Some hotels claim to be family-friendly, but then there are those that truly provide the options and amenities that families need to make traveling easier. The Residence Inn by Marriott is one of these.
We recently stayed at the downtown Seattle Residence Inn near Lake Union and found it to be a great fit for our family of five on the road. Residence Inns are designed for extended stays which means they have room for living, not just sleeping. But whether you are staying a week or just a weekend, this extra space and the hotel's features make them a great choice for families. Here were some of my family's favorites.
1. Family-sized space. This place has seriously spacious rooms. Our two-room suite easily fit our family of 5 and could have slept up to 8 if we had used the hideabed in the couch. Even if you aren't planning on staying for an extended time, this means the rooms have space for bags (and bags) of kid stuff, impromptu wrestling matches, dance parties, and board games on the floor. We also lucked out to get a room with a balcony, lounge chairs, and a sweet view of the Space Needle.
2. Eat-in-ability. We loved that each suite came with a fully-equipped kitchen. This means a full-sized fridge and stove, a dishwasher, dishes and appliances like a coffee machine. There is even free grocery delivery (groceries are charged to your room) as well as a small store in the lobby where you can buy snacks, pre-packages meals, wine and more. Whether you just want to save money, have kids that are "starving!" at odd hours, or a picky eater who must have his mac-n-cheese for lunch every day, the full kitchens are a great family-friendly feature.
3. Or let someone else cook! While it was nice to have the ability to cook food in our room, it was also wonderful that there was an included breakfast buffet. From yogurt, cereal and fruit to DIY waffles, eggs, and sausage, the buffet had lots of filling options to get us ready for a day of sightseeing. Monday through Wednesday there is also a nightly evening social with complimentary heavy appetizers like a potato bar, pulled pork sliders and grilled cheese and soup night, filling enough to even count as dinner for the kids.
4. A place to play. This Residence Inn had a newly added Wheelhouse Activity Room, a playroom stocked with games and activities for kids of all ages. There was a play kitchen, LEGOS, books and a train set for tiny travelers as well as Foosball and Xbox for the older kids. This was a great alternative to keep the kids entertained at the hotel without the TV.
5. Burn off some energy (for kids and parents!) One of my favorite techniques for ensuring well-behaved children during a museum visit or nice dinner out is to let them burn off some energy at the hotel pool beforehand. This Residence Inn had two pools - one larger pool for laps and playing and a smaller shallow pool that was perfect for littles. And just because I'm on vacation doesn't mean my workout routine can be. The newly redesigned gym helped me work off that nice dinner out and keep my sanity while traveling with three kids.
6. Get - and stay - clean. Traveling with kids means planning for the unexpected like that diaper blow-out, spaghetti dinner dump, or when the "just-your-feet-in-the-fountain" turns into a dripping wet toddler. Residence Inns offer a coin-operated laundry facilities to help keep your family clean and dry whether you're staying for a week or just a few days.
7. Adult-only relaxation. Traveling with three kids is awesome. And exhausting. Which is why my husband and I thoroughly enjoyed the Residence Inn's brand new Taproom serving local beers and wines. You can enjoy a drink in the 21+ lounge or take a bottle of wine or growler of beer to go like we did and enjoy it back in your room.
8. Place to get it done. There is already free, fast Wi-Fi through the hotel, but in addition, the Residence Inn offers a business center with computers and printers to keep you connected to work if you must be and the ability to print off tickets, itineraries or other travel documents.
9. Easy access for family-friendly activities. Both the street car and bus stop right outside the hotel for easy access to Pike's Place, the Space Needle and other Seattle sights. Inexpensive and fun for the kids, these mass transit options are good for the earth and prevent any parking hassles.
All in all, we were very impressed and found this Residence Inn to be a great option for our family travels. Click through to learn more about the downtown Seattle Residence Inn that we stayed at or other Residence Inns in your next vacation city.
What do you look for in a family-friendly hotel?
Momtrends was not paid for this post. We were provided with a two-night stay to facilitate the review.