This past week, my youngest son and I were invited to come to the Pretty Great Family Debate with Embassy Suites Hotels hosted by Brooke Burke-Charvet at Dylan’s Candy Bar in New York City.  This was a fun experience where we were able to discuss the needs and desires of children versus parents while traveling. Travel writers and their children, as well as Brooke and her children were able to weigh in their opinions about the must-haves of family travel.

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As a family of six that loves to travel, it is essential for us to have a great home base (aka hotel room) on our adventures.  We really enjoy staying at Embassy Suites, as we know that we will enjoy comfortable accommodations, with room enough for our family.  Each suite has two rooms, allowing for some privacy and down time for little ones and parents alike.

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As was discussed with the parents and children on the panel, there are lots of issues that families face while traveling.  Where do you go to eat for breakfast, what if you get hungry later in the day?  Embassy Suites has you covered, as they host a made-to-order complimentary breakfast with your stay. Our family loves this!  My husband and I can enjoy fresh omelets, while our kids can pick from a vast assortment of yummy foods, whether it be cereal, donuts, or pancakes, bacon and eggs.  They love the selection and this gets everyone in our family off to a great start, as we are full and satisfied, ready for a day of fun and adventure, without wasting time looking for a family friendly option off property.

Typically, on our vacations we go, go, go!  But, we will sometimes stop back into the hotel to rest for a short while before heading out again for the evening.  Embassy Suites offers a cocktail reception hour, included with your stay, that offers snacks and drinks.   Parents can enjoy alcoholic beverages, as well.  My husband and I do not drink, but I can tell you, I always welcome a chance to have a Diet Coke!  This is such an awesome feature as it allows everyone in the family a chance to recharge.

An absolute must for a great family hotel is a swimming pool.  There is no doubt about it, both parents and children on the panel agreed it is a highlight of a vacation to allow children to have a chance to swim.  Embassy Suites has you covered, as each property has a swimming pool on site.  I can’t think of a better way to unwind after a day of exploring.  In fact, it is how we close out most of our vacation days.  Once we get back in from all the places we have visited and dinner, we immediately change and hit the pool.  It is an awesome way to get the kids to relax and get a great night’s sleep.

A big discussion ensued with the kids and parents on the topic of bedtime while on vacation. While kids felt they should be able to stay up as late as they would like, parents knew that their kids needed a bit of routine to keep the family happy and moving. If you are all in one room in a hotel room, either your family stays up too late or goes to bed too early, because it is hard to fall asleep when half of your family is awake and being noisy in the same room as you!  Embassy Suites has at least two rooms in their suites, which makes bedtime so much better!  Have younger kids traveling with you?  Not a problem because parents can close the door and stay up, while the kids go to sleep.  This ensures the kids aren’t cranky in the morning from lack of sleep, and allows mom and dad some time to decompress without the kids jumping all over them.

After much discussion, we learned that while kids and adults may have slightly different ideas on some topics, all could agree that a family hotel needed to be much more than a room with a bed to sleep.  A hotel needs to have the comforts of home and some great amenities to help families relax and enjoy their stay.  Embassy Suites is like a home away from home and parents and kids both agree that it is an awesome place to stay!

After the panel, the kids were treated to some very fun crafts, socializing and lunch in the candy store that looked like Willy Wonka’s factory.  It was an awesome way to spend the day, learn about the great features of Embassy Suites and inspire me to start planning our next family vacation!

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Just in time for the summer vacation season, Embassy Suites HotelsHilton Worldwide‘s upper-upscale, all-suites hotel chain, is teaming up with celebrity mom Brooke Burke-Charvet to help parents and kids see eye-to-eye on a number of hot-button topics. To kick things off, today in New York City, Burke-Charvet will co-host the “Pretty Great Family Debate,” a conversation among media (and their kids) moderated by Burke-Charvet, her six-year-old son, Shaya, and seven-year-old daughter, Rain. The “debate” will aim to uncover light-hearted, win-win solutions to common family disputes such as bedtime, the dinner menu, homework – and of course, vacation planning. Throughout the debate, Burke-Charvet and a panel of parenting and travel media experts – along with their kids – will share their tips for keeping the peace in their families.

“Keeping everyone in the family happy is a challenge every parent faces, especially when traveling,” said John Rogers, global head, Embassy Suites Hotels. “Our goal is to deliver what really matters to guarantee vacation satisfaction for everyone in the family. This debate will foster dialogue on topics we know many families dispute today. With summer vacation around the corner, we hope to help develop solutions for family-life events like how to plan a vacation that everyone in the family will enjoy.”

A busy mom who is frequently on the road with her four children, Burke-Charvet knows a thing or two about creating a winning and memorable travel experience for each member of the family. To start, she recommends involving the whole family in the planning process and choosing a hotel that keeps family needs top-of-mind.

“Picking trip activities that will appeal to everyone in the family can be challenging, but it can be done,” says Burke-Charvet. “Holding a pre-vacation family brainstorm session where everyone contributes is a great way to achieve that. Order take-out, clear off the dry-erase board and distribute colorful markers for a fun-filled night. Additionally, part of keeping everyone happy and satisfied on vacation is staying at a family-focused hotel – like Embassy Suites – with unique family-friendly offerings. After all, the hotel serves as your home away from home, so a complimentary breakfast with lots of made-to-order options and suites with two separate rooms – and two TVs – means there’s no compromising on vacation fun – everyone wins.”

Solutions like these, along with tips and tricks for avoiding potential family pitfalls, will be discussed at today’s Pretty Great Family Debate. Throughout the summer, Embassy Suites will share these insights, so families across the country can make the most of family travel.

#PRETTYGREAT PHOTO CONTEST Beginning today, travelers are invited to share their personal vacation experiences as part of the contest on Instagram® through June 26. Guests and fans are asked to post a split-frame picture with adults relishing vacation on one side and a photo of the kids on the other, using their Instagram® account with @EmbassySuitesusing the hashtag #PrettyGreat, demonstrating how Embassy Suites could be – or was – pretty great for their families. Single frame photos illustrating how everyone enjoyed vacation with the help of Embassy Suites will also be accepted. Embassy Suites will randomly select one winner weekly from the pool of entrants who have shared their photos. Each of the winners will receive a one-night stay at one of the brand’s more than 215 hotels, so they can experience firsthand the brand’s pretty great family-friendly offering on their next summer vacation. For official rules, please visit http://embassysuites3.hilton.com/en/about/prettygreat-photo-contest-rules.html.

Embassy Suites allows parents and kids to come to a consensus. From a weekend-getaway to an extended vacation,  Embassy Suites’ signature family-friendly amenities like spacious two-room suites, free made-to-order breakfast and complimentary Evening Receptions** with parent- and child-friendly snacks and drinks help make it a win for all. The debate is part of Embassy Suites’ “Yeah, It’s Pretty Great” campaign celebrating the experiences families share while traveling together.

Families can stay connected to Embassy Suites – throughout the summer travel season and beyond – on Facebook.com/EmbassySuitesHotels andTwitter.com/EmbassySuites. To make reservations, visit embassysuites.com, or call 1-800-EMBASSY. Media can stay tuned for more information atnews.embassysuites.com.