Traveling vs. Vacationing. Is there a difference?
To me, there absolutely is! Traveling is fully experiencing a new place: taking in the culture, local foods, even roughing it a bit if you have to.
But vacationing? Vacations are all about relaxation.
It’s no secret that we love ourselves a good Airbnb. But sometimes when we want a true vacation, an Airbnb just won’t suffice. Whether we’re looking for extra service or on-site amenities, staying at the perfect hotel can quite literally make the vacation.
So I won’t lie, there are a few luxury hotels in the US I’ve had my eye on for a future family trip. And when the time is right, we’ll jump at the chance to stay at one of these luxury family hotels that are definitely worth splurging for!
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Indian Springs Resort & Spa | Calistoga, CA
Wine country with kids? Absolutely!
Indian Springs Resort offers private bungalows and cottages for your stay, so you’ll have that extra space, plus all the luxury that comes with staying at a resort hotel. The casual setting is great for families who want a stress-free, easy-going vacation: outdoor activities include a bocce ball court, giant checkerboard, walking paths, and an Olympic-size spring-fed swimming pool.
Just steps to downtown Calistoga, this hotel is the perfect place to explore the rest of Napa Valley from.
Read More: Tips for Visiting Napa & Sonoma with Kids
Fontainebleau Miami Beach | Miami, FL
Fontainebleau’s sprawling Miami Beach hotel has something for everyone. So while it may be the spot for A-List nightlife, it’s also a great place to take the family!
Geared towards kids ages 4-12, Fontainebleau offers a kids club supervised by “Adventure Guides” that offer a wide range of daily activities to keep kids busy while adults relax. On Fridays and Saturdays, they even offer a “Kids Night Out”, so the parents can indulge in one of the hotel’s 3 fine dining restaurants.
The Ritz-Carlton Chicago | Chicago, IL
The only luxury hotel chain on this list, the Ritz-Carlton deserves an extra special nod for its exceptional family-friendliness! Children at the Ritz will receive a “red wagon welcome”, where they can pick a toy of their choosing to take home as a souvenir. Not only that, but a candy cart swings by daily to make deliveries as well! Kid-sized robes and daily cookie baking sessions with the on-site chef round out a complete family experience.
Read More: A First Timers’ Trip to Chicago
The Gant | Aspen, CO
Families will feel right at home in the luxury digs of Aspen’s only full-service condominium resort. Full kitchens mean you’ll have more flexibility with eating in, though downtown Aspen is a walkable distance away. Luxury amenities to make your stay extra enjoyable include grocery and liquor delivery, complimentary in-town shuttle service, and daily housekeeping and dishwashing.
Nearby skiing, family-friendly nightlife, outdoor adventure activities and two heated pools mean you’ll never get bored at this luxury property!
Novotel New York Times Square | New York, NY
For families looking to be right in the action in New York City, the Novotel in Times Square is the perfect place to rest your head at night. At this family-friendly hotel where children stay free, family rooms are generous in size (by NYC standards), and baby gear like cribs and bottle warmers can be loaned from the hotel.
Also great for families is the on-site children’s play area, wrap-around terrace overlooking Times Square (so you can feel that NYC magic without actually having to be in it), an on-site restaurant, and quick access to public transportation.
Read More: New York City for the Holidays
Terranea | Rancho Palos Verde, CA
Terranea boasts itself as being Los Angeles’ only oceanfront resort. And while it’s a little removed from Hollywood, it’s surely worth the journey to stay at this ultra-luxury family hotel in sunny Southern California.
8 dining options on-site, suite-style rooms, and a pool just for families all make this a great place to stay with kids. In-between sightseeing around LA, outdoor activities abound at Terranea, including surfing lessons, tide pooling, guided hikes and horseback riding.
Silverado Lodge at the Canyons | Park City, UT
We loved Park City, and looking at all that Silverado Lodge has to offer has us itching to go back!
Like many other luxury family hotels on this list, Silverado Lodge offers home-style amenities like a washer and dryer, full kitchen and covered decks, with the added luxury of a hotel with it’s heated outdoor pool, hot tub, on-site bistro and shuttle service to and from town. If you want to do some cooking “at home”, the staff can also arrange to have your kitchen fully stocked before arrival (bonus!).
Read More: A Fall Weekend in Park City, UT
Grand Geneva Resort & Spa | Lake Geneva, WI
If you’re looking for a vacation destination the kids might just love more than you, check out the Grand Geneva Resort & Spa. I’ll be honest, Wisconsin was not on my list of places to go until I saw this resort.
A giant indoor waterpark, arcade, cinema, and nearby ski mountain will keep the kids busy, but that’s just getting started with what there is to do in the area. You can also tour the historic downtown of nearby Lake Geneva, take in a hot air balloon ride or opt for a lake cruise, before retreating back to the 1300 acre resort at night.
Kahala Resort | Honolulu, HI
Removed from the hustle and bustle of Waikiki, Kahala Resort is a luxury paradise for families. The Keiki Club (for kids aged 5-12) offers an amazing array of activities for young adventurers, from hermit crab racing and arts and crafts to learning about Hawaiian legends and culture.
Parents will also appreciate several on-site dining options, poolside food and beverage service, and a private beach with cabanas.
Read More: Travel Guide: Honolulu
Harborview Nantucket | Nantucket, MA
If an east coast beach vacation is more in your favor, Harborview Nantucket may be the ideal luxury hotel for your family. Rentals vary in size, but not in style, so there’s sure to be something for just about every family’s budget. On this small, exclusive property, each rental boasts beach access and a full kitchen!
Nantucket is a classic family destination, so there are plenty of services on the island to make your trip go even smoother! Pack light and rent when you arrive from Petite Travelers, Nantucket’s baby and beach gear rental company. Then take advantage of Nannytucket‘s babysitting services for a night out without the kids.
Which of these luxury family hotels is calling your name?