Anyone who has traveled before having children — and then after — knows the two experiences differ greatly. Instead of spending your time scoring reservations at the buzziest restaurant in town or lining up all-day adventures, your priority becomes making sure that the crib you requested is actually in your room on arrival.
Most parents can recall hotel stays when the little one at the center of their universe was treated like an afterthought or even a nuisance. But it doesn’t have to be like that!
At these upscale hotels and resorts — in the U.S. and abroad — babies and toddlers are welcomed as the real VIPs. We’re not just talking a guaranteed crib or a baby bath, but customized welcome gifts, high-tech gear, baby-proofed rooms and even, in some cases, child care — all at zero cost.
Here’s TPG’s roundup of the best resorts to stay at with a baby, where you can be assured not only a seamless and relaxing vacation, but you can also pack a little lighter, too.
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The Langham, Chicago
For a classic Chicago getaway full of fine art, fancy afternoon teas and pampering spa treatments, The Langham — housed in legendary architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe’s IBM Building — is an elegant choice.
As adult as all that sounds, the hotel is wonderfully geared toward kiddos, too. Expect welcome surprises that might include a tent, board games and art sets. Toddlers will love the adorable minibackpack they get to take home, as well as the plush Langham teddy bear. Johnson & Johnson bath products (plus a Diaper Genie) are helpful, while the tiny robes and slippers make those post-bath moments ridiculously cute. Rates start at $500 per night.
Hotel Drover, Autograph Collection — Fort Worth, Texas
This Autograph Collection hotel, part of the Marriott portfolio, celebrates the wild cowboy history of this Texas city, but with a liberal dose of refinement. Pint-sized Hotel Drover bathrobes and slippers to fit your babe(s) are a sweet offering for use during your stay, as are branded step stools so that little ones can reach the sink. The hotel has a library of storybooks and games, too. There’s even a family concierge who specializes in helping arrange plans and reservations with children in mind. Low-season rates start at 30,000 Bonvoy points per night or $399 per night. Deluxe queen guest rooms with two beds are $100 less than king rooms on weekends.
Four Seasons Resort Punta Mita — Riviera Nayarit, Mexico
As a brand, Four Seasons is known for extending a warm welcome to its littlest guests, from spelling out your baby’s name in sponges to gifting stuffed animals and baby toiletries. One of the most thoughtful amenities at the Four Seasons Resort Punta Mita, Mexico, is the poolside Pack ’n Play, allowing parents sunbathing or chill time without worrying about their kid’s safety — or missing nap time. The family pool has darling miniature lounge chairs, too. Privacy cards give you the option to skip turndown if your baby is sleeping and the resort has an encyclopedic list of baby gear to borrow, from strollers, monitors and high chairs to nursing pillows, white-noise machines and even baby swings. You’ll find similar amenities at other Four Seasons beachside resorts, including Maui, Hualalai and Los Cabos. Rates start at $650 per night but expect to pay much more from late October through May. Larger families might want to consider the spacious beach homes — you’ll receive a 25% discount when reserved 14 days in advance.
The Ritz-Carlton, St. Thomas — US Virgin Islands
Beach holidays should be carefree, but they’re made less so by the countless things you need to pack for an infant. The Beaba Baby Concierge — a brand-new partnership between The Ritz-Carlton, St. Thomas and the French baby goods brand — makes it easier and more stylish by offering a curated suite of products to guests: the Bedside Sleeper is a reassuring option, especially when experiencing the islands with a newborn; the Up & Down Height Adjustable Baby Rocker lets babes of up to 20 pounds hang out or catnap thanks to its cozy padding and alternating positions that allow for sitting, sleeping and rocking. Beaba’s silicone bibs, spoons and insulated jars are available for purchase for babies who have advanced to the solids stage. The hotel also provides complimentary shovels and pails, beach balls and baby sunscreen. Expect to redeem over 94,000 Bonvoy points or pay upward of $699 per night.
The Boca Raton — Florida
One of the unique things about this luxury resort on Florida’s Gold Coast is that its children’s amenities reflect its rich history and storytelling. Little ones are gifted a stuffed monkey in honor of Addison Mizner — the resort’s famed architect — and his beloved pet monkey. They also receive a Banyan Bunch bib and rubber duck, guaranteed to brighten up bath time in the TurtleTub. To keep babies under 2 cozy, they also gift them a super-soft Kashwere blanket-and-hat set. Room rates start at $399 per night.
Related: 13 of the best beaches in Florida
Rosewood Miramar Beach — Montecito, California
When an infant starts moving around on their own, all bets are off. This celebrity-frequented beachfront resort in Santa Barbara knows that, and offers an in-room baby-proofing service — including covering outlets and sharp corners — as well as essential gear including changing tables, diaper pails, baby bathtubs, non-slip mats and in-room bottle warmers. The cute factor comes in the form of child-size slippers and robes. Guests 3 and under also receive an ocean-themed stuffed animal and organic Erbaviva baby products. One of the priciest options on our list, off-peak rates here will set you back $1,995 per night.
Conrad Fort Lauderdale Beach
This all-suite beachfront resort is nothing if not thorough when it comes to their youngest overnighters. Conrad‘s comprehensive infant program features a surfeit of amenities. There are Nuna Sena Aire pack ’n plays with blackout solutions, baby cameras, monitors and sound machines for nighttime, and for feeding the offer of nursing pillows, bottle warmers, Inglesina high chairs, baby food and a list of local lactation consultants. Guests can also request a tub kneeler with bath products, and a foam play mat, mineral sunscreen and swim diapers. Rates start at 88,000 Hilton Honors points per night, or $379.
Kimpton Alton — San Francisco
Traveling with an infant or newborn is a tiny bit less intimidating if you know there’s a place to change diapers, give baby a bath (the sink can be difficult, as is holding a slippery kiddo in the shower!) and put them comfortably to bed. A partnership between innovative, techie infant brand 4Moms and five Kimpton hotels means all that’s taken care of via complimentary use of the brand’s Breeze Plus Playard with bassinet and changer options, the Cleanwater Tub with a built-in thermometer and MamaRoo4 Infant Seat, which sways to simulate natural movements. A standard room costs from 30,000 IHG points, or expect to pay around $250 per night for the Family Adventure Package: cookies and milk amenity for kids, four cable car passes, discounts for the aquarium and double-decker bus tickets and two adult welcome cocktails at check-in.
Calamigos Guest Ranch and Beach Club — Malibu, California
The welcome amenities laid out for babies at this iconic Malibu resort make it clear they welcome young guests. Nestled among trees and grapevines, and with an off-site beach club for full-service afternoons on the sand, there’s plenty of space for young families to roam. Upon arrival in the cottages or bungalows, little ones will be delighted to see a cuddly stuffed horse (apropos of the ranch vibes) and a drool bib — a necessity, especially at certain developmental stages. There’s a Camp Calamigos rattle and sippy cup, too. But the most fun souvenir might be the surfboard-toting rubber duck, ready for waves in the Pacific or in the bathtub. Rates range from $775 to $2,500 per night.
Martinhal Chiado Luxury Hotel and Apartments — Lisbon, Portugal
Portugal is a wonderful place to travel with a baby or toddler, especially when you stay at any one of local hospitality brand Martinhal’s four hotels and resorts. At this design-forward Lisbon outpost, spacious studios and apartments are thoughtfully furnished with baby-friendly pieces such as Portuguese cork coffee tables with rounded edges. The Baby Concierge service is available for parents to prearrange their stays with potties, door protectors, bottle sterilizers, safety gates and way more. The restaurants at all Martinhal properties each have a baby play corner, with a babysitter on hand to entertain littles while the adults savor their meals in peace. Child care fees apply from 6 to 36 months old, but for 3 and up it’s complimentary. The artfully designed kids club features interactive sensory toys and playful elements such as a tent for story time and a puppetry area. Rates range from $175 per night for a deluxe studio to $797 per night for a two-bedroom deluxe apartment; extended stays of six-plus months are just $39 per night.
Chewton Glen — Hampshire, England
Straddling the forest and the sea, this renowned luxury retreat on the fringes of the New Forest is family-oriented all the way. There are kids classes in The Cookery School and hillside rambles with cute “teddy bear” sheep, not to mention that you can sleep in a real treehouse complete with children’s nook filled with storybooks for reading time. The exquisite 130-acre Relais & Chateaux property is home to farm animals as well as The Beehive kids club, a magical treehouse-themed destination (available to potty-trained toddlers) where activities include treasure hunts, play dough making and dance parties. Rates start from $627 per night; kids stay free during United Kingdom school holidays.
Vomo Island Fiji
Two words: child care. You love your baby endlessly but everyone needs some time to enjoy the natural beauty of Fiji — and all the trappings of this luxurious five-star island escape — without them. Each day at Vomo Island Fiji you’ll get four hours of complimentary Baby Butler minding service. (If you need more, you can sign up for five additional days of eight-hour-per-day care for two kids with the same nanny for the entire stay; from $268). The child minder can entertain them at the Kids Village, where craft tables, dress-up wardrobes, outdoor climbing frames, a playroom and even a dedicated child-centric chef await. All-inclusive stays in a resort villa start at $1,040 per night (two-night minimum). Private beachfront residences start at $3,688 per night (three-night minimum); offers to stay five nights, pay four and stay seven nights, pay five are available for families of five or more.
Cheval Blanc St-Barth Isle de France — St. Barts
It’s hard to imagine a more fashionable way for a baby to vacation than at this chichi St. Barts resort. The property with 60 rooms, suites and villas off Flamands Beach features a partnership with high-end Parisian baby accessories brand Baudou. There’s a signature crib covered with beautifully embroidered sheets and a bed cover of seahorses and stars. A hand-sewn bib matches that motif, too, and the resort provides baby bowls for feeding — not to mention made-to-measure purees from the culinary team — in a rattan high chair with upholstered seat. Also supplied: a changing table with basket for diapers and baby care items, plus beach toys, naturally. Rates start at $790 per night.
The Landings Resort and Spa — St. Lucia
When you don’t want to lug your entire nursery to the very definition of a Caribbean paradise, there’s this all-inclusive St. Lucia resort where your family’s pre-assigned butler will perfect your suite ahead of arrival, including covering the electrical outlets. This baby-proofing service extends to baby gates, high chairs, step stools, cribs with mosquito nets, diaper bins, baby bottles, bibs and spoons, bouncers and a baby audio monitor, too. From $404 per night; kids under 5 eat and drink for free.
Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit — Mexico
All-inclusive Grand Velas resorts have a reputation for being wonderful family destinations, gifting bottles, teethers and pacifiers to tiny guests. Additionally, strollers, bathtubs, sterilizers and bouncers are loaned to guests via the Baby Concierge. At this popular Riviera Nayarit property, there are mini beach cabanas on Banderas Bay, plus hooded baby towels with the resort mascot, Pancho. If you really want to treat your little one, book them Baby’s First Haircut, which comes with a certificate marking the milestone, or buy a 25-minute Sunrise Massage, set to Mozart and designed to stimulate baby’s sensory and cognitive development. All-inclusive rates start from $454 per night based on double occupancy; children under 4 are complimentary.
Featured photo by ljubaphoto/Getty Images.