This is what I hear people say sometimes. It’s only a hotel.
“We don’t need anything fancy, it’s just a place to sleep at night. It’s only a hotel.”
“We’re there to be in the parks, we don’t really care where we sleep. It’s only a hotel.”
You probably shouldn’t tell my kids that. They’d look at you like you have three heads. They love hotels. Absolutely adore them. They always ask about what hotel we’ll be staying in. See, to them, a hotel is not “only” a hotel; it’s a super cool place to stay. It might have cool elevators and it might have a balcony to see things from. It might be really tall or it might have all these little separate buildings with winding paths. It will certainly, if it’s for our family, have a super cool pool, if they have any say in it.
My kids love to arrive at a hotel, to guess where in the hotel we’ll be staying. They love to put the key in the door, open it and see which bed will be theirs. They check out the bathroom, they check out the TV. They, of course, immediately want to see the pool.
A hotel is only “just a hotel,” if you plan it that way. But if you want the hotel to be part of your adventure, it can be. It absolutely can a big part of what makes your family’s vacation magical.
What got me thinking about this is that the other day, I asked my children whether they liked Disneyland or Disney World better. You may have seen me post their replies on my facebook page. My 4 year old daughter immediately replied that her favorite is Disneyland because of the super cool monorail slides and doors that open and close by themselves. If you are racking your brain trying to figure out what ride that is in the park, don’t bother – she’s talking about the Disneyland Hotel.
This hotel was pretty fabulous. The rooms were modern and done up in dark woods and blues. There were hidden Mickey’s everywhere, much to my children’s delight. There is even a magical headboard: when you press a button, it lights up with twinkling stars over a castle and plays “A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes.” At night, we could see the fireworks from our window. And the pool is absolutely fabulous, with a monorail themed waterslide section with three different levels of slides. Oh, and it has automatic doors in the lobby, something that apparently thrilled my four year old.
This does not disappoint me in anyway way. I didn’t sit there and think, “Really??!? I took you all the way to Disneyland and what you liked best is the hotel?” I actually think it’s pretty great – not only did my kids have an amazing time in the parks, but the magic just kept on going… in the afternoon for swimming, in the evenings with twinkling headboards at bed time, and in the mornings as we saw characters greeting children in the lobby.
The next time you are thinking of going on vacation, maybe take a second and think about the hotel. You can make it “only a hotel” – or you can make it one of the main magical components of the memories your family makes together.
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Since 2012, the Enchanted Traveler has become the go-to travel agency for moms and dads who want to save time and relieve the stress of planning a family vacation to Disney destinations and beyond.