Updated: Jun 23, 2021
May 3, 2021 | Hospitality
For those who are lucky enough to become accustomed to the luxuries of staying at an upscale resort, you know what makes the experience worthwhile to you. Perhaps it’s the elevated service, the superior-quality amenities, or maybe it’s the unbeatable food and beverage. However, something vacation-planners may not consider is the wants and needs of the fun-size members of their parties – the kids! And their preferences are no more important than in the place that becomes our temporary home on vacation – the hotel.
When we think of luxury service, we usually think of elegance, strict service rules, flawless appearances and cleanliness. Kids are anything BUT elegant, strict or clean. Nonetheless, the younger members of our party have to be treated with the same standards as everyone else. But the essence of luxury service is more than rules and regulations. It boils down to needing to amaze and exceed expectations of everyone who comes through our doors, so let’s take a look at how we do this for our children.
Luxurious treatment of our younger guests starts from the moment they arrive. Check-in can be one of the most tedious times for children, as they are just dying to get out and start their vacation, and usually have no patience for the check-in process. We can diffuse this restlessness by having a kids’ area in our lobby for check-in. No one excels at this quite like the Walt Disney World properties, who greet an unparalleled amount of younger guests. They use fun and themed kid-sized chairs and TVs playing fan-favorite movies to occupy them while their parents enjoy a stress-free check-in process.
Often on vacation we find ourselves wanting to take a “vacation from our vacation”, where we spend a day just simply relaxing in our room or at the pool or spa. While this sounds like a dream to older guests, to the younger members of our party this can sound like a day away from the beach, theme park or other. Finding a way to keep them engaged while their parents get pampered can be as luxurious to them as it is to the parents. Pool area activities for children are an absolute must in any upscale hotel. Fun kid-friendly food and beverage items by the pool are also a great way to make kids feel included when they see mom and dad sipping on fun and colorful “grown up” drinks. Some Four Seasons and Walt Disney World properties even take advantage of late-night movie nights by the pool.
While we’ve discussed some ways to tailor service to children in resorts, a great example of overall luxury service for children is the St. Regis Family Traditions program. They offer their Children’s Club which is an “expertly staffed” kid’s club that allows for supervised play and activities for little ones. They also promote Family Experiences which allows families to create lasting memories with their children through a range of excursions and activities for all ages. They also offer “For Children Only” service which breaks down into rituals, dining and babysitting. Rituals includes unique amenities for kids including yummy treats, destination-specific keepsakes, kids’ robes and slippers, as well as special requests for their parents such as strollers or other supplies. Any property should look to this St. Regis program when looking to elevate their service for little ones.
Including specialized amenities and activities for children creates an opportunity to not only improve our property as a whole, but also make our jobs more fun as we view luxury through the eyes of a child. To leave out children, who we all know are some of the harshest critics, from our service would be a mistake.
Written by: Kylie Riddle | Client Experiences Coordinator