It’s all too easy to come down with a serious case of wanderlust this time of year. The hectic holiday season turned into a seemingly endless stretch of winter. Spring break is still months away. And summer? Well, that feels like it’ll never get here.
One Caribbean resort is ready to banish the chill and the doldrums in one fell swoop. After a $30 million dollar renovation, the all-inclusive Grand Sirenis Punta Cana re-opened Dec. 15, 2018.
The Dominican Republic city of Punta Cana is easily accessible from lots of cities, including Miami, Chicago, New York, Washington, D.C., Atlanta and Dallas, making it a quick and effortless tropical escape. With its year-round sunshine, gorgeous beaches, affordable rates and lots of attractions, the Grand Sirenis is the ideal destination for the entire family.
The resort’s 817 recently refurbished rooms designed in a clean, contemporary style are located in 32 two- to three-story buildings. Most relevant for families are the double rooms with views of the hotel gardens and the new family suites, which have a sliding glass door between the main bedroom (with two double beds or one king-sized bed) and the lounge (with two sofa beds). All accommodations include individual air conditioning, ceiling fan, digital safe, minibar replenished daily, television, WiFi access, furnished balcony or terrace and room service 11 a.m. –11 p.m.
And no matter if you have picky or adventurous eaters — or just ravenous ones — the resort’s seven themed restaurants and three buffets span the culinary gamut from BBQ, Italian and Mexican to French, Mediterranean and Pan-Asian. If mom and dad want to indulge in a cocktail or glass of wine they don’t have to venture too far: Bartenders at the 14 bars are ready to shake, stir or pour your favorite tipple.
Of course you didn’t come to the tropics just to eat and hang in our rooms. Two pools have deck chairs, sun umbrellas and beach-style access, and there are two separate children’s pools. The wide, palm tree-shaded Uvero Alto Beach — with its bronze-colored sand and either large waves or calm waters protected by reefs depending on where you are — is just steps away.
But you probably won’t be able to tear your children away from Sirenis Aquagames, the massive water park situated around a large swimming pool. Its 32-foot-tall tower has two water tubes, two open toboggans, kamikaze and free fall twister, while the aquaracer is a four-lane speed slide. For those aged 4–11, a Caribbean pirates’ area has 10 children’s water slides and four splash barrels, as well as a play area with water jets and sprinklers.
If kids (or parents) need a break from the sun, try tennis, basketball, table tennis, darts, beach volleyball, archery, driving golf balls, windsurfing, kayaking, canoeing or sailing on a catamaran. (All non-motorized water sports are included.)
Sirenio’s Mini Club is the resort’s brand-new kids’ club, open to those aged 4–12, with a Masterchef Zone, Lego Zone, Craft Zone, Barbie Zone and cinema room, outdoor garden and direct access to the water park.
Finally, parents can relax and rejuvenate at the 7,000-square-foot spa, maybe with a clay or mud wrap or reflexology or hot stone massage.
San Diego is a great destination for families looking for fun no matter what time of year it is, but this fall, there is plenty to do for everyone — even when you have a budget. Thanks to year-round sunshine, the best way to explore this city is by heading outdoors and enjoying the beautiful weather.
By Hainan Airlines
Just because the kids have gone back to school and the days have started getting shorter doesn’t mean summer fun has to end. There are still plenty of opportunities to enjoy what’s left of the dwindling season. You can extend your warm weather adventures with these activities all over the country.
The movies and cruise vacations actually have a lot in common: fascinating ports of call, making friends with interesting people, new sensory experiences, the constant change of scenery. When you think about it, it’s no surprise many classic comedies and romances are set aboard cruise ships, including Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953) with Marilyn Monroe, Royal Wedding (1951), An Affair to Remember (1957) with Cary Grant, the more recent and kid-friendly Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation, and the long-running television series Love Boat.
There is an ever-growing number of options for wellness breaks — but it’s up to you to choose wisely in order to get the most from your experience. First, decide what kind of setting is best for facilitating an environment you find personally soothing or rejuvenating: city, forest, historic, mountain, ocean or lake? Do you want access to a yoga instructor, dance classes, hiking, cooking classes or another specific activity? Are you a solo wellness warrior, or do you prefer to travel with a partner or friends?