10 Hotels and Resorts that Go the Extra Mile for Kids
Hotels with everything kids love.
Photo By: Lucas Allen
Photo By: Michael Heeney
Photo By: STEVEN KOVICH
Photo By: Gary Bogdon
A Vacation Your Kids Will Remember
It’s always a treat when you arrive at a hotel and your little one is offered a plushie or a cookie at check-in. Some hotels pull out all the stops when it comes to pleasing their tiniest guests, with properties offering baby massages and others working hard to impress what might be the toughest customer of all: teenagers. Here are 10 resorts and hotels that roll out the red carpet for kids.
Grand Velas Resorts
- Each of this brand’s three Mexico-based resorts offer cool kids’ stuff like glamping, Mariachi lessons, cooking and baking classes, Spanish lessons and dreamcatcher and piñata workshops. A baby concierge coordinates everything from cribs and Mexican toys to baby floats and organic foods in advance. Meanwhile, the teen club ensures kids ages 13-18 are pampered with video games, karaoke and a "bar" with teen-friendly drinks and snacks. Each resort also offers something unique for kids, like the spa treatment for babies, kids and teens at Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit, and the family suites with jungle views, a kid’s welcome beach kit, kid-sized bathrobes and slippers at Grand Velas Riviera Maya.
Planet Hollywood Beach Resort Costa Rica
There’s rolling out the red carpet...and then there’s literally rolling out the red carpet—complete with paparazzi, applause and a welcome mocktail, which is what kids experience at this Central American resort. The property runs a Stars Kids Club that offers fun learning opportunities in the realms of acting, dancing, singing, designing sets, shooting scenes, directing shows, editing video content and more. The resort's clubhouse has foosball and air hockey. When it’s time for some fresh air, there’s a pool with splash zone and curated excursions such as zip-lining through the canopy, exploring volcanoes, sailing and snorkeling. In addition, there’s a seaside summer camp through Labor Day that teaches Spanish, arts and crafts and camp cooking.
If you’re planning a family road trip through America’s Southeast before the end of September, this hotel chain with properties in Atlanta, Nashville and New Orleans aims to offer the perfect oasis after being in the car with the kids all day. The Family Road Trip package includes a parking credit, free breakfast for up to two children under 12 and a second room half off when you book the first room—which might be the perfect antidote to all that quality time with your teenagers. The hotel chain is also in the process of revamping its kids’ program by launching “Loews Loves Families,” with programming to be rolled out later this year that is designed around the three pillars of comfort, imagination and exploration.
Radisson Blu Mall of America
If you’re currently roasting in this summer’s heat wave, there’s definitely something appealing about a mostly indoor (and air-conditioned) vacation in Bloomington, Minnesota. The hotel is near the Twin Cities and connected to the Mall of America, so there’s plenty to keep the whole family occupied. The complimentary Blu Kids Club allows children to become explorers with a passport to destinations around the hotel and Mall of America. The hotel also offers a variety of themed packages, such as an indoor camping experience that includes a tent, a projector to create stars on the ceiling, fun camping swag and a s’mores-inspired dessert. Other nearby attractions include Nickelodeon Universe, FlyOver America and Sea Life Aquarium.
Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya & Punta Cana
It should come as no surprise that a Hard Rock Hotel would find a way to incorporate music into its amenities. At these resorts on Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula and in the Dominican Republic, kids can realize their popstar dreams with the KIDZ BOP Fan Live Experience. The experience is included for all guests and allows kids to come up with a band name, create a signature look, learn dance moves and write their own songs. If you’re lucky, you’ll even catch a pop-up KIDZ BOP pool party, a superstar sundae social or a popstar cover shoot.
This Bermuda hotel features tons of family fun options, such as footgolf, a kids’ water slide, a beach and snorkel gear. All families receive a pail and shovel for beach use upon arrival. In addition, there’s an on-site Explorer’s Camp that provides nonstop opportunities for hands-on learning and exploration, with activities like art in the sun, fishing off the dock, traditional kite-making and pajama parties. Kids can also participate in such memory-making options as the glow-in-the-dark trampoline park and a petting zoo adventure. A complimentary toddler room for kids ages 5 and younger and a game room are open daily.
Located on the shores of Lake Champlain in Vergennes, Vermont, this eco-friendly resort is also incredibly family-friendly, offering an unbelievable array of activities through its daily camp for kids ages 3 to 17; a harbor fair on Tuesday nights with hay rides, games, face painting and a bounce house; tennis and golf clinics for kids; and evening fun in the form of bingo, family feud, dive-in movies and night golf. Perhaps best of all, there’s a teen program aimed at helping your hard-to-please teenager avoid sulking their way through vacation by offering kayaking, capture the flag, Wii challenges, ropes courses, dance parties and field trips to laser tag, a chocolate factory or baseball games.
Paradise Point Resort & Spa
You might be straight-up jealous of your kids when you hear about all the amenities offered to the young ones at this 44-acre island resort on San Diego’s Mission Bay. Skateboarding lessons with a pro, dive-in movies, games, scavenger hunts, kite-flying, painting classes, a Build-a-Bear Workshop and even an introduction to falconry. The resort is on an island, so you can bet there are plenty of options for water fun, such as surf lessons, sailing, jet skiing and kayaking at the resort’s own private, full-service marina. Complimentary sports like basketball, cornhole, tennis, ping pong, volleyball and an 18-hole putting golf course are also available at the recently renovated property.
Orlando World Center Marriott
This hotel near the Disney and Universal Studios theme parks doesn’t just have a pool—it has a 564,000-gallon “tropical complex” that features two 200-foot winding waterslides, a speed slide and a zero-entry splash zone. The 2,000-room hotel also offers complimentary shuttles to the parks, an interactive gaming center and arcade, nightly poolside laser light shows, dive-in movies, free golf for kids after 3 p.m. and a packed activity calendar that offers everything from rock painting to selfie scavenger hunts to snow-cone Saturdays.
The pampering of its smallest guests starts at check-in, when parents receive mimosas and kids are offered versions made with apple cider—along with sandcastle-making supplies. An educational kids club organizes scavenger hunts, arts and crafts and other activities that teach about Florida wildlife, and evenings with beachside s’mores and swim-in movies. The real treat, though, is that the resort partners with the nearby Clearwater Marine Aquarium, allowing guests to visit its rescue and rehabilitation center. There, kids will meet turtles and otters—plus Winter and Hope, the dolphin stars from the “Dolphin Tale” movies.