Is it realistic to expect any form of luxury, sexiness and deep sleep from a weekend away with an infant? Forgot to have a babymoon? Then why not take your bub with you?
Some hubbies may ask. It's a last-ditch effort to escape as a couple for a bit of pampering before weekends are spent buying Pampers. It's become quite de rigueur nowadays. Even the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge went on one, jetting off for a holiday on the Caribbean island of Mustique. But if time - or your credit card - prevented you from being whisked away when bub was on the inside, why not take a trip now sweet pea is on the outside? It's a question posed by countless new parents: There are hotels that believe it's possible.
Bold in design and daring in attitude, this super-central hotel, steps from Louis Vuitton, Topshop, the opera and museums, is the result of the melding of two of the harbour city's grandest buildings: It's overall vibe is New York forget long-haul flights and it manages to pull off sassy and stylish, and yet easy-going and family-friendly. It ticks all the getaway boxes for a couple looking for fun in the city, and the deal is sweetened for parents with its Baby Q Package.
No need to lug a suitcase full of gear for little people. QT has on hand: Iiamo self-heating bottles, Danish-designed Leander cots, which sleep newborns to toddlers, change mats and freshly-made baby food. And then it gets better: The startled looks of staff when I've requested help setting up the portacot, or finding access to a microwave, are, unfortunately, common.
But in this funky establishment, the creation of Australian hotelier David Seargeant, you'd almost feel left-out if you weren't wearing a baby Bjorn or ordering mashed pumpkin. At dinner from 6pm young ones, who've just found their feet, do laps of Gowings Bar and Grill while their mamas and papas sip wine before dinner.
By 8pm, when the footloose and fancy free start rolling in, most new parents - reeling from the shock of being out after dark - retire to their comfortable suites. Our boudoir - there are 12 styles to choose from - is beautifully appointed: The TV's as big as my car's windscreen, movies are free, there's a double rain-shower, soaking tub, black walls, black floors, black sink and a crate-load of Australian-made Uspa moisturiser.
Overall, it's hard to find fault with the whole kit and kaboodle.
My husband has one criticism, "the bed is too soft", and I find two large towels can't dry four bods. But quibbles aside, who can complain when your babes sleep through the night in carved European beech beds and blueberry spelt flour pancakes await at 6: Before our hours of "pick up the phone and let us know what you want" are over, it's off for our treatments.
A traditional cut and shave at the retro-style barber "for him", and after handover of kiddies, a "metamorphosis" massage "for her" at spaQ, complete with Hammam-inspired steam room. Afterwards, I sip a cleansing tea in the spa's serene resting area, acutely aware that upon imminent check-out my massage, promising a "brand new reality", will have the life-span of a chocolate teapot.
Baskets of washing and poo-splattered nappies await.
This understated beauty converts from cot to big kids bed up to 5 years. Integer in euismod urna.
At least we return home well rested, loved-up and a little more mentally prepared for the days ahead. QT Sydney is on the corner of George and Market streets. It includes breakfast, bottle of wine, spa treatments, baby cot, change mat and linen and a take-home Iiamo bottle. The writer was a guest of QT Sydney.
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