April 3, 2012 -- At TripAdvisor, we just announced our list of Travelers' Choice Hotels for Families. The Travelers' Choice awards are based on the millions of reviews and opinions posted on TripAdvisor by travelers from around the world. Top hotels for families were determined based on properties that were most highly rated by people who traveled with their family.
Because the Travelers' Choice Hotels for Families list is based on data rather than editorial opinions, it has a few surprises -- hotels in more off-the-beaten path destinations that offer good value and great service for families with kids. Read on to find out which hotels made the list.
1. KeyLime Cove Resort and Water Park, Gurnee, Illinois
This resort, with its indoor waterpark, is a little bit of the tropics in the middle of Gurnee, Illinois. (As one TripAdvisor traveler said, "Now we don't have to go to Florida!") You'll find waterslides, a lazy river, and a splash zone, all manned by exceptionally attentive lifeguards -- and it's perpetually 82 degrees. Two spas (one for adults, one for kids), a big arcade, and family-friendly suites are other highlights.
2. Rocking Horse Ranch Resort, Highland, New York
If you have active kids, this might be the one resort that can tire them out. According to one TripAdvisor traveler, there are "non-stop activities from morning until bedtime." You'll find archery, horseback riding, skiing and snowtubing in winter, swimming and water-skiing in summer, an indoor waterpark, magic shows, and more... and it's all included in your room rate.
3. Hope Lake Lodge & Conference Center, Cortland, New York
Travelers who visit Hope Lake Lodge & Conference Center rave about their ski school, roller coaster, zip lines and indoor waterpark (anyone else sensing a trend here?). Suites with fully-equipped kitchens are great for family groups.
4. Disney's Wilderness Lodge, Orlando, Florida
What sets this property apart from other Disney hotels? Supremely friendly staff, great restaurants, a huge pool, and a manmade geyser, for starters. Many TripAdvisor travelers recommend springing for a room in the hotel's Old Faithful Club, which provides round-the-clock drinks and snacks. And it's just a short boat ride to the Magic Kingdom.
5. WorldQuest Orlando Resort, Orlando, Florida
Why share a cramped hotel room with your kids when there's a resort like this around? Two- and three-bedroom condo-style rooms are almost ridiculously huge and have full kitchens, laundry facilities and screened-in balconies. Even better, the prices are surprisingly affordable.
6. Woodloch Pines Resort, Hawley, Pennsylvania
This resort, about a 90-minute drive (much of it on winding country roads) from New York City, offers activities galore for kids in different age groups. So teens can hit the batting cages while you take the younger kids to the petting zoo. If someone in your party has a food allergy or follows a special diet, you'll be in good hands here -- ripAdvisor travelers say Woodloch Pines handles dietary restrictions exceptionally well.
7. Lake Buena Vista Resort Village & Spa, Orlando, Florida
You'll find spacious suites and a great pool (complete with pirate ship!) at Lake Buena Vista Resort Village & Spa. TripAdvisor travelers love the location—it's a short drive to the theme parks and close to outlet shopping. One caveat: Housekeeping isn't included in room rates. Instead, you choose how often and how extensively your room is cleaned, and you pay accordingly.