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Travel with Kids: Montage Beverly Hills

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Julie Taylor: I have gotten some criticism in the past for occasionally putting my children in hotel kids' clubs when I'm on vacation, but I firmly believe that Mommy and Daddy need some "me" time, too! Plus, my kids are fiercely independent, and they love having their own adventures. So when I heard that the Montage Beverly Hills has a kids' club called Paintbox for children 5-12, I was all ears!

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I got the chance to check out the program with some other amazing mom bloggers, including LaJolla Mom, PureNaturalDiva, TheGoToMom, Beverly Hills Mom, and Jenn of ModernMom. It was fun connecting with the other amazing mothers, and my daughter (the oldest of the bunch) loved playing with their cute kiddos.

When we arrived, the front desk clerk pulled out a kid-size Mercedes overflowing with stuffed animals. My 7-year-old daughter Seena chose a fluffy teddy bear, and said she felt like Eloise as we rode the elevator to our room. When we arrived in the suite, there was a huge sign that said: "Welcome, Seena! Paintbox is happy to have you!" Wow, talk about the red-carpet treatment!

Later that morning, my daughter arrived at Paintbox and they knew her by name. They even had a little cubby with her name on it. There were other kids' making bead projects, so my daughter dove right into the fun and barely even looked up when I headed off to the spa for a blissful facial. (The Montage Beverly Hills spa offers two hours' free Paintbox services if you book a spa treatment -- even to non-hotel guests. That certainly reduces the Mommy guilt!)

When I arrived to pick up my daughter, she didn't even want to leave -- she was too busy bonding with an amazing dynamo named Stacy, who had curly hair just like my daughter does. (Their mantra? "Curl power!") Seena and I then shared afternoon tea in the lobby (too cute) and journeyed over to the nearby American Girl store.

That evening, the moms enjoyed cabana dining by the pool. The TVs even featured DVDs of a flickering fireplace, which was such a nice touch. My daughter and her new buddies enjoyed popcorn and a movie ("Toy Story 3") in the kids' club. And the next day, we spent the day splashing in the rooftop pool sipping smoothies.

It's so nice to see luxury hotels that actually cater to kids and families, like the Montage Beverly Hills. They make you feel like your kids are actually welcome rather than an unwanted nuisance.

Find out more about the Montage Beverly Hills Paintbox program!

When you're on a family vacation, do you use the hotel kids' club? Why or why not?

next: Mom Alert! New Safety Guidelines for Kids in Car Seats
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