Children in the pool at the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel in Grand Rapids
The pool area at the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel

Though my family lives just over an hour from downtown Grand Rapids and can easily make day trips, we like to stay overnight whenever we can. Grand Rapids offers a great variety of family-friendly hotels close to attractions and transportation, and the kids get even more excited about a trip when they know it'll involve pool time and a hotel bed.

Here are some of my go-to hotels when I'm visiting Grand Rapids with the kids:

Amway Grand Plaza

With an ultra-convenient downtown location, a gorgeous pool area, several on-site restaurants and free wifi, the Amway Grand Plaza is my favorite upscale - yet totally family-friendly - hotel. Take the enclosed SkyWalk to see a show at DeVos Place or take in a meal at Six.One.Six at the JW Marriott hotel (the kid's menu there is one of the best I've seen.)

Holiday Inn Downtown

This budget-friendly downtown option is adjacent to the Grand Rapids Public Museum, and just a short walk over the river to the Grand Rapids Art Museum, Rosa Parks Circle, DeVos Place, and other downtown attractions. Parking is easy and complimentary, and kids eat free at the on-site Pearl Street Grill.

Ramada Plaza Grand Rapids

Between the Castaway Bay pool area featuring a water slide and tiki whirlpool, and an arcade game room, this suburban hotel is close to the Woodland Mall and convenient to the highway, airport, and Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park.

Homewood Suites

Offering super-reasonable rates on kitchenette suites sleeping up to 6 children, this conveniently-located hotel also features free breakfast, an indoor pool, laundry facilities and free wifi.

What's your favorite kid-friendly Grand Rapids hotel?