9 best hotel amenities for babies and toddlers
Oh, the amount of gear you need when you have a baby. There’s the infant tub, the diapers, monitors, car seats, high chairs and cribs — and that's just at home. What do you do when you want to hit the road with your infant in tow but don't want to bring the entire house with you?
Don't worry. You really can travel with your baby without schlepping all of the gear — especially when you know ahead of time what can be waiting for your at your destination.
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More and more frequently, hotels are providing some pretty compelling family-friendly amenities and accessories. This can allow you to take a true vacation by providing you with all the tools you need without the hassle of transporting them to your destination.
Here, we'll list out some of the best amenities hotels make available to those with babies and toddlers. Of course, not every hotel has every item, so ask in advance to be 100% certain that any mission-critical items are available.
Pack ‘n Plays, high chairs, booster seats and cribs are available at many hotel chains, so you don’t have to pack all of that bulky gear and potentially get charged for extra luggage on your flight.
You’ll find wallet-friendly hotels like Residence Inn and Courtyard by Marriott as well as high-end chains providing much of what you need at no additional charge. For example, just ask and the Four Seasons Las Vegas will have a high chair, playpen and crib waiting in your room — as well as a basket of baby essentials.
Of course, if you’re still breastfeeding, you’ll want to remember to bring your pump if you use one. (Here’s what you need to know about flying with breast milk in the U.S.)
Leave the bulky stroller at home and skip the annoying gate check process if you can make do in the airport without it. Some hotel chains are now offering complimentary strollers, including properties owned by Loews and Four Seasons. Sure, many hotel strollers are your run-of-the-mill umbrella types, but high-end properties up the game with the upper crust in baby wheels. The Mark Hotel in New York, for example, offers an entire fleet of custom-designed Maclaren strollers.
(If you do decide to bring your stroller, here are nine of the best strollers for travelers as well as advice for baby carriers from a full-time traveling family.)
Nannies and sitters
Want to get away for a romantic candlelit dinner at a top-rated restaurant? In-room babysitting with vetted and trusted local sitters, as well as the services of full-on nannies, are becoming increasingly more available at hotels, especially at all-inclusive or high-end resorts. Family-friendly Club Med properties, including the Club Med Quebec Charlevoix that opened in Canada in December 2021, feature a Baby Club Med, where babysitting and evening activities are available for infants and toddlers, in addition to programs for older kids through age 17.
At Jamaica’s Franklyn D. Resort, your all-inclusive price tag includes your own nanny who is available for day or evening care. At the St. Regis Punta Mita Resort, TPG's Summer Hull hired a nanny that she loved for several hours a day for their then baby while their then-five-year-old was able to attend the complimentary on-site kid’s club.
And of course, many hotel chains and resorts — like Grand Hyatt — also often offer traditional kids club programming for older children, usually starting at the age of three or four if they're potty-trained.
From the basic milk and cookies at the end of a long day exploring a new destination to all-out costumed actors reading bedtime stories with an entire spread of treats, “night-night time” in a new bed for your kiddos will be a breeze when you add on a hotel’s tuck-in amenity. The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island, can bring a pirate, a princess and a parrot to your room with treats and a treasure chest of goodies for a bedtime tale featuring — what else? — princesses and pirates.
In-room tents, toys and more are also sometimes options. Sticking with the Ritz-Carlton, that chain also sometimes offers an in-room camping package as part of its Ritz Kids program.
The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island is a Category 7 property in the Marriott Bonvoy program, with nights ranging from 50,000 to 70,000 points. You can also transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points to your Marriott account on a 1:1 basis.
You won’t need to worry about electrical sockets, hard edges or other in-room dangers when you stay at properties providing childproofing amenities. Boutique hotelier Kimpton (part of IHG Rewards Club) — with more than 35 properties across the country (and on Mommy Points’ list as one of the best hotel chains for families) — has got you covered. Through Kimpton Kids, outlet covers, toilet latches and other safety gear are available, as well as night lights to help everyone see better at night (and keep away the monsters under the bed). Kimpton Kids is available at city locations, including Philadelphia’s Hotel Monaco and Hotel Palomar.
Mom and dad treats
When bedtime is as early as 7 p.m., what are mom and dad to do for the rest of the night? If you stay at a Great Wolf Resort, of which there are more than a dozen around the country, you can order from the Wine Down Service. Sweet and savory treats paired to a selection of wines can be delivered to your room — quietly — for you to enjoy while baby sleeps. Parents receive a text when room service arrives at the door to avoid waking the kids, and prices are as low as $35.
Toddler spa treatments
Think massages are just for the adults? The 25-minute toddler massage for 3-year-olds and up at the Kids Spa at Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit resort in Mexico purports to promote sensory and cognitive development and is accompanied by the music of Mozart. It's worth a try, right? The resort also can provide a baby’s first haircut and gives parents a certificate to commemorate the special occasion.
Baby food on the menu
In Europe, and slowly coming to American resorts, families can find properties with fresh, pureed fruits and vegetables on the menus to feed your littlest ones. Hotel Serena in Italy offers pear, apple and mixed fruit puree at breakfast and home-grown vegetable, fruit, meat and fish purees for lunch and dinner. In the U.S, one of the best chains for healthy eating is Fairmont. Best suited for toddlers, the brand’s Lifestyle Cuisine has created menus to meet dietary requests with low-fat, vegetarian, low-carb and healthy twists on kids’ foods. (Plus, kids under 5 eat free.)
Luxury hotels are making life especially easy by outfitting your room or suite with all your baby needs. With one call to a Baby Butler, such as those found at Kimpton Hotel Palomar in Chicago, you can request items such as diapers, wipes, lotion, pacifiers and more. Mini-bar refrigerators can be emptied before your arrival so you can use them to store milk and baby food.
If a hotel doesn’t have what you need — or want — there are also companies that will rent items and have them at your hotel when you arrive. Traveling Baby is one good option if you’re interested in renting a vacation home and want to stock it with the items you need. Many hotel brands work with rental agencies as well, so if a hotel doesn’t offer a special infant amenity, ask about other options.
From in-room camping for the littles to quietly delivered wine and treats for adults, some hotels just get it when it comes to the needs (and wants) of young families. Just be sure to call ahead to make sure anything you plan to leave back at home — but will need — can be provided by the hotel or a rental service.