Nigel Chapman of Luxury Family Hotels (LFH) has called on the UK hotel industry to pull up its socks and provide a decent welcome to children and their parents, following the publication of new research which shows that one in 24 British families have cut short a hotel stay because of an unfriendly experience.
"It's about time UK hotels sat up and took notice as the industry as a whole clearly still has a long way to go to prove that young guests are as welcome as their parents," Chapman said.
Chapman, the founder of LFH, which owns and operates eight country house hotels, commissioned the survey, which involved contacting 1,005 British parents with children from 0 to 16 years old.
The research highlighted the difficulties parents face when staying with children in hotels, with a host of complaints marring what is meant to be a happy and relaxing experience.
One third of parents said that overseas hotels cater better for children than those in the UK, despite familiar food, safe water and an easier journey to the location.
The top three complaints about hotels from parents travelling with their children centre on a lack of things to do in the evening, scowls from other guests at their off-spring, and the lack of a friendly welcome for the children.
Chapman said it was sad to hear how many families have experienced below-par services.
"We pride ourselves on being very much family-focussed and believe happy children equal happy adults," he explained. "So not only do our country house hotels offer great breaks for adults, but for children and babies too. All are welcome on equal terms.
"Just because you have children this should not mean that you aren't able to enjoy an amazing family break that caters to all your needs."
The survey also showed that dads were more likely than mums to favour foreign hotels over their UK equivalent. And older parents, especially those with older children, were firmly of the opinion that hotels abroad were better than British. Just one in five of those with nine- to 10-year-olds believed the UK was better.