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Why travel when you can have a Canberra staycation?

By Jenny Tiffen - 21 May 2015 7

view from realm

My husband and I date every Wednesday. It’s my hot tip for staying happily married and it is probably the reason why we have so many kids (we have four).

Four isn’t an amazing amount of children. I have many friends with four or more, but it is at that “professional breeding” level where strangers look twice at me and say things like “Are they all yours?” and when I smile and reply “Sure are,” they want to know if I birthed them or if we are a blended family. I have come to the conclusion that some people were born without filters!

Whilst I adore my kids, geez I love a night out without them. I could totally lose myself in motherhood – but I don’t want to. My husband and I make the effort to connect and gasbag all things other than bills, potty training and Minecraft on our weekly dates. And just recently we turned that night out to a whole night away.

We discussed going “actually away”, but I am so glad we chose to stay in Canberra. A holiday without travel is my kind of break! Once the sitter arrived, we jumped in our car and drove 3km down Canberra Avenue to Hotel Realm.

hotel realm apples

I was instantly in paradise! There was less to worry about because I could literally run home if I was desperately needed. And yet I was sitting in a gorgeous foyer waiting for room keys.

I could tell something was a little off at check-in. It was taking too long. I almost peed my pants when I found out why. The lovely folk at Hotel Realm had upgraded us to the Upper Penthouse! Whaaaaat?! Why? How does this happen? How do they select who to upgrade? Why us?

All my questions and yet none of them mattered because we were sleeping in the Penthouse and that was that. They didn’t know I was going to write about it later (this is NOT a sponsored post).

The room was divine! We joked that when we were older, we would live in a place like this. It was so nice to kick back, relax and watch the sunset (and play on our iPhones) in peace.

Upper Penthouse Hotel Realm

Later, we strolled across the road to The Burbury to hunt for dinner. I am constantly blown away at how many restaurants there are in Canberra. We are so lucky to have a stack of taste options in every pocket of the nation’s capital.

We stumbled into LiloTang, a not-so-new restaurant that masters in Japanese cuisine. I felt guilty not knowing it existed (Hotel Realm is literally a 15-minute jog from my house!). And yet if someone had told me I was in Melbourne I would have completely trusted them. It felt surreal.LiloTang Canberra

My husband loved the food. I am more of a pizza and wine girl but I tried everything the amazingly knowledgeable wait staff brought us. It was almost guilt-free-eating too as everything was tasty, not oversized and really fresh. We didn’t do dessert because I remembered Hotel Realm had left us handmade chocolates on arrival. I scoffed those with a cup of tea when we got back to the room (No. Wait. Penthouse. When we got back to the Penthouse!).

Coffee table book

The next morning we woke at 5:50am. Our stupid body clocks are so used to being up at the crack of dawn that we can’t sleep in even when desperate to. We did lie around for yonks which is something Mums NEVER get to do and I savored every second of me-time. Of course we called the kids, made sure everyone got through the night okay and checked the sitter wasn’t hating our guts already.

Breakfast Hotel Realm

Breakfast was downstairs at Konoba. It was standard hotel-style buffet. You could order from the Menu too but we chose to serve ourselves. It was nice. Not over the top. A decent range of food groups, yet calm and simple. Complete contrast to my regular morning routine. It was lovely to spend time together reading the papers and not having to ask anyone to sit still, be quiet or be fearful that a drink was about to tip.

A mini-escape is all it takes to see your partner for the person they were when you first met. Sometimes to you need to taken out of the picture and placed somewhere else to really do this. I highly recommend escaping whilst staying in your home town.

It is hard to organise the children for your absence. I honestly feel uncomfortable asking others to do “my job”. I constantly have mother’s guilt but I need to lighten up. After all, the kids loved their mini adventure with Krystal, the best babysitter ever.

Overall it cost us around $900 for the hotel, dinner, wine, breakfast and babysitter. We see this as an investment in our relationship. Marriage is something that should be treasured. An overnight date in a fancy hotel every now and then is far cheaper (and more pleasurable!) than divorce.

Have you had a great stay in Canberra recently?

Find Jenny www.lovewednesday.com.au and on Instagram.

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7 Responses to
Why travel when you can have a Canberra staycation?
shanghitone 7:41 pm 13 Jan 16

Yes jenny great idea!! I recently took my wife to the Avenue on Northbourne for our 10th wedding aniversary. a 15 minute drive from home. At the time we had a very frail family member and couldn’t leave town, so instead of missing our aniversary we opted for a flash spa room hotel for 2 nights. As a surprise i booked the couples unite massage package at Mudd Spa located at the realm hotel. (highly recommended) I believe the idea of escaping to somewhere close is underated, sometimes i am so exhuasted, just the thought of driving or flying to Qld, Sydney or Melbourne will consume so much energy I’ll need a holiday when i get home. We were so refreshed and relaxed after our weekend retreat we know for sure we will do it again.

Jenny Tiffen 12:00 pm 22 May 15

vintage123 said :

Hi jenny, do you do something of this nature every Wednesday?

No we don’t do a staycation every Wednesday @vintage123. But we do date each week. We quite often catch a movie or grab a bite to eat. Sometimes we go to a nice restaurant with friends. Occasionally we go to Yoga, grab takeaway afterwards and eat in the car! It’s good to mix it up.

Kalliste 8:36 pm 21 May 15

Damn, $900 for one night.. I spent that on 3 nights accom in Melbourne recently and that was at the top end of our budget plus we got to go to Melbourne and explore.

I can understand the concept of doing something like this in Canberra but just can’t see myself justifying the price to stay somewhere knowing my own bed, for free, is 10km away.

Then again, I don’t have to go home to and worry about kids so..

vintage123 3:43 pm 21 May 15

Hi jenny, do you do something of this nature every Wednesday?

Jenny Tiffen 11:41 am 21 May 15

Sounds like a fun weekend coming up for you @Rollersk8r ! Remember in my case, paying for 4 children in care for 24hrs is a major part of the cost. And like @courtney_sarah_ says so well…. a full nights sleep is something us mother’s CRAVE and worth every dollar. I am glad we didn’t need to factor in travel expenses on top of this though.

courtney_sarah_ 11:28 am 21 May 15

Good on you! I’d pay more for a good night sleep and recharge and I only have three children! You also can’t put a price on investing in your marriage…

Rollersk8r 10:02 am 21 May 15

Each to their own but that’s a lotta money! I’m going to Sydney this weekend; AFL in the afternoon, concert at the Opera House, staying in Circular Quay – all for around half that.

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