It's no surprise that many major hotel chains are now making their properties more welcoming to families by continuing to add perks and amenities that appeal to kids. There's proof it sells. Access to cribs and highchairs at hotels just doesn't cut it anymore. Parents (and, more importantly, kids) have come to expect a lot more, so hotels -- small and large -- have jumped on the kid-friendly bandwagon and are touting new activities and programs that cater to younger guests.
What you get varies a great deal among these chains, as does what you'll pay for it. While some families are looking for serious pampering and supervised activities for the kids, others are happy with free breakfast, a little extra space and a pool. Below is a list of our top 10 favorite kid-friendly hotel chains.
Loews Hotels and Resorts
Loews Hotels and Resorts are located in most major cities across the United States and Canada. A few of the hotels are located on beautiful beaches, while others include golf courses or discounted access to nearby courses. The hotel chain lives up to its "Loews Loves Kids" motto by providing many kid-friendly extras and add-ons at most locations. Most locations have an area for kids to play, such as an activity center or a gymnasium. Many hotels run a supervised kids' club, which offers activities like crafts and sports. Some have unique programs, like etiquette classes and learning vacations.
Loews hotels offer an onsite restaurant and a bar. Children's menus will not break the budget, as kids under 12 eat free. Rooms and suites at Loews extra luxurious. Baby-proofing kits are available to ensure infants are kept safe. Accommodations also include DVD players and gaming systems.
Hyatt Hotels and Resorts
Hyatt Hotels and Resorts is a widespread chain with numerous locations all over the world. In the United States alone, there are over 330 Hyatt sites. Hyatt appeals to families by offering many activities and amenities for infants, kids and teens. The hotel chain boasts some of the best hotel pools on their properties, many complete with water slides. Hotels host a Cranium Game Library containing games like Whoonu and Zigity. Kids are presented a complimentary trial game pack upon arrival.
Hyatt has created an amazing kids program for children ages 3 to 12. Camp Hyatt provides heaps of planned supervised activities keep kids busy, including arts and crafts, swimming and sports, as well as specialized activities like painting pottery in Arizona or taking Hula dance classes in Hawaii. Eighteen resorts have adventurous age-appropriate activities for older kids, such as surf lessons in Southern California, horseback riding in Orlando and ziplining in Kauai. A partnership with Babies Travel Lite allows parents to pre-order any necessary baby equipment. With more than 1,000 name brands available, parents can have items like diapers, formula or strollers waiting in their room upon arrival.
Each Hyatt establishment has at least one restaurants and one bar on the premises. Most locations tend towards two to four eateries, on average. Rooms and suites usually are designed with a contemporary ambience and include comfortable amenities and modern appliances. Larger suites or villas may provide a living room and pullout couch, easily accommodating larger families. Most locations provide Internet capabilities, flat-screen televisions and cribs upon request.
Embassy SuitesEmbassy Suites
Embassy Suites offer families an upscale experience at more than 200 locations throughout the United States, Canada and Latin America. The hotel chain provides a comfortable stay for any family, including spacious, family-friendly suites. Properties often feature pools, animal atriums and gaming systems. A true family hotel, Embassy Suites has a pool at every location. The chain also recognizes kids' affinity towards animals and has unique animal atriums on the properties. Here, kids watch and interact with ducks, turtles and fish in the lush green atmosphere.
Embassy Suites provides daily complimentary breakfasts, priding itself on its "Cooked-to-Order" menu featuring omelets and various hot items. Guests also enjoy an evening Manager's Reception. This free event in an open-air atrium, provides light appetizers and non-alcoholic and alcoholic beverages. Appetizers appeal to kids as well as adults.
Embassy Suites provides families with spacious accommodations and amenities that make guests feel at home. Large suites have two rooms, a private bedroom and a living room with a sofa bed, armchair and dining table. Basic amenities include a wet bar, hairdryer and coffeemaker. Families can request cribs and use laundry facilities. Suites also contain refrigerators and microwaves. Families can enjoy two televisions and DVD machine rentals. In-room Nintendo gaming stations are also at most locations. Larger families can use adjoining suites to accommodate their group.
Holiday Inn Hotels and Resorts
Holiday Inn is a familiar hotel chain featuring 3,300 hotels worldwide. Holiday Inn makes traveling easy for families by having kids age 19 and under stay with parents for free. Even better -- kids age 12 and under eat for free, as well. There is a lot of diversity between hotels in this chain. From the gigantic hotel in downtown Shanghai to the quaint, convenient hotel in Springfield, Mo., Holiday Inn offers varying experiences. Holiday Inn hotels are an ideal choice for staying near major attractions and airport as most of the chain's hotels can be found near places families most need to visit. With so many locations, Holiday Inn also offers a good halfway rest during long drives. And an added bonus: Holiday Inns are known for their affordability.
Most locations also house pools. Some locations have children's activities and babysitting. Occasionally, hotels cater to families by renting bicycles or housing ping-pong tables. Hotels will guide families to the best area tourist attractions for kids. With over two-dozen locations near water parks in the U.S. and Canada, families are sure to find fun activities in the area.
Hotels are sure to have at least one restaurant, while popular destinations can house up to four or more eateries. Suites are often available at select locations. They typically include a seating area with a sleeper sofa, desk or dining table. Select suites also offer kitchenettes with refrigerators and microwaves. Occasionally, a branch will offer themed KidSuites, including bunk beds and gaming systems.
Comfort Inn & Suites
With many in the United States and around the world, the Comfort Inn and Suites provide a choice experience for families. Boasting home-away-from-home rooms, families can feel comfortable during their travels. Comfort Suites are more spacious and all properties are 100 percent smoke-free. The hotels are perfect for budget destination stays or nightly stops in a long road trip. When families arrive at their destination via airplane, a Comfort shuttle is often available for transport to the hotel. Most locations include an indoor or outdoor swimming pool and some include a whirlpool or hot tub.
The hotel kitchens serve complimentary hot breakfast featuring hot waffles. Comfort Inn and Suites feature welcoming rooms with plush, cozy bedding. Comfort Suites provides more spacious rooms, a living room with a full-sized sofabed and a refrigerator. Families can stay connected with free high-speed Internet access and free local calls.
Westin Hotels and Resorts
With more than 160 destinations across the world, Westin Hotels and Resorts offer a comfortable place for families, including more than 30 specifically family-friendly resorts with exclusive activities, amenities and package deals for families. With the chain's emphasis on expansion, there are hotels in new locations popping up all the time. Hotels and resorts have different themes, such as spa or golf resorts.
Upon arrival, the Westin gives kids welcome bags filled with treats to pass the time. Parents are also given welcome bags with first-aid equipment, socket covers and nightlights. "Parent's Night Off" offers parents' solitude, while kids stay busy playing games, making friends or singing karaoke.
Kids enjoy special privileges at this chain. Westin Kids Club provides activities ranging from books and video games to feeding iguanas in Aruba and crafting Native-American art in Arizona. All locations have a Westin Kids Club Discovery Room, which provides activities for kids ages 4 to 12. When staying here for the day, kids may get a Discovery Pack containing exploring accessories, like a compass, disposable camera and canteen. Some activities have a surcharge, but guests are presented three complimentary weekly activities, such as fireside storytelling, stargazing and movie nights.
Westin hotels have anywhere from one to three onsite restaurants and bars. Food and beverage half-price discounts are available for children ages 6 to 12, while children 5 and under eat free. Healthy snacks and meals are also provided at the kids' club.
Homewood Suites by Hilton
Homewood Suites has worldwide locations, with more than 240 locations in the United States and Canada alone. This chain appeals to families for a number of reasons. The accommodations are all spacious suites.
Homewood Suites provides standard activities for families. Most properties include a pool and outdoor sport courts, like basketball. Children's activities vary by location. Some hotels offer playpens and video rental, while others provide babysitting and family packages. Homewood Suites points families in the right direction -- towards area attractions.
Homewood Suites realizes how hard it is for children when parents go on business trips. That why the chain provides children's books and a website featuring "Lewis the Duck" -- a character children can follow on rubber duck business trips to better understand the process. On the website, children can play the interactive game, make luggage tags and e-cards or print off activity sheets.
Though Homewood Suites occasionally house unaffiliated restaurants, most of the hotels have their own kitchen and serve their own food. Complimentary hot breakfasts are one of the main dining draws at Homewood Suites. Breakfasts contain foods like eggs, bacon and cinnamon rolls. Also, the chain provides a free dinner and drinks event Monday through Thursday. This evening reception serves specialty dishes like hot fajitas and shrimp salad.
Guests, especially those staying for a longer period of time, may want to use their kitchen. Homewood Suites will stock the fridge, so families can focus on enjoying the vacation.
Homewood Suites offer studio and one- and two-bedroom suites. Larger suites appeal to families, especially during reunions. All units are complete with fully equipped kitchens, a dining table with chairs, a work desk and a seating area. Suites also feature modern amenities, like free wireless Internet and televisions. Most properties also provide cribs on request.
Wyndham Hotels and Resorts
Wyndham Hotels and Resorts offer an upscale family-friendly experience. Wyndham hotels are located primarily in cities throughout the United States. Wyndham resorts span across the world, set in prime vacation destinations. Seven Viva Wyndham all-inclusive resorts are focused in the Caribbean, and are perfect for family vacations. Twenty-four properties are deemed specifically for families, spreading across America, the Caribbean and Mexico. Overall, the hotel chain boasts budget-friendly rates, holds many activities for children and typically presents a myriad of family-friendly promotions. Wyndham recognizes the importance of family vacations and the need to save money. This is why at most Wyndham locations, kids stay free or at a discounted rate.
Wyndham hotels and resorts offer a personalized experience with many activities, ranging from golf to skiing to snorkeling. Hotels normally offer free shuttles to nearby city attractions.
Wyndham is partners with Jet Set Babies -- a feature that is very appealing to families. Jet Set Babies allows guests to pre-order baby and toddler supplies, like diapers, formula and playpens, which will then be waiting for them at the hotel. This way, families can travel without bulging luggage or extra airline baggage fees. Jet Set Babies offers a whole line of organic products for health-conscious parents.
Most Wyndham hotel properties have an onsite restaurant of the chain's own making. Some hotels have more than one restaurant, including unaffiliated eateries like Starbucks, and bars or lounges.
Kimpton Hotels and Resorts
The Kimpton is a family-friendly hotel chain with locations in most major cities of the United States. The Kimpton offers an upscale experience for families looking to be in the center of all the action. Kimpton cares about kids. They offer comment cards especially for children, and hence have gathered a lot of information about what kids need. Their properties reflect this with many kid-friendly amenities. KimptonKids program offers kid-related supplies and provides recommendations on the most family-friendly area attractions.
Kimpton hotels have a range of activities for everyone in the family. Activities vary by location and many hotels have unique family packages. For instance, Kimpton's Seattle location gives families a free hour of in-room Nintendo, hand-delivered S'mores, paint sets and two tickets to the Seattle Aquarium. The Miami location provides a punch reception for kids, complimentary breakfast for two and up to four tickets to a local attraction, like the Miami Zoo or Jungle Island -- guests' choice. Families are provided with a list of kid-friendly activities in the area surrounding each hotel. Each hotel rents additional child-related items, such as strollers, and babysitting is also available.
Suites are more spacious and many come with pull-out sofas. Many units feature modern amenities like DVD players, gaming systems and flat screen televisions.
Kids are taken care of at Kimpton. Parents are given nightlights and in-room child safety kits, containing outlet covers and toilet latches. Free cribs and playpens are available on request. Kids can also use child-size animal print plush robes.
Residence Inn by Marriott
The Residence Inn has more than 580 locations in the United States, Canada and Costa Rica. The hotel chain appeals to families who want spacious accommodations for a great value. Residence Inn offers many amenities that are great for families, including free breakfast and baby-specific items. Most of the hotel's locations include a swimming pool and whirlpool spa. Also, onsite barbeques and fire pits will entice families to cookout for a dinner. Many locations include a sports court -- volleyball, basketball, tennis or all-purpose.
Residence Inn has partnered with Nickelodeon to make kids' experiences fun. When family stay in the summer and fall seasons kids will get a welcome bag at most locations. In it they will find a Nickelodeon keycard, a four-page activity book and placemat and a silicone bracelet with access to a secret online game. Parents can also purchase packages that include toys, storybooks and SpongeBob activities.
Tots Travel Too is a Marriot-sponsored program that provides families with necessary baby-related equipment. Through this, the hotel provides free travel cribs with slipcovers, cute squirting bathtub toys and disposable bibs. Parents can also request outlet covers and nightlights to baby-proof the rooms. Many items are available, including toiletries.
Residence Inn starts guests' day off right with complimentary hot breakfast daily. Evening receptions are also offered during the week. Guests can even take advantage of free grocery delivery. When guests run out of an essential or simply crave a snack, they can run downstairs to the 24-hour market. Other than the hotel's personal kitchen, most Residence Inns do not have an onsite restaurant.
Spacious suites usually present contemporary, colorful decors. Units include separate living spaces and pullout sofas. They often feature upscale amenities, like flat-screen televisions. Families may prefer to eat in, as suites come with kitchens that are fully equipped with an oven, stove, refrigerator, dishwasher and microwave. They are also completely stocked with pots, pans, serving dishes and silverware. Of course, suites come with a dining area, containing a table and chairs perfect for a family meal. There are typically onsite laundry facilities or dry cleaning services. All locations provide free in-room high-speed Internet access.
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