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As I explained here, I have fully embraced that at this moment in our family’s journey, destination resorts are the best type of trip for us (in addition to trips to see family). This won’t always remain true, but with two young kids and two tired parents, somewhere with room service, on-site restaurants, on-site kid’s clubs, and enough on-site or walking distance entertainment for a long weekend is the perfect combination. Bonus points if the flight to get there is within about 2.5 hours or so of Houston.
All that brings me to where I am currently in the search for the “perfect” summer long weekend trip, this time to a SPG resort property. In thinking over what would be best I am targeting a SPG property within the lower 48 that has a great pool complex for kids. Not only would my six year old love that sort of trip, but it will (hopefully) be of value to those of you who travel with pool loving kids, too!
I am ruling out Hawaii because it is just too far to drag our littlest one to for a short two or three night stay, but do know that many SPG properties there have fantastic pool complexes and beachfronts. I’m also ruling out the Caribbean and Mexico for this trip even though there are great SPG properties and pool/beach combos there.
In my search for the best pool complex for families at a SPG resort in the United States, I so far have a few contenders that range from Category 4 properties such as the Sheraton Wild Horse in Arizona to the Category 7 St. Regis Bal Harbour outside Miami…
Best SPG Pool Complexes in the United States:
This property is in Scottsdale and has a stunning nine pools including the iconic mother-of-pearl tiled pool, a kid’s splash play area, and a 165-foot twisting waterslide. We stayed here last year and loved it – in fact I dedicate a post just to their pool area. Our suite upgrade was also very reasonable on top of our award stay!
Sheraton Vistana Villages Resort Villas in Orlando, Florida
This Orlando area resort has complimentary pool cabanas, water cannons, water slides, an interactive pirate ship pool, zero-entry shallow pool area, and tons more for kids and families.
This Orlando area resort has a 79-foot water slide, a zero-entry pool with submerged umbrellas and lounges, a Beach Pool with water jets, basketball nets in the pool, a youth wet deck and in-pool water sprays. Cabana rentals are also pretty affordable at just $40 – $75/day for SPG members compared to several hundred dollars per day at some of the luxury resorts.
These hotel resorts are on Disney property in Orlando and feature a pretty large pool area with water falls, a grotto, water slide, kiddie pool, and more. It is also on it’s own lake/beach area, but of course the Disney location is a huge family friendly draw all on its own! You can read our recent review of the Swan here.
This resort is touting a new pool area opening this year that will include an Ocean Pool facing directly towards the Pacific Ocean, 150 additional lounge chairs and new cabanas. There will be two new infinity edge pools and the kid-friendly Lagoon Pool will also be enhanced with a graduated entry and new cabanas around the perimeter.
This property is just outside Phoenix and it has a waterslide, shallow kiddie pool, and more. There is also an equestrian center, river rides, kid club, and more at this Native American owned resort that sounds pretty unique.
This Scottsdale resort looks to be very family friendly and has a big pool complex including a 900-foot lazy river ride and a 110-foot waterslide. There are also poolside cabanas, an adult pool, a children’s play area and shallow pool, and a FlowRider!
This resort outside of Miami may not have quite the same level of kid-friendly pool attractions as some of the others mentioned, but it does have a nice beachfront location, kid’s club, and of course the high level of service you can expect at a St. Regis so it is on my list of contenders.
For our own purposes I really don’t want another Orlando trip so soon after our last one. I would also prefer not to fly all the way to California for a weekend when there are solid closer-to-home options in Florida or Arizona. Realistically I think I have zeroed in on either the Westin Kierland or Sheraton Wild Horse Pass in Arizona with their great pool complexes and hopefully affordable upgrades to suites, or a weekend of luxury at the St. Regis Bal Harbour outside of Miami even though the pool complex itself doesn’t look amazing since the ocean may make up for it. We have already visited and reviewed The Phoenician or that would likely be at the top of the list as it checks all the boxes!
All of our top contenders have kids clubs and on-site dining, are short two-ish hour flights from Houston, are within 30 minutes of the airport, and look like they could meet our criteria for a fun and easy weekend. However, I’m still torn and open to other suggestions that you love or would like to see reviewed!
What is your favorite SPG pool complexes in the United States for kids and families?
Editorial Note: The opinions expressed here are mine and not provided, reviewed, by any bank, card issuer, or other company unless otherwise stated.