Moms know best, amirightt? Considering the great wisdom inherent in every mom (well, maybe not every mom, but definitely my mom and your mom!), we’ve decided to turn to some of our favorite mommy bloggers to share what they believe are the best family-friendly hotels for 2018.
Get scrolling, get booking, and get on the road!
Moms Know Best:
The 19 Best Family-Friendly Hotels For 2018
Holiday Inn Resort Pensacola Beach Gulf Front
If you are looking for a family-friendly, fun in the sun vacation, then head to Holiday Inn Resort Pensacola Beach Gulf Front. They offer a variety of daily activities that the entire family will enjoy, the pool features a Lazy River, and they even have Pirates and Mermaids that make an appearance, too.
Our favorite activity is the movie night on a big screen by the pool. Simply walk right across a bridge and you’ll be on the white sandy beaches of the Gulf. They also offer great dining options. That means you really don’t even have to leave your resort for the full beach experience. Our stay exceeded all of our expectations and we’re excited to come back another year.
— Kristy Still, Mommy Hates Cooking
The Woodlands Resort & Conference Center
With warmer weather on the horizon, it’s time to plan the ultimate family vacation. I’m looking at another stay at The Woodlands Resort & Conference Center in Woodlands, Texas with my children. Not only is there a fun pool with dual water slides, there are bikes to borrow to ride the trails, several kid-friendly restaurants everyone will love, and movies and games by the pool as well. With excellent service and boredom busters everywhere for kids, I consider this property to be the perfect marriage of relaxation for me and excitement for the kids.
— Lori Pace, A Day In Motherhood
Disney’s Art of Animation Resort
When it comes to planning Orlando travel, we love resorts. It makes a tremendous impact on travel, and that’s why we always choose the place that makes all four of us happiest: Disney’s Art of Animation Resort.
Picture this: Three outdoor pools, including a toddler spray pool. Plus there are three theme park shuttles, free self-parking, free WiFi, a cafeteria, an arcade, pets are allowed, and you have easy access to the parks and other resorts. Rooms are bright and spacious and the staff is always helpful. We call it our home in Florida.
— Tamara Bowman, Tamara Like Camera
Embassy Suites Portland-Downtown
The Embassy Suites in downtown Portland is centrally located and convenient to Portland public transportation system, making it convenient for families to explore the city. Just a few blocks away is the Portland Saturday Market, Finnegan’s Toys and Gifts, and Powell’s Books, the largest independent new and used bookstore in the world. You’re also nearby the Oregon Zoo and the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry at this hotel. But before going too far, head across the street and check out VooDoo Donuts. They’re open 24 hours, so you can grab a sweet treat anytime!
Back at the hotel, the well-appointed rooms with a separate living area give families a large space to relax while younger family members nap behind a closed door. The complimentary made-to-order breakfast is a huge perk for families, so you can fuel up before a day of exploring the city. Not to mention, every evening there’s a lovely Manager’s Reception with complimentary snacks and drinks (cocktails for adults!).
The kids will be entertained for hours in the game room with video games, a pool table, air hockey table, television, a large salt water pool, two hot tubs, and a gym rounds out the many amenities of this hotel.
Universal’s Cabana Bay Beach Resort
Stay in the heart of Universal Orlando, and steps away from the new Volcano Bay waterpark, at Cabana Bay Beach Resort — a 50s-themed family hotel that will make you smile. The retro-decorated two-room suites sleep up to six people. A small kitchenette with bar stools allows you to enjoy a meal comfortably, though you don’t have to venture far to eat at the large self-service Bayliner Diner that has many tasty, kid-friendly options on site.
The activities at Cabana Bay are endless. Relax at the sandy beaches and swim in two large pools, complete with slides and a winding river. Challenge your family at bowling, beat them at the arcade games, or unwind in the Swizzle Lounge.
— Courtney Heath, Crunchy Beach Mama
The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island
Amelia Island, Florida
At The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island, you and your family can have it all. The luxury, the spa visits, the first-class dining, cocktails poolside, plus kid-friendly amenities that go above and beyond. It’s obvious that their pint-sized guests are not an afterthought at the Ritz on Amelia Island. The cornerstone of their kid-friendly amenities is the Ritz Kids Club. Offering half day and full day programs, Ritz Kids provides supervised, hands-on activities that not only entertain but also happen to educate and widen the world of the Ritz’s youngest guests.
Disney’s BoardWalk Villas
Lake Buena Vista, Florida
As a family who makes the Disney pilgrimage yearly, we’ve stayed at many Disney properties. Disney’s BoardWalk Villas is one of our favorites. We can walk out the resort door and be inside the gates at Hollywood Studios or Epcot in a 10-minute walk or a 5-minute (free) boat ride. No waiting for buse, or paying for parking!
Rooms are spacious, clean, and well appointed. It’s great staying at a Magic Kingdom resort with young kids, but if yours are older and enjoy Hollywood Studios/Epcot, try Disney’s BoardWalk Villas. It’s the best bang for the Disney buck, by far.
— Heather Thibideau, The Heathered Nest
Knott’s Berry Farm
Buena Park, California
Knott’s Berry Farm is a moderately-priced, family-friendly hotel in Buena Park, California. It’s conveniently located within a five-minute walk of the park gates and a 20-minute drive to Disneyland. The resort is nice, clean, and has an outdoor heated pool and splash pad. These amenities are matched only by the excellent customer service. The best part, though, is when Snoopy comes and tucks your kids into bed at night from 8-8:30 p.m.
— Jilleen Christian Singer, SoCal Field Trips
Great Wolf Lodge Traverse City
Traverse City, Michigan
Great Wolf Lodge is an awesome getaway for families in Michigan. The water park is a blast in the winter when it’s cold outside! We also love it in the summer because we can swing by Lake Michigan on the same trip! The half-size bowling alley is a fun way to introduce bowling to little ones, while Magiquest is a fun adventure that gets kids using their logic and reasoning skills. There are so many fun activities for kids of all ages, including free ones like storytime. We are always ready to go back!
Red Cliffs Lodge
Moab, Utah is a mecca for outdoor family fun. Nestled along the Colorado River, families love Red Cliffs Lodge’s picturesque setting and the multitude of on-site outdoor activities. Its close proximity to national and state parks makes it the ideal choice for a family vacation.
Kids enjoy rafting on the Colorado, hiking nearby red cliffs, horseback riding, and playing in the pool. Enjoying a hearty meal at the on-site Cowboy Grill and a glass of wine from the state’s largest winery before retiring to a large, western-themed suite or cabin is the perfect way to end a gorgeous day.
Best Western Desert Inn
West Yellowstone, Wyoming
Taking the family to Yellowstone National Park may be a once-in-a-lifetime event, so plan to make the Best Western Desert Inn in West Yellowstone, Montana, your home base. Located just minutes from Yellowstone’s West Entrance, you can start the day with a hearty, hot continental breakfast before exploring the Park. The friendly, knowledgeable front desk staff will help you plan memorable excursions. If the weather doesn’t cooperate, the kids can swim in the indoor pool or relax in your spacious room with strong WiFi. Take advantage of being walking distance from the visitor center, restaurants, and other attractions in town.
The Chattanoogan has well-appointed, spacious rooms, great amenities, and the ideal location downtown. Odd-numbered rooms get a view of Lookout Mountain and the even numbers overlook the city.
A fun family experience can be had at the spa on site. We spent half a day getting massages and facials with our kids, having a picnic lunch catered by the hotel’s restaurant (finger sandwiches, lemonade, and the world’s cutest desserts), and then swam in the beautiful indoor pool. The restaurant’s chef is one of the city’s best, so ask to be surprised instead of picking off the menu.
Kimpton Taconic Hotel
Our one-night stay at the Kimpton Taconic Hotel in August was a delight after a week of camping. We used the free valet and spotted a stand of red bikes to ride through town.
A fireplace, comfortable chairs, board games, and iced lemon water made check-in comfortable. Original artwork with outdoor motifs decorates every wall. Our room was spotless with pillowy down coverlets and a spacious bathroom with a generous shower. We enjoyed a dip in the heated salt-water lap pool. Morning brought a cup of Caffe Vita coffee on the wide front porch before starting our day.
— Julie Kieras, Happy Strong Home
Holiday Inn Club Vacations Gatlinburg Smoky Mountains
Located next to Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the Holiday Inn Club Vacations is ideal for your Gatlinburg vacation. The resort is less than a five-minute walk to top attractions, hiking trails, and tons of family-friendly restaurants.
The trolley stops at the resort, so it’s easy to get around the area without driving. Spacious suites include a full kitchen with dishwasher, living room, dining area, and washer and dryer. Families can enjoy the indoor pool, outdoor pool, hot tub, a huge indoor water park for kids, free WiFi, and daily activities such as crafts and family movie nights.
Kingsmill Resort is the perfect all-in-one resort for family travel in and around Williamsburg, Virginia. This beautiful four-star resort has views of the majestic James River and offers many family packages that will make your vacation one to remember.
The resort provides fantastic accommodations and is close to both Busch Gardens and Colonial Williamsburg. Kingsmill is also the only AAA Four Diamond Condominium Resort in the Williamsburg area. Whether you want to have a relaxing day at the spa, play a round of golf on one of the two renowned 18-hole golf courses, or lounge by the River pool, Kingsmill Resort has it all.
For a stress-free, relaxing and budget-friendly vacation, we absolutely love the Hilton Anatole in Dallas. Even though we’re local, we go here for our staycation because it’s so family-friendly (we have five kids). We also recommend it to any visiting families because we know they’ll have a great time there. It has one of the best hotel pools (and lazy river), plus comfortable rooms, outstanding customer service, and it’s local enough that you have plenty of nearby restaurants and entertainment. It’s the ideal location for families in Dallas, Texas.
— Danielle Reeves, Busy Mom Helper
Marriott Vacation Club Resort Surfwatch
Hilton Head, South Carolina
Marriott Vacation Club Resort SurfWatch on Hilton Head Island is one of our favorite beach resorts. We travel with our extended family, including five children under six.
Marriott Vacation Club SurfWatch has a variety amenities suited for family travel. We love that the resort offers golf-cart access to the beach, which is helpful when toting small kids and beach gear. There are numerous family-friendly amenities including a splash pad, kid pool, playground, on-site grilling and yard games, walking paths, and a cafe. The villas are spacious, relaxed and comfortable for our entire family.
Jekyll Island Club
Jekyll Island, Georgia
When you’re taking a vacation with your family, you want it to be just that — a vacation! One of our favorite family-friendly resorts is the historic Jekyll Island Club nestled in the gorgeous Golden Isles coast of Georgia. Each room is spacious and can easily fit a family of five or six.
Separated into two luxurious rooms and an oversized bathroom, there’s more than enough space to spread out. With the decadent pool, sugar-white beaches, and amazing restaurants that both children and adults can enjoy — this property has everything you need. If you need a break from the beach, there’s golf, mini-golf, fishing, extensive biking and hiking trails, and the famous Sea Turtle Center close by.
JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort & Spa
San Antonio, Texas
Our family adores weekend getaways at the JW Marriott San Antonio Hill Country Resort & Spa. Between the lazy river, endless walkways for running around and other kids to play with, my son has a blast. (And when he’s old enough he will certainly be joining his friends on the water slides!)
As a busy mom, I am still able to get my relaxation in between the pillowtop beds, decadent food options and rejuvenating spa.
We can’t wait for some of the upcoming holiday events at the resort, including 4th of July, Memorial Day Weekend and Christmas. I’m sure these will become some new family traditions for years to come.