Guests who stay at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Punta Cana can watch Barney on stage during live musical presentations. // © 2016 Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Punta Cana
Feature image (above): Beaches has had a longtime partnership with the children’s television series “Sesame Street,” offering interactive experiences for families. // © 2016 Beaches Resorts
Over the years, all-inclusive vacations have proved to be a great option for families. There’s a mix of all-inclusive brands competing for attention, and the market sees a continual refinement of this type of product. One of the ways family-friendly resort brands raise their profile is by partnering with media companies that have created iconic children’s characters, from Big Bird and Barney to SpongeBob SquarePants. These characters come alive during a resort stay, interacting with kids and performing on stage at the property, creating unforgettable vacation experiences for the whole family.
Beaches Resorts has been a leader in creating these types of offerings, evidenced by its long-lived partnership with beloved children’s television program “Sesame Street.” It has gone the extra mile in crafting experiences, with lots of interactive options for kids. These activities are also included in the all-inclusive package and usually combine a learning component with a crafts-making activity.
For example, bird-watching with Big Bird allows your youngest clients to join a nature walk at the resort conducted by their giant yellow feathered friend. The latter half of the activity dubs the kids “Birdketeers,” and they create their own feather headbands and learn how to “bird dance.”
When baking with Cookie Monster, kids get to dress up as chefs and mix up a batch of cookie batter. The children don’t do the actual baking — that’s handled by resort staff. But once the cookies come out of the oven, young ones are joined by Cookie Monster, who gobbles up cookies (which he also shares).
Additional “Sesame Street” activities include story time with Elmo; puppet-making with Bert and Ernie; and Beaches Resorts Presents Discovery Dome, in which kids take a fantasy voyage to the moon accompanied by Elmo and friends.
Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Punta Cana
The all-inclusive Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Punta Cana has The Little Big Club, where younger clients can rock out with characters such as Angelina Ballerina, Bob the Builder and the big purple dinosaur himself, Barney. The club offers character breakfasts, beach and pool games, crafts-making sessions, dance lessons and live musical presentations in The Little Big Club’s theater. Parents can join in the fun or drop off kids ages 4 to 12, who will be taken care of by The Little Big Club supervisors. Children under 4 must be accompanied by an adult.
Nickelodeon Hotels & Resorts Punta Cana
The all-inclusive, upscale Nickelodeon Hotels & Resorts Punta Cana opened earlier this year in the Dominican Republic. The Karisma Hotels & Resorts property partners with Viacom International Media Networks to bring Nickelodeon experiences and characters to guests. These include parents and children getting slimed, as well as interacting with SpongeBob SquarePants.
The resort’s Character Central is where various Nickelodeon characters — including SpongeBob, Dora the Explorer and Chase and Marshal from “PAW Patrol” — drop in throughout the day to interact with kids. Character dining is available at a surcharge, and kids can even hang with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles at a Turtle Power Breakfast.
For clients who want to immerse themselves even further into the world of SpongeBob, there’s the Pineapple, the resort’s signature two-bedroom villa with decor inspired by the character’s underwater home. The villa has its own garden, patio and signature infinity pool, as well as butler service.
Travel agents who book at least three reservations for the property are entitled to become a Nickelodeon Hotels & Resorts Punta Cana Travel Specialist. This status provides agents with exclusive promotions, added values and marketing tools. Specialists are acknowledged on the Nickelodeon Hotels & Resorts Punta Cana website, which helps them drive bookings. Agents also receive an exclusive three-day fam trip to the property.