This summer, education and vacation will go hand-in-hand for families that embark on global travels with the Preferred Family collection from Preferred Hotel Group. Recommendations for hands-on experiences in Summer 2013 include learning to golf like a professional at the Ojai Valley Inn & Spa in California; experiencing Greek culture and mythology in Crete at the famed Capsis Minoan Amusement Park, the only Minoan mythological park in Greece; practicing the ancient art of batik painting in Koh Samui, Thailand at the ShaSa Resort and Residences; or studying up on world history in Washington, D.C., staying at The Jefferson.
• Learn to Golf Like a Professional – Ojai, California, USA
Where to Stay: Ojai Valley Inn & Spa, a member of Preferred Golf
For 90 years, dozens of Hollywood and PGA Tour greats – from entertainer Bing Crosby to World Golf Hall of Famer Arnold Palmer – have tested their handicaps at the historic golf course at Ojai Valley Inn & Spa, a member of Preferred Golf located just 35 miles south of Santa Barbara. This summer, children can learn to golf for free with a new “Kids Play Free” stay-and-play package that includes overnight accommodations and a complimentary round of golf for one child (16 years and younger) when playing with a paying adult after 1 p.m. After tallying their score for the day, children can enjoy other on-property activities through the Camp Ojai (ages three to 12) and Teen Club (13-17) programs.
• Experience Greek Culture and Mythology – Crete, Greece
Where to Stay: OH! All-Suite Hotel, a member of Preferred Boutique
Taking learning beyond the textbook, Crete’s famed Capsis Minoan Amusement Park – the only Minoan Mythological Park in Greece – engages children in a hands-on lesson about Minoan culture and Greek mythology through a variety of interactive games, ranging from archaeological treasure hunts to mini-Olympic trials. Families looking to experience the educational fun can stay at OH! All-Suite Hotel, a brand-new luxury home-away-from-home that is located less than 300 steps away from the amusement park and presents spacious accommodations, the best of authentic Greek cuisine, and other exciting activities and services to entertain travellers of all ages. Day-trips to Crete’s historic sites such as the Minoan Palace of Knossos and the Archeological Museum of Haeraklion can be arranged.
• Practice An Ancient Art Form – Koh Samui, Thailand
Where to Stay: ShaSa Resort and Residences, a member of Sterling Design
Children looking to explore their creative side can practice the ancient art of batik painting at ShaSa Resort and Residences, Koh Samui, an all-suite retreat set on a hillside along the Gulf of Thailand. Daily art classes offered at the property’s Kids Club (ages three to eight) teach the history of batik – a wax-resistant dyed fabric and a symbolic product of Koh Samui – and show them how to paint the fabric in the style of local traditions. In between painting sessions, families can explore nearby sites, which include the Samui Aquarium and Tiger Zoo and Nu Muang Waterfall, or relax while enjoying the resort’s multiple pools and surrounding gardens.
• Study Up on World History – Washington, D.C., USA
Where to Stay: The Jefferson, a member of Preferred Boutique
From the Smithsonian and the Spy Museum to the Washington Monument and the White House, Washington, D.C. abounds with destinations where children can learn about world history. Located mere blocks from the top sites in the United States capitol, The Jefferson helps guests maximise their sightseeing time by providing complimentary house car service from the hotel to any destination within the city limits. In between the history-rich excursions, families can relax in spacious suites and take advantage of the hotel’s unique just-for-kids spa services and dining menus.