My 5 Favorite Family Hotels – 2012 Edition
A handful of family friendly hotels I stayed in (and loved !)this year
It’s the end of the year. And, as such, time for some reflection. Chet and I got in some amazing trips this year — to Mexico, to St. Kitts, to Vancouver and, yes, to both DisneyWorld and Disneyland. And we had a lot of fun exploring.
But as you may remember, one of my must-not-skimp travel items when gallivanting family style is a good hotel. Honestly, a good family-friendly hotel can really make or break a trip for us. When you find a hotel that really understands what it means to bring the family along (meaning, fun for the kids AND the adults), you become profoundly grateful. And so, in no particular order, here are five of our favorite family-friendly hotels that we visited in 2012.
The interesting thing about emerging destinations is that you never know what kind of accommodations you’ll get. The destinations (and the hotels) are often still trying to figure it all out–and what sort of amenities and service you’ll end up getting as they do can be a crap shoot. Not so with the St. Kitt’s Marriott Resort and Royal Beach Casino. Despite being (basically) the only show in town, the hotel provides beautiful grounds, a lovely beach and incredible service. We felt totally at home from day one. And we’ll be going back as soon as we can.
2. The Ritz-Carlton Washington D.C.
Okay, traveling families in the know understand that you can’t go wrong with a Ritz-Carlton stay. It’s true. They make even the littlest guests feel like serious VIPs. (And do a great job of taking care of Mommies and Daddies, too). But our (return) trip to the Ritz-Carlton Washington D.C. this year made me realize that there are some R-C properties that set the bar even higher. The Washington D.C. hotel is one of those–which is why we keep coming back again and again.
3. The Sunset Inn and Suites, Vancouver, British Columbia
I wasn’t sure what to expect with The Sunset Inn and Suites. I had heard wonderful things–but I worried a bit that a “business” hotel might not be the best place for kids. I needn’t have been concerned–it was a fantastic stay. The suites are large and very, very roomy. The couch pulled out into a very comfy bed for Chet, and I was able to have a little bit of privacy in the bedroom. There are plenty of cute and inexpensive restaurants in the neighborhood to grab a bite. And you’re a short walk from all major downtown attractions. But the real perks came with the staff–they reminded me of the complimentary Continental breakfast, pointed us to the DVD lending library and recommended kid-friendly activities on rainy afternoons. I couldn’t have asked for more.
Recently opened, the Hilton Carlsbad Oceanfront Resort and Spa is gorgeous. But it knows that you can’t rest on good looks alone. With big rooms, easy beach access and a free shuttle that will take you anywhere within a 10 mile radius, it’s hard to find a more laid-back hotel that manages to keep all the details together. It’s probably a So-Cal kind of thing. In any case, we had a lovely stay–with plenty of pool and beach time for Chet and plenty of relaxing by the fire with a glass of wine time for Mommy.
5. Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, Orlando, Florida
I’ve probably repeatedly told you that I can get Disney fatigued pretty quickly. So I fell in love with Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge pretty much at first sight. Big rooms, great service, an incredible restaurant and a lovely, lovely pool area? (Not to mention, no characters in sight?) There was plenty to entertain Chet but also enough of a non-Disney feel to let me reset and get ready for another day at the parks. Total win.
What about you? I’m already starting to make my travel wish list for 2013 and need some recommendations. What were your favorite family hotels in 2012–and what did you like best about them?