Here’s my guest post which was published last week on Pure Lanzarote.com. I thought I’d pop it on here too and change it just a little. I’d also found some lovely photos of Rory on holiday over the years so it seemed a pity not to bring my boy back home!
Mum’s Gone To a hotel…or a villa?
Once you’ve picked your very own spot in paradise, if you’re anything like me you will then spend forever leafing through brochures, trawling through TripAdvisor and ultimately driving yourself nuts trying to find the ‘ideal’ accommodation within your budget. With a family in tow, your needs will change as your children grow. So what are my pros and cons of hotels versus villas/apartments?
Someone else will do the cooking and washing-up….
Bliss! For me, this is the best bit about being in a hotel. However if your child is a fussy eater they will have to adjust to new foods so choose a hotel with a vast buffet selection. Even then, dinosaur-shaped chicken pieces and Aunt Bessie’s Yorkshire puddings may not be on the menu.
Someone else will do the cleaning and bed-making…
This is all well and good but the maid will undoubtedly want to clean the room at an inopportune time, just as someone in your family (you know who you are) has nipped to the loo with a book in hand. Translating “I’d give it five minutes if I were you, love” can be difficult so you will spend the time dodging her or pretending to be busy on the balcony.
If the hotel has a Kids’ Club you may get some free time without them…
Your child may not be at all inclined to leave your side and play games with other children in strange surroundings: Mummy lying on a sun-bed with jug of sangria may be far more interesting. Daddy may well be feeling frisky in the sun but children have an uncanny knack of knowing their parents are wanting rid of them.
A baby pool and playground so your child can meet new friends…
Sitting on the edge of the pool gently persuading some other mother’s darling child to hand back the watering can to your child can be testing. Not every child wears swim nappies either. I remember one year the baby pool in our hotel had to be drained: it wasn’t a Mars Bar sitting at the bottom of it.
The Kiddie Disco….
Love it or hate it? As a little boy, Rory adored the Kids’ discos in the hotels and I have happy memories of getting up with him to sing The Music Man and Veo Veo ad nauseam, complete with actions. We even bought a CD of the songs one year, good grief.
“This is meant to be MY holiday too!”
Being on your own…
Sitting on the terrace with no people to point and stare at can be boring. I love people-watching in hotels and round the pools: the man with the lime-green zipped speedos, the French couple having a full-blown domestic, people trying to change wet swimwear under towels that aren’t quite big enough.
The personal touch, surrounded by the owner’s lovely possessions…
Frazzled nerves as you yell “DON’T TOUCH!” at your curious children. Or husband. Mine once perched on the edge of a glass coffee table in a villa and it shattered into millions of tiny pieces. Thankfully his backside remained intact. I’m amazed we didn’t get charged for the damage but he wrapped his cut finger in copious bandages and put a sad face on.
Extra space, separate room for children
There isn’t a counter argument to this one: having somewhere else to sit when children are asleep is a godsend. And trying to get jiggy-jiggy when there’s a child in the same room is off-putting: bonking in bathrooms can get tiresome.
Of course there’s always that elusive but highly-prized animal, the Aparthotel, which can have the best of both worlds: someone to cook and clean, a kitchen for some basic cooking (a kettle and a fridge will do me), yet the opportunity is there to watch the hotel entertainers mime their way through The Lion King of an evening. Dad will still have to be sent out pronto to do the early-morning towel run but he does love a challenge!
So what do you prefer? Hotel or villa? If you have a larger family is the hotel just a non-starter?