With nearly 90% of parents reporting that their children’s preferences influence vacation destination decisions, hotels are targeting families through new kid-friendly programs, initiatives and outreach.
“Families are an incredibly sought after group in the industry, and hotels are going out of their way to reach them,” says Lissa Poirot, editor of Family Vacation Critic. “There’s been a noticeable change in the way that hotels target families, too. Traditionally, hotels reached out to parents as the decision makers, but we’re seeing more and more targeting the children themselves through kid-specific features and amenities like massive water parks, tailored spa services, innovative kids clubs and personalized welcome gifts.”
In 2014, a number of new hotels are scheduled to open with a clear focus on reaching family travelers. Family Vacation Critic has compiled a list of the most notable hotel openings expected this year:
- Cabana Bay Beach Resort
Orlando, FL – March 2014
Family Appeal: Half of the resort’s 1,800 rooms will be family suites and half of the standard guest rooms will have connecting capabilities; 10-lane bowling alley; two swimming pools; complimentary transportation to Universal Orlando theme parks and Universal CityWalk, plus early admission to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
- Great Wolf Lodge New England
Fitchburg, MA – Spring 2014
Family Appeal: Indoor play area with rope and golf courses; Majestic KidCabins and Grizzly Wolf Dens to sleep large groups in separate bedrooms and themed kids’ areas; kids’ spa with ice cream-themed manicures and pedicures; bowling alley; evening shows; and a 68,000 sq. ft. indoor water park.
Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort
Orlando, FL – Summer 2014
Family Appeal: A Royal Suite that expands to nine bedrooms for large families and groups; the five-acre Explorer Island with a game room, waterslides and lazy river; complimentary kids’ club and tennis and golf programs.
- Hyatt Ziva Rose Hall
Montego Bay, Jamaica – Mid- to late-2014
Family Appeal: Taking over a prior Ritz-Carlton property, and focused specifically on families, the all-inclusive hotel will add about 100 suites; on-site restaurants and a kids’ club similar to its sister property in Los Cabos.
- Hotel Pearl – A Kimpton Hotel
San Antonio, TX – Fall 2014
Family Appeal: 146 spacious rooms and Kimpton’s popular kids’ program, including child safety kits, a welcome gift, kid-sized robe, child equipment rentals and goldfish to “rent” during the stay.