Kids could be forgiven for thinking they’ve stepped into a fairytale, or witnessed their dream resort come to life. There are wedges of iced sponge cake bigger than their heads, and lobby areas with enormous boulders and water features. Even the bathrooms are a riot, with pink marble and design inspiration straight out of The Flintstones.
The Madonna Inn, just outside San Luis Obispo on California’s Central Coast, is a place where it’s OK for kids to have eyes bigger than their bellies (you can always get the cake boxed up, for later) and to lose themselves in a world that’s unashamedly bright, playful, and downright fun. And parents will want to join them.
Which is exactly what family vacations should be about: sharing moments of delight, eating too much dessert, and spending precious time together.
California’s best family-friendly resorts are filled with the kind of details–subtle and not-so-subtle–that please all generations without seeming to try too hard. Just as the Madonna Inn’s kitsch fabulousness is an all-ages hit, these hotels combine stylish accommodation with adorable details that make the entire family feel pampered, special and, above all, welcome.
Throw in California’s abundant attractions, from wineries that welcome family picnics to beaches with wonderfully weird elephant seals, and you might just have hit the family travel jackpot. Base yourself at one of these fun-filled yet gorgeous resorts–and wave goodbye to compromise.