9 Kid-Friendly Hotels with Parent-Pampering Spas | The Expedition
eau palm beach spa

9 Kid-Friendly Hotels with Parent-Pampering Spas

It’s been a long (long) couple of years. And as the world opens up, a spa getaway is sounding pretty good. 

One challenge: The sorts of hotels and resorts that excel at massages, salt scrubs and yoga classes often aren’t the same ones that embrace children. But there are family-friendly hotels that offer kids’ clubs and outdoor activities as well as facials. 

At these nine getaways around the U.S., kids can enjoy falconry, tennis and swimming while adults chill out during a chakra alignment. From Maine to California, here are our picks for kid-perfect hotels that pamper parents, too. 

Terranea

Palos Verdes, California

Terranea resort pool

The Palos Verdes Peninsula is only a few dozen miles from both downtown Los Angeles and Disneyland, but its coastal bluffs and quiet coves feel light years away. Perched on the coast, Terranea offers a range of accommodations, including hotel rooms, villas, bungalows, and spacious private casitas with full kitchens and laundry facilities. There are nine dining spots and a wealth of activities—like a falconry program, archery, golf, and kayaking. For hikers, the Discovery Trail is filled with indigenous plants and wildlife. The main pool has a 140-foot water slide, splash pad, and poolside games. There’s also a show-stopping spa with 50,000 feet of indoor-outdoor space. Several signature treatments incorporate elements of the sea, such as seaweed oil and algae. Sauna, steam, plunge pools, and a gigantic salt-water swimming pool are perks. terranea.com

Eau Palm Beach Resort & Spa

Palm Beach, Florida

eau resort and spa beach

Set amidst tropical gardens and on a stretch of Atlantic beachfront, the Eau Palm Beach Resort & Spa is undeniably upscale, but has a playful vibe that’s on point for kids. Sign children 5 to 11 up for the AquaNuts kids’ club, which has a reef-style climbing wall, an explorable cave, a treasure chest filled with dress-up clothes and a big selection of craft supplies to encourage creative play. Tweens and teens can go to their own club, Coast. That gives you time to enjoy  Eau Spa, a grownup playground with water gardens, dipping pools, hanging chairs, and 19 treatment rooms where you can indulge in everything from custom body scrubs to a fruity body wrap with a quince mist cool down and a tangerine-fig butter massage. eaupalmbeach.com

Samoset Resort

Rockport, Maine

pool at samoset resort

Samoset is a traditional seaside resort where guests gather around the fire circle for s’mores after a game of corn hole toss or a twilight dip in the zero-entry pool. Shuffleboard, badminton, and croquet hark back to a time when life was just a tad simpler. Accommodations all include private outdoor space, some with views of the Penobscot Bay. The property serves a boat-to-table menu, including some of the creamiest New England clam chowder in Maine. Family activities emphasize the native marine environment, from dip net crabbing to coast-inspired arts and crafts. The intimate spa has indoor and outdoor relaxation areas and sea-inspired treatments such as a body polish with pink sea salt. samosetresort.com

Grand View Lodge

Brainerd, Minnesota

Grand View Lodge banana boat

This century-old family resort spans hundreds of acres among the woods and lakes of central Minnesota. There’s a grand old lodge, multi-bedroom log cabins, lakefront cottages and a boutique hotel. The focus here is on fresh air—in the summer, Grand View offers banana tube rides, paddle-boarding, swimming, and a seven-hole family golf course. In winter, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, skating, and horse-drawn carriages are the big draws. The spa consistently ranks as one of the best in the Midwest. Seasonal services include treatments that use local botanicals, as in the wildflower massage and the cherry blossom body exfoliation. grandviewlodge.com

Emerson Resort & Spa

Mt. Tremper, New York

junior suite at the Emerson Resort & Spa

Nestled in the Catskill Mountains just two hours north of New York City, Emerson Resort offers plenty of family-focused activities, such as guided nature walks and Mason jar terrarium workshops. On sunny days, you can swim in the pool and play the giant outdoor chess board before ending the day with a bonfire. If the weather isn’t cooperating, the hotel’s 60-foot tall kaleidoscope helps keep kids entertained. Adirondack-style Lodge building offers suites with two bedrooms and two bathrooms, complete with knotty-pine accents.  The 6,000 square-foot-spa emphasizes the mind-body-soul connection. Treatments include reiki therapy and chakra alignment along with standard massages, facials, and body wraps. Steam, sauna, and a hot tub extend the soothing. emersonresort.com

The Hotel Hershey

Hershey, Pennsylvania

Hotel Hershey in Hershey, PA

Candy-loving parents rejoice! Hershey is not only home to the eponymous maker of foil-wrapped Kisses, but an actual Chocolate Spa. Its menu features chocolate-infused treatments such as a whipped cocoa bath, a chocolate hydrating wrap, and even a cocoa facial. The grand-dame Hotel Hershey itself sits on a hilltop near Hersheypark amusement complex and is—appropriately—decorated with touches of chocolate brown. Gardens and playgrounds are woven throughout the property, and children are treated like VIPs from the get-go with their own special check-in. An aquatic complex with a pool, basketball, croquet, bocce, and tennis are a few of the many recreational possibilities. The hotel frequently runs promotions where kids stay, eat, and visit Hersheypark for free, so keep an eye out. thehotelhershey.com

Ocean House

Watch Hill, Rhode Island

Ocean House Resort Rhode Island Exterior

Ocean House is located on an Atlantic beach fringed with dune grass and circled by seabirds, and blends family-friendliness with New England elegance. Guest rooms and suites feature four-poster beds, lots of white and blue, and deep soaking tubs. Art is a pivotal part of the experience. The blue-chip collection includes Ludwig Bemelmans original illustrations from his Madeline book series. Activities include surf lessons, croquet clinics, and the supervised kids’ program, Sand Castles. After an afternoon at the beach, head to the nearby village of Watch Hill for a ride on the nation’s oldest flying-horse carousel and some ice cream. The 12,000-square-foot OH! Spa is one of the best on the East Coast. Treatments incorporate ingredients harvested from land and sea, such as lotion made with beach rose petals and sea salt scrubs. The Relaxation Room has breathtaking ocean views, and there’s even an indoor lap pool. oceanhouseri.com

Grand America

Salt Lake City, Utah

Case of colorful pastries at the Grand America Hotel
The pastry shop at the Grand America Hotel in Salt Lake City.

Salt Lake City enjoys a combination of urban attractions and easy access to nature. It’s home to a trifecta of kid-perfect attractions: the interactive Discovery Gateway Children’s Museum, the Natural History Museum of Utah, and the Clark Planetarium. Located in a downtown high-rise filled with crystal chandeliers, Flemish tapestries, and Tuscan marble, the Grand America Hotel feels like a fine European hotel. The Families First program welcomes children with complimentary strollers, bottle warmers, baby tubs and more.  Bigger kids are given age-appropriate games and toys, plus bedtime cookies and milk. There’s an indoor and outdoor pool, onsite toy store with interactive play centers, and a pastry shop selling sweet temptations. The refined Grand Spa is the only one in the city to have earned a Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star Spa Award. Treatments include traditional facials and massages as well as ones using CBD-infused oils and creams. The steam room, sauna, and a 17-head shower don’t disappoint. grandamerica.com

Stoweflake Mountain Resort & Spa

Stowe, Vermont

Stoweflake Resort Balloon festival
The Hot Air Balloon Festival at Stoweflake Mountain Resort & Spa.

Soaked in Green Mountain scenery, Stoweflake is a family-owned resort with spacious guest rooms and townhouses with full kitchens. While Stowe is known for its skiing, it has become an all-season resort, with a nine-hole golf course, tennis, an indoor pool, and a year-round outdoor pool. The Stowe Recreational Path cuts through the property, allowing families to walk, bike, blade, or cross-country ski; each July, the hotel hosts a hot air balloon festival that should impress even jaded teens. Stoweflake’s spa consistently appears on top-10 lists. It’s a soothing world of saunas with mountain views, crackling fireplaces, and a water therapy solarium with a waterfall and mineral-infused soaking pool. A meditative garden with a labyrinth path and water sounds is a sensory treat. Several treatments feature local ingredients, including Vermont maple products, honey, and rose petals. stoweflake.com

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Allison Tibaldi is a travel journalist who has written for numerous publications including CNN, Business Insider, Travel Channel, and USA Today.

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