Weekend Stay at the Marriott Manhattan Beach

Weekend Stay at the Marriott Manhattan Beach pin

Just southwest of the  Los Angeles lies the coastal town of Manhattan Beach. The posh city bordering the Pacific Ocean is famous as one of the three cities that make up LA’s South Bay. With its famous beach volleyball courts and surfing, it is the perfect place to take the family for a weekend in the sun. As we discovered during our latest visit the  Manhattan Beach Marriott Hotel is the ideal location for family friendly service and outdoor fun.

Family Stay at the Manhattan Beach Marriott sky

What Makes it Family Worthy?

The Marriott Manhattan Beach Hotel at 1400 Parkview Avenue in Manhattan Beach, California is a good choice for families looking for a reasonably priced hotel in the LA area. The property offers connecting rooms and is close to many famous beaches as well as the Manhattan Beach Golf course, Pier and the Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center. Moreover, the immediate area around the property offers guests numerous dining and entertainment options which makes it a good choice for most families.

Family Stay at the Manhattan Beach Marriott lamp

 

Our Welcome

The check-in was fast and efficient with excellent service. We had requested a king-sized bed and informed them of our feather allergies and the need for a quiet room due to our son’s autism. Though they had initially forgotten to accommodate these needs, upon our arrival housekeeping was prompt in replacing the bedding and pillows with hypoallergenic ones. The staff also brought the rollaway bed we had requested for our son.

Family Stay at the Manhattan Beach Marriott lobby

Hotel Decor

The hotel decor like many others in the chain was modern yet stylish. The public areas featured marble flooring and prominent sienna colored pillars. The lobby seating area boasted fresh colors of brown, yellow, orange and terracotta, drawn together by fairy lights in ornamental branches. As we walked in, we passed by the outdoor fountain which was pretty when it was lit up at night.

 

Family Stay at the Manhattan Beach Marriott chair

Our Room

The room reserved for us on the fifth floor, 522, was a classic, standard, no frills comfortable room. The room had dark green carpeting and light beige walls accompanied by medium brown furnishings. There was a big 42” flat-screen TV positioned so it could be viewed from both the king sized bed and the orange velour chair/ottoman combo in the sitting area. The two small nightstands along with the standing lamps, alarm clock, and phone completed the space making quite functional.

Family Stay at the Manhattan Beach Marriott bed

Across from the beds stood a large desk with a pull out shelf for extra working space. As we soon discovered, there were plenty of outlets in the room for guests to power up their electronic devices including an outlet splitter that was located on the desk itself. The closet had an ample hanging area for clothing along with shelves and ultra-deep drawers, so storage was not an issue. There was also an ironing board  and iron for guest convenience.

Our Bathroom

We had a clean, well laid out bathroom with marble flooring and a glass-enclosed shower, commode, and large counter top vanity. The hotel provided a small amenity kit with Thann products that we liked.

Family Stay at the Manhattan Beach Marriott kit

The shower had a standard, not handheld, shower head with decent water pressure. We liked that the bathroom had a place to hang towels and that housekeeping came to replenish towels once a day or more frequently if guests requested it.

Dining

The hotel offered several breakfast choices that varied in price with The Continental being the cheapest and most affordable at $15, a slightly more expensive Full American breakfast, and The Hot Breakfast and Buffet option which was the priciest at $25 per person. Families wishing to explore alternate options could check out the restaurants that were within walking distance, including Jackson’s, Brickworks, P.F Chang’s and Houston’s.

Family Stay at the Manhattan Beach Marriott sink

Amenities

The hotel featured a whirlpool and sauna as well as a heated outdoor pool which in a place like Southern California could be used year around.
The locale had a small fitness center with equipment like weights, elliptical machines, and cardiovascular equipment for guests who wished to exercise during their stay.
However, the venue’s highlight is its own nine-hole golf course. Managed by Marriott Golf it boasts the Executive par 3 course that is fun for all skill levels as well as a specialized program for juniors.

Family Stay at the Manhattan Beach Marriott tv

Autism Travel Tips:

  • For anyone who is temperature sensitive, there is guest-operated A/C control in the room.
  • Our room on the fifth floor had a sliding door to the balcony which could be a safety hazard for kids with autism who wander off.
  • We brought a non-slip mat with us for the shower as the hotel does not provide one.
  • The bathroom door has a lock so make sure your child does not get stuck in there on their own.
  • The hotel offers free bike rentals so make sure you pack your kids’ helmet.

 

Quality Family Relaxation at JW Marriott Hong Kong

 

Quality Family Relaxation at JW Marriott Hong Kong pin

When visiting China, families might want to explore Hong Kong, since it is such a unique destination. When we visited the island, we opted to stay at the luxurious JW Marriott Hong Kong because of its quiet location and proximity to public transportation.

 

What Makes it Family Worthy?

The JW Marriott in Hong Kong is located in an upscale high-rise building at  One Pacific Place, 88 Queensway. This hotel has 602 rooms, including connecting rooms, and is situated just above the Admiralty subway station.

Teenagers traveling with their families would enjoy the freedom of hanging out in the posh mall on the lower levels, while their parents would be relieved that their children don’t even have to leave the premises to do so.
Furthermore, with its proximity to the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Center as well as the Hong Kong Park this hotel caters to both business travelers and families.

Quality Family Relaxation at JW Marriott Hong Kong sky

Hotel Decor

The Marriott Hong Kong boasted mostly neutral and dark colored furnishings, with splashes of color strategically placed throughout the lobby. Many of the public areas featured elegant and elaborate Chinese themed decorations like silk paintings and jade carvings as well as area rugs and koi fish in bowls. And of course, the open hotel design gave guests every opportunity it could to show off the fantastic views of the surrounding area.

Quality Family Relaxation at JW Marriott Hong Kong dishes

Our Welcome

As we normally do, we did call the hotel ahead of time to ask for a feather free quiet room. Upon our arrival after a very long haul flight, the staff surprised us by not only having the room ready early in the morning but by sending a welcome gift of sticky buns to our room for us to enjoy.
Quality Family Relaxation at JW Marriott Hong Kong bed

Our Room

We were assigned a top floor corner room with large 180-degree windows from which we could see the city skyline.
Our room had two comfortable double beds which felt more like American queen sized beds with some white sheets and two fluffy pillows each. Situated between the two beds was a nightstand with a wall lamp and phone. A  sitting area, work desk as well as a safe and mini fridge completed the furnishings.

What we loved about the hotel was in in-room technology that included gadgets which were some of the more elaborate ones we’ve seen in recent years. Not only did we see plenty of outlets to charge our electronics, but the room came with remote controlled window shades, and a doorbell with a do-not-disturb button, which came in handy for communicating with the staff. Our son was so fascinated with the bamboo scroll that displayed the TV channels that he asked the staff if he could take one home.

Family Stay at the Manhattan Beach Marriott chair

Our Bathroom

Our luxurious bathroom, tiled in tan colored marble, had a separate shower with a glass enclosure and tub sectioned off from the toilet area, leading to overall greater privacy. Furthermore, it was well- stocked with an array of toiletries, such as nail files, Band-Aids, and bath salts along with the usual shampoos and soaps.

Quality Family Relaxation at JW Marriott Hong Kong pork leg

Amenities

The Marriott had a helpful concierge service and a tour desk that could assist travelers in arranging various activities in Hong Kong.
The property featured was a spa, an outdoor pool, and a state-of-the-art gym for guests to use. The provided Wi-Fi was free, fast and quite reliable.

Executive Lounge

This hotel had one of the best executive level lounges we’ve ever seen in the course of our travels. The tri-level venue had an extensive selection of reading the material available for travelers, and the gorgeous city views provided the perfect complement to dining.
Not only was the service outstanding, but a plethora of well-prepared dishes were served at breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Quality Family Relaxation at JW Marriott Hong Kong hall

For breakfast, we found food stations with stacked with salads, baked goods, cheese, and waffles. There were also cereals, yogurts, eggs, and smoked meats as well chicken porridge, fried noodles, and barbecue pork buns.
For Happy Hour, the various dishes and appetizers along with the drinks were so filling that we usually skipped going out for any additional meals.
We loved the fact that guests could choose from the two available seating areas, with the upper deck somewhat quieter than the lower level.

The Marriott Hong Kong lavish Sunday Brunch

We did get to enjoy the pricey hotel brunch while we stayed, and it was superb.
The brunch boasted a dedicated sushi station. Next to this station, we saw other seafood such as crab, lobster, tiger shrimp, and caviar.
There was a carving station with a ham under a heat lamp and sauces. Near this station was a salmon section with three types of salmon, lox, and trimmings.
We enjoyed the egg station with hardboiled eggs and Eggs Benedict. This station had a make your omelet section where guests could put caviar or ham in their eggs.
Travelers could make their salads with different toppings and dressings, or choose a pre-made salad such as potato or pasta.

Quality Family Relaxation at JW Marriott Hong Kong shrimp

Also, the buffet offered round, beehive shaped containers that held pork dumplings and buns and Peking duck with toppings like cucumber and onions. Near this area was a Foie Gras table where travelers could watch the chefs prepare the delicacy.
Other food items at this buffet included baked scallops, vegetarian soup, Indian curry, baked cheese Boston lobster, and lamb chops.
Topping this elaborate food fest was the dessert table with plenty of danishes, chocolates, beautiful cakes, and baked flan.
For drinks, patrons could pick from watermelon, mango, grapefruit, orange, guava, and strawberry juices or opt for wines and champagne.

Dining

Tasty meals could be had at the many onsite eateries.
The Fish Bar served up fresh, delicious seafood at reasonable prices while the Flint Grill & Bar offered steak and seafood. Authentic Cantonese dishes were on the menu at the Man Ho Restaurant.

Quality Family Relaxation at JW Marriott Hong Kong juice

The hotel had three bar areas which provided guests with a variety of drinks from which to choose. Coffee lovers might instead want to check out Dolce 88, which served delicious cups of many different coffees.

Service

By far, this hotel had the best service we have experienced.
Every time that we picked up the phone to ask anything of housekeeping, the staff would race to our door in five minutes or less. Furthermore, the staff worked diligently to ensure that our son with autism had his needs met and enjoyed his stay.
Quality Family Relaxation at JW Marriott Hong Kong chef

 

 

Autism Travel Tips:

  • The bathrooms have tubs with a safety grip on the side, making it easy for disabled persons to enter and exit the bath without slipping.
  • There is a separate shower with a hand-held showerhead, making baths less complicated for those who require assistance.
  • The hotel had built-in nightlights to help navigate the room in the dark.
  • The staff showed great autism awareness and was instrumental in making our son with autism very comfortable during our stay.Quality Family Relaxation at JW Marriott Hong Kong stick

 

 

Family Stay at Bakersfield’s SpringHill Suites by Marriott

Staying with Family at Bakersfield's SpringHill Suites by Marriott pin

Last month our travels took us to Bakersfield, California which is over hundred miles out of Los Angeles. Even though we had passed it many times on the freight highway on the way to Sacramento and San Francisco, we have never actually stopped there. So, this time, we were determined to spend at least one night, and we finally got to explore the ninth biggest city in the State.

Staying with Family at Bakersfield's SpringHill Suites by Marriott table

 

Since we are Marriott members and big fans of the hotel brand we decided to try their SpringHill Suites in Bakersfield. They offer a low-end, no-frills place to stay that still provides comfort and some decent amenities. We enjoyed their complimentary breakfast and pool but especially their family-friendly budget price. And it certainly did not disappoint!

Located at 3801 Marriott Drive, in Bakersfield, theCalifornia, the hotel is in one of the nonresidential areas of Bakersfield. It is set on a street which we fondly nicknamed ‘Hotel Row’ as it houses multiple hotels from several brands.

What Works for Families

For us, the main selling points for this property were the size of the; the fact that they had an opening sofa for our son with autism and the complimentary breakfast included in the room price. Also, parking was free, and the property offered access to free Wi-Fi.

Staying with Family at Bakersfield's SpringHill Suites by Marriott desk

What Doesn’t Work for Families

There was no way to fit a fifth family member in a standard room, so traveling with more than four would require booking two rooms, and there were very few options for adjoining rooms.

Unfortunately, the hotel was a bit far from most stores, entertainment, and restaurants, so guests need a car to reach any of these destinations.

Special Accommodations

We always call ahead and this time was no different. We requested a feather-free room due to allergies as well as a quiet room not facing a busy street or any other noisy area. The hotel met both of these accommodations without needing a reminder.

Staying with Family at Bakersfield's SpringHill Suites by Marriott stool

Our Arrival and Welcome

Check-in was a breeze and the lady at the front desk who also served as a makeshift concierge, advised us on places to visit and where to dine. It turns out that Bakersfield is famous for many Basque eateries. Who knew?

Decor

The hotel’s front lobby decoration is modern and accessorized with bright colors that set the welcoming and inviting tone for a cheery atmosphere. There was a moderately-sized space right at the entrance that served as their breakfast area.

Staying with Family at Bakersfield's SpringHill Suites by Marriott bar

Fellow Travelers

The area is famous for its farming, so the hotel welcomes business folk who come for the various farming industry activities. The hotel also houses adventure-seekers looking for a place to spend nights before or after visiting the two nearby National Parks.

Our Room

The room was decked out in luxury creams and browns with tasteful artwork on the walls. It was immaculate, modern, and comfortable, providing adequate space for a family of four.

There was a kitchenette with a microwave, coffee maker, a cabinet, counter space and a small refrigerator we used as a cooler. They provided a few dishes and silverware.There were two refuse bins, one for recycling and one for regular trash.

Staying with Family at Bakersfield's SpringHill Suites by Marriott couch

The king size bed had nightstands on either side; both had lamps, and one had a phone. Pillows and cotton linens were all provided. There was a half-wall separation between the sleeping area and the sitting room which we thought was a nice way to offer a little privacy.

We were very impressed with the fold-out couch, perfect for those who have two younger children or one older child. With the sofa, there was plenty of seating and the desk provided a useful surface to work at.The TV cabinet doubled up as a chest of drawers providing ample space for storage. Like other budget Marriott premises we have stayed in, there was no wall safe provided.

The room was well-lit, and there was no shortage of places to plug-in electronic gadgets.There were sockets on the desk, walls, and even in the lamp bases on the nightstands.

Staying with Family at Bakersfield's SpringHill Suites by Marriott computer

The window had the option of heavy curtains to shut out the light. There were safety locks on both the window and the front door which we appreciated.Though the A/C  wall unit was quite noisy, we had no choice but to keep the machine running as Bakersfield was quite hot .

The Bathroom

The decor of the remodeled bathroom was a continuation of the room’s theme of creams and browns. There was an adequate granite countertop boasting an extra shelf around the basin. We were grateful for the towels and the Paul Mitchell amenity kit provided.

Staying with Family at Bakersfield's SpringHill Suites by Marriott kit

The room featured a tub (with a grab bar), a shower, and a commode with tiled was tiled flooring. The toilet-paper dispenser was, weirdly, located quite a distance from the toilet on the opposite wall. Apart from that, this bathroom complimented the room quite well.

Our Breakfast

The hotel offered a complimentary American breakfast buffet. It was typically hearty and generous with egg, bacon, sausages, yogurt, cut up fruit, pastries and cold and warm beverages, always helpful for travelers that need to start their morning on a full stomach. The dining area was rather small, so it was a little challenging to find a table.

Staying with Family at Bakersfield's SpringHill Suites by Marriott fridge

This property did not feature room service. However, there was a little mini store that sells groceries and sundries should visitors need something in a hurry after hours located next to the check-in area. Numerous malls and stores were within a short driving distance from the hotel, so getting provisions was not a problem. In fact, on the way there we saw a giant Walmart open 24 hours a day with a hair and nail salon inside.

Pool and Gym

The hotel has a small gym and a pool which several guest kids staying there enjoyed when we visited. Parents should be advised that there is no lifeguard, so they need to supervise their children while using the pool.

Staying with Family at Bakersfield's SpringHill Suites by Marriott counter

Cost

As mentioned before, the price was family-friendly, under $100 a night. The price included free wifi, complimentary breakfast, and access to the fitness center.

Overall the property not only managed to meet our needs but exceeded our expectations. Service was efficient prompt and professional, and we would be happy to stay here again should we be in this area.

Autism Travel Tips:

  • Parents of smell sensitive children should be aware that the pool chlorine was quite intense when the enclosed area is first entered.
  • As we did, parents of sound sensitive children should try to get a quiet room facing away from busy streets.
  • Parents should pack a shower mat and night light as this hotel does not supply them.

The Family Friendly Marriott Brussels Hotel Grand Place

The Family Friendly Marriott Brussels Hotel Grand Place pin

Over the summer, we had the opportunity to fly to the Belgian capital of Brussels. During our visit to the city, our hotel of choice was the Marriott Brussels Hotel Grand Place, located on Rue August Orts 3-7. This property, with 220 rooms and suites, is strategically located near Old Town, the city’s Grand Place Square, and the Anspach pedestrian-only zone.

The Family Friendly Marriott Brussels Hotel Grand Place platter

Why It Is Family Friendly

Families will certainly like the fact that this hotel is close to several unique attractions and only ten minutes from the local airport. We specifically chose the Brussel Marriott Hotel Grand Palace because the building is within walking distance of all the Old City landmarks, including the famous Rue de Buerre and the Mannekin Pis statue. The neighborhood is also home to many different, kid-friendly eateries including a McDonald’s and a Pizza Hut next door. Plenty of buses stop nearby, and the closest metro station is only a short distance away. With that said, Brussels is a walkable city and getting from the hotel to many places is usually no problem at all.

The Family Friendly Marriott Brussels Hotel Grand Place lobby

Fellow Travelers

A mix of solo travelers, families, and business people make up the clientele at this establishment. However, the week we stayed there were quite a few families because it was summer.

Our Welcome

Before arriving at the hotel, we made sure the staff knew that we needed a feather-free, quiet room. All of our requests were honored to the letter.

The Family Friendly Marriott Brussels Hotel Grand Place bar

As Marriott Gold members, we were able to take advantage of a few benefits, and one of them was the early check-in mentioned above. This fact proved most convenient as our flight from California landed in Brussels early in the morning, and we didn’t have to wait until the usual three pm time to get into the room. The Reception desk staff were extremely friendly, polite and helpful.

As soon as we were checked in, the staff directed us to the Executive Lounge where we took a much-needed coffee and tea break after the long haul flight.

Decor

Tasteful colors such as black, white, gray, and dark blue pervade the hotel building’s public areas. However, the splashes of red or green in various spots do wonders to enliven the overall décor. Restful browns and tan hues decorated our room. Meanwhile, our bathroom contained a great deal of white marble and black accent pieces.

The Family Friendly Marriott Brussels Hotel Grand Place red

Our Room

We had called ahead and asked for a quiet room, and they gave us one on the 5th floor which was in a peaceful spot.

Our spotlessly clean room was moderately sized by American standards. So, larger families should book an additional room to make sure everyone has plenty of space.

The décor of the room was simple yet tasteful with green and brown carpeting. The artwork that graced the walls depicted pictures of Brussels. The room had a comfortable king-sized bed and a desk with an ergonomic chair. We had multiple power outlets, useful for all the devices that need charging.

The Family Friendly Marriott Brussels Hotel Grand Place carpet

The room had a spacious closet with ample shelving and a convenient ironing board, as well as a chest of drawers under the TV. The closet had a safe placed at a reasonable height which was large enough to hold a laptop or tablet. The safe came with the bonus of a power source inside so travelers could charge devices while locked away.

The room was well lit, and there was a little sitting area which is useful for reading or even just taking a break to enjoy some tea or coffee from the complimentary bar section in the room.

The Family Friendly Marriott Brussels Hotel Grand Place cheese

Although the entire area, as mentioned, was exceptionally well-lit, the hotel designers didn’t neglect to give guests room darkening shades. We found the curtains to be particularly useful in combatting jet lag after a long flight.

The Bathroom

Our bathroom was just the right size for our group, elegant with a green granite counter and basin. There was a combination curtained shower/bathtub with a handheld shower attachment, useful for those traveling with children. There was also a retractable line for drying clothes provided in the tub.

The Family Friendly Marriott Brussels Hotel Grand Place bathroom

The amenity kit featured Acca Kappa items, an Italian brand of cosmetics established in the 1860s, along with a hairdryer and magnifying mirror.

Executive Lounge

Access to the Executive lounge is also a Gold member privilege, although patrons can also pay a fee to upgrade their stay and have access to it. The lounge had modern décor, with high-quality food presented with a classic touch.The executive lounge was an excellent spot to sit and enjoy breakfast or a snack during the day. We additionally enjoyed the daily happy hour with appetizers that included many cheese dips and antipasto along with the country’s beers, wines, and soft drinks.

The Family Friendly Marriott Brussels Hotel Grand Place tv

Dining

Marriott Gold members staying at the hotel get complimentary access to the breakfast buffet, which is otherwise 25 euros. Since we were in that country’s capital, naturally one of the first things we tried at the buffet were the DIY Belgian waffles.

We saw a good selection of cooked eggs in various styles, including a chef preparing individual omelets on request.

The Family Friendly Marriott Brussels Hotel Grand Place dining

In the prepared food section, there were potatoes, mushrooms, pork sausages and bacon. There were yogurts to go along with cereals, grains, and different types of milk. The buffet also featured dried fruits, nuts, and fresh juices. The baked goods section included croissants, muffins, Danishes, bread and jams, honey, butter, and spreads. Our personal favorite station was the one with cold cuts and smoked fish – mackerel, herring, salmon, hams, and sliced cheeses.

The Family Friendly Marriott Brussels Hotel Grand Place wine Autism Travel Tips:

  • Travelers with autism requiring a quiet room should call the front desk or Marriott reservations to request one.
  • Ampach Boulevard, the street running in front of the hotel, was recently closed to vehicular traffic. As a result, strolling the area is a safe and pleasant pastime for even the youngest of children. Most kids will be entertained with the different free activities offered on the boulevard, such as bocce and table tennis.

 

Family Stop at the Westlake Village Residence Inn Hotel

Family Stop at the Westlake Village Residence Inn Hotel pin

About 45 minutes’ drive away from the center of Los Angeles, situated at 30950 Russell Ranch Rd, Westlake Village, you will find the Marriott Residence Inn Family Stop at the Westlake Village Residence Inn Hotel sky

Westlake Village is a small community right outside of LA that is family friendly and safe. The community is close to the usual malls and shops, including Target and Costco. Families can settle in or stay here in transit to LA.

 

Like every other Residence Inn property, water, Wi-Fi, and parking are free.

Fellow Guests

Patrons will be sharing this hotel with guests of all ages. There will be folks here on business (there are many digital firms in the area) as well as vacationers for long weekends, overnight or for longer periods of time. With its family-friendly atmosphere and location within reasonable driving distance to places like Disneyland and Malibu, it is a popular place for the holidays.

Family Stop at the Westlake Village Residence Inn Hotel blue

Our Welcome

The staff was ecstatic to get locals to stay with them to show around the property. We were thrilled that they could accommodate us on a very short notice after we experienced a power outage, and we were grateful for their hospitality. Check in was a breeze, due to our status as Marriot members, and all our accommodations are registered in their system.

Family Stop at the Westlake Village Residence Inn Hotel outside

Décor

As visitors approach the hotel from the outside, they will see palm trees, clean lines and a modern look of the four-story sturdy, stately building. Inside, the lobby has a pretty sitting area all done in neutral tones with carpets and furnishings in creams, browns, and a few muted accents. The fireplace gives a homely and welcoming feel every month of the year. The guest rooms also have carpeting which is golden browns with flecks of turquoise.

Family Stop at the Westlake Village Residence Inn Hotel wall

Our Room

We were not originally going to be staying at this hotel. However, at the last minute, our plans changed. We called and made reservations at the Westlake Village’s Residence Inn. The staff accommodated us on such short notice which was extremely helpful.

It is good that they had 160 rooms and there was some availability. The room we were given was a completely self-sustaining unit, just like the others in the Residence Inn franchises. It worked for guests who need either long or short-term stays.

Our room was clean, spacious and comfortable. The front door had a double lock, which we appreciated. There was a living room and dining room area inside. It has air conditioning which guests can control making it either hot or cold according to their preference.

Family Stop at the Westlake Village Residence Inn Hotel orange

The room didn’t just have only beds, but also an opening sofa for extra sleeping space in the sitting-room area. The 32” television screen can be seen easily while lying down in it.

There is plenty of storage space. The room had one small closet with a small hanging space with ample drawers and another closet with more extensive hanging space. The night stands as well as the TV console doubled as chests of drawers, which was great.

For travelers who come to this property for work and business, there was a nicely sized desk with a chair featuring an ergonomically fit backrest. On the desk, along with others, there was a phone, ample lighting, and lamps, and electric power outlets. The outlets were perfect for family members needing to charge their multiple devices at the same time.

Family Stop at the Westlake Village Residence Inn Hotel chair

Our Bathroom

The bathroom was decorated in neutral, earthy tones of creams on the walls and linoleum flooring. It featured a tub/shower combo with an overhead attachment but no handheld shower head. Housekeeping provided plenty of towels as well as a hairdryer and small amenity kit.

Family Stop at the Westlake Village Residence Inn Hotel bathroom

Like all Residence Inns properties, this too had a kitchenette with a dishwasher, cooktop, big microwave, toaster, coffee maker, and fridge. Families have the option to request that the refrigerator is stocked on your arrival. Also, for an additional payment, groceries can be replenished in the kitchenette. This kitchen was also fully furnished with crockery, cutlery, pots, pans and other necessary cooking utensils. The hotel also provides a laundromat service.

Dining Options

The Residence Inn, like all others, offers a complimentary breakfast buffet. It is served in the communal dining room, and it caters to American travelers.

The free breakfast buffet offers hot and cold dishes, including cooked eggs, bacon, sausage, cut up fruit, jellies, a plethora of bakery items, as well as hot and cold morning beverages. For all other meals, guests have the option of cooking in their units or taking advantage of the restaurants in the area.

Family Stop at the Westlake Village Residence Inn Hotel fridge

Travelers should be aware that the Residence Inn also offers a convenient happy hour called the “Residence Inn Mix” to encourage socializing and make use of the lobby area and outdoors. They offer a couple of appetizers, at least one hot dish, and beer and wine on weekdays.

They do provide BBQ facilities for the guests too. There is a weekly schedule of evening events which include dining.

Amenities

There is a full fitness center in the hotel as well as a pool. These are used by the guests from morning until night, especially in the summer months. Right off the lobby, there’s a gaming section with a pool table. There’s a sundries store with supplies for guests who forgot to pack things.

Family Stop at the Westlake Village Residence Inn Hotel table

Autism Travel Tips:

  • The facility caters for wheelchairs, simply let the hotel know in advance that you need the suite that has in-room accessibility and the accessible bathroom and roll-in shower.
  • For those sensitive to light, they do have blackout drapes in the rooms.

Family Stop at the Westlake Village Residence Inn Hotel pool

  • They do not provide non-slip mats for the bathroom, so it is advisable to bring your own.
  • The hotel has Free wifi on their premises.
  • There is a lock on the balcony door, which helps with safety.
  • There is a grab bar in the bathroom.

 

How Families with Autism Can Benefit from Using Hotel Chains

 

How families with autism can benefit from using hotel chains pin

Hotel chains do not immediately appear to the average family as the most comfortable or budget friendly option. But staying in chain hotels carries unexpected benefits for families, especially those with a family member with autism. Here are the four benefits my family and I see for other families with autism staying in chain hotels.

Familiarity

Though the similar looking rooms in each different location may look uninteresting to some patrons, this might be a selling point to families traveling with autism. Guests with autism can get used to the visual layout of the room. Family members with autism can feel more relaxed and at home with the usual amenities like the same brand soap, slippers, and even TV channels. Some chains even have the same smells sprayed in their lobby and use the same amenity kits companies for their bathrooms. These little things can help ease the stress of staying away from home, especially for kids with autism.

Why Staying in Chain Hotels is Helpful for Families with Autism hall

Accruing Points Leads to More Free Stays

If you stay loyal to one or two major chains, you are on your way to earning free night stays and status building with the companies. By earning points, travelers can get freebies like Wi-Fi, water in the room, and access to the executive lounge. These little perks can add up so that you and your family can afford to travel more frequently.

Since these hotel chains make note of your preferences on your profile web page that can make your family’s stay more comfortable. For special needs families, this is especially useful. The chain keeps track, worldwide, of special requests, like feather-free bedding, quiet rooms away from elevators, and food allergies.

Why Staying in Chain Hotels is Helpful for Families with Autism chairs

Your Complaints Carry Weight

In today’s travel world where customer service is scaled down, this is an extra bonus. As a loyal patron with status, the company will listen, care, and try to correct whatever is wrong faster. Legally, the hotel companies can’t ask customers what their special needs are. Therefore, it is up to you to be proactive and let them know about your needs and how they can accommodate your family.

Our advice is to write a list of what your child is sensitive to and what they require to help make them feel comfortable in a new setting so you can relay this to the staff. After over a decade of travel, our favorite chains for special needs accommodations are Marriot, SPG, Fairmont, and Sofitel.

Why Staying in Chain Hotels is Helpful for Families with Autism beds

The Marriott chain boasts a great model that other hotel chains should follow. The company has a special accessibility desk that families can be transferred to and speak with after making their reservation. Patrons can tell the staff member what exact accommodations their family requires, and they will note them on the reservation and even contact the property to make sure they are followed. This way the chain can address personal preferences such as air room purifiers, allergen free, feather free, and chemical free special needs.

The Fairmont hotel chain also offers chemical-free rooms. However, it is up to each of their properties to deal with traveling family requests individually. They do offer pet-friendly or pet-free rooms by request. The chain has also expanded, in the past few years, their gluten free options in most of their properties.

Why Staying in Chain Hotels is Helpful for Families with Autism bath

Welcoming Service Animals

Under the 1990 ADA public access law, hotels must allow service animals. Hotels also cannot charge a direct pet fee for the stay. However, many places do charge a fee for cleaning up after the pet. For families traveling with service dogs, it is helpful to request a room close to the lobby area. This way, owners can easily go outside for potty breaks. Families with noise sensitive kids can bring an artificial patch of grass to put in the room’s bathroom instead.

Some hotel chains, like SPG and Fairmont, go out of their way to make service dogs extra welcome by pampering them with special beds, treats, and even freshly prepared meals to order.

In Summation

The main issue to remember when searching for a chain to accommodate your special needs traveler is to communicate your concerns and requests to the chain representative and the hotel staff. It never hurts to ask for any accommodations you may require. Often the hotel representatives will go out of their way to help you. It is important for parents to remember that by finding a hotel chain that fits your family needs, and sticking with one or two hotel chains when possible, will go a long way towards creating stability and familiarity for your child with autism and help them enjoy their travels better.

It is important for parents to remember that finding one or two hotel chain that fits your family needs, and staying with them frequently, will promote stability and familiarity for your child with autism and help them enjoy their travels better.

Why Staying in Chain Hotels is Helpful for Families with Autism sweep

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