It’s funny how travel standards change over the years. I went from not spending any extra points for anything, to seeking out 4-star (or higher) hotels and business class flights. It’s award travel lifestyle creep when you have points to spare.

But then the pendulum swung the other way. Once I had kids in the picture, I’ve found that practicality wins. Don’t get me wrong…they’ve enjoyed some excellent upscale places. But if given a choice these days, I’ll take the more practical hotel over the nicer one. Every time.

And there is no hotel more practical for us than Hyatt Place.

The Perfect Hotel for Family Travel

Even before I was a Hyatt Globalist, the Hyatt Place brand impressed me. It’s a mid-tier brand that is a hair more upscale than the competition and offers a few features that make it particularly ideal for family travel. These include:

  • Free breakfast for everyone
  • Pool (I’ve not been to one without one)
  • Rooms with a bit more space, including a slightly separated living room and usually a wet bar
  • Standard rooms with two queen beds plus a sofa bed

The last one is the kicker. It’s rare to find a hotel with three beds. Many of the Hyatt Place properties block their rooms for six people. Six. I don’t know of another major hotel brand that does this consistently.

The extra bed makes sleeping arrangements so much easier. If you’re a family with three or four kids, you might actually get away with cramming everyone into one room with no one on the floor.

Amenities such as free breakfast and a pool can be found at many other places. It’s the extra space and room configuration that puts the Hyatt Place ahead of the competition. Add in generally great award redemption value, and it’s a total winner.

Best family travel hotels - Hyatt Place

A Recent Case Study

I took my two sons to Seattle a couple weeks ago. Besides seeing the usual iconic Seattle sights such as the Space Needle and Aquarium, we caught our first Major League Soccer game. It was an experience to remember. Not just because Seattle Sounders fans are over-the-top fanatics, but because we managed to catch their worst home loss in club history against their arch-rivals, the Portland Timbers.

While I didn’t pack the days as much as I would have a couple years ago, they were still pretty full. Which meant getting a full night’s sleep would be important. I usually end up sharing a bed with one of my sons and proceed to get kicked and rolled on during the night. No parent wants to be short on sleep on a vacation with kids.

Not at Hyatt Place. The brevity of the trip and need for a functional hotel more than anything helped me settle on the Hyatt Place Seattle Downtown as the ideal choice. There are other great properties in the city. But even if they are “nicer”, they can’t beat us each getting our own bed. This is possible if given a two-bed room that also has a couch, which isn’t a given most places.

Plus, the hotel was going for $279 before taxes, which made 12,000 World of Hyatt points an excellent redemption. Turns out that the Toronto Blue Jays fans storm the city when their team is in town.

Final Thoughts

While I have an affinity for the elevated service and standards of 4-star and 5-star properties, a practical hotel wins in most cases. The Grand Hyatt Seattle can wait. It may wait forever. Give me a pool, 3+ beds, and a bit more space at the ol’ Hyatt Place.

What’s your favorite family travel hotel brand?¬†