Ask a Travel Advisor: Family Wellness Travel Destinations
I have limited vacation time and would love to combine a wellness travel experience with our annual family getaway. Are there are companies or destinations you could recommend that would be a fit for a wellness/spa seeker with young children?
– Jessica N., Toronto, ON
“Many of today’s Wellness Travelers wish to incorporate their wellness needs into a family vacation. In our time-starved world, most can only manage one vacation per year, with the priority being with family. In response, many properties are offering an integrated approach to vacationing, including a wellness component to appeal to everyone in the family.
Eden Roc Cap Cana, a beachfront Relais & Châteaux boutique resort in The Dominican Republic has done just that. As a member of the Wellness Tourism Association and Virtuoso Wellness Community, they feature 64 fabulous accommodations, including family suites and multi-bedroom villas. Their beachfront Solaya Spa has spectacular views, anti-gravity yoga, Hammam, rainfall showers and beachside cabanas for treatments. For the family, there is zip-lining, swimming in the Cenote Hoyo Azul, and Koko Kids Club, with supervised activities such as kayaking on the lagoon and mini manicures and pedicures at the club’s spa, even a wellness afternoon tea for children.
Another property that combines wellness with family in a synergistic way is Enchantment Resort surrounded by the red rocks of Sedona. Sedona vortexes are thought to be swirling centers of energy that are conducive to healing, meditation and self-exploration. While here, you can experience Mi Amo Spa with its indigenous-inspired methods. For the family, there are pink jeep tours, hiking, swimming, mountain biking, indigenous experiences, tennis, golf, and the Camp Coyote Children’s Club.
Eupepsia Wellness Center, located on expansive farmland in Southern Virginia, offers integrated and Ayurveda-focused health and wellness retreats. The resort is ideal for family retreats, offering a wide variety of wellness activities from spa treatments and relaxation to outdoor and indoor sports, including hiking, horseback riding, tennis, and basketball. In addition, the resort offers educational farm tours on the property, as well as kids and teen club programs. Concurrently, parents will have their own custom-designed programs focused on sports, wellness and healthy eating.”
– Barbara Nichuals, President & CEO, Bayside Travel
“I have so many questions to your question before I can make recommendations! How old are the children? What is your idea of a wellness vacation (what activities would you expect your wellness break to have)? How long can you get away and how far are you willing to go? Are you looking for something on the beach or in the mountains? Are healthy meals part of your wellness getaway or do you enjoy a glass of wine on vacation? What’s your budget for your wellness break?
The first question to ask yourself is WHAT IS MY INTENTION? What is it that YOU need right at this moment? Do you want fitness activities, yoga, meditation or more spiritual offerings? Do you just need time to yourself to reflect and BE? Granted that you will have young kids in tow and most traditional wellness resorts are adults only or have minimum age requirements for teens, so finding a resort that’s family-friendly yet has wellness offerings will be key.
You mentioned spa and most resorts will have one. As a matter of fact, more and more include multiple wellness options such as yoga, fitness classes or gyms. Some, like the Four Seasons, even offer family wellness travel suites complete with weights, yoga mats and even Peloton bikes in the room. I would definitely suggest a place with a good kids club so you can check the munchkins in and get some time to go for a walk on the beach or read a good book by the pool.
The Dominican Republic and Turks and Caicos have some great family-friendly resorts as do U.S. destinations such as Santa Barbara or even Montana (family dude ranch). Even several cruise lines such as Regent Seven Seas, Paul Gauguin and Celebrity offer wellness options including healthy menus and wellness activities onboard and onshore.”
– Kiron Dhaliwal, President, Concierge Vacations, Inc.
“Family vacations for wellness seekers can feel challenging, but there are a surprising number of options that will have you cheering as loudly as the kids.
First up? Disney World. Take a break from the parks and have the kids whoop it up at one of the many DW kids’ clubs while you get some well-deserved R&R at the Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa or the Spa at the Grand Floridian.
Not a Disney lover? How about snow skiing? Steamboat Springs will get everyone outdoors enjoying the slopes, plus dog sledding, sleigh rides and even a mountain roller coaster. The ski school is fantastic and will give you free time to enjoy the Sheraton Villas’ or Steamboat Grand’s Spa or to take in a relaxing soak in the hot springs at Strawberry Park.
Need an active summer vacation option? Let’s hop across the pond to Italy to immerse the family in thousands of years of culture while watching them become a gladiator at the Coliseum in Rome, learn to make pizza and gelato like a true Italian in Florence or hike the breathtaking trails overlooking the Mediterranean in Cinque Terre. Caiobambino.com lists several family-friendly spa resorts.
Looking for a Fall Break to remember? New Mexico is the perfect spot. Enjoy the largest hot air balloon festival in the world in Albuquerque in October, head toward Santa Fe for some great family hiking at the amazing Tent Rocks and Bandelier National Monuments, then relax at the world-famous Ten Thousand Waves Spa which caters to every member of the family.
Finally, an all-inclusive with a wonderful spa and kids’ club can be the best family wellness travel beach vacation ever. The turquoise waters and white sand beaches in Riveria Maya’s Fairmont Mayakoba or Hotel Xcaret have fantastic options for the entire family.”
– Dori Cameron, Owner and Founder, WanderMore Travels