Themed hotel rooms are often mocked and derided amongst travelers as "cheesy" and "omg no way, never" but when you're traveling with kids, themed hotel rooms pretty much double as extra entertainment on your trip. (Hmmm, hotel-tainment?) Most themed hotel rooms can be found near major amusement parks like Disney World and Universal Resort but we've split this list in half between theme parks and non-theme parks, so you can choose an exciting room that doesn't require extra tickets.
Know of a cool themed hotel room that we missed? Tell us where it is!
Nickelodeon Resort Punta Cana: The just-opened all-inclusive resort—the first of its kind for Nickelodeon Resorts—features subtly-themed guest rooms, referred to as "pads." There are also "flats" and "villas" available for families but to really impress the kids book the Pineapple Villa, which is inspired by SpongeBob SquarePants Bikini Bottom world. Activities range from the Just Kiddin' clubhouse, character meet-and-greets, a giant splashpad at the pool, and regular slimings.
Disney's Art of Animation Family Suite: You may want a break from all things Disney when you're not in the theme parks, but the kids won't. So book one of the family suites at Disney World's Art of Animation hotel, which can sleep up to six people. Character options include Little Mermaid, Nemo, Cars, and The Lion King.
Legoland Hotel San Diego: All the rooms are awesome at the Legoland Hotel adjacent to the theme park in San Diego. Rooms include bunk beds with trundle beds for the kiddos, regular beds for adults, a bin of Legos to play with, and even special toilet seats for little ones. Themes include Adventure, Pirate, Kingdom, and Lego Friends. (You get similar themes at the Legoland Hotels in Orlando and in the UK.)
Loews Portofino Bay Despicable Me Suites: This suite is bananas. Designed for the Minion-obsessed visiting the Universal Orlando theme park, the suite actually features two connecting rooms—a posh room for the parents and then a themed-room for the kids with Gru's missile-beds and silly Minion bedding.
Loews Royal Pacific "Jurassic Park" Kids Suites: With the relaunch of Jurassic Park, these suites at Loews Royal Pacific, also at Universal Orlando, are now back in high demand. Featuring a similar configuration as the Despicable Me suites, the Jurassic theme includes caution signs, jungle murals, and "friendly" dinosaurs toys.
Costa Verde's 727 Fuselage Suite: Here's how to sleep on an airplane without splurging for lie-flat seats—book the 727 Fuselage suite at the Costa Verde hotel in Costa Rica. The suite is actually a repurposed 1965 Boeing 727 jet that once made trips for South Africa Air and Avianca Airlines. Today, it sits on a 50-foot pedestal in the Manuel Antonio jungle with interiors of hand-carved teak wood, two bedrooms, bathrooms, a dining area, kitchenette, and 360-degree views of the gardens. Bonus: there's a cockpit to pretend you're flying somewhere.
Hard Days Night Hotel: For Beatles lovers young and old, there's no better place to stay in Liverpool than the Hard Days Night hotel. (Fun fact: the hotel's logo are the guitar chords to the intro of Hard Days Night.) All the rooms feature artwork of The Beatles but for the most part, the spaces are cleanly decorated with just a hint of 60s mod. Depending on who is your fam fave, book either the McCartney Suite or the Lennon Suite. Guaranteed this will be a place you will remember, all your life. (#sorry #wehadto.)
The Plaza Hotel Eloise Suite: The only place to send the Eloise in your life is to the Eloise Suite at The Plaza Hotel. Styled by eccentric fashion designer Betsey Johnson, the 18th-floor suite features candy-striped walls, a white zebra-print carpet, Eloise bedding, sparkly pink padded headboard, original Hilary Knight prints on the walls, and a neon Eloise sign. Amenities in the suite include Eloise DVDs and books, a tea set and Eloise and Weenie dolls, and Eloise robes and towels. #WWND (What Would Nanny Do?)
Hotel Commonwealth's Fenway Park Suite: For the pitchers and catchers in your family, the Fenway Suite in Boston is loaded with Red Sox Memorablia, including the #6 from the Green Monster Scoreboard originally given to Johnny Pesky when he retired, signed baseballs, vintage player cards, and original ballpark seats on its walk-out terrace, which actually overlooks the park. The suite even includes a baseball mitt to catch fly balls.
Moose Meadow Lodge's Treehouse: The obsession with living in backyard treehouses can remain long after our childhood has ended. Which is why Moose Meadow Lodge's Treehouse in Waterbury, Vermont is the perfect place to visit for both adults and older kids. The two-story "suite" is supported by two pine trees and is completely made out of cedar, pine, maple, and hemlock trees. There's a living room, dining room, and a wrap-around deck on the first floor, while upstairs is a bedroom and a private balcony. Yes, there's even a bathroom inside which features an incinerating toilet.
[Hard Days Night photo: Trips + Giggles; All other photos courtesy of the hotels]
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