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Jen Mallia

Guest contributor

Jen Mallia is an Edmonton-based writer who spends her days debating if it is too late for coffee or too early for cocktails. She is notoriously bad at making the right call on that so is quite a lot of fun.

In a perfect world, everyone would have enough money and vacation days to afford a sexy grown-up holiday anda fun-filled family vacay. In the real world, we are well aware, the two goals often must be combined in one vacation. It can be tough to balance. There’s nothing like sun, sand and a rum-based cocktail to put the twinkle in your eye (if you catch our drift—wink, wink) but nothing puts a crimp in your plans for romance quite like having the kids around.

We know that parents can be quite creative when it comes to getting ‘alone time’—necessity being the mother of invention and all that—but family hotel rooms require a special kind of creativity. If you are staying in a standard hotel room, having the little passion-killers sleeping in the same room isn’t exactly conducive to a night of torrid romance. And with the new hotel trend in open concept bathrooms, even a quickie there requires an expert level in ninja skills. What to do, what to do?

Hotel-Addict is on your side mommies and daddies! Here are some of our favorite places to stay for a sunny escape that offer beautiful rooms, grown-up amenities and, as important, fun kids’ club activities to occupy the littles. How you fill your time off is totally up to you. Each hotel offers great adult options, but we’re sure you’ve got some ideas, too…


Hyatt Regency Scottsdale Resort and Spa at Gainey Ranch, Arizona, USA

An aerial shot of the kid friendly Hyatt Regency Scottsdale Resort and Spa at Gainey Ranch

Family fun is in abundance in Arizona at the Hyatt Regency Scottsdale Resort and Spa at Gainey Ranch. For the family fun, you’ll all enjoy zipping down the massive waterslide, relaxing on the sandy poolside ‘beach’ and conquering the climbing wall. A ride with the singing gondoliers poling their boats through the lake behind the resort is a treat you can enjoy a deuxor en famille. (Tip: if you dine in the hotel’s Italian restaurant, you will receive a complimentary voucher for the ride.)

For some alone time, you can drop your potty-trained 3-12-year-olds at Camp Hyatt (register at least 24 hours in advance, fee applies) for crafts, sports and outdoor activities, even a Saturday night pajama party. For the grown-ups, we recommend a round of golf on the exclusive Gainey Ranch course, or a luxurious afternoon in the serene indoor-outdoor atmosphere at Spa Avania. Book a couple’s treatment and then luxuriate in the hydrotherapeutic plunge pools, chromotherapy steam room and experiential showers. Nothing like some water and steam to heat up the night.

(Photo courtesy of Hyatt Regency Scottsdale Resort and Spa at Gainey Ranch)


Panama Jack Resorts Cancun, Mexico

A family junior suite at Panama Jack Resorts Cancun

Panama Jack Resorts Cancun prides itself on catering to families. For family fun, there’s a pirate-themed waterpark and oceanview mini-golf course where you can spend some time together, plus nightly entertainment meant for all age groups. When the time comes for adults and children to go their own ways, the fun continues. Camp Jack (no additional cost) is a special spot, with a variety of crafts and games offered in the jam-packed daily schedule, including a movie lunch each day for a little reprieve from the noontime sun. Kids will also want time to check out the fashion room, science room and cooking factory. For the older set (13-17) Hashtag, is the place to relax, play video games and socialize with like-minded teens.

Mom and dad might want to take advantage of the wine and tequila tastings, visit the spa or splash out on a cabana rental, complete with butler service. A special treat for those who may not want to leave their room is the complimentary room service. Because sometimes an afternoon delight just means ice cream in bed.

(Photo courtesy of Panama Jack Resorts Cancun)


Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

Got a family who’s a little bit rock n’ roll? The Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Punta Cana should be on your shortlist of spots to visit. With awesome musical touches throughout the resort, everyone can live out their rock and roll dreams. Kids can chill in the Pop Lounge every day until late each night. On select days (register ahead of time) the Kidz Bop Experience gives kids 5-12 a backstage pass to stardom, with tour managers guiding them through picking a band name, learning some sweet dance moves, picking a wardrobe and posing for the paparazzi, then putting it all together for a mainstage performance. You won’t want to miss the fabulous family-friendly foam party in the pool or Rockin’ Toppings sundae bar.

Grown-ups aren’t excluded from the fun, don’t (guitar) fret! The hotel offers chances to register and perform with a band at Jam Band, and even get the rock star treatment on Rocktube, where you get to create your own music video. Maybe you’ll find your own spousal groupie to take back to your room. If you’d rather, you can golf, visit the casino or recharge at the spa.

(Photo courtesy of Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Punta Cana)


Aulani Disney Resort & Spa, Oahu, Hawaii, USA

At the Aulani Disney Resort in Oahu, Hawaii, the spa beckons couples looking for some quiet time

Disney magic and Hawaiian hospitality are already a sure-fire recipe for a fantastic vacation. Add in programming that appeals to every age group, and you are probably never going to want to leave the Aulani Disney Resort & Spa. Planning ahead is key at Aulani, as you need to register kids a minimum of two days–up to a maximum of 90 days–prior for the kids’ camp. At Aunty’s Beach House kids get Hawaiian flavored programming, with fun Disney touches like character visits, a magic closet full of costumes to play dress up, games, movies and crafts. Tweens also have a dedicated spot to hang out, play Xbox and chill at the Beach House, or they can join in some of the Teen programming with themes like “water play,” “sun, surf and sand” or “just chillin’.”

For the wild (or mild, we don’t judge) adult diversions explore the spa, hit the golf course, relax at the whirlpools on Alohi Point or get lei-d (you knew we’d go there!)

(Photo courtesy of Aulani Disney Resort & Spa)


Beaches Turks & Caicos, Providenciales

Kids have Emo and other Sesame Street characters to hang out with while Mom and Dad enjoy the spa

If you’re looking for sunny days, sweeping the clouds away… for a romantic/family vacation, get on your way to the Beaches Turks & Caicos resort. You know a place where Sesame Street characters take their holidays is going to be a good one. Beaches kids can join in the fun from an early age, even babies and toddlers have dedicated clubs with nanny care. The older kids (there is programming for age groups all the way up to 17) can take part in crafts, games, a special Sesame Street Caribbean Adventure, play in the Xbox Lounge, even take a PADI scuba course. At the Pirates Island Waterpark the whole family can splash around; we’re particular fans of the all-ages swim-up bar.

While the kids are having the time of their young lives, the adults can indulge in a romantic meal, take their own scuba lessons, visit the Red Lane Spa or sample the premium spirits and six Mondavi wine varietals on offer for some tipsy fun.

(Photo courtesy of Beaches Turks & Caicos)


Shangri-La Hotel, Singapore

The Shangri-La Hotel, Singapore offers connecting family suites with themes like treehouse

Shangri-La is a brand known for luxury, and when they focus on families, they do it in a big way. If you are in the position to splurge at Shangri-La Hotel, Singapore, the themed family suites are a fabulous way to do it with specialty designs that give adults and kids space to relax and play. To convince your kids to leave the room, there’s Buds by Shangri-La. It’s a massive indoor/outdoor kids’ club with a climbing zone and play area complete with ball pit. Three themed areas allow for learning through play activities: “Muddy” for messy arts and crafts, “Stage” for aspiring musicians and “Bake” for kids with a culinary bent. Families staying at the hotel in a family suite or one of the fabulous theme rooms get complimentary access to Buds, fees apply for guests in standard rooms.

While the children are in kiddie paradise, adults can eat a leisurely meal at one of the fine dining options onsite, spend some time exploring the 15-acre property and indulge in a spa treatment at the exclusive Chi Spa (or book an in-room couples’ massage!).

What are your go-to ways to score adult time on vacation? Let us know in the comments!

And for other, more adult getaways, check out these wine country hotels!

(Photo courtesy of Shangri-La Hotel, Singapore)

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