CHICAGO — April 2, 2014 — This year, the Preferred Family collection from Preferred Hotel Group encourages families to swap classroom curriculums for travel itineraries and pursue priceless educational experiences around the globe. Whether looking to test their hand at a new sport, learn a second language, or embrace the pastimes of a distinct culture, travelers of all ages can enjoy exciting hands-on learning adventures when they stay at one of more than 260 family-friendly certified hotels and resorts in exotic and familiar destinations alike through www.PreferredFamily.com.
Recommendations for unique eye-opening experiences for family travels this year include:
- Lei and Play like a Local — Maui, Hawaii, USA Where to Stay: Makena Beach & Golf Resort (Rates from US$299 per night, room only)
Makena Beach & Golf Resort helps travelers embrace the rich culture of the Hawaiian Islands through a lineup of hands-on activities that showcase local art forms and pastimes. Children staying at this pristine resort along Maui’s southern coast can learn how to make a lei, a fresh flower necklace that is a symbol of Aloha, play the ukulele, and master other traditions during daily complimentary one-hour classes led by resort staff and local experts.
- Travel with the Pack — Mossel Bay, South Africa Where to Stay: Gondwana Game Reserve (rates from US$660 per night, based on a family of four, inclusive of breakfast, dinner, afternoon game drive, and high tea)
For the ultimate adventure, families can embark on a wild safari at Gondwana Game Reserve, the world’s only fynbos reserve that is home to free-roaming “Big Five” game. Through its Junior Ranger program (ages 6 and older), the resort teaches children how to identify different mammals, birds, fynbos species (the Western Cape’s natural vegetation), and even stars, and educates them on the importance of conservation. All children receive a backpack and safari booklet to help track memories of their jungle treks, and are given a Junior Ranger patch and certificate upon check-out, making them official masters of the jungle.
- Converse in a Second Language — Tuscany, Italy Where to Stay: Castello di Casole (rates from US$545, inclusive of breakfast)
Ciao Italia! Families aspiring to travel through the country without relying on a dictionary can enroll in Italian language classes at the world-acclaimed Castello di Casole, a 4,200-acre all-suite estate in the rolling Tuscan countryside. During 90-minute lessons ($55), local teachers lead budding linguists through fun lessons and memorable exercises to ensure they can order their antipasti and dolci in the local tongue by dinnertime. Between dialogues, children can learn other skills such as pizza making and ceramic painting, explore the area during a family bike ride, or relax by the pristine pool terrace.
- Master an Ancient Craft — Phuket, Thailand Where to Stay: Andara Resort & Villas (from US$840 per night, room only)
Andara Resort & Villas, a boutique hotel nestled above Phuket’s serene Kamala Beach, encourages children to let their creative talents shine during classes that teach the ancient art of fan painting. During the lessons, instructors provide an educational overview on the history and craft behind the handheld paper fans before helping aspiring artists decorate their own pieces. While waiting for their colorful souvenirs to dry, children can learn to make a host of other traditional regional crafts, such as candles, masks, and hanging mobiles.
- Get Hooked on a New Sport — Kildare, Ireland Where to Stay: The K Club (rates from US$668 per night, room only, based on a family of four)
Families looking for an alternative to typical outdoor activities can pull on their rubber Wellies and master the art of fly-fishing during stays at The K Club—a famed 19th-century château estate set on 550 acres just outside of Dublin. The resort’s resident Ghille (guide) provides tutorials on the best ways to bait a hook, cast a rod, and reel in fish during daily trips to the scenic River Liffey. In between catches, children can enjoy other sporting endeavors such as horseback riding, cricket, and archery while their parents play a round of golf or view the resort’s impressive Jack B. Yeats art collection.
- Explore a Major Metropolis Where to Stay: 8 on Claymore Serviced Residences (from US$545 per night, inclusive of breakfast; minimum stay of 7 nights)
The perfect “home away from home” for families looking to hit the pavement during an exciting city trek, 8 on Claymore Serviced Residences offers luxury furnished serviced apartments at the heart of Orchard Road, Singapore’s vibrant shopping district. Whether joining their parents on a business trip or taking charge of the family vacation, children can learn the ins and outs of the dynamic metropolis during their stay through organized tours of the vibrant city streets, visits to award-winning attractions such as Jurong Bird Park—the largest bird park in the world—and day trips to Sentosa Island.
For more information on Preferred Family and to book special offers from its certified hotels, visit www.PreferredFamily.com.
About Preferred Family
With more than 260 hotels and resorts in 47 countries, the Preferred Family collection celebrates the specific needs of traveling families by providing exceptional experiences in the world’s greatest destinations. Representing a unique dedication to travelers of all ages, the Preferred Family Certification program qualifies hotels based on their offerings for children from infants to teenagers, requiring them to meet comprehensive age-specific criteria in five categories: hotel amenities, facilities, programs, services, and entertainment.
About Preferred Hotel Group™
Preferred Hotel Group represents more than 650 of the finest hotels, resorts, and serviced residences in the world. Preferred Hotel Group’s brands include Preferred Hotels® & Resorts, Summit Hotels & Resorts™, Sterling Hotels™, Summit Serviced Residences™, Sterling Design, and Preferred Boutique™. Travelers gain valuable benefits through branded programs iPrefer™, Preferred Family, Preferred Pride, Preferred Golf™, and Preferred Residences™. For more information, visit www.PreferredHotelGroup.com and follow the brand on Facebook and Twitter.
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