While summer is winding down, here are nine suite experiences for your kids which will make your next vacation your kids’ best ever.
1. Ultimate Family Suite, Symphony of the Seas, Royal Caribbean, Barcelona and Miami
On Deck 17 Royal Caribbean’s Ultimate Family Suite aboard Symphony of the Seas (the world’s largest cruise ship) spans 1,346 sq. ft with a 212 sq. ft. balcony, about the size of standard entry level cruise cabins. The suite is hard to miss – according to Cruise Critic – it is the only cabin on the ship with a red carpet outside its door. The online review site notes, “The first thing that catches the eye is a bright orange slide fed by a spiral staircase. The suite is done up in tangerine and yellow, with splashes of aqua, blue, pink and red. There are whimsical lamps, fluffy cushions, a swing chair and loads other fun details.”
There’s also a cinema, LEGO wall, Xbox One X, Nintendo Switch, PS4 ProOne corner has a playroom/lounge that can be closed off with the pull of a curtain to form—voila!—a cinema with 85-inch HD TV for streaming movies (included), a popcorn maker and a countertop Coke machine. An air hockey table converts for dining. Cruise Critic, which inspected the suite, says, “Younger children will love the board games, floor-to-ceiling LEGO wall and giant chalkboard. Twenty-seven games are available for Xbox One X, Nintendo Switch and PS4 Pro.” In addition to hidden nooks, perfect for games of hide and seek, there’s a ‘magic door’ crawl space between the kids’ room and the master suite, and seven televisions. There will be no fighting about what to watch on TV. Each bunk in the kids’ room has its own TV, and one is in a bathroom mirror. On the balcony is a ping-pong table that converts for dining, climbing maze, full-sized whirlpool and lounge chairs. The view is over the Boardwalk with its zip line and the snaking purple tubes of The Ultimate Abyss slide, as well as the mini-golf course of the Pool & Sports Zone.
You also get your own butler in the form of a genie who contacts you before the cruise to plan for your preferences, escorts you onboard private jet style (no lines, no waiting), and handles any requests from restaurant reservations to shore excursions. The suite sleeps eight: two downstairs and, upstairs, four in the kids’ room and two in the master suite. Weekly price ranges between $45,000 and $85,000. Through October Symphony of the Seas sails the Med from Barcelona before coming to Miami for Caribbean cruises. It’s also
2. Jurassic Suite, Loews Royal Pacific Resort, Orlando
For the dinosaur lovers in your clan who want more dinosaur and “Jurassic World” only got them more excited, Travel + Leisure says the new 670 sq. ft. Jurassic Suite at Universal Studios in Florida “will make kids feel like they’re sleeping in the middle of the action.” It’s all dinosaur all the time. T+L says, “Upon entering the Jurassic Suite, guests will find themselves surrounded floor-to-ceiling by all things dinosaur. Gigantic dinosaur tracks cover the floor as if one of the giant creatures had just passed through. The two twin beds are designed to mimic the gyrosphere, the ride that takes visitors through Jurassic Park in the movies. The bedding itself is designed to look like the test tubes in which the Jurassic Park dinosaurs were formed. The scene is completed by a dinosaur menagerie on the back wall, featuring images of pterodactyls in flight.” When you stay in the suite, you get complimentary Universal Express Unlimited passes which will the gang to skip lines at Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure, including the Jurassic Park River Adventure attraction.
3. The Eloise Suite, the Plaza, New York City
Look for the pink door at The Plaza Hotel in New York and you can step into the 625 sq. ft. Eloise Suite and stay as long as you like (or want to pay). Everything is pink and white the way Eloise likes it. Her clothes are in the closet. Her favorite books, toys, and dolls are on the shelves. Her bed has a sparkly pink headboard and there’s a zebra carpet on the floor. Above the bed is a huge neon sign that says “Eloise!” There’s even pink all over the bathroom! The experience comes with Eloise books, DVDs, dolls, and clothing for use, perhaps when you visit The Palm Court for Eloise Tea. Your Eloise also gets an Eloise gift bag with a special tote bag, Eloise robe, a copy of “Eloise at The Plaza,” and other Eloise gifts, Including a $100 gift card to the Eloise at The Plaza store, and special welcome letter from Eloise. There’s more: Welcome sweets and goodies chosen by Eloise and pink lemonade compliment the suite. The suite is located on the 18th floor.
4. Mickey Mouse Penthouse, Disneyland Hotel, Anaheim, Calif.
This 1,600 sq. ft. Mickey Mouse Penthouse at the Disneyland Hotel in Anaheim includes a theater equipped with three flat-screen TVs, and an animator’s station in the kids’ bedroom for nonstop fun. The 11th floor suite is designed offers views of the 500-acre resort (including Disneyland Park, Disney California Adventure Park and the Downtown Disney District) through floor-to-ceiling windows. There is an open living room, dining and kitchen area, two bedrooms and two and one-half bathrooms. Classic Mickey Mouse imagery and three-dimensional artwork dominate the design scheme throughout the penthouse. Photos and sketches from the Disney library are prominently displayed, featuring images of Walt and Mickey rarely seen by the public. In the living room, guests encounter stylized contemporary décor featuring eclectic furnishings, Mickey motifs and hardwood floors. A giant impression of Mickey Mouse fills the ceiling, as glowing lights enhance the mood of the room. The formal dining area seats eight guests.
A built-in media wall is the focal point of the living room, featuring three flat screen TVs and a state-of-the-art home theater system worthy of Mickey’s status as one of Hollywood’s brightest stars. The master bedroom is filled with luxury amenities including a king-size bed, lounge chairs, a 37″ flat panel TV and a DVD player, and it’s decorated with animation maquettes of Mickey Mouse in many of his most famous film roles. (Maquettes are three-dimensional models used by Disney animators to effectively render a character in two dimensions, and they are highly sought-after collectibles). The master bath includes a steam shower, Jacuzzi tub and a double vanity with a built-in TV in the mirror. Unique glass tiles on the shower walls bring the magic of Mickey Mouse to life as the familiar image of Mickey appears only when the warm water of the shower hits the tiled wall. The second bedroom has a playful feel, featuring a round bed, and it doubles as a playroom for little ones. The main “conversation piece” in the room is a cutting-edge animator’s station, a high-tech table that adds to the Mickey Mouse and animation-inspired storyline. The desk will help budding artists take sketching to a new level as they draw their favorite character and watch it come to life through the magic of Disney technology.
5. In-Room Camping, the Ritz-Carlton Dove Mountain, Tucson
Ritz Kids Adventure Packages include an option for overnight camp out with the in-room tent experience where beds are replaced with an in-room tent large enough to become a private home-away-from-home. Best of all, you don’t have to worry that it will be sold out. In addition to standard luxury rooms and signature suites that range up to 2,072 sq. ft. there are three types of casita accommodations ranging from 650 to 2,010 sq. ft., each of which can be converted for indoor camping. When its time to explore, the resort is at the doorstep of the High Sonoran Desert with its history of cowboys, the Old West and Native American culture. Activities range from hot-air ballooning, horseback riding, mountain biking, hiking, jeep tours and family cookouts under the stars.
6. Caboose Suite, Featherbed Caboose Railroad Resort, Upper Lake, Calif.
For young and old train fans, sleep in a real caboose that his been converted into one of nine themed suites. TripAdvisor awarded this unique hotel in the top 10% of hotels worldwide for customer experience two years in a row and Hotels.com named the hotel one of the 10 Wackiest Hotels. The bottom line is the Featherbed Railroad Bed and Breakfast Resort in Northern California’s wine country offers a unique lodging experience on the shore of Clear Lake in Upper Lake, CA. Guests stay in one of nine theme-decorated vintage railroad cabooses in a park-like setting overlooking a private boat launch, beach and pier. Each caboose is approximately 400 sq. ft., each with windows and some with ceilings as high as 20 feet. Each caboose has its own heating and air conditioning system. They also each feature a coffee maker and a bar-size refrigerator. For the cabooses with a two-person Jacuzzi tub, there is a hand-held showerhead as well in the tub. Each caboose has its own private toilet and sink.
7. Despicable Me Kids Suites, Loews Portofino Hotel at Universal Studios, Orlando
Ranging between 650-675 sq. ft. there is plenty of room for your own Minions in the Despicable Me Kids’ Suites. Designed to capture the excitement and playfulness of Gru’s Laboratory the suites include one King Bed in Master Bedroom and two Twin Beds or a Bunk Bed in separate Kids’ Room which includes a small table-and-chair set, separate closet and TV in custom Despicable Me Minion décor.
8. The Pineapple Suite, Nickelodeon Resort, Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
Who lives in a pineapple under the sea? You can when you stay at the all-inclusive Nickelodeon Resort in Punta Cana in the 2,292 sq. ft. Pineapple Suite with two bedrooms and three bathrooms as well as a living room that looks exactly like SpongeBob SquarePants and a private infinity pool outside. There are indoor and outdoor living and dining areas, a private master suite with a king size bed, smart TV and closets. Your marble bathroom is complete with double sinks, an indoor shower, as well as an inviting Aguas del Amor outdoor shower and freestanding tub. The second bedroom is on the upper level of the villa’s loft-style living room and is complete with two single beds, TV and private bathroom.
The living room features a pull-out sofa bed, dining room, TV, storage space, a private bathroom and access to the Suite’s sublime private gardens and patio where the Pineapple’s signature infinity pool, sun-bathing beds, dining and living area can be found. Private butlers take care of your family’s every need, from a pre-arrival questionnaire to ensure your preferences are in-suite to pampering services during your stay. Enjoy preferred access to all restaurants and spa, and daily premium magazines and newspapers. Private butlers will also arrange tailor-made private activities such as a moonlight beach dinner prepared by a world-class chef, wine tasting, an in-suite afternoon tea party, pizza party or pajama party.
9. Family Suites, Shangri-La Hotel, Singapore
The 9th floor of the Shangri-la Singapore’s Tower Wing is now dedicated to family travelers with five 775 sq. ft. themed Family Suites each with unique whimsical interiors and dream-themed beds. The themes – Castle, Space, Underwater, Safari and Treetop – are designed for ages 3-12, with dedicated “tunnel” access. Each suite includes two bedrooms and two bathrooms and can be connected to a Family Deluxe Room to provide larger families with a three-bedroom unit. Family Vacation Critic says, “ Children in the safari suite, for example, sleep next to a tableau of animals from the African plains beneath a tent. Meanwhile, the underwater suite has a submarine-shaped bed, while the treetop suite requires that children climb a ladder to bed down in a treehouse.”