Here Are the Best Hotel Picks for Your Next Big Family Vacation

Maressa Brown | May 26, 2017 Home & Garden
Here Are the Best Hotel Picks for Your Next Big Family Vacation

family at beach
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If you've been thinking of planning a family vacation -- be it a reunion or just your first getaway with your partner and your baby -- you're obviously putting a lot of thought into picking the right motel, hotel, or resort. Thankfully, whether your destination is the Rockies or Costa Rica, you can find a property that's a perfect fit. One seriously helpful resource: the fourth annual Family Vacation Critic Favorite Hotels Awards.

Over 750 hotels received the honor of "Family Vacation Critic Favorite," representing the top 6 percent of hotels on the site. Hotels that made the list met a set of criteria, based on reviews from the editors of the site and family travelers who are a part of the site's digital community.

Here, we're rounding up the top accommodations in 15 major destinations -- from Europe to Mexico, the Rockies to the Mid-Atlantic. You'll want to start packing!

  • Best in California: West Inn & Suites in Carlsbad


    This family-owned boutique hotel gets the top honor as a family-friendly choice among California hotels. Why? Well, for starters, the lobby includes a living room with an oversized fireplace and games, so it feels just like home. But it's also minutes from attractions in Carlsbad, San Diego, and Anaheim, including beaches and Legoland California. You can take a free shuttle from the inn to anywhere within five miles of the property. They also serve food made with seasonal produce from the inn's own three-acre farm! Sweet.

  • Best in Canada: Ritz-Carlton in Montreal


    Out of all hotels in the entire country of Canada, the Ritz-Carlton in Montreal gets the highest praise from, which suspects "kids will likely get a kick out of the low-flow, hi-tech toilets." 

    It's also a prime spot to give your LOs lessons in history and culture, as Queen Elizabeth, Winston Churchill, and Charles de Gaulle have all stayed in the hotel, which is close to high-end boutiques, galleries, and museums in Golden Square Mile.

  • Best in the Caribbean: Round Hill Hotel & Villas in Montego Bay


    This posh Jamaican hotel also happens to boast quite a bit of history and glamour -- modern guests/residents include Ralph Lauren, while Oscar Hammerstein and Cole Porter used to seek R&R here. But it wins such a high rating for families, thanks to its 27 individually owned villas and 36 hotel rooms in the Pineapple House, which overlook the pool and sea. 

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  • Best in Central America: Arenas Del Mar Beachfront and Rainforest Resort in Costa Rica


    If you're planning a trip with your kiddos to Costa Rica, you might want to check out Arenas Del Mar Beachfront and Rainforest Resort, which takes home the prize for most family-friendly hotel in all of Central America. The boutique property boasts spacious suites that overlook rugged cliffs, two kid-friendly pools, and golf carts you can take around the property.

    You can also rely on staff to help you plan activities, like a local zipline tour or a naturalist-led hike at Manuel Antonio. 

  • Best in Europe: The Merrion Hotel in Dublin, Ireland


    The most family-friendly hotel in all of Europe turns out to be the Merrion Hotel in Dublin, Ireland, a luxury hotel that's located in a residential area that's a block away from St. Stephen's Green. You can also easily reach various sightseeing destinations by foot from the property. mentions that it's an extra-special spot due to its Merrion Kids program, which offers daytime activities for LOs, a babysitting service, cots, extra beds, and a special junior room service menu.

  • Best in FL: Premiere Hotel in Ft. Lauderdale


    Located right near the beach, this retro, chill Ft. Lauderdale motel is no-frills, but wins praise from for being super-affordable and perfect for families looking to vacay in South Florida. It has big rooms with full kitchens and a saltwater pool, and it's close to Hugh Taylor Birch State Park. You can also use the free gas grill on site to have a fast, easy, kid-friendly BBQ meal.

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  • Best in Hawaii: Four Seasons Resort Lana'i on Lana'i


    If you and your family are all about relaxing at a resort while enjoying all the natural beauty that Hawaii has to offer, you'll want to go with the #1 choice in the Aloha State: the Four Seasons Resort Lana'i, located on Lana'i, a small, Hawaiian island that is home to only 3,200 people. loves the luxe property for its Kids Club, grassy areas that are safe for kiddos, a beach that's a short walk away, and potential for dolphin and whale sightings.

  • Best in Mexico: Grand Solmar Land’s End Resort & Spa in San Lucas


    If you're hitting up Los Cabos as your family vacation destination, you're in luck, because it's home to the most family-friendly resort in all of Mexico: the Grand Solomar Land's End Resort & Spa. It boasts seven glittering, heated pools, two full-service restaurants, and a kids' club. Despite its size, says you'll avoid crowds at the resort, which also offers accommodations that are perfect for families (the biggest rooms can sleep up to 14 guests).

  • Best in the Mid-Atlantic: Casablanca Hotel by Library Hotel Collection


    The best family-friendly option in the Mid-Atlantic is located right in the hustle and bustle of Times Square but tucked away far enough off of Broadway that says kids should be able to get a good night's rest.

    The property also gets praise for its complimentary breakfast and nightly wine and cheese reception beginning at 5 p.m. The latter sounds like an adults-only affair, but kids are welcome, and the hotel serves up popcorn, cookies, and fruit, too.

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  • Best in the Midwest: Black Hawk Motel in the Wisconsin Dells


    If you're on the market for a family-friendly destination in the Midwest, the Wisconsin Dells couldn't be more perfect, as it's busting at the seams with attractions for kids (think water parks, theme parks, and children's museums). It's also home to the most family-friendly hotel in the Midwest: the Black Hawk Motel, which loves for its playground, outdoor pool, vintage video game arcade (featuring old school games like Pac-Man!), cottage units with kitchenettes, a full-size home that sleeps six to eight, plus super-close proximity to downtown. Whew!

  • Best in New England: The Nantucket Hotel & Resort


    The best family resort in New England happens to be this gem on Nantucket, which "feels like you've actually rented a vacation home and joined a larger family vacation, with seaside-influenced decor, living rooms, cushy dining room seats, and a friendly and welcoming staff that will treat you like guests in their own homes," notes. Seriously idyllic!

  • Best in the Pacific Northwest: Hallmark Resort Cannon Beach


    If you're headed to the Pacific Northwest, the best spot for you and your kids is the Hallmark Resort Cannon Beach, according to Not only is it right next to the iconic monolith Haystack Rock, but the property also boasts free bike rentals, beach chairs, and two indoor pools. Lots of rooms have fireplaces and balconies, and suite options can accommodate up to six guests. 

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  • Best in the Rockies: Tivoli Lodge in Vail, Colorado


    Families visiting the Rockies will want to consider the family-owned and operated Tivoli Lodge, which is in the heart of one of the world's premiere ski destinations, Vail Village. You easily get to shops and restaurants, as well as the Vista Bahn ski lift. The property also has a children's program and lots of amenities for LOs.

  • Best in the Southeast: The Inn at Christmas Place in Pigeon Forge, TN


    This Smoky Mountains destination is a dream come true for kids, thanks to its all-year-round Christmas theme, featuring Santa breakfasts, an indoor and outdoor pool with waterslide, and spacious Christmas-themed suites. Whoa, so much merriness!

  • Best in the Southwest: The Venetian in Las Vegas, NV


    Although there are so many family-friendly destination choices in the Southwest, Vegas is a great pick for the mere volume of attractions, and the fact that you can have a blast just hanging in your resort. loves the Venetian for parents and kids, given that it is an all-suite property with multiple pools. Oh, plus, there are gondolas and gelato -- a lot of gelato!

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