“A lot of hotels’ kids clubs are just glorified daycare,” says Amie O’Shaughnessy, editor of the website Ciao Bambino! To make their programs stand out, hotels are partnering with familiar children’s brands or emphasizing experiential activities you can’t get at home. At Azul Beach Hotel in the Riviera Maya, infants ages six to 18 months get into the rhythm with Fisher-Price’s musical toys during playgroup sessions created by the popular toy company; at Azul Sensatori Hotel, also in the Yucatán Peninsula, My Gym designed a fitness center with a rope course, trampoline, trapeze, and more, for kids ages six to 13 (www.azulhotel.com). The four Beaches Resorts in Turks & Caicos and Jamaica have partnered with Sesame Street for daily themed activities for three- to nine-year-olds, from going on nature walks with Grover to dancing to Caribbean beats with Zoe. In new programs geared to tweens and teens, Beaches Resorts offer DJ lessons taught by instructors trained by Run DMC’s Scratch DJ Academy and surfing seminars by Body Glove coaches. Last summer, Fairmont Scottsdale in Arizona launched National Geographic Explorers Camp, where campers get to fish on the property’s lagoon with aquatic ecologist Zeb Hogan, make rockets with NASA engineer Kobie Boykins, and learn photography from National Geographic shooter Joel Sartore.
–Amy Alipio, from the January/February issue of National Geographic Traveler
Photo: Beaches Resorts
- Nat Geo Expeditions