To celebrate the new QT staycation options of wild, mild and solo, Emma Clifton takes her husband and baby on the mildest staycation of a lifetime and rediscovers the simple joy of a sandwich in the bath
This story is proudly brought to you with the support of QT Auckland
There are three things that only exist for me in hotels: club sandwiches, baths and CNN. Sure, I know all of those things exist outside of the walls of a hotel, but they rarely, if ever, cross my path. In fact, I have a bath in my flat and all it does is serve as a reminder that I don’t clean my house as much as I probably should.
The combination of all three is when I know I am living my best staycation life.
So when the opportunity came up for Capsule to try out the Wild, Mild or Solo QT stay options, I knew that mild was where I belonged because my hotel dream is as mild as it gets – see above – and also, I would be attending the stay with my husband and our seven-month-old infant. And nothing forces your life more into the mild lane than having a baby.
But here is the one thing I have learned about trying to achieve things as a new parent: Keep your expectations low and achievable. And as I ate the best club sandwich of my life in the absolutely ginormous junior suite bath, with my squirming baby on my lap, all I could think of was: box ticked.
In fact, when the food trays turned up, it reminded me of the scene in Home Alone 2 where Kevin orders thousands of dollars’ worth of ice cream and frankly, isn’t that all an experience we’ve wished to replicate?
Sure, the baby then refused to sleep for the next four hours and we ate the rest of our – equally ginormous – room service order in total silence on the bed, whispering furtively to each other and trading (carefully monitored) bites of my club sandwich for my husband’s Wagyu beef burger, but it was an experience of joy. When you’re a sleep-deprived and permanently hungry parent, eating a giant meal with two hands, next to a sleeping baby, with no-one trying to talk to you, is peak perfection.
We split the three experiences between the three Auckland-based Capsule-lites; Kelly – newly engaged, early 30s – took Wild, Alice – parent of two, hasn’t slept through the night in a year, took Solo – and I, of low expectations and always looking for a new location to breast-feed in at 3am, took Mild. The joys of a staycation are for everyone, and when your staycation comes with an outstanding room service menu that you can devour in a robe, in your giant room, in or around your giant bed or bath, then this is living.
At one point, when I was in the bath, my husband carefully passed me a glass of cold rosé around our splashing child and put a duck-fat potato chip into my mouth, and said, “Well, this is mild.” And we both knew that was a serious compliment in our books. And the next morning, when we tag-teamed our belligerent baby so that I could go to the delicious Esther restaurant, and eat an entire breakfast by myself while reading a book, we knew we had found our new special occasion treat for the next few years of our lives. Mild Staycation/Club Sandwich Heaven: we’re coming back for you (with a babysitter).