Planning travel with Teens?
Traveling with kids can be really tough. Traveling with teens can be even tougher. Keeping them appropriately entertained while allowing them some freedom while also feeling COMFORTABLE with letting them have some freedom? All things that can cause stress during a family vacation.
This Top 10 list is simple: on-site clubs 'on fleek' for the younger set with amenities that slay. Get that “yaaas” reaction from hard-to-please teens with our picks! From gaming suites to mocktail bars and dance floors that will make you wish you were back in high school, these no-adults (except supervising staff) spots are LIT.
(Do you need a teen dictionary to decipher that? We almost did...)
Check out this month's list of resorts with teen-friendly perks, featuring Dreams Las Mareas Costa Rica, Royalton Punta Cana, Eau Palm Beach Resort & Spa, and More!
ROYALTON PUNTA CANA RESORT & CASINO
PUNTA CANA, DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
Hang out at Hangout.
It's definitely better than doing the same back at home, especially with a teen club that's got its own exclusive juice bar, dance floor, and full list of all–day activities to ramp up into the night. Video game lounges offer All–In Connectivity™ with high–speed WiFi so you can be sure everyone at home knows what an amazing time you're having in one of the Caribbean's best party destinations.
In addition to the teen club, you're welcome to make a splash at the water park, play ping pong, learn to cook or dance, play trivia games, compete in aquatic Olympics on the resort, play volleyball on the beach, kayak or sail a catamaran in the ocean … or just have fresh gelato at Scoops under the Caribbean sun. How you hang is up to you.
GRAND VELAS RIVIERA MAYA
RIVIERA MAYA, MEXICO
For the teen who wants it all … and a little extra.
You don't need to be 21 to have Champagne taste, as this ultra–luxe resort proves. Teens are not only spoiled by some of the very best dining found at any all–inclusive anywhere—including snacks and room service menu items that can be ordered right at the teen club—but amenities just for them that will impress the most nonchalant of teens. Soft drinks and mocktail concoctions are served right at the "bar," a focal point at night when the space becomes a two–story disco with surround sound, special lighting, and 45,000 multilingual songs to karaoke to.
Billiards and arcade games are available all day, too, and days and nights easily blend together in the individual gaming pods where Xbox, some even with Kinect, and PS3 consoles are hooked up to 40" LED TVs. Special seats with built–in speakers enhance the immersiveness of the experience. But for those who'd rather immerse themselves in actual reality instead, ziplining, horseback riding, Summer Olympics–themed activities, and more fit the bill quite nicely.
MOON PALACE CANCUN
A space FOR teens … BY teens.
They say that nobody knows what goes on in the mind of a teenager. Who better to ask, Palace Resorts wondered, than ACTUAL teenagers? And so, Wired was born, a sleek, ultra–modern lounge that is literally everything 13– to 17–year–olds could wish for.
In this expansive club, air hockey and pool tables are set conveniently close to a snack stand reminiscent of movie theaters, complete with endless ice cream and favorite snacks. High–top tables lead into a bar–like area, where TV screens line the walls. In another room, green AstroTurf lines the walls instead for a trippy gaming and show viewing experience. And of course, no teen club is complete without a video game arcade and internet access … the latter of which is perfect for making friends at home jealous of adventures on the FlowRider™ Surf Simulator, poolside games, theme parties, karaoke, Mexican fire show, and a whole host of other cool things to do.
EAU PALM BEACH RESORT & SPA
“Coast” through vacation … and through life with rad new skills.
"Coast is not a club; it's a state of mind," it's claimed … and it's true. With the @Coast program at this resort, it's an introduction to a lifestyle in all things glamorous. The resources of Coast Productions can give you a 101 crash course on creating movies, writing scripts, making storyboards, and reading from a teleprompter to explore what it feels like to be a newscaster or music show presenter. Air@Coast lets you create your own downloadable podcast, allowing you to experience what it's like to be on the radio, while Model@Coast puts you in those shoes on a catwalk. You can also explore the view from behind the lens, or get in the DJ booth to let your newly acquired scratch and mix skills shine on one of their Coast@Night dance and glow parties.
It's not ALL life skills, though—there's plenty of ways to just hang, from Beach Life activities (volleyball, boogie boards, soccer, Frisbee, banana boat rides, snorkeling) to movie nights on the hotel lawn and Lounge, where the Xboxes, PlayStations, Guitar Hero, and Rock Band reside. For even more chill, Beauty@Coast is a spa just for teens. And as if that weren't enough, ten different sessions with different themes and activities keep you immersed in this new state of mind for an entire week.
ATLANTIS, PARADISE ISLAND
PARADISE ISLAND, BAHAMAS
We’ve got a high-key CRUSH on this one …
It's no secret—CRUSH at Atlantis, Paradise Island is #hawt. A 14,000–square–foot space, it's got everything anyone could ever want for social leisure and total gaming immersion. We're talking a concession stand and mocktail bar that offers drinks and snacks all night long; multi–panel video walls and interactive dance floor in the Dance Club, where a DJ spins daily; and an internet lounge that will make the most cynical teen feel like a wondrous little kid again.
Within that space, you'll be astounded by a floor–to–ceiling gaming tree with 24 consoles in addition to ten private gaming cabanas—perfect for PlayStation enthusiasts as versions 3, 4, and VR are well–represented. Multi–touch computers and a gaming stadium add to the tech fun, but classics like air hockey, billiards, and foosball make appearances as well. Of course, this is in addition to the water rides at Aquaventure, Gamer's Reef, Earth & Fire Pottery Studio, and other Atlantis–only recreation. The only catch? You must be 13 – 17 to party at CRUSH from 8:30 PM – 1 AM for another reason to wish you were a kid again.
SANDOS PLAYACAR BEACH RESORT
RIVIERA MAYA, MEXICO
“Playa” may mean “beach,” but here, it also means “play.”
Tweens rejoice! Here, 12–year–olds can join the fun at the new Teens Club (Lite), where air hockey, table hockey, and a ton of arcade games leave no doubt what put the "play" in "Playacar." Xbox stations give you another way to say "game on," but for the more outdoorsy types, organized sports on the beach and in the pool area let you get fierce in your own ways. Mini golf is another way you can compete with new friends as well.
But mellow out with the sunset … the modern, club–lit dance floor lets you cut loose high–key, all the way until 11 PM. Every night is a different theme: glow parties, Xbox 360 Kinect dance–offs, destination–inspired, Harry Potter™, pirates, and even Instagram/selfie–focused motifs. Soft drinks and mocktails keep you well hydrated through every kind.
AZUL BEACH RESORT SENSATORI MEXICO, BY KARISMA
RIVIERA MAYA, MEXICO
Sophisticated summer fun is a “Breeze” at this teens club.
This property is well known for their amenities for young families, what with the Nickelodeon character breakfasts, interactions, and toy lending library; the wondrous Azulitos Playhouse; My Gym fun fitness programs; and a full stock of necessities for baby. But for those closer in age to the Ninja Turtles than Dora the Explorer, the Extreme Breeze Teens Club has got the situation under control.
From 9 AM to 10 PM, 13– to 17–year–olds can watch movies and music videos, master billiards or air hockey, and snack or drink at the sparkling mosaic–tiled mocktail bar. A social media center helps you stay connected with friends at home while daily organized activities like beach soccer and volleyball, tug of war, and others set you up with vacay BFFL goals. With new besties in tow, there are a lot of memories to be made in the Athens Clue escape room or in the luxurious Vassa Spa, where treatments just for those up to 17 will have you feeling your best.
DREAMS LAS MAREAS COSTA RICA
GUANACASTE, COSTA RICA
“La pura vida” to the Core.
Many of the Dreams Resorts & Spas pride themselves on great Core Zone Teens Clubs … but in Guanacaste, that Costa Rican sense of living your best life translates well into this property's space. Nightly entertainment, daily activities, and scheduled games and sports are par for the course with this brand, but Dreams Las Mareas takes it that extra step with evening disco mixers and weekly bonfires. Euro–bungee is another novelty to bond over, while billiards, ping–pong, beach soccer, and foosball can help fuel that competitive spirit.
Not enough? Xbox 360, PlayStation 2, Wii, and other video game consoles offer more opportunities to challenge others. But if you want to take it easy, beach parties, big–screen movies, Spanish lessons, bocce ball, water slides, and wildlife watching opportunities let you do that, too.
PUEBLO BONITO SUNSET BEACH GOLF & SPA RESORT
LOS CABOS, MEXICO
In the Fun Lab, good times are a science.
Teens can score that extra credit during break by reporting back that *technically* they spent their vacation at a lab. This resort's Fun Lab is a bit different than what teachers might think, though, trading in beakers and Bunsens for billiards and basketball machines. Everything from foosball to air hockey and arcade games to PlayStation ones are peso–operated … so you could also say you dabbled in foreign trade, right?
All–inclusive guests have access to even more, including sodas and other beverages, party foods like pizza, and entrance to a 35–person movie theater. But if it's education and enrichment you're still after, there's Spanish language lessons, cooking classes, dance lessons, and available water sports for P.E.
JEWEL RUNAWAY BAY BEACH & GOLF RESORT
RUNAWAY BAY, JAMAICA
Don’t run away … run TOWARD this “Jewel” of a teen club!
There may be a historical reason this popular destination in Jamaica is called Runaway Bay, but believe us when we tell you that no teens are trying to peace out of THIS resort. In fact, tweens are excited to be able to take part in the full schedules of activities. From 11 AM – 5 PM and 8 PM – 11 PM, there's no shortage of things to do near the Tiger's Eye/Fossil Lounge. Zombie and regular laser tag, music studio sessions, teetotaler mixology or sushi lessons, dive–in movie screenings, beach bonfires and Capture the Flag games, talent shows, water park pool parties, excursions, and dance parties are all on the schedule.
Feeling daunted by choice? A coordinator at the Teen Space can help you narrow it down and help you figure out if the Teen Club, Xtreme Teens, or both are where you belong. Parents have to opt in to these extras, but open to all is basketball, volleyball on the beach or in the pool, tennis, kayaking, and a medley of water sports.