When you’ve got kids, taking a holiday can be a tricky exercise.
You pack up half the house, drag it through the airport amid constant cries of “are we there yet?”, only to be greeted by complaints of boredom and hunger when you finally do arrive.
But determined to have a family holiday this Christmas break, we decided to try something a little different, a little closer to home without the need for hours of prior preparation.
Armed with nothing more than a couple of changes of clothes, swimmers, sunscreen and my baby’s bottles, we took a short, two hour drive to the Sunshine Coast for a two night staycation at Novotel Twin Waters Resort.
While driving into the resort, I was taken aback by its location.
Like an isolated oasis, the resort is surrounded by stunning water views and evokes a feeling of total tranquility.
The rooms are large and include a kitchenette, bathroom, bedroom and living room which opens onto a grassy park area opposite a secluded sandy beach – perfect for the kids to play and explore, with two deck chairs for mum and dad.
The best part about staying at a resort like Novotel Twin Waters Resort is the fact that it is DESIGNED for families so there is actually something for the kids to do.
Most parents could relate to arriving at a stunning location, checking in to a beautiful hotel, only to be trapped in your room while the kids play on their iPads because there is just nothing for them to do.
At Novotel there was plenty. So much, in fact, that you really need to write yourself a little itinerary to make sure you fit everything in.
The first thing we did was hit the pool.
Just as an FYI, you should know that this post is sponsored by Novotel. But all opinions expressed by the author are 100% authentic and written in their own words.
Divided into sections, the pool had three shallow areas, perfect for my four and five-year-olds to swim and play freely, while we could either jump in with the bubba or grab a drink or snack from the fish and chip shop located right on the deck.
The kids had an absolute ball and we easily spent several hours swimming and relaxing as a family before heading back to the room where the kids chilled out watching Nickelodeon while hubby and I got ready for dinner.
For me, one of the best aspects to taking a holiday is not having to cook.
But at Novotel Twin Waters Resort you don’t have to venture out to have a decent meal.
We arrived at the resort’s on-site restaurant Nouveau and were greeted with an enormous carvery buffet offering all types of meats, vegetables and salads along with to-die-for desserts – a major highlight for my two boys who were kept thoroughly busy getting through their servings while my partner Paul and I enjoyed a bottle of red.
The following morning we took off in the same direction to tuck into the buffet breakfast – my favourite meal of the day – which included a wide variety of options.
None of us left hungry as we headed back to our room to make a plan for the day.
First up was a visit to the resort’s amazing inflatable Water Park.
Suitable for children over five, my eldest couldn’t believe his eyes and had an absolute ball with his dad, while I took the little ones for a swim in the pool.