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Urban hotels are offering a range of non-traditional amenities in hopes of winning over new travelers.
Urban hotels are adding services and amenities to lure families and not just those with young children. You can harness active teens’ energy by going on a bike ride through the city, keep grade-schoolers enthused by taking history tours and make it cost-effective to take along grandma as well as your kids by booking bunk beds. (Give grandma the lower bunk.)
Rental cycles at Radisson Blu. Photo: Courtesy of Radisson.
No more excuses. Rental cycles at select hotel properties make it convenient to pedal through a destination.
“We understand that over the past few years, the popularity of bike transportation has sky rocketed. Consumers have a growing need for exercise, especially when they travel and want to contribute to a greener environment. Bikes provide that and in many cases are an easier and certainly more cost effective form of transportation,” says Javier Rosenberg, chief operating officer, Americas, Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group.
Participating properties include Chicago; Minneapolis; Duluth, MN; Los Angeles; and Port Canaveral, FL.
Kimpton Hotels also offers free rental bikes at all its hotels. And when you come back to your room and need to stretch out, ask for the complimentary yoga mat.
Nearly 12,000 children visit this historic Washington, DC hotel every year. Now, these kids can confer with the hotel’s new Kids Concierge who makes sure families’ rooms have cribs, strollers, microwaves, or other needed items before arrival. He also offers a kid-friendly tour of the hotel, telling youngsters about such famous former guests as Abraham Lincoln, Mark Twain, and Martin Luther King. To learn more about these history-makers, kids can borrow child-oriented books about noted Americans.
A kids pizza-making class at the Four Seasons Chicago. Photo: Courtesy of Four Seasons Hotesl.
Four Seasons resorts have long offered complimentary children’s programs and several of their city properties pack in special experiences. At Four Seasons Chicago, kids can make their own pizzas with the chef. For a bedtime treat, book the Ice Cream Man. He brings his cart and all the fixings for an ice cream sundae to your room.
When children check in to a Le Meridien property, they receive a LEGO toy and a Discovery Guide to the city, pointing out kid-friendly attractions and sites. Depending on availability, at hotels in Boston; Santa Monica, CA; Atlanta; Indianapolis; and Chicago, kids eat free when adults dine at the property and parents can save up to 50% off a second room for children.
Bunk beds, that staple of summer camps and suburban bedrooms, are back. More and more hotels are adding these and not just for family groups. With bunk beds, hotel rooms, depending on the configuration, can sleep six or more. Family groups as well as friends traveling together—bridal showers, buddy trips—like the cost- effectiveness and the fun.
At the Kimpton Monaco Baltimore Inner Harbor, Baltimore, each of the 14 bunk-bedded rooms features two double beds plus a separate room with two bunk beds.
Great Wolf Lodges has known about the power of bunk beds since the chain that marries an indoor waterpark with rooms started. Choose from themed suites that include a semi-walled area with bunk beds, providing kids with fun and parents and grandparents with privacy.
What non-traditional amenities do you look for when booking travel? Share your thoughts with me on Twitter, @familyitrips.