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8 kid-themed hotel suites around the world
Warning: Showing this article to your kids may induce hissy fits
Travel with the tots can be a tiresome endeavor (see our top tips on how to fly with them without making everyone else on the plane hate you).
Just packing for the trip is exhausting, and traveling with all the kiddie paraphernelia can take a toll on your back and your temper.
At these kid-themed suites (and one safari tent), the sleeping quarters themselves can entertain the little people, leaving the parents with some much-needed downtime.
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1. The Pirates Lego Suite, Legoland, Denmark
Generations of kids have been inspired by those little primary-colored bricks, and depending on whether you built Lego machine guns or little brick houses as a kid, a psychologist would be able to tell a lot about you.
A stay in a Lego-themed hotel might send any budding engineer into construction overdrive; but add in the treasure hunts, building contests, play rooms, Lego games consoles and all the other themes in the hotel (Lego princess suites, Lego knight suites plus adventure and pirate suites) and it's a wonder anyone ever gets any sleep in this place.
Aastvej 10, 7190 Billund, Denmark; +45 7533 1333; www.legoland.dk
2. Barbie Suite, Grand Hotel Savoia, Italy
While dressing exclusively in pink and donning tiaras shouldn't necessarily be encouraged in young children (princess syndrome is terribly difficult to cure), there is, however, something to be said for a hotel suite dedicated so entirely to the president of pink.
Grand Hotel Savoia, in the super-chic, northern-Italian ski resort of Cortina d'Ampezzo, has teamed up with Mattel to create an overwhelmingly pink suite customized for Barbie fans.
The suite -- which will only be available until September 2012 -- comes with adjoining access to an adult suite.
Thankfully, it's not pink.
Via Roma, 62 - 32043 Cortina d'Ampezzo, Italy; +39 0436 3201; www.grandhotelsavoiacortina.com
3. The Treehouse Suite, Adventure Suites, New Hampshire, United States
At the giant Treehouse suite at this unique New Hampshire hotel, there's lots of scope for family fun.
Mr. Tree Trunk is a great picnic site, while Mr. Squirrels Nuts House is another play area with a television and a Playstation II.
It's not all about the kids, however. There's also a whirlpool spa for adults.
3440 White Mountain Highway, North Conway New Hampshire, United States; +1 603 356 9744; www.adventuresuites.com
4. The Hello Kitty Suite, Grand Hi-Lai Hotel, Taiwan
What is it about Taiwan and Hello Kitty? Taiwan's Eva Air recently launched three Hello Kitty jets, while the Hello Kitty rooms at the Grand Hi-Lai Hotel in Taiwan are "very popular with foreign guests," says the Hi-Lai's sales manager Pam Chen.
Features include Hello Kitty-covered everything -- from dolls and bicycles to a Ferris Wheel. There's even a one-hour city tour in the Kitty Car (chauffeur included).
And for the adults? Hello Kitty Sakura liquor and chocolate.
Rates start at US$270.
266 Cheng-kung 1st Road, Kaohsiung City 801, Taiwan; +886 7 216 1766; www.grand-hilai.com.tw
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5. African Adventure Suites, Chessington World of Adventures, England
Chessington World of Adventure has gone all out to make families feel fully immersed in the animal themes of its adventure park. The new African Adventure suites feature animal prints on the soft-furnishings and bed covers, animals on the walls and a tented sleeping areas for the kids.
Adults aren't neglected –- there is a four-poster bed for parents and activities that should occupy the children (and keep them quiet) for some of the time at least.
Visitors who complete the savannah quiz can discover a secret code that unlocks the treasure chest to win some prizes.
Nine themed rooms are available as part of a package that includes two days' entry to Chessington World of Adventure for a family of four, one night's stay, breakfast and parking.
Chessington, Surrey, KT9 2NE, England; +44 871 663 4477; www.chessington.com
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6. SpongeBob SquarePants Suite, Nickelodeon Suites Resort, Florida, United States
This hotel chain's proud claim is to subject its guests to 560,000 liters of green slime and 10,000 custard pies a year at its water parks and other poolside features.
In the sleeping quarters, kids sleep right next to the honourable Sir SpongeBob himself, or one of the other Nickelodeon characters, at this Nick Hotel in Orlando, Florida.
The suites –- all 777 of them –- come with a kitchen, a sitting area, and a themed sleeping area for kids.
14500 Continental Gateway, Orlando, Florida 32821, United States; +1 407 387 5437; www.nickhotel.com
7. The Safari Suite, Safari West, California, United States
In the heart of California's wine country 120 kilometers north of San Francisco, Safari West is an African wildlife preserve and luxury tent camp.
It is home to over 700 exotic, endangered and extinct-in-the-wild African mammals and birds (including zebra, giraffes, blue wildebeest and springboks).
The camp offers daily safari tours and the luxury safari tents ideal for families with children. Other activities available for booking in advance include scavenger hunts, close-up animal encounters and African dancing or drumming.
The tents themselves are imported from Africa, there are bunk beds for children and African prints give an authentic safari feel.
3115 Porter Creek Road, Santa Rosa, CA 95404, United States; +1 800 616 2695; www.safariwest.com
8. The Wild Wild West Suite, Indiana, United States
The Wild West might not be the genre-du-jour in this age of Caribbean pirates and X-men, but most kids probably wouldn't turn their noses up at a night sleeping in a native Indian teepee or a pioneer's wagon.
There might not have been too many updates to the hotel's interior since Butch Cassidy first asked the Sundance Kid for a smoke, but some of the novelty rooms are nonetheless child-friendly.
A Cinderella suite -– which comes with a horse-drawn carriage -- is also available.
1117 East Main St., Greenwood, IN 46143, Unied States; +1 800 444 7829; www.greenwoodfantasuite.com
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