A child-friendly stay
Children are becoming a driving force behind hotel bookings and hotels are introducing packages that offer families an enjoyable vacation. From the oldest to the youngest, everyone aims to make the most of their vacation. Be it a tropical spot or a ski destination, everyone looks forward to a fruitful vacation with family, especially kids.
Heather Balsley, senior VP of Holiday Inn Brand Family, USA, says, “We know that both families traveling on vacation as well as individuals who when they travel on business are looking for opportunities to spend time with their families is a huge segment of the market.”
Hotels are selling more rooms based on reviews on popular booking sites and being a child-friendly hotel is definitely making it easier. More families are looking for child-friendly hotels right from the beginning. As an important part of the research process, parents look for properties that not only look comfortable for the whole family, but for those offering special amenities that appeal to children of all ages. As a result, child-friendly hotels are booming, with some going all out to appeal to children.
Balsley further adds, “As a parent myself, when you’re making a booking decision and thinking about vacation, the most important things for these families are that their kids feel cared for, that they’re finding experiences for their kids to learn and experience new things.”
Therefore, offering new amenities and packages for families is a trend that has been on a rise. The many ways in which hotels are making their properties a delight for the li’l ones are as follows:
Creating a Unique Experience: From check-in to check-out, some hotels are ensuring that the trip stays memorable for every child. Marco Island Marriott Beach Resort offers a baby butler service that includes a crib in the room, delivery of diaper every day, complimentary meals and a gift for the infant along with discounts on purchase of baby items. Inn of the Anasazi, a luxury hotel in Santa Fe gives access to kids in the kitchen. They let the little ones enjoy cooking with the executive chef, where they can create the hotel’s signature dish which gets served beautifully with the child’s name on the plate. Kids can also decorate cookies that are delivered to their room at night.
Amenities: There are hotels that offer nannies, crèches and babysitting services. Others are creating a home-like atmosphere with rooms filled with toys, books, puzzles, bright bedding and healthy snacks for kids. Spa treatments for kids are fast catching up. From on-site games and indoor pools, to day care and golf lessons, there are a wide range of amenities to entice kids and parents alike. Some hotels even have special kids’ areas that allow parents to have some free time while the kids play and meet new friends.
Entertainment & Activities: In a one-of-its kind move, Fiesta Hotel Group launched Pirates of the Caribbean themed kids’ club boasting of entertaining activities for kids aged 1 to 12 years. Dotted with a large playground, pool, game area, video games center, nap zone, and crafts center, the hotel has even dressed the staff in accordance to the theme.Other entertainment ideas like indoor cinema, bowling alleys and video game zones are also being adopted by hotels. Outdoor activities like biking, horse riding, trekking, treasure hunts or nature walks for kids are also pretty popular.
Safety: Many hotels include child-proofing kits to ease the minds of parents of young kids; because traveling with an entire safety kit isn’t easy and we all know how often one can forget things while packing. Few beach resorts are providing baby watch services at the beach while parents enjoy a dip. Hotels are becoming more aware of what parents are looking for in terms of safety, and they will take care of the room before you even arrive. They just put a note in their property management system so that your room is ready with customized services like child-proofing the room when you arrive.
Targeting families is becoming a big part of a marketing strategy. Reaching out to your audience by adopting well-planned marketing strategies will help you get good responses.
Sales and marketing consultant, Brenda Fields of Fields & Company, says, “Marketing should be directed to families and adults with kids and supported by the appropriate product offerings such as swimming pool, games, sports room, video games, children’s foods.”
Your marketing strategy should be child-friendly and it should list all your packages. Few hotels are also customizing packages as per the age-group of your child – for infants, toddlers, kids, teens and teenagers, which is proving to be a joyous experience for parents. To make your hotel child-friendly, start in small ways, because every little bit counts.
By using Property Management System (PMS), you can streamline room bookings and the Point of Sales (POS) module can help you add more child-centric amenities whilst managing them seamlessly for you. This feature can definitely work wonders in the hotel industry. Try it and reap the benefits!