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Six kid-friendly hotels and resorts

Lodgings that go above and beyond to make kids feel like VIPs

Travelling with the kids is great, but it’s not always fun for them if the accommodations were designed just with grown-ups in mind. Here are six hotels and resorts that put children first, with family-pleasing attractions that’ll keep everyone amused.

1. Arenas del Mar Beachfront & Rainforest Resort, Quepos, Costa Rica

Arenas del Mar makes it easy for families to enjoy Costa Rica’s famous biodiversity. The resort sits on a private nature reserve, and it’s close to Manuel Antonio National Park – home to hundreds of species of birds and mammals, including sloths and monkeys (which like to wander the resort grounds). Popular activities on-site or nearby include kayaking, surfing, canopy zip-lining, boat excursions, horseback riding and hiking in the rainforest. Relax on secluded Playitas Beach, accessible to guests only, or swim in the resort’s two pools. Both resort restaurants offer children’s menus.

2. Great Wolf Lodge, Niagara Falls

Families love this huge water park resort, south of Toronto on the falls’ Canadian side. From the moment you arrive, it’s pretty much nonstop fun. In addition to Great Wolf’s thrilling, elaborate water park, you’ll find plenty of activities to keep your little cubs busy: cool attractions, musical shows, character meet-and-greets, mini golf, arts and crafts, story time, delicious dining, a kids’ spa, family yoga classes…

3. Fairmont Le Château Frontenac, Quebec City

This enormous castle-like hotel overlooks Old Quebec and the St. Lawrence River. A visit here feels like a trip to France, thanks to the elegant decor, historic neighbourhood (the Plains of Abraham are a short walk south) and nearby patisseries and crêperies. Kid-friendly features include an indoor wading pool, a swimming pool with water toys, child-size bathrobes, cribs, connected rooms and child care. This grand hotel celebrates its 125th anniversary in 2018. Ask about the Family Moments Package: before April 30, 2018, you can book a second room (for kids 18 and under) at half-price, for accommodations until August 31, 2018. Children ages 6 to 11 get 50% off the regular menu, and kids under five eat for free from the kids’ menu.

4. Four Seasons Resort Lanai, Lanai, Hawaii

Lanai is a fabulous family destination, and kids will feel extra-special at the Four Seasons. In addition to beach games, swimming and snorkelling, the resort offers a complimentary Kids for All Seasons program for children ages 5 to 12, which encourages young guests to explore the island’s environment and culture. Activities include visiting tide pools, arts and crafts, Hawaiian games, lei-making, stargazing, theme nights and more. The resort’s other kid-friendly touches: child-size bathrobes, beach and pool toys, kids’ menus, in-room baby-proofing, Pack ’n’ Plays, and complimentary baby and children’s toiletries.

5. LEGOLAND California Resort, Carlsbad, California

If your kids love LEGO (and what kid doesn’t?), wow them with this colourful hotel at LEGOLAND California. Once you’ve unpacked in your themed room (choose Pirate, Kingdom, Adventure, LEGO Friends or LEGO NINJAGO), explore the hotel’s interactive LEGO features, activities and pool. Fuel up with a free buffet breakfast at Bricks Family Restaurant, then explore LEGOLAND’s 60-plus attractions, rides and shows. Hotel guests get early access to select rides and attractions before the park opens to the public.

6. Coconut Bay Beach Resort & Spa, Vieux Fort, St. Lucia

The Caribbean islands offer plenty of kid-friendly lodgings, but Coconut Bay stands out. Find your colourful room in Splash, the resort’s family wing, and then let loose at CocoLand, a water park with three water slides, the Lazy River and a large activity pool. Teens go wild at The Zone, the Caribbean’s first paintball facility, while younger children explore the supervised, 50,000-square-foot Kidz Klub. On Family Fun Nights, the whole gang can enjoy live performers, games, movies, outdoor camping and more.

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Be sure to check out these great family-friendly hot spots and bucket-list destinations, too.

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