According to a recent AAA figure, more than one third of Americans will take a family vacation this year. As parents become more experienced with family travels, they become more demanding and push hoteliers to re-invent themselves…for the kids. The Little Guest Hotels Collection is constantly curating unique properties that treat kids like they are the head of the family. “Our childcare specialist has defined 24 essential kids services, from emergency baby bottle to stroller loan, but also shuttles with baby seats. To qualify for The Little Guest Hotels Collection, each institution must offer the majority of these 24 services and luxury standards of quality,” explains Jerome Stefanski, Managing Director of the label. Parents organizations and critics also recognize unique properties catering to families. Here are our 11 favorites for your next vacation.
Dunton Hot Springs – Dunton, Colorado
Built on the remains of an old mining town high in the Colorado Rockies, this all-inclusive resort is a favorite. The bravest kids get to explore a ghost town in between horseback riding, fly fishing, and rafting in the summer. In the winter, try dogsledding and skiing around the property. Parents can slip away at night to indulge in wine pairings in the Saloon, while the kids dive into movies and popcorn next door.
Ojai Valley Inn & Spa – Ojai, California
Popular as a weekend spa and golf escape for residents of Greater LA, the Ojai Valley Inn & Spa offers an ideal retreat for families. There’s hiking, biking, basketball, fishing, softball, volleyball, and a host of other activities guaranteed for family fun and togetherness. Camp Oak is the perfect environment for children 4 to 12 with daily theme-based programming including outdoor adventures, arts and crafts and learning through fun and interactive play. Evenings include nighttime activities, dinner and a kid-friendly movie.
Four Seasons Chicago – Chicago, Illinois
Located in the heart of downtown Chicago, the Four Seasons hotel offers fantastic amenities and facilities dedicated for young guests…far beyond the doors of the Kids Clubroom. The Spa offers services designed explicitly for teens and the specific needs of their skin, including The O4U Facial, The Chillax Mani/Pedi and The Cut-to-the-Chase Mini Mani/Pedi. To satisfy sweet cravings, the hotel’s very own ice cream man will visit your room with his indulgent cart for your family to create their own treats.
Monarch Beach Resort – Dana Point, California
The Monarch Beach Resort recently introduced its Miraval Spa, with meditation and yoga for children; a new pool area with cabanas, and beginners surfing lessons. The Coastal Caterpillar Club is an exclusively designed activity program for younger guests and offers an engaging schedule of energetic, creative, and highly satisfying activities for children 5 to 12. All the games and excitement have been planned to provide optimum levels of entertainment and fun while nurturing each child’s inquisitive and creative mind. Children up to age 5 dine for free and those ages 6 to 12 benefit from a 50% discount.
Mohonk Mountain House – New Paltz, New York
This unique property, with its turrets and gables, overlooks a pristine mountain lake and has been enticing families for 5 generations. Nature lovers will enjoy coming to this resort all year round: mountain biking, rock climbing, frog hunting in summer; cross-country skiing, ice-skating, curling, and more in winter time. Offering mostly outdoor and gadget-free activities, this resort is serving a very loyal and growing niche.