Best hotels for families who’ve come to experience the new Detroit
“Imported from Detroit” may be a fun ad slogan for a car company, but it also has renewed interest in the Motor City. Spend the night in the suburbs or in the heart of downtown. No matter where you choose to stay, you’ll want to come back and continue to get to know the new Detroit.
34911 VanDyke Ave., Sterling Heights
Centrally located in the Detroit suburb of Sterling Heights, the Wyndam Garden offers families large rooms with an indoor water park. The 32,000-square-foot play area has something for everyone with a zero-entry pool, lazy river, three-story waterslide, two whirlpools, and a poolside bar. The hotel also offers free parking, video arcade, and on-site restaurant. Starts at $89/night; starts at $159/night if you add in water park admission.
2/Hyatt Place Utica
45400 Park Ave., Utica
The staff is the biggest plus at the Hyatt Place Utica, which is saying a lot when you look at the other amenities. From your first encounter at the front desk to breakfast the next morning, expect to be treated like visiting royalty. My children were thrilled with the Yoda masks a staff member gave them while waiting for the elevator, and the extra cup of powdered sugar doughnut holes brought out from the back went a long way towards a great day. The rooms at the Hyatt Place are great for families, as well with two double beds and a fold-out double sofa bed. The indoor pool isn’t huge, but the pool toys more than made up for it. The hotel also offers a complimentary breakfast each morning with a great variety of hot food, fresh fruits, and vacation junk food. Starts at $123/night.
3/Crowne Plaza Detroit Downtown Riverfront
2 Washington Blvd.
The Crowne Plaza Detroit is in the heart of the city. The hotel offers views of the Detroit skyline and Detroit River with easy access to all downtown has to offer. Unlike many of the hotels in downtown, the Crowne Plaza have a small indoor pool and 24-hour fitness center for guest use. My kids found the restaurant, Top of the Pontch, on the top floor of the hotel to be a highlight with incredible views. The complimentary aromatherapy kit is also a nice extra to calm down overexcited kids. Starts at $164/night.
4/Springhill Suites Southfield
28555 Northwestern Hwy., Southfield
Springhill Suites Southfield are set up for families with suites that offer a bedroom and living room, as well as a kitchenette area with refrigerator, microwave, and stocked dishes. Most rooms also include a sofa bed for extra sleeping space. The Southfield location puts you close to the heart of family activities, including Greenfield Village and the Detroit Zoo. The indoor pool gives kids and adults alike a place to unwind after a long day of exploration. The hotel’s complimentary breakfast is one of the best, offering a great variety of hot and cold items that rotate daily. Starts at $146/night.
1000 Brush St.
Located in the heart of Greektown, The Atheneum offers a variety of suite set-ups with large bathrooms that include whirlpool tubs. Before you get to your room, spend some time exploring. The hotel boasts a striking marble lobby, paintings from Greek mythology, and a variety of statues. While there isn’t a pool at this hotel, my kids didn’t miss it as we explored the art around the hotel. Be prepared to Google a lot unless you are up on your Greek gods! Starts at $129/night.
KidTripster Tip: You can leave your car in the parking garage and utilize the free hotel shuttle. It runs on demand within a five-mile radius of the Atheneum, which covers much of downtown Detroit.
6/Hilton Garden Inn Detroit Downtown
351 Gratiot Ave.
This downtown hotel offers families a great mix of amenities, including an indoor pool and cribs, along with a location that is perfect for walking to sporting events. The Hilton Garden Inn is just minutes from both Comerica Park, home of the Detroit Tigers, and Ford Field, where the Detroit Lions play. On a crazy game day, you’ll enjoy not having to look for parking or wait in traffic jams. The hotel is next to some dance clubs, but they’re all on one side of the hotel. To minimize your risk of late night noise, ask to be placed on the opposite side of the hotel. Starts at $164/night.
7/The Inn on Ferry Street
84 East Ferry St.
Take a step back in time with a stay at the Inn on Ferry Street. The Inn is actually made up of four restored, Victorian mansions and two carriage houses. The Inn has all the charm of a bed and breakfast with the modern touches that families need, including televisions, private bathrooms, and wireless internet. Not all rooms can accommodate families, but the ones that can offer extra space and a fun history lesson for the kids. Breakfast is included each morning, and cookies and bottled water are available upon check-in. The Inn is within walking distance of several downtown activities, including the Detroit Institute of Art and the Michigan Science Center. It also offers a free shuttle that travels within a five-mile radius. Starts at $179/night.
8/Doubletree Suites by Hilton Downtown Detroit - Fort Shelby
525 West Lafayette Blvd.
At the Doubletree Suites by Hilton Downtown Detroit - Fort Shelby, you can see another country! The rooms located on the back side of this historic hotel offer a great view of the Detroit River and Windsor, Canada, which my kids found incredibly exciting. The building itself dates back to 1917, and a recent renovation has taken the lobby and public areas back to the grandeur of that era. The rooms are all two-room suites with a bedroom and large living room with a sofa bed. There’s a door between the bedroom and living room, which is great when not everyone goes to bed at the same time. The hotel doesn’t have a pool, but the cookies that are handed out upon check-in seem to quiet any calls for swimming. Starts at $229/night.
KidTripster Tip: The Doubletree Suites offers a free, on-demand shuttle that runs to most major destinations in downtown Detroit. Text the front desk 15 minutes before you want to leave the hotel or when you want to head back, and the shuttle will be ready for your family.
9/Roberts Riverwalk Hotel
1000 River Place Dr.
Roberts Riverwalk Hotel offers families the chance to experience the business side of Detroit in a new way — by spending the night in a renovated factory. The building, located right on the Detroit River, began it’s life as a laboratory and research center for a branch of pharmaceutical company Pfizer. It was converted into a hotel in the mid-1970s and has recently been renovated again into a hip boutique hotel. The hotel boasts 12-foot ceilings in most rooms, a wall of windows that look out on the river, and an indoor pool with shooting fountains. The Roberts Riverwalk Hotel also offers easy access to the Detroit Riverwalk. Starts at $139/night.
10/Detroit Marriott at the Renaissance Center
400 Renaissance Dr.
The Detroit Marriott at the Renaissance Center puts you high in the sky. The hotel itself soars 70 floors with views of the Detroit River, Canada, and the city’s skyline. My kids found the windows on the higher floors to be an attraction in themselves, but the hotel also puts you close to downtown attractions. There’s no pool, but the fitness room on the 40th floor with views of the city might encourage parents to get in a quick workout. Starts at $215/night.
Former journalist Jamie Farber lives in West Michigan with her husband and three sons, ages 2, 8, and 11. Her English degree has somehow led her to a career planning Disney vacations with Mickey Travels. In her spare time, she enjoys planning her family's many trips around the U.S. and the Caribbean.
This writer received some complimentary stays for the purpose of this review. However, all opinions expressed are solely her own.