The Wall Street Journal published an article this week about luxury hotels adding more kid-friendly services in order to meet the demand of parents and grandparents who are bringing little ones to high-end hotels and resorts more than ever before.
The article reminded me of a trip we took with our then 9-month, 3 and 6 year-old children. It was a family wedding at a Beaches resort in Turks and Caicos. While I wouldn’t call it a luxury hotel experience, the place was incredibly family-friendly, our kids’ favorites being the swim-up ice cream bar and dinner-and-movie nights at the kids club. With our kids having so much fun, we didn’t feel guilty about sending them off to the “childcare,” and we were able to truly have a vacation, enjoying some quiet time by the pool and a few adults-only dinners.
The hotel industry has finally caught on. Parents today would happily step up the family vacation and pay a little more to stay at a high-end hotel, as long as they felt it was enjoyable for the kids.
Here’s our round up of the most impressive hotel offerings for kids, many taken from the WSJ and others are own favorites:
- Hyatt just weeks ago rolled out a new kids’ menu with adult-style meals based on fresh, organic ingredients rather than the ubiquitous frozen chicken nuggets and mac and cheese. The menu was developed with collaboration from Alice Waters.
- Costanoa Lodge outside of San Francisco bills itself as an eco-friendly adventure resort. They have a fantastic kids club centered on exploring tide pools.
- Rosewood and some Ritz Carlton hotels offer spa services for kids, including a Princess Fizzy Pedicure at Ritz Carlton, St. Thomas.
- You have less to pack and carry thanks to Mandarin Oriental providing baby strollers and organic crib sheets.
- Terranea Resort in Palos Verdes, CA, offers outdoor science experiments and locally inspired art projects for kids.
- Wequassett Resort and Golf Club in Cape Cod sports a pirate ship water park and treasure chest-shaped ball pit, in addition to twice-a-day ice cream by the pool for kids and a mini kids camp for 2-4 year olds.
- Rose Buds Program by Rosewood Hotels and Resorts incorporates Montessori elements in its 17 kids programs world-wide, allowing them to offer truly educational fun.
- Sea Island, a resort on the coast of Georgia, carefully recruits a special team of college students, selected for their leadership skills and enthusiasm, to serve as role models for young guests at its impressive Camp Cloister.
- Esperanza, an Auberge resort in Cabo San Lucas, allows kids to “adopt” baby sea turtles and release them on the beach.
As an additional service to guests with kids, most hotels are willing to book a babysitter to watch your children in your room. For a more personalized, often less expensive alternative, try UrbanSitter to select and book a sitter while you’re away from home.
Contributed by UrbanSitter blogger and mom of three, Dawn Van Osdell.