Families with young children often opt for self-catering accommodation when planning a vacation but choosing family-friendly luxury hotels could be a better way to go. The advantages are quickly apparent – no beds to make, no breakfast to prepare, no bathrooms to clean and no bedding to launder. You simply close the door on the mess and head out for the day. Return later to a spick-and-span room to repeat the cycle.
While some hotels advertise that they are family friendly, the high-end luxury hotels go the whole nine yards. They know just what children need and they set out to provide it. Milk and cookies at bedtime, kiddie-sized bathrobes, baby-sitting services, toys on loan and a special children's menu all make a huge difference.
One good example is the Four Seasons, Los Angeles, which not only provides bedtime milk and cookies, but also cute complimentary kiddies t-shirts. Their Hawaii resort goes one better, with a free kids program for 5-12 year olds, giving mom and dad time off to explore the sights alone.
Some of the chain hotels offer family sized rooms and complimentary breakfasts in their budget rooms, but this barely makes the grade. The Sheraton Group of hotels certainly makes more effort adding great value for money. Luxury hotels located close to family attractions such as the Six Flags theme parks often have discounted family tickets and shuttle transport. Other hotels, such as the Marriott in Denver, throw in free movie tickets when booking a family package, so it's always worth asking what is available at check-in.
Las Vegas is a great destination for kids of all ages, and most of the larger luxury hotels have cots and roll-away beds without any extra fees. Currently the best deals for family breaks are offered by Loews Lake at Henderson, and the Venetian, right on the Strip.
Hotels in Europe also welcome families with additional services such as babysitting at the San Regis in Paris, which often has special family packages. On the premise that happy children make a happy holiday, it is well worth seeking out family friendly luxury hotels to make sure that the trip runs smoothly and all the extras are available.
By Alexander Brey