The days of "boutique hotel" translating to "$600 per night and no kids allowed" are, thankfully, over.

By Juliana Shallcross
February 25, 2021
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An image of Timber Cove Hotel.
Credit: Courtesy of Timber Cove.

For your next family vacation, it might be tempting to slap the easy button and stay at a hotel run by a big-name brand—simply because those are the hotels that seem to show up everywhere you want to go. (And it doesn't hurt that you can often redeem your credit card points at these places and earn loyalty program points, too.) But it has been some kind of a year, to say the least, so why seek out a change of scenery if only to sleep in a bland hotel where every room looks the same, no matter the city?

If it's because you think that kids and stylish hotels don't mix well, think again. Many boutique hotels are actually quite family-friendly these days—offering bunk beds, fun restaurants, and games galore in addition to their one-of-a-kind decor. And going boutique doesn't have to break the bank either. We've rounded up nine chic and surprisingly affordable boutique hotels where you can most definitely bring the kids.

James Nomad New York

The James NoMad, situated north of Madison Square Park in New York City near the Empire State Building, has a Jimmy Suite that's perfect for families. A mod-looking Mad Men-style room with a king bed connects to a smaller room with a pull-out couch and a second bathroom. It's the perfect place for the kids to sleep. And you can close the connecting door to get a little privacy. Downstairs is the well-known Scarpetta restaurant, famous for its simple but oh-so-delicious spaghetti.

Rates start from $128 a night but can go up in the summer months.

Shoreline Hotel Honolulu

It will be hard not to feel happy once you step into the brightly colored public spaces and guest rooms at the Shoreline Hotel Waikiki. But to maximize your space, book a double or a junior suite. While the beach is a five-minute walk away as is shopping and other meeting points for activities and tours, the hotel does have a rooftop pool, complete with an Instagram-friendly wall painted with neon-colored palm fronds. Another bonus? No resort fees! Hawaii does have strict Covid-19 protocols in place for visitors so just be sure you're on top of that before your trip.

Rates start from $120 a night.

Snowpine Lodge

When you've exhausted your crew on the slopes at Alta Ski Area, just outside Salt Lake City,  you can head back to the soothing rooms at the Snowpine Lodge. The Lift View Bunk room has a double bunk bed and one double bed, while the Slope Side Family King room has a king bed and an adjoining room with a bunk bed. Not that you'll spend all your time in the room anyways. Aside from two restaurants downstairs and a spa, the Snowpine Lodge also has a tricked-out game room where all ages can play ping pong, foosball, pool, and arcade games. There's even karaoke too!

Rates start around $337 a night but are often less when it's not peak ski season.

Hotel Figueroa

One of the best features of this historic hotel in downtown Los Angeles is actually its very happy pool scene. And when there's a great pool, there are bound to be happy kids! The rooms are equally happy, too, striking a balance between contemporary and a bit of old Los Angeles glamour. You may even find yourself picking up design notes for your home. Just be sure to book a classic double or a suite to get a little more room out of your stay.

Rates start at $206 a night.

Union Station Hotel Nashville

We love it when history lessons and hotel stays combine. The Union Station Hotel was built inside an old 19th century railroad station—with a dramatic barrel-vaulted lobby that's sure to impress the kids, and probably you.

The king rooms are spacious enough for a family of four, but there are some small suites available too. In a nod to Nashville's country roots, there's cowhide on the headboards—and all the artwork throughout the hotel is done by local artists. One more tip: Book a room on an upper floor for the higher ceilings.

Rates start around $232 a night.

Timber Cove Resort

California's Sonoma coast is where the redwood trees meet the sea—and the Timber Cove Resort has a front-row view of it all, including the ocean. The iconic resort underwent a refresh a few years ago, and the update looks heavenly. Best of all, one of the suites (there are only 46 rooms at the property in total) was outfitted with double bunk beds, perfect for the family. We also like how they offer top-of-the-line amenities such as Simmons Beauty Rest black label beds, wool Pendleton blankets, SMEG mini-fridges, and organic toiletries. Plus there's an "Outdoor Living Room" open to all guests that features fire pits, billiards and ping pong. It's on the pricier side of this roundup, but it's worth all the relaxation it will bring.

Rates start around $389 a night.

Palihouse Miami Beach

Everyone wants to be on the beach in Miami, but being steps from the sand usually involves a crowded resort and astronomical prices. Yet the Palihouse Miami is a perfectly chill boutique hotel that's only one block from the beach. The rooms are absolutely adorable and have great mini-bar snacks and modern amenities; some even have kitchenettes. There's a small pool and cafe out back too. This would be most ideal with a little baby, but a toddler or two could be plenty happy here too.

Rates start around $180 a night.

The Asbury Hotel

Thinking of summer already? The Asbury is the hippest hotel down the Jersey Shore, located just off the famous Asbury Park boardwalk. The lobby feels more like a sophisticated college hangout, rather than a place to check your bags and get your room keys. There's a multi-colored sunken couch, a pool table, a small section of stadium-style seating and a wall of old cassette tapes. Upstairs, the beachy yet modern rooms are relaxation central, but your family might get a kick out of The Quad, a room with four bunk beds. The hotel also has an outdoor movie theater perfect for these days of social-distancing and a big grassy lawn to run around in. Oh and don't forget the pool!

Rates start around $200 a night.

Thompson Seattle

With a convenient location near Pike Place Market and a rooftop bar with stellar views of Puget Sound, The Thompson Seattle serves some modern flash in a city best known for its grungy history. The rooms are mid-century chic with floor-to-ceiling windows offering either a city or water view (go for the water views if you can). And currently, the hotel is doing a fun little service for kids called Pizza Night; parents can have a brick-oven pizza sent to the room along with kids activity kids, sparkling cider, and your own much-needed Veuve Clicquot Brut Rosé.

Rates start around $161 a night.