2. Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts
Number of U.S. properties: 23 in 12 states and the District of Columbia
- Dedicates facilities just for children at all resort properties, with spacious play areas, games, and stuffed animals either within public areas of the hotel or in a separate building on-property
- Offers free kids' movies and seasonally discounts adjoining rooms
- Greets children upon arrival with a snack
- Gives kids bathroom amenities at most locations, including shampoo, sponge toys, and a stepstool to reach the sink
Supervised Children's Program:
For kids ages 5 to 12 at 15 locations. Babysitting can be arranged at all locations.
The Four Seasons proves that "upscale" and "family-friendly" are not mutually exclusive. Sand sculpture contests, pastry kitchen extravaganzas, hula dancing, photo safaris, and bocce ball games are among the unique supervised activities at the Kids for All Seasons program. Even gourmet dining has been made kid-friendly with fun Sunday buffets featuring jungle and beach displays.
"Four Seasons started as a hotel geared primarily to business travelers," says Wolf Hengst, president of worldwide hotel operations. As those guests began to travel with their families, and the company opened its first destination resorts, it started offering kid-friendly versions of its hallmark items, like mini bathrobes.
Eventually, this evolved into Kids For All Seasons, which is designed to take advantage of each resort's natural surroundings. "Activities such as learning about local crafts, folklore, and cooking allow children to have great vacation experiences that resonate as much as Mom's two-hour spa treatment or Dad's hole-in-one on the greens," Hengst says.