Written by Amrita Bhalla, Managing Director, A.B.Consulting
Boutique hotels can customize the guest experience for younger travellers by including a few small touches. Helping families plan a successful travel experience can result in great customer feedback, referrals and repeat visitors. Based on experience (as an employee and guest), here are a few tips to ensure families have a memorable stay at your property:
Personalize the Guest Experience (for the kids)
Kids like recognition! Ideas for amenities could include a personalized welcome card, fresh edible treats and bath time amenities (junior bathrobes are a big hit!). During their stay, surprise the children with a small amenity every day.
Train Your Staff
Teach your staff on interacting with families and children during their stay and to anticipate their needs This ranges from providing the following: timely service in your F&B outlets; additional towels by the pool or the beach and; air pumps for children’s inflatable toys. Ensure your concierge and front desk staff are knowledgeable on nearby family-friendly amenities and activities.
Build a Fun Kid’s Camp
Having a fun and unique Kid’s Camp is usually a top priority for families traveling with children. In the Caribbean there are so many different options and activities available that can help promote children learning more about the local geography and ocean life. The Shore Club in Turks and Caicos, Kid’s Camp features wonderful activities such as treasure hunts on the beach, collecting and painting conch shells. Market this information on your website!
Educate the Family on the Destination
Get the whole family excited about their vacation by placing educational and fun materials (books and movies) regarding the destination in the guest rooms. Leverage the local attractions and create sample iteniraries for the whole family. During a recent stay, we discovered one of our favourite books is “Explore the Turks and Caicos Islands – Activity book” by Katie Hinks and Irene Danics.
Measure Your Success
As part of your guest satisfaction survey, ensure you ask your guests for feedback on the family programming provided by your hotel (i.e. kids amenities, kid’s clubs). Encourage guests to provide feedback on their stay via the hotel’s social media channels. You can even create an online gallery where guests can choose to post pictures from their stay.
Having just returned from the beautiful Turks and Caicos islands, we asked Stacy Cox, C.E.O. of Turks and Caicos Hotel and Tourism Association (TCHTA) about the magic behind T&C and what makes a great family destination:
” The Turks & Caicos offers a range of activities for kids and families to do, even if you’re on a budget. We’re kid friendly and proud of it! Most resorts offer a variety of kid’s activities such as water sports and beach toys, shallow water pools, games, movies, bikes, babysitting etc. There’s even a water theme park with Sesame Street characters at Beaches Resort Villages & Spa – visitors not staying at the property can opt to purchase a resort day pass to get in on the fun. In short, there’s no shortage of ways to entertain the kids and the entire family – even if all you want to do is just hang out on the beach and look for that perfect shell to bring home.”