Just in time for high season, Divi & Tamarijn Aruba (www.diviaruba.com and www.tamarijnaruba.com) are rolling out redesigned websites for easy booking. Close to the airport and Aruba’s capital city, the pair of all-inclusive resorts that front Druif Beach also tempt with plenty of sightseeing and shopping nearby. As an added bonus, guests at either resort can enjoy the facilities of both, including nine restaurants, all kinds of watersports and a spectacular outdoor rock climbing wall. The aptly named ‘Family Package’ includes gratis stays for up to two kids and plenty of activities from scavenger hunts and beach games to kite-making and t-shirt dyeing.
In Jamaica, the 266-room all-inclusive Jewel Runaway Bay Beach & Golf Resort (www.jewelresorts.com), recently acquired from Breezes, is chockablock with vacation extras like a swim-up pool concierge, dive-in movies with Jamaican jerk popcorn and lessons for pros and newbies at the Runaway Bay Golf Club. On the north coast, the expansive resort with sixty-two connecting rooms also charts a clever roster of activities for families like Mommy & Me Spa days and hands-on cooking classes. “At Jewel Resorts, we value the loyalty of travel agents,” said Michele Olivier, regional vice president, sales and marketing, Aimbridge Hospitality Resort Division. “We have a program designed just for them called ‘Aim for the Stars’ that offers rewards like upgrades, late check-outs and even cash.”
Also in Jamaica, the 158-room all-inclusive Holiday Inn SunSpree (www.caribbeanhi.com/jamaica) in Montego Bay is rolling out the red carpet for travel agents with FAM rates as low as $100 per night, incentives on stays completed between May 1 and December 22, discounts at the Sol-Mer Spa and match play rewards for the on-site electronic casino. The popular resort close to the airport in Montego Bay nurtures agent bookings. “Travel agent bookings remain the lifeblood of our resort. For those who haven’t visited in the past few years, we have a lot of nice upgrades to showcase, including new suite categories, expanded dining options, spa and enhancements throughout the property that add a heightened level of style, sure to surprise for the price,” said Nicola Madden-Greig, director of marketing.
Leader of the Pack
The top wellness retreat in the Caribbean, St. Lucia’s Body Holiday (www.thebodyholiday.com) is an all-inclusive with a boutique feel. Wooing travel agents with the SunSwept Specialist Program that offers bonus commissions, free stays and Webinar training, the resort is an easy sell. “We work closely with our travel agents, getting to know most of them personally,“ said Mark Lyttleton-Frances, general manager. “I deal daily with requests from diets to airport transfers, and my team is always ready to put cards of welcome in the rooms for clients.“ The 155-room resort on Cariblue’s crescent beach takes fitness to new heights with the addition of the glass-enclosed Tree House for yoga, Pilates and Tai Chi.
In the Dominican Republic, the new Kids’ Club at The Grand Palladium Bavaro Resort (www.palladiumresorts.com) is the largest in the Caribbean. “As a mother of two, I have always been mindful of how the Palladium can better accommodate the traveling family,“ said Linda Scaperotto, director of marketing. “As my children grew, I realized that what a baby needs is very different from what a toddler needs and I want to ensure that our resorts provide those necessities to ensure that families have a relaxing Palladium experience.”
Traveling with Teens
1. Include your teenager in making plans. Maybe they have a destination in mind or would rather not visit Florida for the fourth year in a row.
2. Let them eat dessert before dinner.
3. Be OK when they skip the fifth island tour on your list.
4. Vacations are excellent opportunities for teenagers to catch up on their zzzz’s.
5. Encourage teens to take walks on the beach or hang out with their pals. These breaks will do wonders for the entire family!