Booking Hotels for a Large Family in California, Hawaii and Florida

It can sometimes seem like the travel world is made for families
of four (chairlifts, rental cars and way too many hotel rooms).
Whenever I travel with my four nieces, I get a taste of what it’s
like to be at the helm of a bigger family looking to spend an
affordable night on the road without being forced to book two hotel
rooms or an entire vacation home. It’s not easy.

We’ve squished three across two beds for the inevitable
sleepless night. There have even been times, I am not proud to
admit, when some unlucky soul spent the night atop an improvised
bed of pillows on a hotel room floor.
Such is often life for large families trying to fit into rooms
sized for four people
.

The fact is, most hotel rooms bookable on points (or cash) are
for a maximum of four people. However, if you dig a bit (including
a look at
extended-stay options),
there are decent choices in vacation
hotspots for families of six or more looking to stay on points.
(Here are some
two-bedroom hotel suites that are actually bookable on
points
.)

Today, though, we focus on three states popular with family
travelers — California, Florida and Hawaii — and discuss hotels
where you can house a big family in one room or suite and pay using
your hard-earned points.

(Photo by FatCamera / Getty Images)(Photo
by FatCamera / Getty Images)

Note that in some cases we were able to confirm the points rates
through the hotel’s website, for others we had to call and talk
to someone to get confirmation.

California Bound

These points hotels in California excel when it comes to
welcoming families — even large ones.

Courtyard by Marriott Anaheim Theme Park Entrance

A favorite with TPG Family readers bound for Disneyland, the
Courtyard by Marriott Anaheim Theme Park Entrance is just off
Interstate 5 and is a stone’s throw from the park gates. This
makes it easy for families of six to stay comfortably. For 50,000
points per night, you can book a one-bedroom suite with two queen
beds and two twins in a bunk-bed configuration. At the 50k per
night rate, you could use the annual award night (up to 50,000
points) that comes with the Marriott Bonvoy
Brilliant™ American Express® Card
. (Here’s
more information on that card
.)Photo courtesy of Courtyard by Marriott Anaheim Main Gate

Photo courtesy of Courtyard by Marriott Anaheim Main Gate

And if the kids still have energy after a day chasing characters
and thrill rides, the hotel’s on-site waterpark has tube slides
to ride use up all that adrenaline. If you need to top up your
Marriott balance, you can
transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points to Marriott
at a 1:1
ratio. And, Marriott Bonvoy members get the fifth night free on
award stays.

(Photo courtesy of Courtyard Anaheim Theme Park)(Photo
courtesy of Courtyard Anaheim Theme Park)

Family fun near Anaheim:

Marriott Newport Coast Villas

Families of up to eight people can settle in at the spacious
two-bedroom/two-bathroom villas at the Marriott Newport Coast
Villas. Every villa is configured the same: The master bedroom has
a king bed, the second bedroom has a queen bed and a pull-out,
full-size sofa bed. In the living room there’s a queen pull-out
sofa. Add in balconies and full-size kitchens and you’ve got a
very comfortable pied-a-terre for the gang. Marriott points rates
start from 60,000 points per night.

There are a variety of cobranded Marriott credit cards you can
select from in order to earn additional Marriott points, including
the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit
Card
, which confers a 75,000-point welcome bonus after you meet
the minimum spend ($3,000 in the first three months).

More Southern California trip advice: 

(Photo
courtesy of Marriott) Embassy Suites by Hilton San Diego Bay
Downtown

Popular with both leisure and business travelers, the Embassy
Suites by Hilton San Diego Bay Downtown is a good bet for larger
families vacationing in the San Diego area. From about
57,000 Hilton Honors points per night, you can book a one-bedroom
suite that accommodates two adults and four children with two
double beds in one bedroom and a queen sofa pull-out in the living
area.

There’s a door separating the two spaces and the suites have
mini-fridges, microwaves and coffee makers.

(Photo courtesy of Embassy Suites)(Photo
courtesy of Embassy Suites)

You can transfer Amex Membership Rewards points to Hilton
(sometimes
with a bonus
). But the best way to rack up Hilton points is
typically with a Hilton cobranded credit card, such as:

Family trip-planning resources for San
Diego:

seals at La Jolla Cove San DiegoSeals
and sea lions love to bask in the sun on the rocks at La Jolla Cove
near San Diego. (Photo courtesy of 2DadsWithBaggage.com) Florida
Best-Bets for Large Families

Heading to Florida? Here are some of the points hotels we’ve
come to rely on.

Sheraton Vistana Resort Villas Lake Buena Vista/Orlando

Right off Interstate 4 and roughly a mile from the entrance to
Walt Disney World (dangerously close to outlet shopping, too), the
Sheraton Vistana Resort Villas Lake Buena Vista/Orlando has
two-bedroom villas with a king bed and two doubles that can easily
accommodate families of six. You’ll use 77,000 Marriott points
per night to stay in the two-bedroom version (45k for a
one-bedroom), and it comes with some great amenities such as free
parking and a lagoon-style pool.

(Photo courtesy of Sheraton Vistana Villas)(Photo
courtesy of Sheraton Vistana Villas)

Find out more about visiting Orlando:

(Photo
courtesy of Sheraton) Palm Beach Marriott Singer Island Beach
Resort & Spa

As far as Florida beach hotels go, this oceanfront property just
north of West Palm Beach on Singer Island is one of my personal
favorites. The
Palm Beach Marriott Singer Island Beach Resort & Spa
has a
killer on-site waterpark that the kids love and the suites feel
more like a luxury condo than than a hotel. The points requirements
are high but this one’s worth it. Families of six should specify
they need a two-bedroom suite with a king bed and two double beds.
For a two-bedroom suite with a coastline view, rates start at
60,000 Marriott points plus $200 per night. And if you want a full
ocean view, it’s 151,000 points per night or 60,000 points +
$300. Sometimes paid rates can be the better deal here, so price
those too.

Learn more about the Palm Beach area:

(Photo
courtesy of Marriott) Holiday Inn Resort Orlando Suites –
Waterpark

IHG Rewards Club point redemptions start at just 35,000 points
per night to house a family of six in a suite at this popular hotel
with an on-site waterpark that’s located about 15 minutes from
the Orlando theme parks. The Holiday Inn Resort Orlando Suites –
Waterpark has great two-bedroom suites with a king or queen bed in
the master bedroom, a second bedroom with a bunk bed (there’s a
full-size bed on the bottom and a twin on top) and a queen sleeper
sofa in the living area.

All suites have mini-fridges, coffee makers and microwaves for
simple meal prep. The hotel runs a regular shuttle service to the
Disney World parks, SeaWorld Orlando and Universal Orlando Resort
that’s included in the resort fee (and included in your points
stay).

(Photo courtesy of IHG)Here’s
how to
maximize IHG Rewards Club for family travel
. You can also sign
up for the
IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card
and earn 80,000 points
after spending $2,000 in the first three months. Card holders get
the fourth night free on award stays.

Looking for more attractions in Orlando?

Aloha Hawaii!

Hawaii is just about the holy grail when it comes to family
travel on miles and points. Here are some points-friendly hotels
that welcome large families on the islands.

The Westin Nanea Ocean Villas, Ka’anapali

This property, located along the popular Maui beach resort area
of Ka’anapali, has one-, two- and three-bedroom villas. Families
of six can fit easily in the two-bedroom villas (104,000 Marriott
points per night) at The Westin Nanea Ocean Villas, Ka’anapali.
Each bedroom has a king bed and there’s a queen pull-out sleeper
sofa in the living room. Three-bedroom villas — for the
admittedly very expensive rate of 296,000 Marriott points per night
— can accommodate families of eight. 

(Photo courtesy of Marriott)(Photo
courtesy of Marriott) Embassy Suites by Hilton Oahu Kapolei

For a suite for six people at a lower points redemption on Oahu,
set your sights on the
Embassy Suites by Hilton Oahu Kapolei
. For 70,000 Hilton Honors
points, your family can bed down in the heart of Kapolei (about 30
minutes west of Waikiki) in a studio with two queen beds and a sofa
bed. From around 100k points per night, a one-bedroom suite with
two queen beds and a queen pull-out sofa in the living room can be
secured. The hotel isn’t right on the beach but runs a
complimentary shuttle to nearby White Plains Beach and is close to
several golf courses and shopping.

If you want to be right on Waikiki, the Embassy Suites Waikiki
Beach Walk has rooms with two beds and a pull-out sofa starting at
80,000 to 90,000 Hilton points per night.

Here are some Oahu hotel reviews:

Hilton Grand Vacations Suites at Hilton Hawaiian Village

This
22-acre property right on Waikiki Beach
is a central Oahu base
for visiting popular family attractions, including the Waikiki
Aquarium, Honolulu Zoo and Diamond Head. It’s a super-splurge, to
be sure: a whopping 345,000 Hilton Honors points is your ticket to
luxe lodging for a family of six in the two-bedroom oceanfront
penthouse at
Hilton Grand Vacations Suites at Hilton Hawaiian Village
. The
1,265-square-foot digs are spread across two levels in the Lagoon
Tower and the highlight is a sprawling balcony with direct ocean
views. The master bedroom has a king bed and there are two twin
beds in a second bedroom, with a full-sized sleeper sofa in the
living room. I leave it to your discretion if you want to show the
kids where to find the suite’s PlayStation 3.

Waikiki Beach Honolulu OahuWaikiki
(photo courtesy 2DadsWithBaggage)

Here’s what you can do on Oahu:

(Photo
courtesy of Hilton) Bottom Line

It takes some searching, but points stays for families of six in
a single unit do exist. They aren’t always a good value, but they
can be at times. Picking up the phone and calling your preferred
loyalty program is often the quickest way to find out what’s
possible and for how many points. Have you booked a points
redemption for a large family in a room?

Featured photo courtesy of Courtyard by Marriott Anaheim Main
Gate

Source: FS – All-Travel destinations-News2
Booking Hotels for a Large Family in California, Hawaii and Florida