OVERVIEW OF THE TRADEWIND RESORT: I’ve mentioned in the past how amazing my husband is but this was out-of-this-world sweet. We had a very long winter in New England where snow days came in threes and the snow was literally higher than my children. April vacation was coming up and I’d planned lots of local activities to finally get us outside. Then Mother Nature kicked me right in the butt…one full week of cold rainy conditions was forecasted. I was sitting at the kitchen table cursing and frantically trying to plan some indoor activities for the week when my husband (saint of a man that he is) said, “Why don’t you take the girls and go someplace warm?” Seriously?? After we were done doing cartwheels I sat down to find a place to stay in Florida. I got reasonably priced airfare, found this beautiful resort that would allow us to play in the sun for a week, packed our bags, and 24 hours later we were on a plane. This was the first time traveling alone with my girls and this resort was the perfect destination for us!
ACCOMODATIONS: We stayed in a Tropical One Bedroom Suite that was 536 square feet large. It had 2 queen sized beds in the bedroom then a long hallway that led to a living area. The bedroom can be closed off by a door so the kids would not be disturbed when they went to bed before me. The living area had a pullout couch, a dining table, and a kitchenette area that included a full refrigerator, stovetop, sink, and dishwasher. Our balcony overlooked the winding paddleboat river and swans would swim by. It was peaceful and a beautiful view.
DIVE-IN MOVIES: My girls loved this activity so much! Each night they set up a projector by the main pool and show a family movie. You can watch from the chaise loungers around the pool or get right in the water and swim while you watch. The Flying Bridge restaurant is right next to the pool so you can have a snack or a cocktail as you enjoy the movie.
WATER SLIDE: The resort has a 200 foot long, 3 story high, water slide right on the beach. By the second day we got up enough nerve to go on it and I’m so glad we did. The scariest part is when you get to the top of the inflatable slide and look down. But we took a deep breath and just went for it. I screamed out loud and then immediately got back in line to go again. You must be 42” inches tall to ride the slide.
POOL: There are 7 pools at the resort (one of them adults-only). The main pool has a wait staff that will bring you food and beverages from the Flying Bridge restaurant, and you can even keep a running tab. Every day they have contests for the kids. My daughter loved the cannonball contests and they made all the kids feel good about themselves.
PADDLEBOATS: We thought this would be an easy activity (and I’m sure it is for most people) but turns out we are HORRIBLE paddleboat drivers! We laughed so much because we kept getting stuck. It is a nice winding ride under bridges while you see ducks, swans, Koi, egrets, and herons.
BEACH: The beach has beautiful white sand that reminded me of the Caribbean. The beach had many shells that the girls loved collecting and the sunset from this beach is stunning. The girls and I would go sit on the beach or go for a walk at sunset almost every night.
AMMENITIES: There was so many fun activities for kids to do including: a floating waterpark crafts, a surf simulator, a mining company, a touch tank, 9 hole mini golf, lawn chess, ping pong, beach volleyball, bocce, corn hole, hair braiding, and a small arcade. For the younger guests there is a pirate show with Redhead’s crew. For adults there is a spa, gym, and yoga classes. Also, they have a bonfire each night where guests can make s’mores.
GUY HARVEY’S RUMFISH RESTAURANT: My girls and I loved this restaurant and they still talk about how cool it is. The restaurant was featured on the show “Tanked” and the episode is constantly playing on one of the channels in your room. I would recommend watching the show before going to the restaurant because you will see how much effort it took to create this unique place. The entire restaurant focuses on a 33,500 gallon aquarium and the amazing fish that live there. The restaurant is very dark so the aquarium takes center stage. My girls brought coloring books to entertain them at the table but they never opened them up because we sat so close to the tank and they were obsessed with the different types of fish. They thought it was cool that the menu lights up when you open it. The menu has plates such as bouillabaisse, seafood brochette, grouper picatta, and four cheese lobster mac. The kid’s menu has the usual meals but the presentation of the food is beautiful. Take some time to see the tanks in the bar area.
CONS ABOUT THE RESORT: There were many extra expenses that I feel should have been included for resort guests. For example, paddleboards can be rented for $30 for a ½ hour, kayaks for $20 for a ½ hour, and the floating waterpark is $16 for an hour. Usually non-motorized watersports are included for guests. Also, there is a bungee trampoline that you can pay to go on. We purchased 2 tokens at the desk because they told us it would be opening within the next hour. We waited and waited but the ride never opened because of wind. I totally understand that for safety reasons they could not open it but what made me angry is they would not give us our money back knowing it was our last day at the resort and we could never use the tokens. They did allow us to use the tokens to purchase items from the store but it would have been nice if they had just reimbursed us.