The school summer holidays are upon us and many hotels are about to be flooded with young excitable children and their increasingly weary parents desperately trying to find ways of keeping them entertained.
So, if you want to boost your reputation as a great family hotel why not put in place some measures that will keep the little ones happy – and busy – and thus allow their parents some precious down time.
Do this and it’s likely you’ll see the same grateful parents return year after year.
So, what can you do to make your hotel as family friendly as possible?
Kids can be horribly fussy eaters, which makes eating out more of a trial than a treat. Faced with a sophisticated adult menu, much of which will be incomprehensible to them, many children will refuse to eat a bite. This is stressful and embarrassing for parents and results in hungry and irritable children. So, make sure you have a fun and accessible children’s menu with a good mix of dishes. Try not to fall into the trap of a lot of hotels, whose children’s menus consist entirely of different combinations of fried food and chips – most parents want their children’s diets to be healthy and balanced and it is possible to produce fun colourful dishes packed with veggies that children will love. It’s all in the presentation. Another trick that will always go down well with the kids of a list of exciting fruity ‘mocktails’.
Children are easily bored and often turn to their parents to entertain them. While most parents are happy to play with their little ones for some time, they also crave some time off when they can relax. So, hotels that provide kids clubs are a welcome blessing. The clubs could be themed to a certain interest of activity such as a cinema club or nature club, or they could offer something different each day. Either way it benefits everyone as the children make friends and can play with their peers while their parents get a break safe in the knowledge the little ones are busy and happy.
Activities and trips
Hotels can offer family friendly activities and trips, dependent on their location, which will again help parents ward off boredom among the youngsters. Ideally such activities and excursions should be enjoyable for both adults and children so all the family can get involved. There is a vast range of options out there but it is down to each hotel to capitalise on what is on its doorstep.For instance, a lakeside hotel could offer dinghy sailing or if it has a number of famous historic sites nearby it could offer day trips and tours.
Packing is difficult enough when it is for one person, let alone for three, four, five or more. Holidays in the UK tend to require clothing, footwear, toys and equipment for all occasions and things inevitably get forgotten. You will boost your popularity with many a mum or dad if your hotel is able to come to the rescue with an emergency stock of beach towels, wellies, rain macs, buckets and spades, armbands, sun cream, hats and more. Clearly you cannot be expected to have everything but think about what your guests are most likely to be doing during their stay and stock up accordingly.
Well trained staff
The most important attribute for any family friendly hotel is well trained staff who are completely confident in dealing with children. To some this come naturally but for others who have not had much exposure to kids it can be difficult knowing how to handle them, and their parents. Ensure your staff are properly trained in dealing with kids to avoid any difficulties and make your hotel a place where children and their parents come to have a great time.