Holidaying with children can be a challenge! From fuss at meal times to accidents in the car, there are many ingredients to cook up a rather stressed parent. But as a family hotel, you are in a great position to swoop in and act as a superhero to save the day. A lack of child friendly amenities can be a deal breaker for some, so ensuring you are fully equipped could bring you those extra bookings this summer.
1. Hire entertaining staff for the front desk
After hours of “Are we there yet?” parents will be thankful of having someone step in to entertain the kids. A friendly smile and some small talk will prevent excitable children from going AWOL in the reception area while Mum and Dad check in. What’s more, there is nothing worse than arriving at your destination, only to be greeted by a slow or inhospitable staff member! Don’t forget to inform guests of your babysitting services, too.
2. Give out free welcome packs
Activity packs go down well with parents, as they provide a few moments’ peace while the bags are being unpacked or as the first coffee sinks in. It’s always best to check if the content of the packs are suitable before dishing them out; for example if allergies are present. Not every parent wants to be faced with a puddle of flaky crayons and chocolate before a formal dinner!
3. Do an easy peasy children’s menus
A varied room service menu is essential for families with young children. Choose dishes that are suitable for a sensitive pallet, bearing in mind that some children are lactose intolerant, celiac or vegetarian. Consider your breakfast buffet; is there fruit, cartons of juice, fromage frais or finger foods available? A bowl of Cheerios and a piece of toast is OK, but you can really wow guests through your considerate menu choices.
4. Consider privacy for parents
Do you have privacy curtains in family rooms, or the option to stay in an adjoining room for those with older kids? If the answer is no, it is worth considering. Parents will appreciate having time alone to read and undress, as they do back home.
5. Employ child safety features
Most importantly, ensure that your rooms really are suitable for young guests. If the rooms are equipped with complimentary coffee facilities, are they well stowed? Are there measures in place to restrict room access, can the windows only open ajar?
Remember to regularly check smoke detectors and to inform guests of fire safety procedures.
6. Be a local guru to your guests
Brief your front desk staff on local attractions and things to do. A brochure stand is great, but some guests like first-hand advice on where to take their children. Make sure you have answers to common questions posed by holidaymakers- such as where the nearest pharmacy is, and which taxi firm is cheapest.
7. Offer family friendly viewing
Hotels can be boring places for little minds, so help Mum and Dad out by ensuring there is enough for them to do. Some families are not in possession of an iPad or laptop, so invest in a kids’ network such as Disney Channel, Nickelodeon or Nick Junior.
8. Get the bath bubbles out
Newer hotels are all about showers, when all parents really want is a good bathtub to plop the kids in. Go the extra mile by providing a stepping stool for those keen to hand wash at their own accord!
9. Provide on-site laundry
A quick, affordable laundry service is always a bonus. Despite taking extra t-shirts, pants and other articles of clothing, families will be faced with a messy situation that is in need of urgent attention. Sometimes, a pack of baby wipes will not cut it!
10. Invest in free Wi-Fi
Little needs to be said about the joys of free Wi-Fi. From watching YouTube with the kids to looking up restaurants on TripAdvisor, having to use your internet data is less painful when it’s included in a hotel package.