This sections is intended to provide you with the best resources for finding hotel, resort and vacation rental accommodations suitable for a families with infants, babies, toddlers, and small children — and get a great deal.
- Researching Kid Friendly Hotels
- Booking Kid Friendly Hotels
- Other Options for Family Accommodations
- Additional Resources
- Final Comment
Researching Family Hotels
Whether your preference leans towards boutique hotels, or large scale hotels, it is first helpful to first know that the following hotel groups all do a very decent job with babies, toddlers and kids.
Family Friendly Boutique Hotel Chains
Kimpton (all over U.S.)
Affinia (New York, Chicago, Washington D.C.)
Joie De Vivre (California)
Also worth taking a look at is a new boutique hotel booking site for families called Smith & Family (brought to you by the same company as Mr & Mrs Smith).
Kid Friendly Large Hotel Chains
Starwood (W/Westin/Sheraton/St.Regis/Meridien/Four Points/Loft)
Hyatt (Hyatt, Park Hyatt, Andaz )
Hilton (Hilton, Conrad, Embassy Suites, Waldorf Astoria, Homewood Suites)
Four Seasons (If you can afford this, just stop reading since you don’t really need this website. Just go there and have their staff roll you around in your money – and yes, we are jealous of you and your Prada luggage.)
Booking Kid Friendly Hotels
You may want to start by reading hotels reviews on Tripadvisor.com (or another review site would do). This website is particularly good, however, because they make it very easy to filter for reviews from families only.
Try a search on hotels using specific filters including:
- price range
- minimum reviewer rating ( start with 4 out of 5 or greater)
- hotel class (number of stars)
This should narrow your selection field down to about 10 hotels or less. At this point you can look at each hotel individually, reading only reviews from families (click on only show reviews for family).
Once you have narrowed your list down to about 3 or 4 hotels, you may wish to check the prices on Tripadvisor.com, Expedia.com and on the property’s own website to see what kind of room or package prices are being offered. If there is a special package for families, including things like free kids meals or tickets to the zoo, it often only shows up on the hotel website. May we also suggest:
- Joining the hotel loyalty program online (almost always free). This will give you perks such as a better rate (often 10-25% off), welcome gift, newspaper, early/late checkout, room upgrade, free parking etc.
- Booking a fully refundable room (that can be cancelled or modified if a better rate comes along).
- Checking back frequently to see if something better has come up. If so, calling the hotel and asking for the new promotion ( or canceling if a deal has come up at a comparable hotel).
- Checking the hotel’s Twitter, Facebook and Instagram feeds to see if they are offering up any other promotions or perks.
Other Options for Family Accommodations
For some other less expensive accommodation options, may we suggest:
Hotel Room Auction Sites – Created as a tool for hotels to liquidate potentially empty hotel rooms these can be a great deal. Sites such as Priceline.com sometimes offer deep discounts.
Vacation Package Auction Sites – There are quite a few of these out there for couples but some of the best family packages can be found on Family Getaway by Groupon. Not only can you find packages up to 65% off, but what is really nice about this site is that the price quoted sometimes includes taxes and service fees (but not gratuities).
Home and Apartment Rentals -If you would like to do a home or apartment rental (usually start at a 3 or 4 night minimum), sites such as VRBO.com and Airbnb.com can offer some great options for families.
Travel and Leisure World’s Best Family Hotels List does a pretty good job on the pricey end of things although a few resorts sneak in that are under $200/night. Tripadvisor also provides some inspiration with their Travelers Choice Top 25 Family Hotels in the World List .
No matter how you book your accommodations, if at all possible get the one bedroom with sitting area (for a crib or a pull out), or the suite. Those of you who have hidden under the covers to watch a movie or shared a bottle of wine in the bathroom of a standard room when traveling with a child will know what we are talking about.
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