Are Hotels in Spain Becoming Family “Unfriendly?”

Are Hotels in Spain Becoming Family “Unfriendly?”

Those looking for a family vacation in Marbella, read on!

Kids may be the future, but it seems they are not everyone’s cup of tea.

It has been brought to our attention that a minority of badly behaved children (not yours of course) have given little people a bad name. Some holiday establishments in Spain are now banning children altogether.

Here we explore the new “adults only” trend and what it means for family holidays.

The Rise of the “Adults Only” Hotel

In the past few years several “adults only” or “couples only” hotels have started to appear in a number of Spanish resorts. Chains such as the Amare who run stylish hotels in Ibiza and Marbella advertise the absence of youngsters as a selling point. (Presumably there is a more sophisticated vibe and no sticky finger marks on the banister rails.)

Are Hotels in Spain Becoming Family “Unfriendly?”

Let’s be honest, little ones can be loud, messy and infringe on other people’s peace and quiet. The “adults only” label gives a hotel a certain edge. The image is not a bad one: No screaming kids at the pool; (even if there are screaming adults!) no inflatables; proper meals that cater to mature taste buds. The list goes on.

We can see the appeal for 20 or 30 somethings without children. We also acknowledge the novelty factor for those with kids looking for an escape.

Are Hotels in Spain Becoming Family “Unfriendly?”

The new trend is not confined only to hotels. Many restaurants are also now refusing to cater to kids. In fact, by 2019 around 8% of establishments in Spain already didn’t admit children. But is this fair? Is it discrimination? Can hotels even impose these types of rules in the first place?

Is it Legal to Ban Children in Spain?

There has been significant debate about the new practice to exclude children.  Lawyers,  consumer groups and naturally, many parents are against it. Worryingly, it’s not even legal! (The right of admission can’t technically be based upon age in Spain.) For this reason some venues don’t forbid children from entering but they do make it harder for people to bring them. For instance, by refusing to offer a kids’ menu a venue is saying they don’t want children to come in, without saying it overtly.

Whether excluding minors is legal or not, it can be extremely inconvenient. Travelling with children is not without its stress points and finding venues that cater to all ages helps when away from home.

The Family Friendly Vacation: We Still Believe

Let’s explore the concept of a family holiday: Time to enjoy the small things with loved ones and to make memories that can be cherished forever. In a country like Spain that is so heavily family focused, we can’t see this trend going too mainstream.

With the rise of the “adults only” clause at hotels, private rental accommodation is a natural choice for many families who do want to spend quality time away, together.  Rental villas offer privacy so your children can let loose without disturbing anyone else and they also come with their own kitchens and laundries. This makes for a more practical stay.

Luxury Villa Gratitude, Golden mile, Marbella
Luxury Villa Gratitude, Golden mile, Marbella

At Swish we welcome you and all your crew, even pets. Look out for our “pet friendly” badge. We are not going to refuse entry just because some of you are not yet old enough to drive. Depending on the size of your gang, choose from vast mansions like our 24 bedroomed Villa Gratitude or something more bijou, like this 4 bedroomed Villa La Perla in Nagüeles.

What could be more family-friendly than this quirky waterslide, just for you and yours?

Location: Villa La Perla, Marbella

Villa la Perla Luxury rentals Marbella
A true gem of a villa, in leafy Nagueles above Marbella.

So, is Spain becoming Family “Unfriendly”?

The Victorians used to say children should be “seen and not heard”.

Some of the new “adult only” hotel chains are taking this one step further, offering an environment where children are neither seen nor heard.

Even though the trend for the “adult only” venue doesn’t seem to be going away, we say “live and let live.” In fact, if those 8% of venues want to provide a grown-up atmosphere, all the better. We are all for a bit of variety in life. We know that in a country like Spain, there will always still be plenty of venues that welcome youngsters with open arms.

Contact us to let us help you plan your next luxury stay in Marbella. If you’re looking for inspiration why not browse our range of villas here?

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