Need a ‘little’ staycation this weekend?

Jane Speechley 19 October 2017

I love a night in a good hotel room. There’s always something that feels incredibly indulgent about it.

Whether you’re a few blocks or a few continents away from home, it feels like you’re a world away from your boring, old day-to-day life.

But of course, the cost and time commitment of travel means most of us don’t get to do it as often as we’d like.

Luckily, someone clever figured out that you don’t have to travel too far or too long to enjoy a little ‘holiday’ away in a hotel, once in a while.

Enter, the staycation.

If you’ve taken a little staycation before, I’d love to hear about it. And if you haven’t, The Forage this weekend at Barton’s Little National Hotel might be the perfect opportunity to give it a try.

The Forage takes place four times a year and aims to be a showcase of some of our best local food (especially street food), beer and wine, as well as live music and entertainment.

If you’ve been before, you’ll know it’s that sort of event that’s perfect for pulling together a big group of friends, and getting out to enjoy the start of the warm weather and catch up with everyone before the madness of Christmas kicks in.

This time around, expect to find the teams from BentSpoke Breweries and 2 Smoking Barrels, as well as Mr Papa, Little Piggies Ice cream, The Pop Inn Wine Bar, Get Crackin’ Crème Brulee and Bombolini Doughnuts.

The next one takes place this Saturday 21st October from 2 pm to 7 pm, and to make attending a little bit easier, the Little National is offering a $199 staycation special.

Forget worrying about parking. Forget braving public toilets and the inevitable queues. Forget about nominating a designated driver, or carefully limiting your alcohol intake. The Little National staycation means a comfortable bed and everything else you could need are just a few steps away.

I hadn’t been to the Little National before, so I was delighted to have the opportunity to check it out last week, in advance of the event.

Check-in was super quick and easy, thanks especially to the lovely David at the front desk. The foyer is stunning and befitting of a high-end but minimalist hotel: sleek furniture with lots of glass, a sophisticated fragrance piped into the room, and sharp geometric lines offset by a lush display of flowers and greenery.

Each floor of the hotel features a series of artworks, including these beautiful paper-cut butterfly pieces by Benja Harney.

All the rooms at the Little National are small – about 17 metres squared – so definitely designed for singles or couples. Clearly, the super king beds are a real highlight, and everyone I know who has stayed here comments first on how big and comfortable they are.

A particular quirk is that beds are set right up against the window, so you can enjoy the view unobscured as you lie back in your complimentary robe and slippers, and scroll through the (all included) in-room movies.

Photo: Lean Timms.

I always think bathrooms are the real mark of a good hotel room, and as you might expect here, you’ll find smooth dark wood and monochrome tones with plush white towels and good-quality Appelles toiletries.

Little National also boasts what is undoubtedly the best-looking hotel business centre I’ve ever seen. These little private cubicles are moodily lit and set amongst displays of vibrant greenery and earthenware decorations.

Apparently, plenty of locals come here and check in to a room, just to be able to work in the peace, quiet and calm surrounds.

See that gleaming white staircase in the background? After 5 pm, you can head up there to find the drinks lounge, where your Staycation package will also secure you complimentary drinks for two.

‘Sparkling Saturday’ means two-for-one glasses of sparkling wine, so I score two flutes of Chandon. I have the place almost to myself before serendipitously bumping into a couple of friends.

Knowing you might need a little sleep in after indulging at The Forage, the Staycation package includes a late checkout of 12 pm; but first, you’ll want to head over the road to the Buvette Bistro and Wine Bar, to recover over their buffet breakfast.

Tired, hardworking people of Canberra – it’s not too late to arrange a getaway for this weekend.

After that, if you’re anything like me, you’ll probably walk away wondering why you don’t do this more often.

For $199, the Little National Staycation package includes:

  • Overnight accommodation in a Little National Room
  • Buffet breakfast for two in Buvette Bistro
  • Complimentary beverage for two in the Little National lounge on the day of arrival
  • 25% off Hale Spa voucher* (valid for 6 months after check out, so doesn’t need to be used right away)
  • $15 food voucher to be redeemed at a Forage Food Markets stall on Saturday 21st October
  • An early arrival of 12 pm and late checkout of 12 pm
  • Secure undercover parking.

Jane Speechley was a guest of Little National Hotel.

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