Six Tips For Booking the Perfect Hotel

I was recently talking with a friend who is booking a series of hotels for an upcoming road trip. We discussed some of the factors that help us pick “the perfect spot” and the conversation inspired me to share my tips with you.  This week, I am sharing six factors I always take into consideration when choosing a hotel. I’ll share a disclosure that we are partial to Marriott Hotel and have written about them in the past. But these tips are relevant for any hotel or lodging option:

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10 Marriott Hotels We Love

Our family has been fans of Marriott hotel properties for over 20 years. At first, we started staying at Marriott hotels because of their location; virtually every trip we planned, there was a Marriott hotel nearby (and that still holds true today). Over time, we started to notice the numerous amenities, cleanliness of the rooms, and the friendliness of the staff no matter the property we visited. We joined the Marriott Bonvoy rewards program (in its first iteration) years ago and have accrued many bonuses, perks, and free hotel stays over the years.  While we have stayed at literally dozens of Marriott properties from Las Vegas, Nevada to Toronto, Ontario, we typically choose the Residence Inn, SpringHill Suites, Renaissance, and traditional Marriott brand of hotels. Residence Inns are ideal for families as they offer more space, a full kitchen with a full size refrigerator, full morning breakfast and evening snacks during the week, and pool and laundry facilities on site. Renaissance and traditional Marriott brand hotels usually have full service restaurants, concierge lounges, and other amenities desirable for the business class. This week, we’re sharing 10 Marriott properties throughout America we especially enjoyed and some of our favorite nearby attractions. And check back in the future, we’re hoping to add additional locations.

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10 Kid Friendly Winter Activities at Crystal Springs Resort in New Jersey

One of our favorite highlights of 2020 was the opportunity to visit Crystal Springs Resort in northwestern New Jersey (an hour from New York City), and from the moment we left the resort property, our children have been asking to return. Since we first visited during the summer, we thought it would be fun to see the resort during the winter (ish) season. So this past weekend we headed back to New Jersey’s favorite resort (a well-earned title) for a Winter Wonderland weekend of holiday magic.

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8 Family Friendly Activities in Vail, Colorado with the Westin Riverfront Resort and Spa

The town of Avon, Colorado is located at the base of Beaver Creek Village and Beaker Creek Ski Resort, 2.3 miles up the hill. Vail Village and adjacent Lionshead Village are located 10 miles east of Avon, less than 15 aways from Avon. Both Beaker Creek and Vail are known for their world class skiing in the winter and plenty of outdoor fun throughout the entire year.

After researching places to stop between our visits to Utah and South Dakota (we’re on a massive National Parks tour this summer), we decided to spend a few days exploring the beauty of the Vail area. When crowd sourcing places to stay the overwhelming choice of both friends and acquaintances was the Westin Riverfront Resort and Spa, at the base of Beaver Creek Mountain in Avon.

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8 Benefits of Multigenerational Travel with the Woodloch Resort

Our family first visited the Woodloch resort in 2012; it was an impromptu trip after Superstorm Sandy flooded parts of Connecticut, New York, and New Jersey and we had no power for almost a week. We had so much fun, we vowed to return. It took a while, but we finally made it back to Woodloch in the fall of 2020 for the most magical weekend- we wrote a full post about the resort and the (seemingly) endless ways to have fun. We met so many people (and have since heard from even more people) who remarked “We’ve been coming here for years, since I was a child” that we thought it would be fun to return with my parents. A resort like Woodloch is the perfect place for a multigenerational trip.

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30 Ways to Enjoy Woodloch Resort during the Fall

Our visit to Woodloch is easily one of our favorite adventures of 2020. We visited in 2012 and vowed to return when the kids were older and could better enjoy all of the amenities. We finally got our chance this past week and enjoyed a beautiful fall weekend in the Poconos. Established in 1958 by the Kiesendahl family, Woodloch Pines is a resort in the northwest section of the Poconos in Pennsylvania. The 350 acre property has grown over the years to now include a lakeside resort with 160 rooms and suites, times shares and private homes, a championship 18 hole golf course, a luxury spa, and a seemingly infinite amount of ways to have fun.

A visit to Woodloch focuses on family “togetherness”- most activities encourage families to work together, laugh together, and play together. There is a genuine sense of community that the staff brings to every meal, activity, and celebration. Members of the Kiesendahl family visit with guests at every meal (look out for the crazy patterned suits!). Every staff member we encountered greeted us with a warm welcome, an invitation to join in on the fun, and a sincere desire to be inclusive. We witnessed several, multi generational families vacationing together and overheard so many conversations that started with “Last year, when we did this..” or even better, “When I was your age and we played this game….”. It is clear that many, many families return to Woodloch every year to make memories, and we’re hoping to become one of those families.

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