One location, no decisions about where to eat, and everything (with some exceptions) is included. Yes, please!
With summer on the horizon, many parents have one thing top of mind: planning a relaxing and family-friendly vacation. After the year and a half we've all just experienced (and as COVID precautions and mask mandates continue to inform many decisions for families with young children), the idea of an easy getaway where parents do not have to stress about anything once they arrive sounds positively dreamy.
Enter the all-inclusive resort vacation.
By definition, an all-inclusive vacation includes a variety of services and amenities when you purchase. Typically, that includes all meals, lodging and a variety of resort activities. It can sometimes include airfare as well, depending on where you are going. That said, it's important to read the fine print on your all-inclusive vacation before purchasing so you are not hit with any charges you didn't know about from the start.
Now that we've gotten that out of the way, here's the good news: resorts are motivated to invite guests to their properties after the pandemic. We've done the research and discovered 5 all-inclusive resorts for families that offer an amazing list of activities, beautiful lodging and fun for adults, too (all of which are following the latest CDC guidelines). And because international travel sounds like more stress than necessary with COVID test requirements and the like, we've tailored this list to properties in the United States (hopefully we'll be ready for international travel again soon).
Ready for summer fun? Let's goooo!
We've found 5 all-inclusive resorts across the country that cater to families and are adhering to all the latest CDC guidelines:
Located in the Pocono Mountains region of Pennsylvania, Woodloch Pines Resort has been named the "#1 Family Resort" by USA Today. Their all-inclusive plan includes lodging, dining plans offering 2-3 meals daily at 3 different venues around the property, nightly family-friendly entertainment and over 30 activities run by their social department every day. We're talking scavenger hunts, pool games, "bakery wars", and so much more. Amenities include an indoor "Splash Zone", bumper boats in the lake, a climbing wall and go-carts, to name a few. Is this place like the very definition of family fun? Yes, yes it is.
"Based on the Pennsylvania Department of Health and guidance from the CDC, guests and staff who are fully vaccinated, will no longer be required to wear masks at Woodloch. Guests of Woodloch must attest to their vaccination status by filling out our COVID-19 acknowledgement waiver."
Other important notes:
- The vaccination status of our employees will be verified and filed by our Risk Management team.
- Fully vaccinated team members and guests of Woodloch will have the option to continue to wear masks if they prefer.
- Guests who are unvaccinated are required, by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, to wear an approved mask indoors, and outdoors when interacting with those outside their traveling party.
- Staff who are unvaccinated are mandated by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to wear a mask.
Migis Lodge on Sebago Lake, Maine
Since 1916, Migis Lodge on Sebago Lake has been a true family-friendly getaway. The resort includes all lodging, meals and most activities in their per person and per night rates (with the exception of beverages from the bar and personal use of motorboats). With the stress on family-friendly, Migis Lodge amenities for kids include two playgrounds, a recreation room, a sandy beach and great hike experiences, as well as a daily Kids Camp for ages 4-6, an Adventure Camp for ages 7 and up (these offerings run between Father's Day and Labor Day each summer). At night, parents can dine at their leisure and send kids to the Migis Lodge "Zoo" program. Per their website, "Children enjoy a group dinner ordered from a special menu, and then head to our one-of-a-kind playground and recreation room for activities and games. The Zoo program runs from 5:30 PM to 9 PM nightly, starting on Father's Day to the end of our season, and is open to children of any age." Babysitting can also be arranged in advance (for an additional fee).
Regarding their COVID response, the website offers the following:
"Beginning on Monday, May 24th, per Maine CDC guidance, face coverings will not be required, indoors or out, for guests who have been vaccinated. Maine's CDC recommends that unvaccinated guests continue to wear face coverings." The resort also offers "to go" meals in case guests are more comfortable eating in their own rooms.
At Club Med Sandpiper Bay, the all-inclusive resort caters to families who loves sports and staying active. This Club Med all-inclusive includes lodging, all meals and drinks at the 7 gourmet restaurants and open bars on the property, a Kids Club for ages 4 through 17 with activities like tennis lessons, art workshops and beach volleyball, unlimited land and water sports, evening entertainment and all taxes and fees included. And did I mention 3 outdoor pools?
Club Med Sandpiper Bay even designs its accommodations with families in mind. Many rooms include sofas, separate rooms for kids and cribs (by request) in addition to standard amenities like Wi-Fi access and flat-screen TVs. Childcare is also available for 4 months old and older. I was excited to learn about Club Med Amazing Family!, an entire program created with families in mind. "Dance, go on treasure hunts, learn about nature conservation and play... everything you need is provided to ensure you have an unforgettable holiday together."
In response to COVID, Club Med offers the following information on their website:
- Staff wear protective face coverings, while inside, preparing food, or cleaning
- Staff wear gloves in all food preparation and during cleaning protocols
- Hand sanitizer available throughout the Resort
- Deep cleaning reinforcement including sanitizing surfaces and equipment more frequently
- Social distancing with floor markings
- Limited number of guests and capacity with a maximum of 70% of resorts capacity
- Guest's temperature checks upon check-in and periodically during stay
- Doctor or Nurse available 24/7 in the Resort
The Ranch at Rock Creek is the perfect way to experience Montana and the beauty of the west. With their all-inclusive plan, all lodging, farm-to-table meals (including bar service), daily scheduled activities program, an experienced staff and expert guides and top-of-the-the-line gear are provided so that "our 6,600 acres will become your playground for the length of your stay." And after a long day on the ranch, go for a dip in their pool or hot tub!
The ranch's Little Grizzlies Kids Club provides outdoor experiences specifically designed for children ages 4 through 12, with themed days that focus on horseback riding, a ropes course, fishing, ranch life, outdoor survival and more. Babysitting is also available for a fee. Adults and teens will enjoy The Ranch at Rock Creek's impressive selection of on-property activities, which run the gamut from target sports (guns and archery) and fly-fishing to hiking and horseback riding.
In response to COVID, the website offers the following:
"The Ranch at Rock Creek is deeply committed to guest service and safety. Just after receiving our 8th consecutive Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star award, we received our Sharecare Health Security Verification™ with Forbes Travel Guide, an organization that prides itself on the highest safety and service standards.Our kitchen staff is trained in safe food handling techniques. We are now requiring dinner reservations to ensure there is plenty of room to safely interact and plenty of time to sanitize spaces. We also offer a number of outdoor dining options during the warmer months."
Ever dreamed of experiencing wildlife in a remote part of Alaska? The Kachemak Bay Wilderness Lodge is an incredible, all-inclusive family-friendly resort. All-inclusive means transportation from Homer, Alaska by boat or sea plane, daily personalized guide service, a private cozy cabin, gourmet meals, relaxing sauna, hot tub, and so much more! Your personalized guide service includes amazing activities such as: hiking, casual fishing, kayaking, naturalist services, wildlife viewing, boat excursions, canoeing, exploring, campfires, tide pooling, and when in-season, the gathering of berries.
Not included: staff gratuities, float plane charters, private excursions like brown bear-viewing fly-outs, or fishing charters for salmon and halibut.
Per the Lodge's website, "Prior to your arrival to Kachemak Bay Wilderness Lodge, we require proof of Covid-19 vaccination or a negative Covid-19 test."
Already vaccinated? Send us proof of your vaccination by emailing the Lodge a photo of your vaccination card. We require proof of Covid-19 vaccination for each guest in your group.
Not vaccinated? Proof of a negative Covid-19 test is required. The test must be administered within 72 hours of your Lodge stay. This must be provided electronically to the Lodge no later than the night before your arrival.
The entire Lodge Team will be vaccinated prior to the start of our 2021 season.
The use of masks is required and dining in-room is an option.
This list is ongoing - if you have a suggestion of a fantastic all-inclusive family resort in the United States, please email me! [email protected]
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