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Jennifer Miner

Pacific Palisades, California

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Craftsman Inn Fayetteville

7300 E. Genesee Street, Fayetteville (New York), New York

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  • Tweens (9-12)
  • Teens (13+)

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$127

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Visited: 2012-11-01 | Submitted: 2013-01-24 22:42:19.0 | I traveled with tweens (9-12) and teens (13+)

Once cozy and homey, now in serious need of rehab.

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We have stayed at the Craftsman Inn every Thanksgiving for 10 years. It is the closest lodging to my relative's small house where we celebrate Thanksgiving. A decade ago, we loved the Craftsman Inn. Its Stickley furniture, overstuffed armchairs near crackling fireplaces, russet and autumn tones really made this a cozy delight, like a home away from home. Ten years later, though, and the wear and tear is more than evident; it's in dire need of refurbishment. They stopped serving pastries with coffee in the lounge for breakfast so families need to eat next door. The carpets are paper-thin in places. There was no one at the front desk to greet us (or to screen guests) several times. The bedding smells musty. I really wish that the Craftsman Inn could invest in staff training and replace all the furniture. It used to be so wonderful.

Tips for Families

The restaurant next door, The Limestone Grille, is still pretty great for a small town restaurant. We eat there a couple of times every November, and there are a wide range of child-friendly menu options.

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Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel

One Ritz Carlton Drive, Dana Point, California

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KID-FRIENDLY AMENITIES

  • Connecting rooms
  • Rollaway beds available
  • Kids stay free
  • Can accommodate large families
  • Pet friendly
  • Babysitting
  • On-site restaurant(s)
  • Kids' menu in restaurant
  • Refrigerator in room
  • On-site convenience store


Average user rating (3 Reviews)

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My ratings by kids age

  • Big kids (6-8)
  • Tweens (9-12)

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$395

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Visited: 2010-06-01 | Submitted: 2013-01-24 22:17:03.0 | I traveled with big kids (6-8) and tweens (9-12)

The Ritz comes through again; this luxury hotel is great for high-end family travel.

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We've all heard of Ritz-Carlton, and this hotel is a terrific example of how the brand manages to create opulence and luxury without alienating families with little children. Everything is top-rated here, but of especially of note at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Laguna Niguel in Dana Point is that it's one of the Ritz hotels that got rid of its "Ritz Kidz" children's clubs (read: glorified day care)and replaced with with a branch of Jean-Michel Cousteau's Ambassadors of the Environment. The Ambassadors of the Environment program here provides hands-on education regarding local sea life, flora and fauna in appropriate and interesting ways for kids of all ages. My children went on a walking tour of the gardens with a botanist, and went on a whale watch with an affiliated tour guide. They saw lots of dolphins up close, and a giant great blue whale as it slowly swam near the catamaran. If you take your family to the Ritz-Carlton here, be sure to sign your kids up for at least a 1/2 day with Ambassadors of the Environment. They'll love it.

Tips for Families

Be sure to request a room with an ocean view. The "garden" views get shady pretty early in the afternoon. Also, this hotel is not literally on the beach, it's up a palisade so there's a few minute's walk to get to the actual shoreline.

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Homewood Suites Airport West Miami

3590 Nw 74Th Avenue, Miami, Florida

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KID-FRIENDLY AMENITIES

  • Sleeper sofa
  • Can accommodate large families
  • On-site restaurant(s)
  • Refrigerator in room
  • Microwave in room
  • Kitchenette or kitchen in room
  • Complimentary breakfast
  • Highchairs available
  • Outdoor pool


Average user rating (1 Reviews)

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My ratings by kids age

  • Tweens (9-12)

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$89

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Visited: 2011-01-01 | Submitted: 2013-01-24 17:31:11.0 | I traveled with tweens (9-12)

A decent and budget-friendly airport hotel

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All Homewood Suites hotels have full kitchens, and this one is no exception. Full kitchens are a Godsend for families traveling with little kids; who wants to pay $50 for a breakfast buffet or room service when all your kid wants is a bowl of Frosted Flakes? On the other hand, Homewood Suites Airport West in Miami also has a complimentary full breakfast on the main floor, too. I can't imagine staying at this hotel for a leisure vacation, as it is essentially an airport hotel. Consider this a really nice layover hotel (we stayed here during a pitstop heading home from Latin America). It is clean, very affordable (especially if you use Hilton Hhonors hotel points) and safe, but it is what it is: an airport hotel. Free shuttle service to Miami Airport.

Tips for Families

The hotel is a little off the main road, so pay attention to your GS to find it. Also, don't be shy about nagging the staff to get you your airport shuttle on time.

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Hotel Monaco Portland

506 S.W. Washington at 5th Avenue, Portland, Oregon

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KID-FRIENDLY AMENITIES

  • Connecting rooms
  • Rollaway beds available
  • Pet friendly
  • Babysitting
  • Cribs (infant beds) available
  • Video game system in room


Average user rating (22 Reviews)

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My ratings by kids age

  • Tweens (9-12)

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$104

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Visited: 2010-08-01 | Submitted: 2013-01-24 17:13:05.0 | I traveled with tweens (9-12)

Kid-friendly in the heart of downtown Portland, OR

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A kiddie care package waits in your room upon arrival, one best suited for small children (it contains some crayons, a coloring book, that sort of thing). The Monaco is very COLORFUL, the design is bright and festive throughout. A kiddie menu for room service and dining provides healthier options that the usual hot dog/burger and chips. This is a Kimpton hotel and like all Kimptons, it's exceptionally dog-friendly; there are water bowls and treats in the lobby and main sitting lounge, and a dog-shaped blackboard in the foyer welcomes all guest dogs by name. The Hotel Monaco in Portland suits Portland to a tee, as its is a little quirky, a little funky, and very, very friendly to everyone.

Tips for Families

Here's a tip! If you request a pet fish for your stay, a goldfish in a bowl will be delivered to your room. Kids love this. And the hotel staff will change the water for you.

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Grand Wailea Resort

3850 Wailea Alanui Drive, Wailea, Hawaii

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KID-FRIENDLY AMENITIES

  • Rollaway beds available
  • Kids stay free
  • Smoke-free property
  • Babysitting
  • Kids' club
  • On-site restaurant(s)
  • Refrigerator in room
  • Microwave in room
  • Cribs (infant beds) available
  • Outdoor pool


Average user rating (8 Reviews)

My overall rating

My ratings by kids age

  • Tweens (9-12)
  • Teens (13+)

My detailed rating

  • Cleanliness
  • Customer Service
  • Comfort
  • Location
  • Value
  • Pool
  • On-site/nearby restaurants
  • Other kids' amenities

From

$315

avg/night

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Visited: 2013-01-01 | Submitted: 2013-01-23 18:50:37.0 | I traveled with tweens (9-12) and teens (13+)

Hawaiian Fantasy Land for Children

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This is the best luxury resort in Maui for kids of all ages. No hyperbole! This is due to its water features. The Grand Wailea has a massive 25,700 square feet of pool space for kids; this includes a lot of water slides, "lazy river,' "rapids," a water elevator, and a Tarzan-style rope swing. Thankfully, there's also a separate adults-only pool, and a shallow toddler-specific area as well. A few feet away, the Pacific Ocean laps up against Wailea Beach with gentle surf, and reefs just offshore for fantastic snorkeling opportunities.

Tips for Families

Pool service waiters wil try to sell you a giant reusable mug, shaped like either a tiki statue ora pineapple. I'd pass on this; it will be the same price to refill as it is to buy a new Lava Flow, just twice as much. No one needs 28 oz of Lava Flow or Pina Colada in one sitting.


My detailed rating

Cleanliness
Value
Customer Service
Pool
Comfort
On-site/nearby restaurants
Location
Other kids' amenities

Suggestions for nearby family-friendly attractions

It's a five-minute walk from the resort property to the Shops at Wailea.

Suggestions for nearby family-friendly restaurants

The Shops at Wailea have a good assortment of family-friendly restaurants.

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