LONGBOAT KEY, Fla. -- One might say, at first glance, that the
Colony Beach & Tennis Resort here is a wrinkle in time.
It is an intimate, family-owned property where motorized boats
are not allowed. It's a place where Sundae Socials, nature walks
and fishing from the pier are favorite activities for children.
"I have families of two and three generations who love it and
can't wait to go back every year," said Nancy Powers, an agent with
Aldine Travel in St. Louis.
"[The suites] are spacious, well-designed and comfortable, just
inviting families to stay and relax," she said.
The Colony's family package, All About Families, includes a
gourmet welcome gift, a beach gift for each child age 11 and
younger and a $50 daily credit redeemable anywhere on the
Fall rates start at $285 per night (Sundays through Thursdays)
for one-bedroom suites sleeping up to four; Friday and Saturday
rates are $315 per night. The two-bedroom suites are $360 per night
(Sundays through Thursdays), and $390 (Fridays and Saturdays). The
Colony's commission is 10%.
age 17 and younger stay free with parents. Rates are seasonal and
require a two-night minimum stay. Participation in the Kinder Kamp
(for ages 3 to 6) and Kidding Around (7 to 12) programs are
included, as are introductory tennis lessons for 3- to
Professional tennis instruction is available for children age 7
and up for $25 per hour. The kids programs are built around
creative activities that include crafts, games, story-telling and
beach and pool time.
The environment plays a part in the activities, from learning
about the wonders of the Gulf of Mexico to eco-oriented arts
projects led by educators and naturalists.
The Star Gazing event, a recent addition, brings families
together to study the constellations, using glow-in-the-dark charts
and the encouragement of a naturalist. Regina Piety, director of
recreation, called it "a huge, huge success for parents and kids
Other complimentary amenities include tennis court time and use
of the fitness center and health spa.
Meals are not included, but a meal plan (adults only) costs $50
per person, per night, and covers dinner and buffet breakfast. The
$50 daily credit can be used in the restaurants. Children order
from a Kids' Menu.
Baby-sitting is available (three-hour minimum) for age 2 and
younger and for other children during nonprogram hours.
A teen program keeps the older children engaged with kayak
clinics, field trips, water events and "Xtreme tennis," a more
in-your-face version of the traditional game.
Travel agents account for about 30% of the Colony's leisure
business, according to a spokeswoman for the property.
"We have a three-person travel industry sales team, and its
primary purpose is developing and maintaining relationships with
travel agents," she said.
Jeff Merckle, travel industry sales manager, developed the Viva
La Colony deal for travel agents and their families, which includes
50% room discounts and $50 property credit for stays of four nights
The agent promotion, which expires Sept. 26, "proved to be very
successful" mostly for the drive-in market, Merckle said. "We had a
lot of agents come with their families and really get a chance to
experience the property."
For additional information, contact the Colony Beach &
Tennis Resort at (800) 282-1138, e-mail [email protected] or
visit the Web at www.colonybeachresort.com.
Kaleel Sakakeeny covers family travel for Travel Weekly. He
can be reached at [email protected].