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  Education >> Playing grown-ups


WORDS Hilary Doling

One luxury hotel recently told me that they had to stop a junior guest skateboarding in their marble lobby. Surprisingly it seems that not all five star-loving families have five star manners. Children are getting their first taste of luxury at an increasingly young age so parents who like the suite life need to ensure that their lucky offspring learn hotel etiquette early. Here’s Miss Manners’ Guide for young hotel guests (and their mums and dads).

1. Learn to sit at the table. Breakfast buffets are a great excuse for restless kids to get up and move around but dinner is different. Eat early in the evening and remember anywhere with a white table cloth means bottoms stay on seats. Take colouring books and cards.

2. Cutlery is for using. If children are very young just give them a spoon. It’s OK to choose finger food for very littlies, no one minds little fingers eating chips or picking up a burger bun. They do mind knives and forks used as drumsticks (yes, we’ve seen it happen).

3. As a general rule resorts are more relaxed than city hotels. If there isn’t a kids’ pool, splashing and having fun is probably OK; dive bombing and jumping isn’t. Pick a quiet time when bored businessmen aren’t doing their morning laps.

4. Walk. As a general rule the younger the child the more leniency. No one minds a toddler trotting down a hotel corridor; over five and it’s a different matter.

5. Quiet voices. Tell children to imagine ‘classroom volume’, not ‘playground volume’… however exciting this new world is.

6. Relax the rules in the privacy of your own suite. Obviously jumping on beds and banging headboards aren’t great for the people next door but lying on the floor, playing hide and seek with mum, blowing bubbles in the bath all make the hotel experience more fun. You can always tidy up before turndown service.

7. Make use of the fabulous children’s activities and courses that many luxury hotels provide. For example Trianon Palace Versailles, A Waldorf Astoria Hotel (pictured), has a ‘Kids are Kings’ Mini Trianon Club which entertains children with a range of activities including a kids’ guide to nearby Versailles and children’s mocktail mixing on Sunday afternoons.

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