Spa break with a baby? Are you mad? Here, blogger and mum of two Molly Forbes explains why you actually can mix motherhood with relaxation…
One of the things you need most as a new parent is pampering and sleep. Unfortunately, these are the two things that are the least likely to happen when you have a tiny baby around. With that in mind, the idea of a spa break with a baby may seem like a bit of an oxymoron. But hear me out, because it IS possible.
We recently spent a blissful weekend at Bedruthan Hotel & Spa in Mawgan Porth, Cornwall. Travelling with us were our five year old and our five month old baby. I’ll admit, before we arrived I was a tad apprehensive. My kids’ favourite pastimes are making a mess and being loud – not something I imagine would go down very well in a fancy spa hotel. I needn’t have worried though, because from the moment we got there we were made to feel completely welcome.
I first realised this place was a bit special when we sat down to eat in the informal Wild Café. We were asked if we would prefer a highchair or a bouncy chair for the baby – not an option you usually get when you dine out with tiny people. Touches like this show how tuned in the team at Bedruthan are to a young family’s needs.
After a relaxed meal, we headed up to our room – a family room complete with everything you could possibly need for a baby. As well as the usual cot (not a travel cot by the way, but a proper wooden cot), there was a baby bath and steriliser. Again, these aren’t always the things hotels think of.
The following morning we were again impressed. It was a buffet style breakfast in the Wild Cafe, with teas and coffees brought to your table by waiting staff. There was a huge selection of delicious (locally sourced) food, from cooked breakfast options to fruit, cereal and continental offerings. But there were also homemade fruit purees and yoghurts for babies too. And it doesn’t stop there – alongside all the cutlery there was a huge basket full of bibs, baby bowls and baby spoons and beakers. It seems the only thing they don’t provide at Bedruthan is the nappies (and you can buy these from the reception desk if you need to!).
Included in our package was two hours free childcare at the kids’ club in the hotel. We weren’t sure if this would be a hit, having never left our baby before, but it turned out to be the highlight of the weekend. The four year old and her baby sister both had two whole hours in a “magical” (my four year old’s words, not mine) setting – a room stuffed to the rafters with crafting activities, dressing up games, books and toys. They were cared for by a warm, friendly woman with a childcare qualification who cuddled the baby and played with the four year old for two hours. During that whole time they were the only children there.
While the children played we sneaked off down the corridor to the spa for some much needed pampering. It was the first time we’d been alone without the children since our baby was born and boy was it amazing. The spa is separate from the swimming pool, which is great because it means it’s a space where mums and dads can relax in peace. (When we went to the pool later that day with the children I didn’t need to worry about them disturbing anyone’s spa session, which meant we all enjoyed ourselves completely.)
The spa features huge windows overlooking the stunning Mawgan Porth Bay. We wallowed in the hydro pool (basically a huge Jacuzzi) while we looked out at the waves crashing against the shore and found it hard to believe that just ten minutes before we’d been on mum and dad duty. The spa also boasts a cedar sauna, eucalyptus steam room and lavender caldarium which all relax your muscles, open your pores and leave you feeling like you’re walking on clouds. There are also monsoon showers and herbal teas and plenty of ice cold water on tap.
Our two hours in the spa, followed by leisurely coffee and cake in the café was the next best thing to a full nights’ sleep. The rest of the day was devoted to family time, with a play in the fun adventure play area outside (which includes a zip wire), more playing in the indoor soft-play area, a walk on the beach and a swim in the pristine hotel swimming pool.
At tea time we headed back to the Wild Café for a kids’ special afternoon tea. Both children were exhausted by bedtime, which was handy because we’d booked a babysitter through the hotel babysitting service and had an evening drinking bespoke cocktails in the cocktail bar and eating award-winning food in The Herring restaurant downstairs.
I’ve always thought that it’s easier to stay in self-catering accommodation when you have young children. Our holidays have tended to be in rented villas or cottages, or camping by the sea. But as much as I like the freedom and independence that a self-catering holiday brings, we’ll definitely be returning to Bedruthan later this year for another weekend of fun and pampering. If you’re looking for somewhere that will completely look after you and your children, make you feel welcome beyond measure and give you the opportunity for that all-important couples-only time, then Bedruthan is your place.
Like I said, it’s a bit special.
NEED TO KNOW
The Bedruthan Don’t Forget Your Teddy baby package offer includes £30 per adult per day to spend on food, free use of all hire equipment including baby backpacks, sterilisers, pushchairs and microwaves, one complimentary two hour childcare session per day, one night’s babysitting and breakfast in bed one morning.
Prices for this package start from £458 for two nights and £687 for three nights, and is available during school term time only. Book at http://www.bedruthan.com.
Molly and family were guests of the hotel for the purpose of this review. Read more from Molly on her blog Mother’s Always Right.