In the spring and summer of 2007, the Hyatt Hotel and Resorts company decided to challenge their family clientele to the “ultimate adventure challenge” — a two week once-in-a-lifetime competition for five lucky families, set against the backdrop of three Hyatt Resorts properties in Nevada, New Mexico, and Hawaii.
Each of the families completed their two-week vacation challenge at three great family resorts: The Hyatt Regency Tamaya Resort & Spa (505/867 1234); the Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort and Spa (808/742 1234) and the Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe Resort, Spa and Casino (775/832 1234).
Once there, the contest allowed for each family’s adventures in local culture, new cuisine and a variety of outdoor activities to be recorded with video cameras. Hyatt took this “documentary” footage, assembled it, and posted it online as episodic Webisodes. FTF was interested in learning a little bit about each family, where they’re from and how they felt about tackling such an active family vacation in a new environment. Through Hyatt representatives, FTF interviewed the Sonnad Family of Washington; the O’Neill Family of Idaho; the Li Family of Miami, Florida; and the Moore family of Tampa, Florida.
In these interviews, each family shares their experiences, concerns and challenges, with an eye to helping other family travelers learn more about active adventure vacations with kids. In addition to these interviews, FTF readers can view the five finalist videos on www.HyattAdventureChallenge.com.
The Li Family’s Adventure
The Li Family is headed by parents Leefang Chow and Mintang Li, who joined the Hyatt Challenge with 12-year-old Andrew. As immigrants to America from their ancestral home of Taiwan, the tight-knit Li family has made several trips to Cambodia, Japan and Taiwan to expose to their son to his Asian heritage. Meanwhile, Hyatt provided them with a two-week diversion to the normal life they enjoy in their current home town of Miami, Florida.
Q. Did your background of extensive travels affect what you got out of the Hyatt Ultimate Adventure Challenge?
The one thing I learned as an individual was that your friends will be alright with who you are, no matter. As a family I think we all learned to work and communicate better, very important lessons.
Q. This was a very different type of vacation for you. Was all of it fun for everyone in the family?
A. The jungle adventure in Hawaii is the kind of adventure I love, and it was one of the few family activities that was not a competition. We learned that competition starts to get a bit tiring after a while.
I guess we had a lot of fun – after it was over, I really missed doing all those things. We haven’t had time to discuss it yet, because my cousins came to visit us right after. By the time they left, school was almost starting for Andrew.
But we would want to do it again, and have the vacation last longer than just two weeks.
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