Taking the Kids: Bora Bora an Exotic Place That Loves Kids
By Eileen Ogintz
I made friends with Crush!
We're diving in an area called
On the Bathy's Divers boat (www.bathys-diving.com) we meet honeymooners from
Who says kids and romance don't go together? Even in a place as famous for honeymoons as
The Four Seasons Bora Bora (http://www.fourseasons.com/borabora/), which opened a little over a year ago, deserves high marks for seamlessly meshing the needs of 21st-century families and those seeking romantic getaways. In some cases, the honeymooning couples are parents too.
The Four Seasons' over-the-water thatched bungalows -- suites with foldout couches, swimming decks and outdoor showers are as perfect for a family as they are for couples. The kids will love watching "fishies" swim beneath the floor's glass panels. Another plus to these spacious bungalows: "I don't have to worry about the kids making noise and bothering somebody below us or next door," says
Let's not forget the free kids club (no
Sure, you say, the Four Seasons can do all this because they're so expensive (look for packages that offer free nights or extra amenities). I've been to a lot of fancy resorts that say they roll out the red carpet for families, but they don't really, and I've been to a lot of budget spots that do a terrific job. This place does it right and it has nothing to do with the thread count on the sheets. Those that are competing for family vacation dollars might take a page from the Four Seasons playbook.
There's even a spanking new Teen Beach area -- a first for Four Seasons, says marketing manager
How many places do you know that have a resident marine biologist available to teach you and your kids about the ocean? The Four Seasons'
"We want children to see how we impact the environment. The whole idea is to develop this as a bio center where children and parents can snorkel, learn about sea life and the environment," says Martin.
By the end of the year, Martin hopes, there will be a touch pool for younger children. Martin also plans to graft coral underneath the bungalows so that guests can see more sea life when snorkeling right from their rooms.
Coral, he explains, grows as much as 10 inches a year. "We want the children to understand what they see."
Stick around, Martin adds, and you will see things you never realized were there -- octopus mating, angelfish, clown fish (Nemo, finally!) parrotfish and hermit crab.
"Every day is different," he promises.
Just like a perfect vacation.
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(c) 2009 Eileen Ogintz
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