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25 Kid-Friendly Hotels with Insanely Wacky Amenities
Our yearly summer trip always involves the kids. While we definitely look for a destination where we can sneak away as adults and have a good time, the reality is that if the kids aren’t having a good time,
no one is having a good time. Lucky for us, there are plenty of kid friendly hotels that have upped their game in the gimmicks department.
These twenty-five amazing hotels and resorts have been there and done that when it comes to pleasing families, and their innovative youth-centric features help ensure repeats and three-peats when family travel plans next need to be made. I’m blow away by the cool features each of these hotels have that are specifically designed to entertain kids for hours. And if the kids are entertained for hours, you know what that means: It’s wine time.
Check out the coolest hotels for kids in the slideshow.
all images courtesy of their respective hotel websites
More Tips for Traveling with Kids:
Kid-Friendly Hotels with Insanely Wacky Amenities
Grand Wailea, Maui, Hawaii
Grand Wailea (a Waldorf Astoria Resort) is “the ultimate luxury Maui resort,” and an extensive refreshing in 2014 bolsters their claim. Kids from toddlers to teens will find a paradise of their own at Camp Grande, a resort-within-a-resort geared for the younger set. Camp Grande's signature attraction is a network of elaborate water features highlighted by a canyon riverpool with slides, caves, and a Tarzan swing.
Keio Plaza Hotel, Tokyo, Japan
Keio Plaza Hotel offers you a choice of over 1,400 rooms, but if you've got young children along for the journey, you'll want to book one of the cat-tastic Hello Kitty themed rooms. Both the Kitty Town Room and the Princess Kitty Room are fervent homages to the world's cutest character, and everything from the doors to the bathroom scale sports some sort of Hello Kitty regalia.
Ritz-Carlton Dove Mountain, Tucson, Arizona
If your kids love camping but you're more into 5-star amenities, the
Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain in Tucson, Arizona is the perfect mix for your family. Your kids will flip when the hotel's “tent butler” sets up an in-room campsite complete with private tent, a s’mores kit, adventure books, and a complimentary indigenous stuffed animal. Kids aged five to twelve can also enjoy intense outdoor interactive programs organized by the Dove Mountain Ritz Kids Rangers.
Beaches Turks & Caicos Resort, Providenciales, Turks & Caicos Islands
Beaches Turks & Caicos Resort is a resort hotel that really puts kids first: Where else would you find a kids-themed swim-up bar? The hotel's Pirates Island Waterpark offers a wealth of water slides, a surf simulator, and a kids-only pool. If your kids are more of the indoor-loving type, there are always indoor attractions like the Xbox 360 gaming center, treasure hunts and shell collecting, DJing workshops, discos, and tennis clinics.
Four Seasons Hotel, Hampshire, UK
Four Seasons Hotel Hampshire, Dogmersfield Park, Chalky Lane, Dogmersfield, Hook, Hampshire (now how English is that?) may look like something out of Downton Abbey, but don't let that fool you: the fun starts immediately upon arrival, wehre younger lads & lasses can choose a gift from a giant toy box. Once settled into their rooms, the Kids for All Seasons club (ages four and up) and a new teen center (ages ten and up) ensure your young hooligans stay out of trouble while you enjoy your vacation.
Great Wolf Lodge, Niagara Falls, Canada
Believe it or not, Canada's hot...eighty-four degrees, in fact! That's the water temperature of Great Wolf Lodge's massive indoor water park. Zero-depth entry playgrounds let toddlers get their feet wet while jaw-dropping waterslides give teenagers the good clean fun they (and their parents) crave.
Elies Hotel, Peloponnese, Greece
Economic factors have helped turn Greece into a bargain-traveler's delight, and spending there helps the locals---it's win-win-win! That last win is for travelers' kids, who enjoy the endearingly low-tech lifestyle offered by
Elies Hotel, a charmingly rustic group of eighteen stone houses by a secluded beach just a four-hour drive from Athens. If your kids are active and adventurous, they'll love traversing hiking trails while befriending the local cats and a surprisingly socialized donkey.
Loews Miami Beach Hotel, South Beach, Florida
“Loews Loves Kids,” but do kids love Loews? What's not to love, starting with the South Beach hotel's slurp-tacular Sobe Scoops ice cream parlor! Lest caloric intake become a concern,
Loews Miami Beach Hotel offers supervised children's programs and activities with an extra-special bonus: the hotel strives to be pet friendly as well.
Four Seasons Safari Lodge, Serengeti, Tanzania
The Kijana Kids Club at the
Four Seasons Safari Lodge in Serengeti, Tanzania takes the concept of amenities for kids to another level as the supervisors are Masai tribesmen! The Kids for All Seasons Program offers younger guests a rare and exciting opportunity to learn about Africa's wealth of wildlife and dazzling native cultures through guided interaction in the Serengeti's natural environment.
Ritz-Carlton Chicago, a Four Seasons Hotel
Room service is one of the most appreciated travel perks. But what would happen if kids could re-imagine room service? It'd probably look exactly like the room service provided at the
Ritz-Carlton Chicago, a Four Seasons Hotel. Shortly after checking in, families with children will hear a knock on their door: The Candy Man has arrived, along with a cart full of sweets and goodies. Steer clear if you're keeping refined sugar out of your kids' diets.
Club Med Ixtapa Pacific, Zihuatanejo, Mexico
Club Med Ixtapa Pacific has been rated as the top family resort in Mexico, and they're not just kid friendly---they're baby friendly as well. The resort's Baby Club Med (for children under 23 months), Petit Club Med (ages two to four) and Mini Club (ages four to eleven) ensure junior guests are provided with age-specific activities, and the hotel's friendly GOs (Gentle Operators) boast lots of practical experience and enjoy interacting with kids as much as kids enjoy the Club programs.
Hotel Grand Pacific, Victoria, Canada
Hotel Grand Pacific in Victoria, British Columbia is a duck lover's paradise. All guests between the ages of three and eight enjoy complementary duck-inspired VIP treatment that includes rubber duckies and duck coloring books. Best of all, kids can get their webbed feet wet as they join the groundskeeper on his duck-feeding rounds!
Loews Portofino Bay Hotel, Orlando, Florida
Privacy is most often lacking in family travel, but
Loews Portofino Bay Hotel in Orlando, Florida didn't get that memo. Despicable Me Kids Suites are marvelous Minion-themed kids rooms connected off the parents' main room via a door. Once inside, mini Minions fans can make like Margo, Edith, and Agnes in custom-designed missile beds with Minion-inspired bedding.
FantasyLand Hotel, Edmonton, Canada
Alberta's world famous West Edmonton Mall is the world's largest such shopping center and, true to form, the
FantasyLand Hotel ensconced inside offers travelers and their kids a larger-than-life hotel experience. Even the fussiest kids will find their fave room theme amongst the hotel's 120 themed rooms. Choose the African Safari room, the Truck Room (and its kid-sized firetruck bed), or an Old West themed room whose bunk beds are set behind jail cell bars---weary parents will be grinning at the thought!
Jumbo Stay, Stockholm, Sweden
Most travelers can't wait to get off the plane and check into their hotel, so what happens when the hotel turns out to BE a jet? That's the case with
Jumbo Stay, a budget hostel located near the front entrance of Stockholm's Arlanda Airport. Now moored permanently in concrete, Jumbo Stay is a decommissioned model 747-200 jumbo jet built in 1976, and it last flew for Transjet, a Swedish airline that went bankrupt in 2002. The novelty of staying in a grounded jumbo jet isn't lost on kids who will hopefully resist the urge to shout “are we there yet?” every half hour.
Dog Bark Park Inn, Cottonwood, Idaho
If you and your kids consider yourselves "dog people," take your love to the next level when you're in the Cottonwood, Idaho area. Opened in 2003, the
Dog Bark Park Inn is a beagle-shaped two bedroom B&B designed and built by Dennis J. Sullivan & Frances Conklin. The locals refer to it as “Sweet Willy.” Once inside, guests can revel in a wealth of dog-themed décor, and truly adventurous types can crawl into Sweet Willy's nose for a dog's-eye view of the farm-fresh Idaho countryside.
Disneyland Hotel, Anaheim, California
The Mickey Mouse Penthouse at the
Disneyland Hotel in Anaheim, California might not exactly be the mouse pad you've been looking for, but you---actually, your kids---will be VERY glad you found it. Designed to please kids of all ages, the suite's spectacular floor-to-ceiling windows offer breathtaking views of Disneyland Park, Disney California Adventure Park, and the Downtown Disney District. With the eye-popping Mickey-centric décor inside, however, who's going to want to look out the window?
ServicePlus Inns & Suites, Calgary, Canada
The Family Suites at Calgary's
ServicePlus Inns & Suites hotel aren't what they seem until you walk through the front door. It's only then that you'll notice that your king-sized bed and amenities are conveniently separate from the kids' private, TV-equipped room and matching bunk beds. Once you get back together as a family in the morning, you'll find the hotel's exclusive Family Package includes tickets to local kid-friendly attractions like the Calgary Zoo or the Spark Science Centre, plus complimentary soda & popcorn for the kids and a bottle of wine for the parents.
Treehouse Resort, Cave Junction, Oregon
If your family wants to get back to nature, the family-friendly “treesort” in Cave Junction, Oregon is a can't-miss experience. While it may look a little like a low-tech Jetsons set, there are definitely advantages to vacationing amongst the trees. Most kids will agree after trying out
Treehouse Resort's Tarzan Swing and zip-lines.
Palms Casino Resort, Las Vegas, Nevada
Hello, dolly! Barbie fans of all ages will be feeling in the pink---literally---at the
Palms Casino Resort's luxurious Hot Pink Suite. It's like Barbie's Dream House, all grown up. Designed by Jonathan Adler of “Happy Chic” fame, the 2,350-square-foot suite is a Barbie Lover's paradise, featuring a sunburst mirror made from sixty-five Barbie dolls, custom Barbie themed art & furnishings, and much more. If you're getting away on a girls' trip with your daughters, you'd be hard-pressed to find a place to stay that's more fun than this.
Adventure Suites, North Conway, New Hampshire
They don't call it
Adventure Suites for nothing! This amazing hotel in North Conway, New Hampshire (in the White Mountains, near Mount Washington) features elaborately decorated themed suites, some of the more kid-friendly being the Cave, the Jungle, and the Treehouse. Amenities include a waterfall shower, fireplace, sleeping cavern, and built-in PlayStation II.
Wigwam Motel, Holbrook, Arizona
The historic Route 66 highway certainly isn't what it used to be thanks to the advent of modern interstate freeways, but a few fabulous fifties holdovers still remain to charm and delight your whole family. Take the
Wigwam Motel, located on Old Route 66 near Holbrook, Arizona---just look for the vintage vehicles parked out front. While the retro lodging doesn't offer much more than the experience of sleeping in a concrete tepee, that's not the kind of thing your kids will soon forget!
LEGOLAND Hotel, Carlsbad, California
If you're making the trek to LEGOLAND, immerse yourself in the experience by staying at the
LEGOLAND Hotel in Carlsbad, California. It boasts nightly LEGO-themed entertainment followed by a Bricks Breakfast Buffet the next morning. Then get ready for a full day of LEGOLAND's delights---guests at the fully themed LEGOLAND Hotel enjoy early access to the LEGOLAND California Resort.
Winvian Resort, Litchfield, Connecticut
Winvian Farm Resort in Connecticut's pastoral Litchfield Hills has gone out of its way to accommodate travelers with kids, setting aside roughly ten three-day “family friendly dates” annually. The resort hotel complex features specially themed cabins furnished as a treehouse, a greenhouse, and even an aircraft hanger complete with a replica Coast Guard chopper fitted out for cozy slumber parties.
Propeller Island City Lodge, Berlin, Germany
Equal parts hotel and art exhibit,
Propeller Island City Lodge in Berlin, Germany provides over thirty uniquely furnished rooms, though the way they're installed---say, a bed suspended six feet off the ground---could cause vertigo, to say the least. Described at the lodge's website as “uncannily surreal,” the topsy-turvy room is ideal for families with children as it's the four-bed room. Never mind the beds are sunk into the floor and the chairs are mounted on the ceiling...if you wanted “normal,” you probably would have stayed home.
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