Centro Motel- Calgary’s family friendly accomodations

Family Friendly, budget friendly, eco-friendly…this are all things that are important to my customers. We often get asked for recommendations on where to stay when visiting Calgary with a baby.

A newly re-designed property in the North West part of Calgary recently caught my eye. Centro Motel has been updated and tweaked to become Calgary’s newest boutique motel.

calgary family friendly accomodations

Centro Motel seems to have all the bases covered. In room fridges, free wi-fi, pet friendly rooms and they also have cribs available for your little ones.

This would be the perfect motel for those just in Calgary for a quick visit or a stop on the way out to Banff.

Need more Baby Equipment Rentals during your stay? Call us at One Tiny Suitcase, we deliver 7 days a week to Hotels all over Calgary just like Centro Motel.

Travel Signs

When I embark on a trip I try to prepare for all the possible situations that could come up.

When I travel with my twins, I am usually thinking about bathroom accidents, extra snacks for delayed flights, changes of clothes, etc.

This week my husband and I went on our first child-free vacation in 5 years. I packed all the essentials: bathing suit, sunscreen, good book to read…

Two things I didn’t think I was going to encounter were:

This sign at the Denver Airport:denver airport

This signage on the patio door of my room at the Montelucia resort: “to prevent desert dwellers from entering your room, please keep doors closed”

desert dwellers warning

Baby Safe Travel

Here is a Baby Travel site that I have found to be a great resource for the latest and greatest Gear. There are always new travel products coming on the market and this site seems to have them all.

Baby Safe Travel was started by a new mom after her first travel experience. Here is a very familiar story that led to the creation of this website,

“It all started with a bad experience at a hotel chain. We brought our baby with us on one of my husband’s business trips. We brought all of the essentials and wanted to use the hotels “crib” or “pack n play” for our baby to sleep in.

The hotel brought us a foul smelling and beat up bed for our baby. I was disgusted as a mother to have my baby sleep in this filthy play-yard.

So I called the front desk and requested another more suitable play-yard. The hotel staff brought us another one that was in worse condition and they said they only had two. We were also given a king sized sheet for this tiny baby crib, a strangulation hazard!”

Have a look at the Disney themed harnesses (I haven’t seen these anywhere else!) Baby Travel Items

Calgary’s Family Friendly Conferences

As a Member of Tourism Calgary we know how many conferences come to Calgary each yFamily Travel with a Nannyear. More and more conference attendees are including their family on these business trips.

Moms who don’t want to be away from their babies for a whole week are opting to bring baby along so they can spend time with them in between conference sessions.

Nannies or grandma’s are often part of the travelling familie’s entourage so they can work and have time together.

 

We’ve been added as a part of one of this summer’s conferences on their Family Friendly Program. This program lists out several services that assist conference attendees in planning for their family’s attendance.

We can provide cribs, car seats, strollers and more. www.OneTinySuitcase.ca

Extended Stays in Edmonton

Princeton Executive Suites has been providing comfortable long term stay residences for families in Edmonton for years. Families travelling on business, to conferences or for those who want all the ammenities of a private residence use this service.

When we opened our second Baby Equipment Rental business in Edmonton we were happy to be their exclusive supplier of Full Size Crib rentals.

Our full size cribs are delivered right to your room, set up and completed with a 4 inch spring mattress covered in a 100% cotton sheet.

Edmonton Crib Rentals for Baby

Your home away from home will be just like baby’s nursery. Travelling with a little one can be stressful enough, take the guess-work out of her sleep habits with a room set up like she’s used to.

We deliver 7 days a week and coordinate our delivery with Princeton to ensure your Baby Equipment Rentals are in your room prior to your arrival and taken down after you leave. Seamless and hassle-free!

Call us at 1-844 ONE TINY or 587-784-0212 www.OneTinySuitcase.ca

Bad Baby Equipment

Part of my job at One Tiny Suitcase involves delivering equipment to hotel rooms. I like to get there just before the customers arrive to set everything up in their room and make sure it is ready for them.

Today I was delivering equipment to a very family friendly hotel in Banff. Upon entering the guest’s suite, I noticed a high chair that had been taken out of the suite while housekeeping was cleaning the room foDamaged High Chairr the next guest. I had to do a double take. This poor old GRACO high chair had seen better days.
As you can see from the picture it is missing 1 cap on the leg making it unstable and had no strap or harness system in the seat.

This is not the first time I have come across dated, damaged baby equipment at hotels in the Calgary & Banff area. I’m sure this problem is not isolated to these areas either. Have a look at these previous posts dealing with the same issue:

http://onetinysuitcase.ca/2008/12/30/playpen-or-antique/

http://onetinysuitcase.ca/2008/10/19/high-chair-or-antique/

It happens, equipment gets damaged, worn out and tired: replace it! If you are traveling and you are given substandard baby equipment, request a replacement. Hotels may not be focused on children’s product safety but you are. If something is damaged or broken, don’t use it.

Good vs. Awful Hotel Reviews

I usually ready the reviews before we book into a hotel. Last weekend we needed a quick overnight stay in Edmonton, Alberta. I usually check my favorite review site, Trip Advisor (www.tripadvisor.com ) before we go but I thought…”it’s only Edmonton, it’s just a Holiday Inn…” Let’s just say I wasn’t expecting anything rivalling our last stay at the Banff Springs Hotel.

When we arrived it was pleasant surprise after pleasant surprise. The lobby looked brand new, the two quenn beds each had pillows labelled ‘firm’ or ‘soft’, the bathroom was super clean. The pool exceeded my expectatioholidayinnpillowsns too and the kids and I had lots of fun there. At breakfast the next morning (yummy), I said to my husband, “I can’t believe this is a Holiday Inn”.

I felt compelled to write a review on the site I had used so many times to plan my own trip.  

What I didn’t do was check the reviews left by other travellers who had stayed at the Hotel before me. I submitted my review to Trip Advisor and waited for it to be accepted. When it was published I realized that my review was a shining beacon of hope for this battered (see other reviews) hotel http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUserReviews-g154914-d676814-r25437694-Holiday_Inn_Hotel_Suites_West_Edmonton-Edmonton_Alberta.html#REVIEWS.

How could a hotel be so good and so bad all at the same time?

Baby Listening Services?

In the last two days I have watched two moms as they have left younger children locked in their vehicles in a parking lot while they took their other children inside for a class. Somehow, I am still surprised when I see this.

Even more surprising was coming across a service called, “Baby Listening”. asleep-baby

Apparently this service is offered at some hotels. Maybe surprised isn’t the word I am looking for…shocked seems like a more appropriate response.

One website described this service: “If you would like a meal on your own in the evening while your baby (hopefully!) sleeps peacefully upstairs, go for a hotel that offers a baby-listening service. This usually means that someone in reception will listen to your baby while you leave the phone off the hook in your room and they will come and find you if your baby becomes unsettled.”

Yes, travelling with children can be tough and yes a nice meal out sounds good, but I just can’t see under what circumstances this sounds like a good idea. Do the hotels not see any liability in charging a desk clerk with the responsibility of listening in for the sounds of a child choking or worse an intruder entering your room?

Madelaine McCann’s parents had hoped to use this service the night their daughter went missing during a family holiday in Portugal http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/maddie/article1081678.ece. It was unavailable at their resort…

I’m sure there is a way to protect the safety of your children and still have an enjoyable vacation. I’ve had many.

Vacation Rentals= Extra Value

Check out our latest article on Family Travel published in this month’s Calgary’s Child Magazine (www.calgaryschild.com) on Page 12.

Vacation rentals are definitely my new favorite way to travel. Who needs an expensive hotel room when you get extra space, privacy, amenities and more with a Vacation Rental.

On our last trip to Hawaii we booked a whole house overlooking the North shore of Maui. Total seclusion, total privacy, our own pool and an amazing view.

hawaii037

Hey, if a Hawaiian vacation rental is good enough for the Obama family- why not give it a try?

Global Morning Show

Yesterday I had another great experience on Calgary’s Global morning show. global

I was asked to talk about Family Travel including private vacation rentals versus staying in a traditional hotel room. Here is the link to that appearance:

http://www.globaltv.com/globaltv/calgary/Morning%20News/index.html