Hilton Hotels has released its annual Hilton Blue Paper, which reveals the findings of two studies that indicate what families want, from food to amenities, while on vacation.
The hotel chain surveyed 1,200 respondents in the U.S. and U.K. in July and conducted 20 focus groups made up of parents and children in November 2011 in New York, Los Angeles, Atlanta, London, and Shanghai to find out what amenities are a priority for parents and children.
Along with dining preferences, the research also found that mothers are the primary vacation planners, most trips are planned within six months of departure, and parents and kids have different resort vacation goals — the children’s priority is a pool while the parents consider hotel amenities like the pool in addition to with dining options.
Both parents and children measured a good vacation dining experience as one with quick meals and a variety of choices, like buffets, eaten in a kid-friendly restaurant with a kid-friendly staff.
While parents remain happy to see kid-friendly cuisine like hamburgers and pizza on the menu, more families wish hotels had a wider variety of food options, including healthy choices. Families also want fast service and reservations, which limit the wait time at buffet-style restaurants, and larger tables to accommodate families of more than four. Parents and children also want entertainment options at the table that go beyond crayons and a menu to color on.
The children in the focus group listed kids’ buffets and kid-friendly pools as "must haves."
More and more hotels are taking notice. Check out these fantastic fall getaways for your next family trip.
Lauren Mack is the Travel Editor at The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter @lmack.