On many a theme park vacation, kids fall asleep with visions ofMickey or minions dancing in their heads. And sometimes if you bookthe right hotel room, they can wake up to those same charactersdancing on the walls. Plenty of hotels—especially those at themeparks—recognize the wow factor that comes from immersing guests ina fantasy realm.
Granted, some of the most over-the-top and seemingly childishhotel suites in the world—such as the Hello Kitty rooms in Taiwan’sHi-Lai Plaza Hotel—aren’t just for kids. But many American hotelshave families in mind, offering extra special suites that balanceeye-popping color and theming with a more subdued zone for thegrownups. Here are seven delightfully vivid digs for the kids:
Barbie Suite: The Palms Casino Resort
Where else but Vegascould you expect to sleep inside Barbie's Dream House? Thisblinged-out, 2,300-square-foot suite at The Palms features Barbieart, giant pink poodles flanking the two-way fireplace and asunburst mirror made from 65 dolls. With one king and two queenbeds, the suite easily sleeps six. As an acknowledgement that thesome guests’ doll-playing days are behind them, however, the suitecarries a steep price tag—as well as VIP status, if you need it, ata nightclub downstairs. Starts at: $3,000 onweeknights, $4,000 on weekends.
Minion Suites: Loews Portofino Bay Hotel
Inside the Minion Suites at this UniversalOrlando Resort hotel, the little yellow guys from the “Despicable Me” movies are emblazoned all over the walls in the kids’ room. The suites have a standard king room for the parents,connected by an interior “vault” door to the kids room. The kidsget missile-shaped beds—similar to the ones that the movies’ pluckyorphans sleep in—but unlike Margo, Edith and Agnes, your kids willalso get their own TV. Starts at: $575 anight.
Mickey Mouse Penthouse: Disneyland Hotel
This Anaheimclassic sets the bar high with its themed Signature Suites, andthe most jaw-dropping of all is the penthouse, which offers thebeloved mouse on the walls, bedding, and pretty much everywhereelse. Both the master bedroom and the second bedroom have theluxurious, stylized feel you’d expect in a penthouse.
For gorgeous aesthetics at a much lower pricetag, you could gowith any other Signature Suite, choosing from among theold-world-style “Pirates of the Caribbean” suite, the rustic BigThunder suite, or the safari-on-steroids AdventureLand suite, whichfeatures a secret closet behind a bookcase. Junior Princesses,meanwhile, might prefer the Fairy Tale Suite, which boasts a giantSleeping Beauty mosaic over the tub and a canopy bed worthy ofbeing knocked out for 100 years. Starts at: $660for Signature Suites; the Mickey Mouse Penthouse starts at $2,822 anight.
Royal Guest Rooms: Port Orleans RiversideHotel
The oh-so-regal guest rooms at this bayou-inspiredDisney World resort will make you feel like you're waving amagic wand. They are themed to Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast or ThePrincess and the Frog, with beds adorned with crystal and goldaccents and fiber-optic headboards that create their own fireworksdisplays. Also impressive are the prices; unlike manypremium-priced themed rooms, these run only slightly more thanregular rooms. Starts at: $221 a night.
The Eloise Suite: The Plaza
The fictional heroine from the book series set at this iconicNYC hotel has a portrait hanging in the lobby and a dedicatedshop in the basement. But Eloise also has her own two-bedroom suiteon the 18th floor, decked out with a pink chandelier, a sparklypadded headboard, and her name in neon lights on the wall,alongside original Hilary Knight prints. You also get use of EloiseDVDs, books, and a tea set. Room rates include a $100 gift card tothe Eloise shop and a variety of Eloise goodies, such as bathrobe,USB stick and book. Starts at: $1,295 a night.
SpongeBob and Dora Suites: Nickelodeon SuitesResort
At the mega-popular NickHotel, these two- and three-bedroom suites offer a kids’ roomwith twin beds or bunks, a flat-screen TV and eye-popping wallpaperwith giant images of SpongeBob or Dora. Good news foroverstimulated parents: The master bedroom is just decorated insolids that exude a vaguely cartoony vibe. The three-bedroom suitecomes with two master bedrooms, plus a full kitchen, while thetwo-bedroom features a kitchenette. Starts at:$124 a night.
Legoland Hotel: Legoland California Resort
Every room at the LegolandHotel in the eponymous Carlsbad, California, theme park is doneup big in one of three themes: kingdom, pirate or adventure. Kidsget their own alcove with bunk beds and a TV, and the décorfeatures LEGO creations set on sconces and giant LEGO people on thewallpaper. Don’t want to wake up to a grimacing LEGO pirate? Askfor the standard room, which limits the patterned wallpaper to thekids’ alcove. Starts at: $189 a night.
KatrinaBrown Hunt contributed this to MiniTime.com.