The snow on those peaks might be melting quickly, but that doesn’t mean you need to put off that Swiss vacation until next winter.
Giardino Hotels is Switzerland’s only true lifestyle hotel group, with properties in Zürich, Ascono, Lake Maggiore and Champfèr. Each offers a unique setting and experience, but what they all have in common is a sense of casual ambiance, upscale service and stylish design, along with the legendary Swiss hospitality and service.
Giardino Mountain is known as “The Power Retreat,” and is located in the cute village of Champfèr near St. Moritz. The hotel dates back to 1913, and the property itself was a boarding school for girls in the 18th century. Though it’s decidedly a playground during the winter months, there is no shortage of things for families to do when the flowers are blooming on the mountain under a sunny summer sky, including hiking and biking.
Younger guests will enjoy the kids’ club, a walk on a stroller-friendly path, paddling and splashing in the bathing lakes, sliding and climbing at the playground and enjoying a horse-drawn carriage ride or boat tour. Children aged 2 and above can be dropped off at the supervised Kids’ Club, where they can play, frolic in the ball pit, do arts and crafts and have lunch.
School-aged kids and teenagers can partake in sailing or family surfing, minigolf, horseback riding, jumping in the inflatables, scaling the heights at the high-rope park and hiking on the Barefoot Trail or Smugglers-and-Robbers Trails.
During the summer season, the resort provides a free extra room for any family with children aged 6 and above staying for a minimum of five nights. Depending on availability, that may be a double room with a direct connecting door — perfect for parents traveling with children or grandparents vacationing with their grandchildren.
Switzerland’s Engadine region is actually like a big adventure playground, and Kids’ Guides at Giardino knows where kids can find fun. Part expedition leader, jester and storyteller, the Kids Guides make sure kids are never bored and they are making memories every day during their stay.
Families looking for a wellness sojourn will be happy to know the resort has an Ayurveda program that melds its Asian roots with Western standards, with easy-to-digest foods, relaxing and therapeutic massages and exercise designed to remove toxins, rejuvenate and stimulate the body’s ability to heal. In addition to Compact, Restart, Detox and Anti-Aging regimens, Giardino features the option to purchase an Ayurveda program for the family. In addition to medical history, pulse diagnosis, yoga, pranayama, meditation, consultations and access to the sauna, pool and fitness center, adults will undergo a 60-minute abhyanga massage, a full-body warm oil massage that’s a staple in Ayurveda practice. Each family member will get a 50-minute sound massage and 60-minute tailored facial treatment, while children will also get a medical analysis and a 45-minute oil massage. If traditional spa-ing is more your thing, dipiù SPA offers a menu of massages, facials and body treatments using Aveda products.
And cuisine is not an afterthought here, from the two Michelin-starred Ecco Ascona to regional cuisine at Hide & Seek or a memorable meal at the property’s private mountain lodge, El Paradiso.
If you’re looking for a charming new island escape on the East Coast, get away to a locale many have yet to discover. Daufuskie Island considers itself the Nantucket of the South, a hidden gem off the Southeast Coast, near Savannah, Georgia, and Hilton Head. The luxurious environment is unpretentious, but filled with all the amenities discerning family travelers need.
A beach vacation is a family favorite in the summertime; the weather is nice, towns are thriving and there are fun activities all season. For families looking for the ultimate summer beach vacation, consider Ocean City, New Jersey.
Prior to any family trip, every responsible adult will have a checklist to ensure the journey and destination can be made as safe as possible for everybody. A packing list can incorporate healthy snacks, bug repellant, a first-aid kit and minor illness remedies (cold and flu meds; anti-diarrhea pills) while pre-trip cautions — depending on the location — immunizations and family discussions on how to avoid injury.
By Hainan Airlines
You don’t need a passport for a family-friendly island vacation — just a car to take you over the Causeway Bridge in Ft. Myers to Sanibel and Captiva islands in Florida. South Seas Island Resort on Captiva Island offers sugar white-sand beaches, 20 swimming pools, watersports, golf and more than a dozen dining options.