grown-up service includes pink Champagne and strawberries. Junior companions can enjoy a specially designed Spaahh Signature “mocktail” with strawberries. A portion of the proceeds are donated to the Breast Cancer Awareness Foundation. Also available: the Chocolate Pedicure, during which young spa enthusiasts sample a chocolate treat ( brownies or ice cream ) while enjoying a bubbling chocolate foot scrub and pedicure.
Contact: 877-315-1088; www.hotel1000seattle.com/index.php
Explore our underwater world during a family dive vacation. Here are great places to consider:
1. Small Hope Bay Lodge, Andros Island, Bahamas.
Check into one of this family-run resort’s 21 cottages and prepare to explore, relax and enjoy a special holiday. Young children can begin by participating in the young naturalist program before moving on to shoreline snorkeling lessons, a snorkel reef trip and then on to SASY (Supplied Air Snorkeling for Youth) Diving. The latter enables kids 7-9 to experience the underwater world wearing a small tank and other dive gear. At age ten, the Discover Scuba program is available for those interested in pursuing the next level. The resort’s on site dive staff will provide scuba lessons for one or more. The all inclusive resort offers complimentary babysitting from six until nine pm. Contact: 800-223-6961; www. SmallHope.com.
2. Florida Keys.
Explore the only living coral reef system in the continental United States during a visit to this scenic South Florida region. For kids eight and older: the Summer Marine Science Camp at Pigeon Key, an historic site 100 miles southwest of Miami, offers programs that include information about reef fish, coral reef systems, underwater photography and the gathering of specimens. Kids can get scuba certification during a camp session or brush up if already certified. Also included: underwater obstacle courses, volleyball, and snorkeling. Also in the region: the Wreck Trek Passport Program," spotlighting the Florida Keys Shipwreck Trail, where certified divers can explore a string of sunken vessels and artificial reefs with local dive instructors. Contact: 305-289-0025; www.PigeonKey.com; www.Fla-Keys.com/diving.
3. Brac Reef, Cayman Brac.
From this small, family-friendly island, families can enjoy a dive vacation that includes exploring the waters around Cayman Brac as well as the Russian Frigate and the Bloody Bay Wall near Little Cayman Island. The on-site dive shop provides personalized attention to the soon-to-be certified as well as the seasoned diver. The all inclusive, beach front resort also offers free bike rentals to explore the island, spa services and volley ball. Ask about special packages for families. Contact: 1-800-594-0843; www.BracReef.com.
4. Grand Wailea, Maui.
For families who choose to blend a luxury resort holiday with a scuba experience, this hotel fits the bill. Give the sport a try by joining instructors twice daily in the comfort of Hawaii’s only specially designed scuba pool. Interested in learning more? Certification classes are offered at every level. Once the instruction is complete, escorted ocean dives are available. Meanwhile, families can enjoy the super-cool pool on the property, an expansive beach ,as well as a spa and numerous family-focused resort programs. Contact: 808-875-1234; www.GrandWailea.com.
5. Harbour Village, Bonaire.
Children ages five to 12 can join the Kid’s Great Adventure program at this Caribbean resort. They will learn about the Bonaire Marine Park, snorkel, ID fish, and get comfortable with the SASY (Supplied Air Snorkeling for Youth) program, a wonderful precursor to SCUBA. Children eight and over can take part in the PADI Bubblemaker program, which enables young enthusiasts to breathe with a regulator in shallow ocean water. At ten, kids can earn their Junior Scuba Certification. From now through December 16, 2011 the second diver in your party dives free when you book the Dive Into Luxury Package. Children under 16 stay free in the room with their parents. Contact: 1-800-424-0004; www.harbourvillage.com.
This page is brought to you by Pride of Maui offering fun-filled, action-packed snorkeling/sailing trips to Maui's Molokini.
Snorkeling is a great way to explore the beauty of our underwater world.
Here are six places the family can learn about coral reefs, colorful fish and more:
Diving boards and the deep end have been replaced by slippery slides, raging waterfalls and lazy rivers. Today’s resort pools and water parks offer enough excitement to keep the kids engaged for a weekend or longer. Here are a few cool pools worth the plunge:
Grand Wailea Resort, Maui, Hawaii.This island haven may be most famous for its beaches, but don’t pass up the chance to explore what this resort has to offer. The whole family will be eager to check out the 25,700 square foot area that includes nine free form pools. Travel via a “river” to check out the slides, waterfalls, caves, water elevator, swim up bar, rope swing and more that are part of this water wonderland. The tropical 40 acre resort also includes an infant pool.(800)888-6100;www.GrandWailea.com
Fairmont Scottsdale. Scottsdale, AZ. With the magnificent McDowell Mountains as a backdrop, families relish this oasis in the desert. By day, keep cool within the 6000 square foot Sonoran Splash complex, featuring a zero deck area for the youngest set. Kids wade right into the water, just like at the beach. Nearby a large sandbox with Tonka trucks and a bounty of beach toys beckon, keeping the kids entertained. Have fun slipping down two of Arizona’s largest slides. Come nightfall, enjoy dive-in movies from deck chairs or while floating on your raft. Contact: 1(866) 540-4495; www.Fairmont.com
Atlantis Resort. Paradise Island, Bahamas. With more than 141 acres of water rides and pools, who has time to hit the beach? From the Mayan Temple to the ominous Power Tower to fun-filled Splashers Island, water play lovers will find 18 adrenaline-pulsing slides for kids of all ages. Ride the waves and rapids in the Current. Lounge around your choice of 11 different pools. Twist and turn through tunnels and emerge in an acrylic tube deep within a shark-filled lagoon. The thrills never end in this water-filled fantasy park. Contact: 1-888-877-7525; www.Atlantis.com.
Marriott World Center, Orlando, FL. Think 1,000,000 gallons of cool water. That’s what you’ll find at this Orlando resort where indoor pools, outdoor pools, whirlpools, waterfalls and a 106 foot slide make for an enticing recreation area. Pool side fun includes sidewalk chalk, ping pong and pool tables, limbo contests and scavenger hunts. Lounge on deck or join in a game of water volleyball. Contact:(800) 380-7931; www.marriottworldcenter.com
Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort, San Antonio, TX. Float through the resort’s beautifully landscaped grounds aboard a trusty inner tube, making your way 950 feet along the Ramblin’ River. Stop by the activity pool and join in a game of water volley ball or basketball. Or make it a beach day and settle on the private, sandy man-made beach. Lounge on the sundeck before heading to the golf course or an afternoon at the spa. Grown-ups can enjoy the Texas-shaped adults only pool, while the kids take advantage of Camp Hyatt activities or teen-focused Underground events. Contact: 1-888-591-1234; hillcountry.hyatt.com.