STAMFORD, Conn.—Starwood Hotels & Resorts, Inc. announces today the launch of new family programs by Le Méridien and Westin Hotels & Resorts, in response to the growing global demand of family travel and evolving needs of family travelers today. Both programs reinvent the kids club concept, reimagine family experiences, and introduce more meaningful amenities through a brand lens. With multigenerational family travel on the rise, the programs specifically cater to the way modern families travel: with any combination of parents, aunts, uncles, and grandparents traveling with children of all ages.
“Today’s family travelers are more active, more global, and more socially-connected than ever before; and therefore, the way they travel together has changed dramatically,” said Brian Povinelli, global brand leader, Le Méridien and Westin Hotels & Resorts. “In speaking with our most loyal guests, we know that the new dream vacation—for many—looks like an active adventure, exploring new destinations and experiencing a new culture. We also focused on insights from our single digit travelers, who will define the expectations and inspire what the future of family travel will be, to develop programs for Le Méridien and Westin brands.”
The overarching theme of both brand programs celebrates the Universal Language of Play: A concept that connotes that playing knows no borders or language barriers but is a vehicle to explore, learn, develop new skills, express ideas and build relationships with others. Le Méridien channels the inherent creativity and curiosity of children and aims to unlock the destination through the brand’s Filters of Discovery—Coordinates, Culture and Cuisine; while The Westin Family program draws inspiration from nature to promote a sense of well-being: from the physical spaces and interactive programming to signature amenities, including a travel journal and local activity guide, that are offered to children at all of the brand’s hotels and resorts.
The Westin Family Kids Club is informed by the brand’s six pillars of well-being, featuring dedicated space for children to eat well, play well, feel well, work well, move well, and sleep (or nap) well. The thoughtful design of the kids clubs was led by the brand’s biophilic focus, which suggests that a connection to nature enhances well-being. The colors found in nature inspired the playful but sophisticated palette, creating a space that feels youthful and energetic. Meandering pathways guide kids to explore and learn, building on the idea that there are no straight lines in nature; there is also an extension of the brand’s Vertical Garden, which allows kids to experience nature and gardening hands-on.
“Gone are the days that children want to spend time in a space with over-stuffed book shelves, plastic chairs and cartoon character posters plastered on the wall,” said Erin Hoover, vice president, global brand design, Westin Hotels & Resorts. “Westin has taken special care to create spaces that are both good for the environment and healthy for younger guests. We consciously used responsibly sourced, recycled and low-impact materials with the goal to improve indoor air quality, encourage exposure to natural light and promote outdoor activity.”
Similarly, the design narrative of Le Méridien Family Kids Club stays true to the design principles of the brand; and as such, is the first hotel brand to create its kids clubs with a design inspired by mid-century modernism. The dedicated children’s spaces feature impactful arrival art work, flexible seating, and styling elements that playfully mirror the Le Méridien Hub—the brand’s innovative lobby concept that reflects the brand’s creative spirit, inspired by coffeehouses, travel, and culture.
“Our guests are creative and curious-minded travelers, and the design and programming at Le Méridien Family Kids Clubs reflects that—creating a framework for our little guests to express their creativity in unexpected ways while also learning about the destination they are visiting,” said Julie Frank, global director, global brand design, Le Meridien Hotels & Resorts.
Designed through the lens of accomplishment and wonder, The Westin Family program offers a variety of interactive activities that help children of all age groups connect with their environment. Both urban and resort hotels encourage exploration, from crab-hunting at The Westin Blue Bay Resort & Spa in Hainan, China to cooking activities fostered by the brand’s partnership with SuperChefs at The Westin Hilton Head Resort & Spa in South Carolina.