Buying and selling Barbados for Bedfordshire, why now could be the time to book a home-cation
Vacationing near home offers maximum enjoyment and minimum stress
“It’s not about the destination, it’s about the journey,” say a million Instagram platitudes. Well, at the moment with a global pandemic taking place, I respectfully disagree.
With Hancock’s reintroduction of the levels (and no one who really understands them) as well as the quarantine, testing and never-ending queues when traveling abroad, I’d rather arrive quickly and thank you very much.
This past year the staycation has increased, but now the home cation has increased too. Say what? Well it’s like a stay but closer. Think of a vacation but not far from your own home. Staying in your pet zone means no confusion about the rules. You stay just like at home.
There used to be high praise visiting a distant destination. You have “traveler” points for seaplanes and trekking and you will find huts off the beaten track. Couples would play an appreciation on honeymoon. “Oh, you went to the Maldives? We went to a retreat in Madagascar by helicopter. It wasn’t believable, was it, Piers? «
But when we’re all so tired and stressed, that sounds like too much. Or me anyway. In these times I want comfort and familiarity. And with full disclosure, I don’t really want to leave the hotel. For me, it’s all about room service, the pre-dinner cocktails, and the feeling of clean sheets and a variety of breakfast options. The escape from domestic drudgery. And to escape the same four walls that I’ve stared at for so long. Yes the attitude is important, but right now it’s the immediate attitude rather than the broader one for me. More importantly, there is a swimming pool and spa where the kids can have muscle-melting treatments and activities so I can shake off the guilt of staring at a screen millions of times a day.
At that half, I had a few options. One way north (four hours by car) and one in a Greek island resort. Both were appealing, but both required planning and a level of bravery that had depleted six months of Covid, a couple of years of single parenting, and writing a book.
No, I decided, I wanted to go straight down the street to a hotel. Very little driving and none of it passes through different animal zones. It reminded me of an episode of Miranda where she was ready to go to Thailand but opted for a hotel across the street instead and had a thoroughly good time.
Stacey Duguid, Harrods Fashion Editorial Director, recently drove three miles from her London home to Mayfair’s The Connaught Hotel. “I spent the whole day in the spa, sat in the hotel dressing gown, then got dressed and went for cocktails in the sexy bar. I spent Sunday mornings in bed with a Bloody Mary and felt reborn! “
Chris King, co-founder of Birch, a new and easily accessible hotel near Cheshunt, noticed this trend. It’s less than 30 minutes from London and provides an affordable but cool getaway where you can eat great food, do yoga, throw some pots, or just lounge around and people watch. ” In the middle Covid world in which we all live now, we are noticing that guests come more often than we had thought to escape from their apartments or guest rooms or home offices to get a real sense of space, good coffee and Coffee to get a great atmosphere. ”
Julia Hands, Chairman and CEO of Hand Picked Hotels, added, “At the moment, distance doesn’t matter – it’s a change of scene and a new environment that guests are longing for. A short drive can take a world away from them, and that’s what they enjoy – a different perspective and a pleasure. “
For my half-time I decided to take a micro break. It’s similar to a mini break, only shorter and less expensive. Because, and here in my mental gymnastics, I didn’t spend on flights, I felt justified in getting into luxury accommodations.
So I took my daughter to Luton Hoo, a listed 5-star mansion that has a spa, swimming pool, full breakfast menu, and exercise facilities (which the teen will no doubt turn their noses up at).
My daughter and I park in front of the main building, and once we have overcome the shame of leaving our dented car in the best position outside, we appreciate the size of the place. It is a classic country hotel. The large hallway is populated by older ladies who hold boxes of eclairs left over from their cream teas. There are young parents trying to turn toddlers into coats. While not cool, it’s great, comfortable and a day-to-day escape.
It is exactly what i need. I don’t want to have to face the Soho Farm House set. Not today.
Our room in the main building is huge and can accommodate a family of four. It’s faded a little, but the view from the window is breathtaking and the bathroom has a jacuzzi tub and enough space for a small party. We do manicures in the spa and I get a hot stone massage with Nicole, which lowers my stress level and raises my mind. Dinner is delicious, with high-backed chairs and an ancillary arrangement of paperwork. It makes a great change from scratching the back of the freezer.
When we come for such a short time, we will take advantage of everything the hotel has to offer. Think biking, swimming, exercising, eating, walking in the gardens designed by Capability Brown (the teen is obviously wearing inappropriate shoes).
In twenty-four hours and with only two hours of travel time (there and back) everything revolved around maximum enjoyment with minimum effort at our home.
And for the Christmas break, I booked a decadent night at Le Manor Aux Quat’Saisons. It’s less than thirty minutes from my home. Feels a million miles away though
Rosie Green was hosted by the Luton Hoo Hotel, Golf & Spa, a member of Elite Hotels. Overnight stays from £ 220 per room (two people) including breakfast. Call Luton Hoo on 01582 734437 (www.lutonhoo.co.uk).