Interview with Tanja von Hesse, Manager TUI Family Concepts, about Christmas activities at TUI Hotels. And tips for parents booking their Christmas holiday.

Do TUI hotels offer special Christmas activities for families?

Tanja von Hesse: Many of TUI’s family hotels offer a special Christmas programme. Of course, in regions such as Austria the programme focuses on snow. It includes, for instance, Santa Claus arriving in a sleigh with the kids entertainers to distribute gifts. The kids can also bake cookies or do Christmas crafts, and we offer special Christmas or magic shows and kids’ discos under the motto “Christmas fairy tale”. We also offer face-painting and dress-up activities for children and a wide range of Christmas activities.

And what about sunny destinations?

Tanja von Hesse: Here, too, our hotels offer Christmas baking sessions and put up decorations. In Egypt, for instance, they decorate palm trees or offer a Christmas ball fishing event in the pool. And Santa Claus may arrive riding a camel.

What can go wrong, in particular during a Christmas holiday?

Tanja von Hesse: It is important to know the guests’ expectations and offer a wide range of activities to suit everyone, both Christmas enthusiasts and guests wishing to escape Christmas. Some guests like listening to Christmas carols near the pool, while other do not like it at all. People are particularly sensitive and emotional during the festive season, and that is why we take care to ensure that every individual is given sufficient attention. For families with children, it can be problematic if they have not taken along any gifts for Christmas Eve. However, our hotels are well prepared for that situation: Of course, every child will receive a gift.

Do you have any special tips for parents booking a Christmas holiday?

Tanja von Hesse: Apart from taking along some Christmas gifts, they should give each family member the opportunity to voice their expectations regarding Christmas in advance and tell the children, for instance, that they might not have a chance to have snowball fights for lack of snow. It is also important to notify the hotel of any food intolerances. Imagine you have to tell your child sitting at the table with big eyes on Christmas Eve that he or she cannot have the Christmas desert. If hotels are informed in advance, they will be prepared.

Tanja von Hesse: Our local employees are more than willing to assist. Apart from these colleagues, we offer a 24-hour service hotline at +49 (0) 511-56780105.