I can think of a zillion perks of life as an expat in one of the richest countries of the world. But if you ask me, what’s the one big down fall to it all? I’d have to say, missing out on quality family time with the extended family of course. Worse then if you’re born a mixed expat kid with your family spread across the globe. Such is the situation of our little girl whose founding years of life are set being torn apart from her grandparents, cousins, aunts, uncles, family and friends. Sadly there’s really not much we can do about it and If you already follow my blog posts and travels then you’ll know that through the year we try our very best to see as much as we can of both sides of our families.
Through the hot periods as most expats we try and stay out the country and then come winter the tables turn with our home becoming a lodging site for our extended families. It is by far our favourite time of the year as an expat in the desert and there’s nothing we would change about it. If only for a few months a year we get to live in our own comfort zone while still being surrounded by the people we love the most. This year has been no exception and as tradition holds we’ve had our spare bedrooms booked out by our families.
Last week we had my brother in law and his family of 4 stay with us for a week and it was one the most anticipated visits of the year. During their visit the hubby was off duty and officially on vacation for a while which is why we decided to treat them and ourselves to a holiday within a holiday. When they arrived into Doha we told them of a lovely #Staycation we had set up courtesy @TheGrandHyattDoha and boy were they blown outta their socks!
The day we were meant to check in the kids woke up all excited and ready for a road trip as the drive from our place to the hotel is about 40 minutes making it just long enough to term a road trip 🙂 We checked in at reception at ease and once done we were escorted by a golf cart to our Villas, Yes Grand Hyatt Villas. Wooo hoooo…..who knew these were available for short stay bookings too?
Our Grand Villas
Were let’s just say, straight out of a dream home. They were so spacious that we kept losing the kids. 2 big bedrooms with en-suite showers and bathtubs. 42 inch flat screen TV’s and large closet space. The villas are equipped with a kitchen so incase you feel like cooking or entertaining during your staycation this can be done at ease. (Obviously this was no where on my personal agenda at all, considering this mama was officially off duty and on holiday) As for us the microwave was the handiest for warming up all that left over pizza that the kids ordered at dinner and never finished at the restaurant but were then as always, hungry at home!
We also had a little backyard patio where we sat out chatting every night once the kids were asleep. As for the extended family our villas were attached which made it super convenient to co-ordinate breakfast & leisure plans. They also had the exact same space on the top of ours that included the same amenities along with the addition of a balcony instead of a porch.
The hotel itself has several food and beverage outlets as you may already know. An excellent buffet breakfast spread is served out at Santa Monica Breakfast Club If your package doesn’t already include breakfast then just so you know, it is priced at 150 QAR per person and currently on offer at 80 QAR pp for the month of Feb 2018.
Why I love Santa Monica Breakfast Club so much and would go back any day just for breakfast? Because it has a little play area, which for us was a saviour as the kids could be entertained all through our marathon breakfast without ever being bored. The older ones played foosball while Amélie sat coloring and watching cartoons. The staff are friendly, courteous and kept a watch on the kids too. We actually ended up having a pizza fest dinner the first night. The fire oven pizzas were delicious.
Amenities & Facilties
The property boasts of having one of the best beaches in the city so be ready to get lost in sheer sun, sea and sand kind of paradise. If you’re not much of any of those and just like some pool time then you’ll have the option of an indoor pool, outdoor lap pool, lounging and relaxing kinda pool or one that has a baby pool close by that’s close to the villas. I think that’s enough pools for everyone staying on the property, don’t you think?
We tried and tested all of the, as the kids woke up everyday screaming lets swim! lets swim! lets swim! So swim is what we indulged in then!
As for the daddy’s they had a different idea of relaxation on their mind and so sheesha by the beach it was. Sheesha is served at the pool bar and has a kids park near by which kept them busy and out of the smoke zone during their leisure time.
As for us Mama’s it was the spa that had our names on it and after a 90-minute special facial at theJaula Spa, I was personally refreshed for a romantic night out with Mr.Z. We happened to stay at the property during Valentines Day, which meant date night out, was an absolute must. With our regular sitter booked to take care of the kids it was time for us adults to finally have some fun. In our opinion there was no other way to spice up the night other than a spicy Thai curry and so we reserved a table at the city’s best Thai Restaurant – Isaan that happens to be on the property. Isaan had a set menu for valentines. A 4-course meal served with a bottle of bubbles. Who could have resisted such an offer? We were 6 of us and had the most wonderful valentines double dating with family. A special moment for all of us of course, as we live miles away from each other.
The day we were due to check out we woke up wanting this dream to never come to an end. Post our usual family breakfast we decide to be beach bums as the weather that day felt like the perfect summer day in winter 🙂 Cool breeze, no humidity, clear skies, and a happy shining sun. For the family is was a great way to bid goodbye to Doha before heading back to a freezing cold and windy Holland
We stayed at the beach all morning playing around in the sand and with the water floats. The staff had this cute little sand toy bucket for Amelie to borrow and play with which kept her busy most of the time.
A quick shower and pack up session later although not so ready to return back to reality we hit the road on a very mellow note. The kids were mostly exhausted but also really sad that this dream holiday within a holiday had come to an end.
Our special Staycation at@TheGrandHyattDoha was just the kind of family time we craved for. It was so great to see the kids bond and spend quality time that they obviously miss having through the year. We certainly made some memories to last us a lifetime. I cant wait to look back in time when the kids are older and all grown up and relive all those beautiful moments again.
Looking to book yourself a getaway? click on the link to check prices –doha.grand.hyatt.com
Contact Reservations at Tel: +974 4448 1234
*This post is in collaboration with photographer Asiya Shafi @newgirlonthisblock and has been featured on Qatar Tribune Newspaper. Read more on – www.qatar-tribune.com/news-details/id/115839
I hope you enjoy your staycation as much as we did.
Questandmark & Family X