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Resorts / Hotels for a Family of Five

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Photo ©  Teresa Plowright
Many families-- including my own-- have three (or more) kids, which can lead to frustrations when a hotel or resort allows a maximum of two adults and two kids per room. These rules are especially irksome if the kids are little and would happily snuggle up on one bed with Mom and Dad.

Most hotels and many resorts offer adjoining rooms, which may be a good -- if pricey -- solution with teenage kids. Little kids, however, can't stay in a room alone so sleeping arrangements get complicated.

Fortunately, many places do welcome families of five (or more.)

Chain Hotels

  • Embassy Suites: typically, a one-bedroom suite with two double beds and a pull out couch can sleep six and a two-bedroom suite with pull out couch can sleep up to eight. Kids under 18 stay free; two adults are included in the room price; additional adults incur extra costs. Price includes a major breakfast buffet for all the kids.
  • Homewood Suites by Hilton likewise offers suites and complimentary hot breakfasts. All units have fully-equipped kitchens, and suites can sleep up to six people.
  • Great Wolf Lodge resorts with indoor waterparks have all-suite guest rooms, including themed Wolf Den and other suites with a "room within a room" for kids.
  • Other chain hotels -- especially of the "Suites" variety -- can accommodate families of five: Staybridge Suites, for example, can handle five (or more) in 2-bedroom suites; Candlewood Suites has one-bedroom suites that accommodate four plus a baby using a crib. At Holiday Inn Sunspree Resorts some rooms have two double beds and a rollaway. This brand has properties in North America, Mexico, and in the Caribbean, where some resorts have all inclusive pricing.
A web site called Sixsuitcasetravel.com has a handy list of properties in each US state that can accommodate families of six.

Caribbean and Mexico All Inclusive Resorts

Sally Black -- founder of VacationKids travel agency, and a mother of three kids herself-- has a useful list at Vacationkids.com of "Family of Five" All Inclusive Resorts that sleep five or more.

In Mexico, there seems to be a trend for resorts to include extra-large units suited to extended families; many Mexican families like to take inter-generational vacations at all inclusive resorts.

Orlando

Many families will of course be interested in Orlando properties that can welcome three or more kids.

Disney World Resorts come in several types. The "Value" resorts don't accommodate five people, but a portable crib can be brought in for kids under three. Also, two connecting rooms can be booked and the price is still reasonable especially during promotions.

In the Moderate resort type, the Alligator Bayou section of Port Orleans-Riverside is the only resort that can sleep five (using a trundle bed.) Meanwhile, many of rooms in Disney World's Deluxe resorts' rooms will sleep five. Families can also stay in Deluxe Villas, which have suites with kitchens; these are Disney Vacation Club properties but can be rented by any visitors.

Also at Disney World -- and with all the perks of a Disney World resort-- is the giant Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground. Camping is surely the most economical way to stay on-property at Disney World. Families can also rent one of the "Fort Wilderness Homes" (trailers that look like cabins, and have full kitchens) which can sleep six.

Nickelodeon Family Suites: this fun place has two water parks and entertainment and games by Nickelodeon. A two-bedroom Kidsuite has king-size bed in one room, two twin beds (bunk beds or side by side) in a small second room, and a pull out sofa in the "family room". Larger 3-bedroom suites are available too.

In Orlando, families will also find all the brands of all-suites hotels noted above. And finally, vacation home rental is an excellent option for families visiting Orlando.

Europe

Families-of-five who want to vacation in Europe can find many choices if they look for places where European families like to holiday: places with large recreational properties and kids activities, such as Eurocamp and Center Parcs holiday villages. (See Europe Trips for Families.)

Also, the Sleeps5.com site lists properties in many parts of Europe that can sleep five or more.

Bottom Line

  • 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 all-suite all inclusive resorts are the next notch up in pricing, and the extra bedroom(s) are a big convenience with older kids.
  • Meanwhile, at resorts or hotels built with only a limited number of suites, rates can rise steeply for those units which will often be "luxury" level.
  • 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% for families.
  • The ages of your children can affect the room rate: in some places, kids up to age 18 stay free in parent's room, while at other places, the maximum age might be as low as 12.
  • Families of five or more may also want to consider Vacation Home Rental: families can get lots of space plus all the conveniences of home.
*Always check resort and hotel web sites for updates!
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