Top tips for Hotel stays with kids (and our number 1 Golden rule!)
We've been fortunate enough to have had lots of experience of staying in hotels with our children whether it was for our holidays a couple of years ago, to our road trip around the UK last year or the stays we've had earlier this year. So whilst we can't promise everything will go smoothly, we've created a short video highlighting the things we've found to be most important when staying in a hotel with kids.
and here is a summary:
Tip 1: Location, Location, Location
Choosing a hotel in a great location can make all the difference. For example, the Royal Garden Hotel is perfect for family stays in London as it has the beautiful Hyde Park and Kensington palace on it's doorstep, is close to the big child-friendly museums and has good transport links to the rest of London.
Tip 2: Fabulous Food!
This top tip is about choosing a place with a child-friendly on-site restaurant or cafe. It will make all the difference after a long days travelling to be able to get your children fed with a great meal without having to trek out to find a restaurant.
It's worth checking beforehand if you need to reserve a table, then you won't miss out if it is busy and you can book it for a convenient time to you too.
Tip 3: Be Prepared...
For any holiday, hotel break or even a meal out, we tend to do a quick online search before we book. Tripadvisor is a great place to find out how other people felt about a place. We also like to read blog reviews and ask friends for recommendations of places to stay.
Its also important to find out as much as possible about what's available beforehand. If you are going to need a travel cot or high chair, just phone or email the hotel beforehand to check if there's one available or if you need to bring your own. Do the children have their own beds or a pull-out sofa? Is breakfast included?
The more you know about a place before you get there, the easier things will be!
Tip 4: It's not just about the kids!
This tip is really about remembering that you are important too! Yes it's great to find a hotel that is child friendly and has all the facilities you need for the children, but us parents appreciate a bit of luxury sometimes and some places don't manage to meet the needs of both very well.
But occasionally you will find a very special hotel that does know exactly what children and parents want.
Tip 5: ATTITUDE!
Being family friendly is not a tick-box exercise. There are plenty of places that claim to be family friendly just by having a baby changing mat or high chair available, but if your child does so much as make a squeak, you suddenly have all eyes on you wishing the ground would open up and swallow you.
So we've come to recognise the difference between the places with family friendly marketing and brochures that talk the talk and those where they have the right ATTITUDE and actually walk the walk.
Family friendly is not just about having the right facilities (although that of course helps), but it is to do with every member of staff you encounter on your stay, it's about the welcome you receive, it's whether they say hello to your children as well as to you. It's about knowing and understanding your needs and meeting them before you've even realised what they are.
And that's what we found made Royal Garden Hotel stand out head and shoulders above the rest when it came to getting things right in terms of being family friendly.
So all our tips lead us to our 1 Golden Rule when it comes to staying in hotels with children...All five of our tips ultimately fall under the same umbrella and can be summarised with this golden rule. It's not about what to take with you, what to pack, what facilities to look out for or when to travel. It is simply this.....Life can be made so much simpler by choosing the right hotel for your family in the first place!
If you are looking for somewhere truly family friendly to stay where every member of staff from the point of booking, right through to arrival, to restaurant waiters and waitresses, to the concierge staff, absolutely everyone, goes above and beyond your expectations to welcome you and YOUR CHILDREN, and they have all the facilities you would expect for children and more, then look no further than the Royal Garden Hotel.