How Can Travel with Kids Be Easier?
One of the hardest parts of family travel is trying to fall asleep in one tiny hotel room with your snoring — or loudly singing — children. (Nothing like the 2am “MAMA, WHEELS ON THE BUS GO ROUND AND ROUND!” game.)
Thus, when I learned that Smugglers’ Notch Family Resort in Vermont offered multi-room condos for vacation rentals — in other words, distance and doors between parents and kids — I was mighty intrigued.
Condos are Better for Family Travel than Hotel Rooms
“You mean,” I asked the Smuggs representative, “you have condos with multiple rooms? Like, I don’t have to have my son throw up directly on top of me, as happened during our Santa Cruz redwoods hotel stay in an itty-bitty hotel room?!”
“Come stay at Smuggs, and you’ll see why families love us,” he replied — and so we did. This article is the result of a glorious three-night hosted stay which serves to demonstrate why from now on, I only want to stay in kid-friendly condos during family travel.
Room for the WHOLE Family
Now, Smugglers’ Notch Vermont family resort has a whole range of lodging sizes and prices, but it’s key to note that their housing stock contains the 3-bedroom, 3-bathroom beauty of a condo that we enjoyed (poetically titled, “Owls 8”).
How spacious was this rental property? One of the bedrooms (pictured above) has FOUR beds. This means that you could house at least 8 people comfortably in the condo, making the whole trip quite economical thanks to cost sharing. Can’t you just imagine a bevy of little cousins having the time of their life in that kids’ room? As it was, our two kiddos danced upon all four mattresses.
Space to Cook, Eat, and Lounge…
Did you catch in the first photo of this article that there is a giant, modern kitchen in the Smuggs condo? Well you should also catch that this particular Mama has less than a 0% desire to cook for anyone, ever during her vacation time.
That said, I still appreciated the shiny black stone countertops of the aforementioned kitchen, and certainly loved the family dining area overlooking the forest — upon which we ate leftovers from the Smuggs restaurants which kindly cooked meals so Mama did not have to. The spacious silver fridge was ideal for keeping those leftovers — plus tons of Vermont cheese — cool and fresh.
Jacuzzi and DOUBLE Shower?!
Hot tip: It’s a lot easier to coax your stinky, sweaty children into a bath if the tub is a massive, bubbling jacuzzi! Our kids took more baths in our Smuggs condo during our 3 days there than they did all m– errrr, I won’t finish that sentence because I don’t want you to know how infrequently I wash my kids.
Subject change! There were TWO shower heads in the gargantuan stone shower! “Mama,” exclaimed my son, “We could fit ten people in here, and half of them could shower with hot water, while the other five showered with cold!”
Indeed, I think that was on the mind of the architects when they designed this contraption, because who hasn’t wanted a good multi-temperature group shower experience?
A VT Ski Resort for All Seasons
Smugglers’ Notch is not just kid-friendly, but it’s also versatile for fun in spring, summer, fall, or — we see you, ski season! — winter. The condo we stayed in is similarly versatile.
Take, for example, the sun room pictured below. In summer, you can throw open all the windows and essentially be in a screened-in porch. In winter, the sunlight can stream into cozily insulated rooms. In autumn, you get a rainbow view of fall foliage, and in spring, blossoming flowers. A Smuggs condo is all good, any time.
Is this Family Resort “LUXURY” or Not?
An important thing to know about Smugglers’ Notch before booking is that it is NOT a “luxury” resort, but it IS extremely comfortable. What does that mean? These photos illustrate it well: There are no gold-plated walls, but there IS a homey, happy vibe, and every amenity you could need is there — including multiple fireplaces and an outdoor patio in this condo!
There is not oceanfront dining (duh — it’s Vermont), but there IS the aforementioned jacuzzi and double shower, plus three restaurants a short walk from the condo… and 8 swimming pools on the resort property! Nothing feels stuffy or overly fancy, yet you will want for nothing.
So Many Kid-Friendly Details in the Rental…
What most moved me about staying in Owls 8 at Smuggs were the thoughtful details for families. Most useful of all: Every single bathroom has a stool for little legs to reach the potty!
Now this may seem like a trifling detail, but if you’ve ever been roused at midnight by a small voice requesting you to hoist a certain bottom onto a toilet, you’ll realize why providing these stools is so kind.
Other details included drying racks, kid-friendly books, and durable furniture. (My daughter thoroughly tested the durable nature of this sofa pictured below, and it passed her torture test with flying colors.)
Check Out my VIDEO Tour of the Condo!
Did you catch the high-quality and extremely professional (ahem, cough… slightly shaky because I was so excited) video showing the giant expanse of our Owls 8 condo rental at Smugglers’ Notch? If not, scroll back up to see it! Seeing the sprawling size the space is worth your sixty seconds to ogle.
In the video you can really get a feel for how many rooms are in the condo: TEN rooms (3 bedrooms, 1 sun room, 1 dining room, 1 kitchen, 1 living room, 3 bathrooms), 1 outdoor porch, and 2 hallways. Can you see why travel with kids is so much easier in a place of this size? The freedom of space and privacy!
Logistics and Reviews of Smuggs Rentals:
Curious to learn more logistics about renting a vacation condo at Smugglers’ Notch? See TripAdvisor reviews here (affiliate link) for some very interesting (and positive!) thoughts about Smuggs from people who aren’t just me.
If you’re interested in pricing and booking, it’s often best to directly call the property for deals and advice on the perfect accommodations fit. More details on lodging at Smuggs are here, including an overview of the condo size options. Heck — if you want to go full in, there are even timeshares to purchase on the property… but then you and I have to become friends so I can come visit.
Have YOU Tried a Smugglers’ Notch Condo?
So what about you? Does this Smuggs condo rental intrigue you? Have you stayed at Smugglers’ Notch before, yourself? How did the lodging you tried compare in size and amenities? How was your experience? Do share!
The author, Lillie Marshall, is 6-foot-tall National Board Certified Teacher of English, fitness fan, and mother of two who has been a public school educator since 2003. She launched Around the World “L” Travel and Life Blog in 2009, and over 3.7 million readers have now visited this site. Lillie also runs TeachingTraveling.com and DrawingsOf.com. Subscribe to her monthly newsletter, and follow @WorldLillie on social media!