Anyone who has traveled with kids knows that it is a totally different experience to traveling solo or with other adults. There really is no comparison!
When you are traveling with your family, your hotel room isn’t just the place where you sleep and recharge your batteries. It becomes both an activity hub and a center for operations, the place where you bring the kids back for a nap, organize changes of clothes, or give them some downtime. You’ll also most likely be spending more time there yourself, as few things are more exhausting than traveling with young children!
Successful hoteliers and hotel entrepreneurs, whether it’s Conrad Hilton or Bharat Lall, understand that different guests look for different things from their hotel stay, which is why the best hotels offer features that make them suitable for family traveling. But what does make a great family friendly hotel? Here are a few key factors to bear in mind.
Traveling through a strange city or holiday resort with children can be a stressful business, so unless you have access to a car, you are going to want to choose a hotel in a handy central location, near enough to the local public transport hub so that you don’t end up having to make lots of transfers to reach your destination. Ideally, you also want to be as near as possible to a local play area or park where you can take the kids to run around and burn up some energy.
One important factor to consider is room size. Many hotels, particularly in the major cities, offer rooms that are barely big enough to fit beds and perhaps a chair or two, leaving very little room for your kids to move around. A good child-friendly hotel will have larger rooms, giving families plenty of space, or will have affordable family suites available. Some suites will also include a sofa sleeper or similar rollaway bed, which is ideal for families, and other features such as adjoining rooms or a crib at no additional cost.
Soundproofing is another consideration. However well-behaved your kids may be, they will inevitably make a certain amount of noise, but hotels that offer soundproofing will ensure that you won’t have to regularly apologize to other guests!
Bathrooms are another important part of the family-friendly package. Many newer hotels offer only a shower facility, but if you’re traveling with young children, then you’ll need a room with a bathtub, and a separate toilet with a lockable door enables more than one person to use the bathroom at once and cuts down the time it takes everyone to get ready!
The final consideration when it comes to hotel rooms is the availability of kitchen facilities. Even if your hotel room doesn’t offer a kitchen area, a small refrigerator in which you can store handy items is very useful, as is a coffee maker in which you can warm up water, and a microwave, enabling you to give your kids snacks in the room.
Plenty of space
Depending on the age of your kids and their sleeping habits, finding them things to do, particularly during the morning when other family members want to lie in, can be a challenge. Hotels that offer plenty of room to explore, either with a large lobby or spacious grounds, are ideal for children. Some hotels even offer a Kids’ Camp, with plenty of activities to keep younger guests amused, and you will usually be able to get a schedule of activities when you book your room, helping you to plan your day.
Food and laundry
Kids can be picky eaters, so hotels that provide a room service menu and a restaurant menu that both include a number of child-friendly meals are preferable to those that only provide formal dining. A good snack outlet and a place to get healthy food and breakfast items also helps to make a hotel family-friendly, while hotels that provide coin-operated washing machines rather than a standard laundry service are a good choice, particularly if you are traveling with young, adventurous children who like to get messy!
Traveling with your children can be stressful, but choosing the right hotel can make things a lot easier. The best family-friendly hotels provide a range of amenities, from a Kids’ Camp to cribs, all of which are designed to help you and your children get the most out of your stay.