February 26 2010 by Bryson Forbes
My son and I pulled out one of his favourite books last night that we haven't read in more than a year. It's a great pop-up book called A is for Animals by David Pelham and it goes through different creatures from A to Z. The amazing thing is how my son can remember the most obscure animals, see "Quetzel or Narwhal". It inspired this week's (and next week's) blog - the ABC's of choosing a great hotel for families with kids. (You'll have to imagine the pop ups!)
A is for activities. Hotels that cater to families often have activities for kids. This can be as simple as child menus and crayons in the restaurant to playrooms.
B is for best of the best. Check out Best of the best for hotels that Best Western recognizes as the creme de la creme every year for customer care, quality and design. You can bet you'll have a first rate experience at all Best Westerns, but these are truly the best of the best.
C is for clean. It goes without saying that a clean hotel room is a must. This is where a big chain with service standards can give you peace of mind that all the essentials will be met.
D is for dryer. On-site laundry facilities--especially when you're with kids or staying for any period of time--is a great perk.
E is for everywhere. I'm a loyal person and love the notion of a chain that not only meets my expectations, but has locations everywhere I'm going to be.
F is for fridge. A great way to save money on the road with kids is to stock the fridge. Yogurt, juice and fruit are easy and cost a lot less than room service.
G is for green. A focus on green initiatives makes me feel good about staying at a particular hotel. Look for water conservation efforts, recycling programs and other energy efficient measures the hotel is taking to reduce its carbon footprint.
H is for high-speed Internet. It has to be high speed and it should be free. The days of getting hit for $20 a day are gone for me. This is a key component of my analysis: if you don't get free Internet, add the cost to the room rate.
I is for in-room dining. Having the option of picking up the phone and having a good, warm meal delivered to your room is terrific.
J is for java. I need coffee within minutes of waking up, so an in-room coffee maker is a definite must. Once I'm caffeinated, another great way to save money is a free continental breakfast, a good place for that inevitable second cup of coffee.
K is for king size. I love the option of a king-sized bed and with two youngsters, getting four in a king is easier than two in a double.
L is for location. Obviously a good location is very important. Location, location, location...
M is for microwave. Especially if you have really young ones to heat up bottles for or even leftovers from last night's dinner.
Any suggestions to improve the first part of this list before I start cutting out the pop ups? And be sure to check back next week for letters N to Z.