A list of the top 10 luxury hotel kid-friendly perks might sound strange at first. Aren’t 5-star hotels for couples, rather than kids and families? Think again–even some of the most luxurious hotels you can imagine now offer kid-friendly services and amenities, helping make it a true vacation for mom and dad, not just a “change of scenery.” In fact, I’ve noticed that the more luxurious the hotel, the more personalized and kid-friendly the amenities. Here’s our roundup of some of our favorite kid and family-friendly luxury hotel perks.
1. Complimentary Kids’ Club
Your best chance of some true relaxation is if your kids can make a few new friends and have some fun of their own. Normally you expect to pay for the privilege of a well-run kids’ club, but the Four Seasons Kids for All Seasons program, available at resorts, is complimentary to guests. My son loved the Kids for All Seasons program at the Four Seasons Bali at Jimbaran Bay and didn’t want to leave! Other Kids for All Seasons programs that garner rave reviews include the Four Seasons Koh Samui and the Four Seasons Hawaii at Hualalai.
2. Clean beach and ocean
A great, clean beach and ocean (hopefully warm!) can be one of the best kid-friendly aspects of luxury resort. This can be a real challenge at popular, mass market destinations, so seek out a more remote luxury resort if you care about how pristine and unpolluted the beach and ocean is for your kids. The Park Hyatt Maldives is primarily targeted toward couples, but staff was friendly to kids and the beach and ocean were simply beautiful.
3. Kids eat free (and well)
Have hungry kids? You’ll be glad to know that if you book a Club Level Room at the Ritz-Carlton, kids under 12 staying in their parents’ room are allowed complimentary access to the Club Lounge, with its 4-5 food and beverage presentations each day. Most other club lounges also offer complimentary access for kids, but watch out: some, usually of independent or more boutique type properties, do not permit kids at all in their club lounge. So check this before you book.
Even if you’re not staying on Club level, resorts such as the Four Seasons Maui at Wailea offer free meals for kids age 5 and under in the resort’s Ferraro’s and DUO restaurants when accompanied by a paying adult.
4. Complimentary pastry class (aka let them make cake!)
Kids learn by doing, and what could be more fun than learning to make their favorite treats behind the scenes with the hotel’s pastry chefs? Below is our son having fun preparing mini madeleines at the Four Seasons Hotel George V, Paris. Now, if only the kids could successfully replicate these exquisite treats at home…
5. Yummy welcome treats
See a trend here? The way to many a kid’s heart is also through food, including delicious and whimsical welcome treats that are just for him or her. For example, pictured below are welcome goodies from the Mandarin Oriental San Francisco, with a cable car full of candies, fresh berries, and chocolate chip cookies. The plate was even adorned with my son’s name written in chocolate.
6. Stuffed animal
You may not be able to bring your child’s entire menagerie of stuffed animals while traveling, but many of the most luxurious hotels present your child with a new stuffed animal friend, either at check-in or waiting for him or her in the room. Here’s a ladybug stuffed animal from Hotel Fouquet’s Barriere in Paris, a well-known haunt of celebrities right on the Champs-Elysees, but also wonderfully child-friendly.
7. Dedicated kids’ pool or kids’ hours
One of the biggest sources of friction at hotels with a pool is between childless adults and honeymooners vs. families with kids. A dedicated kids’ pool or kids’ hours solves this problem nicely and lets everyone enjoy pool time. The Four Seasons Hualalai is incredible in this regard, with not only a Keiki (children’s) Pool for young kids, with a white sand bottom, but also the Sea Shell Pool as a family pool for older kids and their parents, and King’s Pond, an aquarium carved out of lava rock with over 3000 tropical fish and spotted eagle ray where kids and parents can snorkel, watch fish feedings, and enjoy touch tank exploration. Plus, there are four other pools, including adults-only pools and a lap pool, keeping everyone happy!
8. Child-size bathrobe and bath slippers
Kids love to feel grown-up, and their own child size bathrobe and bath slippers makes them feel just as special and valued as a guest as mom and dad. Plus, you can even take the slippers with you as a memento and to use at home. All cozy in his own bathrobe at the Four Seasons Seattle:
9. Back of House Tour
If your kid is anything like mine, he or she is always trying to figure out how things work, and find secret, hidden spaces that they’re probably not supposed to be. Well, the Four Seasons Paris has kids all figured out, and actually offers a Back of House Tour specifically for kids to discover the hotel’s hidden doors, elevators, and secret passageways. Just ask the kids’ concierge to help arrange it!
10. Bubble Bath
What kid (and even many an adult) doesn’t love a bubble bath? Forget bath salts, bubbles are so much more fun for kids! Here’s my son enjoying probably his best bubble bath ever at Amankila, in Bali:
What are your favorite kid-friendly luxury hotel amenities?
Hilary Stockton is the CEO at TravelSort.
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