September 19, 2017

Survey: Top Hotel Chains for Families

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Parents magazine recently revealed the findings of their 10 Best Hotel Chains for Families survey. By assessing more than 70 hotel chains and consulting with travel experts, they were able to whittle their favorites down to just 10, including five chains for budget-minded travelers and five mid-priced picks. You can see the full survey results here.

I started to dig around to find out why each of these chains were so perfect for families (the press release I received shared little more than the names of the top choices), and it was an interesting effort. Some chains, like Embassy Suites, make it easy to find details on their family offerings (check out Embassy Kids), but others like Hyatt House and Springhill Suites, have almost nothing online, making me wonder why, as a mother of four, I’d want to consider staying there at all.

For seven of the ten hotel chains, I was able to find some valuable details on their offerings for families that range from free welcome bags to milk and cookies service at bedtime to in-room child safety kits. For the other three, you’re pretty much on your own, but given all the family-friendliness of the seven hotel chains below, it may not matter.

Embassy Suites: Families enjoy complimentary, cooked-to-order breakfasts, as well as two TVs in each suite. Check out the Kids-Eye-View section of their website for kid-approved must-do’s in each city. Also, look for the Build-A-Bear Workshop Explorer Package through 2012, which includes a bear-sized Explorer outfit, messenger bag, butterfly catcher and $5-off coupon.

Holiday Inn: Given kids ages 12 and under eat for free at on-site restaurants (up to four kids), I can see why Holiday Inn is rated a top pick by families. Many Holiday Inn properties also have KidSuites rooms, which feature a “room within a room” with bunk beds, video games, and most importantly, a separate space for kids to play.

Kimpton Hotels: Check out the Kimpton Kids program, which offers various amenities to make your family vacation less stressful, including a welcome kit for each child at check-in, a list of kid-friendly activities and child-size animal print robes to use during the stay. Families can also take advantage of in-room child safety kits and on-site cribs and playards to use.

Loews Hotels & Resorts: Children under 10 receive a free Loews Loves Kids gift bag upon check-in, which is a great way to start the vacation off right. A Kids Closet lends items to guests, like car seats, strollers, night lights and baby bath tubs. Parents can also take advantage of child-proof kits, lists of local kid-friendly attractions and even on-loan mini-gym equipment.

Omni Hotels & Resorts: The Omni is great with kids, giving each child a backpack filled with fun items, like crayons and a discovery map, at check-in. Kid also receive milk and cookies their first night, and can request a rolling backpack full of toys, books and games. Select properties also have Kids Fantasy Suites with beanbag chairs, art tables, bunk beds and games.

Residence Inn: Moms and dads toting younger children will love the Tots Travel Too program, which provides free use of travel cribs, outlet covers and disposable bibs, as well as a take-home squirting bathtub toy. You’ll also find a complimentary hot breakfast, free grocery delivery service and a 24-hour on-site convenience store.

Westin Hotels & Resorts: Kids will love the complimentary welcome bags filled with treats to keep them busy. Parents of infants and toddlers will also love a bag they receive with more practical items, like antiseptic wipes and nightlights. Kids will love the Westin Kids Club too, and will receive a Discovery Pack with everything they need to explore that destination.

Do you have a favorite family hotel chain or have you had a particularly good experience with your family in a hotel? Let me know in the comments. I can’t wait to hear about your experiences.

Photo Credit: jhc_world

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