Top Resorts/Hotel Brands for Families

March 18, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

As a family of five, hotel stays can be a little tricky. They’re cramped, crowded, and can make vacations pricey. So we’re always careful about where we stay when we hit the road. We’ll try to book ahead of time, but there are times we have to rely on Travelocity or remembering previous stays to find a hotel that meets our standards.

Holiday Inn Express Daytona Beach ShoresWhen we’re on the road, we have three criteria:

  1. The place has to be clean, or have a reputation for being clean. This is one time I favor chains over local options, because those chains have corporate standards to meet.
  2. We prefer a continental breakfast. It’s actually cheaper in the long run.
  3. We want a pet friendly hotel. It varies from hotel to hotel, depending on ownership, but you can find them with some research.

Last year, Parents Magazine picked their own choices for Top Family Friendly Hotels, naming as their top five budget hotels, the Residence Inn, Hyatt Place, Springhill Suites, Hilton Garden Inn, and Wingate by Wyndham.

These are all fine establishments, and I’ve stayed in most of them. But we have a few of our own family favorites, for different reasons.

Holiday Inn: Ever since I was a road warrior, hitting the road a few nights a week for different companies, I’ve always favored the Holiday Inn family of brands. And I’ve kept that loyalty, even when I started cramming more and more family members into a single room.

Each Holiday Inn is allowed to have its own style and “voice,” but there are still some things we can expect at every Holiday Inn: clean sheets, clean bathroom, and very often, a pool. And the Holiday Inn Express has that great shower head!

If you’re on a strict budget, but have some standards of cleanliness and predictability, I definitely recommend the Holiday Inn or Holiday Inn Express. It may be a little on the cramped side, especially for five people, but it’s great if you’re in a pinch or trying to pinch pennies.

Embassy Suites: It’s a bit pricier than other budget-friendly locations, but they do have two-room suites, which is ideal for families of four or more. You can stick the kids in one room, parents in the other. Then, get ready for a little late-night fun, staying up and watching TV until two in the morning. Also, the parents can sleep without being disturbed.

If you need some extra space, especially if you’re staying in the hotel for more than one night, the Embassy Suites are the more cost-effective and comfortable option, especially when your only two other options are crawling over each other in a single room, or getting two adjoining rooms.

Hampton Inn: My son loves the Hampton Inn, and has ever since he was nine and discovered they combined two of his favorite things: breakfast and buffets. Any time I take him on a travel writing trip, he asks if we can stay at a Hampton Inn.

I’ll admit, there’s something fun and pleasurable about getting up and heading down to an already-prepared hot breakfast. When you’re a parent, it’s a great feeling because you didn’t have to make it; the only thing better is knowing you don’t have to clean up afterward.

Plus it can be a real money saver. A room with a breakfast buffet can be $20 – $30 more than a room without, but with five of us, we can’t get away with $20 for breakfast unless we’re all eating McDonald’s. And since I’m the only one in the family who likes it, that hasn’t happened in years. Breakfasts at a restaurant are usually in the $50 – $60 range, and the food is about as good as a Hampton Inn. So this is the best option by far.

Where are some of your favorite places to stay when you travel? Do you have a go-to hotel chain when you’re on the road? Or maybe even a particular hotel? Leave us a comment below or on our Facebook page.

Photo credit: Gamweb (Wikimedia Commons, Creative Commons)

About 

Erik Deckers is a travel writer, as well as a content marketer and book author. He is the co-author of Branding Yourself, No Bullshit Social Media, and The Owned Media Doctrine. Erik has been blogging since 1997, and has been a newspaper humor columnist for over 20 years

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