travel

The hotel industry is rapidly expanding its spa menus to include child0frinedly treatments and parent-and-child packages. The Conrad Maldives (www.hilton.com), for instance, offers an Ice Cream Spa for kids aged four to 12, with treatments in 11 flavors – from apple pie to lavender lullaby.

Description: Conrad Maldives Conrad Maldives

Conrad Maldives

The Mandarin Oriental Miami (www.madarinoriental.com) has a teen spa for kids aged 14 and above, with manicures, pedicures, facials and professional make-up application, while One&Only Le Saint Géran, Mauritius has a spa for kids aged six to 16, with special treatments for boys. The spa even offers mother-and-daughter manicures and martinis – non-alcoholic for the young ones, of course.

Description: Mandarin Oriental Miami

Mandarin Oriental Miami

Kid’s rooms

For those who really want to spoil the kids, Palms Casino Resort (www.palms.com) in Las Vegas has a Barbie Suite with hot pink furnishings. Or try The Plaza, New York (www.theplaza.com), which has an Eloise Suite, themed around Kay Thompson’s Eloise book series. And Loews Portofino Bay Hotel, Orlando (www.loewshotels.com) has a Dr-Seuss-themed Kids’ Suite that comes with two bunk beds, a Seuss reading library and a set of themed stuffed animals.

Description: Loews Portofino Bay Hotel

Loews Portofino Bay Hotel

Amenities and kids’ kits

In the fast few years, hotel amenities for children have gone from puzzles and crayons to iPods and audio books. The Trump Hotel Collection (www.trumphotelcollection.com), for instance, offers cribs with blankets, playpens, strollers, stuffed toys, a CD of lullabies, a bib with the Trump Kids logo as well as a travel kit of exclusive Lather Baby products. Older children even get video games and MP3 players in their rooms. The Benjamin (www.thebenjamin.com) in New York City offers kid-sized robes, an Ipod pillow programmed with lullabies and audio bedtime stories, and a lending library of bedtime books. In London, Claridge’s (www.claridges.co.uk) offers The Claridge’s Kids Kit, which has a range of games and toys including a Make Your Own Hotel sticker set and a Claridge’s Passport, which ahs a checklist of things for kids to do around the hotel. Hôtel Plaza Athénée Paris (www.plaza-athenee-paris.com) provides kids with DVD menus, a mini classic car to drive around, red bathrobes, a red teddy bear and red mini-umbrellas. The hotel has also created a website (www.veryimportantchildren.com) that includes a children’s guide to the city and activities in the hotel

Description: Hôtel Plaza Athénée Paris

Hôtel Plaza Athénée Paris

Pets

A select group of properties has come up with the novel idea of acquiring animals as guest attractions. Fairmont Hotel Vancouver (www.fairmont.com) has two Yellow Labrador Golden Retrievers to greet guests, and allows children to take the dogs for a walk. Kimpton Hotels (www.kimptonhotels.com) offers a service called Guppy Love, where kids can request a goldfish to stay overnight in their room. Le Méridien Phuket Beach Resort, The Oberoi Vanyavilas Ranthambore (www.oberoihotels.com) and Anantara Golden Triangle Resort & Spa (www.anantara.com) in Chiang Tail all have pet baby elephants for kids to play with, while Fairmont Mount Kenya Safari Club (www.fairmont.com) has an animal orphanage with tortoises, ostriches and monkeys. Dolphins in hotels are common in the Americas. With many including Atlantis Paradise Island, Bahamas and The Kahala Hotel & Resort in Hawaii (www.kahalaresort.com), housing dolphin habitats. A newer trend is the predator pet, with hotels in Las Vegas like The Mirage (www.themirage.com) housing lions, tigers and leopards, and the Mandalay bay Resort & Casino (www.mandalaybay.com), having its own shark aquarium.

Description: Fairmont Hotel Vancouver

Fairmont Hotel Vancouver

Description: Fairmont Mount Kenya Safari Club

Fairmont Mount Kenya Safari Club

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