Staycation with little ones

I don’t know about you but we have had little luck with staycation. Whenever I read blogs about how fun staycation can be for other families with young kids, I couldn’t help but envy. We had our fair share of hotel stays since Faith came along but none came close to being “excellent”. Don’t get me wrong. It’s not that the hotels aren’t doing their best to make our stay pleasant; it’s just us. I personally find staycation to be a tad tiring until perhaps, the kids are older?

Are we the only ones having such ‘bad’ experience?

Last Friday, after Faith had her music class, we zipped to Amara Sanctuary Resort for our staycation. The girl knocked out once she was in the car. Too tiring, I suppose, and we had a late check in.

Kachang puteh and their signature drink, something familiar and refreshing.

The boy was surprisingly alert and active at 4pm while the sister continued to zzzzz… her way to the room in the stroller. Had she been awake, we would have gone exploring the hotel premise quite immediately upon checking in.

We waited for her till she awoke from her nap. Refreshed and happy the way I like it. There’s less chance of dealing with a cranky kid and we definitely do not need that on a staycation.

Before we could do anything interesting, it’s dinner time. I made an appointment for a massage at night because it’s such a waste not to have such a luxury in a resort, isn’t it?

We didn’t have any fancy meal but I’m come to a stage where I’ve learnt to be contented – that if I see my loved ones enjoying the company of each other, that’s enough. Good enough.

And we had that.

Evening. I went for my massage session while the hubs tried to put the kids to bed. I returned, and learnt that he has just gotten the baby to sleep (after an hour of attempt) and the girl? Waiting for me to come back and sleep with her.

Life with young kids…

The following day, it rained. It always, 90% of the time, rains when we are on staycation. I couldn’t understand the logic but I have already managed my expectations so I wasn’t too upset by it. Had our breakfast which was nothing to boast about. Once the rain got lighter, I beckoned the girl to go jalan jalan (explore) with me.

Let the boys have their sleep. All of us didn’t sleep well the night before because Dan had been waking up a few times that night.

Life with young kids…

I love the resort. It is tranquil and I thought it is a good place for a short retreat.

It’s a haven for nature lovers. If I was to come alone, I would have gone for a morning jog at the gym, cool down with a walk around the premise and refresh myself with their signature drink at the hotel lobby.

Air is fresh and this architecture lovely.

And we found a peacock feather on the way.

The pool is so inviting and yet we could only gaze…

…or dip our toes in it.

Oh, all right. It’s not too bad after all. We met the resident peacock and its young.

Back to our room and it’s more viewing of the black box and eventually some work on her own. Life with young kids. You really ought to pack stuff for them to do when you go places. When kids are bored, you are doomed.

So we didn’t get to use the pool but thankfully, there’s the bath tub.

She spent half an hour having a splashing good time in it.


With that, we packed our bags and got ready to head home. Faith must have been happy for she kept asking us why we couldn’t go home that evening, how she wanted to go home and that she didn’t like to be away from her humble abode.

Gah… What is wrong with (our) staycation?

Thankfully, we had a very satisfying citron and chocolate mille crepe at Lady M and that made my day.

Another staycation? We will try again.

Hong Kong | L’hotel elan

Thursday Travels is a weekly column featuring sights and experiences from my wanderlust adventures, including staycations. These sweet memories need to be stored sand shared. 

Our recent stay in Hong Kong is at L’ hotel elan located in Kwun Tong, the new business hub and this is the fourth hotel of the L’hotel Group. 

Location-wise, this is not the most central. Thankfully, this hotel provides shuttle services which brings us to the sister hotel – Lodgewood – located in Mongkok.  By public transport like the MTR, it takes about 30 minutes.

Our stay has been most pleasant and I love the care taken by the service staff even before we stepped foot into the hotel on the first day. We were ushered into the hotel after we alighted form the shuttle bus (we took it from Kowloon station) and our luggage was taken care of by the very friendly concierge.

20140504_151205 20140504_151216
20140505_190656 20140504_151545

I love it that this hotel provides all the basic toiletries that we need, right down to dental floss! Very few hotels provide that nowadays and dare I say, toothpaste and toothbrush too! I love the complimentary drinks that they have for their guests – UCC coffee powder – I like! And not forgetting bottles of coke, Pocari, beer, mineral water …


L’hotel has a small gym and a small lap pool that is just outside the check-in counter (@34th floor). This is perhaps the most disappointing aspect of the hotel because not every one is so courageous to swim in front of arriving guests and service staff. However, since it has been raining every day during our stay (bummer!), we didn’t get to use the pool.


We didn’t get to use the gym either but we helped ourselves to the fruits and snacks available at the lounge. Nice!

Initially, I thought that it would be difficult to get some decent food around the vicinity of this hotel since it is located in the industrial area but how wrong I was!

There is the Tsui Wah restaurant within 5 minutes of walking and we find ourselves having most of our meals there. I mean, the food is decently priced and delicious. Faith loves the fishballs and buns from that place and I, everything (except for their coffee)! According to my friend, one has to try their toasted buns drizzled with condensed milk. It’s real yummy!


There is also a local restaurant which serves char siew rice and roasted goose, just to name a few. We went in, upon the recommendation from my friend and were surprised to receive big portions of the food. The Char Siew is really good and meaty! If you want to experience a local coffeeshop, this may be it!


There are also big shopping malls just one or two MTR stations away. Every evening after I came back from the seminar, we would visit these malls since it was raining and had our fill. Got to have Ramen @ Ippudo. How nice!


All in all, this is a great hotel and I like it that the room is tidied and cleaned everyday, just like when we first stepped in. If not for its location, I would give it a 8.5 out of 10 rating, 10 being excellent. 😉