When researching hotels for a family vacation, what do you look for? Most moms I talk to put price at the top if the list, but there are some “extras” in hotel stays that could be worth paying a higher price per room night. Here are five things you may want to look for:
The most important thing you are going to use that hotel room for on your family vacation is sleep, right? So if the beds at your hotel are uncomfortable, it doesn’t matter what you paid. Many hotel brands offer the same bedding across their brands, so if you are choosy about beds, find one or two you like and stick with them. Or go with a hotel that offers adjustable beds. The Hilton Garden Inn Carlsbad Beach has Garden Sleep System beds that allow you to make the bed firmer or softer to your liking.
Is it free? Paying $20 more for a hotel that offers free breakfast is likely a money saver. But check the quality, too. If your family expects a hot breakfast, a hotel that puts out cereal, yogurt and toast probably won’t cut it. If you choose a hotel that doesn’t offer a free breakfast, ask about packages where you can add breakfast into your room rate. The Holiday Inn Select Downtown in St. Louis, Missouri frequently offers packages that include a hot breakfast buffet that would cost $10 per person otherwise.
3. Spa treatments
When you search for a hotel room, do you grab the “Best Available Rate” in the listings on the hotel’s Web site without reading down through the package offerings? You could be missing out on a real steal for spa treatments for mom and dad. Many hotels with spas offer package deals that include a treatment with a room rate. The Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek often has room rates available that include spa treatments at the Guerlain spa in the adjacent Waldorf Astoria at steep discounts.
Could the transportation offered at your hotel save you the price of a rental car? Many hotels offer free shuttle service that goes above and beyond a simple airport trip. The Hilton Garden Inn Carlsbad Beach will shuttle your family to LEGOLAND, the Flower Fields, outlet malls and a myriad of local dining options for free, 24 hours a day.
5. Pools and playgrounds
If the hotel pool is part of your vacation plans, it may be worth a few dollars a night more to go from the basics to beautiful. The Wyndham Orlando Resort has a large resort-style pool (and a pool bar for mom and dad), as well as a nice outdoor dry playground, and it’s often priced competitively with discount hotel chains in the area.