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When our family of 8 travels together, we take up more space than the average family. I know this, and it’s one of the tradeoffs of large family travel.
Our first choice is to book either a vacation rental or a hotel that has a suite that will accommodate all of us in one room. We don’t mind being a bit cramped and don’t have a problem putting kids on the floor in sleeping bags, though this has gotten a bit trickier as the kids have gotten older and bigger.
Our next preference is to book 2 hotel rooms and have them be connecting, but this is tricky to arrange and book. In fact, back in 2017 I wrote a post asking why are adjoining hotel rooms so hard to get? Finally, we seem to have a solution, at least with one hotel chain.
What are connecting hotel rooms?
Connecting hotel rooms, sometimes called adjoining hotel rooms, are rooms where there is an interior door between two separate rooms.
That way you can get essentially one room that is twice as big.
Why adjoining hotel rooms are good for families
I know that many travelers AVOID having adjoining hotel rooms, because the perception (and probably the reality) is that the door directly to another room is not as soundproof as a wall would be, so you are more able to hear noise from the other rooms. For us though, especially when our kids were smaller, it made a really big positive difference in our traveling. Since our kids were not old enough where we felt comfortable leaving even the older ones in a room by themselves, staying in a hotel meant that we would typically split up into a “girls room” and a “boys room.” Since I have 3 sons and 3 daughters, it worked out evenly.
But that meant that I’d be sharing a bed with a wiggly 5 year old while my two older sons shared the other bed (though in later years I just made my youngest sleep on the floor while I got the whole bed ;-D ). Whereas with a connecting room, my wife and I would usually take one of the rooms (sometimes with the youngest on the floor or in the other bed), and put all the other kids in the other room. Because the two rooms would be connected, we felt a lot better about that than if they were next door or across / down the hall. When the hotel fire alarm went off in the middle of the night, I was glad that we hadn’t put our kids in their own separate room.
Hilton allows you to book connecting hotel rooms
Historically, it has been pretty much impossible to get adjoining hotel rooms or connecting hotel rooms. Many older hotels have a large inventory of connecting hotel rooms but it seems like newer hotels don’t have very many of them. Again, I think the overall preference for most travelers is to NOT have them, from both a security and noise perspective. Usually I would have to put in a “special request” when I booked, which I had pretty poor luck with getting hotels to ever honor.
But now, Hilton has rolled out the ability to select connecting hotel rooms, and this could be a game changer for family travel, especially large family travel like mine.
How to book adjoining hotel rooms
Booking connecting hotel rooms with Hilton is now quite simple. You simply choose connecting hotel rooms when you are booking at hilton.com. It’s possible that you’ll be able to book this if you book a Hilton through a third-party site like Expedia or Orbitz, but you’ll probably have the best success doing it directly at Hilton.com.
First, select multiple rooms when you go to book.
(As an aside, I find it so incredibly irritating that I have to put in the ages of my kids when it completely doesn’t matter but anyways….)
Then, after you select your hotel, choose connecting rooms. You can even still pay with points.
That’s it (in theory). I haven’t yet used this for an actual stay so I am wondering how well these selections are honored.
- Related reading: What is a family room in a hotel?
Have you used Hilton’s new connecting hotel room feature while booking? Share your experience in the comments.
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