Check out these 9 great places that make family reunion planning a breeze.
If potluck dishes at your local Knights of Columbus Hall come to mind when you think of family reunions, think again. Today, families reunite at fabulous vacation spots like dude ranches, Caribbean cruises and swanky resorts.
Here is a list of some of the top feel-good spots for families to laugh, love and even bury long-standing grudges.
Most cruise ships offer kids’ clubs, spas, organized games and food options to please even the most finicky palates. And, it’s no secret that “kids” of all ages love amusement parks. Once upon a time, Walt Disney World used to be for children. But today, the magic wand at these resorts taps every age group and Disney Cruise Line offers a Family Reunion package that includes a family photo shoot and leather photo portfolio, Disney T-shirts and a commemorative certificate.
Bonuses: The ships sail to a private Caribbean island and you can complement your cruise with time spent at the theme parks. For more information, call 800-951-3532. Disneycruise.disney.go.com
Check into one of the 15 adobe-style lodges here located at the base of the gorgeous Sangre de Cristo Mountains in Santa Fe, N.M., and prepare to surrender to Southwestern charm. There’s something for even the most discerning family member (ahem)—hiking and horseback riding trails, sunset cookouts and a spa with massages in a Native American teepee.
Bonuses: The lodge offers a year-round kids’ program and the historic Santa Fe plaza district is three miles away. For more information about planning a family reunion, call 505-819-4006. www.bishopslodge.com
If you are recession-proof, spread your wings at this sultry Caribbean resort in the British Virgin Islands which offers the Family Reunion at Falcon’s Nest Villa package. The seven-night package includes a six-bedroom Villa estate with a personal chef, housekeeper, valet, butler and manager, as well as spa treatments, private snorkeling excursions, private family culinary classes and more. The cost: $71,170 for seven nights for 12 people. Tel. 800-346-4451. www.peterisland.com
If your family could benefit from a heavy dose of tranquility and spirituality, Enchantment delivers with its award-winning spa Mii Amo, with classes that include yoga, meditation and tai chi, and a setting in one of the country’s most serene locations, Arizona’s Red Rock Country. You’ll want to check into either the Hacienda or Casita suites with central living rooms (think beehive fireplaces), full kitchens, dining rooms and king-and-queen-bedrooms.
Bonus: Camp Coyote for the youngest family members, which offers cooking classes, nature walks and more. For more information, call 800-826-4180. www.enchantmentresort.com
All-inclusive resorts like cruises where one price buys accommodations, food, beverage and fun, can be wallet-friendly and hassle-free. Beaches resorts, which have perfected the family vacation concept, offers a Family Reunion package at its Turks & Caicos property offering something for everyone in the family, including the hardest-to-please—teenagers. The resort has a new teen program (think teen spa treatments, DJ-training, teen-only lounge). The reunion package includes Save the Date postcards, family reunion T-shirts and a 20-page photo album from Hoorray.com (a photo-sharing Web site). If you stay during September or October 2009 (hurricane season), you’ll also receive room upgrades and a catamaran cruise. Rates begin at $2,289 for a family of four (three-night stay).
Bonus: The resort is running a sweepstakes through January 2009, and the winner will receive a three-night family Luxury Included Family Reunion for up to 20 family members and friends (five rooms total). For more information, visit www.beaches.com/familyreunion or call 800-327-1991, ext. 4372 or 4373. Refer to promotion code HOORRAY08.
Another multigenerational hot spot, Mohonk is a historic Victorian castle in New Paltz, N.Y., that’s celebrated for its family reunions thanks to an on-site reunion coordinator, several private dining options (indoors and out), social rooms designed for family gatherings and customized activities like campfires, ping pong and volleyball tournaments. For more information about family reunions, call 800-772-6646. www.mohonk.com
A sprawling inn by the sea in Chatham, Cape Cod, puts out the welcome mat for grown ups with a new spa, golf, a fleet of private boats and a sweeping porch, the perfect spot to sip Cape Codders at the end of the day. For kids, the resort offers an ambitious complimentary children’s program.
Bonus: The New England Lobster Bake takes place on the beach. Tip: Surrender to the signature seashell massage at the spa. www.chathambarsinn.com
This resort in Vermont’s Green Mountains, about 30 miles from Burlington, is family-reunion central. Smuggler’s Notch has been doing family reunions since it opened in 1956. The beauty of a gathering here is that there truly is something for everyone—a daycare for infants, and tween and teen clubs for the moodiest members of the family. The resort is reminiscent of a village and everything is accessible by shuttles. Groups can stay in fully equipped condos—some nestled in the woods, others directly on the ski slopes—making it idyllic for skiers.
Bonus: A family-reunion professional will practically hold your hand through the planning process and during your stay. For information about creating a customized reunion, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 800-521-0536. www.smuggs.com
Giddyup! There are more dude ranches in this neck of the woods than you can lasso and they make the perfect backdrop for a family gathering. Check into one of the modern log cabins (think heat, carpeting and refrigerators) at the award-winning Latigo Ranch in Kremmling, Colo. The ranch attracts many families for its scenery, children’s programs, “nouveau ranch cuisine” and, of course, horseback riding. What if someone in your family isn’t keen on straddling a horse? Other dude ranch activities include fishing, swimming, campfires and hikes through alpine meadows. For more information call 970-724-9008. www.latigotrails.com
Themes: Family Travel
This is really helpful! I have family all over the US, and we need to schedule a Family Reunion soon. This will help us schedule the discount travel vacation for everyone!