15 Coolest Kid-Friendly Hotels Around the World
Anyone can stay in a hotel that boasts a swimming pool and kids' activities—but there are other hotels that offer even more. Read on to learn about these super-cool places to spend the night.
Sleep in a tree house
At Chewton Glen, a five-star luxury country house hotel on the edge of the ancient New Forest in Hampshire, not only are you just a few minutes’ walk from the sea, you can also book a stay in one of their glam Treehouse Suites, each built high above a secluded valley and suspended 35 feet above ground. The Yews, their newest and most secluded Treehouse Suite, is made for family travel, sleeping up to 14 people, offers curated picnic baskets, and boasts a children’s nook filled with storybooks. You’ll want to add these 50+ hotels with amazing views to your bucket list, too.
Imagine life in this former convent
Built on the site of the 16th century San Agustin convent, in a historically protected area within the city of Cusco, Peru, the five-star JW Marriott El Convento Cusco is a museum within itself. Consider this: The hotel, located a short train ride away from Machu Picchu, has preserved the building’s original colonial arches, exposed pre-Inca walls in some of the guest rooms and suites, and archeological exhibition areas in subterranean levels of the property, including ruins where rumor has it a real mummy was found. The mummy of a former nun? We’ll never know.
Fall asleep in a floating villa
Can you imagine anything better than getting out of bed and sliding directly from your water villa into the ocean at Soneva Jani in the Maldives, an island nation located southwest of India and Sri Lanka in the Indian Ocean? Catering to families, this tropical resort is a collection of villas floating on the sea, which is ideal in The Maldives, the lowest country in the world. Kids will love the hammocks, open-air cinemas, and ice cream parlor, while parents and grandparents won’t complain about spending the day floating in the water or relaxing in the sun.
Visualize Julia Child in her kitchen
If your kids can’t wait to watch MasterChef Junior every season, La Pitchoune or ‘La Peetch‘ in Provence, France, is the ultimate getaway. This hotel, just 35 minutes from Nice, is the former summer home of Paul and Julia Child for nearly three decades. It’s perfect for families thanks to its lush terraced gardens including a veggie garden, flower garden, herb garden and fruit trees where kids can seek out citrus, beans, peas and more, a gated saltwater pool, surrounded by olive trees and flowers, and finally: Kids can visit the famous kitchen once used by Julia Child herself!
Sleep in a former train car
Thomas the Tank Engine aficionados will go bananas over the rooms at the Crowne Plaza at Historic Union Station. Located in the heart of downtown Indianapolis, this hotel is built within what was once the world’s first-ever Union Station where Thomas Edison once worked (but was later fired). Guests staying here can opt to overnight in up to 26 original Pullman train cars (each car is named after such figures as Charlie Chaplin and Louis Armstrong) transformed into luxe suites—on their original tracks. Additionally, there are white “ghost people” structures throughout the hotel that show what life was like during Union Station days. Discover the most luxurious train rides around the world.
Experience life in a canal house
Head straight to the Pulitzer Amsterdam to experience life in 25 interconnected canal houses. Imagine the fun your kids will have in this winding adventure of hallways leading from one house to the next. Ask to stay in the Family Suite, set on the top floors, which boasts picturesque canal views, two bathrooms, and a dining area to ensure that families find comfort and space throughout their entire stay. The child-friendly rooms in this Dutch beauty embellish original features alongside contemporary design, taking inspiration from the history of the canal houses, which form much of the city’s DNA and hold within them many tales and layers of discovery. The hotel’s eclectic design and private inner garden with swings for travelers of all ages just adds to this playful environment.
Immerse yourself in games
Ever wondered what it would be like to sleep in a field house? Such is the exact experience you’ll get at FieldHouse Jones in Chicago. Inspired by the many field houses throughout Chicago’s diverse neighborhoods that provide a place for the community to come together, the hotel offers vintage slot car tracks, the largest in Illinois, in addition to other games, including foosball, air hockey, ping pong, and a bevy of board and card games. Additionally, kid travelers get to experience an interactive scavenger hunt that provides an opportunity for them to explore the hotel and all its artistic, vintage and sports-themed finds. Lastly, the hotel offers apartment style rooms with multiple rooms, bunk beds, and a common space and kitchenette for traveling groups to gather in their downtime.
A vintage trailer park hotel? Yes please!
At The Vintages Trailer Resort in Dayton, Oregon, guests stay in one of 31 refurbished trailers (think vintage Airstream) and while you’re there, settle in for lawn games, dips in the pool or hot tubs, or just go for a cruiser bike ride around the vineyards nearby. Here are some of the best value hotels in America.
Want to stay in a former jail? You can—in Boston
Located at the foot of Beacon Hill, The Liberty Hotel is steps away from outdoor fun on the Esplanade and posh shopping boutiques along Charles Street but it’s also an imaginative transformation of the storied Charles Street Jail. Built in 1851 and a working jail until 1990, the Charles Street Jail once housed Malcolm X and is now a national historic landmark. Your kids will have a ball exploring the now-luxe hotel, including the original jail bars and Catwalk rotundas (common areas that ring the lobby).
Celebrate Christmas all year ’round
At The Inn at Christmas Place in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, it’s Christmas all year-round. The hotel features daily character appearances from June to December in addition to regular story time and song-singing with Santa. Don’t forget to make time for breakfast here which features made-to-order omelets, Belgian waffles, biscuits and gravy, and much more. Check out these other unique hotels around the world.
Overnight at a tiny Bavarian house
At Leavenworth Tiny House Village, located at Leavenworth RV Resort in Leavenworth, Washington, the five tiny houses each come with their own unique Bavarian theme and décor and are rented out as “glamping”-style vacation rentals. Kids will love exploring the 300 acres of forests and meadows and kayaking or paddle boating on Alpine Trout Lake and Otter Pond, both located on the preserve, are big draws, too. These are the other American cities that could pass for European.
Experience a wooly wonderland at a former sheep processing plant
The Singular Patagonia is a 57-room luxury hotel built out of a former sheep processing plant in Chilean Patagonia. It was built in a 100-year-old and landmarked circa 1915 cold storage plant that was resurrected by fourth generation family members of the original pioneers who built the factory and settled the area in the late 1800s. Kids will love staying in a hotel where the history of Patagonia took shape.
Sleep in a pyramid
Located inside a 32-story steel Pyramid, Big Cypress Lodge in Memphis, Tennessee is a quirky wilderness-inspired hotel that brings the spirit of the great outdoors inside with 103 rustic-elegant guest rooms and suites that resemble vintage cabins. Additional only-here spaces inside the 535,000-square-foot Pyramid include a fantastical Cypress Swamp environment on the ground floor featuring 100-foot-tall replica cypress trees, ponds, and aquariums teeming with fish and an old-fashioned general store; two restaurants including one at the Pyramid’s top level that offers glass observation decks; an underwater-themed bowling alley and shipwreck bar; an archery range; and the country’s tallest freestanding elevator.
Tap into your inner caveman
At the Gamirasu Hotel in Turkey, a hotel that opened in 1999, guests get to stay in one of 35 meticulously restored and designed cave rooms. Located near Urgup, the hotel, which was used as a monastic retreat in the Byzantine Era, offers a surprisingly beautiful step into nature, peace and contemporary comfort as well as a once-in-a-lifetime chance to sleep in an actual cave.
Pass the mess kits at this former army barracks-turned-hotel
The Inn at Diamond Cove in Portland, Maine is an undiscovered gem—a hotel built within what was formerly an army barracks housing 200 soldiers. Located on Great Diamond Island, a 30-minute ferry ride from Portland, families will love spending their vacation running, walking or biking on miles of trails and island roads—and imagining what it would have been like to be a soldier stationed here. Next, check out these other strange hotels you can stay in.