Monthly Archives: June 2011

Fun in the Florida sun at the Omni Orlando Resort

This spring, my family and I stayed at the Omni Orlando Resort for two nights. My husband, on a press trip, was golfing at Champions Gate, and we were able to tag along.

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The first thing we noticed about the hotel was how nicely the property is laid out. When you arrive to see the large signs, you feel has if you are entering a special place. The hotel lobby also makes you feel right at home, with cold water bottles and fresh fruit, usually apples, to welcome you.

The main attraction for the kids, besides how bouncy the beds are, is always the pool. In this case, the Omni Orlando is a mini-oasis, with a family-friendly pool, waterslide, splash area, lazy river, hot tubs and adult pool, along with an outdoor restaurant.

When we went down to check out the pool, we were thrilled to find a chalkboard with daily activities listed, including Wii competitions and nightly movies by the pool.

For this mom, my favorite part of the trip was the warm pool. Usually, pools are slightly chilly and occasionally too cold for comfort. The Omni, however, had it just right, which allowed us to stay and play to our heart’s content.

The lazy river was longer than others we’ve been in and also had more features, such as a randomly shooting water cannon and an optional waterfall (you can go under it or behind it. The resort also has a basketball court and tennis courts. My son made some friends and found a pick-up game of boys who weren’t averse to playing hoops with an 8-year-old.

If you need activities during the day, Orlando is full of them. We found the drive to SeaWorld easy and convenient, and it was nice to come back to the hotel and unwind after a day in the sun.

And, we came back to a nature welcome – we spotted an alligator near one of the sand traps on the golf course – now that’s Florida!

Pros: Warm pool, activities for all ages, comfortable rooms, reasonable rates, shuttle service to Disney parks

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Categories: Family Friendly Resorts, Travel with kids | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Sports for the whole family at Club Med Sandpiper

My sports writer husband was invited on a fam trip to Club Med Sandpiper in Port St. Lucie, Fla. The entire family was invited and my kids and I had to pay for our flights and rental car.

Many perceptions of Club Med are swinging singles getaways. However, this Club Med was all about family.

From the minute we walked in, the kids were in love. The room had a bunk bed and a separate TV in the kids’ area (it’s a separate room but has a thick curtain instead of a door).

We quickly unpacked and the boys headed off to a golf scramble. My daughter and I headed out for an informal tour. The resort has three swimming pools (or 3 1/2, as the children’s area has a splash area plus a cute little triangular foot-deep wading pool for the little ones).

One pool is a lap pool that also hosts most activities, like water aerobics and pool sports, plus a zero entry pool and an adults-only infinity pool that overlooks Port St. Lucie and has a hot tub next to it.

There is also a beach that has sailboats, jet skis and a fishing boat for rent.

The pièce de résistance is the trapeze and circus school. The scariest part was climbing the skinny, extremely tall ladder, especially after two days of yoga followed by water aerobics. Getting over my aching, shaking arms, leaping from the tiny platform was an entirely new experience. My daughter, the bravest of us all, did it three times – once in the dark when they had “sports under the stars.”

Club Med trapeze

In the “Mini Club Med,” the kids also do circus school, which involves a trampoline, juggling and tumbling. Mini Club Med is worth another post but suffice to say, my kids cried at the end of the day when mom and dad came back to get them. Fast friends and endless activities, they did not want to leave this trip.

And the food, oh the food – all inclusive and buffet style, but not that type of buffet. Some food items were the same but most were different each meal. Drinks were also included. My daughter loved the frozen drinks and I chose the frozen spiked drinks.

At Club Med, each evening has a theme. While we were there, we had wear black, sports jerseys and sports casual nights. Not everyone does it, but those who did had a lot of fun.

The activities were endless – golf, tennis, swimming, boating, exercise, or just plain old relaxing. We’d definitely head to Club Med again. The kids are already asking when.

Categories: Family Friendly Resorts | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

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