I love going camping with the kids. Staying in a posh hotel is so stressful because I'm worried the kids will break something or fall off the balcony lol However after several nights sleeping on the ground it is nice to stay in a motel - we generally go budget these days. But it does need to be a big company with a good reputation - we often stay at a Golden Chain as we have a loyalty membership there and get a discount and they are always clean and functional.
Actually I prefer a cabin in a caravan park. That way you get the comfort of a solid structure with electricity and no worries that the tent pins will be pulled out by enthusiastic toddlers, but you get the camping experience because you're in the caravan park.
Posh hotels aren't relaxing with kids, but I prefer to live a little rough when I travel, I like seeing how other people live. A posh hotel shelters you from that so I'm not particularly interested.
For me it's a matter of how I am feeling at the time, the age of the kids (when they were young) and our budget. We have stayed in our own tent, which is fine in Oz but can be wetter when in the UK, Hired a tent in France, driven a motor home in Oz and UK, self catered in Europe and Oz. Stayed in hotels and apartments in US, Europe and Oz. Have to say that no matter where we stay NOTHING beats my own home and I am always glad to get back to my own bed :)
I've never really gone camping. I'm more familiar with the modern comforts of life. If given a choice I think I would pick a posh hotel. I could even go to a budget motel. However it must be clean and have a good reputation. When I leave I shouldn't be ashamed to tell someone that I spent time there.
I really can't imagine living without electricity or running water for too long.
I haven't been camping in years, and really would love to go again when my son gets a little older. Having said that, I do like nice accommodation. I remember staying in this one-room shack as a child. Needless to say, it left an impression.
I think it's fun to experience both camping and staying in motels etc with kids. I have found they enjoy the chance to go 'feral' in the bush, but they enjoy sleeping in bunk beds in a motel too (very occasionally).
If I was just passing through on the way to somewhere else, I would go to a motel ( haven't done so in years ). If I was on vacation somewhere, I would prefer to stay at a nice hotel / resort so I could enjoy my holiday in comfort. Hard to find a camping ground in the centre of the City. That is where we tend to stay if going interstate and then do day trips from there. I have never been camping before, and frankly, couldn't think of anything worse.
I don;t mind camping, as long as I can have a shower, and a communal kitchen, or we take the gas burner, we couldn't afford motels all the time, and camping can be fun, the worse part is errecting the tent, and blowing up the matresses.
As a former Girl Guide Leader I camped dozens of times and thoroughly enjoyed it. Nothing like the satisfaction of cooking great meals in the bush (almost like doing it in a home kitchen), the satisfaction of setting a fire properly and using only dead pine needles as starters for the one match fire, the joy of indigestion as you bend over to hammer tent pegs into the ground and the satisfaction of spending a few hours around the campfire before retiring with somemores and milo.