Five best-value resorts for active families - Page 2

by , SmarterTravel Staff
Editor's Note: This story was originally published on July 25, 2006. To see the most recent SmarterTravel articles on related topics, please click on any of the following links: adventure travel, family travel, hotel, Molly Feltner, resort.

Use of the resort's pool, playing fields, tennis courts, indoor sports facility, wilderness trails, and miniature golf course are free. Other activities such as mountain biking, rock-climbing, cross-country skiing, and snowshoeing are offered for a small fee. Family programs led by the staff are also options.

Woodloch Pines Resort, Hawley, Pennsylvania

Nestled in Pennsylvania's Pocono Mountains, Woodloch makes an effort to please both kids and adults with amenities ranging from camp-type outdoor activities to luxury spa services. Woodloch started as a small family resort in 1958 but has since grown, adding accommodations for up to 900 guests and a championship golf course. In June, it opened a full-service, 40,000-square-foot destination spa.

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Resort lodgings range from standard rooms to private guest homes with two to five bedrooms. Most guests book the "Traditional American Plan," which includes accommodations, meals, nightly entertainment, most resort activities, and daily housekeeping. The list of included activities is lengthy, with tennis, miniature golf, cooking classes, bumper cars, and water sports among them. There is an extra fee for some amenities, such as spa services and golf.

Rates vary depending on when you visit. Three-night packages for summer stays through September 2 start at $684 per adult based on double occupancy. Prices for kids staying with two adults are $185 for ages three to six, $313 for ages seven to 12, and $392 for teens ages 13 to 19. Prices for stays outside the peak summer months are cheaper. There's also an option that excludes meals, which is helpful for those staying in guesthouses with kitchens. For more details, go to the Woodloch website.

Club Med Sandpiper, Port St. Lucie, Florida

Located on the St. Lucie Waterway about an hour north of West Palm Beach, this resort provides the upscale, all-inclusive Club Med experience without the need to book pricey international airfares. This family-friendly Club Med has children's programs for kids ages four months to 17 years old, and also features 19 tennis courts and an 18-hole golf course. The age-specific children's and teens' programs are led by trained counselors and include activities such as hip-hop dance workshops and tennis lessons. Other activities open to everyone include sailing, waterskiing, flying trapeze lessons, and group golf sessions.

All resort stays include luxury accommodations, all-day gourmet meal service, full open bar, live entertainment, land and water sports, use of resort amenities and grounds, Mini Club Med for kids, and all gratuities. There is an extra fee for kids ages three and under to participate in the Baby and Petit Club Med activities and for some activities, such as individual rounds of golf.

While Club Med vacations can cost more than stays at other resorts, you can save hundreds by taking advantage of Club Med's frequent discounts, such as its current Club Med Family Plan deal which offers discounted rates for stays through November. With this promotion, a family of four can stay seven nights at Club Med Sandpiper for $1,999—a savings of more than $1,000 off regular prices. Read more about the resort on the Club Med website.

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