The night I slept in the bathroom: Kid-friendly vs. kid-free
Hotels often try to be everything for everyone, but it's difficult to marry honeymooners and families in a small intimate setting. How can hotels optimize revenue without sacrifice to guest satisfaction?
I recently traveled to a lovely destination and stayed at a resort comprising individual houses shared by guests. It's the type of old-school luxury travel I wrote about previously where we’d enjoy butler service, afternoon tea, blankets by the fireplace and a menu of all things desired.
And yet I slept in the bathroom.
I’m a new mother and our little one is fantastic – bright-eyed, curious and for the most part remarkably quiet. But no infant goes without a few tears, so before we arrived I made sure the hotel was kid-friendly. To be absolutely certain, I requested a crib. I hoped that with this information some measures might be taken to minimize disruption to other guests seeking a respite, and maximize the experience for us as a family.
For example, maybe we’d score big and get a house to ourselves because it was the low season, or at the very least be in a house with other families and screaming babies. What I didn’t expect was to see other families dispersed across houses and mixed with couples rolling their eyes at us. And other houses sitting mostly empty.
So there we were in a small colonial house with eight honeymooners seeking romance. I was mortified. We could be like many families who couldn’t care less, but we aren't.
We used our cellphones to make a makeshift baby monitor so we could dine sans infant, and baby and I slept in the cushy bathroom to muffle the occasional whimper that would otherwise echo through the corridor. All by choice. I wanted to check out the next day.
No hotel can be something for everyone. Is it too much to ask small, intimate resorts to try and compartmentalize families, go adult-only, have a minimum age for guests, or at least improve their soundproofing? Or should I be a parent who cares less?
I’ve been on both sides of the table, and we have clients who sometimes try to accommodate all of the above. What are your thoughts?
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Craft House Founder and Director, Yvette Jong, contributes regularly to her HOTELS Magazine Blog titled, "The Good, the Bad and the Funky." Topics of discussion include all aspects of hospitality development, operations, branding, marketing, human resources, sustainability and much more.