Virgin America has long been our go-to airline when traveling as a family. We love the black leather seats, the purple mood-lighting, the easy seatback entertainment screen and the on-demand food ordering system. We even love their little Jet Set Kids Pack which comes with a sandwich, a few snacks, a little dinosaur puzzle game and dolphin earbuds.
And we especially love the service of their flight crew and pilots, who have always been patient when we scrambled on board with babies, bottles and diaper bags. In fact, one of our best moments flying with our kids happened on Virgin America. When we boarded the plane, the pilots noticed our daughter and invited her into the cockpit to show her around. Making it a more powerful moment for us, the two pilots were women.
We're skeptical of how family-friendly a hotel can be when there are five restaurants and lounges on-site. That's because a bustling restaurant and bar scene at a hotel always makes its way up to the guestrooms, either by the annoying thump-thump of music or overserved guests loudly stumbling back to the rooms.
However, this Virgin is keen to have children.
When we made our room reservation, a crib was listed among the room requests. Additionally, all rooms at the Virgin Hotel feature a sliding partition that will separate the bedroom from the bathroom. There's also free WiFi, minibar snacks at "street" prices, and the ability to stream Bubble Guppies from your device onto the 42" LG Smart TV.
Alas, the rooms don't seem to have bathtubs. If you're traveling with a baby, you'll have to make do with the sink. Otherwise, it's time to teach the toddlers about showers.
Rates at the Virgin Chicago start at $209 a night for a Chamber room with a king bed. However, a Grand Chamber King is probably the best room type for families since you can use the sliding partition to separate the bedroom from the sitting area, a must when the children go to bed at 8pm but you're still wide-awake. Just be sure to request a room away from the street, away from the elevator and away from the loud music.
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