10 cozy hotels for families - The Expedition (2023)

Relaxing by the roaring fire, snuggling under soft sheets and sipping on a cup of hot cocoa defines cozy comfort and this is the perfect time of year for it.

For your next family vacation, take a break from the hustle and bustle of everyday life and stay at a hotel where luxury comes first. They're great for winter, but you can cozy up any time of the year and at any price point. From a rustic cabin near Yosemite National Park to a country inn in Vermont to a tourist ranch in Montana, we've rounded up 10 hotels that offer understated comfort.

evergreen cottage

Groveland, California

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The majestic beauty of Yosemite National Park should captivate even jaded teenagers. Nestled in a forest near the park entrance, you won't find a better base camp than Evergreen Lodge. Guests stay in rustic cabins outfitted with cast-iron gas fireplaces, fluffy pillows, and Pendleton comforters. There's a wicker basket full of nostalgic games like Twister and handy extras like a wooden step stool to give little travelers a boost. Hammocks nestled between tall pines, a saltwater pool, and a children's playground provide hours of fun. At night, sing-alongs around the campfire with sticky marshmallows, star gazing, and bingo are old-school fun.evergreenlodge.com

The Hermitage Inn

West-Dover, Vermont

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Nestled in Vermont's Green Mountains with snowshoe trails and an ice rink, the historic Hermitage Inn feels like a winter wonderland. In the warmer weather it is just as delightful when guests can hike, bike, fish in the stocked pond and kayak on the nearby lakes. A covered bridge and apple orchard make it a true New England classic. Bedrooms are carpeted with plush carpets that extend over wide hardwood floors, fireplaces, and plush lap blankets. Common spaces include saunas, hot tubs, and fire pits. The hotel's restaurant works with local farms and cheesemakers to create delicious seasonal menus, complemented with delectable desserts. Adults-only pleasures include an award-winning wine cellar and an intimate spa.Elhermitageinn.com


Hampton Bays, New York

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The Hamptons may be a summer playground for the elite, but the vibe at Hampton Bays is less pretentious. There you will find Canoe Place Inn & Cottages, a new inn located a mile from the bay's quiet beaches and just minutes from the Atlantic Ocean. The hotel provides free transportation to the beach any time of the year, towels, chairs, umbrellas, and sand toys for a lazy day on the shore. Rooms and private cabanas have paneled walls, hardwood floors, plush ceilings, fireplaces, and claw-foot tubs big enough to accommodate a small family. Cushioned rocking chairs on private patios are the perfect spot for a bedtime story. A nice breakfast buffet is included in room rates, while the hotel's friendly restaurant, Good Ground Tavern, serves comforting soups and fresh seafood.canoeplace.com

small river inn

Mendocino, California

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Northern California's Mendocino Coast is a mosaic of waves, rugged cliffs and redwood trees. Settled by New Englanders in the mid-1800s, the city of Mendocino looks like something out of a Norman Rockwell painting. The family-run Little River Inn is perched on a cliff. Rooms have unobstructed views of the Pacific, patios with rocking chairs, and fireplaces for the cool and foggy nights that are so common in these areas. Board games, family-friendly DVDs, tennis courts, and a 9-hole golf course should keep the kids entertained. For breakfast, the restaurant serves delicious pancakes based on an old Swedish family recipe. Van Damme State Park is a short walk from the inn via a private trail that has miles of fern-carpeted trails meandering along the Little River.littleriverinn.com

Lodging at Flathead Lake

Big Fork, Montana

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Flathead Lake Lodge is a seasonal Montana vacation ranch that has been owned and operated by the same family for three generations. There is a sense of continuity among guests, many of whom have been vacationing here since childhood. Horseback riding, water sports on the lake, children's programs and locally sourced cuisine offer an immersion in Western culture. For an unforgettable day trip, Glacier National Park is nearby. There is nothing rude about Flathead Lake Lodge. The spacious cabins are rustic but tasteful, with hardwood floors, beds with comfortable duvets, and knotty pine furniture. The window boxes are overflowing with colorful flowers and the chairs on the porch overlook Flathead Lake. The main lodge features a large stone fireplace, dining room and additional rooms.flatheadlakelodge.com

Mirror Lake Inn

Lake Placid, New York

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Lake Placid is an Adirondack town that has twice hosted the Winter Olympics. It's a hub for families craving mountain air any time of year, with easy access to miles of forest and hiking trails. The city offers numerous dining and shopping options. In the evening, families stroll over to 1950s-style Emma's Lake Placid Creamery for soft serve. The Mirror Lake Inn is located across from the mirror lake, a scenic setting for ice skating in the winter and swimming in the summer. Family owned since the 1920's, this is a cozy hotel with a Currier and Ives touch. Rooms, some with fireplaces, oversized whirlpool tubs, and lake views, are full of understated charm. The inn's casual restaurant, The Cottage, is known for its tasty comfort food like Yankee Pot Roast and Chili served in a bread bowl.espejolakeinn.com

bishop's lodge

Santa Fe, New Mexico

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Santa Fe combines dramatic scenery with a strong arts scene and outdoor activities. Its distinctive culinary scene offers some of the best food in the American West, including kid-friendly treats like holiday enchiladas, stuffed and rolled tortillas with red and green salsa. At Bishop's Lodge there is a sense of place throughout the property. Rooms and private casitas maintain Southwest heritage with traditional kiva fireplaces, Navajo rugs and colorful textiles made by local artisans. some have private terraces with views of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. For family gatherings, the 12 bedroom bunkhouse is built from reclaimed barn wood, with vaulted ceilings and a stone fireplace. Hiking trails in the Santa Fe National Forest are easily accessible from the property, or saddle up and try horseback riding with experienced cowboys. pioneering.aubergeresorts.com

Great place

Mackinac Island, Michigan

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Located on Mackinac Island in northern Michigan, the Grand Hotel has been welcoming guests since 1887, so it's no surprise that old-fashioned quality prevails. Because there are no cars on Mackinac Island, exploration is conducted by bike, foot, and horse-drawn carriage. The front porch claims to be the longest in the world, with rocking chairs offering unforgettable views of the Mackinac Strait. The rooms are individually decorated with wooden four-poster beds, French doors and printed fabrics on the walls. Traditions abound, including dinner dressing for guests aged 12 and over, afternoon tea, croquet on the lawn and evening dancing to a live orchestra. Open seasonally from May to October.grandhotel.com

large cedar shelter

Ridgedale, Missouri

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With 362 lake cabins, cabins, lodge rooms and glamping tents, Big Cedar Lodge proves that a great resort can feel like home. Each unit embraces the Ozark Mountain setting with amenities such as wood-burning fireplaces, mission-style furniture, and covered porches. Families are catered for with campfires, bingo, and pottery painting classes. There are a variety of on-site dining options, including bison hot dogs served in a log cabin with a lake-view patio at Johnny's Hot Dog Stand.bigcedar.com

Woodstock Inn

Woodstock, Vermont

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Woodstock is a quaint Vermont town with a general store and green plaza. Located in the center of town, the Woodstock Inn is a traditional white-clapboard building where rooms feature handmade wood furniture by Vermont artisans and hand-spun flannel blankets. Freshly baked cookies are served every afternoon, inviting visitors to snack by the fire. The inn's Kelly Way Gardens grow hundreds of vegetables, many heirlooms, and provide a source of culinary inspiration in the hotel's restaurants. A mushroom canyon, orchards, herbs and edible flowers complete the freshly picked offerings. A visit to Billings Farm and Museum, a working dairy farm in Jersey, is a must. In winter, visitors can snuggle up under a blanket on a horse-drawn sleigh ride.woodstockinn.com

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