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42 • Vacations

®

Fall 2017

As I watch my kids float past my beach chair, I can’t help

but notice the smiles on their faces. Surrounded by new

friends, they swim in the lazy river laughing and singing

to the Nickelodeon soundtrack that plays through the

loudspeakers. It is only our first day at the Nickelodeon

Hotels & Resorts Punta Cana but I already know it will be

an incredible week.

With numerous all-inclusive resorts to choose from across

the Caribbean, determining which will be a perfect fit for

your family can be hard. I was looking for something a

little different on this trip. A property where my almost

nine-year-old could assert some independence, but where

my nine-month-old nephew would also be entertained. I

wanted to choose a resort with a family pool where my kids

could feel free to just be kids, but somewhere that I could

also relax.

I decided on the Nickelodeon Hotels & Resorts Punta

Cana after finding out there was not only a kids’ camp and

character breakfasts, with the likes of Paw Patrol and Dora,

but there is also the full-service Vassa Spa and an adults-

only pool. Families looking to book a beach escape can

rest assured that while Nickelodeon Hotels & Resorts Punta

Cana may sound a little too kid-centric, a luxury vacation in

fact awaits.

Each morning, we enjoy a gourmet room service breakfast

in our room. We are staying in a swim-up flat suite which

features a private master bedroom, oversized bathroom

and a living room complete with a pull-out sofa. My

favourite feature is the 118-square-foot patio attached to

a long pool shared between nine rooms. From the round

day bed, I can watch my kids swim while also enjoying an

exquisite view of the ocean.

After breakfast, we head to the beach where the kids play

with boogie boards provided by the hotel. We sneak in

a quick lunch before the two younger kids head to Just

Kiddin’, the onsite kids club with an indoor slide and plenty

of toys and crafts. My older son explores the resort on his

own with a few boys of similar age.

While the kids are occupied and cared for, I head to one

of the adults-only spaces for some ‘me’ time. Some days,

I enjoy a quiet afternoon by the adults-only pool. On other

days, I indulge in water therapy at the Vassa Spa.

SWIM-UP SUITE

©SARAH PITTARD

BEACH AT NIKELODEON HOTELS & RESORTS

PUNTA CANA ©SARAH PITTARD

DORA AND BOOTS CHARACTER CENTRAL

©NIKELODEON HOTELS & RESORTS PUNTA CANA

A SELECTION OF FRESHLY MADE DONUTS

ARE HARD TO RESIST. ©SARAH PITTARD

FOOD TRUCK OFFERING DELICIOUS BURGERS

©SARAH PITTARD

Vacations® •

Fall 2017 • 43

Ultimate Family Vacations

Families looking to book a beach escape can

rest assured that while Nickelodeon Hotels & Resorts

Punta Cana may sound a little too kid-centric,

a luxury vacation in fact awaits

Here, a guide escorts me through the treatment

as I enter herbal steam rooms and then relax in

a large sauna. The hour-long session ends with

time to enjoy a variety of water therapy including

rainfall showers, whirlpools and bubble jets that

target every muscle in my body.

Nighttime at Nickelodeon Hotel & Resorts Punta

Cana is full of life. Dinner is available from a variety

of restaurants each with a unique menu. Fresh fish

and local produce share the spotlight at Sugarcane,

a Latin American restaurant. At Verdello, a Sicilian

kitchen, surprisingly authentic plates of pasta

please diners of all ages. Choices also include

the adults-only Kitchen 23, an indoor food truck,

and Wok Wok, which offers Far East fusion. We

alternate restaurants each night, delighted by the

variety and freshness of the food.

After dinner, the courtyard fills with live music and

local artisans. While parents sip Champagne and

cocktails, kids are invited to play in the courtyard

amongst stilt walkers and balloon artists. I enjoy

this part of the day the most. I sit back and watch

as my kids run and play while I get a taste of the

island’s culture. Each night a unique show or event

is offered for families at Aqua Nick.

On our last night, we arrive to find the entire

lazy river filled with foam. I enter the lazy river

as excited as my kids to play amongst the bubbles.

We break into a fit of laughter as the foam coats

our skin. These are the moments I will remember

most when looking back on our stay.