Finding Family Retreats
By Bernard Burt
New lifestyle programs cater to the whole family, focusing more on fun and less on luxury. Check out these new offerings across North America.
Turtle Trek on Sea Island
The stunning beauty of the Atlantic island habitat comes alive at Sea Island Resorts on the Georgia coast. Here, Kid's Camp means watching turtles nest on the beach, canoeing through salt marshes, or taking golf or tennis lessons. Recently reborn, The Cloister's new 65,000-square-foot Spa at Sea Island brings nature indoors: a tropical atrium with tall palm trees gracefully roofs the swimming pool and squash courts. Try a Jasmine wrap, Japanese Basu bathing ritual, or the Sea Salt pedicure. For more information call (888) 732-4752 or visit www.seaisland.com
Showtime at Branson Chateau
Branson, Missouri, the showbiz capital of the Midwest, also sports a world-class spa at Chateau on the Lake, a monumental resort in the Ozark Mountains. With thirty-five live performance theaters downtown, such family attractions as the Titanic Museum, and themed shopping malls, the action is non-stop. Treat teenagers to the As-Be-Tween facial at Chateau Spa. There's even an old-fashioned barber chair in the salon, offering professional haircuts and manicures. Overlooking a vast lake created for watersports, the ten-story Chateau has indoor waterfalls and koi-fish ponds, a fitness center, heated indoor and outdoor swimming pools, nature trails, and a marina. For more information call (888) 333-5263 or visit www.ChateauOnTheLake.com.
Baja Blend at Mexican Villa
While the kids play on the beach or go fishing, retreat to the new spa hacienda at The Villa Group's private enclave in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. With seventeen treatment rooms, a yoga/Pilates studio, fitness center, and full-service salon, it's the largest and most elaborate spa in the entire state. Set on the tip of Baja California, this three-level hacienda has hydrotherapy centers for men and women and desert-inspired treatments. Especially important in the intense sun and sea-tinged climate of Baja, skincare services blend extracts of agave, lime, cactus, melon, and vanilla to protect and moisturize your skin.
Surrounded by mountains and the azure Sea of Cortez, The Villa Group's three Cabo San Lucas properties collectively offer 845 residences, ranging from studios to 3-bedroom villas and penthouse suites. Most units have a complete kitchen, separate living/dining area, and private terrace. For more information call (877) 845-5247 or visit www.villagroupresorts.com.
Turning Stone's Healing Place
Learning about Native American healing rituals becomes real and personal in the new sweat lodge at Turning Stone Resort & Casino in New York State's lake district. Blending elements of Native American healing traditions with organic skincare and bodywork, SkanÃ¡, the Spa at Turning Stone blazes a new trail with an authentic sweat lodge built of willow branches covered by painted leather. Join a Mohawk shaman for drumming, chanting, and cleansing of both body and spirit. The multi-level spa features Oneida herbal treatments for wounds, plus aromatherapy products by Kerstin Florian and Naturopathica.
Forget rustic retreat; Turning Stone Resort developed by the Oneida Indian Nation has big-name entertainment, a casino hotel with bingo games and slots, specialty restaurants, three golf courses, and a domed Golf Training Center. The all-suite Lodge at Turning Stone connects to the spa and indoor swimming pool, full-service salon, Ska:nÃ¡ cafÃ©, and gourmet Wildflowers Restaurant.Â For more information call (800) 771-7711 or visit www.turningstone.com.
Westin's Heavenly Island
Looking for a beach getaway with the kids? The Westin Hilton Head Island Resort & Spa recently introduced its new Heavenly Spa by Westin. Designed with the same perfection as Westin's renowned Heavenly Bed, the spa offers spa therapies for teenagers as well as adults.Â Join scheduled classes for power yoga, body sculpting, and water exercise. A glass-enclosed swimming pool is on the beach. Set amid palmetto groves and boardwalks, the hotel's residential feel is enhanced by guestrooms with multi-purpose furniture, an entertainment center with a swiveling flat-screen television, and a sleek, contemporary spa shower. For more information call (843) 681-4000 or visit www.westin.com/hiltonheadheavenlyspa
California Disneyland Detour
Heading for Disneyland?Â Take a detour at Pacific Palms Conference Center. One of Southern California's best-kept secrets, Pacific Palms offers affordable weekend packages, that include golf and fine dining as well as spa therapies after outings with the kids. An inspired fusion of Asian and California contemporary design, The Spa includes seven private treatment rooms, a relaxation room featuring a cascading wall of water, whirlpool, sauna, beauty salon, and retail boutique. Easy to reach from Los Angeles and Orange County, the resort borders major highways between Disneyland and LAX. For more information call (800) 524-4557 or visitÂ www.pacificpalmsresort.com.