Child-friendly luxury travel easy to come by this summer

There was a time when a toddler dressed head-to-toe in designer labels would have raised eyebrows, but walk around the streets of Europe’s capitals nowadays and you’ll see it’s become almost
de rigeur.

Perhaps then, as the popularity of dressing and feeding every member of the modern luxury-loving family in the same way grows, it’s no surprise that hotels are becoming ever more creative when it comes to conceiving classy new services which can keep both parents and their pint-sized progeny amused.

The Ritz-Carlton, Berlin was the first in the German capital to introduce a "Very Important Kids" program aimed at satisfying the needs of its younger clientele, and relaunched it earlier this year with an even wider selection of activities - and the promise that it's the "ultimate luxury hotel experience for children."

In this property, screaming toddlers are charmed into little princes and princesses, who whizz around the lobby in miniature Mercedes-Benz vehicles, take high tea using child-friendly china and petite gold furniture, and step up at the front desk using a mahogany set of "children’s check-in" stairs, all designed to offer the same sense of luxury to children that their parents enjoy.

At the Rocco Forte-owned Brown’s Hotel in London (appropriately enough, the place where Rudyard Kipling wrote The Jungle Book), the experience has even been extended to the spa, with specialized treatments such as "twinkle toes" and "teen glow" added specifically to cater for children.

Further south at the Plaza Athe?ne?e in Paris, entire rooms have been decked out to meet the exacting demands of kids this summer, with brightly-decorated Barbie-themed rooms for the girls and gadget-filled Hot Wheels rooms for boys.

Book a vacation at the Plaza Athe?ne?e through August and an adult room connecting with these private children’s suites will set you back a mere €1,700 a night – a small price to pay for what the hotel describes as the "pinnacle of luxury."

All very well for those with toddlers, but for those with the – arguably more demanding – needs of babies, a more specialized level of service is being offered by a growing cadre of so-called "baby butlers."

Need someone to warm the milk? Change the diapers? Rock the crib? Head to US resorts such as the Marriott Marco Island in Florida or the Keswick Hall hotel in Virginia this year, and with the tinkle of the proverbial bell, a personal assistant assigned purely to childcare will be there to cater for the requirements of baby.

While critics may castigate some of today’s options as pointlessly extravagent, there is no doubt that treating traveling minors with extra-silky kid gloves is more popular than ever.

The Ritz-Carlton, Berlin’s popular program has inspired other luxury hotels in the city to set up similar experiences, a spokesperson for the Potsdamer Platz property told Relaxnews, while the Plaza Athe?ne?e’s rooms have been significantly upgraded and expanded for 2011, the second summer the program has been offered.

At this month’s International Luxury Travel Market in Shanghai, China, researchers said they were seeing strong growth in multi-generational family travel among luxury lovers, noting the "one of the most important aspirations for holidays today is spending time with family."

With emerging markets now providing wealthy travelers almost on tap, and a generation of children becoming used to high standards from an early age, the lavish playthings offered by hotels today look set to be the start of something very big indeed.

The Independent travel offers: Discover a world of inspiring destinations

Arts and Entertainment
Lena Dunham
booksLena Dunham's memoirs - written at the age of 28 - are honest to the point of making you squirm
Arts and Entertainment
A bit rich: Maggie Smith in Downton Abbey
tvDownton Abbey review: It's six months since we last caught up with the Crawley clan
Frank Lampard and his non-celebration
premier leagueManchester City vs Chelsea match report from the Etihad Stadium
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
A new app has been launched that enables people to have a cuddle from a stranger
techNew app offers 'PG alternative' to dating services like Tinder
Jacqueline Bisset has claimed that young women today are obsessed with being 'hot', rather than 'charming', 'romantic' or 'beautiful'
Arts and Entertainment
Jake Quickenden sings his heart out in his second audition
tvX Factor: How did the Jakes - and Charlie Martinez - fare?
premier league
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvOnly remaining original cast-member to leave crime series
Mario Balotelli celebrates his first Liverpool goal
premier leagueLiverpool striker expressed his opinion about the 5-3 thriller with Leicester - then this happened
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
Britain's shadow chancellor Ed Balls (L) challenges reporter Rob Merrick for the ball during the Labour Party versus the media soccer match,
peopleReporter left bleeding after tackle from shadow Chancellor in annual political football match
Arts and Entertainment
Female fans want more explicit male sex in Game of Thrones, George R R Martin says
tvSpoiler warning: Star of George RR Martin's hit series says viewers have 'not seen the last' of him/her
Plenty to ponder: Amir Khan has had repeated problems with US immigration because of his Muslim faith and now American television may shun him
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    IT Administrator - Graduate

    £18000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: ***EXCELLENT OPPORTUNITY FO...

    USA/Florida Travel Consultants £30-50k OTE Essex

    Basic of £18,000 + commission, realistic OTE of £30-£50k : Ocean Holidays: Le...

    Marketing Executive / Member Services Exec

    £20 - 26k + Benefits: Guru Careers: A Marketing Executive / Member Services Ex...

    Sales Account Manager

    £15,000 - £25,000: Recruitment Genius: A fantastic opportunity has arisen for ...

    Day In a Page

    A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

    Not That Kind of Girl:

    A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
    London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

    London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

    In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
    Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

    Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

    Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
    Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

    Model mother

    Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
    Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

    Apple still the coolest brand

    Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
    Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

    Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

    Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
    Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

    Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

    The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
    The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

    Scrambled eggs and LSD

    Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
    'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

    'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

    Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
    Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

    New leading ladies of dance fight back

    How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
    Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

    A shot in the dark

    Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
    His life, the universe and everything

    His life, the universe and everything

    New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
    Reach for the skies

    Reach for the skies

    From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
    These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

    12 best hotel spas in the UK

    Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments