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So – we’ve done it! We had our first hotel stay with baby Arthur and we survived! I say we survived but let’s be honest: we’re so lucky with Arthur that the whole experience was an absolute dream. Let’s get stuck right in…
For my birthday, I asked for only one thing – a night away as a family of three. I wanted to prove to myself that we could do it, as I so desperately wanted to make sure we went on holiday this year. I wanted to go somewhere close enough that if at 3am it all got too much we could just pack it in and come home. I also wanted to go somewhere I was familiar with, so it wouldn’t be stressful having to deal with parking or finding our way around. It then fell into place that the perfect town to visit would be Tunbridge Wells – I know it, I love it, and my sister had recommended a lovely hotel.
We packed our bags the night before, to eliminate that stress in the morning. I MASSIVELY overpacked for Arthur. I mean, what baby needs five pyjama changes for one night?! I’d always much rather over pack than under pack though – especially when baby clothes are so small and hardly take up any room.
The morning of my birthday *cough 9th June dont forget* we had a slow wake up with some pain au chocolats, I opened a very unexpected Kitchen Aid (thanks Taylor!), we packed the car up and got on the move. You know that feeling deep in your stomach when you think you’ve forgotten something? Yeah – I had that pretty much the whooooole drive. I don’t know why, but your first hotel stay with a baby is a pretty nerve wracking one!
When we got to our hotel – the lovely Hotel Du Vin – our room wasn’t quite ready. We’d reserved a parking space, though, so we parked up and went to find Fuggles Beer Cafe, which we had found on the internet the day before as somewhere we could stop for lunch.
Taylor’s going through a massive craft beer stage at the moment, being experimental with his selections and recording it all in the Untappd app. I, of course, love a good glass of wine, so when we found Fuggles it seemed like the perfect choice. The interior and decor was much to our liking and they have the dreamiest selections of meat and cheeses for your very own little charcuterie board. Whilst they don’t have a baby change, the accessible toilet is plenty big enough to wheel the pram in and change baby in the pram.
We then headed back to the hotel to check in, and was shown up to our room. One point to note was that the lift was very old school and tiny – it only just fit our Uppababy Pram in and even then it was a squeeze to fit 1 person in with it. For that reason, I chose to carry Arthur up and down the stairs whilst Taylor went up in the lift with the pram. I was not up for getting stuck in a lift that small with a baby!
We had the Villa Maria – a superior room – and it was extremely roomy and spacious. Even the bathroom was huge with a gorgeous roll top bath and a large walk in rainforest shower. The bed was huge and comfy, and the room well stocked with a Nespresso machine. I, of course, forgot to take photos before we dumped our stuff everywhere and trashed the room so soz about that but I mean… I’ve got a bubba to look after!
They’d even supplied us with a travel cot which was helpful, although if you are planning on using their travel cot, make sure you bring your own mattress. The ‘mattress’ they supply is practically a thin bit of wood with the tiniest amount of foam around it. Rock solid and no way I would dare sleep my child directly on it. Luckily, we had brought our sleepyhead, as Arthur is used to sleeping in this at home. Although, another point to note which I hadn’t even thought about prior to our stay was that I am so used to him being in our Tutti Bambini Cozee which is a ‘next to me’ style crib, on my eye level, that it was really weird sleeping with him so low down the ground. I ended up spending my whole sleep tight on the edge of the bed so I could look down and see him. I guess Taylor was alright though – he practically had the gorgeous huge bed to himself!
We unpacked and settled into the room before heading out for some dinner. We wandered down to the Pantiles but ended up going with a trusty Zizzi’s. By the time we’d eaten, it was time to get back for baby’s bath and bed.
Arthur and I had a lovely bath in the rolltop – Arthur’s first time in a big bath! We changed into pyjamas, had a bottle, a little cry (I think he was overtired and just needed a bit of extra comforting to drift off) but once he had fallen asleep he was soundo. We were then stuck in the hotel room, but I didn’t mind whatsoever – I was looking forward to a relaxing evening and early night!
I used the Mother’s Day limited edition lush bath bomb my colleagues had bought me, had a long hair wash (and even did a hair mask!), ate leftover Zizzi’s pizza in bed, and had an early night. The dream!
Arthur was a star and did his usual – slept through until about 5 or 6am, when he needed to come in bed with us for some extra comfort. Although, as the bed was so huge, we could pop him in the sleepyhead between us so we knew he was nice and safe.
The morning went calmly from then onwards – although Arthur had a little wobble down at breakfast, I managed to rock him to sleep and pop him down on the sofa next to me in the breakfast room. He napped whilst I tucked into a delicious Eggs Benedict and a selection of fruit and pastries from the buffet. Living. The. Dream.
Overall, our first hotel stay with a baby was so easy. Hotels really do make life easy for you nowadays and are so well equipped. And let’s be honest – it’s no different to being at home! There’s nothing you do at home with a young baby that you can’t do at a hotel. When they’re as young as Arthur – 3 months old – it really is so easy to stay overnight somewhere other than home.
So – that’s that! Now that we’ve done our first hotel stay with a baby I am SO excited to book some more. We actually decided over breakfast that we weren’t going to go on a lavish all inclusive holiday as we had first planned – we’re going to do lots of smaller trips away, instead. We’re currently planning an Eastbourne weekend away, and hopefully a family Centre Parcs trip too!
Have you travelled with a baby? How did you find it? Let me know your experiences!