Picking the right hotel for your vacation is about much more than finding the best price.
When looking for a hotel, it’s a good idea to consider the kind of vacation you’re taking, who is staying with you, and what kind of hotel amenities are best suited for your unique vacation.
In other words, the best hotel for a romantic getaway may not be the best hotel for a family vacation with two small children.
Kid Friendly Hotels – What Amenities to Look For
1. Continental Breakfast available on-site.
Small children don’t need an elaborate meal three times a day. They do, however, need something for breakfast. The more easily accessible, the better.
While a nicer hotel may have a restaurant that offers a full buffet and omelet bar, I much prefer an inexpensive hotel with a simply stocked continental breakfast when I’m traveling with my kids. It’s generally a lot easier to set little kids up with a bowl of cereal in a small dining area that accepts footie pajamas as part of their dress code. Traveling with kids means a lot of time spent in restaurants, and any chance to avoid that stress while still getting a decent meal is worth watching out for.
2. A pool is a plus. A jacuzzi is completely unnecessary.
Little kids love to swim. Or, at the very least, they love the idea of swimming – even if the reality is sitting on the pool steps for hours in their swimsuits. But their expectations are low when it comes to a good hotel pool.
Water? Great. Shallow end? Fantastic. Clean? If mom says so. A jacuzzi and sauna room are less than an afterthought and should, in fact, be avoided by small children if possible.
3. Extra sleeping area available – pullout couches, cots, massive floor space.
I always underestimate how much sleeping room my children are going to need when we travel.
“Oh, the little one can sleep with us.”
“Hey, the two little ones can bunk together.”
And then the little one is jammed between two big people in a double sized bed and the two big people end up with very little sleep. Or the two little ones decide that this is the night that they cannot stand anymore of her touching me!
I’m all about giving up a little convenience to save a few bucks, but a good night of sleep when you’re on vacation is much more than a convenience. Check with the hotel before you book to verify the size of the beds and the availability of cots.
4. A bathtub. Not just a shower – an actual bathtub.
If your kids are used to showering at home, than this is a non issue. But if you’re traveling with a toddler, you may not want to introduce showering and water in the eyes on your oh so perfect family vacation.
Some hotels offer stand up showers only in some rooms, but have regular sized bathtubs in other rooms. If you book your reservation by phone, ask about a room with a tub. If you book your room online to save money, call the property you’re staying at after you’ve booked and request a room with a tub.
Ironically, you’ll usually find these amenities in a less expensive hotel. Luxury is, apaprently, reserved for adults. But when you’re on a family vacation, the best luxury is being able to stay some place where everyone in the family can feel relaxed and at home.