SHOP MY LOOK:
I did not know how hard it was to find the right family-friendly hotel until we decided to visit Costa Rica last year. One of the hotels that we loved the most was Hotel Punta Leona. It ticks all the boxes when it comes to a family-friendly hotel. We were so satisfied that we decided to stay there again.
The property is situated in one of the most important private reserves of Costa Rica in the Central Pacific. It has several pools (one shallow for kids) and a playground. If the pool is not your thing, you can do various aquatic sports in the sea, discover the hiking trails or watch birds. The reserve houses 330 migratory and resident species.
We chose all-inclusive to make sure that Chloe-Sofia eats regularly. I learned that with a child, buffet-style dining is the best option especially if the offer is generous and includes loads of fruits and veggies as well as sugar and gluten-free options.
Now, how to choose the right family-friendly hotel when you go on holiday?
There are several signs you should be looking for when you are going on holiday with children. When we travel to a new location, I start by searching Google for these terms: family-friendly hotel + location. By location I mean either country (Costa Rica) or province (Puntarenas).
Then I read reviews, check accessibility and photos. Are the rooms spacious? Can the hotel provide a baby cot? Are there changing tables in the public bathrooms? Does the hotel offer activities for kids (pool for small children, playground, etc)?
What about the restaurant? Is there enough space between tables? If it is crammed, I can’t be able to park the stroller. Our daughter is at an age when she won’t manage to sit still for longer than 15 minutes. Most of the time one of us eats and the other one runs after her. So spacious dining area is a plus.
I learned my lesson last year. We stayed at a gorgeous hotel close to Arenal Volcano (Alajuela province in Costa Rica). It was perfect if you were an adult. Everyone was quiet and well-mannered while we were struggling with a screaming baby. I felt like we were constantly under surveillance. Since then I always do my homework.
Three tips to choose the right family-friendly hotel:
- Search Google or a hotel booking website for family-friendly hotels in the area where you are traveling.
- Check the photos and read reviews about rooms, hospitability, entertainment for kids, and food.
- Contact the hotel in advance and ask all the questions in writing. If something does not go as confirmed, you can always show the email exchange.
Now, I would like to hear from you: what are the qualities that you look for in a family-friendly hotel? If you do not have kids, how do you choose a hotel when you go on holidays?