With more and more parents choosing to bring their babies with them when they travel, modern hotels are offering baby amenities, kids programs, childcare and rooms specially designed for families. For the trendy married-with-children set who are looking for a luxury vacation with the babes, fear not… We asked family travel expert, Julia Dimon to share some of her favorite luxury hotels for parents traveling with their babies and toddlers.
For the parent who loves to travel, there’s no need to check your wanderlust at the nursery door. Traveling while your baby is young has some real advantages. They’re lightweight, portable, sleep a lot and best of all, you don’t have to pay for an airline ticket until they’re two years old. If you’re a parent looking for a luxe more adult vacay with all the frills, here are some of my favorite stylish hotels offering baby and toddler services to ease the stress of travelling with small children.
Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort, Fiji
The South Pacific conjures up images of idyllic white sand beaches and tropical palm trees. Add a screaming, overtired baby with a diaper rash to the mix and suddenly things get real. Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort, an all-inclusive five-star resort, tries to make things easier so parents can actually enjoy their vacation. A former coconut plantation on the island of Vanua Levu, Jean-Michel Cousteau Resort works to provide families with an authentic Fijian experience.
Each child five and under is assigned a dedicated nanny for the duration of their stay! Plus there is a complimentary award-winning children’s program called Bula Club, open from 8:00am to 9:00pm. In addition to a swimming pool with a waterslide, a toddlers’ pool, a jungle gym, zip-line, trampoline, sandbox, and arts & crafts center, the Bula Club also incorporates child care so parents can go snorkeling or go for a romantic candlelit dinner while baby rests. With lots of fun activities for older kids as well, like a farm-to-table, junior chef program and building with sustainable materials like bamboo, so – regardless of age – you’ve got the whole family covered.
Martinhal Family Hotels & Resorts, Portugal
Give your baby her first holiday experience at Martinhal Sagres Beach Family Resort, a group of four beachfronts resorts located in Portugal. They’ve introduced a ‘Baby’s First Holiday’ package that includes: 4 or 7 nights stay in a beach room at Hotel Martinhal, breakfast and a baby welcome pack upon arrival (think diapers, baby wipes, diaper cream, a bottle warmer, sterilizer, changing pad, bath towel and bath toys). The package also includes two hours of babysitting services so you and your partner can enjoy your complimentary, 55-minute couples massage and romantic three course meal. Martinhal Family Hotels & Resorts also has a Baby Concierge service that will help parents pre-order baby products prior to their arrival, anything from cribs to safety gates. If that wasn’t already enough, each property has a kids club for all ages, from 6 months to 16 years old.
Four Seasons, Denver
The Four Seasons has properties all over the world that roll out the red carpet for the luxury family traveler. Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort, for example, offers baby amenities upon arrival including baby-friendly bath products, complimentary logo-bibs, Florida themed stuffed animals and organic baby food pouches. The resort also offers a 5-acre Water Park on property with a baby-friendly Splash Pad, along with an award-winning Kids For All Seasons program that has supervised activities for kids ages 4-12.
I recently checked out the Four Seasons Denver with my own family. The room came equipped with a crib and cozy lion themed blankets, a kit of Honest bath and body lotions, a diaper bin and a sporty pint-sized tent for my toddler to sleep in. The kids loved it! After a day splashing around in the hotel pool, then running through the water fountain outside of Union Station in downtown Denver, our gang headed back to the hotel for naptime. There was a knock at the door. No, it wasn’t room service… It was candy service! Jelly beans, chocolate, lollipops, M&M’s, the works. Needless to say, my daughter was thrilled. The sugary delivery was also accompanied by an invitation to join the pastry chef in the kitchen for a behind-the-scenes tour and chance to make your own sundae. These added touches made my little one feel more at home… and probably made our dentist happy too!
Giraffe Hotel, New York City
Manhattan accommodations are notoriously tiny and over-priced but at Hotel Giraffe, a boutique hotel located at the Northeast corner of Park Avenue South and 26th street, rooms are spacious, affordable and perfect for families traveling to the Big Apple. Bedrooms have king sized beds and there is also a full-size sleeper sofa located in a separate living room. Having that additional space and privacy is key! With this ‘extra’ room, you don’t have to tip-toe around quietly during bedtime hours or go to sleep when the kids do (after all, it IS the city that doesn’t sleep).
The Hotel Giraffe offers complimentary daily continental breakfast (an awesome spread!), 24-hour refreshments in the lobby, an evening wine and cheese reception (you had me at wine), free Wi-Fi, free crib, books and games and cookies upon arrival. The location is central to all major attractions and it’s very convenient to be just one block away from Madison Square Park, with a children’s playground. It’s a very family-friendly choice that promises great bang for your buck.
Holy Mama, Spain
Nurture your body, mind and feminine spirit at Holy Mama, a high-end yoga retreat in Spain for mothers and their babes. Do your practice and meditate in the morning, pamper yourself with spa treatments in the afternoon all while your child receives one-on-one attention with a holistic childcare provider. This week-long getaway will provide renewal and rejuvenation in the company of like-minded women who are also navigating the perils of parenthood. Their philosophy is that “HolyMama retreats are for nurturing the relationship with yourself, your child and each other as women.”
The majority of the retreats take place in Ibiza, Spain (a funny location considering the party scene the island has become known for) with others in Morocco and London. Prices include yoga instruction, all accommodations, organic food, spa treatments, daily childcare and beauty treatments. Namaste!
What luxury hotels have you been to with your own young families?
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