For many families, Spring Break means it’s time to pack up and get out of town together. After staying at hundreds of properties across many destinations, our undercover reporters have chosen the best hotels for family vacations. If you live in the northeast United States, Boston can be the perfect place to take a family trip without spending a fortune on plane tickets. Below is our list of the most kid-friendly hotels in Boston.
It's housed in a historic 1847 building, but like most Marriott Vacation Club properties, all of the guest rooms are huge one-bedroom suites with kitchenettes and pullout couches. The location is another plus: The New England Aquarium, whale-watching boats, an IMAX theater, and over a hundred shops at Faneuil Hall are just across the street. And the in-house features and services include an arcade, staff-led historic walking tours or T-shirt-making workshops, free access to the pool at Marriott Long Wharf across the street, free laundry machines (and detergent!), and freshly baked cookies in the lobby. Cribs and rollaway beds are both free.
The apartment-style studios and one-bedroom suites at the Residence Inn each have full kitchens (dishwasher, electric stove, and microwave included) and are among the largest hotel rooms in Boston. The rooms alone make this hotel a compelling choice for families, but the deal is further sweetened by same-day grocery delivery (with no service change), a coin-operated laundry (for chronic spillers), and a free nightly reception in the lobby with snacks like chicken fingers, salad, and Goldfish crackers. Plus, there's an indoor pool -- a rarity at this price point.
A "discovery" theme (hallway carpets patterned with stars and moons), kids' menus, large guest rooms, and lots of freebies -- welcome treats for kids, free use of bikes and kayaks, a free lending library of books, free cribs and playpens, free child-size bathrobes -- make Hotel Marlowe a great choice for families. Plus, across the street, hotel guests get free use of the telescopes at the Museum of Science observatory.
Located inside a mall-and-convention-center complex, the Westin Copley Place is largely a business-focused hotel. But the big rooms, heated indoor pool, kids' menus, and free welcome treats for kids (from the "toy wagon") make it a solid choice for families, especially with so many of Boston's major attractions -- the Public Garden, Boston Common, and the start of the Freedom Trail -- within walking distance.
For family-style luxury, the Four Seasons delivers -- free toys, welcome cookies, soda and popcorn (for older kids), child-size bathrobes, large guest rooms, and exceptional service that gives kids as much attention as business travelers. Plus, it has a beautiful pool and children's menus for the Bristol Lounge (which is a bit clubby) and in-room dining. But it's the location -- across the street from the Public Garden, a flowery park with a lake that features swan boat rides in the summer and ice-skating in the winter -- that most appeals to parents.
This former apartment building, built at the turn of the 20th century, has beautiful stone work and bay windows on the outside and big, new rooms on the inside. For a family of four, it's one of the least expensive places to stay near Copley Square, and just a short walk from Newbury Street, Boston Common, and the start of the Freedom Trail.
This classy hotel features the city's only rooftop pool, making it a hit with the kids during the summer. Kids' menus are available for in-room dining; and at 350 square feet, the standard rooms are large enough to accommodate a crib or rollaway bed (which are available for free).