Family fun: the joy of taking a hotel staycation in your own city

Image: The Plympton family at the Mayfair Hotel, Adelaide
Image: The Plympton family at the Mayfair Hotel, Adelaide 

Work commitments often mean it's hard for families to go away during school holidays so many are choosing to be tourists in their own city.

And staying in a city hotel can be fun for everyone in the family, even the parents.

Our family has stayed in hotels in our city many times and they've been some of our most favourite family experiences. 

It's so easy. Everything is at your fingertips. You don't have to take too much luggage, it's cheaper than paying for flights for five people and there's always something fun to do, even if it's just ordering room service and watching movies together. 

Many hotels offer special family packages during school holidays to attract new visitors to the city, and also for local families looking for a relaxing short break.

Hotels offer anything from in-room teepees and boardgames at the Stamford Plaza hotel in Melbourne, soft toys for the kids and tickets to local attractions at the Grace Hotel in Sydney and a picnic pack and late checkout at Rydges Park Hotel in Brisbane.

The Mayfair Hotel in Adelaide has a range of packages for families including the Family Animal Adventure, Family Zoo Experience, Family Sweet Retreat and Family Foodies. 

Mayfair Hotel general manager Martin Radcliffe said there was a growing trend for families to seek out luxury hotel options while on holidays and even for holidaying in their own city.

"A night or two in a beautiful hotel is also a great way for families to reconnect and relax without the distractions of everyday life and, of course, the Mayfair is ideally located for exploring the city of Adelaide and all its attractions," Mr Radcliffe said.


David and Anne Lilley of Plympton in Adelaide tried out the Mayfair's Family Foodies package recently with sons Jack (5) and Max (3).  

"Even though we obviously know the city well, being a tourist in your own town takes out the daily rush and allowed us to relax and enjoy the experience," Anne said.

"It was great to be staying right in the centre of the city and enabled us to enjoy the night. 

"We even took our boys to the roof top bar for a drink, which we would never normally do."

She said the kids really enjoyed the experience.

"The kids absolutely adored staying at the hotel – and this was by far the best thing about the break for us," she said.

"They were excited before the stay and thoroughly enjoyed the new experience as it was the first time in a hotel for both of my boys. 

"They enjoyed all the interaction with the staff and loved the room, but the best aspect for them was the food, they absolutely loved the desserts and the breakfast."

It was also the first time the family's had a staycation and it took the stress out travelling with kids.

"We have two young boys so long distance flying or driving can become very frustrating for everyone, so to be able to get away without the hassle of a long journey was great," she said.

"As parents we also were able to unwind because the kids were having a great time and we didn't have to prep any meals," she said.

"We found the experience really easy and we really connected as a family without the normal distractions of being at home where there are always chores to be done. It made for a really relaxing break."