The seemingly simple act of checking into a hotel can be a recipe for disaster with tired young children: cue tackling mundane paperwork while trying to preempt high-volume meltdowns or contain hyperactive runarounds.

So recently, it was something of a surprise to arrive at a hotel where my children, aged 3 and 5, actively welcomed the check-in process with squeals of delight.

This was perhaps because firstly, staff ceremoniously handed each of them a note, handwritten in color pens, signed off from a witch called Tiara, who explained — to their excitement — that the room they were sleeping in that night was "magic."