Road Trip

Many hotel options available for family-friendly summer vacation stays

“Dive-In Movies.” There are connecting rooms so kids can stay in one and parents in the other, food and beverage discounts, and special packages–all organized by the resort’s newly appointed “director of fun,” who will coordinate all family activities. Another perk: “Parent’s Night Out.” While the children enjoy their own big night out, dining with other kids and enjoying counselor-led activities, the parents get alone time.

Residence Inn by Marriott (http://www.marriott.com/residence-inn/travel.mi) has become known as the hotel offering a “home away from home.” The hotel’s family appeal has to do with the amenities, with suite accommodations that are 50% larger than standard hotel rooms and feature separate living, working, dining, and sleeping areas. Varying locations include fully equipped kitchens. The chain also offers a complimentary daily breakfast buffet, weekday social hours, complimentary grocery shopping, and an on-site coin laundry, fitness centers, pools, and multi-use Sport Courts.

The Holiday Inn (www.HolidayInn.com) lets kids stay free and offers free meals for children ages 12 and under at on-site restaurants. Some locations even have special kid-friendly suites, such as the Nickelodeon-themed Family Suite in Orlando.

If you’re heading to Canada, a stay at the country’s largest hotel chain, The Delta Hotels (www.deltahotels.com), might just satisfy the whole crew. While most family friendly hotels offer on-site pools, The Delta has gone one further by offering a waterslide at varying locations. The Delta Chelsea in downtown Toronto, for example, features a 130-foot waterslide. For adults who want a quiet pool experience, the hotel has an adults-only pool on a separate floor. Other family amenities include on-site coin laundry, free stays for kids, free dining for children under age 5, discount dining for children ages 7-12, babysitting services, and the Chelsea Kids Camp. The hotel also offers “Family Night at the Movies,” where a conference room is turned into a theater, complete with popcorn. Pets are also welcome. “We have Family Fun Suites,” says Tracy Ford, public relations manager at the Delta Chelsea. “The apartment-style suites include two bedrooms, a kitchen, living room, and a play area for children. We also provide an Xbox for video games.”

Thinking about a Caribbean getaway? This summer, SuperClubs Resorts (www.superclubs.com) has a “Kids Stay, Play & Eat Free” promotion (May 1 to December 22), where children ages 2-13 can stay free. Each SuperClub also has unique family activities and packages. Family Adventures at Starfish Trelawny Beach in Jamaica, for example, offers teens a private island hideaway, windsurfing, and flying trapeze lessons. At the hotel’s Kid’s Club, supervised, age-specific programs keep toddlers entertained, while mom and dad can head to Blue Mahoe Spa for a little pampering.

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