Best Hotel Kids' Programs
Courtesy of the Ritz-Carlton
The Ritz-Carlton Naples, Naples, FL
Hotel Kids’ Program: In November 2007, the hotel converted its Ritz Kids space into a nature center with 11 aquariums and touch tanks (home to eels, baby alligators, sharks, and jellyfish), a laboratory, and a computer room. Helmed by certified Florida master naturalists, the Nature’s Wonders program gives kids ages 5 to 12 an immersion in field biology, with a mix of indoor and outdoor fare like nature walks through the on-site butterfly garden and mangrove forest, a birding primer, a dolphin tour by boat, beachcombing trips—and, of course, plenty of chances to feed and sometimes hold the nature center’s many creatures. A half-day is $60, while a five-day summer camp is $400; rooms for four start at $209.
Setting: The palm-strewn Ritz-Carlton Naples, on the Gulf of Mexico, has a spa and three swimming pools, but its main claims to fame are its three miles of white-sand beaches and loads of Florida sunshine.
For the Whole Family: The center hosts a daily open house from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m., letting you and your kids get a complimentary sneak peek at the program upon arrival—and the children who are already involved get to show off a bit of what they’ve learned.