Ask LP Kids: what makes a hotel kid-friendly?

A mother and son enjoying one of the perks of hotels for kids – a swimming pool
Hotels for kids usually feature a pool – preferably heated © Tropical studio / Shutterstock

Without children in tow, booking a hotel is relatively simple. You consider its location, its breakfasts and how pretty/clean/trendy it is. Then kids arrive and suddenly a night away in a nice little boutique number becomes an exercise in logistics that the military would be proud of. Do they serve kids' meals? Are there interconnecting rooms or are we all going to have to go to bed at the same time? And what will we do if the baby wakes everyone in the middle of the night? Is there a pool? Is it safe? The list is endless…

So what should we be looking out for when trying to find the best hotels for kids?

The expert view

'For a hotel to be really welcoming for families, they should offer rooms which can house parents and up to three (ideally four) children or be able to offer connecting rooms (at a discount!); the process should be really simple when booking for a family party. Also, kid-friendly hotels should either give a little welcome gift at check-in or provide an amenity in the room which is specifically for children (such as board games, colouring books and pens; my daughter loved the idea of having her own kid-sized robe and slippers at one place we visited, for example).

Kids' menus in the restaurant are key and most families will seek out a hotel with a swimming pool, preferably heated and with a shallow end for small ones. The concierge or front desk should have a list of local attractions, eateries and transport options which work for all ages. And of course the staff should be unfailingly kind and generous with their time to families!'

– Nadine Mellor, Kids Collection Editor for i-escape.com.

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Want to investigate further? Try these helpful extra resources:

1. Conde Naste Traveller lists the 14 best family hotels in the world and the top 20 in the US and Caribbean.

2. Ciao Bambino! provides a list of child-friendly hotels around the world, all reviewed by parents.

3. Luxury accommodation sites i-escape.com and mrandmsmith.com both have a specific section for families.

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