See London with your kids — Photo courtesy of Irene.
The Milestone Hotel, London is just one of the many hotels which is starting to offer special packages, services and happenings for both children and their parents. In 2012, it won the best 'Small Hotel' award in London, which is perhaps not surprising given the kinds of tailor-made packages they offer.
Their 'We Are Family' package is aimed at pleasing younger and older patrons. The hotel includes special beds and bedding (including cots), mini bathrobes and slippers, a teddy bear book, chocolate mousse on your kids' pillows and a baby intercom. Interconnecting rooms or suites are also available to accommodate your children and provide you with some luxurious adult time.
Pushchairs, car seats and baby bottles are all available to hire, and pens, pencils, children's DVDs and games are all available to keep the kids busy. In the restaurant and for tea, special small people's options are available, and the hotel even offers a 'Mini Milestone' tour for slightly bigger children who get to go behind the scenes of the hotel, find out how it's run, and then complete a special task and receive a certificate before leaving the hotel.
Nannies are on hand to babysit, and the concierge is full of suggestions for children's shows, museums and attractions nearby that the whole family will enjoy. At the moment, the hotel is also advertising that children under 12 can stay and eat for free, although no specific details are available on the website.
Hamleys toy shop in London — Photo courtesy of Olivier Bruchez
The Athenaeum has created a similar child-focused service, with its own 'Kids Concierge' who will be in touch even before you check in, to make sure they have your kids' favourite DVDs and toys in stock. They also have an in-hotel entertainment service which will look after a small group of kids, or even run a whole party.
Sharky and George, as they are known, will also be in touch before the kids arrive, to find out their hobbies and interests. They offer treasure hunts around London, art attacks, special quizzes and the opportunity to make their own documentary or science experiments. Think of your kids reporting from London Zoo, the houses of Parliament, on the Harry Potter film set, or running round the hotel in search of lost treasure and you get the picture.
Top London hotels often cater especially to children and families — Photo courtesy of Julian Abrams
If these hotels are a little over your budget, then you can rent a self-catered apartment, something the Athenaeum also offers, so that you can cater for your kids' special tastes yourself, and make sure they enjoy a spot of home cooking whilst getting to see some new sights in London, too.