Best Affordable Resorts for Families
10. Azul Sensatori Hotel, Riviera Maya, Mexico
This resort calls itself a "gourmet all-inclusive" and it's easy to see why. Not only are all your meals and drinks included, there's 24-hour room service should you care for a midnight snack, and the six restaurants have a la carte options instead of just one bland buffet. There's something to do for every age range -- the toy-stocked kids club appeals to tykes under five and rock climbing and trampolining are at the Breeze Teen Club for hard-to-please adolescents. Regroup together on the beach beds roomy enough for a family of four and then spread out at night inside a roomy ocean-view suite. The all-inclusive price is right, $152 per adult, per night, with children under age 13 staying, playing and eating free. Bonus: adults get a $100 credit towards a 50-minute massage at the Vassa spa.
9. Omni Mount Washington Resort, Bretton Woods, New Hampshire
Less than three hours from Boston and Portland, Maine, this 365-room historic haven has been a getaway for presidents and celebrities since 1902. People flock here looking for good old-fashioned R&R due to its low-key location near the White Mountain National Forest. Kids are VIPs here and receive a free backpack at check-in with a flashlight and a canteen. Plus, milk and cookies await in the room the first night. Tons of free fun is at your fingertips like the Barn Buddies Equestrian Program, where kids help groom Zeus, the resort's 3,100-pound Belgian Draft horse. Adrenaline-inducing hikes and moose tracking earn the reward of make-your-own root beer floats and ice cream sundaes. And in the evening, everyone can relax around the campfire, S'mores kit in hand, ready for a night of storytelling. The Omni's Fun-4-Summer package begins at $139 per night for a deluxe room and includes free breakfast for children under 12. Plus the fourth night is free with a three-night booking.
8. Renaissance Orlando at SeaWorld, Florida
Heading to Florida to check out Universal Orlando's new Wizarding World of Harry Potter? Book the Family Escape package at the nearby Renaissance Orlando at SeaWorld and kids 12 and younger eat free. An in-room movie night comes with a film, large pizza and two non-alcoholic drinks while cookie decorating classes and poolside games fill non-park days. The kids aren't the only ones that get treats. Adults are poured a free glass of Champagne or sparkling cider upon arrival and get a 10 percent discount at the spa. The hotel also makes getting to the parks a breeze by offering complimentary transportation to Universal, Discovery Cove, Aquatica, and, of course, SeaWorld. Prices begin at $109 (use rate code P50 when making a reservation).
7. The Embassy Suites Waikiki Beach Walk Hotel, Hawaii
This all-suite hotel is perfect for large families. Instead of holing up in a super-cramped one-room setup, the brood will get a two-room suite (privacy for mom and dad!) for the price of one. Free cooked-to-order breakfast is included daily, and with the money saved you can splurge on surf lessons on Waikiki Beach or head to the nearby Honolulu Zoo or Waikiki Aquarium. Rates start at $215 per night, a steal in this often-pricey state.
6. Fairmont Le Manoir Richelieu, Quebec
This summer, swashbucklers young and old can have fun with the Fairmont Le Manoir Richelieu's Pirates of the St-Lawrence River package. The castle-like building is perched atop Pointe-au-Pic in Quebec's picturesque Charlevoix region and overlooks the waterway once favored by river pirates. The package includes a treasure hunt, room, tennis or mini-golf, and an in-room family movie rental complete with popcorn and drinks (rum is BYOB). Rates start at $227 per night, plus a deal of 50% off on a second room or second night's stay.
5. Comfort Suites Paradise Island, Bahamas
At the Comfort Suites Paradise Island in the Bahamas, children 12 and under stay free with adults in a junior suite, play for free at the neighboring 141-acre Atlantis Aquaventure water park, and eat for free at local participating restaurants. Price is $299 per night and up to two kids are free, though you must book a two-night stay. Note: this package is very popular this summer, so book fast.
4. Grand Teton Lodge Company, Wyoming
The Grand Adventure package at the Grand Teton Lodge Company in Wyoming is a worry-free, four-night vacation. Nearly everything is taken care of in one price-accommodations in a lodge room, activities, and all meals. You'll be rafting on the Snake River, cruising on Jackson Lake, and hiking through the Grand Teton National Park. It's what summer is all about. The rate for two adults is $1,384 and kids 6 to 11 are $259 each, meaning a family of four pays from $1,902 for the entire stay.
3. Windham Hill Inn, Vermont
The Kids Time program at the Windham Hill Inn in southern Vermont is chock-full of activities for parents and kids alike. Horseback riding, kayaking, and nature tours dominate the day and dusk brings night treks in search of nocturnal wildlife plus marshmallow roasts, after-dinner movies, and story time. But don't come here looking for video games and computers (televisions are provided upon request for DVD playing only). Instead, this low-key resort is designed to give kids-and adults-a break from their tech-obsessed lives. Rates for Kids Time program begin at $315 per night per three-person family.
2. Kiawah Island Golf Resort, South Carolina
Outdoor-loving families should head to Kiawah Island Golf Resort, located on a 10,000-acre barrier island off the South Carolina coast. Nature appreciation is the focus here, whether it's taking part in the wildlife conservation program, collecting seashells on the 10 miles of beach, or bicycling on the trails. For just $205 per night, a family can comfortably stay in a one-bedroom villa.
1. Allegro Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic
Splash in the Caribbean Sea, relax by the pool or learn to dance merengue -- the options are endless at the all-inclusive Allegro Puerto Plata in the Dominican Republic. While children are busy living it up in the Kids Club, adults can sign up for the SCUBA diving clinic, snorkel, or head to the casino. Rates start at a mind-blowing $47 a night per person, and even better, two kids ages 12 and under can vacation free with one paying adult, an up to 40 percent savings.
Photo Credits: Fairmont Le Manoir; The Azul Sensatori Hotel; The Omni Bedford; The Renaissance Orlando; The Embassy Suites; Comfort Suites; Grand Teton; Allegro Puerto Plata; Windham; Kiawah Island.
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