· For rainy days: UK Novotels rolled out special toy chests for the rainy season earlier this year that include Hasbro toys such as My Little Ponies and Transformers along with boardgames and active games to tire the kids out. Don't worry, the hotel rooms also have the Cartoon Network on their TVs as well as video games.
· For the jet-setting family, always on holiday: A night at a St. Regis Hotel ain't cheap but at the St. Regis Bali it clearly was worth it for one family who spent weeks in a two-bedroom villa between Easter and Christmas. The family would settle in, sans the father, who, as a surgeon, travels a lot for work and would always arrive a few days later. The resort noticed the father's busy schedule and responded by creating personalized programs for the children and even, get this, arranging for their butler to dress up as the Easter Bunny and Santa Claus to deliver gifts!
· For the cultured kids: The Le Royal Monceau Paris has rolled out special workshops for kids led in French and English by professional artists that are timed to coincide with current exhibitions in the city. The first workshop on September 28th, for example, will look at the work of cubist Georges Braque as a major retrospective of his work opens at the Grand Palais, while the November 30th class focuses on Pablo Picasso just as the Picasso Museum reopens after two years of renovations. The program also includes culinary lessons, movie screenings, treasure hunts through the Louvre and pirate boat trips down the Seine. The hotel also partnered with tres chic children’s couture fashion line Bonpoint who are providing gifts for participating children, including a cuddly stuffed kitten named ‘Royal’ and skincare products for children.
· For the adventure seekers: The Atantis Resort in the Bahamas is a popular destination for families for a very good reason--there's a ton of things to do there. Read HotelChatter's ULTIMATE SURVIVAL GUIDE TO THE ATLANTIS RESORT for all that you need to know as well as tips on saving money and what's really worth seeing and what's not.
· For the homesick kids: Swissotel Chicago will completely redo their rooms to suit your picky children, outfitting the beds with themed bedspreads, stuffed animals and games, a kid-sized activity tableand even the bathroom is tricked out with themed bath toys and accessories. Kids will also get a Very Important Kid check-in and a folder filled with activity ideas. Rates for the kid-themed room start at around $350 a night.
· For when you don't want to travel with gear: The Soho Grand will have all the gear that you need from a car seat in your car service at the airport to a Maclaren Volo stroller, a crib and a diaper pail. Room rates begin at around $400 a night. The crib, stroller and diaper pail are all complimentary. All you have to do is simply request it upon booking. The hotel also has rollaway beds for older kids and the concierges are well-equipped with family-centric recommendations around town.
· For the Lego fanatic: If you're kid is going through a major Lego phase, then the Legoland Hotels in the UK and San Diego won't disappoint. We checked out the Legoland Hotel in California when it first opened and we were blown away by a hotel designed from a kids' perspective. There are bunk beds and TVs in the kid's section of the guestrooms as well as kid-height peepholes on the doors. In the bathrooms, there's a stool for kids to stand on so they can wash their hands and brush their teeth. There's also a kiddie potty lid built into the toilet so you won't have to hold them up every time they go, which (and we can't believe we're saying this) was a really nice touch. And of course, there are Legos, EVERYWHERE. Our fave, er our kid's fave, was the Lego pit in the lobby.
[Photos: Hard Rock Chicago, The Mark Hotel, Fairmont Hotels, UK Novotels, St. Regis, Le Royal Monceau and HotelChatter]