If you haven't tried a family holiday in a self-contained hotel room yet, just stop and imagine for a moment. Imagine a holiday where there's a washer-dryer inside the hotel room. Where you can share a suite with your kids, without sharing a bedroom. Where you can stay in and cook local groceries for two or three meals a day, instead of relying on restaurants or snacks every time. Sounds pretty great, right?
Even better, you can take a holiday adventure while still making those home-cooking holiday treats that are family favourites. So how do you plan the perfect family holiday in a self-contained luxury hotel room? Join us in the next paragraph to find out.
1) Do Your Research - How Self-Contained Is It?
To perfectly plan your holiday, the first step is to find the right self-contained hotel room for your family's needs. Not all self-contained hotel rooms are the same, and not all hotels mean the same thing when they market self-contained rooms. Are you getting a mini-fridge and microwave, or are you getting a multi-room suite with a gourmet kitchen? You can see how it would matter when making your plans.
To be sure, we recommend reading the amenities, looking closely at the suite photos, and then confirming each important detail with a call to the hotel to confirm your booking.
Here are the key questions to ask:
- Is there a mini-fridge or a full-sized fridge and freezer?
- Is there a cook-top surface?
- Is there an oven?
- Ovens are extremely rare and exclusive
- How much counter and sink space is there?
- Is it one room or separate bedrooms?
- Are there laundry machines in the suite?
- Is there a private balcony?
- Is there a bathtub and/or handicap shower?
Here at Zara Tower, we specialise in offering the most feature-rich luxury suites. This includes separate bedrooms, living and dining area, beautiful views, and a full-sized gourmet entertainer's kitchen with plenty of counter space for family holiday cooking.
Share Your Preferences When Booking
Hotel staff want to make your stay more enjoyable, and if you reach out they will be happy to help you refine your plans and even provide services you didn't know were available. When you confirm your booking, take time to discuss the details with your concierge. They can help you refine the exact type of room you need, and how you'd like it prepared. What type of beds you want, if you need a roll-away bed or extra bedding stocked up. If you need a bathtub for small children or a handicap shower for someone with disabilities. A single phone call can make a world of difference in how your self-contained suite is prepared for you on arrival.
2) Consider a Longer, More Relaxed Stay
Family holidays in normal hotel rooms often take on a frantic tenor. The rush to get from one attraction to another, catch dinner out somewhere, then back to the hotel just to sleep and rise at dawn to do it again. But in a self-contained hotel room, you have all the luxury and privacy of a private apartment with hotel services.
With eggs and milk in the fridge, it's safer to sleep in past breakfast. With a functional kitchen, you don't have to rush out for dinner every night. This means your family holiday can be much more relaxed in comparison, and you may enjoy planning for a longer more luxurious stay. A quick stop at the grocery store -- or better yet, have groceries delivered -- and your family is set for a week or even longer able to eat and relax in or out of the hotel as you desire.
3) Pack With Laundry Options in Mind
Laundry machines in the suite also open up a world of possibilities. No more worrying about running out of clothes, or having to skulk unglamorously down to a hotel laundry room with a hamper and a sock full of quarters. Instead, you can quickly re-wash any outfit you want fresh for the evening. Every swimsuit that gets soaked in sea water. Fluff every towel so each use is warm and cosy.
But even better, you can pack fewer clothes for a longer stay. That's less luggage. Less clothing explosion in the hotel room. And far, far less worrying about which clothes are dirty or clean. For a final kicker, you can do laundry one last time to return home with luggage full of fresh clean clothes.
4) Arrive, Relax, Adventure
After a detailed booking and enjoyably light packing, you arrive at the hotel where your family will be spending the holiday. This luxury apartment suite isn't just a hotel room; it's your new family home. Now for the adventures.
Every destination holiday deserves at least a few special scheduled acts of tourism. Maybe you're going to see some of Sydney's great historical buildings, tour the haunted houses , or enjoy a few water sports on the beaches. But there's no need to take it all in at once. With a self-contained hotel suite, you can spend time in or go out to explore based on what works best for your family.
Most families will actually get much more enjoyment and form happier memories when days are split between adventuring and relaxing. If you're windsurfing in the afternoon, plan a quiet evening meal at home to wind down afterward. If you're doing theme-part mornings before the sun gets too hot, your children will likely appreciate afternoons to nap before evening festivities.
Along the same lines, if there comes a time when you just don't want to go out, you don't have to. You can stay in and relax for as long as you want to, or enjoy the more peaceful hotel amenities before diving back out into the bustling city hotspots.
5) Explore Your Many Meal Options
The crowning jewel on your destination family holiday, however, is the fully functional kitchen. The biggest reason to book a self-contained hotel room is that you suddenly have every possible option for meals away from home. With a fridge, freezer, stove, sink, and plenty of counter space you can cook family favourites from scratch, reheat leftovers, or do anything you want with takeout ordered to the room.
Plan a Few Home Cooked Family Meals
When buying groceries to cook in your suite, remember how long you plan to stay. Whole gallons of milk, loaves, and boxes of cereal might be too much for a short stay, or just enough for a family of voracious children. Plan ingredients for each meal individually, and try to get exactly what you need. Then consider quick-access food like snacks and sandwich/salad supplies to make unplanned meals in the room easy and enjoyable.
If you've got a special holiday meal or treats planned, make sure to plan both for the ingredients and time to prepare the meal before your shared celebration.
Take Leftovers Home with Pride
When you have plenty of fridge space and a stove for reheating, leftovers becomes a delicious opportunity instead of a liability. In fact, it may even change the way you order at restaurants. It's easier to order freely, knowing that anything you don't eat can be taken back to the room, stored safely, and reheated with more than a microwave.
Order Takeout and Party
And if you have a family tradition of enjoying takeout food in the hotel together, even this is easier in a self-contained suite. There is plenty of room to spread out and share a large variety takeout order that the whole family will love. In fact, you can even get freaky and recook your leftovers into new and creative dishes. Then store everything in the fridge for the next meal or sudden midnight craving.
6) Plan an Extra Hour to Pack Up
Finally, every well-planned vacation has a graceful end. When you stay in a luxury self-contained hotel room, give your family at least an extra hour to pack up on your final morning. Or better yet, pack everything the night before and do a last-call in the morning. It's common for families to feel at-home in a self-contained suite that they spread out further than usual. Shoes get under the bed. Hair clips are left by the sink, clothes are hung up in the closets. And the socks, there's always at least one lost sock.
So if you like a tidy departure, give yourself a little extra time to fish that sock out from behind the wastebasket and to say goodbye to your home away from home.
For more on how to plan the perfect self-contained holiday in Sydney or to book your own luxury suite, contact us today!