These four hotels take the guesswork of out planning a fun-filled summer trip thanks to built-in kid (and adult) activities, all for under $300 a night.
Why We Love It If three pools, including one with a 100-foot water slide, aren’t enough fun, take a free open-air tram through a 200-acre Mangrove Estuary, a protected ecosystem with native wildlife. Then you’ll arrive at the resort’s secluded white-sand beach, where you can rest on luxury chaise lounges, take a dip in the water or go kayaking. New-for-2017 kid activities include getting glitter tattoos (removable, of course) ($5), flying Frisbees ($10) and creating soda floats ($5). Later, stargaze by the fire pit while sipping cocktails from the lounge next door.
The Deal From $239 per night, the Best of Naples Grande package gets you a spacious room with double beds and a private balcony, plus $50 per night toward the spa, private golf club, dining, beach activities, kid activities, retail therapy, tennis-court access and more.
Why We Love It By day, drift along the lazy river, head down a 110-foot water slide or catch a wave on a surfing machine; come sunset, hang at the fire pit, listen to Scottish bagpipes and other live music, and sip drinks from Waltz & Weiser Whiskey Bar and Cantina. On Fridays, water activities stay open until 10 p.m., and there’s a poolside DJ, s’mores and party games. There’s also a kids’ club for ages 4 to 12, offering activities such as scavenger hunts, movies, soccer, tennis and more, starting at $35 per child for a half day and $75 for a full day. For $120, drop off two kids ages 4 to 12 at a hotel pajama party to play games, watch movies and eat dinner, while you and your partner use a $100 dining credit (with a minimum spend of $120) at Deseo, for Latin fare, or Nellie Cashman’s Monday Club Café, specializing in prime beef and cocktails.
The Deal The Big Chill package starts at $149 per night for a room for a family of four with a private balcony or terrace. You get a $50 daily dining credit to use at any of the resort’s seven dining options, or two free sessions to learn how to flowboard or bodyboard.
Why We Love It This new outpost of the Africa-themed resort chain recently expanded to become the country’s largest indoor water park. With water slides, a wave pool, a sprawling arcade, indoor mini golf and the finest toddler water-play area we’ve ever seen, it might seem like a paradise just for kids, but adults will enjoy the new swim-up bar, an indoor/outdoor spa and several hot tubs. When you’re ready to take a break from splashing around, there’s also a rope course and zip-line racing through trees nearby. Treat the winner of your family race to a decadent ice cream sundae from the Last Bite Candy & Ice Cream Shoppe.
The Deal The Family Safari Package hooks up a family of four with admission to the water park, plus a room with two queen beds and a full-size sofa sleeper for around $172 per night. Big family? Additional guests are just $25 per person, per night, which gets them into the water park too. The package includes one buffet breakfast for two adults and two kids 12 and under, and a $50 credit at the arcade.
Why We Love It This sleek hotel is walking distance from some of the Windy City’s most famous attractions. Millennium Park’s pedestrian BP Bridge offers breathtaking skyline views, while Magnificent Mile’s Navy Pier has a Ferris wheel, a children’s museum and Seadog cruises on the Chicago River. Wind down by swimming in the hotel’s rooftop pool (which also offers stunning views), strolling through its rooftop garden or enjoying afternoon tea service ($35 per person), with snacks at the lobby.
The Deal Even in the city, you can give your kid the feel of the great outdoors with the Kids Kamping Package. Starting at $279 per night for accommodations for two adults and two kids, a tent (that you can take home) can be set up for your little one in the room. The package also includes a coloring book, teddy bear, milk and cookies, a special chocolate treat, and a s’mores kit for use at the hotel’s fire pit on the third-floor terrace. It covers breakfast for the family at the hotel’s restaurant, Filini, and valet parking too.