Families are reuniting after being away for several months or even years. According to a representative for Virtuoso, the world’s largest network of upscale travel consultants, getting together for a multi-day reunion is currently one of the top reasons people take vacations. The family-reunion coordinator is a relatively new position that has been developed as a result by a number of hotels and resorts.
Consider it the next step in the evolution of the wedding planner. After all, many of these gatherings have a similar number of attendees as a modest ceremony, with a range of ages and interests, not to mention the challenges of travel from other locations.
The experience manager at Nayara Alto Atacama in Chile, Florencia Oriolo, adds, “We know traveling may be stressful these days. Therefore, by getting to know the group, the ages, and the interests, we can create a program that is specifically tailored to the needs of large families.
Ivanova Barreda, the lodge’s planner for family reunions, has planned special events for large family gatherings at the lodge’s sister sites in Costa Rica, Nayara Tented Camp and Nayara Gardens. One involved having a picnic and taking pictures at the magnificent Mistico Arenal Hanging Bridges Park. One more was a trip to a refuge for sloths, where family members helped with conservation by planting Cecropia trees, which are a significant source of food for the creatures.
At Sirenian Bay Resort & Villas in Placencia, Belize, Anna Cassasola is in charge of organizing family reunions. A large BBQ with performances by Garifuna drummers and dancers, as well as a private lesson that covered chocolate-making from bean to bar, have all been appreciated by some of her most recent guests.
Iracema Gretchen Keseberg is the family reunion specialist at Uxua Casa Hotel & Spa in Trancoso, Brazil. Her travel plans frequently include capoeira lessons, private dinners at neighborhood eateries, and horseback riding along surrounding beaches.
According to Laura Gerwin, the curator of family and festivities, the recently opened Bishop’s Lodge, Auberge Resorts Collection, in Santa Fe, New Mexico, hosts a lot of family reunions in part because of the Bunkhouse, a 12-bedroom private property. With activities like a private kids’ camp equipped with a pony, fly-fishing or rafting, and experiences that span generations like hot-air ballooning and exclusive meals served in the neighboring forest, she has kept her guests entertained.
The Great Race, which is put on by the Californian resort Ojai Valley Inn, may be the perfect match for competitive families. According to Sydney Romero, who plans the reunion activities, “the family is separated into teams, and each team engages in a series of tasks and activities that have an attached point value.” “I love watching the family work together and watching their competitive nature come to life.”