How to choose the best family-friendly hotel accommodation
Choosing the best family-friendly hotel accommodation is all about finding your cake and eating it too. Finding it is the holiday itself, but eating it with relish depends on keeping everyone happy. Here’s how to do it.
Travelling with the kids means no longer looking at hotel accommodation in terms swim-up bars and spa facilities. For one thing, you tend to spend a lot more time in the actual room, with afternoon sleeps, clothes changes and a forgotten favourite doll drawing you back, time and again.
However, you can have the best of both worlds, with a few easy tips.
A hotel within walking distance to attractions makes all the difference
Location, location, location
Whether you choose a beach holiday, a bush getaway or a city break, it’s best to stay within walking distance to at least some of the attractions you plan to visit. Having to rely on driving or public transport adds time restraints and there’s more packing involved on a daily basis. This way, if someone forgets something or you need a new nappy, one person can pop back to get it, with minimum fuss.
Plus, won’t it be nice to have a break from hearing, “are we there yet?”
Many city hotels offer ‘family rooms’, on the basis of having three or more beds, however you might find there’s no space to swing the proverbial cat and little in the way of useful amenities.
Family-friendly hotel rooms
It’s overwhelming to search through numerous sites, in order to find a room with the facilities you need. On top of that, there’s a lot of false advertising involved. For example, many city hotels offer ‘family rooms’, on the basis of having three or more beds, however you might find there’s no space to swing the proverbial cat and little in the way of useful amenities.
For hotels that truly cater to the needs of a family, especially those with babies and toddlers, look out for these room features:
Cots at no additional cost
Extra space, including separate living areas, courtyards or balconies
Children’s meals on room service menus
Stroller and highchair rental
More than likely, if the hotel offers the above facilities, you can be confident everyone’s needs will be met.
Business and leisure hotels often offer the best of both worlds for families
A family holiday means investing time in being together, but, chances are, a little bit of space is a good thing too! No matter how much of your holiday is spent exploring the location, it always pays to have easy entertainment on hand, for much needed ‘down time’.
You can obviously stay at a large resort with kids’ clubs, water slides and daily entertainment, so the littlies are occupied while you’re sipping cocktails. However, if you prefer a somewhat low key vibe, choose a hotel that offers both business and leisure facilities.
Many tend to include separate areas for adults and children, in restaurants and pools for example. That way, you’ll enjoy a peaceful dinner, while the kids are safely occupied in the games room, without the general ‘noisiness’ of a large family resort.
With individual needs and practicalities met at your hotel, the only thing left is to get back to relishing your ‘cake’, together.
Nicole Leigh West
Nicole Leigh West is the author of fiction novel, 'The Gypsy Trail' and an internationally recognised travel and lifestyle writer.