Staycations have never really appealed to me.
I mean, why would I go and stay in a hotel in the city that I live in when I have a perfectly good house, a valid passport and a thirst to go and see the world? Even if that city is Doha, with sun, sand, sea and outdoor swimming pools?
That all changed last weekend.
The Ritz Carlton Doha invited us down to their newly refurbished hotel to see if they could change our minds on staycations.
And not only did they change my mind about staycations, they blew all of my expectations out of the water. In EIGHT hours.
The weekend was jam packed. An itinerary that coupled some me time, couple time and a whole lot of family time it is too much to tell you all in one post. So I won’t.
This is the story on how the Ritz Carlton Doha changed my mind on staycations by the time I went to bed on the Thursday night.
Thursday night at the Ritz Carlton Doha
Arriving straight from nursery on Thursday evening, after I managed to take a wrong turn not once, but twice. OK. THREE times, with the littlest fast asleep in the car and the eldest grumbling that it had taken SO LONG. I stepped out of the car feeling stressed, angry and irritated about my lack of directional skills and the roadworks on the Pearl. Depositing the small one with my husband who arrived seconds before me, I watched as our bags were whisked away.
Before I even stepped through the door to the hotel I felt the tension start to lift.
By the time we stepped out of the lift in the Club lounge on the 23rd floor it had gone completely.
First things first; Checking In
Bursting into the Club Lounge with two, now very awake and very excited, little boys we were a little worried that their exuberance was about to ruin the tranquil atmosphere that the space provides. Luckily those blonde heads were soon entranced by the view of the boats in the marina.
With the boys otherwise occupied and a glass of juice in hand, the receptionist soon had us checked in.
Realising this, and excited to see what the room had to offer, the lure of the boats no longer appealed.
Away we went, tearing through the hotel, and that was just me….
It’s the little things
Swiping the keycard at room 1007 we walked into our own little slice of heaven.
Overlooking the marina, the boys were entranced with the balloons that lined the hallway. Leading to their very own cookie decorating station. Not to be outdone they made short work of demolishing the chocolate, and cookies, before a little gentle intervention had them
sucking the icing out of the bag icing the cookies instead.
Not to be left out, a range of sumptuous fruits were laid out. Sneaking some of the chocolate drops on the sly, we made short work of the strawberries, blackberries and lychee!
Fuelled by chocolate, we unpacked and went off exploring round the hotel. Discovering the delights that were awaiting us over the next few days of our stay. From tennis courts to spas to hair cuts…
Nestled into the spa area is the trendy Fadia El Mendeleek men’s salon.
With the eldest missing his most recent hair cut due to his sparkling social life of play dates and parties he was more than eager to jump in the chair.
Spiking his hair up, looking far too cool for school, the littlest liked what he saw.
And so jumped into the chair straight after, shouting “MINE TURN”
Goodbye blonde curls and hello little boy.
Reeling from the curls on the floor we headed back to our room to get the boys to bed and have our very own date night in the delightful Porcini. I know. A DATE night. Just the two of us.
The beauty of a staycation
We are not ones to shy away from having alone time as a couple, far from it, we think it is both important for our relationship and healthy for the kids to see us a couple. Normally we would book a hotel babysitter, introduce the boys, then help get them to bed.
Staying in the city where we live meant that we were able to ask our regular nanny to come down to babysit for us. Arriving to two clean boys in pyjamas, they all happily waved us off before she put them both to bed.
No crying. No mummy do it. No upset either side.
Though we did come back and discover that their love of the balloons had made it to bed with them.
But full of beef carpaccio, the most delicious butternut squash soup that I have tried (and failed) to replicate, steak and cannoli we simply untangled the balloons and fell into the big, soft, squishy bed.
And that was just the Thursday night.
A mere 8 hours spent at the hotel and my mindset was already changing.
The next two days however were what really blew my mind.
But that’s a story for another day.