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Between long, cramped flights and that judgmental look you often get from other airline passengers, traveling with kids can be tough. And while there are certainly a number of hotels geared toward adult-friendly vacations, it’s a bit harder to find ones that welcome children with open arms.
Luckily, Family Vacation Critic did some extensive research and just released its annual list of the best hotels for families in 15 regions across the globe.
“When planning a family vacation, it’s important to find a hotel that truly meets the needs of all ages in your group, and these hotels do just that,” said Lissa Poirot, editor-in-chief of the TripAdvisor family site, in a statement. “Just because you have children doesn’t mean you can’t plan a great family vacation to some of those destinations that might not be top of mind for families."
To make the list, every hotel had to meet a strict list of family-specific criteria, like baby equipment accessibility and free Wi-Fi. The properties were also personally vetted and visited by a member of Family Vacation Critic’s team of hotel experts, and had to be recommended by 75 percent or more of families who have rated the property a four- or five-star review.
The hotels were then broken out by region, highlighting sections of the U.S, Caribbean, Mexico, Europe, Canada and Central America. The team also pulled California, Florida and Hawaii out as individual regions, since they're quite popular with families (and they have a large number of hotels on the list).
This year's picks include a number of hotels not just in traditional family vacation spots, but also destinations like Costa Rica and Las Vegas, added Poirot.
So, where should you be booking your next family trip? Well, if you’re headed to the Mid-Atlantic, you’ll want to stay at the Casablanca Hotel in New York City. The cozy décor will remind you of home, yet you’re just steps away from major attractions like Times Square. Your stay also includes a complimentary breakfast, and children are welcomed with popcorn, cookies and fruit — while parents are treated to a nightly wine and cheese reception beginning at 5 p.m.
On the other coast, Hallmark Resort Cannon Beach in Oregon ranked as the top Pacific Northwest property because of its large family-friendly sized rooms near the beach, and West Inn & Suites in Carlsbad took the top spot as the best hotel in California. There you’ll find a spacious common living room, complete with games, and the hotel also provides a free shuttle to nearby attractions.
In terms of international hotels, Round Hill Hotel and Villas in Jamaica was No.1 in the Caribbean, and Arenas del Mar Beachfront and Rainforest Resort in Costa Rica took the top spot for all of Central America. Meanwhile, your kids can live out their knight and princess fantasies at Dromoland Castle Hotel & Country Estate in Ireland, the top hotel in Europe, or enjoy a child-friendly fiesta at Grand Solmar Land’s End Resort & Spa in Mexico.
Here's the complete list of the top hotels in each region:
- California: West Inn & Suites (Carlsbad, California)
- Florida: Premiere Hotel (Fort Lauderdale, Florida)
- Hawaii: Four Seasons Resort Lana’i (Lanai, Hawaii)
- Mid-Atlantic: Casablanca Hotel (New York, New York)
- Midwest: Black Hawk Motel & Suites (Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin)
- New England: The Nantucket Hotel & Resort (Nantucket, Massachusetts)
- Pacific Northwest: Hallmark Resort Cannon Beach (Cannon Beach, Oregon)
- Rockies: Tivoli Lodge (Vail, Colorado)
- Southeast: The Inn at Christmas Place (Pigeon Forge, Tennessee)
- Southwest: The Venetian Las Vegas (Las Vegas, Nevada)
- Canada: The Ritz-Carlton Montreal (Montreal, Canada)
- Caribbean: Round Hill Hotel and Villas (Montego Bay, Jamaica)
- Central America: Arenas del Mar Beachfront and Rainforest Resort (Costa Rica)
- Europe: Dromoland Castle Hotel & Country Estate (County Clare, Ireland)
- Mexico: Grand Solmar Land’s End Resort & Spa (Cabo San Lucas, Mexico)