Plenty of hotels throughout Los Angeles will accommodate kids, but some really go the extra mile, whether its childproofing your guest room before you arrive, providing free afternoon popsicles, giving kids a goodie bag filled with toys and treats at check-in, or offering an arts-and-crafts-packed kids’ club. Here are our favorite kid-friendly hotels in L.A., Beverly Hills, Hollywood, and Santa Monica.
This quirky 40-room hotel is next to Hollywood's Magic Castle, the members-only headquarters of the Academy of Magical Arts. Staying here lets you into magic shows open only to members and their guests (although only the weekend brunch show allows children). But even if you never make it to a show, your kids will love the 24-hour heated pool. The spacious one-bedroom suites with full kitchens can fit a family, and the free breakfast, free afternoon popsicles, free minibar snacks, and free DVDs to watch are no sleight of hand.
You won't find many traditional beach resorts in L.A., but you can stay right on the beach. The Santa Monica beach in front of Casa del Mar is a broad stretch of sand with gentle waves, and the pier --- with its Ferris wheel, video-game arcade, and carnival-style amusements --- is a 15-minute walk away. A 22-mile bike bath passes by the hotel (rentals are available at Shutters next door). The spacious luxury rooms with two double beds can easily fit a family, and the fortune-telling Zoltar booth in the lobby may amuse kids if they tire of the outdoors.
An enormous suite at a reasonable price is the story here. The 650-square-foot suites have fully equipped kitchens, two TVs (one a 42-inch plasma TV), a living room with a gas fireplace, and balconies. A rooftop pool and tennis court sweeten the deal, and from the hotel's West Hollywood location, Universal Studios is only a 15-minute drive.
While not right on the sand like its Santa Monica neighbor Casa del Mar, Loews is a one-minute walk to the beach and five minutes from the Ferris wheel, video arcade and rides on the pier. The popular pool has an ocean view, and the poolside grill has a kids' menu. The TVs in the spacious rooms come with kid-friendly channels like HBO Family, Disney, and the Cartoon Network. And the staff will childproof your room before your arrival.
Among high-end luxury hotels in L.A., the Beverly Wilshire does the most to extend bend-over-backward service to the under-18 set: a welcome star-shaped "Hollywood Walk of Fame" cookie with your child's name, kid spa treatments, and a room service menu with choices for infants, young children, and tweens. Rodeo Drive shopping is just down the street if your kids are budding fashionistas. The large guest rooms all have DVD players, and the hotel has an extensive lending library of children's DVDs.
Just like the Beverly Wilshire, the Beverly Hills Hotel pampers kids as well as parents: They get a welcome gift of milk and cookies, a fake pink charge card to use at the restaurants, and kids' options on the room-service menu. The difference is that this luxury hotel, located on a residential stretch of Sunset Boulevard, feels more like a mini-resort than a city hotel, thanks to tennis courts, a large pool, and 12 acres of property. At 425 square feet, the rooms are larger than the Beverly Wilshire's.
Families willing to trade a short walk to the Santa Monica beach for a lot more space and a lower price should consider Doubletree Guest Suites. The clean and comfortable 500-square-foot suites have pullout couches and half-size fridges (plus a microwave if requested). The 3rd-floor sundeck has a pool and Jacuzzi. The downside, of course, is that the beach and pier are a 10-minute walk (or a shorter drive).
The Terranea offers the full range of resort amentities for kids (and their parents). This full-scale Rancho Palos Verdes property has a pool with a waterslide. The kids' club offers arts and crafts, games, and nature activities ($55 a day). Teens can kayak, surf, and attend free "Teen Scene" nighttime events. The only problem is that the Terranea is at least an hour's drive from major L.A. tourist attractions -- so it makes a great self-contained family vacation destination, but doesn't work particularly well as a home base for exploring L.A.
A known celebrity hangout, Shutters on the Beach has an atmosphere of formal opulence, with expensive artwork in its lobby and restaurants, luxe features, and rooms that belong in a billionaire's beach house. But it caters to the smaller set with kid-friendly options and a kids' menu at its restaurants and 24-hour room service, babysitting services, beach toys, and free cribs and rollaways.
This 453-room luxury hotel caters largely to business travelers and other adults, but is spacious standard rooms, heated lap pool, and proximity to attractions such as the Museum of Contemporary Art make it a fine choice for families, especially when its rates dip well below those at other luxury hotels. Plus, it offers kid-friendly features, such as children's menus, free cribs and rollaways, goodie bags with toys and sweets for kids at check-in, and free room-service delivery of milk and cookies on the first night.
Just blocks from UCLA (but unfortunately close to little else), this 238-room Kimpton hotel, opened in 2008, offers big 350-square-foot standard rooms (luxuriously outfitted with 42-inch flat-screens and Frette linens), a 40-foot heated outdoor pool, free coffee and wine hours, and a no-fee pet policy. With prior notice, hotel will furnish children with a welcome pack (a free backpack with yoyos and playing cards), and furnish the room with child-size animal robes.
The Renaissance's proximity to Hollywood Boulevard -- home to attractions like the Walk of Fame, the Chinese Theatre, and Madame Tussauds wax museum -- makes it a solid choice for families. Plus, there's a lovely rooftop pool with (distant) views of the famous Hollywood sign.
Just a five-minute drive from Universal Studios Hollywood, this 257-room family-friendly hotel is family friendly has a tranquil and laid-back vibe that's a welcome change from the bustling Studio City location. Rooms are spacious and bright and vary widely in size (some even have bunk beds, making them ideal for families), with a contemporary-mod design scheme plus free Wi-Fi and small balconies. Movies are screened on summer evenings at the lovely outdoor pool, and the hotel has a popular restaurant plus bars with daily happy hours.
This 187-room mid-range property is so close to LAX that guests can bypass the 24/7 free shuttle and easily walk to Terminal 1 in about five minutes. The hotel caters primarily to air travelers, and features touch-screen flight information and boarding pass printing kiosks as well as free, but often overcrowded, 24/7 airport shuttle service. A children's play area in the lobby and large adjoining suites make this a solid pick for families. And all guests can hit up the small gym, soak in the whirlpool, or grab a bite in the Bistro Bar and Restaurant. This property is ideal for long layovers and early or late departures.