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It's no secret that the spread of COVID-19 wreaked havoc on summer travel plans. And for many families that meant the closures of summer camps. But that doesn't mean they still can't enjoy one of the highlights of the season. Luxury hotels across the country have decided to create summer camps of their own, allowing guests to participate in some traditional getaway activities safely. Here are 11 fantastic options.
Inns of Aurora in Aurora, New York
At the Inns of Aurora, a luxury lakeside boutique resort, families can relive summer camp memories by booking the Adventure Aurora package. The four-day customizable package includes a private rental of one of five luxe inns. Families can select curated activities like a barbeque and picnic on the lawn complete with board games, waterfront activities like kayaking, arts & crafts workshops, and lakeside bonfires with gourmet s' mores. The resort's Director of Serenity (who is certified in the science of Ayurveda) can also set up family-friendly yoga and meditation.
The Lodge at Spruce Peak in Stowe, Vermont
The famous ski resort and American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts property is doing a unique family package for summer 2020 with an extended-stay summer camp feel. They will set up anything you want from curated self-guided family hikes (complete with backpacks and all the gear and picnic lunch) and zip-lining to horseback riding, art classes, and music lessons. There are even more non-traditional opportunities like private spa appointments and beauty days as well as sushi-making classes for the family.
The Lodge at Blue Sky in Wanship, Utah
The Auberge Resorts Collection member has partnered with bespoke luxury travel planners at EMBARK Beyond. They recently announced the Camp Embark program, which creates private summer camps for families or small groups of two or three families. It comes complete with a designated camp director, customized activities, and even add-ons like private chefs and private jet service. The camp director programs daily camp activities for the kids from 8:30 am – 5:30 pm, all tailored to their interests. What's best is that parents will be set up with a remote office to continue working remotely, while weekends and evenings will be dedicated to family activities.
Winvian Farm in Morris, Connecticut
American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts property Winvian Farm, nestled in the Litchfield Hills of Connecticut, is the ideal respite for families with its 113 acres of private woodlands and meadows and cottages that lend a summer camp feel. Parents and kids will enjoy the two-story Treehouse Cottage set 35 feet up in a canopy of trees, Woodlands Cottage, which brings the outdoors inside. Meanwhile, the Camping Cottage has a ceiling of stars that glow when the lights go down in the evening. S' mores kits are available, and outdoor fire pits provide the perfect spot for sharing nighttime stories. The three-acre organic farm will inspire children to learn how to have a green thumb, and the garden side swimming pool is ideal for an afternoon of cooling off and relaxing with the family. Bantam Lake, Connecticut's largest, is just a mile from the property where kayaking and canoeing are available.
Dunton Hot Springs in Colorado
Located just across the mountain from Telluride, Dunton Hot Springs is the ideal summer camp-style getaway for families of any age. The old-mining town turned luxury resort and American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts property offers 12 luxury cabin accommodations and one luxury tent. That's in addition to plenty of outdoor adventures like horseback riding, fly fishing on a private nine-mile stretch of the Dolores, hiking, and mountain biking. Dunton can also provide expert guides to help you and your family summit the 14,000-foot peaks or rock climbing in the surrounding San Juan peaks.
Washington School House in Park City, Utah
Park City's twelve-room boutique hotel, Washington School House, offers the perfect mountainside retreat to set up your very own summer camp-like experiences but with luxury hotel accommodations. Work with your personal concierge to set up camp favorites, such as hiking, fly-fishing, educational tours at museums, boating excursions, and more. At night, families can cozy up under a blanket by the outdoor poolside fireplace and roast s' mores under the stars with the build-your-own s' mores kit for guests to order.
Vermejo, a Ted Turner Reserve in Raton, New Mexico
Vermejo, a Ted Turner Reserve, has launched its new Junior Trackers Program for families seeking an active and fun outdoor adventure this summer. The new offerings span across a wide range of iconic outdoor activities such as a half-day tracking tour where you'll ride in a UTV searching for animals and their tracks. There's also a privately-guided fishing class on our world-class fishing lakes where kids learn the basic techniques and about the animals that make up the river's ecosystem. Or, participate in the Junior Horsemanship Workshop where you'll learn to take care of a horse, saddle-up and hop on for a loop around the arena for a horseback ride.
Viceroy Snowmass in Snowmass Village, Colorado
The American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts property offers a customizable itinerary package for guests to book in advance of their stay, which mimics an Aspen summer camp (all in a private group setting). Guests can go on guided nature hikes (or even choose overnight camping options, bookended by stays at the resort), take a full class of mountain and road biking, fly fishing, go ATVing, and more. It's all booked through the experiences concierge ahead of their stay.
Ocean Edge Resort & Golf Club in Brewster, Massachusetts
Ocean Edge Resort has launched a new lineup of private experiences for families looking to the social distance while still enjoying the great outdoors that set the scene for the ultimate summer camp on the Cape. From private oyster tours to archery lessons, pickleball, and s' mores around a beach fire pit, there are several summer camp-esque experiences travelers can book exclusively for their family. For the ultimate secluded getaway, book one of the AAA Four-Diamond luxury multi-bedroom villas on The Mansion side for complete privacy and a home-away-from-home feel.
The Point in Saranac Lake, New York
The first Relais & Châteaux hotel in North America, The Point is an intimate lakefront private Adirondack estate that was originally built as a Great Camp for William Avery Rockefeller II. Today, The Point offers just 11 guest rooms, and visitors receive access to all 75-acres of the secluded property. Just like a Rockefeller, the staff anticipates guests' every need and can arrange a nostalgic summer camp-like experience with an over-the-top twist. Activities include boating, fishing, tennis, waterskiing, croquet, badminton, swimming, wake surfing, kayaking, paddleboarding, hiking, a round of golf at the Saranac Inn golf course or rock climbing in the majestic High Peaks. For travelers who love treasure hunting, The Point also has hidden geocaches around the property that guests can track down. Families have the option to buy out the resort for the ultimate over-the-top summer camp.
The Little Nell in Aspen, Colorado
While traditional summer camp may be out of the question most, The Little Nell offers an ideal alternative, emanating a luxury summer-camp vibe with activities such as fly fishing, stargazing, biking, and more. For families interested in further exploring the rugged beauty of Aspen, this American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts property offers an Adventure Concierge, which takes guests on off-road excursions (available for 2-6 hour sessions) and guided stargazing. The Adventure Concierge can also arrange rock climbing, guided mountain biking, white water rafting, horse and pony rides, and helicopter fly fishing.