Vacationing Where Kids Are in the Background? Oh, Please Share!

poolside

This year, I’m looking forward to a special anniversary vacation: Cancun. At the Ritz-Carlton. Hell yeah, 20 years! Beach. Pampering. Decadence. Luxury. Sun. The Ritz earned extra point from HubbyMine and me because we’re expecting to enjoy a dual pool set-up: one for “families”, one just for adults.

I share this factoid in hopes of sparing another NotMom a few minutes from mindless Googling. And here’s a BIG PLEA to you out there to drop us a note when you experience a no- or low-kids getaway. Meanwhile, here’s what I know about resorts and ‘adults only’ pools:

All ‘adults only’ resort pools are not equal.

We’ve been to at least 2 locations, most recently in the Dominican Republic, where adults with children from toddlers to 8-year-olds have camped out at the grown-up pool. The kids’ screams were happy, but loud nonetheless, shattering the previous poolside peace. Complaints were met with, “Yes, but they are guests here, too.”

Seriously? Then why waste the money on ‘Adults Only’ signage?

Six years ago, we discovered the bliss of an enforced 2-pool policy at the Ritz in Naples, Florida. A gorgeous property on the ocean that’s pricey, but worth it. We went back as soon as we could.

Only once did I see a child, unescorted, attempt to enter the pool. Hotel staff seemed to appear from the bushes to escort him away. Only once did I see a parent deliberately bring her middle-schooler to the Adult pool (“because she only wants to do laps”). Again, the bushes rustled with handlers. Nice.

We had great 2-pool enforcement at another hotel in Naples, too. Maybe it’s a U.S. thing? Hope not, though I’ve found several reviews at TripAdvisor where childless travelers felt duped when website hype didn’t match kids-at-the-pool reality.

I don’t know if what we had at Ritz Naples will be replicated at Ritz Cancun, but I sure hope so. And I’ll report back. I’m not looking for a child-free vacation, just a child-free oasis. Kids are at the beach and, of course, in the larger pool and kiddie pool. It can truly be all good.

Please don’t keep your vacation treasure to yourself.

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5 Responses to “Vacationing Where Kids Are in the Background? Oh, Please Share!”

  1. Kim says:

    A few years ago my husband and I went on a vacation in the DR for our anniversary. We stayed at Excellence Punta Cana and it was fantastic. No one under 18 is allowed at the resort and, from what we heard from people from other resorts who did excursions with us, it had the best service, drinks, and food in the area, too. We got hit by a hurricane (Irene) while there and they still kept up the entertainment. I would totally recommend it to others looking for kid-free vacation spots.

    I would also recommend checking out the site oyster.com. They do really honest reviews of vacation areas. It was super helpful in picking out where we wanted to go.

  2. Elizabeth says:

    We just got back from a vacation in the Dominican Republic at Now Larimar in Punta Cana. We paid to do the preferred option which put us in the adults only section of the resort and there was a “preferred only” pool. I didn’t really see anyone enforcing it, but there wasn’t really a need to at least while we were there. In fact, other than the first day, I didn’t really think about it because it was never an issue. There were 4 other pools for kids to be at, so we never once saw any kids at our pool, or at our “preferred” section on the beach. If this did become a problem, we could have gone next door to the Secrets resort (the sister resort of Now Larimar that all preferred guests have access to) which was exclusively an adults only resort. It was a VERY relaxing vacation!

    • Karen Malone Wright says:

      Thanks so much for your reply! Actually, we stayed as preferred guests at Secrets in Punta Cana, and that’s where the ‘adults only’ pool rules were definitely NOT enforced, at least, not during the week in 2012 that we were there. Glad you had a great time – I’m adding Now Larimar to my list of possibilities.

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