4 Resorts and Theme Parks With New Family Features
We love the annual New York Times Travel Show. In the dead of winter we sample food and performances from around the world. We also get to check out new travel products and put together a mental bucket list of trips we’d love to take. Here is what we discovered this year at some top resorts and theme parks:
Club Med Additions
We’ve always wanted to try one of Club Med’s resorts. This all-inclusive resort company has added amenities likely to please families with tots, kids or teens.
The Cancun, Mexico property has opened a a new Petit Club Med for 2 and 3-year olds (for an added fee). The resort also has a new family building. It’s near the playground and has suites with a separate parents bedroom and two bathrooms. The Bali property has separate adult and family pools, plus a new kids club that includes babysitting for under-2s.
School-age kids will be happy to head to Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, where Club Med is rolling out a partnership with Cirque du Soleil this coming June. Look for a circus-inspired playground, plus “artistic and acrobatic activities,” particular those that will expand add Circque-inspired offerings to it’s popular circus school.
Teens will be interested in the new kite surfing schools at Punta Cana and Columbus Isle, Bahammas. And a new volleyball academy at Sandpiper Bay, Florida may expand to other resorts where kids tennis and golf academies are popular.
New Universal Hotels
Universal Studios has opened its value hotel, Cabana Bay Beach Resort, which offers a Mad Men-era vibe, lazy river pool with sand beach and several casual dining options. Choose between standard rooms and family rooms; the latter have an extra large bathroom, kitchenette and living room with a pull-out sofa. (Check rates and availability on *Travelocity.)
This year, look for the debut of the Loews Sapphire Falls Hotel, a moderate priced hotel with a Caribbean theme, full-service dining and water taxi service to the park. (Check rates and availability on *Travelocity.)
New Sea World Attractions
The Orlando and San Antonio parks both host “Clyde and Seamore’s Sea Lion High,” a new sea lion and otter show.
Meanwhile, Tampa is set to open its Colossal Curl water slide. Hop on board with up to three other riders to brave “funnel and wave elements” on the long and winding way down. (Search vacation packages on *Travelocity.)
Atlantic City Comeback
Atlantic City resorts have recovered from Sandy’s battering. Now they hope to draw families back with a bigger Tanger outlets, new Bass Pro Shop and upgrades to the Steel Pier amusement park. The many hotels with great pools, like the recently re-opened Claridge, should help, too. (Check rates and availability on *Travelocity.)
Most interesting, local Stockton College bought the Showboat resort to use as both a teaching hotel and campus. The hotel is slated to open later this spring. Places like this are often win-win, providing good opportunities for the students and good value and service for guests. We hope to get down to AC when the weather warms to check it out.