Having chosen to put the brakes on air travel when I was carrying my daughter unfortunately meant no holidays for this wanderlust-filled mummy. It also meant that by the time my baby was born, I was absolutely raring to go on a vacation.
That said, choosing the destination for that first big family trip wasn’t easy. On the one hand, we wanted to go somewhere that wasn’t near (so it actually feels like a holiday) and yet, on the other, we didn’t dare to venture too far (as first time parents we weren’t sure how well the bub would take to flying). The husband and I decided on Hong Kong — the four-hour flight, we felt was just about doable.
Of course, taking a seven-month old baby on a plane ride for the first time can be a stressful experience and not knowing what to expect, we embarked on the trip with slight trepidation. As it turned out, we were lucky as our daughter was fairly co-operative. Nursing her as the place took off and landed (best piece of advice I was given) meant that she wasn’t too much trouble and barely even cried (phew).
Even so, by the time we landed, I have to admit, I breathed a sigh of relief and all that excitement resulted in one tension-filled mama ready to check into the hotel and just relax — especially when said hotel is Hong Kong’s famed la grande dame, The Peninsula.
“I’m travelling with a seven-month old baby,” I told them when we booked the rooms. “No worries, Mrs Ramsay, everything will be taken care of,” they said. Ah, let’s see, I thought. While there are many who claim that this is one of the best hotels in the world I wasn’t sure how well would they deal with little babies.
Oh, shame on me for being a Doubting Thomas! They were spectacular. From the moment we were picked up at the airport — in one of their signature green Rolls Royces, no less — everything was cared for to a T. Not only was there a car seat ready in the car, it even came with Wifi, which by the way is a boon for parents travelling with rowdy kids who need to be entertained. In our case, this allowed us access to YouTube so we could play white noise for our frustrated baby who didn’t want to be sequestered in the Maxi-Cosi.
I have to admit that I was slightly worried taking such a youngling to a luxury hotel — “Would the other guests get upset if my baby started fussing and crying?” — but those worries were unfounded. Like most hotels, The Peninsula provides baby cots, baby bath tubs, baby-sitting services and baby amenities (which, incidentally was an awesome package complete with a plush towel, flannel, teething rattle toy, diapers and travel-sized products from Mustela) but really, it was the little things that made the difference. For one, the staff never failed to have a smile for my little daughter, plus they went out of their way to ensure that our stay was as comfortable and indeed, painless as possible whether it be making sure that all our car transfers were equipped with car seats, lending us a stroller or even something as simple as factoring in a hot water dispenser flask (not just a kettle) in the rooms.
Though Hong Kong is a food paradise, we could have quite happily stayed in the hotel for our meals. Breakfast can be taken at The Verandah (buffet styled breakfast with options galore for the kids) or at The Lobby where parents can indulge in Eggs Benedict while the young one has some yummy congee. You can often tell how much a place cares for its young guests through the quality of its high chairs. Suffice to say that I was suitably impressed by the fact that all the restaurants use hair chairs from one of my favourite brands, Stokke. I even spotted a beautiful Micua OVO high chair during one of our meals — stunning.
The 300-room property also recently underwent a £36 million room-enhancement programme, the results of which meant that the well-appointed rooms are specced out with state-of-the-art tablets that allows one to control every aspect of the room with a click of a button. Entertainment for baby on screen? Check. Room service while holding on to fidgety baby in the other hand? Check. Shutting the lights and curtains because Mummy and Daddy are too tired to get out of bed? Check. In short, super convenient.
Thanks to the excellent service at The Peninsula Hong Kong, the three nights spent there made what could have been an incredibly stressful trip an absolute breeze and I could not have asked for a better place to break that much-needed travel duck. There are those who think that travelling with a family means having to compromise on style but The Peninsula proves otherwise. The experience was truly unforgettable.
Mummyfique rating: 5 Fiques
Mummyfique insider tips:
- Do request for the hotel’s Rolls-Royce airport transfer for a pleasant ride to and from the hotel. Not only does it mean the family arrives in style, the Wifi in the car will help entertain the minifiques!
- If you’re not keen on lugging your car seat and stroller on and off the plane, the hotel can lend you theirs for the duration of your trip.
- Make sure to find time for a dip in the indoor pool as it boasts a fantastic view of the city and the cutest stash of mini bedroom slippers (super camera worthy!).
Salisbury Road, Hong Kong
Tel: +852 2920 2888