There's nothing like checking into a nice hotel with your family and knowing that someone else will be making the beds in the morning. And come to think of it, there are times when checking into a hotel without the kids is pretty tempting, too. All of the hotels below are within a two-hour drive from Westchester. While some of them are normally fairly pricey, April is a great time to find bargain rates because it's considered off-season. KRISTEN J. GOUGH takes a look at…
TEN PLACES TO PAMPER YOUR FAMILY
Many hotels that cater to corporate clients during the week switch hats and try to entice families to stay for the weekend by offering lower rates. All of these hotels include at least one casual dining restaurant, an indoor pool or jacuzzi, and some sort of fitness center. Also, each is located near popular family attractions. Rates vary and most hotels offer impressive breakfast buffets for a small, additional fee.
Hilton, Rye Town With 45 wooded acres of walking paths and hiking trails, the Rye Town Hilton is a secluded spot in a busy urban area. Enjoy tennis in the covered courts, golf on the nine-hole course, or take a short drive to Rye Playland, or the Westchester or Galleria mall.
From the Hutchinson River Parkway going north, take Exit 26 East. Follow signs for Westchester Avenue past the second traffic light and bear left at the fork in the road towards 120A. After four more traffic lights, turn left. For reservations, call (914) 939-6300 or go to www.hilton.com and type in Rye Town. Weekend rates start at $125 for two adults and two children.
Renaissance Westchester Hotel, White Plains Perched on top of a hill, the Renaissance Westchester Hotel offers a scenic spot to get away and still be close to shopping. The hotel's property includes 30 acres of countryside with a nature trail and a restored red oak mansion, originally built in 1905.
While going north on the Hutchinson River Parkway, look for Exit 26 West. Follow Westchester Avenue west to West Red Oak Lane on your right. For reservations, call (914) 694-5400 or go to www.renaissancehotels.com and type in White Plains. Weekend rates start at $129 for two adults and two children.
Hyatt Regency, Old Greenwich, CT After an $8 million renovation, the Greenwich Hyatt is ready for business. Take time to sit in the health club's whirlpool or have a manicure at the full-service salon. There are several sites to see in the area, including Greenwich's Bruce Museum and the aquarium in nearby Norwalk.
To get there going north on Interstate 95, take Exit 5 and go right onto East Putnam Avenue. At the third traffic light, make a right into the hotel driveway. For reservations, call (203) 637-1234 or go to www.hyatt.com and type in Greenwich. Weekend rates start at $125 for two adults and up to three children.
HOTELS WITH A VIEW These hotels include all the perks of the first category - plus something extra. Look for discounted rates on weekends and fun things to do with your family on site.
Doral Arrowwood, Rye Located on 114 acres of trees and meadows, the Doral Arrowwood feels like a luxurious resort close to home. While the kids splash around in the indoor/outdoor pool, parents can enjoy a round of golf. Saturday is movie night, and there's also a small game room. Enjoy the Sunday brunch while listening to live jazz and watching the roving magician - definitely a kid-pleaser.
Drive north on the Hutchinson River Parkway to Exit 28. Turn left off the exit onto Lincoln Avenue. At the end of Lincoln Avenue make a right onto Anderson Hill Road. For reservations, call (914) 939-5500 or go to www.doralarrowwood.com. Weekend rates start at $129.
Dolce Tarrytown House, Tarrytown If you're looking to stay at a historic site in the Hudson Valley, check out the Dolce Tarrytown House located on 26 acres overlooking the river. The restaurant is found inside a 150-year-old mansion, which fits in perfectly with the area's other historic draws, Sunnyside and Lyndhurst.
Going west on Interstate 287, take Exit 1 to Route 119 West. From 119, make a left onto Route 9 going south and turn left on East Sunnyside Lane. For reservations, call (914) 591-8200 or go to www.dolce.com and look for Tarrytown House in "our properties".
The Residence Inn by Marriott at New Roc City, New Rochelle New Roc City has everything you need to entertain your family - an 18-theater cineplex, including IMAX theatres; bowling alley; ice hockey rink; Rollerblading rink; extensive arcade; space shoot; two restaurants; and a hotel. The Residence Inn sits on the corner of the enclosed block that encompasses all of these places and more. Enjoy a movie with your kids and then sit back in your hotel room or lounge by the pool.
New Roc City is just off Interstate 95 at Exit 16. Follow the signs to North Avenue and turn left. Go down two blocks and go left onto Anderson Street. At the next light, make a left into the hotel parking lot. For reservations, call (914) 636-7888 or go to www.marriott.com and type in New Rochelle. Weekend rates start at $139 for a studio; all rooms are apartment style.
RESORT HOTELS FARTHER AFIELD These resort hotels are kid-friendly, but you might be tempted to leave the little ones at home and bring them back on your next visit. Each hotel is an experience in itself.
Dolce Heritage Inn, Southbury, CT Tucked away in the Litchfield Hills, the Dolce Heritage Inn offers trout fishing, jogging trails, and a stunning golf course on site. Make sure to save time for antique shopping and visit nearby Bridgeport to see the Barnum Museum, built in 1893 to celebrate P. T. Barnum of circus fame.
Take Exit 15 off Interstate 84 in Connecticut. At the exit, make a left onto Route 67/6, then turn left at the third traffic light onto Heritage Road. For reservations, call (203) 264-8200 or go to www.dolce.com and look for The Heritage Inn in "our properties". Rates start at $119.
Friar Tuck Resort, Catskill, NY The Friar Tuck Resort aims to please families with its location in the northern Catskill Mountains and its activities. In addition to day activities for children and adults, the resort is most famous for its Robin Hood themes and nightly shows in its 2,500-seat Buckingham Palace theater. You can find fishing, horse racing, bingo, tennis, basketball, pool, shuffleboard all on site. Local attractions include the Catskill Game Farm, the Olana Castle, Howe Caverns, and a 400-acre bird sanctuary. Make sure to call beforehand on activities, as some of the Catskill sites are closed during April.
Going north on the New York State Thruway, take Exit 20 (Saugerties). Drive north on Route 32 eight miles to the resort. For reservations, call 800-832-7600 or go to www.friartuck.com. Rates, which include breakfast and dinner, start at $80 per person for a standard room. An 18 percent service charge is added to the room rate.
The Lodge at Catskill Corners, Mt. Tremper, NY Also located in the Catskills, the Lodge feels more like an upscale country inn rather than a resort. The homey establishment includes beautifully decorated rooms, fishing, and its own starring attraction, "The World's Largest Kaleidoscope." Patrons enter the kaleidoscope room and enjoy a 15-minute show. Visit historic Kingston and Woodstock nearby.
From the New York State Thruway going north, take Exit 19 (Kingston) and follow Route 28 west for approximately 20 miles. For reservations, call 888-303-3936 or go to www.catskillcorners.com. Rates, which include two adults and children, start at $125 for weekdays and $150 on the weekends.
Mohonk Mountain House, New Paltz, NY A Victorian castle rising above this mountaintop resort, Mohonk Mountain House has a majesty all its own. Built in 1869 by two visionary brothers who wanted to create a unique, luxurious retreat, the resort boasts countless activities and more than 40 theme programs throughout the year. Go hiking, horseback riding, or boating, or just explore the 2,200-acre property. You won't find a TV in your room (you won't need it) and guests need to dress appropriately for the dining hall (jackets on men and skirts or dress slacks for women). Gourmet meals and most activities are covered in the cost of the room.
Use Exit 18 (New Paltz) off of the New York State Thruway north. Turn left at the traffic light onto Route 299/Main Street. Look for the signs to Mohonk after crossing the bridge over Wallkill River. For reservations, call 800-772-6646 or go to www.mohonk.com. Rates start at $310 for two adults and children under four years old. A 15 percent service charge is added to the room rate. Check out the hotel's website for additional discounts and special offers.