A Roundup of Family-Friendly Travel Packages from Around the World

A Roundup of Family-Friendly Travel Packages from Around the World
Here is a roster of family-friendly travel packages and special offers from around the world, which will have parents and children brimming over with glee (only minus the show tunes…):

Maroma Resort and Spa (pictured above)
Riviera Maya, Mexico

Maroma Resort and Spa, located in Mexico’s picturesque Riviera Maya, scores high on child-o-meter with the launch of The Family Package. Tailored specifically for kids and parents alike, the brand-new offer includes myriad educational activities from baking cookies with Executive Chef Juan Pablo Loza to learning basic Spanish from resort’s attentive staff. Deserving parents can opt for a pampering day at the Kinan Spa or enjoy an enthralling snorkeling trip to the second largest reef in the world.

Available from July 1st through August 31, 2011, The Family Package is available for Ocean View Master Suite and Oceanfront One Bedroom Suite categories. Rates start at $1,040 per night, based on double occupancy, plus 14 percent tax and 10 percent service charge.

Villa San Michele
Florence, Italy

With a brand-new kid’s program, the Orient-Express property delights young guests to an array of educational yet fun lessons, from chocolate making to painting with water colors to basic soccer techniques. Off-property excursions include a sweet adventure to Vivoli, to get the scoop on the history of the famous “gelateria,” followed by a highly anticipated multi-flavored tasting. Curious travels of all ages will enjoy the nearby Palazzo Vecchio and Museo dei Ragazzi, where interactive workshops and guided tours abound.

Reid’s Palace
Madeira, Portugal

Families can opt for the new Fun@Reid’s package to enjoy: personalized check-in, dedicated family desk, in-house entertainment and educational activities at the Kids Club, and children’s playground. Endless on-property activities include: three swimming pools, all-weather tennis courts, fitness center, water-skiing, windsurfing, deep-sea fishing, diving, paragliding, parasailing, sailing and canoeing. A wide range of accommodation options, from classic rooms to superior suites to Presidential suites, is ideal for families. All rooms offer balconies or terraces with views of the Atlantic and Funchal Bay. Select between eight restaurant and bar options, ranging from fine French cuisine, to authentic Italian dishes at a cliff top restaurant, to Cocktail Bar with live entertainment. Children’s menu is available.

Villa Magna
Madrid, Spain

For intrepid families with precocious, art-enthusiastic adolescents, Villa Magna created its “Magna Arts & Culture” package which includes: two tickets to either the Prado, Thyssen-Bornemisza, or Reina Sofía museums, all a short jaunt from the hotel; a private two-hour guided tour of the Prado; and a personalized chauffeured tour of Madrid. To ensure that guests’ day of enlightenment does not begin on an empty stomach, the hotel includes a daily buffet breakfast at the eponymous Villa Magna Restaurant, and – as a delicious prelude to bedtime – the hotel puts an authentically Spanish spin on traditional bedtime milk and cookies with "chocolate a la taza" (gourmet hot chocolate) and just-out-of-the-oven cookies; for adults, a variety of signature treats, including Villa Magna's brilliantly hued macaroons served with luscious sweet creams and passion fruit prepared daily in the property's patisserie, are among the delicacies for nibbling. “Magna Arts & Culture” from approximately U.S. $715 per night for a Deluxe Room.

Cox & Kings

Time to retire that annual family vacation to Florida! Cox & Kings offers a family-fun 5-day, 4-night jaunt to sunny Colombia. When arriving in the scenic coast of Cartagena, families will be greeted by a Cox & Kings guide who will accompany them through a tour of Colonial Cartagena, exploring the streets and plazas by both foot and horse-drawn carriage. Stroll down the century-old town San Basilio de Palenque and watch the colorfully dressed Palenquera women commute to the markets to sell candy and fruit. Family members will take a cue from the stylish civilians and have the opportunity to dress in colorful costume dresses and practice balancing bowls their heads. Afterwards, guests can discover Colombia’s dynamic, ever-changing landscape through activities such as a private picnic at the base of a 50-foot mud volcano – sure to give that homemade science project a run for its money. Guests will relish their own Dancing With the Stars moment as the whole family learns the rhythmic moves of merengue and cumbia, music Colombia is famous for. This experience is offered on Cox & Kings’ customizable Latin America itineraries; US price available upon request.

The Crane
St. Philip, Barbados

Boasting the most spacious suites on the island of Barbados, as well as the island’s most amazing pool complex overlooking the ocean waters, The Crane – a historic resort in the lush, secluded southeast Atlantic coast – is now offering a “Summer to Remember” package, in which families can trade their usual summertime blues for the azure waters of Barbados. If booked by June 15th, guests can enjoy a 20% discount on all room categories, along with two complimentary breakfasts plus a guaranteed upgrade from a one-bedroom suite with an ocean view to a one-bedroom suite with an ocean view and a private plunge pool over the course of any three-night stay. All suites also house full kitchens, making this self-contained family getaway truly delightful.

Paul Gauguin Cruises

School will be out in no time -- and no experience creates stronger family bonds than an exotic summer getaway to the idyllic tropical islands of French Polynesia with Paul Gauguin Cruises. To make a summer cruise aboard the deluxe m/s Paul Gauguin even more enriching for the kids, sign them up for the Ambassadors of the Environment Youth Program. Created by world-renowned explorer and environmentalist Jean-Michel Cousteau and his Ocean Futures Society, an organization founded in 1999 to help protect the world's oceans, this groundbreaking program is a wonderful way to introduce children to the extraordinary natural wonders of French Polynesia through direct, hands-on, interactive learning. They will discover how black pearls and vanilla are cultivated, how volcanic islands become coral atolls, how to paddle an outrigger canoe, and the importance of maintaining the ocean's marine and island ecosystems – and they'll have fun doing it! In addition to joining the kids in the discovery of the South Seas aboard this luxurious ship, parents can relax with a pampering treatment at the Deep Nature Spa by Algotherm ... forget every day cares on a thrilling snorkeling expedition ... indulge in the gourmet meals included in the all-inclusive fares ... and fall under the spell of dancing away the evening under the stars.

MSC Yacht Club

Located in the premier foredecks of MSC’s designer flagships, MSC Fantasia and MSC Splendida, MSC Yacht Club provides sanctuary for families seeking an exclusive cruise experience, coupled with access to the entire ship’s services. Set sail on a Mediterranean adventure in the comfort of a spacious family suite, offering picturesque views over tranquil waters and vibrant ports. Accommodations are carefully designed with amenities for guests of all ages, including a complimentary mini-bar with soft drinks and alcoholic beverages, a Nintendo Wii console, and a pillow menu. MSC Yacht Club pampers families with a 24-hour butler service to assist with packing and unpacking, priority embarkation and disembarkation, dinner reservations, shopping at a selection of stores on the ship, and more. The 24-hour Concierge is also readily available for Yacht Club guests for excursion coordinations and ground transfers. Parents can opt for well-deserved pampering at the MSC Aurea Spa, themed around the famous Balinese massage that combines acupressure, reflexology and aromatherapy into one session, or sunbathing at the secluded One Pool, while younger guests enjoy children’s playroom, supervised youth programs and a teen center. Dedicated restaurants serve gourmet cuisine with a menu catering for fine diners, as well as, your little picky eater. The private Top Sail Lounge also offers hearty snacks throughout the day with daily afternoon tea service.

The Willard InterContinental
Washington, D.C.

Don’t be afraid the summer will slip away, undetected. The Willard InterContinental Washington, D.C. has partnered with kid-friendly organization The International Spy Museum for a special summer event on Tuesday, June 21: “Spy Rings, Covert Action, and Deception: Spies and their Tactics.” Families can join International Spy Museum historian Mark Stout who will explain all about espionage during the Civil War, as well as the spy “gadgets” available to the Civil War-era James Bond.

The Surrey
New York City

Kids have all the fun at New York’s chic Upper East Side hotel, The Surrey. The hotel is currently offering in-room children’s amenities which include: a child-size white bathrobe with black “S” logo on pocket, black child-sized slippers, black stuffed “Bentley” dog, NYC attractions coloring book with crayons and a guest sign in sheet on which children can list their favorite food, movie and game which the hotel will have ready for families on their return stay. Situated in New York City’s exclusive Upper East Side neighborhood, the hotel affords direct access to Madison Avenue’s upscale boutiques & restaurants, Museum Mile, iconic landmarks and Central Park making it the ideal location for families to experience some of the cities finest offerings.

Reflecting a 1920s Beaux-Arts-designed residential townhouse, The Surrey is an Upper East Side hotel where tradition blends with a unique modern personality. The hotel reopened in November 2009 after a complete re-creation by designer Lauren Rottet, and features 189 salons and suites. Guests can relax in sophisticated luxury while enjoying unique treatments at the Spa at The Surrey, dining at Café Boulud, and seasonal cocktails by master mixologists at Bar Pleiades. During the warmer months, The Surrey offers guests a private roof garden with unbeatable views of the city.