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aug 05 2009

4 family vacation deals worth noting

(Courtesy JW Marriott Starr Pass Resort & Spa)
(Courtesy JW Marriott Starr Pass Resort & Spa)

Families looking to get away can take advantage of four kid-friendly programs and promotions in Mexico, the Caribbean, Hawaii, and elsewhere.

Azul Hotels by Karisma has two properties in the Riviera Maya, Mexico: Azul Beach Hotel and Azul Sensatori Hotel.

Why parents will love it: Before you even arrive, the all-inclusive resort can set up your room with strollers, cribs, monitors, bottle warmers, and baby bathrobes. The all-inclusive rate also covers Gerber baby food and free childcare at the Kid's Club one night a week. Kids under 3 stay free and children ages 3-12 get half off when sharing a room with their parents. At Azul Sensatori Hotel, a 35 percent off promotion gets you a night in a family Jacuzzi suite. If booked by Oct. 31, a family of four would pay $453 per night, compared to the regular price of $699. Connecting rooms are guaranteed if you book more than one room.

Why kids will love it, too: The toy lending library has all the latest Fisher-Price toys, enough to entertain even the shortest attention span (karismahotels.com).

JW Marriott Starr Pass Resort & Spa in Tucson, Ariz., has partnered with Nickelodeon for a series of weekend retreats through Thanksgiving weekend.
Why parents will love it: For $378, the Nick Getaway weekend package in Tucson includes two nights' hotel, kids' activities, and a free character breakfast for two adults and two kids. (Each child receives a special SpongeBob Squarepants or Dora The Explorer sleepover kit with pillowcase and Nickelodeon themed gifts.) Similar packages are available at four other Marriott, JW Marriott and Renaissance properties in the U.S. (nickelodeongetaway.com)
Why kids will love it, too: Instead of just watching the cartoons, kids can start off their Saturday morning by dining with SpongeBob SquarePants and Dora the Explorer. During the day, there are relay races and other contests, followed by a classic Nickelodeon sliming. At night, kids can float on inner tubes and watch the free dive-in movies that are projected on a wall near the pool. As souvenirs, the kids can also take home the SpongeBob or Dora pillowcases in the rooms.

Aston Hotels & Resorts can be found at 25 locations on Oahu, Maui, Kauai, and Hawaii.

Why parents will love it: This year's Vacation Bailout room rates are up to 40 percent off the regular price. Try the Aston Waikiki Sunset condo resort, from $124 per night for two adults and up to the three kids. The one-bedroom suite has a full kitchen, and the resort has on-site washers and dryers. Until Dec. 21, kids 17 years and younger stay free and children 12 and under eat for free at participating restaurants.

Why kids will love it, too: With a paying adult, kids also get in free at the Polynesian Cultural Center, Honolulu Zoo, and other island attractions.

Cayman Islands

Why parents will love it: Cayman Airways lets kids 11 and younger fly free with a paying adult. The Cayman Islands' Summer Splash promotion also lets kids stay and eat for free at nine participating hotels and 24 condo/villa properties. You have to book a four-night package by Sept. 2, but you get the fifth night free. This deal is valid until Sept. 7.

Why kids will love it, too: Kids ages 12 to 18 can learn to scuba dive for 50 percent off the regular rate when diving with a paying adult.

MORE REAL DEALS FOR FAMILIES

Budget Travel editors have hand-picked today's best family-friendly vacation packages, starting from $69 a night

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Note:This story was accurate when it was published. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.

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