Looking to find a Marriott hotel (any brand in the portfolio will do) that is in the US, and has a water park and other included on site amenities that allow for full days without leaving the location. The catch is the summer time frame and 2 little kids (5 and 2), So we saw a place like this: Hill Country Resort | JW San Antonio Hill Country Resort & Spa but I worry a little about Texas in the summer. Hoping to avoid Florida or the West Coast if possible.
I know its a little broad but any help would be appreciated
Our kids' favorite is Watiki Waterpark in the Black Hills of South Dakota. We stayed at the Fairfield Inn in Rapid City just for somewhere to stop overnight on a massive roadtrip out to Glacier National Park one year, and it was the kids' favorite part of the trip. The Black Hills has a lot of fun family stuff like Mt. Rushmore, Wind Cave, Blue Bell Stables, Bear Country USA, Reptile Gardens, the Journey Museum, Custer State Park, the Badlands, Deadwood (gambling for the adults), Evan's Plunge at Hot Springs (a natural, warm spring fed poll - no Marriott attached, though), and the Mammoth Site. If you don't like FFI, there is also a Residence Inn attached to the Watiki waterpark as well as the non-Marriott brand LaQuinta inn. The property has a full-service restaurant, kids' activities/arcade, and also is within walking distance of shops and outside restaurants.
I agree that the World Center definitely fits the bill except for the avoiding Florida part, obviously! If you choose that one, I'd recommend staying at the Sabal Palms timeshares instead of the hotel. You get full privileges at the hotel if you stay at the timeshares and can charge everything back to your room anywhere on the World Center complex. The World Center has a massive hotel, 3 sets of timeshares, a golf course, and several restaurants and bars. Sabal Palms are the closest timeshares to the hotel and are 2 BR units with 2BA and a full kitchen and washer/dryer combo. They are great. But Florida is muggy in the summer, as you've already mentioned about Texas! And prices at the restaurants in the World Center are a bit steep. But it has a great pool complex for the kids. You can't walk anywhere from there once you leave the World Center campus, though, unless you want to take your life in your hands as traffic in and around that area is insane.
I really want to take my kid there, but I feel like I want Marriott to become a bit more integrated into the hotel. I'd like to see the ability to get a 2 room condo online for points or when the tax and fees equaled less than 20%. So with that said, I may never make it to Atlantis.
I wish the Harborside villas (the timeshares) were part of the Marriott group at Atlantis, but apparently they are not. They are part of the Interval International exchange in case you have an Interval membership and/or MVCI ownership that lets you use Interval. It does look like one of the Marriott properties has condo-like villas, though. I have heard that taxes and fees at Atlantis end up tacking about $100 a night onto your costs, but I suppose it depends on what your room rate is, etc. I know some people who just loved Atlantis and others who have hated it. I'm sure my kids would love it. They loved the Surf Club in Aruba which has densely-populated timeshare high rise towers and a very commercialized, crowded beach. The massive amounts of people and development didn't bother them a bit.
Gotta ask this silly question, but what are you concerned about Texas in the summer colorb41 if you're going to be at a waterpark? Yes it gets warm in the San Antonio area, but most days will not top 95-98 so guess I'm slightly confused by that reference.
Thanks for the response colorb41. San Antonio can be brutal if an unusually warm high pressure system parks over central Texas. Here are the normal summer temps for "The Alamo City" with Fahrenheit on the left, Centigrade on the right.
Isn't that part of a famous song clebert? Look at you with the funny!!! LOL
IAHFLYR, while we're on the topic of Texas and San Antonio specifically, I have a conference coming up at the Grand Hyatt in San Antonio downtown on Market St. by the convention center. Of course I will stay at a Marriott property rather than the Grand Hyatt. Any recommendations if you know the area please? Look like there are a few Marriotts within walking distance.
Not having been to San Antonio downtown and the River Walk as we have our own River Walk here now in The Woodlands I will say the three spots we've stayed in previous years have all been great. The order of preference would be:
There is a RI connected to a waterpark in Erie, PA - haven't stayed at this one so can't vouch for it, and it may not include all the on-site amenities that something like that World Center would have.
Here's an article with some more info, and I can confirm that the waterpark at the Depot Minneapolis (connected to a Renaissance and a Residence Inn) is no longer open:
Also I should add that the RI in Helena, MT has a smaller indoor water park type thing - more like a spray/sprinkle pad and pool for smaller kids, but it kept my kids happy when we visited back when they were little. Not a self-contained resort that you'd have to leave as you initially requested, though:
Given that the kids are younger, you might also consider Sesame Place in Langhorne, PA (outside Philadelphia). There is a water park within the amusement park, and of course everything is Sesame Street themed if your kids are into that. There is a hotel next door: SpringHill Suites Philadelphia Langhorne which has pretty good reviews. We have not stayed there, as we live 20 minutes away, so no first-hand knowledge but would definitely be walkable to the park if that's the goal; it's a shorter walk than we have sometimes to our car in the Sesame general parking lot. There are other things to do in the area, as well as close proximity to Philadelphia for museums, historical sites, and whatever else might be of interest.