As someone who bowed out of the hospitality profession to be a stay-at-home parent I like to think I know a little bit about hotels, especially as I was a duty manager in one and have worked in hotels varying from a branded hotel chain to a multi award winning 4 star boutique hotel – not to mention the hospitality degree. But all that pales in comparison to experiencing it on the other side, especially with a child in tow. I can’t deny that I really was that waitress that would be scowling about parents daring to take their children to a hotel – although you won’t find that attitude at The Royal Garden Hotel where they are just so super family friendly. So here are some top tips for staying in hotels with kids to make everyone’s lives easier.
- Make sure you book a rate with breakfast included, particularly if you have little ones. Not only will it make life easier, it means your little one can pick and choose what they want to have, so you don’t have to worry about ordering them something they end up not eating.
- Order room service breakfast if you are happy to pay the tray charge. In my opinion the few extra £s that it costs to get your breakfast delivered make it worth it when you don’t have to rush to get your little one dressed and ready before getting breakfast. You can chill out in your pj’s and don’t have to worry about your toddler wiping their weetabix hands all over the person next to you.
- If you choose to go down to breakfast, take a pack of wipes with you so that you can keep on top of the sticky spills – the staff will think you’re amazing if you leave a clean table and will be super friendly to your kids, making everyone’s lives much easier.
- If you need two rooms make sure to ask for interconnecting rooms – you can close the door on the kids if you need a little privacy (ahem 😉 ) or have the door open if the kids are worried about being somewhere new.
- Take teddies and pillows and any other bed time essentials, like books to give your little one as much security as possible in a new and unfamiliar place.
- Ask for a quiet room, particularly if you’re away at the weekend – the last thing you want is to be allocated rooms next to a group of people on their night out, next to the lift or on top of/below the bar.
- Book a room with a big bed, so that if you’re little one gets scared in the night they can squish in between the two of you, like this one at the Royal Garden Hotel.
- When you’re booking a hotel look up the local restaurants and their menus – see if there are any chains that have favourites on the menu and book a table for dinner in advance. There’s nothing worse than wandering the streets with a hungry child or sitting in a restaurant with nothing on the menu that takes your fancy and a bored child.
- On the subject of bored children – find the closest play area, just in case you need to burn off any energy, an open space for a bit of a run or somewhere interesting to go for a walk, we love museums – particularly the Natural History Museum which is a short walk from South Kensington tube station.
- Check out before the masses – there’s nothing worse than standing in a huge queue of people or packed reception with bored kids who are ready to bolt
Is there anything you would add to the list?