If you are traveling to a popular tourist destination, you are likely to encounter a variety of different hotel chains to stay in. As a family, you may wonder what the best hotel chains for families are.
In some cases, the hotel brands may be better as business hotels – especially in major cities. There are definitely some hotel chains that are better for families than others – but we always recommend checking out online reviews of the specific hotel to see if it’s appropriate for families, and to make sure it’s in the location you want to be in.
Here are the best hotel chains for families that we have encountered. This list of family hotel chains will evolve over time, and we’ll add to it as we have additional recommendations based upon our experience.
Disclosure: Over the years, we may have received complimentary or media rates at hotels that are parts of these chains. All opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links. A click through and/or purchase through these links may result in a commission paid to us.
The Best Hotel Chains for Families
For those families that would like to have a kitchenette for their stay, Staybridge Suites is a great option. I stayed at the NYC Times Square location a few years ago, and was impressed with the room (decent-sized by NYC standards) and the complimentary breakfast.
There are lots of locations, and they offer studios and one or two bedroom suites. Having a kitchen is a great way to save money on your family vacation since you’ll be able to prepare some simple meals.
Check out this link to see locations and reviews.
Great Wolf Lodge
I’ve stayed at several Great Wolf Lodge locations across America, and I’ve never been disappointed. You could easily spend your entire stay right in the resort. It’s definitely one of the most fun hotel groups for kids.
The indoor waterpark alone is enough to entertain kids for a day or two, but the resorts also offer other activities, including arcades, indoor mini golf, MagiQuest, a ropes course (as seen in the photo above from the Great Wolf Lodge New England), and a kids’ spa.
Guests visiting the Great Wolf Lodge can also purchase a Paw Pass, which offers discounts to the activities. Prices and included activities vary by location.
You can see reviews of the various Great Wolf Lodge locations here.
Extended Stay America
Extended Stay America is a chain with almost 700 locations. While the name may lead you to believe that it’s only for extended stays, this hotel chain is also great for families. Kids stay free, and guests receive complimentary WiFi and free grab and go breakfast. In addition, you’ll have a kitchen, which can be used to prepare meals to save even more money. Check out this page to see current deals and promotions and this page to see locations and reviews.
I’ve stayed at several Residence Inn locations over the years, and have always enjoyed my stays (here’s a review of the Residence Inn North Conway). They typically have several different suite options, including studios, one-bedroom suites and two-bedroom suites. Amenities at the individual locations include a complimentary hot breakfast in the morning, free grocery delivery, fitness center, pool, fire pit, and a business center. I like booking a two-bedroom, so we have plenty of room.
The four Gaylord Resorts (soon to be five) are absolutely stunning. My kids loved our stays at the National Harbor and Opryland locations, and now want to visit the other two. While the rooms are fairly standard, the resorts are all located under large atriums and offer fantastic amenities.
I’d recommend visiting during the holiday season, when they host numerous events, including ICE! where you can see huge ice sculptures.
You may not have heard of Martinhal Resorts, but if you ever plan to travel to Portugal with kids, you’ll definitely want to learn about them. Although they are one of the smaller hotel chains in the world, they definitely deserve to be on this list.
Martinhal currently owns four resorts in Portugal, and they are along the most family-friendly hotels I’ve ever experienced. The resorts offer so many amenities for kids, including a kids’ club, backpacks for kids (pictured above), puree menus in their restaurants, a baby concierge that can rent baby supplies for your stay, and numerous kids activities. Read our review of the Cascais location and the Sagres location, and see TripAdvisor reviews of all locations here.
I’ve stayed in several Omni Resorts over the years, and I have always enjoyed my stays. Kids receive a small backpack filled with fun games when they check in – something my kids always loved.
Join their loyalty club, and you can request a complimentary morning beverage each day. It’s always a treat to wake up to a fresh pot of coffee. One of our favorites is the Omni Amelia Island Plantation.
While Disney isn’t necessarily a chain hotel, they definitely offer family-friendly resorts that kids love. We’ve stayed at almost all of them, and they are absolutely fantastic for stays with kids. Disney offers value, moderate, and deluxe resorts, so you will definitely find something in the appropriate price range.
Westin, like Omni, isn’t necessarily a family hotel chain. But, they are definitely wonderful hotels for a family vacation. The Westin Kierland, located in Scottsdale, Arizona, even has a special room where families can check in. As a bonus, I always love the Heavenly Bed and the Heavenly Bath, which make for an even more enjoyable vacation.
I recently had the opportunity to visit the DoubleTree by Hilton Vail in Colorado and was so impressed at the gorgeous brand-new hotel. While this particular hotel was more of a boutique hotel, others have more of a chain hotel feel.
One of their signature amenities is fresh-baked chocolate chip cookies that you’ll receive at check-in. These cookies do contain nuts, but they have nut-free treats if you are allergic. DoubleTree also offers a Made Market, where you can grab snacks and other essentials.
This popular family hotel chain is meant to feel like home, for both business and family travelers. Their designs are built on the company’s principal of H4 – happiness, hospitality, home, and Holiday Inn. You are likely to find a Holiday Inn location in whatever city you are visiting, and many offer family amenities like pools, bunk beds, and family suites.
This luxurious hotel chain offers lots of family-friendly amenities. Some locations even have a dog in residence, if you miss your own dog. We loved our stays at the Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac and the Fairmont Southampton Bermuda.
One of the most consistent hotel chains that I’ve experienced is Hilton. I’ve had the chance to stay at several locations worldwide, and have always been impressed with the consistency and quality. I’ve visited the Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek, the Hilton Quebec City, and the Hilton Paris Opera in recent months.
What do you think is the best hotel chain for families? Have you stayed at any of these chains?