For most of my life, I stayed at my grandma’s home for a few days twice a year. Then she moved into assisted living, and I – and the rest of the family – relocated to a hotel when visiting. Finally, she passed, and the question became “where do we go now?”
Like many families, we couldn’t easily move the gathering to another person’s house. We’re scattered across the Midwest, and the closest anyone got to being a central point was Grandma.
So we just keep visiting that same hotel in Grandma’s town and, really, very little in our routine has changed.
We get up in the morning and have breakfast together. Any number of things might happen in the afternoon, but we’d certainly regroup for dinner. Then it’s back to the hotel, where we have reserves the conference room for the evening. One cousin also orders a suite instead of a basic room so we have another place to retreat when the conference room isn’t available.
It doesn’t have the coziness of grandma’s family room, but it’s utterly practical. People can bring in whatever food they want. We can play games. The table and chairs may be basic, but they are also easily moved.
If the hotel has a pool, you’ve got instant entertainment for the kids, who probably don’t enjoy sitting around all day with the relatives anyway. You might even choose a hotel based on its swimming facilities, particularly if several children are going to be in attendance.
You can also kick the family gathering up a notch by relocating to a resort and turning this into a full scale vacation. This can be particularly attractive if there aren’t many plans outside of the hotel anyway.
Resorts offer a variety of activities throughout the day which individuals can choose according to taste. This could be anything from swimming to golf to spa visits. Resorts also after restaurants, often more than one.
Hotel gatherings are also infinitely scalable. In fact, the more people you have, the easier the process can be. A few people are left to their own devices as far as getting reservations, but a larger group can have a block of rooms set aside, and very large groups can get discounts.
As families continue to spread out geographically, it becomes harder and harder to bring them back together. If no one can offer a convenient meeting point, there’s absolutely no reason why that should kill plans for a get-together. Find a location convenient for everyone, consider what amenities you would like, and find a suitable hotel to host your reunion.