For families with three or more kids, taking a vacation can make you feel like misfits in a family-of-four world.
It can be frustrating when standard rooms at a hotel or resort allow a maximum of two adults and two kids per room, and the property offers no other options other than to spring for a second room. These rules are especially irksome if the kids are little and would happily snuggle up on one bed with Mom and Dad.
While most hotels and resorts offer adjoining rooms, this can be a pricey solution. Little kids can't stay in a hotel room alone so sleeping arrangements can get complicated.
Fortunately, there are good options for families of five or more if you know where to look.
All-Suite Hotel Chains
There are a number of all-suite hotel chains (also known as extended-stay hotels) out there, offering digs that are noticeably larger than a typical standard room and blessed with a better floorplan. Typically, you can expect separate sleeping and living areas, sometimes separated by a partition or a door. In the living area, there will be a pullout sofa and at minimum a small refrigerator, microwave, and sink.
While specific amenities vary from brand to brand, they typically offer families spacious digs and a convenient layout that can sleep up to 6 in a standard suite, with larger suites available for bigger families. Many, but not all, all-suite chains offer free breakfast and wi-fi, too.
Some of the best all-suite chains for families include:
- Hyatt House: Each suite is designed to be a home away from home, including one or two bedrooms separated by a door from the living space and—joy!—a full kitchen. Most locations offer grocery delivery service, too. All locations have a pool.
- Residence Inn: Studios have separate sleeping and living spaces. If you book a one- or two-bedroom suite there will be a door that separates the living area with a sofa bed. Perks include a full kitchen, laundry room, and free breakfast buffet. Most locations have a pool and a fitness area.
- Homewood Suites: Spacious suites (typically with a door separating the bedroom and living area) have full kitchens. Guests can take advantage of the free breakfast and evening social with snacks and drinks. Free wi-fi.
- Embassy Suites: Accommodations are two-room suites with a door that separates the bedroom from the living area with a pull-out couch. A fridge, microwave, and two TVs are standard. Free breakfast and evening reception with snacks and drinks at all locations. Many locations have a pool.
- SpringHill Suites: This Marriott brand offers suites with a partial wall separating the bedroom from a living area with a pull-out sofa, fridge, and microwave. All locations have a pool.
- Hyatt Place: Suites are like oversized hotel rooms including a sitting area with a sofa bed and a mini fridge. Free wi-fi.
- Comfort Suites: This budget-friendly choice offers suites that can accommodate up to six people (think oversized room with pullout couch). There's free breakfast and wi-fi, too.
- When searching for accommodation for five (or more), the most economical options will be those places where five people are allowed in a single guestroom, which may be perfectly adequate when kids are small.
- All-suite hotels and extended-stay properties are a notch up in pricing, but you get more space and a more convenient floorplan than a standard room. It's almost always cheaper than opting for two adjoining standard rooms or a suite in a typical hotel.
- If you need to book two adjoining rooms at a hotel or resort, look for a discount for the second room. Many places offer a discount of 50 percent for families.
- Theme park resorts such as Disney World and Universal Orlando offer all-suite properties among their hotel options.
- Families of five or more may also want to consider a vacation home rental where you get even more space and home-like features such as kitchens and laundry facilities. A short-term rental is often comparable to a mid-priced hotel. The trade-off is that there will be no restaurants or other services.
Edited by Suzanne Rowan Kelleher