It is REALLY nice for parents to have an occasional break from the kids while traveling. Luckily, many resorts offer “Kids’ Clubs” – a safe place in the hotel where you can drop your children off for a few hours to be supervised by certified child caretakers. Kids Clubs are a great option to consider when you are choosing a hotel as they often have a variety of activities and games for the children to enjoy.
In the Maldives we were able to leave J at the Kid’s Club while we went to get massages. More recently, in Jamaica were able to enjoy a couple hours at the beach relaxing instead of chasing him around. While the time away from J was a reprieve for us, it was so valuable to him as well. Since both of these resorts were in another country, it got him used to being taken care of by someone of another race. It also exposed to other children from other countries who speak different languages. On top of the invaluable cultural experience, it also enabled him to play with some new toys and play equipment that we don’t own.
Kid’s clubs are almost exclusively available at resorts. Sometimes they are an added cost to your stay and sometimes (as was the case in Jamaica) they are included in the rate. Often they range around $10-15 an hour or more per child, so while they aren’t cheap, you might find them worth the price to have a few hours to yourself.
Do Some Research
We have NEVER dropped J off at a Kid’s Club without completing these steps (and recommend that you do the same):
– Read the reviews online before we get there
– Check it out the day before drop-off to see if its clean and safe
– Meet and ask other parents who have left their kids what they think of it
– Make sure they have at least two people on staff at all times
– Observe the other kids to see if they seem to be enjoying themselves.
– Ask (or read online in most resorts) about screening and certifications.
– Get to know the staff personally and address anything that worries you.
While background checks vary from country to country, most chain hotels are usually very good about making sure all their childcare employees are trained and screened. No franchise wants their name tarnished due to reports of abuse so regulations are strict.
Many kids clubs have age restrictions for a variety of reasons. It seems that 3-4 years old is the entry level age and 12 years is the maximum. However, age restrictions tend to vary at every resort. At Conrad Maldives, they allowed 4 month old J in for an extra cost because they dedicated someone specifically to watching him since he was so small. Holiday Inn Sunspree Resort in Jamaica allows kids from 6 months to 3 years because they have a separate staff with a separate room for that specific age group.
A Few Cool Kids’ Clubs We’ve Noticed Over the Years
Here is a short list of places that have caught our eyes over the years in our travels (including some from the years before we had J):
- Conrad Maldives – Rangali Island, Maldives
- Holiday Inn Sunspree Resort Jamaica – Montego Bay, Jamaica
- Hyatt Regency Saipan – Mariana Islands, USA
- Conrad Bali – Nusa Dua, Indonesia
- Hilton Sanya Resort and Spa – Yalong Bay, Hainan, People’s Republic of China
- Intercontinental Playa Bonita – Panama City, Panama
- Conrad Koh Samui – Koh Samui, Thailand
- Hilton Fiji Beach Resort and Spa – Denarau Island, Fiji
- Holiday Inn Resort Aruba – Palm Beach, Aruba
- Hilton Hawaiian Village – Honolulu, HI
- Holiday Inn Resort Phi Phi Island – Phi Phi Island, Thailand
- Sheraton Nha Trang Hotel and Spa – Nha Trang, Vietnam
- Intercontinental Ishigaki Resort – Ishigaki Island, Okinawa, Japan
- Andaz Papagayo – Guanacaste, Costa Rica
- Ritz Calrton South Beach – Miami, FL
- Boca Raton Beach Resort & Club – Boca Raton, FL
- The Grand Wailea – Maui, HI
If having some adult time is important to you while on a family vacation, do a search to see if the hotels you are looking at have a Kids Club. Look at whether or not the price is included in your stay and what activities are offered. Most importantly, don’t forget to answer all of the questions we proposed above and any additional ones of your own. The peace of mind that comes from having your kids in a safe place while you have some time to yourself on your holiday is an unparalleled feeling.