It's that time of year (especially if you live in the Midwest) when you start dreaming of fun in the sun with your family. Currently, where I live, it's 13 degrees, it's snowy, and I have a house full of sick kids thanks to stomach viruses that just won't quit and love preying on all of the kids cramped inside all winter long. Ugh.
This time of year always gets me down, which is exactly why I think it's the perfect time of year to start planning a family vacation and boy, do I have the place for you. If you've ever thought, “Man, I wish there was a place that really felt like a luxurious getaway for us as parents, but was also super family-friendly,” then the brand-new Bahia Principe Resort Fantasia is what your parental vacation dreams are made of.
I recently had the chance to tour the resort and can I just say, you're going to want to add it to your family vacation bucket list ASAP. The Fantasia resort is one of 14 Bahia Principe hotels in the Dominican Republic. It's unique because it's designed to give a luxury vacation experience, all while being totally family-friendly.
From the moment you check-in, you feel completely welcome and totally at ease, thanks to the friendly attendants who are happy to explain the resort layout, rooms, and complimentary Wi-Fi to you, to the free giant pineapple (no alcohol, don't worry!) drink that greets you. Stepping into the resort, I felt like I could take a deep breath for the first time in a long, long time. I think as a mom, you don't even realize how stressed you are until you go on vacation and really, truly relax. It's a priceless feeling and one that I am determined to make happen more this year with my family.
The primary focus of this resort is to create a luxury feeling for stressed parents, all while accommodating families. I think that is pretty one-of-a-kind. Having spent time at the resort myself, I will say that it truly feels like a place where families are welcome, but not in an in-your-face-kids-reign kind of way. You know how you go to some resorts that feel like they're all about the kids and it's not totally relaxing to you as a parent? This place isn't like that. It effortlessly combines calm luxury with kid-friendly amenities and really feels like a vacation for the whole family.
That feeling starts with the rooms, which are a muted beige and white color scheme. The rooms feature fold-out beds and mini robes and slippers for the kiddos in their separate sleeping place. I mean, seriously, how adorable are these?!
Next up, are the main pools of the place, surrounded by towering castles that hide — what else — a bar for the parents and feature a dazzling light show every night for the whole family. The property boasts a teen club and a free kids' club, where parents can drop children ages four and up off for crafts and fun activities while they enjoy some adult time at the spa or swim-up bar. And of course, it also has every kid's favorite place: a water park. Even the bathrooms at this place are designed with kids in mind. Although it may seem like a simple thing, having a stool for kids to wash their hands feels downright luxurious to this mom with four little kids!
There's even a kids' spa, where your little one can get a quick haircut or you can enjoy some mommy-child manicure time.
The beach is just a short walk down the resort and has free chairs, a restaurant, and tons of water activities, such as parasailing, kayaking, and sailing. The food at the whole resort is a perfect mix of luxury food for adults and kid-friendly options like hot dogs and mac-and-cheese. Plus, there's a donut stand at breakfast! And because this resort is a luxury experience, your package comes complete with your own personal butler service, complimentary minibar full of snacks in your room, and – get this – free room service.
So if you don't mind, I'll just be over here booking my next family getaway. God speed to us all to the sunshine. Oh — and in case you were wondering, although Punta Cana is on the CDC's list for Zika, there are no known cases near the property, but the entire resort is sprayed for mosquitoes every night, just in case. Safety and fun in the sun = a winning combination.
Chaunie Brusie is a coffee mug addict, a labor and delivery nurse turned freelance writer, and a young(ish) mom of four. She is the author of "Tiny Blue Lines: Preparing For Your Baby, Moving Forward In Faith, & Reclaiming Your Life In An Unplanned Pregnancy" and "The Moments That Made You A Mother". She also runs Passion Meets Practicality, a community of tips + inspiration for work-at-home mothers. ... More