For Ages Three and Under
Certain upscale full-service resorts work double and triple-time to simultaneously please each member of the family in the most satisfying ways. Part of the convenience of all-inclusive resorts is that the right ones provide children with activities, camps, arts, crafts, sports, and opportunities to meet other same-age kids right on the premises, while under the careful and professional supervision of the Activities Director and staff, and while Mom and Dad are very close at hand. Several of these resorts also offer bonded, highly accountable baby-sitting services for infants, also on the premises. While amusement parks cater to our children, resorts do this and, at the same time, give parents their own opportunity to indulge in golf, tennis, swimming, massages, and facials. They allow us, the parents, to eat scrumptious food, recollect our thoughts, and steal romantic moments all amidst dreamlike settings. In my estimation, the first rule behind designing a successful family vacation is not accepting that grown-up pleasures must be delayed, but rather, recognizing that romance, baby/child friendliness, luxury, family unity, and rejuvenation can co-exist, and determining to settle for nothing less. The key then to achieving fulfilling travel with babies or young children becomes uncovering the rare destinations wherein all of these ideals intersect.
This site includes the interests of parents of infants and children too young for children's programs (many of the resort programs are designed for children three and up). Most of the hotels presented in this site, unless otherwise noted, also offer bonded babysitting services--which is distinct from hiring a random sitter, since the caregivers in these services are bonded, examined by, and completely accountable to the hotel. As such, potential instances of child abuse or neglect, sometimes sadly occurring with sitters staying alone with a baby while Mom and Dad are far away, would constitute law-suits for these four and five-star resorts. And of course no sophisticated, respected hotel wants to face a huge financial loss or bad publicity, and, if for no other reason, their babysitters are carefully screened and evaluated on an on-going basis.
We also seek out those resorts that baby-proof the rooms for the very youngest visitors. For instance, when we arrived at Four Season's Biltmore Santa Barbara, the electrical sockets in my room were covered, the tables had cushioned guards wrapped around the glass, the bathtub faucet was covered with padded plastic, and a series of baby bath items were given to me--a hooded towel, baby soap, powder, and shampoo, along with a furry Biltmore bear. It would have been difficult for my baby to hurt herself in such circumstances, unlike Nicholas (read their story here) who had bruised his arm in his "mini-suite." Some of the hotels listed in this site, such as the Ritz-Carlton San Francisco, provide child-proofing kits for parents to set up themselves upon arrival. When I checked into this sparkling hotel, I was given a Ritz-Carlton canvas bag filled with a package of electrical socket covers, a nightlight, baby Tylenol, baby band-aids, and a plastic bathtub faucet covering. The other Ritz-Carltons featured on this site (Huntington and Laguna Niguel) also participate in this aptly-named program, POLO (Protect Our Little Ones), which ensures that parents are offered similar safety-proofing kits when they check into these hotels. With the primary issue of our infants' safety under control, parents are free to start relaxing.