Taking the Kids: Putting on the Ritz in Ski Country
My daughter Melanie sashays back up the bowling lane. Her friends applaud; her birthday cake awaits.
Except she's not 10, she's turning 20 this weekend. And this isn't our neighborhood bowling alley. We're in
For instance, kids keep busy apres-ski at the Viceroy at
These are the kinds of places where staff goes out of their way to satisfy you -- from getting your groceries delivered and put away to driving your luggage home to
Well-heeled families are opting for services that offer convenience -- even delivery and pickup of ski and snowboarding gear to your hotel room -- Black Tie Ski Rentals (www.blacktieskis.com) will even swap them out on the mountain and kids rent free till the end of the season. At
That goes for the private chef too. Yes, families are opting to stay at
Still, with a late Easter (
I'm all for anything that makes a labor-intensive family vacation -- and every trip to the slopes is a lot of work for parents -- easier, as long as you can afford it, of course. There's nothing wrong with a little pampering either and I'm not just talking about the spas that are de rigueur at these hotels.
Though my backcountry-loving daughter snickered, I Ioved the over-the-top service at The Ritz -- from fixing our icemaker at
Strollers and kids are welcome apres-ski at
My gang gave a special thumbs up to the stellar apres-ski hot chocolate bar they call Snowman Soup -- also complimentary -- that was a magnet for kids and adults (take your pick of toppings to put on your whipped cream -- crushed Oreos, peppermint, cinnamon, coconut). I wish more hotels would offer such amenities. Why not a free kids' evening activity, if parents eat dinner onsite? They're clearly good for business.
"We're attracting a different customer," observed
It's telling that despite the still recovering economy, business has been better than expected this opening season, Grattan said, especially among families.
But woe the fancy hotel that doesn't deliver. I heard a lot of grumping, for example, at The Viceroy at
There's another downside: Sometimes you're so comfortable at these places you don't want to go anywhere, except maybe to the expansive hot tub downstairs. You find yourself heading out to the slopes later in the morning and returning early -- just to take advantage of all the amenities. The kitchen at the Ritz at
My husband's chili for Melanie's birthday celebration was a huge hit with her friends.
"A lot of fun, mom!" Mel said, giving me a hug.
I'll take that on any vacation with the kids.
- Athens, Greece: Offbeat Athens
- Taking the Kids: Putting on the Ritz in Ski Country
- A Few New Websites and Gimmicks
- Six Cards You Need on Your Trip
- 10 Great Places for Dogs and Dog Lovers
- Mandatory Housekeeping Fees May Be Just Around the Corner
- Taking the Kids to Atlantis
- Helsinki and Tallinn: Baltic Sisters
- Cheap Sleeps in Europe
- Indexed Airfares: Deception or Deal?
- Top 10 Easy Rules of Traveling
- Top 10 Places for Afternoon Tea in London
- US Airways Closes a Loophole But Opens a Can of Worms
- United Airlines Sticks with Economy Plus
- TSA Screenings Prompt Cries of Police-State Tactics
- Finding a Good Cruise Agent
- An Inside and Outside Look at Madrid
- Looking at Europe: Part 2
- World's Top Ten Circular Buildings and Structures
- Will This Be the Year for Passenger Rights?
- Delta Drops Mileage Expiration
- Taking the Kids: But Not on an Adult-Only Romantic Getaway
- Taking the Kids: On a Different Spring Break
- Top 5 Vehicles for Ski Week
- Taking the Kids: Learning to Scuba Dive
- World's Top 10 Scariest Places to Look Down
- Top 10 Amenities Travelers Wish Still Existed
- Blockbuster Art Exhibit? Get a Package?
- Taking the Kids To Broadway - 2011
- Discovering Oslo's Inner Tiger
- Losing It All ... and Bouncing Back
- Delta Airlines Opts for Semi-Premium Economy
- 'Easier' Frequent Flyer Seats? Yes -- and No!
- Taking the Kids: Exploring the New Disney Dream Family Cruising
- France: Lessons From a Parisian Wine-Tasting
- Hotel Maya Long Beach, California: The Little Resort That Could
- Top 10 Travel Goals for Serious Travelers
- Hotels Are Charging Even More for What Should Be Free
- What I Learned and Re-Learned On My Trip
- Which Airline Ratings Do You Trust?
- Overbooked Flights: Bidding for Bumping
- What's New in Germany and Austria for 2011
- What's New in Britain and Ireland for 2011
- Mountain Resorts Make Skiing a Family Affair
- Taking the Kids: When the Best-Laid Plans Go Awry
- Taking the Kids: Adventures by Disney Takes to the Seas
- The World's Top 10 Chocolate Museums
- The World's Top 10 Most Legendary Bars
- Orbitz vs. American Airlines: the Traveler is the Loser
- 'Best' Hotels -- The Latest from TripAdvisor
- TripAdvisor Adds Airline Reviews
- Considering Europe? Pro-Active Searching is Best
- Out-of-this-World Flights
- Top 10 Places to Find Great Subway Art
- What's New in France and Spain for 2011
- Taking the Kids: When Grandparents Lead the Way on an Adventure
- Does the Secure Flight Program Mean More Money For Airlines?
- Southwest's New Frequent Flyer Program: the Consumer View
- AARP 2011: More Than Just Hotel Deals
- What's New in Italy? Less Chaos and Smoother Visits
- 'Airline of the Year'? Maybe; Maybe Not
- Need an Airline Ticket? Meta-search is Where Most Travelers Start
- Top 10 Sexiest Buildings and Structures
- Taking the Kids and Learning a Snow Sport
- Winter Thrills in the Alps
- The Social Network Hits the Ski Slopes
- Avoiding Nasty Winter Travel Surprises
- Taking the Kids and Remembering Stellar Trips to Get Up Close to Nature
- Cruising in 2011
- Finding a Toilet in Europe
- World's Top 10 Wild Rides
- Top 10 Artist Homes and Studios
- Air New Zealand's 777-300LR - A Look at the Future?
- Who Had the Worst Customer Service in 2010?
- Heightened TSA Security Is Necessary to Keep Us Safe
- TSA Has Its Security Priorities in the Wrong Place
- In 2010, the DOT Heard Our SOS
- AmEx Platinum: Expensive but Some Good New Extras
- Taking the Kids and Checking Out the Holiday Lights
- Christmas Trees and Manger Scenes
- Taking the Kids and Giving the Elves a Hand for the Traveling Family
- Terranea Resort Brings Mediterranean Style and Elegance
- The World's Top 10 Greatest Ceilings
- Passengers Say They Miss Luggage-Inclusive Airfares the Most
- Driving Home for the Holidays? You'll Get There -- Eventually
- The New Travelex Chip Card -- OK, But Not Great
- Plunging Into North England's Lake District
- Milan: A Big Italian Surprise
- Taking the Kids and Visiting Museums
- Taking the Kids To Puerto Rico
- New Online Destination Planning Program Tops the List
- Top 10 Unusual Things to Do at the Airport
- World's Top 10 Eccentric Constructions
- Ten Great Animal Statues
- With a Little Help From the TSA, 2011 Could Be a Flat Year for Travel
- Are Customized Prices Next for the Travel Industry
- Can't Use Your Miles? Give Them Away!
- 10 Ways to Stay Healthy During Holiday Travel
- Taking the Kids to a Ranch in Winter
- Slovakia: Booming Bratislava
- How Safe is a Cruise?
- Disney Turns to Guests to Promote Theme Parks
- World's Top 10 Ugliest Buildings
- 10 Fascinating Place Symbols
- What's Behind All Those Airline Change Fees?
- Taking the Kids and De-Stressing the Holidays
- Taking the Kids and Grabbing a Pre-Holiday Break
- Verdun, France: A Lesson About War
- Airline 'Code-Shares' Not Really 'Seamless'
- Taking the Kids to the San Diego Zoo and Wild Animal Park
- Taking the Kids to Kauai Hawaii
- Taking the Kids to Steamboat Springs Colorado
- Welsh Magic
- Cultural Voyeurism in Tangier
- European Restaurant Rules
- The Biggest Travel Gouge
- Online Travel Planning: For Real?
- Onboard Internet: Lots More Coming
- A La Carte Pricing: Coming to Cruises?
- Do They Hate Us?
- Are Travelers Overloaded By Social Media?
- Paying Up Front for Rental Car Nicks and Scratches
It's vacation and the teens are awake and ready to roll before 8 a.m.! The 22-year-old White has come down to Grand Cayman, his parents and sister in tow, to inaugurate Skate Cayman an 11-week summer program
Taking the Kids Camping & the Great Outdoors
Just being in a tent is an adventure for young kids, says Nancy Ritger, an Appalachian Mountain Club naturalist who has camped with her three teens since they were bab
Whether you want to learn to dive with your tween or snorkel with your kindergartner, teach your grade-schooler to sail or fly on a trapeze, you'll find plenty of opportunities at Caribbean resorts -- at prices that are surprisingly affordable.
Kids on a Plane! 5 Fixes for Unruly Junior Passengers
Kids on a plane. No four words incite more acrimonious debate among air travelers. On one side, you have childless customers who just want a little civility while they're locked inside a pressurized aluminum tube. Talk about oil and water.
Children in First Class: 3 Suggestions for the Kids 'Up Front'
The overwhelming number of travelers I spoke with said kids should be able to fly in first class if their parents could afford to pay the freight. But they were quick to add that they expected the children to behave.
(c) 2011 EILEEN OGINTZ DISTRIBUTED BY TRIBUNE MEDIA SERVICES, INC.
World-renowned chefs with an extraordinary passion for food, share that passion. They make great cooking easier than you ever imagined. Each feature includes both an expert tip and an easy recipe - exactly what you need to transform your home cooking from acceptable to delectable.
Recipes Click Here
Movie Reviews, commentary and more. Plus Trailers from movies currently in theaters and available on DVD.
Movie Reviews Click Here