Fancy a luxurious weekend away in Sydney but still want to bring the kids? Check out the Swissôtel Sydney and its amazing Kids Room. It’s a weekend that the whole family will enjoy.
Family Fun: A Stay at the Kids Room at Swissôtel Sydney
We’ve been invited to check out the redesign of the Swissôtel Sydney and experience their Kids Room. I love the idea of a city break with kids in tow while still enabling parents to enjoy a couples retreat. Conveniently located in the middle of Sydney CBD, the swank Swissôtel Sydney is the place to stay when you want to spoil yourself and your family. It’s been completely renovated and now features sleek, contemporary rooms but also prides itself as being family-friendly.
From the moment we walk in, we notice the exemplary customer service. We’re greeted with wide smiles from Alex and Ricky at the Concierge desk and they fuss over my child. We’ve arrived earlier than expected into Sydney due to a smooth run on the M1 and are invited to wait in the Executive Lounge until our rooms are ready.
This lounge features drinks and light refreshments and an assortment of newspapers and magazines and is available to guests who book an Executive room or suite.
We chat with Sue, the Guest Relations Manager who answers all of my questions. Yes, kids are welcome in the Executive Lounge and in the JBP restaurant. Yes,the Kids Room is an initiative available throughout the Swissôtel hotel network providing reassurance to parents that their kids will be entertained so that they can relax and enjoy their hotel stay.
It’s then time to for us to check out our rooms. Up we go to one of the top floors in the hotel. We swipe the card and open the door to the Swissôtel Sydney Kids Room and it’s absolutely marvellous.
My five-year old daughter is stunned and I have to admit so am I. This room has been transformed into a kids paradise.
It’s incredible the level of detail and planning that has gone into this room.The Kids Rooms are available for kids aged 2 to 12 and requires notification of the age and gender of the children beforehand so the room can be tailored specifically for them.
It features kid’s bed linen, DVDs, toys, a cubby house, colouring books, a kids night light, pencils, crayons and activities, a desk and games and there’s even bath toys, kids toiletries, brightly coloured towels and a kid sized robe in the bathroom.
My daughter is also provided with her own access key, a Swissôtel Sydney Kids Passport and a Kids Map of Sydney and welcomed with a Make Your Own Doughnut Plate. She feels like a mini-VIP.
It’s FUN on a whole new level and my daughter is ready to move in permanently. (For those with babies and toddlers, the hotel also supplies a portacot, baby linen, baby bath and toiletries so you don’t have to worry about lugging all this along).
And now it’s time for my husband and I to check out the parents’ room conveniently connected to my daughter’s room. As I enter our room, I sigh as it’s a parent’s paradise.
We’ve been provided with magnificent spacious suite with a large King bed and city views. It feels less like a hotel room and more like a sophisticated city pad with chic apartment styling. Like my daughter’s room, this room has everything you need for a relaxing city stay. The bed is unbelievably comfortable with linen sheets and views of Sydney Tower Eye and St Mary’s Cathedral.
There’s a large bathroom with a separate bath and Rainshower. My favourite features are the makeup mirror and toiletries infused with essential oils from Switzerland. It’s a beautiful urban haven which is ours to enjoy. Unfortunately, now we don’t want to leave our rooms.
Then I remember the outdoor heated pool and spa located on Level 10 of the hotel and manage to cajole my husband and daughter to accompany me. Grabbing the pool towels conveniently located in our rooms, we wander down to the pool.
It’s an unseasonably warm winter’s day and it feels absolutely decadent swimming in the pool.
After a long swim, it’s time to try out the spa.
It doesn’t disappoint either and we linger in there until our fingers and toes start to wrinkle. Reluctantly, we head back to our rooms for showers.
After our showers, we’re feeling refreshed and my daughter finally notices the Sydney Tower Eye out of her window.
“Can we go there?” she asks craning her neck in an attempt to see the top of the tower. I agree and we venture out to find the entrance located just 200 metres away from the Swissotel Sydney. It’s Saturday afternoon and Pitt Street Mall is full of shoppers, tourists, buskers and people-watchers. We travel up to Level 5 of the Westfield Centre to the entrance of the Sydney Tower Eye. As part of the admission to the tower, there’s a short four minute 3D movie experience that’s included. Donning our 3D glasses, we enter the theatre.
The movie soon begins and soon we’re soaring over Sydney Harbour and its iconic landmarks.
This a 3D film taken to the 4th dimension with in-theatre effects including water mist, bubbles and wind! It’s quite an experience and explains why the floor is wet. The film concludes and enter the elevator for our trip to the viewing area of the tower. It takes a mere 45 seconds to travel up 250 metres and in no time at all, we’re at the Observation Deck.
From here, we can have 360 degree views of Sydney and beyond.
It’s a clear day so we can see up to 80km away. There’s Sydney’s Western Suburbs and Blue Mountains to the west. To the North, we can see ferries and other boats traversing the harbour as well as Sydney’s famous harbour heads while to the South, airplanes take off and land at the airport.
There’s lots of things up here to keep kids occupied.
In addition to the magnificent views, there’s touch-screens, kid-sized viewing telescopes and even brass telescopes that feature historical photos around Sydney like scenes of Pyrmont Bridge, George Street and the Railyards.
We also noticed a Finish Line set up and ask one of the Sydney Tower Eye employees about it.
He explains that the Sydney Tower Stair Challenge is scheduled for the following day. This involves participants ascending 1504 steps and 250 metres to the Observation Deck help raise $100,000 for charity partner Giant Steps who are committed to supporting and educating children and young adults with autism. Wow, that’s a lot of steps and we think about that as we take the elevator down 250 metres to ground level and back to the Swissôtel Sydney.
By this time, we’re starting to get hungry and head to the hotel restaurant JPB. There’s Early Bird Dining at JPB from 5:30 – 7:30pm on Monday to Saturday which is perfect for those who wish to eat with kids. I’ve made my daughter promise to behave and have brought notepads and pencils to keep her amused. However, when we get to our table, I’ve noticed that there’s a kids activity sheet / menu and pencils already provided. The Kids menu offers an array of healthy options that will tempt any child.
Child occupied, I turn to the menu and my mouth starts to water as I peruse the offerings. It’s full of locally inspired and seasonably sourced dishes and I struggle to make a choice because it all sounds so delicious. To start with, we opt for seafood entrees. I choose the Mission Bay prawns which are so fresh, they taste like they’ve been caught moments before. My husband chooses the Fried Whitebait. Both are magnificent starters.
For our mains, I choose a Scotch Fillet from Cape Byron with house made steak sauce while hubby opts for the Tasmanian Atlantic Salmon. We switch dishes midway through our meal and agree that both dishes are divine. Also delicious are the sides. I’ve chosen sweet potato with cumin and macadamia while my husband selected the butternut squash with garlic and chilli. I can’t remember ever tasting such flavoursome accompaniments and I make a note to try to replicate these sides at home.
We’re offered the dessert menu after we finish our mains but we have to decline. The portions at JBP for the entrees and mains are extremely generous and I am stuffed. I know I won’t be able to do justice to any dessert I order, sumptuous as they sound. We leave the restaurant sated and return to our rooms. My daughter disappears into her room and we don’t hear from her again for two hours. She’s busy reading, coloring and just playing with the supplied toys and games before she falls asleep.
As for my husband and I, we take the opportunity to relax and reconnect against a backdrop of nighttime city views. We open up a bottle of wine and enjoy some much-needed quality time with each other while music from the iPhone plays softly in the background. It’s reassuring to get away for a romantic city break while knowing our child is safely tucked away in her own bedroom nearby.
We awaken the next day to rain. My daughter and husband are content to stay in their rooms and hang out but I’m feeling energetic. It must be the influence of the Swissôtel brand. The hotel chain prides itself on promoting wellbeing and it’s evident throughout our stay. From the pool, gym and day spa to its dining offerings, it’s all about health and wellness.
I wander downstairs to check out the hotel gym – impressive – but then notice that the rain has eased. I decide instead to go for a brisk walk. The Swissôtel Sydney provides information about scenic walking and jogging routes ranging from 5.5km to 10km. I opt for the shortest route which takes me down to Circular Quay, a 10 minute walk away.
Even under grey skies, the Harbour City looks amazing. I never get tired of seeing the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Sydney Opera House.
On my way back to the hotel, I see energetic participants waiting for their turn to participate in the Sydney Tower Stair Challenge. Maybe next year, I’ll give it a try!
Returning back to the hotel, it’s breakfast time and I collect my husband and child for a buffet breakfast. There’s plenty to choose from and after my walk, I’m starving.
The amount of healthy options is staggering. There’s a cereal bar where you can create your own muesli and cereal combinations.
There’s fruit and cheese galore.
There’s also a hot food buffet and made to order omelette station.
On my toast, I spread organic honey made by resident bees who live on the 10th floor of the hotel.
I’m also enamoured of the Detox shots and drink a few of them trying in vain to identify what’s in the shot.
After a big plate of food and a couple of cups of delicious coffee, we leave the hotel to walk to the new Barangaroo walkway. It just opened the day before and we’re keen to walk it. As part of the redevelopment of Barangaroo from an industrial site, a new Sydney harbour park has been developed.
This new six-hectare harbour park, Barangaroo Reserve hugs the harbour and features lookouts, picnic spots and walking and cycling trails as well as loads of sandstone dug up from the site.
We take our time walking along the trails and enjoying views of the harbour.
After a couple of hours, we return to the Swissôtel Sydney to check out. Even though I’m tempted to linger and stay a few more nights, it’s time to leave. We’ve had a wonderful stay at the Swissôtel Sydney and vow to return for another visit. Even though it’s a luxurious hotel, it’s not at all pretentious. The staff offers genuine welcoming hospitality to all guests regardless of whether they’re corporate employees, leisure travellers or harried parents like us looking for a break with energetic kids in tow. We’ve thoroughly enjoyed our stay experiencing the Kids Room, the ultimate weekend away combining a fun kids stay and a luxurious parents’ retreat.
Disclosure: Newy with Kids was a guest of Swissôtel Sydney and Merlin Entertainments Group. All opinions are my own.
Swissôtel Sydney offers the Kids Room. This includes 1 King Room for the parents with 1 Twin Room with full kids set up including DVDs for kids, Children’s bed linen, Children’s desk and games, Nanny service (advance booking essential and chargeable), Junior amenities for the children, Children’s toys and full buffet breakfast for two children in JPB.
In 2012, Reena founded Newy with Kids to share information about family-friendly Newcastle. Originally from Canada, she had no idea about what to do with her toddler and after searching unsuccessfully for a family guide, decided to start her own. Since that time, both the toddler and Newy with Kids have grown keeping Reena busy. If you see her out and about, say hi.