If you’re a fan of design and of the non-resort side of travel (although, hey, cool resorts do exist), chances are you’ve found yourself staying in a boutique hotel — or 10 — over the years. Maybe you seek them out in particular for their indie vibes, smallish size and one-of-a-kind aesthetic. But what if you have (gulp) kids in tow?
For us, finding a quirky hotel we haven’t heard of yet can be half the fun of planning a trip; plus, where you end up spending all your sleeping hours and many of your waking ones can absolutely make or break your experience in a new city or country. And we know we’re not the only ones guilty of stealing hotel room decor hacks — plus fancy tiny hotel soaps, shhh — to integrate into our own digs once we return home. The hotel fun never ends! But we won’t lie; we thought we would be forced to retire our boutique hotel obsessions/expertise forever (or at least for 18 years) once we became moms. But hooray! We were wrong.
Despite widespread assumptions, having kids neither signals the death of all fun nor the death of all elegance — especially when it comes to travel. There are plenty of ways to keep up your erstwhile adults-only globe-trotting ways with a tot or two in tow.
In fact, we’ve put together curated and surprisingly chic city guides for traveling families around the world who are doing just that.
And, no, you don’t have to be relegated to impersonal cookie-cutter hotels, sprawling resorts or (*gulp*) the Disney side of things once you’ve made the decision to bring kids along on your travels. You can have your hotel-design cake and eat it too (and add a very grown-up locally sourced cocktail for good measure) at some of the best boutique hotels around the globe — from California to Cuba to Morocco — that will welcome your tiny travelers with open arms and maybe even give them cookies. Maybe.
Read on for our favorites.
A version of this story was originally published in January 2019.