How does a “staycation” sound to a mum of two littles with a third one on the way? Gosh, yes! I mighty need that! Not that I will be leaving the kids somewhere else for a day, although that’s an option, but if I am not stepping out of the country I would rather
relax (try my best to relax) with the kids around. It’s a great opportunity to spend some family time while not having to clean up every hour, not having to cook and indulging in some room service plus just a change of place with new things to explore for the toddler and big TV screen for the preschooler (a rarity for her as we don’t allow one at home). We got all that at our comfy staycation at the Wyndham Grand Regency last month.
We were booked for a one day overnight stay on the weekend. It was a busy day as the hotel was mostly full. However, they ensured a smooth service for us, right from the valet parking to checking us in. We were quickly and efficiently welcomed into their ‘world of opulence’. The hotel lobby kind of resonated with that description. The splendid decor and the wonderful pieces of art in the lobby gave it the feel of an art gallery. We were escorted to our deluxe room on the third floor. There too, we loved the beautiful furniture and decor which had a little victorian touch and the luxuriously carpeted floor. It was moderately spacious with a double bed, sofa, comfortable work desk, large TV stand and a closet with the usual amenities.
We had requested them to place the baby cots ahead of time, however that didn’t happen. But I was not too disappointed about that. A gentle reminder and within a few minutes it was placed in our room. We got only one as opposed to two as originally requested, but looking at the remaining space in the room and the idea that most likely one of the kids would be co-sleeping in our bed, I let it go. There is one thing though, I don’t get why many hotels don’t get the difference between a cot / crib and a play pen. What we got was a play pen with a thin mattress folded and arranged at the bottom. It was good enough for my kids but I would never put a younger baby in there on a soft mattress so deep inside. I have received similar service in other hotels so I guess it’s common but something they should consider when catering to families with young children as it’s very important to have a safe sleeping space for young babies.
The view from our room was nothing fancy, as expected. Just overlooking the busy, traffic jammed street of Al-Sadd and the sports roundabout. With kids it’s another thing though. They enjoyed looking at the cars and watched some TV while we got some time to put our feet up and relax. We ordered in for dinner and just lazed around for the rest of the evening.
Next morning we had our breakfast at The Grand Gourmet. We had been told the timings by both the check in staff and reminded later by the others. So we headed down for the breakfast buffet around 9:00 am. It was a very busy hour as most of the people seemed to choose the same timing. Due to that, the service was slow. Either we couldn’t find cutlery, or had to wait a few minutes for refills at the buffet station and the waiters were slow to respond. I was a bit disappointed with that. Apart from that, the food was I can say above average. They had a wide range of options and everything tasted quite good. Nothing extraordinary. For a value of QR109/- per person (though ours was included in the booking), it seemed slightly overpriced.
We had also gone to check out their swimming pool in the morning. It was beautiful but not very large and was quite full at the moment so we decided against swimming and went back to our room.
Being a friday, we had requested a late checkout after prayer. The staff initially apologized for not being able to do so as Fridays are even more busy but then they did extend by an hour. Fair enough! There were other minor glitches too. The extra blanket in the closet was iron burnt and torn at one end and only one bathrobe and slippers were provided. However, they graciously responded to all our requests from extra towels to request for housekeeping, replacing the water bottles, extra coffee, etc. promptly. It wasn’t extremely luxurious but it was a comfortable and relaxing staycation. For the price of a deluxe room at around 500QAR/- per night, although we had a voucher to use, we felt it wasn’t bad at all and you do get the value for money.