The Nick hotel—with its "kidsuites," kids spa and wake-up calls from Nick TV stars such as SpongeBob SquarePants—is raising the bar for hotels and resorts that cater to the "Are we there yet?" crowd. More hotels are rolling out the red carpet—stain-resistant, of course—and treating kids like VIPs, with their own bunk beds, Nintendos and plush miniature bathrobes.

At Le Parker Meridien New York, young guests check out scooters from the kids concierge and get animal crackers delivered by room service. Even the Breakers in Palm Beach, Fla., that bastion of old money, has abandoned the adage that "children should be seen and not heard." The oceanfront resort now has a 6,000-square-foot family entertainment center, with an arts-and-crafts room, playroom, movie room, computer/Xbox room, arcade and family-style Italian restaurant.