FAMILY HOLIDAYS: Our 5 top picks for family hotels in California

California is one of the largest states in the United States, not just in terms of population and size but in tourism numbers.

California is one of the largest states in the United States, not just in terms of population and size but in tourism numbers.

As a result, the destination is packed with choices, which when planning a trip for the family, can be somewhat overwhelming.

We’re taking away some of the stress for you with five top picks for family hotels in California.


1. Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach Resort & Spa

What’s better than a hotel with a giant pool featuring three water slides? A hotel with a giant pool featuring three water slides that are also right on the edge of Huntington Beach is what.

The whole family can take surfing lessons with local pros, rent bikes and pedal the ocean-hugging boardwalk, then end the day gathered around the hotel’s fire pits for cocoa and s’mores. Oh yes!

The resort also features Camp Hyatt, where kids ages 11 and under play games, do crafts, and hit the beach, with a specific theme for each days’ activities. The camp is available for half- or full days, plus evenings on the weekends – great for planning spa time or a grownup night out.

Find out more: Hyatt Huntington Beach


2. Rancho Las Palmas Resort & Spa, Palm Springs

Home to the mother of all splash pools at a desert oasis – it’s called Splashtopia, a two-acre water park sparkling in the centre of this classic Palm Springs resort. Slather on the sunscreen before you head here – the kids will want to stay for hours.

From a relaxing lazy river and sandy beach to 100-foot-/30-meter-long water slides and jets for water fights, this is an epic, watery playground. Also, take advantage of poolside grills and plenty of lounge chairs for parents to kick back and watch the kids go wild. (If grownups want more peace and quiet, there’s the nearby adults-only Azure Pool.)

If your kids ever do agree to get out of the water, they can check out kid-friendly crafts, games, a junior tennis clinic, “dive-in movies” outside at Splashtopia, and a video-game arcade. Parents, meanwhile, should be availing themselves of classic Palm Springs bucket list activities, like golf and luxurious spa treatments.

Find out more: Rancho Las Palmas Resort & Spa, Palm Springs


3. Hotel Del Sol, San Francisco

Cheery and colourful rooms with whimsical touches for kids, this hotel makes a great home base for families visiting the City by the Bay.

Little ones get goodie-filled knapsacks upon check-in, a fun way to perk up tired little travellers. Family rooms have separate bedrooms for the kids, baby-proofed rooms are available, and suites with kitchenettes for making quick meals and snacks. Bath time gets a boost with in-room tub toys. Snuggle up for quiet time with a special library of books and DVDs.

Start the day with Continental breakfast, included for all in your room; milk and cookies are served every afternoon.

The hotel is situated in San Francisco’s Bayfront Marina District, within walking distance of Crissy Field, Fort Mason, and Fisherman’s Wharf.

Find out more: Hotel Del Sol


4. Loews Coronado Bay Resort, San Diego

Perched on a tiny peninsula extending into San Diego Bay, the Loews Coronado is a bustling resort perfect for an active family.

Its pool configuration is set up for good times all around: wading pool, designated family pool and hot tub, and ping pong tables.

Tempted to take a dip in the peaceful adult-only pool and hot tub? No worries—just sign the kids up for the resort’s half or full-day kids’ club, with activities like sandcastle building, scavenger hunts, and magic tricks.

Older kids can hit the teen lounge for watching movies or enjoy Play Station games. Better yet, get everyone outside enjoying San Diego’s awesome weather with a spin in the resort’s loaner kayaks, standup paddleboards, sailboats, or personal watercraft. Beautiful Silver Strand Beach is within walking distance.

Find out more: Loews Coronado Bay Resort


5. Juniper Springs Resort, Mammoth

Juniper Springs Lodge is your perfect base camp for your next Mammoth family adventure; this family-friendly resort delivers all the comforts of home with ski-in, ski-out convenience.

The Eagle base lodge next door delivers all your ski resort needs, and in the warmer months, you can hit the links at the Sierra Star Golf Course just out your door. Amenities include Wi-Fi, fitness centres, heated pools, hot tubs, game and media room, summer bike rentals and complimentary airport and town shuttle service.

Find out more: Juniper Springs Resort


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READ: California Cool: San Francisco’s hottest new boutique hotel

What your favourite family-friendly hotel in California?