Contrary to various rap songs and celebrity spottings featured in US Weekly, Miami offers so much more than party scenes and club-life. From the art culture and concerts to beach days and neighborhood festivals, I personally have grown to love Miami for more than what is seen on the surface. And as a mom and someone who has previously lived in big cities like Chicago and NY, it’s up for debate on Miami being one of the most family-friendly destinations for spring break. Furthermore, the hotels have followed suit and have done an incredible job catering to families without sacrificing some of the luxuries mom and dad want while on vacation.
Having spent over 16 years in hotels, and more recently working with dozens and dozens of hotels here in South Florida, I wanted to share 5 unexpected family-friendly luxury hotels in Miami. Spring break is around the corner, summer staycation planning is in full swing and these hotels will not disappoint. I have personally experienced each one of them and am excited to share more about why they are perfect for family travel this year.
Fontainebleau– Yes, yes, I know. You think Fontainebleau and you may just think Liv nightclub or massive party hotel on the beach. These are not false thoughts. However, this property absolutely caters to families. There is a separate family pool area with a splash pad and water slide to boot. Their Pizza and Burger restaurant is perfect for lunch or dinner with the kiddos. And of course, you have to get gelato at Chez Bon Bon. The property offers Kid Camp and Kids Night Out programming where the activities are led by Fontainebleau’s certified and experienced adventure guides who instruct and lead the kids in games, team building exercises, scavenger hunts, sports skills, art, drama, music and movement, and much more.
Explore more about the FB Kids program – ahem, they offering babysitting service as well.
W South Beach– Seems crazy, right? Yeah, well, let me just say this. Each room comes with a kitchen or kitchenette (with a refrigerator, cooktop, microwave…yep). And massive balconies boasting ocean views from every single room in the hotel. If you are looking for space and have more than one kiddo, this hotel is it as your guestroom experience alone will give you a reason to become loyal – and come back. Not to mention The Dutch restaurant being perfect for adults and kids alike – a dining experience that is well-designed, approachable and delicious. The location is perfect as it is closer to mid-beach (making it easy to Uber over to the Design District or Wynwood), across from Bass Art Museum and of course, there’s direct access to the beach. Lastly, bring your dog if you so choose because their pet program is epic, and don’t forget to leverage their Whatever/Whenever service – because come on, you have kids, you KNOW you will forget something or need the team there to help you with whatever you want, whenever you want it.
Acqualina Resort & Spa– If you want a splurge that will be worth every penny, this resort is it. You and your family will feel like you were transported to the Amalfi coast and you won’t be mad about it at all. The beach is literally just steps away from the resort, so the kiddos are going to have the best time. But make no mistake, this property boasts one of the most robust children programs in the hotel industry. Your little one can take an etiquette class, wind down with their bedside reading story hour, partake in sports lessons (soccer, basketball, gymnastics, agility) and more. Moreover, you can go kayaking at Oleta River State Park or get really adventurous with their wildlife experience – a program where exotic animal trainers teach guests about animals that are live and in-person, ready for all the photos. You truly never have to leave the resort to have a vacation of a lifetime.
Click here for more details about the one-of-a-kind experiences Acqualina has to offer!
Diplomat Beach Resort and Spa– Having recently completed a $100 million dollar renovation, this resort caters to families and makes it easy. There is an extensive Kids Club program and a perfect family package offer you can book to ensure you get the most out of your stay. Painting, games, turtle nesting, beach time, cooking classes, oceanic adventures, and the list goes on! There are 8 restaurants on the property, a small but amazing water park (affectionately known as Dip and Slide), a bounce house (hello, every toddler’s dream) and, of course, the Atlantic Ocean beckoning you to take a swim. My personal favorite thing about this resort is the design – it’s colorful, inviting, warm, unique and really offers an emotional sense of South Florida as soon as you enter the lobby doors.
JW Marriott Miami Turnberry Resort and Spa– Did someone say water park? Oh yes, they sure did. Coming this year, the newly renovated and rebranded JW Turnberry is launching Tidal Cove, a world-class water park with all the slides and rides. I could stop there, but I won’t. The dining outlets cater to the kiddos and they are also opening another restaurant concept, Surf House Bar & Grill, that is sophisticated enough for mom and dad, but casual enough to have the kids come along. Located across the street from Aventura Mall (which, for the record, is basically becoming a massive family destination in and of itself), JW Turnberry has an incredible kids’ program, beach access, and six pools. A perfect Miami vacation if I do say so myself.
If you need more reasons to stay at JW Turnberry, check these out!
What do you think? You ready to book your Miami spring break vacation or summer staycation? Check out our Staycation Guide for more great suggestions!
Contributor Travel Tip – as a local, we know summer tends to be, well, a bit hot here in South Florida. And this means the hotels tend to be somewhat slower than peak seasons like Art Basel or the first quarter of the year. Thus, you will often find the best prices – even at some of the luxury hotels I’ve listed above – in July and August.