Ireland has a huge range of top quality family friendly accommodation ranging from five star hotels to campsites. The Irish are very child friendly and welcoming and there are few accommodation providers who actively dissuade children from staying. Where they do it is sometimes in old houses where there may be steep steps or a lot of antiques or destination spas. The Irish Hotels Federation has a great new Healthy Eating for Kids campaign with over 250 hotels and guesthouses signed up so far which is good news for parents who want their children to eat healthy food while on holiday which can be an issue.
Just because a property calls itself family friendly does not mean that it is though. Our research has shown that the vast majority of properties will say they are family friendly but in fact the situation on the ground may not reflect that in some cases. Having a kid's club or a playground does not in itself make a property family friendly. So what is the magic formula? In reality there is no magic formula but what is important is providing a real welcome for parents and their children and appropriate facilities. Feeling welcome and being able to relax knowing the kids are enjoying themselves are the two things parents highlight most.
Booking.com have a good range of family accommodation in hotels and self catering properties at discounted prices and you can search for family rooms and apartments which is a great feature. You can read reviews by families who have actually stayed there by category such as families with young children or older children.
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In terms of accommodation families generally need more space than couples or people travelling alone. While a baby in a travel cot does not take up that much room if a double room is small this can limit circulation space. Interconnecting rooms, family rooms, suites and self catering attached to hotels with full use of the hotel facilities are great for families. There has been a significant increase in the amount of family accommodation and serviced self catering accommodation in Ireland over the last few years and this is very welcome. Families also like to have good in room facilities including TVs, DVD, movies and with a young baby a fridge in the room is always useful.
Facilities on premises will depend on the type of accommodation you are looking at. Families generally want premises where children can have fun and parents can relax in the knowledge that the children are welcome. They want a safe environment and in some cases activities and facilities on premises such as a leisure facility, sports facilities or a kids club.
Healthy eating is becoming increasingly important and healthy children's meals are a priority for parents. The Irish Hotels Federation has recently introduced a healthy eating for kids programme for their hotels and guest houses this is very welcome and should be encouraged.
Finally activities and things to see and do with the children in the local area are important. Beaches, parks, outdoor activities and indoor facilities for rainy days are all important in getting the balance right on a family holiday. We have highlighted some properties such as hotels with self catering or hotels with kids clubs and hope this helps you make your decision.
You will find lots of family friendly travel tips and advice in our research and advice section to help you book the right family holiday. Check out also the experiences of other parents and travellers in our parents forum and add your own experiences as we are a great believer in real parent's experiences as the best measure of whether somewhere will suit you for your family holiday.
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