Kids are great, but they’re better somewhere else, says Shane McGinley
Over the recent Eid break a friend of mine booked into a five-star hotel and was delighted to find out it had a large child-free pool where children under 12 were not allowed.
As a child, clearly under 12, ran around the pool a member of staff tried to explain to the child’s father that they would have to move. The father begrudgingly moved but as soon as the staff member moved on returned and the child resumed his boisterous playing as sun loungers everywhere seethed in the hot sun and muttered under their breath.
The scene is one that has been repeated for centuries and is seen every day across the world, from first class sections on planes to Michelin-starred restaurants and five-star swimming pools.
But, the trend is changing. Only a few years ago, it was revealed Malaysia Airlines had banned babies form travelling first class in the upper parts of its A380s after complaints from high rolling passengers.
After recently losing two planes, I think this ban might be scrapped as I imagine Malaysia Airlines would be happy to have any customers at all at the moment, but I think it’s one which holds merit. If you’re stuck on a plane an there is an infant crying or an unruly child beside you then it is not like a restaurant where you can move somewhere else, you are stuck there for the duration of your flight.
But how about this seafood restaurant in California, which has captured headlines around the world for its tough stance on children, including zero tolerance for crying or loud noises.
Old Fisherman's Grotto in Monterey also has a policy of not allowing strollers, high chairs or booster chairs, measures which would probably rule it out as an option for families with babies or toddlers.
Originally founded in the 1950s, the family restaurant serves seafood and Italian comfort food.
A sign at the front of the eatery says: "Children crying or making loud noises are a distraction to other diners, and as such are not allowed in the dining room."
On its website, the restaurant says it adopted the rules in 2011 in order to enhance the experience for diners; however, over the last few days, it has captured the attention of media outlets around the world.
Click here to see a video on a news report on the restaurant.
Just as a lot of people don’t like being in a smoking section, some people don’t like to share their plane journey, dining experience or hotel stay with children, so they too should have the option.
I should say I don’t have children of my own and my friends who do have children tell me this stance will mellow as soon as I have my own little bundles of joy. I can’t wait!