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Hotels aim to get kids to sleep with new programs

Hotels have always been in the business of promoting a good night’s sleep, but some are now targeting their youngest guests with a slew of slumber-inducing programs. Not a bad idea: Parents know nothingcan ruin a family vacation faster than a sleep-deprived child.

Chances are you won’t find many grumpy kids at the Jumby Bay, a Rosewood Resort located on a private island in the Caribbean. (268-462-6000, Parents can arrange to have a surprise visit from children’s book author Melinda Fletcher, who penned “The Dancing Pyjamas.” Fletcher arrives bearing cookies and milk, as well as a turn-down gift, like a stuffed animal or small bathrobe. After reading her bedtime story, and signing a copy of her book for the kids, she tucks them in and wishes them good night.


The Rosewood San Miguel de Allende (888-767-3966, ) offers a child-specific massage, designed to induce sleep. “Parents tend to fill their kids’ schedules with lots of activities,” says spa director Paulina Mercader. “We started thinking about how we could channel and calm all that energy.” The Cocoon Massage begins with a soothing lavender patch, followed by a gentle pressure scalp, leg, and foot massage.

Weary young guests at the Four Seasons Hotel Chicago (312-280-8800, ) are wooed with bedtime milk and cookies and comfy kids’ robes. If your little ones want their own sleeping space, the bedtime butler will bring up a pop-up tent. The Lorien Hotel & Spa in Alexandria, Va., (877-956-7436, has kid-friendly sleep programs that also include cookies and milk, teddy bears, and sleeping bags. Lorien even provides telescopes so you can wish upon a star with your little ones before they nod off to dreamland.

Are your kids missing their pets while traveling? Kimpton Hotels (800- 546-7866, offers “Guppy Love” at many of their locations. Kids get to “borrow” a goldfish to keep them company during their stay (pic. Best part: The staff will do the care and feeding, so no worries.


Getting a good night’s sleep in an unfamiliar place, even in the most accommodating hotel, can be a challenge. The folks at Exclusive Resorts (844-541-2714,, a premier global collection of luxury villas, work with parents to provide favorite linens, nightlights, stuffed animals, snacks, smells, even familiar ambient noise to integrate into the bedrooms. In some cases, they will even move the furniture in order to create a more familiar room layout. “Before every vacation we take with Exclusive Resorts, we ship a box containing our boys’ favorite things from home, such as their sheets, nightlights, sound machine, and stuffed animals, and our concierge does an amazing job setting these up in the boys’ bedroom,” says Holly Cao, mother of 3-year-old twin boys. After all, there’s no place like home.

Diane Bair and Pamela Wright can be reached at