How to find the best family hotel for you
Where you stay on a family holiday can make or break a trip. If you all have a bad night’s sleep, you risk tantrums and snappy parents the following day, while if your room is missing an element that is important to your routine, such as a bath or a fridge to store milk in, little ones may feel unsettled.
On the flipside, if your hotel is set up for children with treats to make you all feel special and has vital ingredients to make your family holiday easier, you’ll all return home refreshed after some much-needed quality time together.
To help you find the best hotel for your family and avoid any family hotel disasters, here’s what to look for in a property, from the size and layout of your room to the little extras that make a big difference.
Unless you tend to go to sleep at the same time as your children, think about what you’ll do after the lights go out when comparing hotels. You may save money by all sleeping in one room, but you may also end up whispering to your other half in the dark or reading by the light of your phone. Consider realistically if this will result in a relaxing break.
One way to avoid this is to look for family rooms or suites with separate sleeping and living areas – and make sure there’s a door between the two to avoid waking the kids up with the noise of your conversation or the TV. Larger families may want to consider interconnecting rooms too.
Alternatively, aparthotels with separate living areas or self-catering accommodation where you’ll have more space to spread out may be the best option for you.
Location, location, location
Where your hotel is located should be another key consideration. Think about where your accommodation is in relation to what you plan to do on a break as, although you may save money in the short term by staying a little out of town or miles from the beach, you may end up spending more than the money you’ve saved on transport when little legs get tired.
Do research too on what’s in the area close to your hotel, thinking about whether there are family-friendly places to eat nearby, whether there are bars or nightclubs that could make the area noisy at night and what kind of road it’s on so you can ask for a quiet room if traffic noise would be an issue.
If you’re travelling to your accommodation in your own car, think about parking as well as costs for this can soon add up if your hotel doesn’t have a car park. And if you don’t have your own wheels, plan how you’ll get from the airport or station to your hotel in advance.
Little extras can make a big difference
Children love being treated like VIPs, so when reading the information about your accommodation, look into whether it offers any special touches for kids. A small gift on arrival, a treat in the room or a play area in reception may be the little details that make your kids feel really welcome.
Which facilities are important to you?
For some families, having a swimming pool in their hotel will be a must-have while others would prefer the option of a babysitter. Think carefully about what facilities are on your family’s must-have list before booking a hotel and make a note of these.
When you search for a hotel on tripAbrood, our digital travel assistant, Skye, will find out which facilities are important to your brood and will match you to hotels that are the best fit.
Food, glorious food
Many children have the amazing ability to be hungry all of the time. And hunger-induced tantrums are something everyone would rather avoid. So, it’s worth thinking about meals, snacks and drinks in advance of a trip.
If you’d like to eat in your hotel, do a little research to find out whether the restaurant is family-friendly and whether there’s a kids’ menu. If you’d rather eat out, look up how many restaurants are close to where you’re staying.
And don’t forget about breakfast. If it doesn’t add too much on to your room rate, it may be easier to eat in your hotel before you head out for the day. But, if it’s expensive, and you’re in an area full of cafes and restaurants, trying new food every morning could be part of the adventure.
What’s in your room?
As well as thinking about sleeping arrangements in your room, consider anything extra that will make your travels easier. As an example, if the kids have a bath every night, look for rooms that have one rather than just a shower. And if you’re travelling with younger children who still have milk before bed, it’s worth looking for rooms that have a fridge.
When you’re matched to a hotel on tripAbrood, we’ll clearly list room amenities to make it easy for you to quickly check what’s important to you.
Don’t accidentally blow your budget
When you’re looking at the price of a hotel room and comparing your options, make sure you’ve factored in all of your costs, such as the price for an extra bed or cot, breakfast, Wifi and parking. A more expensive hotel that includes breakfast and parking for free may actually work out as the best value overall.
Read reviews before booking
While some reviews may need to be taken with a pinch of salt, traveller ratings, photographs and descriptions are a valuable resource to look at before committing to a hotel. When looking at ratings and comments from reviewers, think about whether the issue or praise is to do with something that’s important to you.
Pay attention too to who the reviewers are. If a lot of families are commenting, this is a good sign that the hotel will be full of likeminded travellers. However, if it’s predominantly groups on a night out or couples, you may want to consider another option.
Let tripAbrood do the hard work for you
Whether you know where you’d like to go on your next family holiday or you just want a truly family-friendly hotel and don’t mind where it is, tripAbrood’s clever digital travel assistant, Skye, can help save you time and money.
If you know where you’re heading, Skye will ask you a few questions about your family, when you’re going away and what your must-haves are and then will match you to hotels that are suitable for your brood. You won’t be overwhelmed with suggestions and will only be shown the best six matches.
If you’re simply after a much-needed family break in the UK and don’t mind where you go, we’ve just launched a clever tool called UK Family Approved Properties. These are properties that we know families love as at least 25% of their rooms have families staying in them. We also make sure that all of the approved properties are three-star standard or above and a have review score of three or above on TripAdvisor.
Finally, we’ve personally reviewed every hotel on our approved list to ensure it fits with our high family standards. As parents ourselves, we know that this matters.
To use this tool, select “UK Family Approved Properties” when you’re asked for your destination and we’ll match you to six of the best hotels in the UK for your family on the dates you wish to travel.