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Teen Lounges in Hotels: Is This The End for Hostels?

Kid-Friendly, Travel News — By christinegarvin on May 5, 2011 at 5:02 pm

Sadly, it seems like the teens of today may never experience the slightly-off odor and general grunginess of the hostels of yesteryear. All thanks to what is sure to become the hottest new trends in hotels: the teen lounge.

The Blur Lounge, opened over Easter weekend at the JW Marriott Starr Pass Resort and Spa in Tucson, AZ, offers the latest versions of iPads, Playstations and Xbox 360, along with a 46” LCD HDTV and plenty of DVDs to boot. After experiencing this kind of luxury at age 14 while traveling with their parents, what 19-year-old is going to rough it in a hostel in Copenhagen reminiscent of the YMCA in the 1970s?

Don’t forget “Poptail Hour” every Saturday night from 6pm to 10pm, where teens can make their own signature soda drink. Oh boy!

Image: Imobiliária THÁ/Flickr

Sure, teen lounges may have been a long time coming, and Marriott is just the first household name hotel to capitalize on the technology-dependent teen set. But it looks like Loews Hotels and Spas may have beat them to the punch, with their Miami Beach Hotel introducing a PBteen Cabana and PBteen Game Lounge (the PB standing for ‘Pottery Barn’, whose furniture populates the areas) way back in 2009.

Besides housing “plush couches” and wall murals, the PBteen Cabana also holds weekly Nintendo Wii competitions with prizes, DVD rentals, and their version of a healthy beverage: tropical frozen smoothies.

Plus, the cruise lines may have been the true inventors of the teen lounge, with the one on Royal Caribbean offering music until – wait for it – 2am, and also offering a “private” outdoor space. Hmmm. Sounds “hip”?

Hold off on those grunts and groans for the demise of the hostel. No matter how much teens become accustomed to US hotels, here’s the hoping the spiritual journey trip to India that they are bound to take in their early 20s will set them straight.

Tags: family cruises, hotels for kids, teen lounges, teens and technology, traveling with kids

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