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America's Best Family Hotels 2012

After a day on the slopes, ski butlers help you and your brood off North America’s only ski resort funicular and set the kids up for igloo building while you retreat to the fire pit for views of the Wasatch Mountains. If this sounds about perfect, it ought to be: you’re staying at Utah’s St. Regis Deer Valley, the top-ranked family hotel in the U.S.

That’s the verdict from Travel + Leisure readers who voted for America’s best hotels for families, part of the annual World’s Best Awards survey. The 2012 batch of winners runs the gamut from mega beach resorts to lakeside castles and cozy ski-in, ski-out inns. But one thing is clear: more than ever, hotels are hatching clever new ways to cater to families and keep up with travel trends.

Take the new two-acre water park at the historic Homestead in Virginia (No. 14), where a 400-foot lazy river is sure to keep the kids splashing around. Or the Hyatt Regency Lost Pines Resort & Spa (No. 18) in Austin, TX, where families can learn how to navigate the 405 acres covered in loblolly pine trees using a GPS. (You can officially forget the age-old complaint, “Are we there yet?”)

Another family-friendly trend that’s taking hold is the use of social media to handle guests’ requests or questions. At the Wild Dunes Resort (No. 3) in the Isle of Palms, SC, a new Twitter Concierge will book your kayak tour or nab you a restaurant reservation for four with just a tweet. Many hotels are now active on Pinterest too, like the Four Seasons Resort Jackson Hole (No. 11), which pins snapshots of its wildlife safaris and winter sports—great for inspiration as well as a fun way to capture and share your family memories.

Ready to plan your next holiday vacation, or just a long weekend? Get a head start by browsing our list of America’s Best Hotels for Families.

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