10. Omni Hotels
Number of U.S. properties: 37 in 18 states and the District of Columbia
- Presents children with an Omni Kids Bag -- packed with a fun activity book, crayons, slap bracelet, and a deck of cards they can color -- at check-in
- Entertains children with Oliver the Omni Cat, a mascot that appears on menus, cups, and playing cards
- Stocks guest-room minibars with such kid-friendly items as cookies, gummy bears, and fruit juice
- Guides families to local fun with a Top 10 Kid-Friendly Attractions List, customized for each property
Supervised Children's Program:
Though Omni lacks a supervised children's program, it offers family-friendly activities and babysitting can be arranged.
The chain rolls out the red carpet for children, featuring indoor arcades, outdoor playgrounds, and even smiley-face pancakes at select locations. "We began offering numerous activities for children in response to the growing trend of business travelers' extending business trips into family vacations," says Caryn Kboudi, vice president of marketing.
So families can make the most of their stay, the hotel concierge will arrange outings -- including giving discounted or free tickets to local attractions -- and call before you arrive to brainstorm ideas.
The chain also offers a kids-only Web page, www.omnikidsrule.com, where children can submit ideas, play with a coloring book, keep vacation journals, and participate in contests (that's how Oliver the Omni Cat got his name). Staff members also track the site -- for example, a poll asks children what they most often forget when traveling -- with an eye to updating kids' amenities.