USA Today recounts a "child friendly" experience at the Concierge Lounge in Sydney Australia. Worth a read
Unfortunately I have seen it all too often at various US lounges. The original concept is long gone as is the level of food service for most places. Now when I see some special foods and drinks I am overjoyed rather than just happy that nothing has changed.
Tailgating, lack of enforcement of the guest rules and duplicate keys complicate things all the more.
And so it goes--my daughter is now 30 and knows that she's welcome with us in the Lounge assuming we're in a hotel with one. She also knows that the lounge is place for quiet enjoyment, not babysitting.
Stepping Stones and NUHusker
Answers to the authors questions were amusing as well as thought-provoking. I lost track of time and went through several pages. The CL is a place to relax, unwind and enjoy company - if you want it. It seems natural to interact around food or refreshments. Throw children into the equation, be prepared for the unexpected.
It's not very difficult to imagine what it must be like to be cooped up in a guest room watching TV all day. Better yet, how difficult is it to imagine room conditions where children can't get to sleep in a strange bed that might be a sofabed or a rollaway? It was unsettling for me as an adult initially to learn how to live out of suitcase. What more of a child?
When your 3, 7 or 11 traveling can be fun, but it must be absolute torture - because full service hotels aren't designed for them and the thresholds they have. More than kid-friendly lounges, the full service hotels appear to have missed an opportunity.
Herein, there is a lesson to be learned. That's one of the reasons that Disney and the Marriott Vacation Club brand has been so incredibly successful and popular among families. In addition to providing accomodations that feel like a home, there is some thought placed into providing amenities and activities.
With surprisingly little press coverage, Marriott launched the Nickelodean Getaway Program in May 2009. I'd like to see the concept extended to Marriott full service brands. What about a Nickelodean Lounge? Perhaps this could be the counterpart to the Concierge Lounge, but for families.
It doesn't have to be free. Parents with Elite status could redeem Nickelodean Lounge passes. Non-members could be given a first pass free with a sign-up for Marriott Rewards membership. What about Nickelodean Rollover Nights? The potential is enormous and the market is huge.