Unique, creative, and amazing hotel amenities at family resorts.
When you are traveling with family, there are so many different hotel, resort, and lodging options. While location is always important in choosing the best family hotel for your family vacation, hotel amenities are important too. We’ve seen so many great hotels – both in person and through pictures – but these particular hotels offer some amazing and unique hotel amenities that you won’t forget. If you’ll actually use these amenities, it could be worth booking a vacation just to experience them. Here are some of our favorite unique hotel amenities.
Note: We are providing this information for your convenience. Availability of amenities may vary, and added costs may apply. Always verify with the resort before making reservations.
We experienced some of these resorts during media trips or hosted stays/media rates. Affiliate links are included – if you click/purchase through an affiliate link, we may make a small commission.
Amazing and Unique Hotel Amenities At Family Resorts
A number of hotel offer fun welcome gifts for families. At Omni Hotels and Westin Hotels, kids receive a bag filled with activities and small toys to entertain them during their stay. Older kids staying at Westin Hotels get a world map and make-your-own postcard kit. During our stay at the Westin Grand Central last year, my kids really enjoyed receiving these bags.
Kids checking in to the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess can go to the special kids check-in/check-out area in the lobby, and select a small stuffed toy. Mr. C Beverly Hills and the Crawford Hotel in Denver also offer complimentary toys. At Mr. C, kids get a complimentary Mr. C teddy bear and Little C coloring book, while kids at The Crawford Hotel in Denver can select a complimentary toy from the hotel’s stocked Radio Red Flyer wagon.
Don’t want to travel with loads of gear? Martinhal Resorts in Portugal offers a baby concierge, which gives guests the opportunity to pre-book essential baby equipment (including door protectors, potties, bottle sterilizers, and safety gates). Azul Beach Resorts in Mexico and Jamaica also offer a baby concierge, who can provide you with strollers, pack & plays, cribs, bottle warmers, bottle sterilizers, baby food, baby monitors, changing tables and baby bath tubs and supplies.
The Four Seasons Resort Hualalai in Hawaii offers a variety of complimentary family amenities including cribs, diapers, plush toys, kids’ size bath robes, and swim diapers. The Don CeSar in St. Pete has a kids closet filled with items that guests may need during their stay, including toys, books, car seats, strollers, nightlights, potty seats, baby bathtub, baby blankets, outlet protectors, and DVD players with DVDs.
Or, if you miss your gourmet food appliances, stay at the Antlers at Vail and borrow specialty appliances like cappuccino makers and rice cookers.
Music and Instrument Lending
Love music? The Hard Rock Hotels offer one of the most unique hotel amenities – the “sound of your stay”program, which includes playlist downloads, a loan of a Fender guitar for your stay, and loan and setup of DJ equipment, complete with mixing lessons.
See reviews of the Hard Rock Hotels.
Museums and Aquariums on Property
While many of us use our family hotel as a home base for exploring a new destination, some resorts offer museums and aquariums right on property. Atlantis Resort on Paradise Island in the Bahamas offers a stunning aquarium that is fun to explore. We regularly walked through it after dinner each night.
Love gardens? You can explore Callaway Gardens in Pine Mountain, Georgia, which offers seasonal botanical gardens, bike and walking trails, a butterfly center, and more. For those interested in Mayan culture, the Las Lagunas Boutique Hotel in Petén, Guatemala offers a museum with archeological pieces.
Want to fly a kite? The Hotel Karlan, located in San Diego, offers a kite concierge. The kite concierge can help guests pick out the best kite from the hotel’s stock, and help with finding the idea location. For an outdoor adventure, the Omni Grove Park Inn in Asheville offers expert guided foraging tour, where you’ll collect berries, plants, mushrooms, and other wild edibles. At the end of your tour, the hotel prepares an appetizer with your findings.
If you need equipment for your outdoor adventure, Antlers at Vail offers loans of cruiser bikes, snowshoes, sleds, and GoPro cameras and harnesses. The Los Sueños Marriott Ocean & Golf Resort in Costa Rica offers complimentary GoPro rentals as well.
Language and Culture
Interested in learning about language and culture during your vacation? Language and dialogue lessons are among the most unique hotel amenities. The Los Sueños Marriott Ocean & Golf Resort in Costa Rica offers Spanish lessons, while the Tamarind Resort in Barbados offers dialect lessons.
See reviews of the Tamarind Resort.
Traveling with teens? It can be challenging to entertain teens, but several resorts offer fantastic activities for teens. At the Luxury Bahia Principe Fantasia in the Dominican Republic, teens can enjoy a large teen club as well as a separate gym and spa dedicated to those aged 12-17.
The Eau Palm Beach Resort and Spa offers the COAST teen club with a number of teen-friendly activities: a recording studio where kids can use professional DJ mixing equipment, GoPro rental, a games station, a mini-spa for manis and pedis, and a fashion closet, and fashion shoot area. At the Grand Velas Los Cabos, teens can enjoy a 2,700 sq. ft. Teens Club, which offers an X-Box Kinect, game tables, karaoke set, ocean views, an illuminated dance floor, and a lounge serving soda, mocktails, and snacks.
Want to learn how to cook? There are a number of resorts offering cooking classes – both for kids and adults. The Cavallo Point Lodge is home to the Cavallo Point Cooking School. While most classes are geared to adults, there also are at least one class per month that is geared to children.
At The Roosevelt New Orleans, A Waldorf Astoria Hotel, kids can learn how to make ice cream cone cupcakes from the head pastry chef Deborah Heyd, while the Los Suenos Marriott offers tortilla and gallo pinto classes.
Miss your pet? While many hotels are pet friendly, sometimes it isn’t feasible to travel with your furry friend. Hotel Monaco hotels, Kimpton hotels, and the Hotel Preston in Nashville offer complimentary goldfish lending.
See reviews of the Hotel Preston.
Tuck Ins/Bedtime Stories
One of the most unique hotel amenities is tuck ins/bedtime story service. At the Ritz-Carlton Amelia Island, you can purchase a pirate tuck in with a Pirate and Princess Amelia. It also comes with milk and cookies. The Tradewinds Island Grand Resort in St. Pete offers a tuck-in with their mascot Beaker the Pelican (must be purchased in advance and is only available on Fridays).
At the Playa Largo Resort & Spa, your kids will love hearing one of the five children’s bedtime story playing from the in-room telephone.
Do your kids love camping? Get the best of both worlds by enjoying some indoor camping. The Kimpton RiverPlace Hotel in Portland, OR can pitch a small tent (by request) in your room. These tents are appropriate for kids aged 3-8 and they come with a floor cushion, sleeping bag, and campfire night light. The Mark Hotel in NYC offers a slumber party suite special in their luxurious suites with a customized tent set-up, an in-room family movie, as well as milk and cookies. The Four Seasons Resort Vail also offers a tent set up for families.
Want to see a movie at your hotel? Several hotels offer movie theaters right on property. The Hotel deLuxe Portland, offers a Pop-Up Cinema (a series of free screenings of classic films) about two times a month. The Whiteface Lodge in Lake Placid, NY, has a 56-Seat, surround-sound movie theater right on property.
If you’d prefer to stay outside, the Pacific Reef Hotel in Gold Beach, Oregon recently introduced their Outdoor Adventure Theater, which offers movies and beautiful views.
Got a mermaid lover? The Silverton Casino Hotel offers a 117,000 gallon aquarium featuring stingrays, sharks, and fish. In addition, mermaids can also be seen on occasion, interacting with guests.
The Sanderling Resort in North Carolina offers mermaid school in the summer. Sessions include lessons on mermaid swimming in a mermaid tail.
Thanks to Lissa from Family Vacation Critic who experienced both the Princess and Pirate tuck in and the goldfish at Kimpton and provided us with info about them.