8. Hyatt Hotels and Resorts
Number of U.S. properties: 112 in 30 states and the District of Columbia
- Greets children with a welcome activity book and a glow-in-the-dark Frisbee
- Rewards children who visit four Hyatt Hotels or Resorts with a fun passport program, redeemable for gifts
- Incorporates nature walks and language classes into its kids' programs
- Discounts a second room, based on availability, for kids 18 and under
Supervised Children's Program:
For kids ages 3 to 12 at 18 locations. Babysitting is available at some locations.
"We abandoned putting kids in a room with Nintendo years ago," says Victor Lopez, a divisional vice president. Instead, the chain's children's program keeps kids active with scavenger and sea-shell hunts, pool fun, and nature hikes. Plus, it routinely schedules programming that parents and children can enjoy together. A favorite: dive-in movies, where a film is projected onto a wall by the pool so families can watch the flick while they swim or float.
Because the programs have become so complex, the staff members are chosen very carefully, Lopez says. "We tend to hire sophisticated camp counselors, so someone who is very knowledgeable about Puerto Rico wouldn't necessarily be suitable for Hawaii."
Taking advantage of the boom in intergenerational travel, Hyatt offers the new Srai-Wi (Native American for "gathering children together") program at the Hyatt Regency Tamaya Resort Spa on the Santa Ana Pueblo. There, parents, children, and grandparents can take advantage of such educational and enjoyable experiences as horseback-riding, yoga, and breadmaking classes.