The location is excellent as you can walk everywhere and not use the car, it’s within easy walking distance to the Esplanade and Shopping Center, just a short stroll to the Beach, Restaurants, Surf Club and Wharf entertainment area. Plus the hotel has a nice café attached for coffee & breakfast if you don’t feel like using the fully equipped kitchen in your room.
This is, by far, one of the most memorable staycations we’ve ever had. We were really looking for a simple beach side holiday where we could just relax for a couple of days and take some time out to just be together as a family.
Value-for-Money Staycation Package
At the Resort, head down to the central pool to work on your tan and enjoy a relaxing swim and spa. Clear your head and get the body moving with an invigorating workout in the gymnasium or cleanse your pores in the steam room.
Let the kids take advantage of the well stocked games room at the resort. With a number of games on offer, there is plenty to keep them entertained while you enjoy some peace and quiet. Back in your room, there’s free Foxtel TV with two movie channels plus a kid’s channel or take advantage of the free wi-fi
Inside Your Room:
Open plan lounge, dining and kitchen area
Fully equipped kitchen
Air-conditioning / heating in lounge only and fans in the bedrooms
We just got back from Hong Kong and had an absolute blast! Besides the hot hot weather we loved every minute of exploring Hong Kong’s beautifully rich culture. I’ve had a few questions on our accommodation in Hong Kong so thought I would share a little review that will answer all your questions.
We stayed in Hotel Jen Hong Kong, for us staying with Hotel Jen was a no-brainer, our family are obsessed with the Hotel Jen in our home town Brisbane and love to pop in there for a stay-cation whenever possible so as soon as we found out there was one in Hong Kong we knew we absolutely had to stay there.
Hotel Jen Hong Kong is ideally located for anyone who wants to really get to know this amazing city. Featuring a beautiful rooftop pool and 24-hour fitness centre with great harbour views and free high-speed Wi-Fi available throughout the entire hotel during your stay. Hotel Jen Hong Kong by Shangri-La is located in the Western District of Hong Kong, with the MTR HKU Station on its very doorstep.
The “My hotel” service offers convenient proximity to key transport junctions – 5 minutes from Hong Kong Macau Ferry Terminal, 10 minutes from Central and Airport Express Hong Kong Station, and just 30 minutes from Hong Kong International Airport. You can also enjoy complimentary shuttle service to Central, Wan Chai, Peak Tram Station, Ocean Park, and Hong Kong Disneyland.
Hotel Jen Hong Kong has an array of differen’t restaurants, bars and lounges, Café Malacca has been named a Bib Gourmand restaurant in the MICHELIN Guides for 2014 and 2015. Transport yourself to the hawker stalls of Malaysia and Singapore for street-style food, all freshly prepared with aromatic spices, herbs and ingredients. There is even a western menu available for any picky eaters you may have on board. But I highly recommend trying as many different again cuisine dishes possible. We were so amazed at the beautiful different flavours and it felt great to get out of our comfort zone and try something new.
The Lobby Bar and Lounge is a great little spot for meet-ups or a quiet coffee. Start the day with a quick pick-me-up coffee, take a pit-stop between excursions, catch up on business, or end your day with a relaxing cocktail from Jen’s Signature Cocktails, Created to reflect Hotel Jen‘s team’s experience and talent in artfully integrating fun with unexpected Asian flavour fusions, Jen’s range of cocktails and non-alcoholic beverages offers you refreshing drinks with a playful twist.
At the end of a busy day exploring beautiful Hong Kong, enjoy the simple pleasures of a comfy bed, perfect pillows and a great shower. Each one of the hotel rooms is touched with thoughtful details that make life a little easier. With panoramic views, fast free WiFi to keep you connected everywhere, always, DVD players, Cable TV, full-size executive writing desk, international direct dialling service, electronic safe, in-room order-in from 6:30 am to 10:30 pm, tea and coffee station, steam iron with ironing board and a hair dryer along with speciallised Hotel Jen Toiletries its impossible to fault.
My favourite part of our Hotel Jen experience was how great they were with the kids. Any children of registered hotel guests under the age of 6 can enjoy *buffet meals at no extra cost in the All Day Dining venue when accompanied by a paying adult; and this offer is for up to 2 children. For more than 2 children under the age of 6 or children who are 6 years and above but under the age of 12, a 50% discount on the buffet price will be given. Having the kids able to load up on a yummy nutritious breaky before heading off into the streets of Hong Kong to explore was a life saver. It also saved a lot of money on the usual snacks we would buy here and there throughout the morning to tide the kids over till lunch because they were still full!
I hope this post answers all your questions but if not feel free to leave a comment below and I’ll be sure to get back to you!
Happy exploring xx
*This post was written in collaboration with Hotel Jen but as always, opinions are honest and my own.
We are on the road again (surprise surprise) and this time we are heading to the Blue Mountains! While researching some fun family friendly activities to do in the area I kept coming across Scenic World! Located in beautiful Katoomba, Scenic World is an array of different sight seeing attractions and loads of FUN! With a Scenic skyway, Scenic cableway,Scenic walkway and even a Scenic railway Scenic World is the best way to experience the beautiful mountains and lush rainforest that surrounds it. From the moment the kids saw the Scenic World website they were so excited to experience all of the attractions! and after experiencing it first hand I can definitely say we were not disappointed. It was such a fun day out and really great for the kids to learn about the rich history of Katoomba and how important our wildlife and rainforest echo system is. Here is some information on Scenic World and the attractions it has to offer below.
Suspended 270 metres above ancient ravines, the Skyway provides a unique thrill as breathtaking views are revealed beneath your feet through the electro-glass cabin floor. For the less adventurous, seating and solid flooring is also available!
With 360° views, the 720 metre journey provides the best views of Katoomba Falls, the Three Sisters, and Jamison Valley stretching to the horizon.
Following a three million dollar upgrade to improve the visitor experience in November 2017, the new Skyway cabin features 30% more capacity, free Wi-Fi, and improved loading and unloading to make the Scenic Skyway one to remember!
Disembark at the Skyway’s east station to access lookouts over the valley along with bush trails to Echo Point.
Discover panoramic views of the World Heritage-listed Blue Mountains from the Scenic Cableway.
The 510 metre journey gently descends into the Jamison Valley and also returns visitors to the top of the escarpment. The Cableway’s fully enclosed cabin provides a unique vantage point for viewing the Three Sisters, Orphan Rock, Mt Solitary and Katoomba Falls.
Disembark at the bottom station to access the Scenic Walkway and stroll through 2.4 kilometres of Jurassic rainforest.
Wheelchair accessible with a capacity for 84 passengers, the Cableway is the steepest and largest aerial cable car in the Southern Hemisphere.
Scenic Walkway –
Discover the tranquility of ancient rainforest – or simply tire the kids out – strolling along our 2.4 kilometre Scenic Walkway.
Brilliant in sunshine and even better in the rain, this elevated boardwalk immerses visitors in Jurassic rainforest on the Jamison Valley floor with minimal impact on the environment.
Along the way, explore elements of the site’s coal mining history including the mine entrance, a replica miners’ hut and scale bronze sculpture of a miner and his pit pony.
Learn about local flora, listen for the native lyre bird or taste pure Blue Mountains water straight from Marrangaroo Spring. Enjoy a peaceful moment in the open-air Rainforest Room, or on rest benches located along the route.
Options for various walks taking ten minutes or a full hour are clearly signposted, along with the wheelchair accessible link between the bottom Cableway and Railway stations.
Experiencing the Walkway in the rain is magical; colours change, mist shrouds the towering cliffs above, hidden waterfalls murmur, raindrops cling to leaves and native birds become more vocal.
Protected by the rainforest canopy, the Walkway has its own microclimate which can be quite distinct from the weather at the top of the escarpment. We recommend the rainforest in the rain – don’t let a little weather stop you!
Discover the thrill of a 52 degree incline (128% incline) riding the steepest passenger railway in the world, the Scenic Railway.
Following an award-winning redevelopment in 2013, this unforgettable experience offers glass-roofed carriages with expansive views of the rainforest setting and spectacular Jamison Valley.
Custom designed carriages allow passengers to choose their own adventure like never before, adjusting their seated position up to 20 degrees! Choose an adventurous ‘Cliffhanger’ ride at a steep 64 degree incline, or for those seeking a relaxed journey select the ‘Laid Back’ option. Of course, loyal fans can still ride the ‘Original’ at 52 degrees (128% incline).
The Railway experience descends 310 metres through a cliff-side tunnel, emerging into ancient rainforest at the Jamison Valley floor. Operating since 1945, the Scenic Railway has thrilled 25 million passengers – this is the fifth generation train to ride the tracks since the Hammon family opened the attraction.
Carrying 84 passengers, the train departs every ten minutes. Disembark at the bottom station to access the Scenic Walkway and stroll through 2.4 kilometres of Jurassic rainforest.
The term ‘Scenic Railway’ was first used in the late 19th century in reference to amusement rides at English seaside funfairs. Consisting of simple carriages on rails, passengers passed a series of exotic ‘scenic’ backdrops such as the Swiss Alps or Egyptian pyramids.
As you can see Scenic World has so much to offer, as a family we had so much fun learning new things and trying out all the different attractions and we would go back in a flash! If you have any questions please comment them below or if you’ve been to Scenic World and loved it as much as us!
Each week more than 16,000 Australians begin their journey to the small island of paradise, Bali.
Immersed in sun, beauty and enriched with culture when I think of ‘Bali’, lots of words come to mind; blissful health retreats, vibrant nightlife etc.
However, there is one aspect that didn’t come to mind when i thought of Bali, and that was it being a standard “family friendly” holiday, but boy was I wrong!
Although Bali does have has a reputation of being an adult’s paradise, I was pleasantly surprised to find that even when you have the kids in tow, it is an amazing place to visit.
As soon as we stepped off the plane we were greeted with a sense of belonging and an enriching welcome, that really only people who have travelled to Bali can truly understand.
After researching areas to stay, we settled upon Nusa Dua.
A kid-friendly area containing great beaches and huge pools (which for kids, is the most important aspect of a holiday of course). All resorts in this area are within the 4 and 5- star range, which is important when wanting a safe and relaxing vacation.
We stayed in the wonderful Sofitel Bali Nusa Dua. Promised to be fault-less luxury and believe me it was. Among vast tropical gardens, all within a kid-friendly and superb location it’s safe to say we were all very excited.
As soon as we stepped a foot into the lobby, this description was fulfilled.
The sheer opulence and utter extravagance, along with the intricate detailing captured us all. If luxury is important to you when looking for accommodation within Bali resorts, you cannot go wrong with the Sofitel Bali Nusa Dua.
This resort is a dreamland, far removed from the frenzy of Kuta.
Another aspect I was slightly apprehensive about was whether Bali itself contained enough activities to keep little ones entertained. Although my two are happy to sit on a beach for endless hours, it is nice to have the options of other entertainment. I can now say with great confidence that Bali well and truly delivers with fun filled, whilst also delivering educational activities, for children of all ages.
From tennis, yoga, water-sports, all the way to monkey forests and beach bike rides. There is more than enough to keep everyone entertained and happy.
And, if the activities outside of the resort weren’t enough, the Sofitel Bali Nusa Dua offers a Children’s Learning Centre, filled with more than just the usual kids club. Here kids are taught Indonesian dance, language, cooking, and music. It’s safe to say I was beyond impressed with the experiences on offer.
I think almost every parent only has to say this word to their children once before they get excited, FOOD.
Food is such an important part of any family holiday. You want to be comfortable in knowing that this food is not only edible, but will cater also to the fussier palates (of little ones, and adults of course). The world’s best breakfast buffet (I know, big call) could well be at the Kwee Zeen. Filled with fresh fruit juice, made from handpicked fruits, and food that makes your mouth water as soon as you get a smell, this place is AH-MAZING.
The first day I enjoyed perfectly poached eggs on top of grainy toast with buttery mushrooms. Another day I attack the flaky, buttery, almond croissants.
Finally, on the third day I indulge in creamy Bircher muesli.
Not only is their amazing breakfast places on offer, but there is exquisite lunch and dinner restaurants also. The Beach Bar & amp; Grill, located beachside, is on offer for casual bites to eat. Dinner at Cut Catch Cucina is an elaborate affair. Filled with delicately seared scallops, fork-tender lamb and velvety mushroom risotto…my advice is to take to wearing flowy dresses.
You come to Sofitel Bali Nusa Dua to holiday at Sofitel Bali Nusa Dua. Grab a bike and take a cycle around the grounds or beach walk, head over to the great shopping centre within walking distance, The resort is huge, with fountains and pools almost everywhere. Along with a semi-private beach (I know, amazing). From the food, to accommodation, to the grounds, to the activities, everything was plush, comfortable and luxurious.
Sofitel Nusa Dua is a fabulous resort. Please do not be put off to travel to Bali. Nusa Dua is a very safe place to stay, and play.
As all of you have probably noticed by now, I love a good luxurious hotel and its even better when it’s just a short car ride away!
Not having to haul the entire family onto a plane? Sign me up!
I mean don’t get me wrong I absolutely adore jet setting overseas to explore a new country, but there is just something special about staying in your very own home state and indulging in a staycation within a beautiful hotel.
The Novotel Surfers Paradise ticks all of those boxes, luxury only a car ride away – Superbly located right in the heart of Surfers Paradise. Surrounded by an incredible selection of restaurants, cafes and shops as well as being a hop skip and a jump away from the gorgeous beach of Surfers Paradise.
NOVOTEL Surfers Paradise is only a short car or bus ride away from one of the main things the Gold Coast is most famous for, their thrilling theme parks – As soon as we drove past the parks all I could hear in the car was the kids begging to go. I never regret spending money on tickets to the parks as it is always such a great family day out full of so much fun and the kids have the BEST sleep the night after going which means wine and relax time for mummy! Its a win win!
Speaking of kids, if you have found it difficult to find a nice hotel that is kid-friendly then NOVOTEL will definitely tick all the boxes for you when it comes to kid friendly luxury.
Each hotel aims to provide families with a comfortable and child-focused stay.
The NOVOTEL Surfers Paradise boasts 408 beautiful rooms that include a mini fridge, desk space, TV and grand windows or stunning balconies to take in the magnificent view of Surfers Paradise!
Make sure you include a visit Cascade Lane relaxed dinning within the hotel there you will find a children’s area with toys to entertain the kids while the parents can sit back and relax in the new beautifully renovated outdoor patio area. Pipers favourite part of the area was the little mini circus tent that kept her entertained for hours.
Any 2 kids under the age of 16 years can stay and eat breakfast for FREE when they share a room with their parents or grandparents. The kids menu offers meal options that are not only affordable but also nutrtious but Pipers absolute faveourite would have to be the high tea, we shared it on our first afternoon after hitting the beach and she is still raving about it #expensivetaste
We absolutely loved our experience staying with NOVOTEL Surfers Paradise and like always the kids were welcomed with open arms and we can highly recommend you will love your stay with them.
Any questions just message us, we are always up for a chat!
Kerry and Miss Piper xoxo
*This post was written in collaboration with Novotel Surfers Paradise but, as always, opinions are honest and my own.
As you all are probably aware (from all our Insta spam) we recently visited Dubai on a family holiday and had an absolute ball.
One of the highlights of the trip for me was the photo shoot we did with Travelshoot.
Travelshoot is a company full of photographers around the world. All you have to do is visit the website, choose your location, pick your favourite itinerary and book your shoot!
Travelshoot will then connect you with the best local photographer that fits your brief and then everything is taken
care of until the photo-shoot day! Then once the shoot has been finished you’ll receive a couple of sneak peaks within 48 hours and then the full album within 7 days.
Our experience with Travelshoot was amazing it was such an easy process from start to finish.
Dubai is such a breathtakingly beautiful place with so many stunning photo locations and this shoot was such a perfect way to keep the memories of our trip alive for years to come.
Piper is always good when it comes to getting photos taken and often says things like “Mummy can you take my photo here so I can look at it later” and often they are the ones that turn out the best, but I was a little concerned going into this shoot as to how she would go with a new photographer and a foreign location but as always she proved me wrong and was an absolute star during the shoot and even drawing quite the crowd of onlookers
who also wanted to snap her photo saying how gorgeous she was.
The photographer we had on the day was so friendly and incredible with Piper candidly capturing all her smiles and
expressions perfectly. The final photographs that we received were breathtaking and exactly what we were after.
If your looking for a way to capture your holiday you can’t go wrong with Travelshoot.
*This post was written in collaboration with TravelShoot but, as always, opinions are honest and my own.
Even as an adult, I LOVE visiting the Melbourne Zoo there’s a great diversity of animals on display and plenty of interesting things to see and do.
Even though we don’t live in Melbourne, we have been quite often, and try to fit in a trip when we visit a couple of times a year, as it never gets boring!
At the zoo you can move around and tire out the little ones, there is a playground and lots of spaces to sit and rest, food, coffee and lots of different animals to see.
We usually spend about 4 -5 hours there, its not a place you want to rush, we take our time and have a picnic lunch under a big shady tree around midday. A packed picnic lunch and snacks really helps minimises the cost of the day, food is expensive and isn’t of the best tasting I’ve tired in places like this, so I highly recommend bringing your own.
We find the location easy to get to, we normally drive to the zoo and parking has never been an issue but I’m told that it can be a nightmare if going on the weekend. We have caught the train also a few times which drops you right out the front of the entrance and makes for a fun and easy travel solution with kids.
Make sure you find out the show times upon entry so you can catch the shows on throughout the day, they teach you more about the particular animals, the ‘Meet The Keeper’ has a lot of information and may even allow you to pat an animal they have been talking about.
The thing I like most, beside the animals of course is that most of the zoo is shaded by trees, so even on a hot day you can enjoy the visit you don’t feel like you are in a concrete jungle.
It does get busy and can be very tiring for little ones so if they are walking its a good idea to pack the pram and lots of water, each time we have gone it has taken us around 4 plus hours just to walk around the zoo, that’s a lot of steps for little legs.
Price as of October 2017
Children 3 years and under receive FREE entry every day
Children 4 – 15 years FREE weekends and Victoria school holidays but Mon – Fri (outside holidays) $18.00
Concession $27 and Seniors $32.50
Yearly Zoo Membership is available for Melbourne zoo, Werribee zoo and Healsville and locals tell me it’s definitely worth the money for an adult pass as children are free with that ticket and it gives you unlimited entry to 3 zoos, kids register for FREE and access to VIP members only events.
I love the zoo and will be going back again on our next visit as its always a highlight of our Melbourne trip.
For more information visit the official zoo website Click Here
If the kids love the ocean and sea animals then a visit to Sea Life Melbourne is just what you need. Sea Life allows the whole family to get up close and personal with the animals in a way that would not be possible, unless you were actually scuba diving in the ocean!
SEA LIFE Aquarium offers an interactive, hands-on experiences, displays and shows for all ages.
A day out at SEA LIFE will leave you with fantastic memories and feeling empowered to make a difference to the underwater world.
Our favourite was the ocean tunnel with massive stingrays, sharks and tropical fish, the whole family can wander through the tunnel and marvel at the different species of sharks, fish and turtles as they swim over head.
Another huge highlight for us was the tidal touch pool where we got up close with starfish, sea urchins and sea cucumbers, the kids just loved putting there hands in the water and getting to touch and feel what was below. They were totally fascinated by the sharks eggs and had heaps of questions which were answered by the Sealife staff who manned the touch pool, all of the staff we meet during our visit were well informed, very interesting and friendly and we learnt a lot and found heaps to keep us entertained for hours.
Penguin Playground completes the unforgettable experience where visitors can marvel as the majestic King and cheeky Gentoo Penguins slip and slide across the snow-covered ice. Piper found the penguins are very entertaining and she didn’t want to leave, she was just having too much fun watching them as they slipped and waddled around the ice.
Moving through the exhibits there are lots of interactive experiences to keep little to big kids informed and entertained.
If you find yourself in Melbourne I highly recommend you take a few hours and check it out for yourself.
Click Here for some Great savings on Tickets and Experiences
If you have any questions just let us know we love a chat,
If you love Christmas, history and adventure, and are looking for a great day out that the kids will never forget – then you need to plan a trip to Sovereign Hill next July and experienceChristmas in July
Sovereign Hill is Australia’s leading outdoor museum showcasing Australia’s marvellous gold rush history, since its opening in November 1970 it has become an Australian tourism icon and has won numerous tourism awards. Known as a living museum emphasising working machinery and displays, costumed interpreters and visitor involvement, it’s no wonder Sovereign Hill attracts 450,000 people each year from around the world.
In July Sovereign Hill hosts a special Christmas In July event, during Winter Wonderlights the whole site is adorned with Christmas decorations, with wreaths at every shop front and lots of Christmas trees and stays open later than usual and this is for a special reason. At 5.30pm each night make sure you standing mid street and watch the buildings of Sovereign Hill light up – add to that the snow (the fake bubble kind) and music and it’s a magical street party you’ll be glad you stayed for.
During the day its business as usual atSovereign Hill township, visitors can stroll down Main Street as snow-flakes fall at regular intervals over the Victorian-style buildings, decorations fill the window displays, the smell of Christmas treats and spices fill the air, and traditional Christmas-themed pantomimes are performed in addition to regular attractions and performances there are regular snow falls, Christmas goodies to buy, Christmas carolling and a Christmas-themed theatrical program.
Then at night, Main Street will sparkle with an amazing light projection show with over 20 of Sovereign Hill’s buildings lit up with large-scale image projections and Christmas animations. Children can also catch the Gingerbread Man as he dashes from building to building, peeking out from the Christmas themed lights and animation.
But do note that it’s cold in Ballarat (really cold) so dress warm (think hats, scarves, gloves, layers, two pairs of socks and a winter coat) and you will be fine but with so much to do and see we certainly didn’t have time to stand about feeling the cold.
And here’s a handy tip: you can get your entry ticket stamped at the Main Street Post Office (or the desk near the exit) and this will allow you entry again the following day, for FREE! two days for the price of one so stay and see a little more.
try to avoid Peak times which are school holidays and weekends
Parking is free on site;
Bring lots of snacks as eateries can get crowded, especially from 5pm when the last show finishes and the lights don’t start till 5:45pm
Book a sit-down Christmas dinner in advance this is an experience that’s now to be missed..
Most of Sovereign Hill’s attractions are outdoors so wear lots of warm gear (waterproof coat, layers, gloves, scarf, hat). Ballarat experiences harsh winters and once the sun goes down it is really cold
Make sure you visit the Confectionary Shop as it’s just not possible to visit to Sovereign Hill without stocking up on boiled lollies.
Gumboots are a good idea as the pathways can get muddy;
Bring a torch
All the shops take EFTPOS (even for small amounts). There is an ATM at the entrance, Sovereign Hill cafe and the post office
Sovereign Hill is a comfortable 90-minute drive from Melbourne along the Western Highway;
train and tour coach services which operate daily from Melbourne