I brought my kids to a posh hotel… And they liked it
"As a stay-at-home mum, the idea of cleaning up and cooking in a different house is my idea of a nightmare."
Staying in a fancy hotel, for me, is the ultimate treat. It’s my go-to daydream when I’m washing the dishes or trying to get through that never-ending mountain of laundry. I conjure up images of the overpriced cocktails, the breakfasts, the outdoor hot tubs, the freshly turned down gigantic beds; did I mention the breakfasts?
Pre-kids, myself and the girls would plan our annual five-star night away with precision. And over the years, I converted Himself to the joys of treating yo'self once in a blue moon. Disclaimer: we are not extravagant people. Quite the opposite. My husband is a farmer, who, if I drag away once a year, I’d be doing well. So every last penny gets put into our one trip away.
But when I had my first baby, it was like a slap in the face reading comments on mummy Facebook groups. People in need of a staycation would ask for hotel recommendations and the response would always be: ‘You should consider a self-catering option. You’ll have so much more space.’
I’m sorry now, this was not in the ‘What to Expect’ handbook for life with kids. Space? I already live in the middle of nowhere. And, as a stay-at-home mum, the idea of cleaning up and cooking in a different house is my idea of a nightmare, not a holiday. I’d literally rather ‘holiday’ at home.
So, when the reopening dates for hotels were announced a few weeks ago, I did it. I booked us all in to a family room in my favourite posh hotel. And yes, it cost a bloody fortune. You can just imagine one of the Mattie Le Blanc memes saying: ‘Sure you could have got a week in Spain for that.’
But for three days and two glorious nights my two kids, watched on by their fecking delighted parents, lived their best lives. They ate pancakes with Nutella for breakfast and pasta for dinner with the most delicious brownies they had ever tasted for dessert. They lay back in their blow-up rings in the pool like queens.
They screamed the hotel down when they returned to the room at night to see that ‘the fairies’ had left tiny chocolates on their pillows. They packed every last bit of free stuff, from grooming kits and shower caps to biscuits and pens into their bags. And they shed big heavy tears before we said goodbye to room 212, where the best kind of memories were made.
We had an amazing time. And there were lots of people like us there too; couples who had made this hotel their spot when they were dating, who now had kids and wanted to keep enjoying a rare but wonderful bit of luxury together as a family.
So, for anyone who needs to hear this right now, book the damn five-star hotel. After the past year, we all deserve it…big ones and little ones alike.
Kate White is a writer, editor and mammy to two little girls. She lives in north county Dublin with her farmer husband, but you'll never catch her in a pair of wellies. Tea is her best friend. Read more from Kate White, here and here.