Plenty of family play on leisurely getaway
Time is no issue when granted a 5pm checkout, as Greg Dawkins discovers
SOMETIMES you just need to get out of the house.
It had been a while since my family had an opportunity for a holiday, a weekend getaway, or even just a day trip.
But with a young family (two under fives) you want to avoid long distances and the onset of “are we there yet?” syndrome. Restless rascals are enough to negate any sort of break.
Brisbane is a one-hour drive for us and there’s plenty of spots I have been keen to take the kids, but do we take a day trip or stay the night?
Either it is a very long day to cram everything in and then turn for home or a night’s stay can be somewhat wasted when you are on the streets by noon.
When offered a weekend getaway at the Novotel Brisbane with late checkout (5pm on Sundays), I knew it would be the ideal trip for us.
The late checkout allows you to make the most of your weekend – a good night’s rest, Sunday breakfast at leisure, more time to explore and then still the opportunity to freshen up before the trip home.
One thing that I love when we do get to stay in a hotel is my son’s reaction to his new surroundings – wanting to explore the room, try out his new bed and of course check what TV channels the room has. Our room was big enough for our family, and for larger families there is the option to get a second room at 50% off as part of Novotel’s family-friendly focus.
We checked in and enjoyed exploring the hotel and had a quick swim in the pool. We walked down to Brisbane’s Queen Street Mall to take in a movie (The Muppets Most Wanted) and checked out the shops.
After a fun afternoon we returned to the hotel for dinner. I liked that we could get a kid-friendly menu – with various options – and not have to venture too far away for our tiring munchkins to find a nutritious meal. Nuggets and chips fans, they tuck into the grilled chicken strips and chips. It’s just nice for mum and dad to not have to worry about the oil-dripping, fat-soaked chicken and chips that you often get when you try to grab something quick when on holidays.
We were also able to both enjoy a lovely “adult meal” and wine with great service and then retire to our room.
Sunday morning started back down in the hotel restaurant for a great breakfast – we are again treated to a lot of delicious and nutritious options for both the kids’ and adults’ tastebuds.
We then set off to spend most of our day at South Bank, which is within walking distance of the Novotel, even for the kids. The Wheel of Brisbane gave us a great view of the city and what kid doesn’t love a big ferris wheel.
Another highlight for our kids was the dinosaur display at the Queensland Museum.
But you know it is often the things us adults might take for granted that the kids most love, like a ride on the CityCat or just exploring new surroundings.