The Saguaro

LEGOLAND Hotel at LEGOLAND Florida ResortWinter Haven, Fla.

Built for kids, this hotel opened in May 2015 on Lake Eloise, just steps from the Legoland theme park; it’s about 95 kilometres from the Orlando International Airport. Lego is everywhere, with interactive play areas, nightly building competitions, Master Model Builder sessions and even soft bricks floating in the pool.

Rooms are decked out in Pirate, Kingdom, Adventure and Lego Friends themes; the Pirate theme, for example, features red-and-white-striped skull-and-crossbones bedding. Each has separate sleeping areas for adults and kids, the latter with a bunk bed and trundle bed and a treasure chest that can only be unlocked after a scavenger hunt. Guests get early admission to the theme park (tickets sold separately), and rates include a buffet breakfast. From US$219.

Hotel Zed, Victoria, B.C.

An eye-popping makeover and fun-loving attitude have transformed a once-basic motel on busy Douglas Street into the quirky Hotel Zed. Run by the family behind Accent Inns, the two-storey structure is painted megawatt hues like lime green and royal purple. The 62 rooms feature retro touches like rotary-dial telephones. Family-friendly amenities include a Ping-Pong lounge and a hot-pink waterslide over the indoor-outdoor pool. In the lobby, visitors can listen to vinyl records or use the typewriters to hunt and peck out a postcard.

Two vintage ’67 Volkswagen Buses shuttle guests the 10-minute drive into downtown, or they can borrow bicycles (including kids’ sizes) and longboards and ride there over the Gorge waterway via the nearby Galloping Goose Regional Trail. Either way, it’s all groovy. From $130.

The Saguaro, Scottsdale, Ariz.

This sophisticated Joie de Vivre property in Scottsdale’s Old Town sizzles with colours inspired by native desert flowers. Hot-pink and yellow accent walls brighten up the rooms, while handcrafted Mexican furnishings in wood and leather keep the cheeky tones in check. Balconies open onto palm-fringed pools, where live music and DJs entertain the cabana crowd. Cheery meeting rooms seal the deal for business travellers, along with a fitness centre and spa. 

While stylish restaurants are within walking distance, the hotel’s Distrito eatery, with its riotously coloured confetti wall, is a fun spot to dine. Iron Chef José Garces’ menu is inspired by Mexico City’s street food, and a margarita bar, with more than 100 varieties of tequila, begs to be explored. From US$99.