One of my most favorite things to do is drag my family with me on my travels. Yeah, tough life for them, right? With 7 grandkids and 5 adult children (and their spouses / significant others), we often have quite the entourage when we check in for family vacations. That’s why truly kid-friendly hotels and resorts are actually quite hard to come by.
Read on for my favorite hotels and resorts and why I feel they made my family vacation even better, from pools, waterslides, complimentary breakfast, stand-out staff, dining options, and a full schedule of family-friendly activities.
Hotel with Wyoming Cowboy Charm
Perhaps one of my most surprising family vacations was this summer when we road tripped to Wyoming. The Fairfield Inn and Suites Southwest/Downtown Cheyenne pulled all the stops for a multigenerational family “Old West” adventure. The moment my grandson and I entered the automatic front doors, the “brand” feel dissipated, replaced with a step into cowboy country. The lobby embraces the Old west culture of Cheyenne with posters of cowboys, rodeos, and bisons. Leather chairs, faux animal prints, and relaxed seating make up the sitting area, while deeper into the lobby is the informal dining area with TVs.
The staff made this Fairfield Inn a true family-friendly hotel, engaging my grandson and granddaughter in conversation, pointing out the fun western posters and pictures, talking about the Cheyenne Frontier Days (rodeo). Every time my family (and any other guest) walked through the lobby, the staff shouted out a friendly greeting.
Austria Haus Hotel, Vail, Colorado
With its prime location in the heart of Central Vail Village, the Austria House Hotel offered my grandkids their first taste of European charm. This gave me the opportunity to talk about Europe, and we had so much fun checking out the hotel’s Austrian decor. SO much to love about this family-friendly hotel, including French doors in our room overlooking the village, big fluffy robes, riverside outdoor pool, complimentary breakfast and warm cookies.
Family Friendly Luxury Resort: The Broadmoor, Colorado Springs, Colorado
Luxury hotels and resorts can be temperamental creatures when it comes to families. Over the holidays, we revisited a family favorite resort, The Broadmoor, in Colorado Springs, and this is an example of when a luxury resort gets the family dynamic — and one of the top hotels for the holidays!
Our traveling entourage on this family vacation included 3 adults (my husband and me, my daughter-in-law) and 3 grandchildren, ages 12, 10, and 2 1/2. That’s quite a range of ages, but The Broadmoor offered more than enough family support starting with our suite with adjoining rooms.
But not just the room came together to make this family vacation stand out. All the restaurants, starting with The Golden Bee, an English Pub to our “fancy” dress-up dinner out at the Summit, provided a kid menu. The adults were able to relax and enjoy cocktails, while the kids sipped on nonalcoholic drinks. Even for our picky little eaters, the menu choices were wide-ranging enough to appease all tastes.
No surprise that PLAY at The Broadmoor with its burgers and sushi was our favorite meal, likely due to the fun time we had on the bowling lanes, especially the toddler! Three of us also stepped out one afternoon and had so much fun downloading an app for a scavenger hunt throughout the property. Grandpa especially enjoyed teaching the older grandkids how to play chess in the lobby near the Lake Terrace Dining Room.
Portland Hotel Rose: Family Vacation with Adult Children
One of our best family vacations was sans grandkids when we met our adult children and their spouses in Portland. Located across the Tom McCall Waterfront Park on the Williamette River, this boutique Hotel Rose provided the base for my family to explore Portlandia — and oh-so-perfect. We spent a lot of time walking Portland, and we spent a lot of time in the hotel’s lobby bar — as it’s not always about the little ones.
Omni Parker House, Boston
When one of our daughter’s was still living in Boston, we packed our bags and met her there, staying at the Omni Parker House. We invited her and one of her friends, pleasantly surprised at this size of the rooms at this historic house. And no complaints about the location close to Boston’s Freedom Trail.
I also got a glimpse at the Freedom Trail Kid Nook, a family-friendly hotel room with bunk beds. This hotel is popular with families and tourists, with their weekend deal packages. Kids love the free gift at check-in!
Disney Resorts Knows How to Do Families
No surprise that Disney resorts are some of the best when it comes to family vacations — and yes, Walt Disney World knows how to cater to extended families. And no doubt about it, family vacations at Disney resorts hit the top of most families’ bucket list.
From the villas at Disney’s Saratoga Springs Resort & Spa to the safari-like experience at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge (with bunkbeds!), your family vacation just got better and roomier. And then there’s those Disney characters and theme parks.
Howard Johnson Anaheim Hotel Near Disneyland
Did I mention waterparks? On our first Disney adventure, we were on a budget and the best fit for our family vacation was the smoke-free Howard Johnson Anaheim Hotel & Water Playground. I admit some reservations about booking a Howard Johnson, as the HJ’s of my childhood weren’t always, well, clean and safe. Once we landed in California, this family hotel within 10-minute brisk walk to Disneyland was perfect, especially with the after-theme-park at the hotel’s onsite water park
What is your favorite family vacation and where is your go-to kid-friendly resort or hotel?