Little Luxuries: The Top Hotel Chains Catering to Families with Young Kids
Little Luxuries: The Top Hotel Chains Catering to Families with Young Kids - Kid-Friendly Pools and Water Parks
One of the best ways to keep young kids entertained on vacation is with resort pools and water parks tailored just for them. When families check into a hotel, having pool areas designed with little ones in mind can be a major perk. At properties catering to families, you'll often find zero-entry pools, water slides, splash pads, interactive fountains, and more. My own kids get so excited when our hotel has a fun pool area for them to enjoy.
For example, many of the JW Marriott resorts around the world have amazing pool complexes with water slides, lazy rivers, and beach-style entry for toddlers. At the JW Marriott Phuket Resort & Spa in Thailand, there are multiple pools including an adults-only option, a main pool with a waterfall grotto, and a children's pool section with mini water slides and fountains. At the JW Marriott Hotel Quito in Ecuador, the heated outdoor pool has a waterfall and separate kids' area as well.
Another great chain for water parks is the Westin Hotels & Resorts. The Westin Riverfront Resort & Spa in Avon, Colorado has an expansive pool area including an adult lap pool, infinity-edge soaking pool, family leisure pool, and children's pool with a small waterslide. Down in Orlando near the Disney parks, the Westin Lake Buena Vista has its own Disney-themed Pirate Water Park with a Pirates of the Caribbean shipwreck theme and small waterslides for kids.
Hyatt is also known for having some properties with water parks such as the Hyatt Regency Lost Pines Resort and Spa near Austin which has a sand bottom "Crooked River Water Park" with tube slides and a kids' splash pad area. In Maui, the Hyatt Regency Maui Resort and Spa has expansive water features including lava tube slides, a grotto spa waterfall, and penguin and turtle fountains in the Keiki Lagoon children's pool.
What else is in this post?
- Little Luxuries: The Top Hotel Chains Catering to Families with Young Kids - Kid-Friendly Pools and Water Parks
- Little Luxuries: The Top Hotel Chains Catering to Families with Young Kids - Family Rooms with Extra Beds and Cribs
- Little Luxuries: The Top Hotel Chains Catering to Families with Young Kids - Kid's Clubs with Arts, Crafts and Games
- Little Luxuries: The Top Hotel Chains Catering to Families with Young Kids - Complimentary Breakfast Buffets
- Little Luxuries: The Top Hotel Chains Catering to Families with Young Kids - Kid-Size Robes, Slippers and Toiletries
- Little Luxuries: The Top Hotel Chains Catering to Families with Young Kids - Game Rooms with Video Games and Movies
- Little Luxuries: The Top Hotel Chains Catering to Families with Young Kids - Family-Friendly Restaurants and Room Service
- Little Luxuries: The Top Hotel Chains Catering to Families with Young Kids - discounted Family Packages and Free Perks
Little Luxuries: The Top Hotel Chains Catering to Families with Young Kids - Family Rooms with Extra Beds and Cribs
When you're traveling with young children, having ample space for the entire family to sleep comfortably is a top priority. Many of the best family-friendly hotels offer rooms designed specifically to accommodate families, with options like adjoining rooms, extra beds, and cribs to meet your needs.
According to Jacobi, large family rooms with extra sleeping capacity can make or break a vacation: "Trying to cram two parents and multiple kids into a standard hotel room with just one king or queen bed never works well. You want enough beds and sleeping space so that everyone can get a good night's rest."
Luxury chains like Four Seasons and Ritz-Carlton have connecting room options at many properties to create two-room family suites. The Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe offers large accommodations with two full bathrooms - perfect when the kids go to bed before mom and dad. At the Four Seasons Resort Hualalai in Hawaii, you can reserve a Family Fun Suite with two bedrooms including a separate bunk room with twin beds for the kids.
When connecting rooms aren't available, hotels like Hyatt Place offer rooms with sofa beds or pull-out couches. I've stayed at the Hyatt Place Waikiki Beach in Honolulu which had rooms with a king platform bed plus a queen sleeper sofa - enough room for my family of four. Having that extra bed prevented battles over who had to share the main bed.
According to Jacobi, "Kid-sized sleeper chairs are another great option for giving children their own spot to sleep." Hotels like Holiday Inn Express have rooms with both a queen or king bed plus a chair that folds out into a twin bed for a child.
For babies and toddlers, portable cribs or cots can also be requested. Omni Hotels & Resorts offers the Omni Family Plan program that includes having a crib or rollaway bed placed in your room prior to arrival. I used this at the Omni Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Montelucia and the crib made our stay with our toddler so much smoother.
Little Luxuries: The Top Hotel Chains Catering to Families with Young Kids - Kid's Clubs with Arts, Crafts and Games
One of the best parts of family vacations is getting to spend quality time together as a family. But let's be honest – sometimes parents need a bit of a break too! Kids clubs at hotels give children the chance to have fun with other kids their age, while parents get some much-deserved time to relax.
According to Jacobi, on-site kids clubs can make or break a family vacation. He says, “Having an engaging, well-run kids club with organized activities is invaluable for families. It allows kids to socialize and play in a safe, supervised environment. And it gives parents a chance to dine alone, unwind at the spa, or just take a nap.”
Many luxury hotel chains have excellent kids clubs worth checking out. At Four Seasons resorts like the Four Seasons Resort Orlando, the Kids For All Seasons program has camps focused on interactive games, arts and crafts, and local activities like wildlife-spotting.
Ritz-Carlton hotels are also known for their top-notch Ritz Kids program. At the Ritz-Carlton Bacara in Santa Barbara, Ritz Kids includes a fully-stocked art studio, hands-on cooking classes, and outdoor education. There are tailored half-day and full-day camps to keep kids engaged.
Beyond arts and crafts, look for kids clubs that offer learning opportunities for older kids like the Westin Family program. At the Westin Hapuna Beach Resort on Hawaii’s Big Island, their kids club organizes excursions to learn about Hawaiian culture, including hula dancing, lei-making, and ukulele lessons.
For kids that need to burn off energy, many hotels have game rooms stocked with video games, arcade machines, and tables for ping pong or pool. Others offer outdoor playgrounds and open green spaces where kids can play freely under supervision. Hyatt Regency hotels often have Camp Hyatt programs with game rooms – like foosball, air hockey, Xbox and Wii at the Hyatt Regency Maui Resort & Spa.
Little Luxuries: The Top Hotel Chains Catering to Families with Young Kids - Complimentary Breakfast Buffets
A hearty, delicious breakfast can be the difference between a good travel day and a great one. That’s why complimentary breakfast buffets are such a treasured perk for families staying at hotels. As Jacobi puts it, “Few things delight kids more on vacation than having unlimited access to fun breakfast foods like waffles, cereal, fresh fruit and more.”
At properties catering to families, expansive breakfast buffets stocked with kid-friendly options are commonplace. The extensive selections allow picky eaters and hungry teenagers alike to fuel up in the morning. While basic continental breakfasts have pastries, breads, cereal and yogurt, full buffets add hot items like eggs, sausage, bacon, pancakes or French toast. Some also have live cooking stations making omelets or crepes to order.
Beyond the usual breakfast fare, many family-focused hotels include extra touches just for kids. For example, Hyatt Place properties offer cold cereals branded with characters kids love. Certain Holiday Inn Express hotels have pancake or waffle stations with fun shaped molds like Mickey Mouse. Others add chocolate chips, blueberries or bananas as mix-in options.
Additionally, Hilton brands like Hampton Inn often have ‘build your own yogurt parfaits’ on the breakfast bar. Kids can layer in granola, fresh berries and other toppings on vanilla yogurt. This gives parents a nutritious option to suggest for picky or finicky eaters.
Jacobi also advises that having breakfast included can provide substantial cost savings for families. “Ordering a la carte breakfasts at hotels adds up quickly, especially when feeding multiple kids. Having it bundled into your room rate helps avoid sticker shock and makes budgeting easier.”
While basic continental breakfasts are complimentary at many mid-range hotel brands, those catering specifically to families go above and beyond. For example, Embassy Suites bundles made-to-order omelets, pancakes, sausage and bacon into every room rate. Same for Homewood Suites by Hilton properties, which also add regional favorites like biscuits and gravy.
Little Luxuries: The Top Hotel Chains Catering to Families with Young Kids - Kid-Size Robes, Slippers and Toiletries
Having amenities sized just right for little travelers makes hotel stays more comfortable and convenient for families. Jacobi explains that kid-friendly perks like pint-sized robes, slippers, and toiletries show hotels cater to even their youngest guests:
“It’s those special extra touches that make families feel welcome. Kids get a kick out of having their own set of ‘big kid’ items like robes, slippers, and toiletries to use while on vacation. Parents appreciate the extra convenience as well.”
I’ve found kid-sized spa robes and slippers available at many luxury hotel chains. For example, both the Ritz-Carlton and JW Marriott brands offer children’s robes in their signature plush fabrics. The super soft robes make lounging and playing extra cozy for kids.
The Westin Heavenly Kids program provides kid-amenities too. My children loved getting their own Heavenly robe and slippers to match Mom and Dad’s during our stays. The robes are both adorable and comfortable, made from soft cotton that’s easy to roll up sleeves on.
Kid-focused toiletries can also add to the experience. Hyatt Regency hotels often provide bathroom amenity kits for children with fun soaps and shampoos. At the Grand Hyatt Kauai, kids get colorful bottled bath products with bright tropical scents like pineapple and papaya. Premium Le Mer skincare toiletries sized for little ones are offered at select Ritz-Carlton resorts as well.
Rebecca Puhalsky of Family Vacation Critic says, “Having kid toiletries made travel easier when my children were young. I didn't have to pack shampoo or worry about getting soap in their eyes from the hotel's versions.”
Providing children their own spa products and robes makes resort stays memorable. But these perks go beyond cute kid stuff. Resorts putting thought into the whole family experience communicate better accommodation for travelers with children.
Little Luxuries: The Top Hotel Chains Catering to Families with Young Kids - Game Rooms with Video Games and Movies
After a busy day sightseeing or hitting the pool, kids and parents alike appreciate having indoor entertainment options to unwind with. Most family-focused hotels include game rooms stocked with video games, arcade games, movies, and more to keep kids engaged. As Torsten Jacobi notes, “Having an arcade or lounge area with age-appropriate entertainment helps kids (and parents!) recharge their batteries indoors.”
Many top resort chains outfit game rooms tailor-made for kids and teens. For example, Westin Family kids’ clubs have dedicated Fun Zones with gaming stations, air hockey, and movies. The Westin Riverfront Resort & Spa Avon in Colorado has race car simulators and gaming consoles in their kids’ zone. Others like the Westin Hilton Head Island Resort & Spa offer mini-movies complete with theatre-style seating and popcorn.
At Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin hotels, Play Stations and Nintendo game consoles are available with popular games for various ages. Their kids’ camp also shows family-friendly movies at scheduled times. Children can stretch out on cozy beanbag chairs while watching.
Hyatt Regency hotels often have arcade-style game rooms as part of their Camp Hyatt kids programming. For instance, the Hyatt Regency Maui Resort & Spa has an indoor kids’ space called Camp Hyatt: Hale Manu with air hockey, foosball, Xbox, and Wii games. Providing a variety of gaming options keeps kids of different ages happy and occupied.
According to Jacobi, on-demand in-room movies can also be a useful amenity when you have young kids in tow. He advises, “Being able to watch family films from your hotel room makes for easy, affordable entertainment when little ones need downtime.”
Many leading hotels offer free, unlimited movies through your television. Hilton brands provide free on-demand movies through their Hilton Honors app. Omni Hotels & Resorts also gives guests complimentary in-room movies. Having this amenity prevents lugging DVDs and can help entertain kids during downtimes like when a sibling is napping.
Little Luxuries: The Top Hotel Chains Catering to Families with Young Kids - Family-Friendly Restaurants and Room Service
When traveling with children, having convenient dining options that appeal to young palates makes vacation meals hassle-free. Jacobi explains that family-friendly hotels go the extra mile with restaurants and room service tailored to kids:
“Finding places to eat where picky kids will actually eat – without breaking the budget - takes work. Hotels that understand families have restaurants with children’s menus, high chairs, and quick bites. They also offer room service with easy kid food like chicken fingers, burgers, or mac and cheese.”
On-site restaurants with children’s menus simplify dining by providing kid-approved dishes. For example, the Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island has a family restaurant serving chicken tenders, grilled cheese, hot dogs and more from a dedicated kids’ menu.
At Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin hotels, five restaurants have options like turkey wraps, cheese pizza, and buttered noodles specifically for children. When kids can get their favorite foods, it prevents hunger-driven meltdowns. As mom Christine Sarkis says, “Kid-friendly menus are essential. Having the standard chicken fingers, burgers, mac-and-cheese takes the guesswork out of feeding my finicky eater.”
Beyond menus, family restaurants offer perks like high chairs, boosters, and crayons. Hyatt Regency hotels often have restaurants with “lil’ nippers” kids’ packages including activity sheets and crayons. Some Hilton brands give out colored pencils and placemat games to occupy restless kids.
Fast-casual eateries provide quick, easy meal options for families in a rush. Properties like SpringHill Suites by Marriott have 24/7 markets selling hot breakfast sandwiches, pizza, and grab-and-go foods. Others have poolside grills for burgers and snacks.
When you’d rather eat in the room, having family-friendly room service matters too. Holiday Inn Express hotels offer room service with free kids’ meals to keep picky eaters content. Omni Hotels & Resorts provides the Omni KidsRoom Service with kid favorites like mac-and-cheese and chicken fingers, often at a discounted price.
Priceline features editor Julie Sav says her kids loved Omni’s kids’ room service: “You can’t beat the convenience of having kid-approved meals delivered right to your hotel room. It worked perfectly for us on tired nights or before the kids’ bedtime.”
Little Luxuries: The Top Hotel Chains Catering to Families with Young Kids - discounted Family Packages and Free Perks
Stretching your vacation dollars matters for family travel. Booking discounted packages or leveraging free perks helps make trips more affordable. According to travel advisor Wendy Perrin, “Scoring deals through family packages or special kids’ free offers allows more room in your budget for splurging on experiences.” Family-oriented hotels provide packages bundling accommodations, amenities, meals and more into one lower price. They also offer perks like free stays for kids. These promotions help families save hundreds on upcoming vacations.
Many leading resort chains provide discounted room packages tailored specifically to families. For example, the Westin Family program offers packages that bundle accommodations with credits for kids’ meals, activities and more. I’ve used their packages at resorts like The Westin Riverfront in Colorado to save about 15% on my total stay cost. Hyatt also has family packages that include credits for kids to use at resort activities like Camp Hyatt. The key is looking for family-focused packages beyond basic room rates.
All-inclusive packages can provide substantial savings for families as well. According to Perrin, “Opting for all-inclusive accommodations means you pay one price upfront rather than nickel-and-diming your vacation budget.” Chains like Club Med offer all-inclusive packages covering accommodations, meals, drinks, activities and kids’ clubs. Holiday Inn Resort properties also have all-inclusive pricing. The savings from bundled packages gives families more to spend on extras like excursions or souvenirs.
Kid-free deals are another popular way to save, especially for younger children. Many resorts offer “kids stay free” promotions where children under 12 stay or eat complimentary when sharing a room with parents. I’ve taken advantage of Hyatt’s Kids Stay Free deals to avoid paying for my young children. Hilton also offers free stays for kids under 18 at hotels globally. Per Perrin, “Scoring a free stay for 2 kids easily saves $100+ a night, making travel more affordable for families.”
Some hotel chains also provide free nights, credits or amenities to celebrate a child’s birthday during the hotel stay. For instance, Omni Hotels & Resorts gives a free kid’s birthday cake from their pastry team as part of their Omni Kids program. The Ritz-Carlton gives a $100 resort credit for kid birthdays. Small touches like these provide savings that let families spoil the birthday boy or girl a bit extra.