Every mommy has thought at some point in her mom career that she needs a personal assistant. Someone to pick up the laundry, someone to make dinner, someone to watch the kids so she could go to the bathroom. Well, the 5-star Grand Palladium Costa Mujeres Resort and Spa, in the Mexican Caribbean near Cancun, heard your silent, and not so silent, pleas and introduced a new vacation option called Family Selection. One of the best parts of staying in one of these 80 suites within the Family Selection area is each room comes with a personal butler or what they call the Family Host. That’s right mommies and daddies. You have someone there at your beck and call waiting to make sandcastles on the beach with your kids, make reservations at one of the 12 á la carte restaurants or run to the on-site market and grab whatever you need. They’ll even do your family’s laundry!
Your kids are the stars of the show at the Grand Palladium Costa Mujeres, with princesses rotating to entertain them in their private lobby, exclusive to Family Selection guests only; a mermaid swimming with them in their private pool; and a welcome package that includes sand toys waiting for them at arrival. Families in this section of the resort have a variety of spaces reserved especially for them. They have a dedicated pool, restaurant, bar and beach club. You’ll feel good about being in environment inhabited only by other families and more relaxed knowing there is a village of fairy tale characters committed to the well-being of your children.
Concrete paths lining wetlands and canals connect you to the other 590 rooms of the all-suite resort, as well as the central village. Choose to walk, ride in a golf cart or take an old-fashioned powerboat to the on-site water park filled with slides and giant buckets dumping tons of water as they fill and tip. Your kids can battle with water cannons to win ground in their imagined turf war or simply relax in the miniature pools, enjoying the colorful structures. Parents can chill in one of the lounge chairs submersed in a shallow plateau in the adjacent pool or have a drink in the swim-up bar while your butler watches the kids.
When your children have had enough sun, they can go next door into the two-story kid’s club building separated into sections designed for three age groups. There is the Baby Club room, for ages 1 to 3, with bold primary colors taking every available space and toys appropriate for these little guys. There’s also a quiet room with cribs nearby. For the 4- to 12-year-old crew in the Kid’s Club, they have bean bags around rooms that give them foosball, air hockey and video gaming options. The Teen Club is for ages 11 and up and really feels like a lounge where they can kick back and have their own space. They can choose to play pool on a full-sized table, talk while sitting in one of the hanging egg chairs or they can veg out in their personal gaming recliners.
While your kids are being supervised by the butler, mommy and daddy can take the boat to cruise the canal to enjoy Zentropia Spa and Wellness Center or seek out the colorful go-go dancers, mermaids and performers on stage at CHIC, the cabaret restaurant. Mommy and daddy can enjoy a Vegas-style evening, watching the show between multiple courses served with accompanying drinks. They can also opt to hang at the TRS adult’s only private beach area without hearing their or anyone else’s kids intruding on precious quiet time.
If tennis is your family’s thing, you could all hit a few rounds at the Rafa Nadal Tennis Center. There are outdoor and covered tournament-grade courts to enjoy alone or with a tennis coach, ready to improve your techniques. An inside museum showcases many items collected by Nadal over the years and gifts he’s received from his fellow players.
It’s amazing how much more time is suddenly available when there is another set of hands and eyes to use it more efficiently. Really, at the end of your stay, you might wonder how you ever vacationed without a butler.
With technology advancing faster than ever, children globally are becoming attached to devices. Adults too. Our Netflix queue and ever-expanding inbox call our names even when we’re on vacation. We carry distractions with us everywhere, and it’s becoming increasingly difficult to truly connect with your loved ones.
The zoo is the perfect place for children to see and potentially interact with wildlife. Whether your family is filled with animal lovers or you just need a good excuse to get out and about, here are some of the country’s best zoos for your next family adventure:
The mad bobbing of sunny yellow toy ducks vying for the finish line has become a popular community event and fun family activity around the world — with many events staged to benefit local or national charities. Event-goers “adopt” a brightly colored, numbered rubber duck, pop it into a water source (usually a river or a stream) and wait to see which duck crosses the finish line first. Winners typically are awarded a prize donated by a race sponsor, while proceeds from the duck adoptions go to benefit a specific cause.