9 best hotel amenities for babies and toddlers

Jul 28, 2021

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Editor’s note: This story has been updated with new information.


Oh, the amount of gear you need when you have a baby.

There’s the infant tub, the diapers, monitors, car seats, highchairs, cribs — and this is just at home. What do you do when you want to hit the road with your infant in tow without bringing the entire house with you?

You really can travel with your baby without hauling all of your at-home gear with you. More and more, hotels are providing some pretty compelling family-friendly amenities. This allows you to take a true family vacation by providing you with all the tools you need.

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Here’s a rundown of some of the best amenities hotels make available to those with babies and toddlers. Just keep in mind that not every hotel has every item, so ask in advance to be 100% certain that any mission-critical items are available before leaving home without them.

family checking into hotel
Imagine packing less for your next family trip! (Photo by Jasper Cole / Getty Images)

Baby gear

Pack ‘n Plays, highchairs, booster seats and cribs are available at many hotel chains, so you don’t necessarily have to pack 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 provide much of what you need, at no additional charge. For example, just ask and the Four Seasons Las Vegas will have a highchair, playpen and crib waiting in your room — as well as a basket of baby essentials.

Boutique hotelier Kimpton (part of IHG Rewards Club) just partnered with high-end baby gear maker 4Moms, to bring cult-favorite luxury baby gear you’ll be glad not to have to drag through an airport — including the MamaRoo4 Infant Seat, Breeze Plus Playard and Cleanwater Tub — to several hotels in its collection including The George in Washington D.C., The Aertson in Nashville, The Alton in San Francisco, Monaco in Pittsburgh and The Pittman Hotel in Dallas.

Of course, if you’re still breastfeeding, you’ll want to bring your pump if you use one and know how to fly with breast milk in the U.S.

Strollers

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 higher-tier baby wheels. The Mark Hotel in New York offers a range of kiddie amenities that includes an entire fleet of custom-designed Maclaren strollers you can use on a stroll through Central Park or down Madison Avenue. (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 or just enjoy some kid-free time? In-room babysitting with vetted and trusted local sitters, as well as full-on nannies, is becoming increasingly more available at hotels, especially at all-inclusive or high-end resorts like the Hyatt Ziva Cancun.

Family-friendly Club Med properties feature a Baby Club Med, where babysitting and evening activities are available for infants and toddlers.

At Jamaica’s Franklyn D. Resort, your all-inclusive price tag includes your own nanny, available for day or evening care. (Of course, many hotel chains and resorts — like Grand Hyatt — also often offer traditional kids club programming for older children, usually starting at 3 or 4 years old for potty-trained kids.) At the St. Regis Punta Mita Resort, TPG director of content Summer Hull hired a nanny that she loved for several hours a day for their then-baby while their then-5-year-old was able to attend the complimentary on-site kids club.

(Photos by Summer Hull/The Points Guy)
Our own Summer Hull paid a visit to the Grand Hyatt’s Kids Club in Baha Mar. (Photos by Summer Hull/The Points Guy)

Tuck-in Treats

From the basic milk and cookies at the end of a long day to all-out costumed actors reading bedtime stories with an entire spread of treats, “night-night time” in a new bed for your kiddos can 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 a treasure chest of goodies for a bedtime tale featuring (of course) princesses and pirates. And remember, you can transfer Ultimate Rewards points to Ritz-Carlton.

Sticking with the Ritz-Carlton theme, that chain also sometimes offers an in-room camping package as part of its Ritz Kids program.

The Canopy by Hilton Bethesda North, right outside Washington, D.C., in Maryland, launched an Urban Campout package, too, complete with an in-room tent outfitted with kids sleeping bags, coloring books, an indoor star machine and a guide for local hikes to check out during your stay. They even throw in s’mores as the ultimate tuck-in treat.

Photo courtesy of Ritz Carlton
(Photo courtesy of The Ritz-Carlton)

Childproofing

You won’t need to worry about electrical sockets, hard edges or other in-room dangers when you stay at properties providing childproofing amenities (read here for how to babyproof your hotel room on your own, too).

Kimpton — with more than 60 properties across the country (and on TPG’s 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 and rental gear like bouncy seats and scooters to help everyone stay safe and have fun. Kimpton Kids is available at city locations, including Philadelphia’s Hotel Monaco and Hotel Palomar.

Bikes to borrow at Kimpton Ink48. (Photo by Summer Hull/The Points Guy)

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, you can order from the Wine Down Service as part of the property’s Sip and Savor Parent Pass. Sweet and savory treats paired with a selection of wines can be (quietly) delivered to your room for you to enjoy while the kids sleep. Parents even receive a text when room service arrives at the door to avoid waking the kids. That’s something we might make a habit of requesting any time we order room service while the kids are sleeping from now on, too.

(Photo courtesy of Great Wolf Lodge)

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 Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit resort in Mexico, for example, promotes sensory and cognitive development, and is accompanied by the music of Mozart. The resort also provides baby’s first haircut and gives parents a certificate to commemorate the special occasion. While most hotel spas start around age 5 when it comes to kiddie treatments, it doesn’t hurt to ask if they’ll consider a gentler and shorter therapy for a younger child, too.

Baby food is on the menu

In Europe, and slowly coming to American resorts, families can find properties with fresh, pureed fruits and vegetables on the menu to feed little ones. Hotel Serena in Italy offers pear, apple and mixed fruit puree at breakfast, and homegrown 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 for kids’ foods. (Plus, kids under 5 eat free at select Fairmont restaurants.)

Launching in October 2021 as a pilot program, the Jumeirah Beach Hotel in Dubai will offer a new FoodieKiDS program that aims to elevate the property’s menu offerings for kids by only including dishes that have been officially endorsed by the younger target market (while staying delicious and nutritious, too).

Baby butlers

Luxury hotels are making life especially easy for those traveling with babies by outfitting your room or suite with all your littlest one’s needs, from diaper pails and cribs to baby shampoos and lotions next to an infant bathtub in the bathroom.

And while they’re not always labeled as baby butlers, that’s what housekeeping services often feel like at the most luxurious hotels when you’re traveling with a baby.

For example, if you have your baby with you at the Four Seasons Hotel Chicago, you can request that things like infant bathtubs and diaper pails be ready in your room when you arrive — your crib even arrives in the hotel room with baby bath amenities like baby shampoo and lotions. The hotel can also send up a few diapers and wipes if you find yourself in need.

baby playing in suitcase
(Photo by ljubaphoto/Getty Images)

Most luxury hotels have no problem emptying minibars before your arrival so they can be used to store milk and baby food (many will even bring an extra minifridge to your room if that works better as a solution). 

In short, even if they don’t advertise explicit baby butler services, you’ll be surprised by all the amenities housekeeping has at the ready for babies and toddlers if you just call to request.

And 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. Companies such as Traveling Baby and BabyQuip are especially good 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 their options.

Bottom line

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. And while they might not advertise services for babies and toddlers explicitly, you might be surprised by what’s on offer when you just ask.

What hotel chains or properties have gone above and beyond to make your family’s stay a good one with special amenities and services?

Featured photo by Summer Hull/The Points Guy. 

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