STARTING A FAMILY SPA TRADITION

STARTING A FAMILY SPA TRADITION

Visiting a spa is the perfect tonic for escaping the demands and stresses of work and family. While bringing the kids along to a spa resort might be the last thing parents want to do, family vacations where both children and parents indulge in spa treatments are becoming increasingly common. More spas are offering treatments specifically for little ones and teens. For agents this is a great opportunity to keep the whole family happy and pampered and at the same time offering something different.

Less than a decade ago very few if any spas would allow children under 18 to enter the facility let alone receive a spa treatment. How times have changed! With such a proliferation of spas in recent years the competition is fierce with everyone vying for revenue and market expansion. Some spas reduced the age to 16 in order to receive a treatment, then down to age 13 and now some allow kids as young as four years old to receive specific treatments - usually a facial, manicure or pedicure.

Savvy spa operators saw a new market emerge -- single parents bringing their sons and daughters and grandparents with their grandkids as well as two-parent families with kids. Some parents can't take a separate adults only holiday but still want to get pampered. Certain spas recognized this and now offer treatments for kids as well as the standard adult treatments.

Each spa provides different services with their own children's spa policies. Best to ask what age children can have services, what treatments are offered, if the parent is allowed in the room while treatment is given, if more than one child can be in the same treatment room, and what kids should wear for their specific treatment.

Many parents may feel a little anxious leaving their child alone in the room with a stranger even though they are a trained therapist or aesthetician. If that is the case ask that you be present for the treatment - but don't be surprised if your child tells you to leave! It all depends on the age and maturity of the child and their comfort level.

You may ask - would they give a full body massage to a child? In most cases no, and would likely insist they have their bathing suit or shorts and top on. It would not be a deep tissue massage - more a simple rub down similar to aromatherapy.

Some spas would not offer massage unless the client is over a certain age and that may be limited to neck, back and shoulders or foot massage. Most of the treatments given to children involve a mini-facial (no chemical peels or extractions) and fun pedicures and manicures.

Some spas try to make it really fun for families. I stayed earlier this year at The Verandah Resort in Antigua. There you will find a variety of activities to keep all ages happy and occupied. Its Tranquility Body & Soul Spa offers services for kids but has children’s hair braiding and manicure parties where they take over the spa! They do these parties at a special times so as not to disturb adults having quiet spa treatments.

Aulani, A Disney Resort & Spa in Oahu, Hawaii has many specialized family treatments from ages five and up. Aulaini's Painted Sky spa is the only teen spa in Hawaii. Here teens can have a massage, facial, manicure and pedicure. It also features a mixology bar - no alcohol here it’s a bar for mixing body polishes and facial masks. Guaranteed to be interesting and fun (and maybe a little messy!). End their Spa time with a delicious smoothie treat at the Acai Bowl Bar.

The Nickelodeon Suites Resort in Orlando is well known for being a family-centric resort. When not heading out to the various Orlando area theme parks take some time to chill and relax at the resort. Get "slimed" in their lagoon pool, watch a 4D movie, sing your heart out in family karaoke and check out the kids’ spa open for ages four and up. Kids can get hair braids, wraps, mani-pedis, and even air-brush tattoos. Let the fun begin!

They say, "It's better in the Bahamas," and for families staying at Atlantis Resort I'm sure they will agree. This water paradise resort provides numerous activities with indoor and outdoor aquariums filled with sharks, stingrays, dolphins and other fish to keep all ages engaged. The GenerationYSpa is for kids aged 9-17. Mother-daughter massages as well as father-son massages can be booked at the resort.

Facials with a fruity flavour are popular and for sensitive teen faces there are even treatments to cure acne. French braids and mani-pedis are also offered.

Cancun is a popular destination for Canadians and the Ritz Carlton, Cancun is a great choice if you want to live it up. Ritz Carlton may not seem synonymous with family-friendly but I took my kids here a few years ago and they were treated like royalty by staff. Service is exemplary. The resort is very community focused. They have a wonderful turtle rescue program all ages will appreciate. For the younger kids aged 4 to 12 there is a Ritz Kids Mayan Adventures program. Spa pampering is at the resort's Kayanta Spa where teens can enjoy a soothing aromatherapy massage for the back, neck, shoulders and hands.

Introducing kids to spa treatments lets them see the health and wellness benefits from an early age. For spas they may get a new client for life. For the parents it is a wonderful opportunity to bond with the whole family and for a new activity everyone can enjoy.

Terms, conditions and restrictions apply; pricing, availability, and other details subject to change and/ or apply to US or Canadian residents. Please confirm details and booking information with your travel advisor.

You will visit the following 5 places:

Antigua and Barbuda

Antigua and Barbuda

Antigua and Barbuda is a twin-island nation lying between the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. It consists of two major inhabited islands, Antigua and Barbuda, and a number of smaller islands (including Great Bird, Green, Guinea, Long, Maiden and York Islands). The country is nicknamed "Land of 365 Beaches" due to the many beaches surrounding the land. Positioned where the Atlantic and Caribbean meet, it's known for reef-lined beaches, rain-forests and resorts.

The Bahamas

The Bahamas

The name "Bahamas" comes from the Spanish baja mar meaning shallow sea, and is one of the most geographically complicated nations of the Atlantic. It's a coral-based archipelago comprising more than 700 islands. The Bahamas has a rich history and colorful culture unlike anywhere else in the world. It's lovely capital, Nassau, is known for its beaches and coral reefs, destinations for diving and snorkeling. It retains many of its characteristic pastel-colored British colonial buildings.

Oahu

Oahu

Oahu, known as "The Gathering Place", is the third largest of the Hawaiian Islands and most populous of the islands in the State of Hawaiʻi. The state capital Honolulu is located on the southeast coast. Including small close-in offshore islands such as Ford Island and the islands in Kaneohe Bay and off the eastern coast, it has a total land area of 596.7 square miles, making it the 20th largest island in the United States. In the greatest dimension, this volcanic island is 44 miles long and 30 miles across. The length of the shoreline is 227 miles. The island is the result of two separate shield volcanoes: Waiʻanae and Koʻolau, with a broad "valley" or saddle between them. The highest point is Mt. Ka'ala in the Waiʻanae Range, rising to 4,003 feet above sea level.

Orlando

Orlando

Orlando is a major city in the central region of the U.S. state of Florida. It is the county seat of Orange County, and the center of the Greater Orlando metropolitan region. The Orlando metropolitan area has a population of 2,082,628 and it is the 27th largest metropolitan area in the United States, the 5th largest metropolitan area in the Southeastern United States, and the 3rd largest metro area in Florida. The city-proper population is 235,860 making Orlando the 80th largest city in the "United States". It is Florida's fifth largest city by population. Orlando was incorporated on July 31, 1875, and became a city in 1885.  

Cancun

Cancun

Cancún is a coastal city in the popular vacation destination called ''The Mexican Caribbean'', more officially known as the state of Quintana Roo, on Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula. Cancún is the municipal seat of the Benito Juárez municipality and a world-renowned balneario and tourist resort. It is composed of fourteen miles of pristine white beaches shaped like a number "7", home of the Mayan archaeological wonders, turquoise seas, a bountiful underwater world, and world-class vacation amenities. It is still considered the gateway to the Mayan World (El Mundo Maya). Mayan temples and ritual sites are everywhere, some smothered by lush jungle, others easily accessible. The Cancun hotel zone is almost entirely built around the tourist industry. It abounds with all-inclusive resort hotels.

Contact our travel experts for more details