9. The Ritz-Carlton
Number of U.S. properties: 32 in 15 states and the District of Columbia
- Hosts themed children's teas such as teddy bear, Halloween, and Nutcracker
- Enhances holidays with sleigh rides on the beach and Santa tuck-ins
- Provides families with childproofing packets upon arrival; they include safety plugs, diaper cream, and bandages
- Offers kids' Concierge Floor lounges in select properties on busy weekends
Supervised Children's Program:
For kids ages 3 to 10 at 16 locations. Private babysitting is available at all locations.
At The Ritz-Carlton, kids receive the same impeccable service as adults. A butler will draw a bath for small fry and hand out treats -- usually a rubber duck and milk and cookies. Some Ritz spas give children their first manicure or pedicure. "We determined, with a committee of working mothers, what kinds of programs and amenities we should offer families," says Vivian Deuschl, vice president of public relations. "Then we tailored the services to each hotel."
The Ritz-Carlton, New York-Battery Park provides teddy bear tuck-ins, a toy and game menu from FAO Schwarz, telescopes in harbor-front rooms for a close-up look at the Statue of Liberty, and bike rides along the scenic Esplanade of lower Manhattan. At the new Bachelor Gulch ski property in Avon, CO, kids can borrow the resort's friendly Labrador retriever for extra fun on their vacation. And The Ritz-Carlton at Grande Lakes Orlando, which is scheduled to open sometime this summer, will feature kids' suites with children's furniture and decor as well as a separate check-in and lobby area for little ones.