Like the famous, fictional "Eloise at the Plaza," some children visit sophisticated hotels and travel the world at an early age. London is well endowed with luxury hotels where younger family members can learn about the finer things. Some of London's best hotels even make an extra effort for families with children.
The Goring celebrated its 100th birthday in 2010. It's always been owned and run by the same family, often serving as an unofficial guesthouse for its neighbor, Buckingham Palace. Welcoming families to its luxurious, classically English family accommodations is a specialty. Children receive "royal" treatment ranging from the surprise presents on their pillows to invitations into the kitchen to dress up in aprons and toques and decorate cakes and cookies. New parents are welcomed with a basket of baby necessities.
St. James's Hotel and Club
When St. James's was a neighborhood popular with wealthy bachelors, this Victorian townhouse hidden in a cul-de-sac was a discreet residence for visiting diplomats. Today it is a combination of club -- popular with show business personalities -- and luxurious boutique hotel close to the West End. Although it has no special family rooms or suites, it has an unusual "Kids Concierge." He's the hotel's resident expert on fun family activities around London. He can offer advice for different age group and will organize tickets, transportation and tours for family attractions.
Brown's Hotel in Mayfair was London's first hotel when it opened in 1837. A quiet, luxury standby for more than 170 years, it is where Rudyard Kipling wrote "The Jungle Book." The hotel's "It's A Family Affair" package includes two deluxe rooms for the price of one, treats and activities for children, free food for toddlers, junior bath time accessories and children's bed linens. Rooms specially prepared for families with babies include a crib, baby bed linen, a mobile, glow lights and changing facilities.
The Savoy, a genuine London icon, reopened in October 2010 after a three-year, multimillion-pound refurbishment. Families visiting the Savoy should be aware that this hotel makes no special concessions for little people -- though it makes a point of personalized attention for all its guests. The hotel has specially designed family suites that include two bedrooms sharing a bath. The family suites, with a king-size bed and two twin beds, can accommodate four adults or two adults and three children. They overlook the hotel's quiet courtyard garden.
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