Expectations will change from one family to another, and the way in which a hotel welcomes babies or children may vary significantly. Many hotels pretend to be kids-friendly which usually means that their facilities are child friendly, that there's no additional charge for kids sleeping in the same room than their parents, or that they provide sufficient information. In this article, we review what makes a hotel family-friendly.
Do children have to pay and how much?
It is important that hotels where children are welcomed clearly specify in their rates which rooms are indicated for each family, if they have extra beds, cribs ... And in particular,they should specify the ages of children from which there is an increase in price. Some establishments charge more for a crib or want to place the family in two different bedrooms (charging a double fee),and thus cannot be regarded as "child-friendly hotel”. If children are to sleep in connecting rooms, they should be offered at a discount. Information about additional charges regarding children should be displayed clearly.
- Child and baby friendly hotels should have specific menus (at lower prices than an adult menu, if meals are not included in the price).
- Of course, these meals can not be based, as is often the case, on precooked, fried and food of inferior quality to that eaten by the elderly. On the contrary, children's menus should offer quality and variety, including abundant fruits and vegetables, natural juices, balanced meals...
Infrastructure and services
- rooms and common areas must be suitable for children, matching appropriate safety standards, such as protection of sockets, ramps, ...
- the bedrooms should be conducive to sleep, offering an optimal sleep environment for kids
- adequate furniture should be offered: high chairs, or supplementary beds, baby bath tubes.... If we expect kids to sleep through the night, they should feel comfortable and confident in their beds. The mattress should be firm, pillow with the right size, and sheets and blankets cozy.
- kid-friendly hotels should either give a lwelcome gift at check-in or have rooms with amenities that are specifically thought for children (such as board games, colouring books and pens).
- the hotel should also offer baby strollers, especially in hotels with a lot of international visitors Travelling by plane with a stroller can be uncomfortable, and having a the possibility to loan or rent one at the hotel should encourage many families not to worry about bringing their own.
- child-Friendly Hotels should also offer a specific program for children and the whole family, with activities for their entertainment and / helping them to learn. Pools or playgrounds are definitely looked after by families. Some hotels have already seized the opportunity to create educational experiences, offering learning programmes for instance during the holidays, and teach children about specific activities.
- child-Friendly Hotels not only should offer these services, but also have to specify on their website the activities aimed at children, whether they have childcare facilities, children's pools ... In short, explain everything that may interest parents.
- many of the activities in these hotels should be free (entertainment, shows...), and included in the room rates. The prices of other activities such as childcare, specific workshops ... should be affordable or families who want to use them.
- a child friendly hotel should offer additional information (brochures, guides...) on activities, museums and leisure aimed at children, that can be visited near the hotel.
- staff should have child friendly attitudes, and should not expect kids to behave like grown ups. They should be able to have fun with them and keep things relaxed.
In short, the conditions that a hotel must meet to be regarded as child friendly are very diverse. Bringing them all together may result in an investment for the hotel, but it is definitely worth to make families with children visiting your establishment happy. It is usually quite difficult to find such hotels when we travel with children, so there is definitely a business opportunity for hotels willing to work with families. Hotels that make themselves stand out from the crowd with exceptional child-friendly services will definitely differentiate from competitors, fidelize existing customers, and reach new ones.
The Welcome Family team encourages you to share with us what would be your ideal hotel to travel with children.