So you've pried your teenager's fingers from his smartphone long enough to get him on a plane or in a car and on the way to your family vacation. You've endured the eye rolls, the exasperated and drawn out sighs, and the intentional (and frankly impressive) freeze-outs. Now you're at your hotel, and it's time to have fun if it kills the both of you.
To take some of that burden off parents of teens, Omni Hotels and Resorts has launched its Teen Connection program at select properties. More than just a menu of activities for adolescents, Teen Connection provides families with a teenage concierge. That's right. Your son or daughter can connect with the hotel's teen concierge for advice on the hippest and happening-est spots in town with an insider's eye for avoiding tourist traps (which would just induce more eye-rolling). The Omni Berkshire Place in New York City was the first to introduce the program. David Strebel, the 18-year-old son of the hotel's general manager, is available to teens via myriad outlets, including text, email, Facebook, Twitter, and if they can endure the agony of communicating via audible speech, phone.
"Parents often like to unplug and unwind when on vacation, but teens like to stay active and constantly connected via social means – we designed the program for them," said Caryn Kboudi, vice president of corporate communications in a statement to the press. "Omni is committed to making teens feel important instead of stuck between kid-friendly and adult activities."
Teen Connection is part of Omni's new initiative aimed at the teenage market, which included the formation of the Omni Teen Advisory Board, whose members include travel-savvy teenagers who offer ideas and suggestions to the hotel group for teen programs.
As for David, the clean-cut youth is featured in a video on the Teen Connection website. Over shots of him long-boarding around taxis and food traffic, he explains his mission: "I've spent most of my teenage years here, so I just want to pass that knowledge on to teens traveling."
The Teen Connection program is also available at Omni Chicago Hotel, Omni Shoreham Hotel, Omni Parker House, Omni Orlando Resort at Champions Gate, Omni Amelia Island Plantation Resort, and Omni Hilton Head Oceanside Resort. For more information, check out the Teen Connection website.
Photo credits: Teenage girl pointing via Shutterstock; Omni Berkshire Place Lobby courtesy of Omni Hotels