Destination Guides

Stay And Play

California to Mexico, hotels launch kid-friendly programmes

Stay And Play

It's the mark of good parents, those who manage to strike a healthy balance between family togetherness and time for two. Even more impressive are those who maintain it on holiday, where diverging interests compete and time is a precious commodity. Promoting equal parts family activity and kids-only fun, these new hotel offerings in the Americas hope to help.

The family pool at San Diego's Park Hyatt Aviara Resort

Already a family-friendly spot with its Kiddie Café, game room, surf concierge and arm's-reach proximity to LEGOLAND, California's Park Hyatt Aviara Resort near San Diego is adding even more pint-sized fun to its repertoire with a Kids Academy launching this spring. Children 4-12 years old get their own tailored excursions and activities, like trips to Batiquitos Lagoon to learn about its unique eco-system, or immersion in Southern Californian cultural traditions. On campus, they'll take part in art and crafts projects, scavenger hunts, movie nights, golf, tennis – you name it. Of course, family togetherness is on the menu, too, courtesy of the new Gourmet Family Sundays at the Park. With a chef for a guide, kids and parents go on a tour of local farms, followed by a cooking lesson and a lazy lunch.

New Fisher-Price Family Suites launch at three Azul Hotels by Karisma

Over on the Atlantic coast, little ones can spend their holidays with their favourite Little People in the Fisher-Price Family Suites, to be unveiled this spring at Azul Hotels by Karisma. Three of the brand's inns on the Rivera Maya – Azul Beach Hotel, Azul Sensatori Hotel and Azul Fives Hotel – are getting a brand new room category where everything from the kids' room decor (like Little People pillows and bathrobes) to the toy selection (Fisher-Price CDs, DVDs and playthings based on the mini guests' ages) and a daily schedule of activities (dance sessions, Spanish lessons, skits and more) encourages creative play. Parents will appreciate the private bedroom, two plasma TVs, and marble bathroom with hydrojet Jacuzzi and rainforest shower.

The play room at the St. Regis Mexico City

Meanwhile, parents and kids are getting a taste for family time at the St. Regis Mexico City, where two recently launched experiences aim at keeping everyone together. For cultured kids and culinary enthusiasts, there's the Learning & Cooking package, which takes the family on a guided tour of the vibrant San Juan Market in search of rare ingredients that will come in handy later, as Executive Chef Guy Santoro shows everyone how to make dinner – and the pastry chef gives a lesson in cookie baking. The active and athletic of the family might be better suited to the Adventure & Knowledge experience, a day of enlightenment at the interactive El Papalote museum, followed by a tour of Mexico City's historic sites by bike.

Insider Knowledge