Aspen, the former mining town (1879–1893) at the foot of “Ajax,” (what the locals call Aspen Mountain) — with its luxe hotels, fine restaurants, chic shops, international art galleries and vibrant cultural scene — may be best known as Colorado’s most swank and sophisticated ski resort. Yet, the pristine peaks, towering trees, flowing rivers and sprawling meadowlands in the environmentally caring destination offer a plethora of all-season, family-friendly Rocky Mountain experiences. Visitors and locals alike hike, bike, go water-rafting, do sun-salutations atop the peak or participate in Full Moon Yoga. (In winter, novices attend ski school, while proficient skiers descend from atop an 11,775-foot summit on the black-diamond ski run, or go snowshoeing.)
Kids might ogle the castle-like porte cochere entry to the 5-star St. Regis Aspen Resort, with its tall red-brick walls (800,000 Colorado red bricks) and steeply pointed roofs. Once inside, the high-ceiling hotel has a grand staircase and an imposing, classic feel with posh public spaces studded with bronze statues and paintings. Children may be more impressed with the welcome amenities, child-sized robes, slippers and even a step stool, plus turndown treats.
Among the 154 rooms and 25 upper level suites, there are a variety of well-appointed, family-focused options, including accommodations with a patio or balcony, a fireplace, a loft bedroom, a sofa bed and Aspen Mountain views. (The hotel supplies cribs and rollaways.)
Down the extravagant staircase, Remède Spa, the superlative subterranean spa, flaunts a circular reception area; a complete, high-tech fitness center; and pebble flooring that leads to steam caves, cold plunges, hot tubs, an oxygen room and a river-like, stone-walled Confluence waterfall. The oxygen lounge, adjacent to the main spa lounge, offers individual chaises and chairs — each with an oxygen tank — which may well enhance breathing at the near 8,000-foot altitude!
In Velvet Buck, the all-day dining room, health-conscious parents and even finicky kids will discover ample opportunities to order healthfully among the many locally sourced, fresh ingredients. There are a variety of freshly made juices, egg white frittatas and old-fashioned rolled oats to start the day; fresh soups, salads, sandwiches and vegetarian pizza choices are kid-friendly, too, and they’re available via room service. The Chefs Club features prominent chefs who do a seasonal “stage,” — a culinary destination worth experiencing.
Outside, in the beautiful Fountain Courtyard, at 5:15 p.m. every afternoon, families can participate in the resort’s traditional Champagne sabering, during which kiddy cocktails are served. After dark, families can roast marshmallows on an open fire and enjoy s’mores.
It is recommended to call the concierge in advance or contact the e-butler online to make requests, learn about specific hotel amenities, pre-arrange childcare services, request a dog bed and bowl and make activity reservations, including tickets for the fabulous Silver Queen Gondola rides, which functions year-round.
Making travel plans can be exciting; did you know planning on how to spend time at the airport the right way can enrich the overall trip experience? As a transfer hub, traveling through Doha's Hamad International Airport is a unique experience, as waiting never feels like waiting at one of the best airports in the world.
Northwest Florida is a haven for beachgoers seeking the waters of Panama City Beach, Pensacola and Destin. But this region of Florida also has some extensive history, offering family travelers a great way to introduce young ones to Florida’s Spanish and indigenous past.
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If you think you have to head into the wilderness just to get some hiking time in on your next vacation, rest assured. Cities across the country pride themselves on being great all-around family destinations, and that often includes fun urban hiking opportunities. These cities prove you don’t have to hike to a mountaintop to stretch your legs and get some fresh air. They are home to great parks and walking trails designed for easy walks that let you enjoy the fresh air, and get to know the personality, culture and history of the city you are visiting.