The 10 best Hilton resorts for families
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Even though the leaves are still turning, Hilton’s increased credit card offers make it worthwhile to look ahead and plan for next year’s spring break or even your family’s summer vacation. While all sorts of trips can be the perfect fit for families, there’s something timeless about a relaxing resort vacation, so we’ve outlined 10 of the best Hilton resorts for families to enjoy. If you find yourself needing some additional Hilton points to make these trips happen, we’ve put together a list of the top Hilton card bonuses, too.
- Hilton Honors American Express Card: 80,000 Hilton Honors bonus points after you spend $1,000 in purchases on the card within your first three months of card membership
- Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card: 130,000 bonus points after you use your card to make $2,000 in eligible purchases within the first 3 months of Card Membership.
- Hilton Honors American Express Business Card: 130,000 Hilton Honors bonus points after you spend $3,000 in purchases on the card within your first three months of card membership.
- Hilton Honors Aspire Card from American Express: 150,000 Hilton Honors bonus points after you spend $4,000 in purchases on the card within your first three months of card membership
Grand Wailea Maui
Grand Wailea Maui is one of Hilton’s most luxurious resorts in Hawaii, especially with its beachfront location and amazing pools (there are nine of them). Honeymooners flock to this resort, but it’s also a great family destination. The hotel offers many on-site activities, such as a program where first-time divers (ages 12+) can receive complimentary scuba training. There are also kayak and paddleboard rentals, along with a monthly schedule with activities such as luaus, yoga classes, Hawaiian games and hula lessons.
There are both kids and teens clubs. The Rock is a 20,000-square-foot facility that features a kids club for children 5–12 and a teen lounge for kids 13–17. Camp Adventure, which is for the younger group, runs seven days a week and costs $125 for a full day (9 a.m.–4 p.m.; includes lunch and snack), $75 for the morning session (9 a.m.–12:30 p.m.; includes lunch) and $65 for the afternoon session (12:30 p.m.–4 p.m.; includes snack). The Spot Teen Lounge is open the same hours and features video games, a pool table, Ping-Pong table and air hockey.
The Grand Wailea Maui typically costs 95,000 Hilton points a night, which makes it a valuable use of free-weekend-night certificates. You can earn these certificates several ways:
- Anniversary Year: The Hilton Honors Aspire Card from American Express will give you a free-night certificate every time you renew your account.
- Annual Spend: The Hilton Honors American Express Surpass Card gives you a free night annually if you spend $15,000 on the card within the calendar year. The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card allows you to earn up to two free nights per year — one free night after you spend $15,000 on the card within the calendar year and then another free night after you spend $60,000 on the card within the calendar year. The Hilton Honors Aspire Card from American Express allows you to earn a second free-night certificate after you spend $60,000 on the card within the calendar year.
If Hawaii is on your radar, you can do a full island-hopping tour with Hilton hotels. Other popular family-friendly properties include Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort (60k points/night) and Hilton Waikoloa Village (60k points/night).
Pointe Hilton Squaw Peak Resort
Arizona is filled with resorts that range from adults-only spas to family-oriented properties with massive pools and lazy rivers. The all-suite Pointe Hilton Squaw Peak Resort definitely works for families. This resort requires between 42,000 to 60,000 Hilton points per night, and at times you’ll even find that the premium rooms cost the same as standard rooms — allowing your family to spread out at no additional expense.
The Squaw Peak Resort features the River Ranch Water Park with pools, waterslides and a lazy river. There are also tennis courts, basketball courts and mini-golf. For the 4 to 12 year olds, there is Coyote Camp, which has day programs (9 a.m.–4 p.m.; $65 for the full day), half day programs ($35-$45 depending on the hours selected) and evening programs (6 p.m.–9 p.m. on Friday and Saturday only; $35).
Madison Beach Hotel, Curio Collection by Hilton
Finding a chain resort in the Northeast is challenging, but your family can vacation on the Connecticut shoreline using Hilton points at the Madison Beach Hotel. Just make sure to book far ahead, as rooms sell out early during the peak periods of summer and fall.
When the weather is good, your kids can play at the beach during the day and make s’mores at the fire pit in the evenings. There is also biking, kayaking, fishing and bird-watching. At 51,000 to 80,000 Hilton Honors points a night, this can be a great New England destination.
Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek
If Mickey and Minnie are in your family’s plans, the Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek is just a few miles from the Disney theme parks. Here you will receive benefits such as Extra Magic Hours and the ability to obtain FastPass+ reservations within a 60-day window.
For non-park days, the Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek has a lagoon-style pool, a waterslide and poolside activities, along with a kids club at the adjacent Waldorf Astoria hotel. The club is for kids 5-12 years old, with programs offered between 10:30 p.m.-2:30 p.m. every day of the week and 6 p.m. – 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday nights. Both programs cost $75 for the first child and $25 per additional child.
The Hilton Hotel Bonnet Creek requires between 43,000 and 60,000 Hilton Honors points a night. There are other Hilton properties in the area might cost less; look into the Hilton Disney Springs properties if your points budget is tight.
Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort & Spa
The Florida panhandle has beautiful beaches and is a popular family vacation spot. If you are looking for a full-service hotel on the beach with many kids activities, the Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort & Spa has you covered at 48,000 to 70,000 points a night.
Here you’ll find indoor and outdoor pools, beach volleyball, bike riding, tennis, golf, stand-up paddleboarding and kayaking. And of course, there’s the beach.
For those with kids between the ages of 5 and 12, there are kids camps that run seasonally. There is the “Kids Krew” during the day (9:30 a.m.-1 p.m.) and then “Kids Night Out” for evening programs (6 p.m.-10 p.m.). Both programs cost $50 for the first child and $40 for every additional child. For kids under 5 years old, the resort will assist in getting a babysitter. Note: The kids club will not reopen until March 2020.
The Waterfront Beach Resort, a Hilton Hotel
Huntington Beach, also known as “Surf City,” lies just 35 miles southeast of Los Angeles. On its 9.5-mile beach is The Waterfront Beach Resort, which costs 75,000 points a night. This is the perfect resort to turn into a California coast road trip or to tack onto a Disneyland vacation. Note: The hotel is across the highway and not beachfront.
The Waterfront Beach Resort is steps away from the beach and many restaurants but secluded in a beautiful, resort-style property. There is a pool with waterslides, cabanas for rent and fire pits in the evening. You can rent boogie boards, sand toys, beach chairs and umbrellas, tandem bikes, beach cruisers and more. Note that the resort’s kids club will be discontinued in early 2020.
Hilton Barbados Resort
Barbados is an awesome vacation for families. Although there is a limited number of chain resorts on the island, there are actually two opportunities to use your Hilton points. The Hilton Barbados Resort is located right in Bridgetown. (Note: This is not the right location if you like to be off the beaten path.)
With access to a white-sand beach and a pool, you’ll get complimentary use of snorkeling gear, kayaks and boogie boards. The complimentary Kidz Paradise Club is open between 9 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. The kids are divided into two age groups: The Groovy Kidz are children between 4 and 7 years old and the Cool Kidz are children between 8 and 12 years old. At the hotel, children 5 and under eat for free and children 6–12 receive all meals at half price.
This is by no means the fanciest hotel on Barbados, but it is a great opportunity to use your points on an island where hotels can be quite expensive. If you have a healthy point balance, Hilton recently took over The Crane Resort as one of its vacation properties. The Hilton Barbados Resort costs 55,000 to 70,000 points a night, but the Hilton Grand Vacations at The Crane costs 95,000 to 135,000 points for a family of four (you can only book premium rooms). The Crane is definitely a nicer property if you have the luxury of choice. Or, if you are visiting during an off peak time you might find that the paid rate is a similar price and worth paying for over using points. (The Crane also has a kids club for 4-12 year olds and is complimentary).
Hilton Rose Hall Resort & Spa
The all-inclusive Hilton Rose Hall Resort & Spa on Jamaica has a private beach, multiple pools and the Super Mill Falls Water Park. It is currently the only waterpark hotel in the Caribbean where you can use points, and your kids will love the 280-foot slide and the lazy river. (The Hyatt Ziva Cap Cana in Dominican Republic should be up and running soon and will feature a water park).
The room rates include multiple dining options, drinks at the swim-up bar, non-motorized water sports and, of course, a kids club.
A standard room at this property costs between 61,000 and 70,000 points for two guests with a surcharge for additional guests. Children 5 and under stay for free, ages 6–14 cost $75/night and ages 15+ cost $99/night.
Hilton Aruba Caribbean
Aruba is one of my family’s favorite beach destinations. The weather is usually near-perfect, the water is crystal-clear, there are a ton of activities and the restaurants are solid. In the hotel zone, you’ll find many points-friendly options, including the Hilton Aruba Caribbean.
It boasts two large “zero-entry pools” (they slope gradually into the water, like a beach, which can be ideal for kids) and they don’t close until 10 p.m. This allows kids to splash around right up to bedtime and gives families something to do in the evening.
The Shoco Land Kids Club is available for kids between 4 and 12 years old and is open 9 a.m.-4 p.m. You can select either the full-day option ($60) or half-day options (9 a.m.–1 p.m. or 12 p.m.–4 p.m.; $35 with lunch; or just 9 a.m.–12 p.m. or 1–4 p.m. with no lunch). They let you try out the kids club for one hour complimentary. There are also dinner and spa packages which gives you a discount or complimentary access to the kids club. Note: You’ll receive a discount on each additional child.
Standard rooms at this property will cost you 80,000 points a night all year-round.
Conrad Bora Bora Nui
Farther away than all the other properties mentioned here, the Conrad Bora Bora Nui is special. What is so great about this property for families is that you can spend 89,000 points a night and stay in a suite of more than 1,000 square feet. If you want to stay over water that will cost you more, but land rooms at this property are quite nice for a family of up to four.
The Conrad offers complimentary mini-golf, paddleboarding, kayaking or sailing. There is also the free Tamari’i Kids Club for kids between 4 and 14 years old. Due to the incredibly expensive nightly rate, this is a tremendous place to use your points for a free night stay.
Note: Availability for a standard room on points is extremely limited, but keep on checking the calendar daily to see if any rooms open up.
I love using Hilton Honors points to pay for my hotel stays, especially at resorts. If you use points, resort fees are waived and you’ll receive your fifth night free if you have elite status. Fortunately, all four Hilton Honors credit cards come with either Silver, Gold or Diamond status. No matter which card you get, you’ll automatically reap this benefit.
With more than 5,000 Hilton properties worldwide, there are endless options for family vacations on points. Which ones are your favorites?
Featured image courtesy of Conrad Bora Bora.
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