Author: Kyle McCarthy
Tags : Baby, California, Couples, Family-Friendly Hotels, Food & Wine, Golf, Kids, Kids Club, Multigen, Resort, Spa & Wellness, Teens, Tennis, USA, Watersports
The Omni La Costa Resort & Spa is designed for family fitness vacations, and is a fun place to introduce children to a healthy lifestyle. Luxuriously restored, the Mediterranean style resort was founded nearly a half-century ago as the country’s first spa (they called it a “fat farm” then.), They’ve been perfecting the arts of wellness ever since.
Set among the greens of two championship golf courses in the coastal foothills of Carlsbad, California, Omni La Costa is 30 minutes north of San Diego and 60 minutes south of Anaheim and the Disneyland Resort. Carlsbad’s beach and affluent village make a good stopover on a California road trip, and the resort itself offers swimming, sports, yoga and healthy dining for all ages, as well as a supervised kids club.
Families Get in on the Game at Omni La Costa
The healthy attitude towards recreation at La Costa comes from decades of PGA Tour events, countless tennis tournaments and a staff of pros in each sport that includes many notables. Guest wellness is the focus of several on-site institutions: a traditional Indian yoga retreat, a weight-loss bootcamp, and a luxurious, award-winning spa. Acres of gardens, lawns and water features guarantee a restful stay.
Over the past decade, in response to the numbers of guests bringing along children and grandchildren, La Costa began adding one- and two-bedroom villas with kitchenettes and fireplaces, eventually expanding their family facilities. A pedestrian village grew up around the lobby area, with shops, a deli/coffee shop and a central fountain. Today, half of the guests filling the 611 rooms at Omni La Costa are families with children.
After a wonderful weekend visit when the resort was under different management, I was fortunate to return to the newly polished Omni in November 2014 for the annual TMS Family Travel conference. Given Omni’s investment in staff, refurbishments and amenities, I came away even more impressed with the La Costa vacation experience.
Great Family & Kid Programming at La Costa Resort
La Costa has long had round-the-clock activities for adults and many have been successfully translated for kids to enjoy. While we had a quick and friendly check-in, preschool kids who partook of the VIK Checkin got welcome bags and information about face painting, animal balloon making and the resort activities awaiting them. The resort calendar highlights as many as 150 family events like the weekly Radical Reptiles, an hour of hissing cockroaches, reptiles and other unusual creatures in a show n’ tell style display in the main plaza. There’s the Daily Crafts hour to make picture frames and jewelry, a Ceramics workshop, S’mores roasts, Family Scavenger Hunts and more.
Not only can parents come with children and enjoy together time and dozens of family activities; they can also leave children in good hands while they enjoy the spa, recreation, fitness classes, sports bar, or fine dining.
The supervised Kidtopia program accepts children 6 months through age 12 for crafts and games in its wonderful club space, as well as for outdoor play, and swimming. The program is open daily from 9am to 4pm for full ($80) or half-day ($50) activities, but tiny travelers aged 6-months to 3-years may only stay up to two hours each visit. The well trained counselors work with kids grouped by ages 3-5 and 6-12 to explore the resort and its Pacific coast environment with lots of themed activities. Kidtopia Night Camps, where ages 3-12 can enjoy a movie, games and a dinner together for a fee, take place Friday and Saturday from 6pm-10pm. Book ahead at 760/931-7543, especially weekends.
The Vibz lounge has the video games, pool tables, Xboxes and foosball to keep kids 10+ and their grownups entertained. Vibz is open daily 10am-10pm, free of charge, and runs on game tokens.
Outdoor Pool Fun Keeps Kids Busy Year Round
Outdoor activities center around the Splash Landing pool complex that has been key to attracting young parents. In addition to three water slides, the Splash Landing waterplay and soak zone has an adorable sand-bottom kiddie pool for toddlers. Check with the resort staff on setting up private swim lessons for the kids as well.
Twice per week during summer, both adults and kids can compete for the Slider’s Cup on the 100-foot waterslide and earn ice cream or smoothies. Saturday night it’s the site for Dive-In Movies. At the quieter Garden Pool by the traditional La Costa rooms, where lap swimmers will want to go, there are Dive-In Movies on Friday night. The resort also features The Edge adult pool for those who prefer to avoid the squeals of glee.