When we go to book a hotel for a family vacation, we always look for three things:
We recently chose the Radisson Suites Hotel Buena Park when we went to southern California because it offered all three of those amenities (plus more!).
The 500-square-foot suite included a living room/kitchen area with a pull-out sofa, dining room table, microwave, and sink. In the back, there was a spacious room with two double beds, another television, and an adjoining bathroom with a sliding door. Suite style rooms are ideal for us because we can put our daughter to bed in the room and then come out and watch a movie, talk, eat dessert, etc. In a "normal" room, we would have to either keep our daughter up late and all go to bed at the same time or we would have to put her to bed and then talk really quietly with all of the lights off. Not very intimate or relaxing, to say the least. Needless to say, we do our very best to avoid "normal" hotels...even if suite-style hotels cost a tad bit more.
Radisson Suites Buena Park also offers a complete complimentary hot breakfast with eggs, sausage and bacon, and potatoes. Fresh fruits, bagels,pastries, coffee, and juices were also available. The food wasn't gourmet, but it WAS free, convenient, and satisfactory. My husband and I appreciate hotels that offer complimentary breakfasts not only because they are a great money-saver, but also because it's so nice to just be able to walk downstairs. We could even leave our daughter in her PJ's!
Finally, the Radisson Suites Buena Park has a large pool, a jacuzzi, an on-site restaurant, and a shuttle service to-and-from Disneyland, Knott's Berry Farm, and nearby malls. The hotel also offers complimentary wireless internet (shouldn't every hotel offer that?).
Although our stay was fantastic, here are two things that I think RS Buena Park can do better:
1. Make room service a little more affordable. Macaroni and Cheese off of the Kids Menu really shouldn't be $8. It was delicious, but still...
2. Offer a special treat for kids upon check-in - a toy, a snack, a coloring book and crayons, etc. I promise parents will think you are positively awesome.
In sum, we had a very enjoyable stay at the Radisson Suites Buena Park hotel. It is a family-friendly and affordable option for your next stay in Southern California. I know we'll definitely consider staying at the RS Buena Park next time we're in the area (and, actually, we'll Google Radisson Suites no matter where we go next...).
Nightly summer rates appear to range between $150-$200/night.
YOUR TURN: What is your favorite "family-friendly" hotel chain?
We're booked for the Holiday Inn ... it's just a lay-over stop during a long road trip but it was rated one of the better ones for families. Free breakfast and a pool was all I cared about so that my girls are taken care of (and tired and full).
We were in San Diego last Christmas and stayed at the Residence Inn by Marriott and all I can say is WOW!!! We booked 3 suites for all of us (my parents, my in-laws, my sister-in-law and her BF, and my husband and I and the baby) and we had SO MUCH ROOM! One of the suites had an upstairs loft...it was like being in a suite but so much nicer....
We've done both the suite thing and the regular room thing. The suite is DEFINITELY worth the money! It was the Radisson we were quite impressed with, as well. The Sleep Number bed was fun for hubby and me to figure out, they provided a crib for Blondie, and it made our stay that much more relaxing and fun. I haven't stayed in the Sheraton Hotels suites, but we enjoyed our pre-kid stays with them in the regular rooms, so I'd like to check that one out too.
Traveling with six kids could be a problem. But, when we could, we always looked for a suite style room. We stayed in Radisson Suites and would recommend them to anyone, especially families!
We've yet to stay in a hotel with child in tow. For some reason we almost did and I was looking for a suite situation. I couldn't imagine how in the world it would work otherwise. I'm with you - whispering in the dark just doesn't make for a great vacation! I remember growing up we yearly made 2 day driving trips to visit family or friends and a prerequisite of any hotel we spent the travel night in was a pool. It was beyond disappointing if there wasn't a pool.
We love Hampton Inn & Suites. The beds, bedding and pillows are heavenly, they get a port-a-crib set up in our room ahead of time, they have "child-proofed" for us ahead of time (removed glass top end tables with sharp corners and provided outlet covers), have free (DELICIOUS) cookies at the front desk and fruit in the breakfast area whenever you want it, complimentary breakfast, pool, fitness center, shuttle service, internet service and nice bathrooms. We also love using suites for the same reasons you mentioned while traveling with a child.