Family Hotels in the US

8 Hotels for Families with First-Rate Kids Programs

You could pick any hotel for your family vacation, but why not look for one that goes out of its way to make even your littlest traveler feel extra special. It might also mean a little extra down time for you to ensure that you don’t need a vacation from your vacation.

Our team rounded up some of our favorite partners, who provide amazing kids programs and some special bonuses when booked through a travel agent. These 8 hotels for families go out of their way to make the vacation one to remember.

Hawks Cay Resort – Duck Key, FL

Camp Hawk, for kids ages 5 through 12, offers activities like nature hikes, scavenger hunts, swimming in the resort’s two pools, snorkeling and kayaking in the resort’s saltwater lagoon, and feeding tarpon from the marina’s dock.

Teens (ages 12 through 17) can sign up for AquaJam, a three-day camp that includes an intro to scuba diving, a dive at the reef, sailing lessons, and a snorkeling trip. A half-day program starts at $38.

The Fairmont Chateau Whistler – Whistler, British Columbia

The Fairmont offers week long kids’ camps throughout the ski season at three mountain faces, but the only one you need to know about is the one at Blackcomb Base, since it’s just a two-minute walk from the resort. Kids are assigned to one of three age groups and have the same instructor all week.

If for some reason your child has an aversion to skiing (or just needs a break), he or she can enroll in the Fairmont’s new 90-minute, three-days-a-week RU Ready program, designed to improve kids’ agility skills, hand-eye coordination, and balance. A week long camp starts at $529.

Grand Summit Hotel at Mount Snow Resort – West Dover, VT

Since the hotel is owned by the ski resort, all manner of ski school programs are conveniently intertwined with a winter vacation. A full day of ski school is offered to kids ages 3 (Cub Camp), 4–6 (Snow Camp), and 7–14 (Mountain Camp for skiing, Mountain Riders for snowboarders).

Half-days are available for the older two groups and are often preferred by the tween set, as they allow kids to break loose on the slopes with friends in the afternoon. Ski school prices start at $59 for a half-day, with reduced rates for groups.

The Ritz-Carlton Naples – Naples, FL

In November 2007, the hotel converted its Ritz Kids space into a nature center with 11 aquariums and touch tanks (home to eels, baby alligators, sharks, and jellyfish), a laboratory, and a computer room.

Helmed by certified Florida master naturalists, the Nature’s Wonders program gives kids ages 5 to 12 an immersion in field biology, with a mix of indoor and outdoor fare like nature walks through the on-site butterfly garden and mangrove forest, a birding primer, a dolphin tour by boat, beach combing trips—and, of course, plenty of chances to feed and sometimes hold the nature center’s many creatures. A half-day is $60, while a five-day summer camp is $400.

Langham Huntington – Pasadena, CA

For a small fee of only $30, the Langham Huntington Kids Program offers children (ages 12 and under) a backpack with a teddy bear picture on it that’s filled with goodies like a coloring book, crayons, and a newsletter with suggestions for family-friendly adventures in the area.

The cost of the bag also includes entry for the whole family to join in the nightly 7 p.m. s’mores poolside event by the fire pit at the Terrace. Kids cooking classes take place about once a month, and can be reserved through the restaurant reservationist.

Grand Wailea – Kihei, HI

Although its stunning location on Maui’s Wailea Beach might be enough to please the kids, The Grand Wailea (part of the Waldorf Astoria collection) has a wonderful supervised children’s program for kids ages five to 12 years. Camp Grande is over 20,000 square feet, open seven days a week and offers full day, morning, afternoon and night camp.

The spread is impressive and includes a whale-shaped outdoor wading pool, a play kitchen and tool set, a private movie theater, snack bar, craft room and a full-sized soda fountain. Other popular spots are the game room, which has foosball, ping-pong, and pool, and the arcade. Children can participate in activities like exploring tidal pools, sandcastle building, nature walks, Hawaiian lei making, and hula lessons. Night Camp includes dinner, a Walkie Talkie Tag at Night game, sand crab hunting, theater games, scavenger hunts and more.

Hyatt Regency Tamaya Resort & Spa –Santa Ana Pueblo, NM

Hyatt Regency Tamaya is a great example of a resort that takes great care to enrich the children’s program with local culture and flavor. The 500-acre resort is located on part of a Native American Pueblo and offers kids ages three to 12 the chance to experience the art and history of this culture first-hand within organized activities at Camp Hyatt.

Kids will create their own sand paintings, play Native American games, and explore the Rio Grande River on a guided stroll of the Bosque. Camp Hyatt works with National Geographic Kids to create eco-friendly and locally inspired activities. Each day of the week brings a different theme, including New Mexico Sunday, Tamaya Monday, Hisru Ku Hinu (You and Me) Tuesday, Wildlife Wednesday, Land of Enchantment Thursday, Farming Friday and Native American Saturday.

Hotel del Coronado – San Diego, CA

Moms and dads visiting San Diego will love The Hotel Del Coronado’s children’s facility, Kidtopia. The program offers three-hour camps and one-hour programs for children ages four to 12, with plenty of fun indoor and outdoor activities. There is a beach-themed room where kids can put on stage performances, a cool fun house mirror and entertainment stations with computers.

But what’s a visit to San Diego without hitting the surf? Perhaps the best feature of the program is the surfing lessons, which are available for kids ages six and older three days a week. They’ll provide the equipment, wet suit and lesson for a fee of $90. The resort also has a space dedicated to teens ages 13 to 17. VIBZ, a hip lounge, has computers, karaoke and Foosball tables.

Teens ages 13 and up can also visit the spa for special massages and facials. Summertime activities for the whole family include dive-in movie nights, surf camps and family S’mores night.