Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Going on a family vacay may not be so bad after all!

Raise your hand if you dread going on the summer vacation trip with the parents and your bratty little brother? Well, just in time for summer, hotels are recognizing that they are forgetting their teen guests! Sooooo....when your parents are planning the next vacay, suggest to them some of the following places of travel that cater to you!

The Phoenician in Scottsdale, Ariz., recently spent $500,000 to convert a tennis lounge into an activity center, outfitted with an extra-large TV screen for interactive video games and a mini-movie theater. Club Med has been rolling out Passworld chainwide, with activities ranging from jewelry-making classes to graffiti workshops. In November, Club Med in Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic opened a renovated $200,000 teenagers’ center that includes a redesigned skateboarding park. The all-inclusive Occidental Grand Xcaret, in Mexico, south of CancĂșn, offers a Fun Club, with activities like volleyball, tennis, diving and video games, including Wii, on a 110-inch TV. By night, teenagers can enjoy movies and nightly parties at a disco.

Coast, the center for teenagers at the Ritz-Carlton, Palm Beach, has a no-parents-allowed policy (except to drop off or pick up their children and pay the $45-a-day rate) and says the space is “subtly supervised” by staff members who are youthful enough to be accepted by their teenage charges. By offering unstructured activities rather than highly programmed schedules, the space allows teenagers to socialize and assert their freedom, while satisfying parents by keeping their children in a contained, supervised setting.

At Coast, you can man the D.J. booth, spinning your own beats or hit the beauty station, where make-up, nail polish and other accessories are available to experiment with.

Such centers are turning out to be a draw even for school trips. After raising more than $2,000 for a field trip, the sixth-, seventh- and eighth-grade classes of the Montessori School of Ojai, Calif., chose to stay at the Loews Coronado for two nights earlier this month instead of going camping, in part because of all the amenities for teenagers. After a full day of swimming in the pool, hanging out in the special lounge, blasting music, playing video games and watching movies late into the night, the group, which ranged in age from 12 to 14, still wasn’t quite satisfied.

“They told us to go to bed,” said Kylie Overmeier, 12, “and I said I want to just live it up.”

Le Parker Meridien in New York recently began projecting Wii games on a 20-foot wall in its racquetball court with surround sound; it rents the system for about $50 an hour for up to four people.

So, if your parents are ballin' why not ask them to break you off a little piece of the fun!

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